Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Annabelle Inanimate Objectionable
Year: 2014
Director: John R. Leonetti
Stars: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Tony Amendola, Alfre Woodard, Kerry O'Malley, Brian Howe, Eric Ladin, Ivar Brogger, Geoff Wehner, Gabriel Bateman, Shiloh Nelson, Sasha Sheldon, Camden Singer, Robin Pearson Singer, Keira Daniels
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 1969 and a young married couple, the Gordons, are looking forward to the birth of their first child. Father-to-be John (Ward Horton) works as a doctor while his wife Mia (Annabelle Wallis) stays in their new home in the Californian suburbs, though she warns him that he really should think about locking the front door when they go out, since the world isn't quite the safe place it was when they were growing up. They attend church and are friendly with their neighbours, a middle-aged pair who have recently seen their adult daughter run away from them to join some bizarre cult, and with the Manson Family murders in the news John and Mia do sympathise with the couple's worries for their offspring. But it is the couple who are in danger...

The Conjuring, while strictly top of the voice hokey in execution, did make a lot of money, featuring as it did a fictionalisation of the work of two actual paranormal investigators which had as part of its plot one case they took on concerning a supposedly haunted doll named Annabelle. Almost as if there was some devious plan behind these movies, no sooner had the dust settled on that shrill chiller than another one came along, and it was this, a prequel telling us what happened to make the doll possessed. That said, though the doll did exist, the story the filmmakers conjured (ahem) was all made up, so don't go fact-checking after watching it; you could tell that anyway, as the plot more or less ripped off Rosemary's Baby in a curiously reactionary manner.

That was a trend in these spooky horrors of the twenty-first century, to call back to a previous hit of yesteryear and build on those for their shocks and atmosphere, so if anything they represented a return to the sort of horror of the late sixties and early seventies where there were covens and cults everywhere you looked as the hippy craze passed into something both more down to earth and back to nature, and in fiction, more sinister thanks to the sensationally horrifying Manson murders which as mentioned are referenced in this. So you could regard the likes of, yes, The Conjuring and Insidious and Paranormal Activity even as a strong echo of what had been happening in the genre some forty years before, only stuff like Messiah of Evil or Deathmaster were not exactly blockbusters.

Perhaps it was a newfound superstition born of turning away from Christianity all over again being countered by a more forceful faith from the genuine believers that could explain this trend in the Western world, because quite often these efforts did pretty well for themselves at the box office, either that or it was a new audience unfamiliar with the material being copied that came to these movies with fresh eyes. If it was the former, that would explain the introduction of the Gordons as they thumb wrestle in the solemn surroundings of church, immediately marking them out as the Godless heathens who need a hefty dose of supernatural terror in their lives to shake them up and realise this God business is to be taken seriously.

Or this Devil business is, that was who such films were actually interested in, fear of the Almighty being apparently far less potent than fear of his opposite number. The Gordons have more than a brush with his works when that nice couple next door are murdered in their beds by Annabelle their daughter; she tries to kill them too only the cops see to it the woman is stopped in her tracks, a hail of bullets can do that. However, whoops, before she died she grabbed the porcelain doll and dripped a spot of blood on it, supposedly all that's necessary to possess it, though frankly the machinations of these evildoings were something of a mystery, almost as if the screenwriter was making up stuff off the top of his head. Before long, weird things are happening to the Gordons that look like an increasingly aggressive haunting (i.e. sound like an increasingly loud haunting), though disappointingly the doll didn't do much but sit on its arse for the duration, no slightly perceptible blinks or turns of the head. But then, these were so clich├ęd otherwise you could write them yourself. Music by Joseph Bishara.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 3434 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: