The Joxer Film Review of Annabelle: Creation
Directed by David F Sandberg and starring Anthony LaPaglia,Stephanie Sigman,Talitha Bateman and Miranda Otto,Annabelle: Creation is a prequel to the 2014 film Annabelle and is part of The Conjuring “universe”.
This supernatural horror movie starts a quarter of a century before the first Annabelle film but gradually makes it’s way through the years to end up at the beginning of the Annabelle movie just before the end credits role.
The main part of the film though is set in 1943 and 1955,during which time a mid west,middle of nowhere, American reclusive toy-maker Mr Mullins [LaPaglia] and his wife take in a group of orphaned girls,along with a nun,as part of “God’s work”.It’s after that the children and the young nun realise that not everything is as it seems in their new idealic world..
As sequels,prequels and whoknowswhatquels go,this isn’t a bad addition to the Conjuring franchise.It’s better than the first Annabelle film as the tension slowly mounts in the film as the children eventually grasp that all is not right in this house.Talitha Bateman as polio sufferer Janice carries the film along as she becomes embroiled in the horror that lurks in the house.The Little House on the Prairie this film is not!
There are plenty of other references to other horror franchises,subtle and obvious,giving horror fans a nudge and a wink to keep them amused as the generic and obvious plot slowly weaves it’s way to the end.The Gremlins chair,Jeepers Creepers,Rings,Candyman,Exorcist and Poltergeist all get a wink to in this film,as well as other obscure horror films and The Beguiled for some reason..
The film struggles at times to keep the tension going though.This is mainly due to the lack of suspenseful music in the film.The music only appears when something is about to happen and gets rather predictable very quickly.There’s nothing to keep you on edge and at times the “quiet,quiet,boo!” scenario gets quite redundant as the suspense drops without the eerie music that makes supernatural horror films what they are..
Saying that,when the scares do come they do scare well and will make you jump and grab your cinema seats as the horror of the disturbingly terrifying doll slowly takes hold of the orphaned girls.The acting is fine,especially from Mr and Mrs Mullins,who’s angst and pain shows through..
The film does contain quite a few intentional laughs in at as well,leading you into a false sense of security.Gremlin fans will love the stair chair but as all films of this genre suffer with,it’s the utter stupidity of the characters that will make you laugh more,when will people realise that the basement is not the best place to hide from demonic spirits?
It’s not a bad film at all,better than the first Annabelle film but it could have been so much better with a decent incidental music score.It really does hinder the film and could have turned a middle of the road,methodical film into something more..
Worth a viewing on a wet day or if creepy looking dolls are your thing..
Joxer Film Rating
A bell-ringing bonkers