Twelve years after the tragic death of their little girl, a doll-maker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, where they become the target of the doll-maker's possessed creation, Annabelle.
A priest with a haunted past and a novice on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate the death of a young nun in Romania and confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.
Determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren bring the possessed doll to the locked artifacts room in their home, placing her "safely" behind sacred glass and enlisting a priest's holy blessing. But an unholy night of horror awaits as Annabelle awakens the evil spirits in the room, who all set their sights on a new target--the Warrens' ten-year-old daughter, Judy, and her friends.Written by
Warner Bros. Pictures
The item seen in the Warren's car, dangling from the rear-view mirror, is a rosary. See more »
The babysitter left her eggs at the store for the cake, and her best friend took them on her behalf. Later when at the house, we see they raise chickens, and don't need store-bought eggs for a single cake. See more »
While I like the original two "Conjuring" movies, I have not cared much for the spin-offs in the franchise that I have seen. I decided to see this one in theaters because unlike the other Conjuring spin-offs, it has a genuinely unique premise (the Warrens' artifacts all become possessed by Annabelle.) I was also intrigued of the prospect of the Warrens coming back. While it's not perfect, this is a pretty solid horror film that should please fans of the franchise.
First-time director Gary Dauberman makes a strong debut behind the camera, managing to craft inventive scares that play around with audience expectations. Even though they are a key part of this franchise, I have never been all that crazy about the loud jump-scares in these films, mainly because I view them as a generally lazy and uninspired way to startle viewers in lieu of creating genuine dread and psychological terror. While the film still has some jump-scares that don't really work, the horror in the film does reach more efficacious and creative heights than that. There are also some moments in the film when the viewer thinks a jump-scare might happen, but it actually does not, which helps balance surprise with suspense during the film's duration. Dauberman uses audience perceptions of space, color and light to create some interesting scares with the Warrens' artifacts. The film's lighting is superb, managing to make the film's aesthetic be both clear and ominous at the same time. While the film's sets are somewhat minimalist, that works to the narrative's advantage. This also makes the horror seem more authentic.
The writing is a cut above many of the "Conjuring" films, although some minor plot holes and inconceivable decisions by major characters are still present. The film's score is chilling yet powerful. It's great to see the Warrens back as well, even though they are not exactly the primary characters of this movie. Despite some flaws, this is a good and fairly creative addition to the Conjuring universe. 7/10
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