Sunday, 12 October 2014

Of Creepy Dolls and Deadly Ghouls...

Image Courtesy: Google

A month prior to the release of the movie 'Annabelle' I had a chance to get my hands on the book 'The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren' with a view to better equip myself  before I watched the movie and also to satisfy the horror movie buff in me.
Well, the book scares me more than the actual movie.

But that doesn't mean that it isn't a good horror movie. It definitely does not mean that Indian horror movie makers(or horrex as some pathetic movies might purport) can pat themselves on the back when it comes to churning out horrendously forgetful spine chilling tales. No. You still suck at it.

The movie is directed by John Leonetti not James Wan(The Conjuring, Insidious series). Joseph Bishara provides the score and he is once again good at it. It opens with the first scene fron The Conjuring where we see two nurses and a boy discussing their experiences with Annabelle - the doll who fools them into thinking that it is a little girl's ghost. The first half doesn't really have much to scare you. That's the second half. The first half sets base for the story to form in the latter part. Characters are introduced. We get to know a little bit about Annabelle Higgins. The real one. A living, breathing human being who joins a satanic cult. John and a pregnant Mia(the main leads) get somehow enmeshed during one of Annabelle's midnight parent-killing rituals. The couple survive but an inhuman spirit has already been conjured up by Annabelle before she dies of which no one is aware of until unexplained things start occurring in the house. Doors opening and closing on their own accord, the doll(yes, she isn't called Annabelle in the movie because she isn't) starts changing positions and places and a deadly fire that almost kills Mia. Again she escapes unscathed and delivers her baby, Lea. They throw away the doll and move to a new place as John completes his residency. The doll once again appears in one of the boxes even though she was thrown out. But this time Mia decides to keep her anyway.

Can I just take a few seconds to exclaim how incredibly adorable little Lea is?

The second half packs some very frightening sequences. My favorite being when she goes to throw away the trash in the apartment's basement and SEES for the first time the entity who haunts her life in the guise of the doll. And it is horrible. It isn't anything like a doll. Or a human being. It is black, has pointy fingers, has horns and fire in his eyes. It is a demon.

Then begins a series of attempts made by Mia to grapple with what is happening around her. She gets in touch with the cop who investigated the ritual killings to get more information about the purpose of all the bloodshed which she thinks is related to her supernatural predicament. She asks for help from her new neighbour who has a painful past of her own. She seeks out her priest who while trying to get rid of the doll gets knocked out cold by it and ends up seriously hurt in the very same hospital where John works. He warns John that his wife is in grave danger. The last 7 minutes or so of the movie are crucial but you somehow make out how it would end. Every character has a purpose, a role and is not there for complicating the story.
In the end we are taken back to the point which shows us how Annabelle ended up with the nurses and in that way the movie comes full circle closing the loop.
Decent performances by all. I don't know why but the lead actress, whose name is coincidentally Annabelle Wallis, reminds me of the movie Rosemary's Baby.

All in all not as scary as The Conjuring but a decent watch.

But do pick up a copy of The Demonologists if you can.


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