“Annabelle: Creation” stars Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Lulu Wilson, Anthony LaPaglia, and Miranda Otto. Released on August 11, 2017, the film is about a group of orphaned girls who discovers that they’re being haunted by a dollmaker's possessed creation.
The film is directed by David F. Sandberg, who is mostly known for directing Lights Out. It is a prequel to the 2014 horror film, Annabelle, and the fourth film in the Conjuring franchise. With the success of The Conjuring and Annabelle, it’s no surprise that Hollywood wanted to continue expanding this horror-filled universe. I managed to watch Lights Out the other day to prepare myself for Sandberg’s latest horror project, and I found its execution to be pretty darn impressive. While the first Annabelle film didn’t impress me that much, I was interested in seeing the prequel because of its glowing reviews and the fact that I liked the first two Conjuring films. The last time that we saw a horror sequel that was received better than its predecessor was Ouija: Origin of Evil. Now it looks like that “Creation” might capture the same success as Ouija 2, but what do I think about this latest chapter in the Conjuring universe?
Similar to Ouija: Origin of Evil, this latest horror prequel shows the audience how the supernatural threat began. For this film, the supernatural threat is classified as a possessed doll, which is quite possibly the most terrifying thing that I’ve ever seen, and it still creeped me out every time I see that stupid thing. For those who have seen every single horror film that involves supernatural beings haunting the main characters, it doesn’t really offer anything new to the table, but in this case, it’s all about the execution, and for the most part, it works. I believe what made this film work for me was how Sandberg uses the film’s atmosphere and old-school tension to scare its audience instead of always relying on jump scares and gore. They do have jump scares, of course, but they’re not fake jump scares. The first half of the film had a proper build-up that respectfully relies on creepiness and its sense of mystery. The second half still retains that amount of tension while also providing plenty of necessary (and sometimes disturbing) scares. The cast offered some good performances to their characters, including Sigman and Bateman as Sister Charlotte and Janice, respectively. While nothing special, it’s nice to see them act as survivors and not just horror victims. Lulu Wilson also makes another appearance in the realm of supernatural films as Linda, one of the orphan girls. It’s funny that she had to deal with the supernatural three times during her acting career. She might need a long break after this. Other than its usual supernatural cliches, the only flaw I could find in this film was that the pacing can be a bit slow during a couple of scenes, but it didn’t bring the film down that much.
Overall, “Annabelle: Creation” marks a solid addition to the Conjuring cinematic universe as it relied on build-up, creepiness, and tension to scare its audience. Thanks to its cast, Sandberg’s solid direction, and its respectable use of tension and jump scares, this latest horror prequel offers enough evidence to prove that creepy dolls are just as worse as creepy clowns. It definitely creeped me out a little bit, but I managed to have fun watching it in the process. With two successful horror films under his belt, I believe that David F. Sandberg is going to have a bright future ahead of him in terms of horror filmmaking. If you like horror films that don’t always rely on cheap jump scares or if you like the Conjuring films, this movie is worth checking out. If you don’t like the horror genre, then don’t bother with it because it will definitely freak you out a lot.