Annabelle

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Somebody should look behind first-time director John Leonetti’s neck and see if the number “666” is there. Only an evil man would release this garbage, billed as a prequel to The Conjuring.

We’ll assume that a young couple would buy an ugly doll that looks like Chucky’s sister, to put on the shell of their newborns room. Aside from one or two scenes, there’s nothing scary that happens.

The couple is named John and Mia (a tip of the hat to the stars of Rosemary’s Baby). Ward Horton plays John, and his acting is awful. It was like a performance from a soap opera. His wife is played by Annabelle Wallis (The Tudors); with a name like that she had to be cast in this.

Wallis is a gorgeous British actress that speaks four languages, and doesn’t do a bad job here. The women in horror films usually do all the heavy lifting (ie screaming).

I can’t fault the talented Alfre Woodard for appearing in this crap. The big name studio releasing this is doing a cash-grab, why shouldn’t she grab a big paycheck as the mysterious bookstore owner?

The movie had so many horror movie clichés, I couldn’t believe she didn’t give the couple an old book on the occult.

You get all the stuff you’d expect in a movie like this: writing on the wall (“her soul”), appliances that turn on (sewing machine), and creaky floors and slamming doors.

I mentioned the doll being ugly, and it did look rather creepy. Yet what quickly makes the doll worthless, is the fact that it isn’t doing the killing. Also, the fact that they made the doll look so creepy almost makes it satire. You see, imagines in horror movies can be scary for a variety of reasons. When a guy is chasing you with a chainsaw and his face is all leathery and scarred – that’s creepy. Yet sometimes, just an antique doll with a slight Mona Lisa smile is enough.

Didn’t those twin girls in the hallway of The Shining freak everyone out? Well, they didn’t have sharp teeth, bloody faces, or funky eyebrows.

In that Twilight Zone where the evil little kid sends people “into the cornfield”…he’s scary. Knowing a child had that power was enough. They didn’t make him look scary in anyway. He was a freckly faced little boy, who got mad easily. That was enough.

I won’t knock horror movies if they have enough scares. For example, Daniel Radcliffe’s The Woman in Black wasn’t a great picture, but it made me jump enough times that I had to give it a few stars.

This movie just looked cheap, in both the production values and acting. There’s nothing original in this story that takes place in the ‘70s, but with baby carriages from the ‘30s.

It gets 0 stars out of 5.