So as part of my visit to Portland and to help my fellow MADNESS participant Nikki get some extra points to her score, we went and saw the new creepy doll movie ANNABELLE. We had a great time, despite some really annoying kids that decided to sneak in to the movie and decided to talk throughout the film, ( I mean WHO DOES THAT? You sneak into a film and TALK? That won't get you caught at all teens!) and we even got free tickets after we complained to the manager about them.
KWEENY REVIEWS ANNABELLE
MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!
Now, let's get to the nitty gritty of the film shall we? While I did enjoy it, I wouldn't say it was a new and revolutionary take on the creepy doll trope. They did however do some good things, while also doing some extremely cheesy things that we as the audience were meant to take seriously. Sometimes I wish film makers would understand we aren't stupid, and we would like to be taken seriously while watching their films.
So the story is kind of mediocre as far as creepy doll things are concerned. There is a couple who is all catholic and happy, the wife is preggers and ready to pop anyday. She watches on TV a news program going on about Charles Manson and Helter Skelter, so that way we won't be CONFUSED when an evil cult breaks into the house and fucks with the family.
All the typical "occult" tropes are here. The crazy couple who break in and nearly kill the wife then get killed are Satanic, and of course the doll is now possessed with a demon that wants souls. NEVER SEEN THAT BEFORE.
The actors aren't exceptionally intriguing, the plot is bland, but what is good is how things are shot and the neat tricks they do with the doll. Since throughout the film we are told the doll is a conduit, which means the demon possessing it doesn't make it really come alive per say. It uses the doll to mentally fuck with the mother. There are some really awesome moments where you think they are going to do one creepy doll trope, but instead do something completely different. I liked that, and actually jumped at a few scenes. Jump scares usually piss me off, but the way they did these ones was neat so I let it slide.
They of course did the trope of the wise old lady who just happened to have a bookstore with occult books and was willing to help the mother. I wish they didn't make things so formulaic, because there was so many great scenes with neat scares that didn't make the doll do stereotypical evil doll things. The movie wasn't great, but it had some potential and some really interesting moments I wish were more fleshed out or explored.
Ultimately I think Annabelle was fun, but lazily done. They could have put more effort into things, instead of focusing so much on special effects. It's a movie made up of cool freaky moments, but not really much else interesting to talk about.
We still had a good time, and got a free movie thanks to talking teens, so I'm glad I went. I just think the real story of Annabelle is much more creepier than the movie it's based on.