Directed by: David F. Sandberg
Written by: Gary Dauberman
Stars: Stephanie Sigman (“Spectre”), Talitha Bateman (“The 5th Wave”), Lulu Wilson (upcoming “Ouija 2,” “Deliver Us from Evil”), Philippa Anne Coulthard (“After the Dark”), Grace Fulton (“Badland”), Lou Lou Safran (“The Choice”), Samara Lee (“Foxcatcher,” “The Last Witch Hunter”), Tayler Buck in her feature film debut, with Anthony LaPaglia (TV´s “Without a Trace”) and Miranda Otto (Showtime´s “Homeland,” “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy).
Our Rating: ★★★– Definitely worth a watch
Finally in this film we get the origin story of Annabelle, the creepiest of creepy dolls. She was the standout item of the showcase in the Warrens showroom of spooked out souvenirs from the first The Conjuring film. The Conjuring film has now spawned a prequel as well as an upcoming spin-off. Hence, we are here, where we learn how Annabelle, the doll, came to be.
Annabelle is the creation of a doll maker. For some reason the doll is 1 of 100, made and sold by the doll maker to a local store in the town. I mean even before she is possessed Annabelle is awful. She is sheer ugly and I’m unsure why any little girl would want her. Or, anyone for that matter. The doll maker and his wife are doting parents to their only child. When the couple suffers a lost of their beloved daughter things go badly for them for the entirety of the film.
The majority of Annabelle: Creation takes place years later when the couple decides to take in a group of displaced orphans along with a nun who is the girls’ caretaker. This of course is when the shenanigans start. Immediately, whatever spirit is already inside the house becomes fixated on one of the younger girls Janice. She is recovering from polio. This is important because she is less mobile and is often left alone, making her a bit of an easier target for the entity.
Annabelle Creation is filled with the usual “scary” troupes: doors opening by themselves, dark shadows, and even the classic bouncing red ball of doom. Unfortunately it is also filled with many plot holes and unanswered questions. Spoiler: After it is figured out the doll is a conduit it remains in the house. This is unexplained and puzzling especially when factor in the doll’s fate at the end of the film. Also, the nun unpacks a baby blanket when she moves into the couple’s house, so at some point in her life she may have had or lost a baby. Neither of these points is explained.
There is also a wink to the audience by showing the nun in her previous covenant where she briefly met “l” the main character from the upcoming nun film in the series. The attempt to tie this film to the upcoming was really ham handed handled in my opinion. The Insidious/Conjuring world has in previous films been able to achieve this a bit more seamless.
Annabelle Creation overall was an ok entry into the franchise, but it was also somewhat lackluster, which is partly because the majority of the cast is children. You still cannot go around killing children on film because that takes it into a different realm. I am shocked this is a R rating. There are only two kills, and the since these characters aren’t that fleshed out, you won’t be moved one way or the other.
Again, the film is shot well and the production budget and the location are utilized perfectly well also. Creepy big house, creepy barn, there is even a freaky scarecrow on deck. The end of the film is important and kind of the point of this film, which you will enjoy and it might even save it for you. However, if you expecting a great horror film Annabelle Creation is not it. Entertaining, but nowhere near scary or horrifying.
The Fatale says – See It, at a Matinee!