Annabelle: Creation (2017)
Written By: JASR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director(s): David F. Sandberg
Writers: Gary Dauberman
Producer(s): Richard Brener, Walter Hamada, et. al.
Date Released: August 11, 2017
Anthony LaPaglia as Samuel Mullins
Miranda Otto as Esther Mullins
Samara Lee as Bee
Talitha Eliana Bateman as Janice
Lulu Wilson as Linda
Stephanie Sigman as Sister Charlotte
Joseph Bishara as Annabelle Demon
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Twelve years after losing their little girl from an accident, married couple Samuel and Esther Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto) decided to welcome Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) and several girls from a closed orphanage to their home. Janice (Talitha Eliana Bateman), a young orphan with polio, breaks the rules by sneaking in the bedroom of the Mullins’s late daughter, Annabelle (Samara Lee). She discovers an unsettling porcelain doll in the closet, releasing a powerful demon that terrorizes occupants of the home.
The majority of the movie is not gory as it mainly focuses on hair-raising scenes like demonic faces and creepy doll glances. However, expect some blood by the latter part of the movie when “Annabelle,” or the demon, goes out of control and starts physically hurting people in the house. One notably gory scene was when she dislocated Mr. Mullins’s fingers one by one and eventually killed him. The sound of the bones cracking helped in making the audience cringe. Be on the lookout as well for the scene where Mrs. Mullins was hanging on the wall – all bloody and cut in half. That scene was hair-raising!
The Grave Review
Having watched its predecessor, Annabelle (2014), I couldn’t help but wonder how they will be able to justify the origin of the doll. The 2014 movie already showed how the Annabelle doll was cursed – do we really need another movie all about its history?
Turns out, we do.
Those who have seen the first Annabelle movie would probably wonder if this movie will be able to align with the story, but it surprisingly did. Annabelle: Creation (2017) was able to justify the first part of the 2014 movie without seeming too forced. The first movie was tied in pretty well.
The 2017 movie focuses on Janice (Talitha Eliana Bateman), an orphan with polio, who disobeys Mr. Mullins’s rule of keeping Annabelle’s, or Bee’s, bedroom locked. Just like many horror movies, this character continues to explore a room that is already palpably scary. Her deliberate rule breaking led to the release of a demon in the form of a porcelain doll.
One notable thing about the Annabelle doll is that it is not like other horror movie dolls that walk or talk. In other words, she’s not like those dolls that seem too unrealistic. Annabelle would discreetly transfer from room to room without anyone witnessing her movements. She would subtly glance at you when you’re not looking, and would make subtle appearances in the same area where you’re hiding during hide-and-seek. It is worth noticing how the makers of the film made sure that Annabelle’s actions are something we would imagine our own dolls doing. After all, it’s quite unlikely that our dolls will actually talk to us, isn’t it?
The director of the film knows that fear manifests from the simplest things – footsteps building up, light bulbs flickering, and doors opening. However, he smoothly escalated the mundane horror scenes to nerve-racking struggles with the demon – making the audience witness how the antagonist could intensify its actions from simple to extreme.
Annabelle: Creation (2017) makes the viewers feel that they are going through the journey with Janice. The chase scenes were intense, making viewers feel that they were actually there as well. Janice’s fate may leave the audience uneasy – showing how they actually resonated with her at the start.
While the actors remarkably portrayed their respective characters, it would have been better to see some origins about the orphans. Perhaps some scenes that show their experiences from the previous orphanage could give us a better understanding of who each girl is. Since the movie introduced us to six young girls, it is quite questionable how not all of them had something to contribute to the plot. Some of the characters were not utilized that much, which seems to be a waste. Their characters could have been developed a little more. Also, incorporating Bee a little more in creepy scenes would have probably made the movie a bit more chilling.
Overall, Annabelle: Creation (2017) is a prequel of a prequel that no one asked for – but merited its existence with an impressive story line that connects well with its predecessor. Although some characters were not properly utilized, this film is worth one’s time.
Because of these reasons, Grave Reviews gives Annabelle: Creation (2017) three graves out of five graves.
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