Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.
Starring: Stephanie Sigman, Miranda Otto, Lulu Wilson, and Anthony LaPaglia
Directed by: David F. Sandberg
Written by: Gary Dauberman
Marvel has created one of the best universes going right now with their superhero movies. Not long ago, Universal announced the return of their monster icons in what they’re calling the Dark Universe. And then there’s The Conjuring Universe that is somewhat quietly coming out from the shadows. A third Conjuring movie is on its way, along with “The Nun,” but first Annabelle gets a second chance to win over horror fans.
With a title like “Annabelle Creation” the audience might expect to see a lot about her creation. However, after seeing dollmaker Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) put the final touches on Annabelle, there isn’t much Annabelle backstory until the end. Instead the audience sees the tragedy that happens to the Mullins family, and then years later how they provide a home to some foster girls. It gets the movie off to kind of a slow start, as the girls have to be introduced, and get settled in. It isn’t until Janice (Talitha Bateman), a young physically challenged girl, finds Annabelle that things pick up.
Being apart of The Conjuring Universe, the scares start happening the way the audience might expect. First Annabelle might appear here and there, and then something in the darkness sets its sights on freaking out the girls. Besides Janice, her best friend Linda (Lulu Wilson) has some run-ins with Annabelle. In one of the better scares, she’s shooting a ball into a dark hallway, and pulling it back with a string. Well, it’s not hard to imagine how creepy that scene can be.
The intensity of the scares really kick in when the demon reveals itself, and its intentions with the girls. Also, the story of how the demon attached itself to Annabelle is finally divulged. It might be obvious to some after events earlier in the movie. However, that’s not the interesting part. When the dust settles, the true connection between “Annabelle” and “Annabelle Creation” is revealed, and it puts a nice punctuation on the movie.
Before wrapping this up, I have to make a point about Annabelle. After seeing Annabelle in “The Conjuring,” I was instantly drawn in, and wanted to know more about her. However, after two movies my interest in her has greatly diminished. Why…well because after it’s said and done she’s just a creepy looking doll. She doesn’t really do anything other than show up here and there. The demon is the true evil force here, and the one creating the real scares. She’s pretty much the opposite of Chucky, and in the end that’s disappointing.
Going back to the movie itself, it’s easy to see how “Annabelle Creation” fits into The Conjuring Universe. It has the same feel to it, and the scares are effective, but done in an expected manner. The demon eventually makes itself known and does its best to scare the girls, and the more importantly the audience. There’s usually some strong acting performances, and this time it’s courtesy of the Talitha and Lulu. While “Annabelle” might not have knocked the socks off fans, it seems “Annabelle Creation” might win over more fans this time around. With that said, I give it 3 pools of blood.
*There are after credits scenes so stay to the very end*