‘Annabelle’: The Reviews Are In!


If you loved ‘The Conjuring,’ but nevertheless left the theater disappointed at the way the movie totally sidelined its creepy doll in order to focus on the whole haunted house thing, then you’ll be delighted to know that said creepy doll is headlining her own film right this minute. ‘Annabelle’ hits theaters today, the first entry in October’s slate of horror fare.

You may not, however, be so delighted to hear what critics have to say about it. Below, we round up a few reviews that capture the general tenor of the feedback.

The good: It’s visually well-crafted.

The director, John R. Leonetti, served as the cinematographer on “The Conjuring” (2013), and the best scares in “Annabelle” involve tricks of the eye… Set largely in a Santa Monica, Calif., house and an apartment in Pasadena, “Annabelle” is less cluttered with creepy bric-a-brac than “The Conjuring.” But Mr. Leonetti embraces the potential of negative space.” — Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times


The bad: It’s an insult to the entire horror oeuvre.

“We live in an incredible era for horror movies, and deep within the genre, filmmakers are crafting inspired and genuinely unnerving flicks that tap into subconscious fears and make salient points about the human experience. 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.” — Kyle Anderson, Entertainment Weekly


The really bad: If you do like it, you’ll kind of hate yourself for it.

“A shameless cash grab, the movie is absolutely mercenary in its approach to eliciting screams; there’s an almost admirable mean-spiritedness to its tactics, which prey on elemental fears about family security… Sometimes even a cruddy horror movie, seen with a properly reactive crowd, can get the job done.” — A.A. Dowd, The AV Club

Annabelle’ opens nationwide today.