Annabelle ★★

Spinoff from The Conjuring franchise, a prequel to 2013's The Conjuring. Word of advice to the screenwriter, if you want to make a great horror, the leads in it need to be distinctive! On the plus side, the suspenseful sequences are effective and got my heart racing. A sewing machine I hadn’t seen used in a horror before, and the elevator scene was scary. Yet a flawed movie where I had to suspend disbelief as it’s ridiculous the doll is still in the house when the priest visits, considering what transpired before. I disliked the last act which didn’t work for me at all. Candidate for a worst twist endings list.

I’m fond of likeable, neighbourhood characters and goes a long way to making it a tolerable watch. As I previously noted in my review of Erin Brockovich, I wish my neighbours over the years were even half as friendly as Aaron Eckhart's biker character. Or in the case of Annabelle, the bookseller Evelyn played compassionately by Alfre Woodard. I’ll remember Evelyn but the married couple are instantly forgettable.

Essentially, the doll is the central character and I admit Annabelle is quite creepy despite the film’s weaknesses and obvious cash grab motives. Not a film I would recommend unless you are binging the Conjuring universe.

Soundtrack pick: Cherish by The Association (1966)

Who are your favorite neighbours in cinema?

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