I am a huge fan of scary movies, so without hesitation I rounded up a few friends who shared my excitement for Annabelle: Creation and we made our way to the Thursday night premier. Several months back we were all together when the first trailer was released, so we had a pretty good idea of what we were in for. Our expectations were met on Thursday night but not exceeded. Overall, I enjoyed it and had a few good scares, but I was too distracted by the things they could have done differently to take it to the next level.
Talitha Bateman = Janice
Lulu Wilson = Linda
Anthony LaPaglia = Samuel Mullins
Miranda Otto = Esther Mullins
Mr. and Mrs. Mullins have a young daughter named Annabelle who sadly is struck by a car and killed at a very young age. 12 years after the death of their daughter, the Mullins have turned their home into an orphanage. The main character, Janice, is an orphan who has polio and moves into the Mullins’ home. While the other children have the freedom to go outside and play, Janice’s disability confines her to spend more time in the obviously freaky house alone. She soon realizes that something isn’t right and there is a strange presence calling her attention.
Horror movies generally have a very obvious linear plot that goes something like this;
- The audience is introduced to the main characters (half are likable, other half are boneheads)
- The one African American is the first one to go
- Initially not everyone is aware or believes in the villain
- Villain gets rid of supporting cast until only the main character remains
- Villain is miraculously defeated, but never fully dies
- Subtle twist at the end or a final scare to ensure a sequel
The film makers very easily could have followed this stupid lazy formula and in the end deposited their check in the bank, but they refused to do that. Instead, director David Sandberg and writer Gary Dauberman chose to take another route and keep the audience on their toes. It is not about the destination but the journey, therefore even if you have been following The Conjuring franchise and know what happens to Annabelle, you will still enjoy this frightening journey.
From the moment the new round of orphans move into the home I was on the edge of my seat. The Mullin’s house is so freaking creepy to begin with. Firstly, Mr. Mullin’s was a doll maker, so you can expect there to be a crap ton of them lying around. There is a dumbwaiter with a door that is continually blown open by a draft, a dark dusty crawl space under the stairs, and a super slow moving chair lift up a winding stair case.
This movie did a great job of building suspense especially at times you would least expect it. For example, we typically have a sigh of relief when it is daylight. It is usually a time for plot development and a time for the audience to catch it’s breath because you expect all the scary stuff to happen at night. However, there were a few good scares during the day to destroy that false sense of relief.
One of the criticisms I had for this film is the dialog. In many scenes it seemed as though the script was written by a 12 year old. At times the dialog was so basic and that made the interactions between characters seem unrealistic and inorganic.
Like I said before, there was a good build of suspense, however it fell a little flat towards the end. The demon looked very goofy and the final act left me unimpressed.
Overall, I enjoyed Annabelle: Creation, but I was more distracted with the film it could have been. This is a great movie to redbox or stream during Halloween with a group of friends. I would not recommend spending full ticket price at the theater for this one. I rate this 6.3/10 and guarantee you will jump at least once.