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Apologies for only just now getting this review up, but I've been away the past few days and have only been uploading pre-written reviews. *sigh* so here we go with this. Annabelle follows the story of Mia (Annabelle Wallis), a soon-to-be mum living in a newly purchased (of course) house with her husband, John (Ward Horton). In early celebration of Mia's birthing, John gives her a gift. This gift is a rare doll that she's been looking for forever. After their house is broken into by a pair of psychotic cult members who slit their own throats, the doll becomes possessed by a demonic spirit (of course).
Annabelle is no Conjuring. As most can agree, The Conjuring is one of the best horror films in recent year. While I don't necessarily think it's my absolute favourite modern horror film, as others have stated, I do enjoy it a lot. Annabelle tells the story of the doll that appeared at the start of The Conjuring, reusing some footage from this scene as a pre-title sequence. Despite hearing terrible things about the film, I was looking forward to it. Yes, I knew it was directed by the guy who made The Butterfly Effect 2 and the sequel to Mortal Kombat, but whatever. We've all got to start making good films at some point in time (unless you're Michael Bay). Annabelle is now his third terrible movie. It's just not good. Not. Good. At. All. There is literally two half decent sequences in the entire film, one that was a lengthier version of the first trailer and another very creepy sequence that takes place in an elevator and staircase. The rest of the film is far from creepy.
The characters are idiotic and two dimensional, their dialogue is even worse. Annabelle is written to such a poor degree, repeating prolonged sequences of overly dramatic dialogue followed by a failed attempt at tension followed by a jump scare. There are so many lines of dialogue that are incredibly laughable. If you thought that Dracula Untold was absolutely hilarious, like I did, then you haven't seen anything yet. Annabelle is the year's best comedy, writing hilarious lines such as "it's a good thing I'm not sacrificing my soul anytime soon," and "I think my family is being haunted by a ghost," followed by the store clerk answering with "aisle 4, come with me." Yep, you heard it here folks. Crappy dialogue coming from idiotic characters that are completely ignorant of their surroundings.
The camera work is unbelievably poorly placed. The film tries to allude to all of their scares by placing the camera in a position where we are able to see down a hallway or through an open doorway, etc. The camera would linger on something, the music would slow down until it's gone, my heartbeat would stop, and then the predictable jump scare ensures. Now repeat. The only sequence that breaks this pattern is the previously mentioned elevator/staircase sequence which is handled surprisingly well, if not filmed at a lower, but forgivable quality.
To sum up, Annabelle is a laughably written film with two dimensional and idiotic characters, infrequent and predictable jump scares and very poorly placed camera work. Its only saving grace is a sequence taking place in an elevator.