Tony's Take

ANNABELLE: CREATION review

Here’s How it All Began

Over the last few years, horror franchises have undoubtedly become more intricate and inter-woven; thus is the case with “The Conjuring” Universe, based on the exploits of Ed and Lorraine Warren.  “Annabelle: Creation” further builds the (based on a true story) horror universe by showing us how the famous Annabelle doll was created.  A father works, building dolls all day in small town with his young daughter and wife.  One day, tragedy strikes; changing the family forever.  12 years later, a nun and her orphans are graciously allowed to move-in with the couple.  Soon after moving-in, the younger girls start to venture around the house, discovering their daughter’s room and, with it, Annabelle.  Soon after, it becomes clear that this doll isn’t just the apparition of the Mullins’ daughter, but a different spirit entirely, a dark, malevolent spirit.

Stephanie Sigman plays Sister Charlotte, the primary caregiver for the girls.  Miranda Otto plays Esther Mullins, the mother who becomes forever changed after the passing of her daughter.  Anthony LaPaglia plays Samuel Mullins, the father of Bee who graciously takes care of his bedridden wife.  Samara Lee plays The Mullins’ deceased daughter, Bee Mullins.  Lulu Wilson and Talitha Bateman play the two primary-focus orphans, Linda and Janice.  Philippa Coulthard, Grace Fulton, Lou Lou Safran, and Tayler Buck play the rest of the orphan girls: Nancy, Carol, Tierney, and Kate.  Mark Bramhall plays Father Massey.  Brian Howe and Kerry O’Malley reprise their roles as Pete and Sharon Higgins.  Joseph Bishara, a composer for the majority of the films in the franchise (apart from “Annabelle: Creation”), plays the demon.

After the underwhelming and disappointment that was “Annabelle”, “Annabelle: Creation” is original, intriguing, and genuinely scary!  When I first heard there was going to be a sequel (well, prequel) to “Annabelle”, I couldn’t believe it.  As much as I loved “The Conjuring”, “Annabelle” was a gigantic disappointment; lacking the scares and the authenticity that made “The Conjuring” such a breath of fresh air in the genre.  However, “Annabelle: Creation” more than makes-up for the misfire!  Scares and jumps are placed throughout the film, some are forced and some natural, but they all make sense in the story and none of them seem out-of-place.  And while we have to deal with “Annabelle” as canon, this film ties the two together nicely in a clever, special way (make sure you’re paying attention!).  The film uses a lot of “haunted” props throughout, including some very original and frankly-terrifying ones.  Walking out of the pitch black theater was a little more eerie than usual because of it.  James Wan has truly crafted something special and, unlike with Marvel or DC, the endgame is unbeknownst to us; which makes it all that much more terrifying and intriguing!    I truly hope everyone gives “Annabelle: Creation” a fair chance this weekend and not just shrug-it-off due to the first film.  It’s a smart, intriguing horror film that further explores and widens the “The Conjuring” Universe while providing plenty of scares and tension.  I can’t wait to see where James Wan takes us next!

BE SURE TO STAY UNTIL AFTER THE CREDITS!

“Annabelle: Creation” follows the origins of the evil Annabelle doll and how it came to be.  The film features plenty of imaginative scares, an interesting story, and a fun cast of characters.  If you are looking for scares this weekend, go see “Annabelle: Creation”!!

 4/5 

ANNABELLE: CREATION is rated R for horror violence and terror, in theaters AUGUST 11TH!

 

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