ANNABELLE is a horror movie supposedly based on a true story about John and Mia Gordon, a young couple with a new baby girl. John and Mia are trying to forget the horrific night they were attacked by deranged satanic cult members. What they don’t know is that the night the attack took place, a demon was conjured and attached to one of Mia’s dolls. The demon won’t stop until it receives an offered soul.
ANNABELLE is full of frightening scenes and the doll Annabelle is very creepy. However, it’s not a successful scary movie in the sense that it doesn’t evoke any real emotion or fear and has little character conflict. There are actually some strong Christian themes in ANNABELLE, but the discussion of demons is unnecessarily exaggerated and theologically weak. Ultimately, Christ’s power over the supernatural isn’t exhibited, though it is somewhat acknowledged. Sadly, the main characters ill-informed theology regarding demons results in an unnecessary death. While there is some Christian content, the disturbing scenes, occult elements and theologically weak moments make this an excessive, ultimately useless movie.
(OO, FRFR, CC, BB, L, VV, S, A) Strong occult worldview and premise with false theology where protagonists use occult means to get rid of demon, mitigated by some strong Pro-Christian, moral elements with sacrifice, prayer, preaching, two church scenes, and Scripture is referenced positively multiple times; three light profanities; some strong violence, pregnant woman is stabbed by deranged man and woman (baby and mom are alright), man is shot by police officer, some blood splatter on a window, a woman's dead body is seen with a cut throat, woman is poked by her sewing machine, a priest is nearly killed by a demon, a woman jumps out of a window to save her friends, and lots of frightening images including a demon and the creepy doll; one sexual reference and kissing between married couple; no nudity; light drinking of wine; no drugs; and, nothing else objectionable.
ANNABELLE is a horror movie supposedly based on a true story out of a chapter in Ed and Loraine Warren’s book THE DEMONOLOGIST. Ed and Loraine were Catholic paranormal investigators, and their story was told in the much better movie THE CONJURING released last year. ANNABELLE tells the origin story of the doll mentioned in THE CONJURING that haunted and terrorized its owners.
John and Mia Gordon are getting ready to welcome their new baby. Extremely busy from medical school, John surprises his pregnant wife with a gift, a rare vintage doll that Mia had been looking for to complete her collection. The doll is set in the baby room along with the other dolls.
That night, Mia awakes to a scream coming from the neighbors house. When John investigates, Mia is attacked and stabbed in her house by a deranged man and woman. John comes to ward them off and eventually the police shoot and kill the man. The deranged woman is found dead in the baby room, having slit her own throat with the new doll in her arms. Police investigators tell the Gordon’s that the man and woman was the neighbors’ daughter and her boyfriend who joined a Satanic cult. Deeply disturbed, the Gordon’s move on by getting rid of the doll that brings back memories of the horrific night and they move to Pasadena
With the baby born, life in Pasadena seems to be going well, but while unpacking the last box, Mia pulls out the doll that they thought they had trashed. Encouraged by their Priest to face their fears, they decide to keep the doll anyways. Mia starts seeing strange things and feels endangered by something. After digging up some information from an investigator, her priest and a new friend she made at a bookstore, she discovers that the doll is a conduit for a demon. A demon that won’t stop until it receives a soul.
ANNABELLE is full of frightening scenes and the doll Annabelle is very creepy, but it’s not a scary movie in the sense that it doesn’t evoke any real emotion or fear. The dialogue is static and the character conflict is lacking considerably. The only real tension is in the fact that Mia is desperate to protect her daughter, and she’s willing to do anything to ensure her safety.
There are actually some strong Christian themes in ANNABELLE, but the discussion of demons is unnecessarily exaggerated and theologically weak. (SPOILER) The demon requires a soul, and the priest isn’t experienced enough to handle the situation, so Mia nearly jumps out of a window to sacrifice herself for her family. In the end, her friend she made at the bookstore kills herself instead as an act of sacrifice. After this is death, we overhear the priest’s sermon about laying ones life down for a friend that was preached at the beginning of the movie. (END OF SPOILER)
While this act was courageous, it’s ill informed. One doesn’t need to sacrifice a soul to the devil to protect others, Christ’s death and resurrection gives us power over supernatural powers. All one needs to do is to call upon the name of Christ. The answer for John and Mia was always there, but sadly, their lack of Bible knowledge resulted in a death.
While there is some Christian content, the disturbing scenes, occult elements and theologically weak moments make this an excessive and ultimately useless movie.
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