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Annabelle

Year: 2014
Production Co: New Line Cinema
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: John Leonetti
Producer: James Wan
Writer: Gary Dauberman
Cast: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Alfre Woodward

Hoping to cash in on the brand recognition of The Conjuring – and probably succeeding considering a budget that looks to be only in the mid teens – comes another haunted doll story, a spin-off of the Ed and Lorraine Warren universe based on a haunted doll they have in their basement.

When newlywed couple John (Ward Horton, a dead ringer for James Marsden) and Mia (Annabelle Wallis, presumably no relation) complete their dream house with an antique doll Mia's wanted to add to her collection for ages, they unwittingly invite something horrible into their house.

A ritual killing next door thanks to a cult has invited a demon into the world, and it decides to take up residence in Annabelle, the hideous doll John buys for Mia.

After the requisite creaky footsteps in the middle of the night and a dozen other tropes as old as the horror hills, the presence of the demon is revealed (by Alfre Woodward's bookstore owning occult expert – who else), and even though everyone thinks she's crazy, Mia knows she has to battle the entity for the sake of her baby's soul.

There's nothing terribly original and nothing any scarier than you'll find in any other modern horror movie. A couple of inventive visuals (be ready to flinch hardest when the little girl runs towards the bedroom door) will stay with you for a little while but nothing much else does.

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