The Spooktober Doll

Another disappointing one last night, I’m afraid — Annabelle, the first spin-off of the CONJURING series.

Even worse, it wasn’t horrible. It was just “meh.” At no point did it get bad enough for me to turn it off, I just kept waiting for it to become something other than mediocre, and it never did. Unfortunate.

I hadn’t seen this one yet, but I went into it with high hopes. I love The Conjuring films — I grew up reading accounts of The Warrens’ investigations in the seventies. I knew about the doll (although the actual Annabelle is a hand-made Raggedy Ann, not a creepy porcelain doll). And I’d heard that this film was a period piece, set in Los Angeles in the late 60s, a period ripe for cult-y shenanigans (what with Manson, et. al.).

And yet, with all that going for it, the actual film ended up as a wet squib. A shocking lack of good scares, even. I honestly don’t understand how you can have all of these great ingredients: a spin-off of a great property, an interesting period setting, hippy satanic cults, and a FREAKIN’ POSSESSED DOLL… and still not manage to make something so entirely unengaging. At least if it was actively bad, I would’ve given them credit for trying and failing. This was just… there.

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