Annabelle: The soul goes missing

A scene from the movie  

Genre: Horror

Director: John Leonetti

Cast: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Tony Amendola

Last year James Wan’s “The Conjuring” proved that creaking doors could still shake you in your boots if there is a compelling story unravelling behind them. This prequel to the Warrens’ tryst with apparitions is literally dolled up to feed on the fear generated by the original. Director John Leonetti who shot “The Conjuring” is good at setting up the atmosphere but doesn’t know how to blend the panic with the poignant, so crucial for a horror story to strike or slash a chord.

It starts well with Annbelle Wallis and Ward Horton, as Mia and John respectively, generating a familiar setting of an adorable couple expecting their first child. Their care and concerns seem real and relatable. So when one night Mia sees blood on her window panes it startles you for you fear what lies ahead for these charming people. But what we get are the familiar tropes of doors making sounds, a television set and a sewing machine playing truant and a doll levitating to perilous proportions. The mumbo jumbo of a satanic cult on a soul searching mission doesn’t hold.

Somehow the danger doesn’t seem real despite the fact that Leonetti has used the safest premise to bring the audience to the edge. A pregnant woman is both the most vulnerable and the strongest being. She doesn’t want her life blossoming in her womb to be harmed by even a feather and she can go to any length to save the unborn child.

This bond has often been attacked on screen by demonic spirits but here Leonetti could conjure up only some manipulative moments around the mother and the infant. Apart from a couple of master strokes even the camera angles fall into a pattern.

You can make out that Leonetti is not really in a mood to go for the kill. And in horror it spells hara-kiri!

Bottomline: A lame backstory to The Conjuring

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 6:11:35 AM |

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