Annabelle:Creation is the follow up to the 2014 horror, Annabelle. A spin off from The Conjuring franchise. Although Annabelle was a hit at the box office, it wasn’t well received by both fans and critics. But as we saw last year with the Origins of Evil, an underwhelming first entry can be saved by an impressive second outing! Can Creation do the same for Annabelle?
Creation is directed by David F. Sandberg, who also directed Lights Out, which was a fascinatingly created horror using a unique concept and managed to not fall into most of the usual horror troupes! So expectation was raised for Creation, and it’s nice to say, that Creation makes up for the lackluster original.
The sequel tells the story a group on orphans, who are moving in with the Mullins family, who have kindly offered to take in the children following their eviction. The Mullins however are still dealing with the loss of their young daughter, following a car accident, a daughter that they are unwilling to let go off. It’s not long before the orphans realize not everything is as it seems in their lonely, isolated home out in the middle of nowhere….
Janice (Talitha Bateman) & Linda (Lulu Wilson) are two of the orphans, who the film follows throughout the movie. It’s this friendship that they have that makes the movie feel a lot more immersive than random no name characters who are simply there to be killed off! Janice, who suffers from polio, causing her to require crutches for walking, was a different way to add tension. The moment it’s revealed she has a condition, the entire theater reacted all the same, she will be the poor girl who gets the unwanted attention of our demon! Lulu Wilson also appeared in Origins of Evil, and is already making a promising career in the horror genre. Both young actors do a strong job with their roles.
The film is very much a game of two halves. The first half is very much at a serene pace, all about the fear the girls are going through, and the presence of the Mullins, especially Mrs Mullins (Miranda Otto), who happens to never leave her room, and is never seen by the girls, or the nun looking after the girls. Whereas Mr Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) appears to be a stoic person, who displays very little affection towards the children. The movie does a great job in building up the suspense, and there are always something happening in the background! So pay attention! Personally I preferred this part of the film more, as the Annabelle doll really did a wonderful job of being disturbing, irregardless of the fact it never actually moves!! The scenes involving the tea party and Linda firing her toy gun into the darkness, are very unnerving!
The entire tone of the film changes as soon as the reveal of the demon is made, and it starts going on a rampage! The demon looks pretty generic, and it does talk, which really does take away some of it’s mystique. But, as a horror movie, the intense panic of the 2nd half is required, and it does a fairly good job. It does get surprisingly graphic at times, considering the subtle tones of the earlier scenes, it does feel slightly out of left field! But the characters are rather well made, and you do root for their survival, rather than hoping they just die for their stupid decisions.
The film still suffers some inconsistent details. Considering the main group of orphans are all young girls, they really don’t act like a young child facing a demonic presence, yes there are some screams and terror at points, but some other parts, they act rather calm, considering the situation they are in! There are also scenes where things feel like you have to just accept the moment. Considering the home is filled with various other children, the Mullins, and Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman), the home does feel very empty at times suiting the moment! There are scenes were both Linda & Janice would most likely call for help, rather than just going it alone for the sake of the drama!
Overall, the positives do outweigh the negatives. Creation gives us a solid horror movie, with intriguing characters, and some genuinely creepy moments! It also give us a look into fan favorite Valak, who will have it’s own spin off soon! If you enjoyed Origins of Evil, you will definitely want to give this a watch too!