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‘Annabelle’ Review Roundup: Best Halloween Movie Ever?

Sat, October 4, 2014 10:15am EDT by Chris Rogers 17 Comments

Halloween means horror movie season, and ‘Annabelle’ has everything you’d want in a scary movie: a creepy doll, satanic cults, and horrifying deaths. But does this ‘Conjuring’ spinoff deserve the top spot at the box office?

Annabelle, a prequel to The Conjuring, opened in theaters on Oct. 3. In the film, John (Ward Horton), his wife Mia (Annabelle Wallis), and their baby are terrorized by the doll seen in the first movie. The super creepy toy is possessed and causes some pretty terrifying, supernatural events. So is it the scariest and best Halloween movie ever?

‘Annabelle’ Movie Reviews

Should you race to theaters this weekend to see Annabelle instead of Gone Girl? Check out these reviews below to find out!

Variety

In Annabelle, the “scares are cheap but periodically effective” and that the movie “(partly) makes up in crude shock effects what it lacks in craft, atmosphere and just about every other department. But when it comes to Annabelle‘s five or six big stinger moments, Leonetti manages to deliver the jolts, and if audiences are sure to head home complaining about how dumb and predictable it all was, many may also find themselves nursing their significant others’ lightly bruised forearms.”

The Los Angeles Times

Annabelle marks “a guided tour of the era’s possession-saga aesthetics: old-school wide shots, loud noises, showy shocks and quieter creeps. It lacks the exhilarating pull of The Conjuring, but as a side dish of demon-doll supernatural, it suffices.”

Time Out New York

“Centrally, the title character remains an impressive piece of prop work, and Leonetti’s restraint in never animating it (à la Chucky) is the only thing worth appreciating here. Meanwhile, the human beings—including Alfre Woodard as a handy local bookstore owner and occultist—feel as plastic as Barbie dolls.”

Entertainment Weekly

“The only thrill-building tool in ‘Annabelle’s’ kit involves things jumping out at you and making a loud noise, but you’re better off watching those YouTube videos that do the exact same thing. Sadly, horror fans seeking wide-release mainstream films are stuck with ‘Annabelle,’ a poorly conceived jumble of half-baked pretension executed entirely without joy for the benefit of the easily bamboozled. For a superior experience, go buy a disturbing-looking doll that says ‘Don’t go see ‘Annabelle” when you pull its string.”

USA Today

“A couple of jolts don’t make for much of a supernatural thriller, and ‘Annabelle’ has only fleeting jump-in-your-seat moments. It tries to crib from ‘The Omen’ and ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ even going so far as to name the pregnant lead character Mia. A tribute, most likely, to ‘Rosemary’s’ star Mia Farrow. Few surprises loom, however, in this ho-hum flick. Several plot threads go nowhere. And slowly.”

What do YOU think, HollywoodLifers? Do you plan on seeing Annabelle? And if you did, was it the best Halloween movie ever?

— Chris Rogers

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