Annabelle – Review


After the surprisingly enjoyable results of last year’s The Conjuring, it’s to great disappointment that Annabelle – the hastily assembled cash-grab Conjuring spin-off/prequel hybrid – feels ultimately nothing more than exactly that. A botched by-the-numbers “evil doll” tale of the sort audiences have long been familiar with, it smacks of desperation. With a network TV-grade script, hilariously soapish male lead and direction which heavily favours pan shots above all else, it’s a shame that the film is so dull as to not even warrant the guilty pleasure label.


Sketchily expressive Annabelle Wallis is at best tolerable as the lead, an expectant mother who survives a violent encounter with a pair of Satanic cult members only to face the wrath of a vengeful supernatural presence, represented by the titular doll. Ward Horton meanwhile is one of the blandest and least engaging TV actors to have ever been given a shot at the big screen, and Alfre Woodard is likeable enough despite some shoddily convoluted dialogue, yet suffers with a poorly thought-out character in an already poorly written film.


In no way up to the well-constructed popcorn level of The Conjuring, and not half as good as the surprisingly brilliant Child’s Play reboot Curse Of Chucky; it’s an incredibly shoddy attempt to build a franchise and never once makes the effort to assert itself as an original property. Uninspired, predictable and tonally bland despite an obvious effort toward chilling, the best Annabelle manages is to send you out to rewatch the vastly superior Conjuring.



Catch Van Connor’s reviews in our Movies section and live on Slam Dunk Cinema every Saturday at 12PM on Sheffield Live! 93.2FM or on the podcast via iTunes.


In it
Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Alfre Woodard

Behind it
John R. Leonetti

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