Annabelle

Out Now On-Demand

Horror spin-off of 2013’s monster hit The Conjuring, following a creepy-looking three-foot doll named Annabelle who cries blood and torments a young couple. Directed by The Conjuring’s cinematographer John R. Leonetti.

Movies are an inherently risky business. A lot of them lose money. So it's a testament to how successful The Conjuring was that it was deemed worthwhile to base an entire feature around an inanimate object that appeared in one scene of that movie. Unfortunately, any hopes that Annabelle might be a worthy spin-off are muted early on.

The film mashes together a Perfect Couple with a Baby In Peril, a Magical Black Elder, and A Priest played by a cut-price F. Murray Abraham. Oh, and a ridiculously ugly doll, signposted as evil through an endless succession of shots slowly zooming into its face. And, hilariously, by the fact that it grows more demonic in appearance throughout the film, like Regan in The Exorcist.

Director John R. Leonetti, whose last effort in the director's chair was The Butterfly Effect 2, served as cinematographer on The Conjuring, and while he evidently learned a few tricks from that film's director James Wan (who was himself copping from '70s fright masters), his efforts at creating tension in Annabelle mostly succeed in creating yawns. There are a few good scares early on, but they become laughable as the film grows increasingly shrill in its third act. It doesn't help that Annabelle Wallis' attempts at looking terrified only register as 'mildly annoyed'.

By the time TWO unnecessary epilogues roll around it's been hammered home just how redundant this whole thing is, a cash-grab with couple of memorable moments surrounded by 90 minutes of complete nonsense.

Dissolve (USA)

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There's real craftsmanship to the film, but it's in service of a story that can't quite support it.

Time Out New York

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Laughworthy bumps in the night, creaky rocking chairs, a demon-infested basement and more gliding baby carriages than an '80s De Palma film.

New York Times

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Mr. Leonetti embraces the potential of negative space.

Herald Sun (Australia)

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Racks up a respectable number of genuine scares.

Hollywood Reporter

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Ultimately so generic and formulaic that you'll probably forget it by the time you get home.

Variety (USA)

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The scares are cheap but periodically effective.

Sydney Morning Herald

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A grab bag of set pieces, red herrings and familiar occult tropes that never add up to much.

At The Movies (Australia)

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Doesn't bring anything new to this genre, in fact I think diminishes it somewhat.

Empire (UK)

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A couple of good jumps but this Conjuring spin-off is led down by poor writing, anodyne leads and an overwhelming sense of familiarity.

So bad.

Loved both the Conjuring movies and was really looking forward to watching this. HUGE disappointment. The story was a real generic horror flick script, characters were absolutely forgettable. and it doesn't capture the same tense feeling that the Conjuring movies have. A terrible and unneeded movie just trying to ride on the fame of its predecessors.


Some shocking moments

Two stars for some "shocking" moments.


10 minus stars!

Really stupid, nothing else to say.


Horrific

So stupid but scary but mostly stupid such a dumb show even my friend Jordan thinks it and he loves stuff like this! This is the worst horror movie ever.