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Annabelle Movie Review

Critic's Rating: 

Direction: John R. Leonetti
Genre: Horror
Duration: 1 hour 39 minutes
Cast: Annabelle Wallis, Tony Amendola, Ward Horton, Alfre Woodard, Kerry O’Malley

Story: Mia (Annabelle) and John (Ward) are eager to welcome their first born into the world. Theirs is happy marriage in a happy home. One day, the husband unwittingly gifts his pregnant wife a demonic doll that wreaks havoc on their lives. 

Review: Mia and John make for a perfect couple. Within the context of a horror film though, their idyll is almost like a precursor to the bad things that will eventually blight them. It starts soon after the above-mentioned 'gift' is placed in the room that Mia and hubby have lovingly prepared for the baby they're expecting. 

The initial indications of evil occur after Mia wakes up in the middle of the night on hearing a shriek from their neighbour's home. John goes to investigate and a tussle ensues. It turns out their nutcase neighbours belong to a Satanic cult which apparently wants to summon a demon named Belial into the physical world. In order to do so, the soul of an innocent (John and Mia's baby) would be needed as a sort of supernatural barter system. 

John is the disbelieving, pragmatic dad and Mia is the understandably distraught and gradually paranoid mom. Gas stoves light themselves and turntables play on their own. Apparently, demons love their burnt popcorn with some smokin' hot classic rock. 

Incidentally, there are a few gaffes. For example, the said turntable is a contemporary design that is incongruous with the time period of the movie. There's a lot of telegraphing thanks to the music cues, zoom-ins and so on, that almost alert you before the next jolt. 

But Annabelle's overall effect could have been enhanced with a more ominous score, as a big part of a horror film's psychological impact lies in its music. Annabelle alights on most horror tropes but comes across as a jack of all trades, but a master of none. Still, it will give you your money's worth, while not really serving you anything too memorable (or scary) as some of the other, more sinister horror films we've seen in the last few years.

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