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Movie Review: Annabelle

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By Rachel Miles

 

On October 3 the supernatural horror film Annabelle was released to theaters. Annabelle was produced by James Wan, director of The Conjuring, of which Annabelle is both a prequel and a spin-off of sorts. This film is also based around the true story of the Annabelle doll that was a pivotal part of both films. Starring a cast of many unknown actors and actresses, the two main characters, John and Mia Form, were played by Ward Horton and Annabelle Wallis, and Tony Amendola and Alfre Woodard were cast as the two main supporting roles. John Leonetti, director of movies such as Insidious, The Butterfly Effect 2, The Mask and Child’s Play 3, took on the role of director for Annabelle. The scriptwriter was Gary Dauberman who was previously unrecognized for screen writing.

Many critics gave the film negative to nonchalant reviews, calling it out on ‘cheap jolts’ and playing on overdone horror movie clichés. It definitely was full of all the traditional and expected scary movie moments—animated devils, slamming doors, creepy doll scenes, assumed insanity, a nonbelieving husband, and a fight for the soul. However, the film did have a well-thought-out plot, something that many horror movies cannot claim, and a well-rounded ending—a relief for those who don’t enjoy walking out of the theater dodging the shady corners.

The most intriguing part of the movie may have been that, like The Conjuring, it is based on the true experiences of Ed and Lorraine Warren. However, while many of the details of the film are fabricated and the disturbing face of the movie’s possessed doll looks nothing like the Raggedy Ann doll that is the allegedly real Annabelle, the story and characteristics of the doll share similarities with the story it is based on. Before being locked up, the real Annabelle supposedly moved around the original owner’s house, left disturbing messages, and later attacked the owners when they came too close, leaving bloody claw marks on their chests. According to many sources, the real doll, housed in the Warren’s home in Connecticut, is enclosed in a very similar case as to what is seen in the end of both The Conjuring and in Annabelle, behind a glass door that says “Positively do not open.” Because of the realness behind these stories, rumors of a sequel are already being confirmed.