What Is Good
- Sound effects
What Is Bad
- Usual horror movie cliches
As the title suggests, Annabelle: Creation revolves around the now popular scary Doll, and its origins, in the backdrop of a haunted house. The film begins in the 1940s, with a doll maker Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia), planning to sell his dolls in the market.
Samuel and his wife Ester (Miranda Otto), share a lovely bond with their little daughter Annabelle, whom they fondly call "Belle".One fateful day, Belle dies in a tragic accident, and the family is shattered totally. 12 years later, we are shown an unhealthy Mrs.Mullins, and Mr.Mullins, who's yet to overcome the shock of losing his dearest child.
One day, the Mullins open their farmhouse for a group of 6 orphan girls and their caretaker, Sister Charlotte(Stephanie Sigman), with the one restriction for the kids - "Stay away from Belle's room".
As expected, one of the girls, Janice, a polio affected girl with a weak heart, playfully opens the locked doors of Annabelle's room, and slowly, she realizes that things aren't normal in the house. As she explores the room, she finds a strange doll in the wardrobe, that was made by Mullins. Though Janice tries to stay away from the doll, she soon gets to realize that the possessed doll is set to go on a murderous rampage. How Janice, along with the other girls uncovers the secrets in the haunted house of the Mullins, and what happens to the evil spirit possessing Annabelle, is what the spine chilling, crisply edited 100 minute flick is all about. Among all the artists, Talitha Bateman, as the polio stricken Janice shines, with her natural act and cold stares, delivers the necessary scares and enables the audience connect well with her fear. Giving perfect company to Talitha, is Lulu Wilson who plays her friend Linda, and together, the duo keep the audience engaged. Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto are completely underutilized, as they don't get much scope to emote nor play a crucial part in generating scares.
A horror flick is branded good, and establishes itself as a brand to reckon, not just with the fear/scares generated, but also with the emotional connection it makes with the audience, and David Sandberg seems to be a pro, as he aces the art of playing with the emotions while being extremely scary. With a franchise that goes forward and backward with sequels and prequels, one is bound to expect fresh sequences and nightmarish theater moments in every installment,but despite sticking to the age old techniques of usage of haunted houses, little girls possessed by ghosts( in fact, the whole concept of the orphan girls coming to the Mullins is very much reminiscent of Guillermo Del Toro's "The Orphanage") David Sandberg engages the audience with consummate ease.
As it was evident with his debut Lights Out, Sandberg has mastered the art of raising the anticipation, building the tension and complementing it with interesting scares, perfectly utilizing the atmosphere. Despite the plot as old as the hills, Sandberg's interesting making has not just made Annabelle:Creation a worthy watch, but will sure serve as a base for several spinoffs (Other than the Valak spinoff "The Nun") in the years to come, thanks to the subplots the director has cleverly infused in the screenplay.
All said, Annabelle:Creation is a perfect example of how to takeover a popular franchise, to deliver a successful standalone horror fest (Sandberg has deftly handled the flick that you won't be required to watch the previous installments!),that actually turns out to be the best of the franchise, with David Sandberg asserting the fact that the success of "Lights Out" was not a flash in the pan, and that he's here to stay and entertain with many more thrill rides.
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