Movie Review: "Annabelle: Creation"
When Samuel (Anthony LaPaglia) and Esther Mullins (Miranda Otto) lose their daughter, Annabelle (Samara Lee), to a tragic car accident, they fall into a desperate depression. In that depression, they pray to be able to communicate with their daughter again. When they start making contact with Annabelle, they give her spirit permission to enter Annabelle's favorite doll. They soon realize that the entity they allowed into their home is not their daughter but (instead) is an extremely evil entity, so they lock the doll away in a closet within the house.
Twelve years later, the Mullins decide to take in a group of orphans with the hopes that it will serve as their penance. The Mullins soon realize that bringing a group of curious young girls into the house is all that the evil entity needed to break free from its closet-prison and unleash its malicious nature upon the Mullins (and their home) once again.
The Pros & Cons
The Scares (+8pts)
The Mullins (-3pts)
The Actors (+6pts)
Child Possession (-2pts)
Dumb Decisions (-5pts)
Pro: The Scares (+8pts)
One thing, that many horror films in recent history have failed to do, is give real scares. So many films give jump "scare" after jump "scare" which really just startles the audience members. A good horror film enters a horrific moment and lets the audience sit with their own fear, imagination, and anticipation. In this respect, Annabelle: Creation is a good horror film. In this movie, the audience is treated with so many great moments where the film lets them sit in the fear of what will, or could, happen. I do not want to give out too many examples because I do not want to spoil them. The trailer shows a scene where Janice is sitting in the mechanical staircase chair while being hunted by the evil entity. This is a great scene that is s fantastic example of getting a real scare as opposed to a jump scare. I do not think fans of true horror will be disappointed in this film because Annabelle: Creation gets the horror right.
Con: The Mullins (-3pts)
At the beginning of this movie, audiences will sympathize with these characters. As the movie goes on, audiences will they behave selfishly and stupidly. They lose their daughter, Annabelle (Samara Lee), at the start of the film. In their depression, they pray to be able to speak to their daughter. Fast forward a bit, now their is a demonic entity possessing a doll and locked away in s closet within the house where the entity has limited power.
That's the part audiences will sympathize with. Then the Mullins begin acting like idiots. Twelve years after the death of Annabelle, the Mullins decide to take in a group of orphans. In other words, the Mullins bring a group of young girls to live with them in the house. Oh and one of the rooms, used as a bedroom for the girls, shares a wall with the closet where the possessed doll is trapped. Really? You expect young children not to explore? The Mullins are the shocked at how Annabelle (the doll) could have been discovered and released. The entire plot really hinges on the wreckless stupidity of the Mullins.
Pro: The Actors (+6pts)
The actors in this movie were a huge part of why the horror works so well. When you have horror that lets you sit in the fear, you need actors that can pull off the intense moments. The actors in this movie (particularly the two main girls) do just that. Lulu Wilson and Talitha Bateman play the two young girls snd they were impressive. They maintained the audiences interest for long periods of intense horror. As good as the film was, if these two girls did not pull off these roles, the movie would not have worked. The rest of the cast did a fine job as well but Lulu Wilson and Talitha Bateman played the centerpiece of the film.
Con: Child Possession (-2pts)
While I enjoyed this movie, and thought it was a decent horror film, I think that the concept of Child Possession is getting extremely over-played in film. I get it. The concept is creepy but, when nearly every high-profile horror film uses it, the concept ends up feeling tired. The Child Possession element of this film felt generic and unoriginal. Luckily Talitha Bateman gave a great performance and was able to keep my interest. Hey, horror filmmakers. We have seen child possession a lot lately and there are many other creepy concepts out there. Maybe try one of them next time?
Pro: Annabelle (+2pts)
One thing that many people may be uncertain about, before seeing this movie, is Annabelle's origin. While some people may try to forget it, Annabelle already got an origin story with 2014's Annabelle. The film tells the story of a murderous, young adult woman who was killed but ended up possessing a doll. This movie has a drastically different origin. I will not give any spoilers here but everyone, who saw Annabelle, thought they got the full origin. Turns out there is much more to the story. This movie was the studios attempt at making a decent movie about a great horror property. I thought this movie did a good job of connecting this story with the film from 2014 while giving Annabelle a proper horror film.
Con: Dumb Decisions (-5pts)
My major issue with this movie is that the entire plot relies on the characters making terrible decisions over and over again. You will be watching this film and wondering why on earth these characters are making these decisions. If it were just the kids making these decisions, I would be annoyed but would understand the writing. When the adults are making terrible decisions left and right, that is when the writing starts to feel lazy. A great horror film comes from the audience being able to put themselces in the character's shoes. If a film's plot hinges on the stupidity of its characters, it can take the audience out of the character's shoes leave them less scared.
Grade: B- (81pts)
Annabelle: Creation is a decent horror movie with some great young actors and some great scares. The scares in this movie are intense, and they allow the audience the ability to sit in the fear and anticipation. The two young actresses (Lulu Wilson and Talitha Bateman) give great performances that preserve the audience's interest during the intense moments. This movie also does a great job of connecting this film with the 2014's Annabelle.
This movie's issues stem from its plot relying too heavily on all of the character's poor decision making. It seems every bad thing that happens is a direct result of someone doing something incredibly dumb. The movie also uses child possession as a major plot point. Child possession is creepy but is also an incredibly overused concept so it loses effect in this film. The movie has some problems but it is a decent horror film with some great scares and horrific scenes. Horror fans will enjoy this movie and fans of the Conjuring "universe" will also enjoy this movie. If you fall into either category, then I can definitely recommend seeing this movie.