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The late-60's Satanic panic and housewifely ennui make for a surprisingly complementary mix of fear and paranoia in Annabelle.
Each time a character gets tossed in the air by some manifestation or another, the effect is cheesy. Still, I've seen worse. For the record, the violence in Annabelle is far less copious and sadistic than the stuff in the Denzel Washington movie everybody's going to.
New York Post
Annabelle is mostly a grab into the Great Big Bag O’ Horror Clichés: sound-bombs of shrieking violins explode randomly, doors slam unbidden, rocking chairs creak by themselves, machines suddenly whir to life.
The A.V. Club
As a blunt object, a machine built to put nerves on edge and fingers over eyes, Annabelle is still crudely (and cruelly) effective. Fear comes cheap.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
There’s nothing surprising about this late ’60s tale, including its connection to the modern ghost stories told in “The Amityville Horror” and “The Conjuring.” But what it lacks in originality it makes up with in hair-raising execution. You will scream like a teenage girl.
There’s real craftsmanship to the film, but it’s in service of a story that can’t quite support it.
San Francisco Chronicle
The script highlights an annoying lack of self-preservation on behalf of the protagonists. But the movie tries to be more than just a creepy doll freakout, and delivers the requisite scares.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Annabelle is so lazily coat-tailing on Roman Polanski, they should have called it “Rosemary’s Barbie.”
The Hollywood Reporter
Gary Dauberman’s haphazard screenplay merely piles on the cheap scares, with director Leonetti cranking the volume up to 11 to accentuate the frequent jolts. It all adds up to a compendium of horror movie clichés.
New York Daily News
Wallis is commendably restrained and Alfre Woodard adds class as Mia’s wise ally. But Annabelle is a vortex of visual clichés beyond rescue.
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