Giving you the heebeegeebies in theatres this Friday from director John R. Leonetti, writer Gary Dauberman and Warner Bros. comes the story of the origins of ANNABELLE.

This is the story of Mia (Annabelle Wallis) and John (Ward Horton), a young married couple expecting their first child. Living the idyllic life in a wonderful home, they make ready for the new arrival and John gives Mia a lovely vintage doll to add to her growing collection.

One evening Mia awakens to hears the screams of the neighbors. John enters the Higgins home only to discover a slaughter by occultists. What he doesn’t know is that Mia is alone with the slayers. As a struggle breaks out, Mia is attacked and their world is changed. With one drop of blood, the doll is forever changed.

When Mia returns home the house begins to come alive with strange happenings. Wanting to get away from what ever it is and the memories of the slaughters, they move to a nice apartment as John begins a new position.

By now there baby girl Leah is born and cute as the dickens! Mia even meets Evelyn (Alfre Woodard), who owns a bookstore and befriends Mia. Now, John works nights and Mia is left to discover that something terrible has moved with them. Calling on Father Perez (Tony Amendola), the couple is trying everything to discover what the evil wants.

When that question is answered – they fight!

FINAL WORD: Wallis (whose first name is scary enough) as Mia does a lovely job of portraying a woman of this era. She is perfectly dressed and coiffed down to her maternity clothes and has dinner ready for her man – even if he doesn’t show up. There are a few times I wanted to yell out at her and that’s how I know the filmmakers got me!

Horton as John is the perfectly dressed doctor-to-be who feels the stress of home, job and a new baby. He’s not home enough to see wicked stuff as much as Mia but he comes around. Wanting to believe his wife about the eerie happenings I personally think the sewing machine would have sold me but hey, these were the good ole days where crazy and creepy stuff just didn’t happen…right?

Amendola as Father Perez is dedicated to his parish and flock. I give him serious points for trying to handle doll business but I called it when they got near the church doors – just sayin! Woodward as Evelyn is a lovely woman who misses her daughter and takes to Mia and Leah immediately. Having a bookstore comes in handy when doing research on creepy markings and Evelyn isn’t surprised by anything Mia tells her.

Other cast include: Kerry O’Malley as Sharon Higgins, Brian Howe as Pete Higgins, Eric Ladin as Detective Clarkin, Ivar Brogger as Dr. Burgher and Keira Daniels as young Annabelle Higgins.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give ANNABELLE three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. I think I had a four count jump in this film and I absolutely love when that happens. It wasn’t gross, gory, filled with ridiculous amounts of fake blood but instead – BOO! I mean come one that’s pretty frakken cool!

The creepy light flickering, dark images, scary music and fantastic effects (which are few but so very effective thank you very much) are exactly what I want in a ‘horror’ film. I’d rather yell with everyone else in the film when they jump than hide my head and miss most of a film because it’s basically being slashed beyond belief.

Yes, the is a spin-off from THE CONJURING and once again I don’t mind that one single bit. In fact, there are a few lines in there that Conjuring fans will smile at. Here is another trivia fact for fans – the real Annabelle doll is actually a Raggedy Ann doll. It lives in the Occult Museum inside a glass case. Oh yea – I am so going there!

It’s a jumper’s film which means fun for everyone so grab a partner, a large bucket of popcorn (because you’ll lose some when you jump) and hang on tight – this is what Friday nights in October should be like.

In the end – it is the beginning!

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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.