If you remember to the fawaway year of 2013 you will recall a short prologue at the beginning of the horror hit The Conjuring about some creepy doll that haunts a pair of nurses. The film, Annabelle, is simply about how the doll fell into their possession. John and Mia Form (Ward Horton and Annabelle Wallis) are a happily married couple with a baby along away, it is all seemingly blissful and perfect that is until two nutters from the cult The Disciples of the Ram invade their home and in the process impart an evil spirit into the Annabelle doll
Quite why anyone would even consider buying such an ugly object like the Annabelle doll is beyond my comprehension as the doll really is the product of Satan whether it was possessed by a demonic spirit or not, but I digress. Much was made of the fact that Annabelle was a spin off from James Wan's overrated The Conjuring and undoubtedly the film rides the fanatical tidal wave created by James Wan's extraordinarily financially successful horror flick, surely this is the only explanation for Annabelle's success at the box office because the film isn't really any good.
The main problem with the film is the boring central characters, the married couple are as boring as married couples get and the performances of both Annabelle Wallis (who was actually born in the same city as me, which is cool) and Ward Horton don't really do enough to overcome their rather bland characters. Annabelle Wallis' Mia sort of channels Rosemary's Woodhouse (the first name of the character is the same as the actress who played Rosemary, Mia Farrow) and there is certainly elements of Rosemary Baby in Annabelle.
Annabelle isn't without its moments, John R. Leonetti knows how to make a horror film tick when catered to a mainstream audience and his film certainly as a few well timed jumps and is handsomely designed. He also successfully managed to create one or two good scares involving the admittedly quite scary looking demon (the scene in the basement is quite good) and I also like the fact that the doll didn't really move around like Chucky. However, the film feels laboured in its pacing and when you do this a constant feeling of dread must be evident, but there isn't a notable maintenance of dread throughout the film making it a bit of bore. It's also a shame the film didn't have any balls.