From the outside, Annabelle seems like a cheap spin-off of a much more successful film in its predecessor The Conjuring. However, you can expect to be on the edge of your seat for this one with a developed narrative and completely new style that sets the bar for horror films in the future.
The film is consistent in its use of subtle nods to The Conjuring with mentions of Ed and Lorraine Warren who we know of course to be the main duo in the film, this was a delight for a horror fanatic like myself however for those simply watching the film for the first time and having no knowledge of the series these are lost completely. Some of the best scares within the film come from areas that are completely unexpected, this gives the film an originality that transcends its status as being just another spin-off of a more successful film.
The twists within the story of the film also keep the audience in guessing what will happen next and how every aspect of the film will culminate into a spectacular ending or a lackluster last breath of life from the corpse of the film. The film delivers its promise with a heartfelt and emotional end to the story that was both inspired and easy to foresee, as it has to be said that the ending is very stereo-typically horror film and something you could expect from even the cheesiest and badly done horror flick.
While the film has its many merits, it does on the other hand carry its fair share of cliched moments and dragged out awkward scenes, for example one of the scariest and most tense moments within the film is almost ruined by an elongated and frankly poorly done struggle between the main character and an elevator door. This felt more like something from a Mr Bean film or a scene from a Chuckle Brothers episode rather than fighting a spirit from the other side.
All in all I would recommend watching this film to any horror fans like myself or even to those who enjoy a inventive narrative, all I can say is make sure you've got something to cower behind. This one means business.