“The Conjuring” universe is expanding a little more this Friday with the release of “Annabelle: Creation”, a prequel to “Annabelle” which was already a prequel to “The Conjuring”. I am a fan of the two “Conjuring” films but absolutely hated the first “Annabelle” film. Not only was it boring, but it wasn’t the least bit scary. It was a micro-budget rush-job to cash in on the success of the film it spun-off from. Needless to say, I wasn’t too excited for another film about the possessed doll.
The folks behind the franchise must have realized that the only way to keep audiences coming back was to deliver a film that is actually scary. Director David F. Sandberg who gave us last year’s “Light’s Out” stepped in and I am pleased to say, he brought the frights.
In “Creation” we learn about the origin of the doll and how it came to be possessed. Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) and his wife Esther (Miranda Otto), whose daughter died twelve years earlier, open their home to a nun (Stephanie Sigman), and a group of girls from an orphanage that has been closed. Linda (Lulu Wilson) is one of the orphans, but because she is polio-stricken and forced to wear a leg-brace, she has a harder time than the rest.
When Linda ignores the house rule about never entering Annabelle’s old bedroom, she unknowingly releases an evil that has been locked away for years. The Mullins failed to inform their new guests that they made a deal with a demon to have their daughter back, only to have it turn on them.
“Annabelle: Creation” isn’t a great horror movie, because it lacks freshness. However, it is for the most part, quite effective. I was actually surprised about the included “Conjuring” universe-building in the film. I won’t go into more details then that, but there are some familiar elements popping up other than the doll. There are a handful of very scary moments, enough so that I would recommend “Annabelle: Creation” to anyone who enjoys “The Conjuring”.
By: Marc Ferman