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Annabelle: Creation

Annabelle: Creation

Movie
Director(s): 
Genre: 
In Theatres: 
Aug 11, 2017
Grade:
B
Running Time: 
109 minutes

The Conjuring franchise has always followed classic horror conventions. The first film that started it all breathed new life into the jump scare by building the tension before going against the grain by delivering something unexpected. Unfortunately that all went out the window with the lackluster prequel Annabelle and to some degree its sequel, The Conjuring 2. There is no doubt still some life left within that possessed doll, however, because Annabelle: Creation marks a return to the roots of the franchise as it delivers some of the best horror moments since the original The Conjuring.

 

Annabelle: Creation is the earliest film in the franchise timeline and follows dollmaker Samuel (Anthony LaPaglia) and his wife, Esther (Miranda Otto), who tragically lost their daughter when she was hit by an oncoming car. Years have past and in an attempt to move forward they Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) and a group of young orphan girls to come and live in their house. One of the girls, Janice (Talitha Bateman), discovers the Annabelle doll hidden in a closet in a locked room and soon strange and terrifying things start to happen.

 

As it turns out, the doll has been possessed by a demon who tricked the grieving parents into believing it was their daughter who had returned from the dead. Years ago they were able to seal away the demon into the doll, and now he wants his freedom by possessing the soul of another child; in this case it’s Janice he’s after.

 

The film relies mostly on jump scares to frighten audiences, and it does so to great effect. Like The Conjuring, it teases what’s going to happen as it builds tension. Oftentimes it doesn’t matter what’s on the screen because the truly frightening moment will either be out of focus in the background or just off camera. I found myself constantly look around in the background, wondering what will pop out from behind a chair or curtain. Anything can happen at any given moment, and Annabelle: Creation does a good job at never lingering on one scene for too long, making for an effective scare. Also, thanks for ruining “You Are My Sunshine” as it’s no longer the happy-go-lucky song I once knew.

 

Perhaps the best thing about the film is that they finally make the Annabelle doll legitimately creepy. I found the doll to be a disappointment in the original Annabelle spinoff, but here they have it constantly popping up in random places as it stares at you with its cold, dead eyes. You only get brief glimpses of the demon lurking inside, but it’s enough for you to know that the doll is something you don’t want to mess with.

 

So many horror films tend to lean heavily towards the psychological these days so it’s nice to see a return to the classic jump scares. Annabelle: Creation is simple yet effective with its terror. It may not outperform The Conjuring, but for the fourth film in the franchise it’s a solid horror film that captures the spirit of the original.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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