I expected more from this movie because of high ratings. What did I get? The visuals are great, the setting is very pretty with the right amount of creepy. The characters are run-of-the-mill vessels for supernatural torture. The pacing is so-so, with three distinct spikes becoming progressively more intense.
The biggest problem is the way the secondary storyline (Annabel) is set up at the very beginning, mentioned throughout the film in the Warrens' lectures & other scenes, but ultimately has absolutely no effect. Why was it given so much importance for no reason?
The 'mother' as motive for the demonic activity was revealed all too easily by the clairvoyant, and then parroted out multiple times. A major plot point should not have to be explained verbally, but shown in images. This seems like poor writing.
It certainly isn't an innovative ghost story - there are distinct echoes of the Exorcist and many other possession films here. Not too scary either.