Annabelle is about an evil demonic doll that terrorizes a nice, squeaky clean couple sometime in the the early 70's. The movie also uses the baby/child in peril trope, which is seriously my least favorite because it does it's job entirely too effectively. I've always had a hard time watching horror films about very young children in danger (teenagers can go to hell), and now I'm especially anxiety ridden because the act of having a kid myself has driven me bat-shit crazy. Normally only one very specific type of horror film actually scares me, but I'm fairly squeamish about the prospect of children, especially babies, in danger of a supernatural variety. I tell myself that I can throw myself in front out-of-control buses, and that I'd run into a burning building for my son, but there's about jack-shit you can do in the face of paranormal shenanigans. I don't believe in demons or malevolent spirits, per se, but I am freaked out by the idea of them. And for the record, the sub-genre of horror that does scare me is possession films. I'll get into that another day.
|You'll get to it now!|
Another thing that I super hate is dolls. Again, not actually afraid - I can be in a room with them, I even have a few for Stinkbug. I guess what I hate are China or porcelain dolls. There's just something inherently creepy about even the pretty or cute ones, and the filmmakers managed to create the fucking ugliest mother fucker ever captured on film.
|This is what every nursery needs.|
Which makes no sense, because the reality was so much more horrifying. The "real" Annabelle was a Raggedy Anne doll. I never had a problem with Raggedy Anne or Raggedy Andy until I read The Demonologist back when I was a teenager.
|This blog post is now full of demon cooties.|
Which leads back to Ed and Lorraine Warren. I don't know if I mentioned it, but I was a teen in the 90's. And if there's anything 90's teenaged girls love, it's the occult. The Edward Cullins loving youth of today got nothing compared to the tom-foolary we got up to back when I was a youngun. Like all young girls coming into the flower of womanhood, I made it a point of reading every horror novel, vampire novel, every true-story haunted house book, all of Mom's Wicca 101 books, and all the (now debunked) books about the psychological effects of Satanic ritual abuse on children. I've also, then and now, read a lot of books and articles exposing many of those "true-life" stories as fraud. And the Warrens are (were, as Ed is now dead) two of the biggest hucksters out there. So while Annabelle is the fictionalized prequel to The Conjuring - based on the "true" story of one of their cases - the association takes a lot of the shine off this film for me. Had the filmmakers changed the name of the doll, this would have been a semi-decent film. It has some genuinely creepy parts, and like I said, you put babies in danger and I immediately flip the fuck out. I'm all "NOOOOOO!!!! NOT THE BABY!" And there'd only be a 50/50 chance I'd recognize the story, because I don't always recall details very well or at all sometimes. But the "based on a true story" angle was a huge part of the marketing for both films, and so the baleful specter of those two crackpots' lies hung around to constantly annoy and harass me.
*For the record, my computer totally freaked out when I added that picture of Reagan. Like, freezing up at the mere mention of it. I don't know if my laptop is possessed by demons or just by Acer. I'll keep you updated.