• Guy Jeffries

Annabelle: Creation Review


Director: David F. Sandberg

Starring: Talitha Eliana Bateman, Lulu Wilson, Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto, Stephanie Sigman, Grace Fulton, Philippa Coulthard, Samara Lee.

I don't think I've seen the first Annabelle, well I certainly don't remember doing so but should it really matter watching a prequel? I've been a fan of The Conjuring franchise so far, especially as they draw their inspiration from real life reports of paranormal, demonic activity. The actually doll existing and currently residing, on display at the Warren's household, otherwise known as the The Warren's Occult Museum.

It's obvious an origin story covering the creation of the titular demonic doll. But it's unclear how much of it is based on the supposedly true story behind the doll. From my research, the doll was given to a nurse and had reported the doll having its own behaviour and was said to have been possessed by dead girl by the name of Annabelle, which seems to outline the premise of the first film.

We take a harrowing trip down memory lane, where a small group of orphanage girls are given a home out in the country by an ageing couple, but it's a place that has many secrets and a sinister past which the children start to learn during their stay. What follows is of the typical horror formula, people going where they shouldn't be, even after all the warnings.

I was so happy to see Sandberg at the helm so soon after Lights Out. It's always good news to see talented people get recognised for the work they do and really, all of this off the back of his short film that went viral. He has proven to be a man that knows the genre and knows how to give people the chills.

But unfortunately, whilst the film builds good tension, it fails to deliver any great impact and has little lasting effect. You are put on the edge of your seat but a lot of it becomes quite predictable, having you figure out just what's about to happen. There's nothing that original here, and even what we do see bares a lot of resemblance to other recent paranormal horrors, even from outside the franchise.

The focus is on Bateman, who plays Janice, one of the girls who is slightly crippled by polio. But the star of the film is the young Lulu Wilson who played Doris Zander in 2016's Ouija: Origin of Evil. You can tell from both these pictures, Wilson is going to be an amazing actress, she's already nailed the horror genre being frightfully brilliant and look forward to seeing her do something else outside of the genre. The rest of the cast portray their roles well enough, but, like the film as a whole, there's nothing outstanding about it.

It's a standard horror flick with all the typical ingredients that make a horror film scary, but sadly this just didn't work for me. It has its moments but nothing really freaked me out like I would have expected. Maybe the anticipation and predictability ruin it for me. It does, however, urges me to watch the first Annabelle so that's a good thing.

Running Time: 6

The Cast: 6

Performance: 7

Direction: 6

Story: 5

Script: 5

Creativity: 6

Soundtrack: 4

Job Description: 3

The Extra Bonus Point: 5 for Lulu Wilson.

53% 5/10

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