You review ANNABELLE – Yes, you!

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On 23 October themovies.co.za was able to host a community evening of frights thanks to the people over at Times Media Films and Warner Bros. The movie was Annabelle, the prequel to the hugely successful The Conjuring and it explains to us how the freaky looking doll comes to be possessed by a demonic force. What it doesn’t explain is why anyone on this earth would want the thing in their house in the first place!

The event was a great opportunity to finally get to meet some of our readers and the turnout (just shy of 100%) really showed us some great community support. Who am I kidding, you wanted free stuff like a poster autographed by the lead actors and producer James Wan!

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The evening kicked off with a short introduction from our MC Kervyn and then some spot prizes were handed out via said MC and his random number generator (we all know you were actually playing Angry Birds, fooling no one!). After our bribes gifts were dispensed with we got cracking with the movie, and let me tell you, this is the one time I wish I had a camera as some of your responses were classic! From shouting out loud (sol?) to the one guy who really put the WHY (Y) in XY from all his cries of fear, fun seemed to be had by all. So for a change of pace, we decided instead of writing up another of our boring reviews, that we’d rather do a community feedback to gauge what you guys really thought of the movie.

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Let’s see what you all had to think. (Very minor spoilers)

“It was a classic horror movie that didn’t focus on gore, but rather building tension and that’s the type of horror movies I prefer. Although I found certain scenes a tad predictable and the end a bit of a clichéd disappointment, the movie genuinely scares you and you felt part of the tension that the lead characters were feeling. It was great entertainment and certainly not for the faint of heart.

On a technical note, I felt the direction was clever with some odd positioned camera angles adding to the terror that the audience feels and the score, while subtle, played a massive part in building the atmosphere. The performances by the cast were for the most part believable and that is what you want in a good horror movie.

Thanks for arranging the evening and a big thanks to Warner Bros for sponsoring and making a great movie. The audience was a lot of fun as well.” – Craig Risi

What a riverting and interesting movie…not predictable and keeps the suspense right through to an unexpected ending. Great movie it is and recommending our fellow friends to go watch. Will certainy be on the look out for the next ones. – Faith Chihumbiri

“I would say the movie was pediophobia inducing!” – James Sinclair

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“Director John R. Leonetti’s prequel to The Conjuring was considerably more heavy handed than James Wan’s masterful style of horror, resorting to mostly jump scares to get the heart racing, but it had the luxury of having an established horror brand to draw inspiration from, which made it a lot better than it could have ended up being as a standalone film.” – Lourens de Jager

Annabelle was filled to the brim with unexpected scares and boasted a fantastic storyline. After Insidious and The Conjuring, this is the perfect follow-up from James Wan, and will absolutely thrill horror fans everywhere!” – Amy Saville

“Creepy, eerie and a whole lot of fun… A horror flick of note for upcoming Halloween.” – Maahir Abrahams

“The  movie had about 4-5 really scary parts (where I accidentally closed my eyes!). One of the worst being the one you mentioned above and the other when the friend was thrown out of the flat towards the end. Annabelle definitely did its job in scaring the bejeebies out of me and my friend. All in all, a must for horror movie goers.” – Jacqueline Naidoo

“The story was well told and build up nicely to the scary moments to get you on the edge of your seat, but on some occasions did not keep that suspense going and thus lost some of its impact.” – Gerhard Saayman

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“Movie was really good – I actually thoroughly enjoyed it.  The ‘scares’ didn’t feel cheap or manufactured – they worked out just right.  And the camera work was great – loved some of the angles they used that allowed the audience to see something before the character does – really added bucket loads to the tension (and some comedy moments from the audience as they reacted).  I loved “The Conjuring” and this movie, for me, felt like more of the same – a horror movie not quite like other horror movies out there – more about the psychological side of horror than visual (there wasn’t just simply blood everywhere grossing you out, like some movies).  Thoroughly enjoyed it.  Even my 62 year old mother enjoyed it, skriks and all!” – Jonathan Schutte

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“It takes a lot to scare me with a movie lol! This one though I must say has been one of the better scary movies for me and it got a few not so macho reactions out of me! I enjoyed it, I just keep asking myself why oh why did they not just burn that damn Doll!

To top it off my cars alarm kept going off all night for some strange reason and I every time I went to check out the danger with my bokken I just kept thinking, it better not be that Freaking Annabelle!” – Alwynne Baatjies

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“Scariest movie by far, my toes curled, the hairs on my arms stood up, and at one stage I wrapped my arms and a leg around my husband (not kidding), that doll disturbed my soul!” – Shaida Leeman

“I thought Annabelle was more interesting than The Conjuring, and better overall. The plot was weak, but it made up for it in creepy moments and jump scares. I’d give it about a 7 out of 10.” – Jonathan Lea

As for what we thought of the movie, we seem to be made of sterner stuff because while Annabelle succeeds in delivering a few powerful jump moments that will have you spilling your popcorn, it does suffer from some generic horror plot elements that could have easily been avoided as they lessen the punch considerably. I do think that director John R. Leonetti (Insidious) did a great job with some jarring camera angles though and was brave in setting up some horrific shots that could have landed flat but surprisingly didn’t. Acting was fine, though nothing special, but lead actress Annabelle Wallis (yes, that’s really her name!) does play scared real well.

Read  Venom review - At least it’s better than Spider-Man 3

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This was the first community evening that our site has arranged and with its success we hope to offer many more, so keep your eyes peeled! Maybe next time it won’t be a scary movie (ED, cough… perhaps it will), so all you faint-hearted folk can join us as well, as Kervyn and I had a blast with you guys (even if Kervyn did have me running around the cinema like a ferret dishing out prizes). If you have any last minute things you want to add tweet us as @themoviescoza with the #annabellecpt

And finally another thank you to Warner Bros. and Times Media without whom the evening wouldn’t have been possible.

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Last Updated: January 4, 2017

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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