Aug-23-2017

Reel Snippet – Annabelle: Creation

Summary: In 1955, six orphans and their nun supervisor Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) find new lodgings with Mr. and Mrs. Mullens (Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto) to learn and live until they get adopted. All is not as it seems as Janice (Talitha Bateman), an orphan crippled by polio, finds a mysterious room that contains the cursed doll Annabelle, which in present day occupies a space in Ed and Lorraine Warren’s gallery of cursed objects (watch The Conjuring for the full story). After that, everything goes to hell as the children are tormented, flung about, and hounded by an unseen presence. It only gets worse as the days go on and the children learn the truth about this legendary haunted object.

Review: Annabelle: Creation is uncomfortably scary and certainly not a fun movie, but it was definitely terrifying. While it’s true that a lot of the horror comes from jump scares, they’re still very effective. The youngsters’ innocence adds a another source of fright because the poor kids just stumbled into an awful situation. You don’t want them to get killed, possessed, or terrorized by this entity, you want them to be safe. Even the nun, a fully grown adult, doesn’t deserve to be pulled into this malarkey.

Granted, it would have been more effective if the characters were interesting. Instead they were mostly flat — I couldn’t tell you what a single one of their names were right after the movie and I’m pretty sure two of the girls were just there to be there. Even Janice’s best friend, Linda (Lulu Wilson), the second-most-important girl in the story, didn’t have much beyond being sweet and having great scared eyes. Then again, the actor also played the youngest girl in Ouija: Origin of Evil, so we can’t say she’s not perfecting her craft.

Still, there’s enough humanity to make you care, even if you don’t remember all of the characters. There are a few good jokes that stuck with me, though not enough to counterbalance all the pants-wetting scares. I give this a thumbs-up, but if you’re not a horror fan, this won’t change your mind. Still, it’s way better than the first Annabelle — which I’m seeing more and more of the flaws as I look back — and it’s a nice entry next to The Conjuring for a Halloween movie marathon.

Fun Tidbit: In a scene I won’t spoil near the end, a creepy girl is given a Raggedy Ann doll. This is clever because Annabelle was based on a Raggedy Ann doll that the real life Ed and Lorraine Warren claim is demonically possessed and keep in their occult museum, blessing it regularly.


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