Horror sequels are a hard beast to tackle. Horror spin-offs are another entity altogether. In fact, I literally can’t think of a single one.

After all, having a successful horror franchise is the goal of many horror films. They hope they are scary and unique enough to warrant coming back to. They might even take over completely unrelated projects and just take on the same name in order to live off the hype. But a spin-off? Really.

The Conjuring was a great movie. Most people would agree with that. Eventually we will get a sequel to that, but until then, we get franchise spin-offs based on things we see in The Conjuring. I guess. And honestly, an Annabelle movie talking about her origins before The Conjuring made sense. As long as it isn’t identical to Chucky, and as long as it is entertaining, then bring it on.

I hope they answer how any one could even want this ugly thing in their house.

Annabelle takes place a year before the events of The Conjuring. It is centered on John (Ward Horton) and Mia (Annabelle Wallis). Yes. The main female character is actually named Annabelle. The couple are expecting their first baby soon, and as a gift, John gave Mia the final piece of her doll collection. It cost a lot of money! And it looked creepy before getting all disfigured.

Unrelated to a doll, two members of a cult come by, murder their neighbors, then attempt to murder Mia and her unborn child! But the police show up and save the day, killing those darn cultists! The lady cultist bleeds on the doll, and apparently that is enough to invoke Satan, demons, and other terrifying things.

Needless to say, the doll starts doing some creepy stuff. But the baby is still born, so don’t worry about that! Just…What does this doll want? Hopefully not cuddles. With a new baby in the mix, I sincerely doubt there is time for cuddles.

Also featuring Alfre Woodard, Tony Amendola and Eric Ladin.

Let this be a lesson parents: Never get your child hooked on dolls. It only ends with Satan.

I think I am starting to realize why horror spin-offs don’t really happen or work. Based on all of the ones I have seen (all one), they don’t make a lot of sense in the plot department.

The could make a lot of sense, but that requires caring about the plot and the movie they came from. But based on the ending, there doesn’t seem to be a real reason for why Annabelle matters at all after this movie. Based on the mythos they created for the character and then explained in great detail throughout this whole movie, it should be over.

Now we have this movie and The Conjuring that both don’t do a good job of explaining why she still matters at all. And that is dumb.

Speaking of dumb, the ending in general of this movie was done. And the beginning and middle, but for different reasons.

I can’t believe they created a nonsensical and non-unique evil doll character. What a waste of time. I can’t believe we have to associate this with the awesome The Conjuring from now on.

1 out of 4.

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