Director / David F. Sandberg (LIGHTS OUT)
Stars/ Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto, Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman and Lulu Wilson
A prequel to both THE CONJURING films and 2014’s ANNABELLE, ANNABELLE: CREATION marks the fourth addition to THE CONJURING film universe.
Aussie duo Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto play Samuel and Esther Mullins, who invite Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) and several orphaned girls to live with them at their residence. Despite the generous offer, the Mullins’ are quite reserved people, after a personal tragedy shattered their existence several years earlier. Samuel, a doll maker, isn’t particularly hospitable towards the girls while Esther mysteriously never emerges from her bedroom. As the girls slowly settle into their new place, Janice (Telitha Bateman) comes across Annabelle while curiously exploring her new surrounds and unwittingly brings the creepy doll, who has sinister plans, to life.
A passable horror flick, ANNABELLE: CREATION does yield to symptoms of horror movie syndrome, yet in doing so it offers audiences momentary frights and plenty of fun, which are frequently distributed all throughout.
Of course, your prospects of being drawn into these many mildly suspenseful passages will largely depend on your ability to foresee the imminent jump coming. As a horror aficionado myself, almost all of these sequences do happen as expected. Although its likely predictability does limit the film’s chances to genuinely scare, ANNABELLE: CREATION continues to entertain, courtesy of some aptly timed tongue-in-cheek humour and a serviceable plot that holds some mystery. Patience is certainly tested as the not-so-surprising revelations hiding beneath its mystery are delayed for too long. Further proceedings even become repetitive as the plot attempts to involve each of the orphaned girls making a frightening discovery to realise that their new abode isn’t so humble. Thankfully, those self-opening doors and creaky floors are soon nailed shut as ANNABELLE: CREATION lifts its game in a decidedly more horrifying finale.
This prequel should satisfy fans of mainstream horror until further instalments in THE CONJURING film series, THE NUN (2018) and THE CROOKED MAN (TBA) haunt our screens.
Viewer Discretion/ MA15+ Restricted (Strong horror themes and violence)
Trailer / ANNABELLE: CREATION
Read up also on Moviedoc’s review of THE CONJURING 2
Moviedoc thanks Roadshow Films for the invite to the screening of this film.
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