Remember 2014’s pathetic spin-off? A lot of people thought Annabelle was doomed until David F. Sandberg was roped in for Annabelle Creation. Sandberg’s first big break (big screen debut) happened with last year’s Lights Out. It was a pretty good flick that marked him as one of the good ones in horror genre. With him standing on the pedestal to helm a movie from The Conjuring universe it was already intriguing per se. The good news is, he delivers!
It is like when someone cooks something really bad, and you step up to add the right spices and condiments to turn it into something delectable. That’s what happened with Annabelle too. John R. Leonetti (the director of the first one) had made sure with his bland depiction that a reboot was necessary to resuscitate the doll. Gary Dauberman and David F. Sandberg together rescue it making it a movie worth watching. With the movie’s success, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that The Conjuring universe is back on track with only one sour movie on its list. But Annabelle Creation doesn’t let us forget that taste.
Read on and you will find out.
The Direction of Annabelle Creation Movie (Spoilers Ahead)
The doll had potential and we knew it. How scary it looks, right? Also, the fact that it keeps moving all by itself around the house, and comes back if dumped makes it a pretty horrifying affair. David F. Sandberg makes sure that the doll is identified for its true petrifying theme. He was already great with creating suspenseful scenes, and he uses them aplenty, gradually building up for a scare.
Sandberg’s camera movements stand corrected as good if not great. But they are pretty good for a horror movie. You do miss James Wan‘s amazing continuous shots at one point. Some of the scenes where the backdrop was left unfocused were simply ravishing to watch.
Sandberg and Dauberman choose to merge the story eventually with the events and happenings of the first which was a pretty smart move. It is even great for the marketing of the first. Annabelle Creation being the prequel saves a sequel, and all its future runs too. It was a calculated move.
Plot of Annabelle: Creation
To plot the plot concisely, we see how it all started first here. A doll is being created by a doll maker Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) marking it as a single piece before wrapping it up in a box. The Mullins have a daughter named Bee (Samara Lee) who ends up getting killed in a freak car accident. 12 years later we see a group of six girls and a Sister being provided an abode by the Mullins after their orphanage gets closed.
There is a secret they unveil in the form of a demon who has been invited by the Mullins to stay marred by the grief of their dead daughter. It is tied to the doll and kept locked inside a closet until Janice, one of the crippled girls, goes prying into the room and ends up unleashing hell.
What follows is an insane terrifying joyride of happenings around the house that upends the lives of all those living in the house. The most affected are Janice and Linda.
Some Obvious Issues
The only problem with Sandberg’s direction and probably some of Gary Dauberman’s writing is that he doesn’t pay attention to natural courses. For instance, what would you do when you have had a frightening scary experience? Will you once again venture there? Sadly characters in the movie keep on doing so, even though they had their hearts in their mouths.
When you see something frightening going on, you break all hell loose and look for solutions first. You don’t go venturing in there every night. Annabelle Creation oversees this apparent fact and keeps terrorizing you with scary scenes one after the other. They are all great scenes by the way and spook you out aplenty. But the contrivance kicks in when you know in your head what reaction you want the character to be giving, and how artificial they end up becoming when the story demands them to visit a horrific place all over again. That’s probably the thing that shouldn’t have been overlooked.
There are plenty of creepy factors Annabelle: Creation houses and they exploit them properly too. Right from the spooky scarecrow to Esther Mullins (Miranda Otto) the demon exploits every possible scary element in the huge house of the Mullins, and the scenes are written in brilliant gore too. You will have your heart pounding like crazy every now and then.
Only when you begin to see the actual demon, as you saw in the first installment of Annabelle, the horrific quotient begins to decline gradually. Horror emanates from something you don’t understand well but when you actually begin to see it, things suddenly begin to not affect you as much.
That being said you will personally feel the movie to be not as scary as The Conjuring movies were. But it has its moments.
You can order the movie from here:
Characters and Acting
On the acting front, all the actors have acted really well. But the actor you remember the most is Talitha Eliana Bateman who plays Janice. She wears her expressions pretty well at the same time makes you feel sorry for her. Then there is Lulu Wilson who plays Linda in the movie and you can’t overlook her either. She nails close encounters.
You once again see Sandberg’s wife Lotta Losten in this movie which I think was totally dispensable. Her inclusion only confuses people more, as some might start to tack her character against Lights Out. I really hope Sandberg should avoid doing a Shyamalan and choose to be more subtle and careful with his upcoming projects.
The Final Verdict
Annabelle: Creation is a good horror flick. It saves the infamous doll from drowning and makes a strong statement about Annabelle’s resurrection into the horror world. It exploits it brilliantly giving the demon of the flick a second chance.
Even though the movie has a lot of flaws and issues which I am pretty sure will be overcome in future parts, it stands as a pretty decent horror flick all by itself. It retains ample chilly moments to keep you jumping on your seat. Another great addition to the horror genre!
Sandberg is here to stay.
Check out the trailer of Annabelle Creation here: