Annabelle Creation (2017) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Annabelle Creation (2017) Review

Horrorific content by Ciarán Coleman on August 27th, 2021 | Movie Review | Possession, Cursed, Haunted, Supernatural, Doll

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It’s about the origin of the infamous Annabelle doll and is a prequel to 2014’s ‘Annabelle’.

Annabelle Creation was directed by David F. Sandberg (also known for Lights Out) and stars Anthony LaPaglia (from Innocent Blood), Taliha Bateman (from Slender Man) and Lulu Wilson (Becky) and Stephanie Sigman

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Annabelle Creation Review

Annabelle creation’ is far from being the greatest horror ever made and even falls short in comparison to some other entries in ‘The Conjuring Universe’ but ultimately serves as a great prequel, surpassing its predecessor in nearly every frame.

The decision to focus on children being haunted, as opposed to a married couple in ‘Annabelle’, immediately elevated the 2017 prequel. After ‘Annabelle’, the Annabelle doll had lost a lot of its fear factor and mirrored the empty shell that the Conjuring Universe was becoming. ‘Annabelle Creation’, while maybe not the main reason, was definitely a helping hand in keeping the franchise afloat. By using a kid's perspective, the Annabelle doll’s horror and spookiness was on full show again, the likes of which not seen since the original ‘The Conjuring’.

The acting and direction is some of the best ‘The Conjuring’ universe has to offer. While no James Wan, David F. Sandberg does a great job of staying within the lines of aesthetic established by Wan, while also offering some solid scares and setpieces. Anthony LaPaglia is terrific in his role as Samuel Mullins, playing the grieving father role perfectly. Taliha Bateman and Lulu Wilson are also really solid as far as child actors go and never detract from the overall film.

This film also has some brilliant visuals and excellent lighting, practically dripping with religious imagery. The lighting is really superb and makes the film far more immersive than both other Annabelle films. The sound design is also really well done and helps mark this as one of the better horror films of 2017.

The film does however drag in places. It might have been to add tension but the end result are scenes that carry on a little too long and an ending that’s somewhere in between adequate and unsatisfying. While full of inventive scares some come across worse than others and insist on jumpscares rather than allowing the scary scenes to stand up on their own. The worldbuilding comes across a little stale and it definitely wouldn’t hurt this film or others to take it out.

The lack of Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson is far less evident than in ‘Annabelle’, but their absence still leaves the film lacking… something. The characters are inevitably less interesting and teeter on the edge of boring throughout, never becoming more than thin outlines of people.

Overall, ‘Annabelle Creation’ doesn’t break any molds or feature the best horror put on film, but it’s a solid film, perfect for some quick and easily digestible scares. The directing, acting and cinematography all shine but the overall story and characters fall short. Sadly, this is more often than not the case with a lot of recent horror films.

Worth Watching?

Yep! A solid film with inventive scares, great directing and some brilliant acting, this is definitely not a Conjuring film to skip and is easily miles better than its predecessor.

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