Published on September 19th, 2017 | by Brando Quiring0
Annabelle: Creation is a prequel to a spinoff or whatever, and yet, it manages to rise above its roots to actually be something worth watching.
Let me start by saying that I hate prequels. I think they are lazy and the vast majority of them end up hurting the movies they are meant to explain (I’m looking at YOU, Alien: Covenant). Going into Annabelle: Creation, I was expecting the cinematic equivalent of polio to ooze off the screen, kick me in the leg, throw sand in my face, and steal my girlfriend. Pleasantly, the anticipated dumpster fire did not come to pass and I was instead treated to what turned out to be a really cool horror movie.
Annabelle: Creation is a prequel to 2014’s Annabelle, which was the origin story to a bit character (sort of) in 2013’s The Conjuring, that focuses on a demonically possessed doll who terrorizes a bunch of orphans in a remote farmhouse in the mid-1950s. The couple who live in said farmhouse are ‘kidowers’ (a term I just invented for parents who lose a child) who have decided to open their home to some kids. The afore mentioned orphans roll in with their nun and the stage is set for some good old-fashioned demonic mayhem.
Much of the story centres around the youngest of the orphans, Janice, who becomes the main focus of an evil spirit that lives in a creepy doll, created by the man who owns the house in his career as a doll maker. One of the benefits to this being the second film in the Annabelle series, is that we have all seen the demon already, so this flick goes right into the good stuff. Kid’s bones crack and warp, and the demon is all over the place, terrifying everything in sight and it is fabulous. The scares are all well thought out and are played super tight and more importantly than that, there are only a couple of cheap jump scares.
The plot itself is a little thin. It serves mainly to get us from one demonic possession sequence to the next, then get us to the big payoff where we finally learn the origin of the demon. I will not spoil here other than to say it didn’t exactly surprise me at all, but it was satisfactory and it made sense so it sort of checked all of the boxes it needed to.
On a technical level everything was on point. The performances were spot on and the sound design and especially the lighting really added to the atmosphere with a lot of heavy, oppressive darkness. That kind of inky blackness that almost looks like its moving, is used a lot and makes the sets look much larger than they actually are. The scenes in the dead daughter’s bedroom are particularly effective as they use all the tried and true ghost tropes to get the spine tingling, and while nothing here is groundbreaking, the quality is very high and made for some good watching.
I still super hate prequels but I certainly hate this one a lot less than I thought I would. Annabelle: Creation doesn’t really break any new ground, but it does enough to take what has become a lazy trend in the horror genre and cranks out something that is more than worth the time and attention.