Nearly three years after the first Annabelle movie was released, the terrifying doll returns in the form of a prequel directed by Lights Out creator, David F. Sandberg. I should preface this by saying that while I loved The Conjuring, its Annabelle spin-off didn’t work for me at all. I groaned at the idea of another Annabelle film. To my surprise, however, Sandberg was able to make the Annabelle film we should have gotten from the beginning. With Annabelle: Creation, Sandberg proves that Lights Out wasn’t a fluke and he establishes himself as one of the best horror directors today.
In Annabelle: Creation we are introduced to the doll maker Sam Mullins and his wife Esther. Years after losing their young daughter, Annabelle, the couple welcomes a nun and a small group of orphaned girls who have nowhere else to go following the closure of their orphanage. Upon their arrival to the Mullins home, the girls encounter a series of supernatural events that appear to be caused by the ghost of young Annabelle. After one of the girls finds the Annabelle doll, the supernatural occurrences increase and death soon follows.
One of the aspects that stood out for me was the pacing of the scares in this film. Rather than filling up the movie with cheap and unnecessary scares, Sandberg expertly builds the tension throughout the film. He slowly but surely ramps up the level of the scares as the movie progresses. Something that I noticed that Sandberg does with his scares is that he lets moments linger just an extra second or so. When you know a scare is coming, you brace yourself for it so it doesn’t hit you as hard. However, by letting these moments linger, the audience lets its guard down and right when you stop expecting a scare is when you get hit with one. The scares in the film aren’t just jump scares, either. The film mixes a great use of sounds and visuals to create riveting and terrifying atmosphere that make you feel more uneasy with every passing minute. As you are watching you begin to feel like you are trapped in this house alongside these orphaned kids, which is an amazing thing to accomplish as a filmmaker.
The weakest part of the movie is actually some of the story elements, particularly how this evil being came to be. We are simply given a five second explanation as to how Sam and Esther thought they were inviting Annabelle’s spirit into their home but we never get any real details as to how this was done. The movie is supposed to be about how this evil thing came into the world, but I found that by the end of the movie that wasn’t entirely answered. Another minor issue with the film is that some of the scares become a bit repetitive at times. I think that if they cut come of those unnecessary scenes out it would make the movie flow much more nicely.
Overall, Annabelle: Creation is a fantastic film with lots of chills and thrills. The acting is really good all throughout but particularly that of the two young leads, Talitha Bateman and Lulu Wilson. Their sister-like relationship is the heart of the film and without them we would have no one to really care for. Regardless of what you think of the first Annabelle film, this is one you definitely should see in a movie theater with as many people as possible. This film will give you nightmares.
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|Release Date:||August 11th, 2017|
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