Other than Gone Girl, the other movie people are talking about this weekend is Annabelle. Thanks to Chucky, there was a time where the creepy doll movie was very popular in the horror genre, but does Annabelle hold up with this generation? Well, a few critics took the movie up to task and the results are mixed.
Annabelle comes right in time for Halloween. The horror flick, made by the minds behind The Conjuring, centers around a couple and their satanic doll Annabelle.
According to the official synopsis of Annabelle, the movie really begins after a home invasion. The couple’s home is invaded by “members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now…Annabelle.”
But is Annabelle as terrifying as she looks? As we stated, it’s really hard to tell. Right now the film has a cumulative 29 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, which aggregates reviews from critics.
While AV Club has marked the Annabelle movie as “tolerable,” The Boston Globe’s Peter Keough absolutely demolishes the film calling the doll a “monstrosity” that “looks like Jack Nicholson’s Joker in a frilly dress.” Of the film itself, Keough notes that the scariest part of the movie is “its misogyny.”
The Philadelphia Daily News’ Tirdad Derakhshani said of Annabelle, “Sadly, Annabelle, a cheap, sleazy, low-budget prequel meant to explain the origins of that particular doll, is as undistinguished, uninteresting, and unscary as the worst of the Chucky films.”
However Variety’s Scott Foundas seemed to be impressed with the film, and said Annabelle, “scares are cheap but periodically effective.” That said, Foundas also notes that the movie is “Designed mainly as a starring vehicle for the eponymous, creepy-as-hell doll (who easily outclasses her human co-stars), this WB/New Line quickie will slake the thirst of die-hard genre fans put out by the abysmal Dracula Untold.
Additionally TIME’s critic doesn’t underestimate the potential of the film even though the post-Manson world that it touts isn’t that original.
“Just because a film is a cheap ripoff doesn’t mean it can’t do the scare job. Leonetti occasionally avoids shock cuts to let Mia stand in the image’s foreground as the ghostly Annabelle-woman glides behind her. In one effective scene, Mia sees the Annabelle doll come to life as a four-year-old girl; as it bursts through the door of Mia’s room, it transforms into the adult Annabelle.”
Now that we have a critic roundup post, will Annabelle perform well at the box office?
[Image by New Line Cinema]