It is October 1970. WASP-y John and Mia live next door to a couple murdered by their daughter and boyfriend, cult members. This is the time of Charles Manson, after all, and we are reminded of this via television footage. Spooked by their neighbor’s grisly murders the young couple decides to move into a Roman Polanski-like apartment complex. Mia collects (creepy as fuck) porcelain dolls and John surprises her with the titular ‘Annabelle’, the ugliest doll no one would ever buy, as an apartment-warming gift. Shortly thereafter Mia gives birth to Lea and while John is away at work spooky things begin to happen in the apartment. Mia begins to suspect that Annabelle is up to no good.
Of course a priest is called
What happened to James Wan? The youngish director started out promisingly with movies like SAW (2004) and Death Sentence (2007) but has quickly devolved into creating crappy b-movies. Like M. Knight Shyamalan who also enjoyed some early success, it would appear that Wan's early achievements did not portend a future in quality film making (okay, The Visit was good). Those who know me know that I despise the Insidious franchise (Wan directed parts 1 and 2 of the 3) as well as The Conjuring. Crappy characters, cheap looking sets, bad acting, and an overall lack of scares appear to be the hallmark of a Wan film. Annabelle is no different. For those hoping for a Chucky/Talky Tina doll run a muck chiller you will be immensely disappointed. The doll has very little to do with the plot (i.e. the devil wants the soul of Lea, YAWN) and literally never blinks. Instead Annabelle sits in the background looking hideous. Avoid at all cost.