I hated the first Annabelle. It was an extremely lazy horror film that had an overabundance amount of jump scares and underdeveloped characters. Annabelle Creation is completely the opposite of that and it’s extremely rare that a sequel is better than a horror film, let alone in the horror genre. The only instance I can think of is Ouija: Origin of Evil, which was a decent horror film (which is also a sequel that plays as a prequel) and even though I haven’t seen the original Ouija, it didn’t get good critical reception. Annabelle Creation is actually a delightful surprise and a worthy addition to The Conjuring canon. Annabelle: Creation is directed by David F. Sandberg who directed Lights Out, which surprisingly wasn’t bad but this movie is much better all the way around.
The story takes place in the 50’s, where a couple takes in girls from an orphanage but the family is soon haunted by a demonic doll called Annabelle.
This movie is much better than it deserved to be. It’s a sequel to a crappy first spin-off film that was completely pale in the shadow of The Conjuring.
There is actually an attempt here on fleshing out great characters. The girls are mostly all well developed and all the actors are really good in their roles for a horror film. The main nun, Sister Charlotte, played by Stephanie Sigman, is wonderful as the lead and she is might just be my favorite part of the film. Not just because she’s extremely beautiful, but she has acting chops and it’s great to see a horror film that is centered on strong independent women.
Lulu Wilson (who is also in Ouija: Origin of Evil) is also great here and as the main young girl. Her friendship with Talitha Bateman, who is handicapped, is the heart and soul of this film and their relationship is the one you are absolutely the most invested in throughout the film since the other girls are pretty horrible human beings but you got to have a few expandable characters in a movie like this so it’s fine. Their relationship is tested when Annabelle is trying to rip them apart and you actually care about them in the end and see where they’re relationship goes.
The couple who invite the children in their home are played by Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings) and Anthony Lapaglia and both are extremely creepy and off putting and you don’t know a lot about their characters at first except that they had a tragic past and they invite the girls in their home bring life into their house. They played their roles perfectly and the mystery surrounding their characters was extremely fun and well told.
This is first and foremost a horror film so is it scary? Does it have good tension and buildup around the characters? Yes, it does. And it barely has any jump scares too, which I was extremely pleased with. The scares we’re fresh and inventive even if the plot is something we’re familiar with. This film isn’t original on it’s surface but the characters, the direction, the scares, is what sets this film apart from all the other horror films of this nature.
As for flaws, there are some dumb moments like in most horror movies. Here, it happens in the middle of the night where someone just died and a grownup just says “time for bed.” Nobody in their right mind would sleep after witnessing a dead body.
As for flaws, you need to check your brain out of the door if you want to have fun with this movie. If you think about the plot too much, things are going to start to fall apart and you’re not going to enjoy it as much. And while the story is well crafted overall, there are some things that don’t make sense but that’s fine with a movie like this. I just wanted to go in and have some fun and that’s what I got with this film. It’s just a blast. It adds a lot of lore to The Conjuring universe and it ties in with the first film in a really cool way.
Overall, Annabelle: Creation is a pleasant surprise that has great scares, an interesting mystery, good characters, and is a welcome addition to The Conjuring canon.