Annabelle: Creation (2017)

September 23, 2017 - 6:14pm | FrighT MasteR

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David F. Sandberg
Miranda Otto, Talitha Bateman, Stephanie Sigman, Anthony LaPaglia, Lulu Wilson, Philippa Anne Coulthard, Grace Fulton, Lou Lou Safran, Samara Lee, Tayler Buck

While fans might not've liked the first Annabelle spinoff much, it still made just enough money for the studio to warrant a sequel and much like they did with Ouija: Origin of Evil, they opted to go the prequel route. Luckily they also got someone talented to get behind the camera for this installment by the name of David F. Sandberg, who some may remember also brought us the short and feature length films, Lights Out. It seems like that's all it took to make what started out as mediocre spinoff and turn it into another solid addition to The Conjuring universe, because unlike the first movie this was actually good.

Set several years before the first, we focus on a group of young girls from a defunct orphanage that move into the home of a somewhat nice (but also strange) dollmaker and his mysterious bedridden wife played by Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto. The couple apparently lost their own daughter many years prior, so some youthful energy may just be what they need. Of course that turns out to be a mistake when a young crippled girl named Janice falls victim to the demon from the first movie, who is once again accompanied by that pesky Annabelle.

We later learn that the couple invited what they thought was their daughter's spirit into their home and let it possess the doll. Though they soon learned that it wasn't their little girl's spirit afterall (since when is it ever who they think it is?) and now it's taken over poor Janice. Linda (best friend to Janice, played by LuLu Wilson) immediately notices something off with her friend and it's not long before the rest of the girls follow suit, but it may already be too late for them.

The movie starts off interesting, as it almost seemed like it has two protagonists since we often switched back and forth between Janice and Linda. Though obviously once Janice gets taken over we focus more on Linda and her trying to be rid of the doll, so the pacing stays pretty steady overall and proves to be an improvement over the first. It especially wastes no time in the creepy department, offering a decent amount of chills, specifically those involving the demon that we never quite see well except for its unsettling glowing eyes. I really like the way they make use of the demonic figure and having it almost always blend in with the darkness. It truly is some genuinely creepy stuff. Next to that there's the Annabelle doll itself, which still never moves, but I'm sure its inanimate body will still freak out those terrified of dolls (losers, just kidding!).

For a nice change of pace there were a couple moments where a scarecrow prop was used to give the girls a little different kind of scare, but it seemed to be a lot of buildup and little payoff, as it ultimately fell kinda flat and felt a bit wasted. Next to all the creepiness there was a decent story here, but nothing we hadn't already seen or heard before. We honestly didn't really need more back story on the doll, but regardless we got one and the movie surprisingly ended up better than its predecessor and even tied in quite nicely to it as well, proving that even unnecessary installments can still be good watches with the right talent behind it.

While ultimately an unnecessary prequel, the movie still proved surprisingly better than its predecessor thanks to the talents behind the camera and a slightly more interesting story. Even the scares are more improved here, focusing on a lot of build up and creepiness, while playing with shadows. Along with the superior pacing, this turned out to be quite an improvement over the first movie and is now finally what I would consider a worthy installment in the evergrowing Conjuring universe.

Author Information

FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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