Blu-ray Review “Annabelle”

annabelleStarring: Alfre Woodard, Annabelle Wallis, Eric Ladin, Tony Amendola (I), Michelle Romano, Ward Horton
Director: John R. Leonetti
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: January 20, 2015
Run Time: 98 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Raise your hand, who loved the character Annabelle from James Wan’s “The Conjuring”? She creeped the hell out of us all. This spin-off was based over from Wan to John R. Leonetti, who served as cinematographer on “The Conjuring”. If you loved “The Conjuring” though, it doesn’t mean that you will love “Annabelle”. The back story was decent but the major scares from “The Conjuring” are almost all but missing. There are two or three good scans courtesy of my buddy Joseph Bishara (aka the demon), other than that, this feels more like a TV version spin-off of a great horror film.  The cast of “Annabelle” includes Annabelle Wallis (“X-Men: First Class”), Ward Horton (“The Wolf of Wall Street”), Oscar nominee Alfre Woodard (“Cross Creek,” “12 Years a Slave”), Kerry O’Malley (TV’s “Those Who Kill”), Brian Howe (“Devil’s Knot”), Tony Amendola (TV’s “Once Upon A Time”) and Eric Ladin (TV’s “Boardwalk Empire”).

Official Premise: She terrified you in “The Conjuring,” but this is where it all began for Annabelle. Capable of unspeakable evil, the actual doll exists locked up in an occult museum in Connecticut—visited only by a priest who blesses her twice a month. New Line Cinema’s supernatural thriller “Annabelle” begins before the evil was unleashed. John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia—a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia’s delight with Annabelle doesn’t last long. On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now…Annabelle.

“Annabelle” released by Warner Bros as a combo pack with a Blu-ray disc, a DVD, and a digital version of the movie in Digital HD with UltraViolet. The 1080p transfer is good. There isn’t really music dazzle in this low-budget horror film to make it stand out. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 does shine though with Joseph Bishara’s score (yes, the guy who also played the demon), which is definitely a highlight for the film. The special features are decent but a little short and lacking a commentary track. There are four featurettes including “The Curse of Annabelle”, “Bloody Tears of Possession”, “Dolls of the Demon” and “A Demonic Process”. If you enjoyed the films, the special features are certainly worth checking out. Lastly there are a few deleted scenes included.

Own “Annabelle” on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, and Digital HD on January 20th

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