Scaring away with close up shots of Annabelle, the doll requires a lot of creative appeal and director John R. Leonetti tries exerting all his efforts into it rather than focusing on the script and storytelling. John had handled cinematography for James Wan’s The Conjuring and has helmed this project. Just by using the term ‘The Conjuring’, (James Wan has produced this film) the producer has managed to pull in more crowd to the theatres. But apparently, it becomes a drama of dull moments and no such thrilling or eeriness anywhere, except the shots that you have already seen in the trailer.
The film opens with the same shot of ‘The Conjuring’, where the same characters are seen interacting with Ed and Loraine (The investigators are not present here). Instantly, the story shifts back to the beginning of Annabelle and how it all happened when a young married couple has satanic cultists invading their home leading to the consequences of shocking moments.
The basic drawback of this film is that a major group of audiences know about the real life incidents of Annabelle and its victims, which would send you more in Goosebumps than Conjuring, but the makers have failed to implement it effectively. The biggest disappointment is the Ed and Lorain missing, who played the protagonists in The Conjuring. Of course, this is not logical as this drama precede back in time. But there have been many instances aftermath the Ed and Lorraine capturing it inside their museum. How can you forget their child in ‘The Conjuring’ being almost killed in shock during the climax…? But here the lady in the neighborhood for no reason accepts the demands of demon and as usual in million movies we have seen, a priest appears to explain what is happening. The only highlighting trait is the climax, where the priest says, “You can destroy what was never created. Let’s pray the person who gets invaded by Annabelle has a good helper.”
The emotional quotients are completely missing as there is no proper characterisation and the relationship between husband and wife isn’t shown properly. So far, James Wan has managed to have a strong emotional balance between the characters in all his horror movies that includes The Conjuring and Insidious Franchise. But over, there are so many stereotypical instances of a woman locked inside room with doors shutting now and then. Even the technical aspects fail to offer the eerie feeling. The cinematography lacks the proper tone and the background score is too normal.
Finally, to end up with this analysis, Cinematographer-director John R. Leonetti fails to scare you or touch you emotionally with ‘Annabelle’. The film hardly has 4 or 5 spine-tingling moments and that you could get it all over the trailer.
Verdict: Don’t judge book by its cover… And ‘Annabelle’ with the word ‘The Conjuring’ in posters