Starring: Anthony LaPaglia, Lulu Wilson, Talitha Eliana Bateman, Miranda Otto, Stephanie Sigman, Samara Lee
Director: David F Sandberg
Following on from the popular Annabelle film, which fits into the Conjuring and Warren family films, this is the story of how the doll was created.
The Mullins family live on a large property where they happily make a living by making dolls, until their daughter Annabelle is killed in an accident. 12 years later, they take in a nun and her orphaned wards, all girls, one of whom is suffering the effects of polio and is almost a cripple. She and her younger sister are targeted by strange events in the house, revolving around the things they see in dead Annabelle’s room and the doll they find there.
I love these films, and I was really looking forward to this one coming out, but I felt largely disappointed by it. With a cast like Otto and LaPaglia you expect good performances, and Lulu Wilson is wonderful to watch (and certainly a young actress who has the real possibility of going places!) but somehow the whole just doesn’t gel. LaPaglia’s accent often slips. Otto’s mother character, an initially barely seen recluse, offers scares and strangeness that are underutilised. The plot is set up, but feels like a rush to hit set pieces rather than having developed characters and building tension, but there are some great story ideas in this film. It just fails to get under your skin and truly terrify. It’s just all over kind of average. Which is not what we’ve come to expect from this series.
I did rather like the sets and locations, the ideas to use more than the doll, such as the mothers plot line and some spooky things that happen in a barn, and a stair climber chair, as well as the incredible house that it the main location, but it’s just not really enough somehow.
See It If: you like this film series, because it’s kinda fun, but if you’re looking for real scares, you might not find enough of them here.