Directed by: David F. Sandberg | Produced by: Peter Safran, James Wan | Written by: Gary Dauberman | Starring: Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Lulu Wilson, Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto | Music by: Benjamin Wallfisch | Cinematography: Maxime Alexander | Edited by: Michel Aller | Production Company: New Line Cinema, Atomic Monster Production, The Safran Company | Distributed by Warner Bros Pictures
This is my first, and hopefully not the last, time I reviewed a horror movie. Usually when being “invited” to watch horror, I end up covering my face the whole movie, or just falling asleep. Since I watch Annabelle: Creation twice, I cannot pull myself out of getting it all and giving my late review.
Annabelle: Creation is a prequel of the previous movie Annabelle (2014). Annabelle (2014) itself is the prequel of The Conjuring (2013) and The Conjuring 2 (2016). So basically Annabelle: Creation is a prequel to a prequel. Based on the same creepy and haunted doll Annabelle, this movie tells us about the first time the doll is created, and how it becomes haunted, and how it connected to Annabelle (2014) and finally to The Conjuring (2013).
It all begins with The Mullins family: Samuel (Anthony LaPaglia), Esther (The Lord of the Rings’ veteran Miranda Otto) and their 7 years-old daughter Annabelle or Bee (Samara Lee). Sam Mullins is a dollmaker and his limited edition doll is named after his daughter, Annabelle. The unfortunate fate comes to the Mullins when they lost the young Annabelle on an accident after their Sunday prayer on church. Sad and devastated, the Mullins try to reconnect with the late Annabelle and give permits to her spirit to enter the doll. Later, they find out that the spirit enters the doll wasn’t their daughter’s, but a far more evil spirit.
12 years after Annabelle’s death, the Mullins give permits to girl orphanage to use their house as a safe house, with the exception of Annabelle’s room and their own bedroom. One of the girls, the crippled Janice (Talitha Bateman), is summoned to Annabelle’s room and somehow open the holy seal to Annabelle doll, which is haunted. The horrors then come real, when the evil spirit kills the Mullins, and the girls are now trying to save their own life.
When knowing that Lights Out (2016)’s director David F. Sandberg is going to direct this movie, I know that Annabelle: Creation is going to set on darker tone than its predecessor. The scenes are worked out eventually, gives us the horrible feeling of what awaits us in the darkness. Annabelle: Creation is also differ from any other movie in The Conjuring universe in term of surprises. If The Conjuring slowly built the intensity and and wait patiently to show us the demon, Annabelle: Creation is quite predictable while gives us the surprises without any warning. The glimpse of Valak is shown on one scene, reflects on how this movie fits into The Conjuring film series.
The casts are somehow fit. While some of them are children, they seem to be used to horror movie. Samara Lee looks both terrifyingly cute as ghost of Annabelle “Bee” Mullins. Extraordinary performances came from Talitha Bateman as Janice and Lulu Wilson as Linda who plays their parts perfectly, especially Bateman who has turned from a crippled into a horrifying possessed girl. Compared to them, the adult casts are just so-so.