"Annabelle," a prequel/spinoff to the superb 2013 throwback horror film "The Conjuring," delivers the requisite scares. But the production schedule was rushed, and it shows. "The Conjuring" made more than $300 million on a reported $20 million budget; no doubt the pressure to churn out another movie 15 months later compromised some of the artistic potential. The main shortcoming is a hastily executed script, which results in a few too many unintentional audience laughs.
"Annabelle" tries to be more than just a creepy doll freakout, though, and mostly succeeds.