A FILM REVIEW
BY MORGAN ROSCOW
The newly released horror flick Annabelle, a spin-off of The Conjuring which is about the demonic porcelain doll, brought in a little over $37 million its first weekend in the box office. The film takes place in 1970 where John (Ward Horton) and Mia (Annabelle Wallis) Gordon, go through a series of mishaps, encountering objects that go missing, unidentified noises and a red-eyed demon.
Annabelle’s first appearance was in the film, The Conjuring at the very beginning when Debbie (Morganna May) and two of her friends explain to Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farminga) Warren about the problems they have had with Annabelle. The doll somehow gets out of her cage and horrifies Ed and Lorraine’s daughter, Judy (Sterling Jerins).
With Peter Safran and Tony DeRosa-Grund, the correlating producers between The Conjuring and Annabelle, viewers would think the frights and scares would be better and unexpected. However, while The Conjuring’s best scenes were not spoiled in the previews nor used in the last 20 minutes of the film, Annabelle was a different story. While Annabelle had high attendance ratings its first weekend, the film has gotten mixed reviews. The scariest scenes are shown in the previews of the film, except for the scenes with the demon.
With cinematography done by James Kniest, how could it not be amazing? The special effects, such as lighting, helps show how the doll changes from innocent-like to demonic and dirty. The way Kniest makes the demon blend with the darkness of the basement, the white and red colors of the eyes draw the audiences’ attention back to the demon. However, the acting in the movie is average, and the characters’ names seem as though they mirror the cast of Rosemary’s Baby. The film lacks the most important aspect The Conjuring had: director James Wan.
The scenes in the house were shot in Santa Monica, Calif., and the apartment is located in Pasadena, Calif. In a recent episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Ellen expressed that while watching the film she noticed something familiar, and then it occurred to her that the apartment used in the film was the same apartment that she lived in when she was first starting out in the business.
The real story behind the Annabelle doll is more intriguing than the film itself; apparently, the movie is said to be loosely based off of a real event with the only correlation being a doll named Annabelle.
The true story is set behind a Raggedy Ann doll that was bought by a mother for her daughter’s 28th birthday in 1970. The doll started to move around the apartment and change positions on Donna’s bed. They contacted the Warrens, who informed them that a demon was possessing the doll. After going to see Donna and her friends, they took the doll away. It is now blessed twice a month by a priest.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, the real story of Annabelle is by far scarier than the film.