The Movie: 6/10
Someone who listened to our podcast review of Annabelle thought I sounded like I liked it so much they were shocked. This person didn’t like it so I guess when I didn’t hate it and say nasty things about it that seemed like approval. It was not, not completely anyway. Here’s the deal, my husband didn’t like it either, so its one of those movies. It might divide households, so beware. The scariest thing about Annabelle is that you will be talking about it a week after you watch it for all the wrong reasons:)
What did I like about it? I got that feeling, the one that kind of makes you suck in a quick bit of air like a gasp, but not wholly gasping. It only happened about 3 times and it was short-lived, but when I get that sensation that I would be creeped out in real life if what was happening on the screen were happening to me, it adds to my enjoyment of the experience.
This isn’t to say that those mini-scares were high quality, that doesn’t happen very often. It’s this, there is a sense of doom throughout the movie that I do like, it’s subtle and gets lost a bit with the cardboard cutout leading characters, but it’s there. If you can make me feel like the situation is hopeless, genuinely hopeless as if there is something looming that makes happy endings mostly impossible, I’m interested.
The story is not special at all. A doll is possessed by something terrible. There is a 70’s cult involved, a budding doctor, a very dull wife, and child in danger. There is the “I’m the person who owns the bookstore and I know all there is to know about this very thing that is happening to you.” Oh, and there is a priest. People, don’t be a priest in a horror flick, trust me on this. It might sound mundane and by the book, and that is correct. I just can’t help it, I didn’t dislike it enough to say it’s terrible.
The woman who is the wife is so uninspired by everything, even in the moments when she needs to protect her child, it’s kind of unsettling. The couple is a cardboard cut out of a pair, and I do not have any hope for their future so that makes it hard to sympathize. If I don’t care about the people it’s hard to get very engrossed. The tricks and scares and a couple of good scenes made it OK. OK isn’t very thrilling though. Annabelle has such potential to be creepy and interesting, instead they took the easy way out and made it a color-by-numbers “horror” story.
If you like demon stuff, any demon stuff, this is a fun take on the subject. If you like creepy dolls, well, or hate them, you might enjoy bits and pieces of this movie. I say give it a try and see what you think.
- Production Featurettes (20 Minutes) – Four very short featurettes that chronicle the production, they are almost as bland as the movie is. At least the Director has a lot of enthusiasm in his short bio. Featurettes included are “The Curse Of Annabelle”, “Bloody Tears Of Possession”, “Dolls Of The Demon”, and “A Demonic Process”
- Deleted Scenes (21 Minutes) – Eight deleted scenes that are very forgettable and obviously removed for that reason.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
Good covers are hard to come by, and it’s even harder to admit that when I don’t like one it’s still pretty good. Annabelle’s cover does what it should. It sells the idea that this movie has a very strange doll in it. Correct. I woulnd’ thav eit as a poster, but I give it credit where credit is due. The menu is just navigation.
Audio & Video: 8/10
The high point of this disc is the visual quality of the transfer, Warner have used the AVC codec to deliver a stunning 1080P image that never falters. Most of the movie takes place in the shadows and that can be a problem for some badly transferred discs but not here every detail the director meant for you to see is crisp and clean. Flesh tones and color balance is quite clearly messed with in post to bring the year of 1969 to the screen but everything here is as it should be.
Audio also fares well with a DTS-HD Master audio 5.1 track that is subtle but also in your face when it needs to be. Most of the scares in the film come from the audio and that is where it excels. Surround activity is almost constant and tries to leave the viewer in a state of uneasiness. It’s such a shame Annabelle could not live up to the Conjuring as the presentation here is quite good.
Overall Score 6/10