Annabelle is a horror film directed by John R. Leonetti, serving as the first spin off film of the wider Conjuring Universe. The plot of this film focus on Annabelle, the breakout star of the first Conjuring film and goes a ways to explain how she ended up in the Warrens private collection; though to understand that you will have to watch all 3 Annabelle films.
I remember seeing this film a long time ago and I remember it being generic and boring. However, the other night, perhaps as a result of a masochistic feeling, I decided to revisit it and see if it was as bad as I remember. It is bad, definitely the weakest of both the Annabelle trilogy and the Conjuring Universe as a whole, but it is not terrible.
The only pro I have for this film is the basement life scene, when Mia (Annabelle Wallis), first sees the demon and she gets stuck in the lift. This I think is easily the best scene of the film, both in terms of scares and execution as it actually manages to feel tense.
The issues with this film for me are twofold. Firstly Annabelle Wallis should not be cast in anything ever, why is she? She can’t act and her name being associated with anything is a sign of poor quality, The Mummy, King Arthur Legend Of The Sword, Tag, I could go on. Wallis seems incapable of showing even the slightest amount of emotion in any sense, and to call her wooden would be a disservice to wood everywhere.
Secondly there is no third act in this film. Things just plod along in the usual investigative way these films do and then bang its over. There is no final standoff between Mia and the Demon, no, instead she almost throws herself out a window, but then she doesn’t and someone else does; wow gripping stuff there.
Overall, though this film isn’t as terrible as I remember it being it is still bad, not worth your time and easily the weakest of the Conjuring films; takeaway stop casting Annabelle Wallis.
The lift sequence
There is no third act
The doll really isn’t all that involved
There is a lot of aimless plot that goes nowhere
It does not justify its existence as a spin off
Reviewed by Luke