It doesn’t take much for me to watch a scary movie. I love the idea of being surprised, of seeing something that defies logic, defies common sense. This movie, Annabelle, was spawned from the Conjuring, a horror movie that came out last year and follows the work of Ed and Lorraine Warren. The movie doesn’t show them at all, and teases the same beginning from the last movie.
The story of this movie isn’t as exciting as it could be, perhaps, but it isn’t based on any true story, as far as the audience knows. A young couple, expecting their first child, live next to an older couple who has lost their daughter. Lost is a loss term as the girl ran off to join a cult. Her final initiation into the cult is to spill the blood of her family, her parents. When she does this, it is inadvertently heard by the young neighbors and when the husband goes to investigate, the crazed daughter and accomplice attack the young wife. Though the two survive, baby included, they move out of the area and try to start a new life. The wife has a respectable doll collection and one of the more disturbing looking dolls begins to exhibit strange behaviour, even though the husband had thrown it away.
This horror story varies little from most stories, keeping up with the same cadence and scenes that any fan has come to expect. The largest complaint I would have of this movie is that it shows, on screen, the image of what is ‘haunting’ the woman and her child. The one thing I love about most horror movies is when they don’t show anything, having leading camera angles and letting the audience imagine what shouldn’t be put into words. This movie had a lot of promise, but too early gave away what was coming after the family and while I covered my eyes through most of those sequences, I might feel less scared later knowing that it was something real that was seen.
To me, the best horror movie is one that leaves the mind misgiving, wondering what is real and what isn’t. The mind is powerful enough, and audiences are smart enough. There need not be spoon feeding of any sort. Let the story carry without any assistance. Nowadays, Hollywood thinks there needs to be great show, great pomp and circumstance, but sometimes the simplest of ideas can have the largest effect.