Spinoff movie proves to be worth second chance

In 2013, the popular horror movie, “The Conjuring” was released. The movie was about Ed and Lorraine Wilson, paranormal investigators and self-proclaimed demonologists.

They help people get rid of possessed or haunted objects, called conduits.  These conduits are kept in a sort of “trophy room” at their house.  One of these objects is a doll named Annabelle, who throughout the movie, tries to possess their young daughter to gain her pure soul.

A year later, the horror spinoff,  “Annabelle,” was released.  As the name suggests, the movie is the story of how Annabelle came to be haunted.  In this movie, a young couple, John and Mia Gordon, have decorated the nursery for their soon-to-arrive baby with vintage dolls.

John presents Mia with a special one that she has been looking for early in the film.  When the Gordon house is broken into by their neighbors’ psychotic, cult-member daughter, the doll becomes a conduit for her (Annabelle) after she commits suicide when the police arrive on the scene.

Soon after that, things begin happening to the Gordons’ that they cannot explain.  Seeking a change and a safe environment for their new daughter, they dispose of the doll and move to the city.

While unpacking however, they discover the Annabelle doll in one of the boxes.  For some reason, Mia decides to keep her, and it’s all downhill from there.

As for mistakes in this movie, I didn’t notice many.  There is one scene when a priest tries to carry the Annabelle doll into a church, and he gets thrown 20 feet upwards and backwards.  While somewhat plausible, it seems unlikely.

Even a demon wouldn’t have enough energy to create that kind of force if the research of how spirits/demons exist on earth is to be believed.  If anything, he probably would have had difficulty entering the church.

Another point of discontinuity (and this one is admittedly debatable) is the timeline.

The whole movie is supposed to take place over the course of a year, beginning when Mia is pregnant.  However it is never stated how far along she is, or how premature her baby is (if she is at all), so it’s impossible to tell how strewed the timeline may be.

While there are some obvious Hollywood touches to this movie, overall I would say it is one of the best horror movies I’ve seen recently.  It certainly stands on it’s own as a horror, as does “The Conjuring.”

Separately, both have some good jump thrills and some “OMG that really happened?” to make you a little afraid of the dark.  Together they make a horror night equal to the “Insidious” movies or a night of “Paranormal Activity.”  I would recommend both to horror fans.

Annabelle is now playing in theaters, including at Topeka’s Hollywood 14 Theater. It’s a perfect movie to go out and see especially this Halloween weekend.