Twelve years after the tragic death of their little girl, a doll-maker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, where they become the target of the doll-maker's possessed creation, Annabelle.
A priest with a haunted past and a novice on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate the death of a young nun in Romania and confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.
A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.
The manufacturer of dolls Samuel Mullins is a happy family man with his wife Esther and their daughter Bee, who dies after being hit by a car. Twelve years later, Samuel and his wife, Esther, welcomes a nun and six orphaned girls to his home. He tells that only a locked room (that belonged to Bee) and Esther's room would be off limits for the girls. The crippled girl, Janice, manages to sneak in Bee's room during the night and finds a doll locked inside a closet. After she plays in the room, she is haunted by an evil force. What has Janice unleashed in Bee's room?Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
David F. Sandberg was initially reluctant to direct the film, due to his general dislike of horror sequels. He changed his mind when it was clear he would be making a standalone prequel, with no major obligations to connect it to the larger franchise beyond a few brief references to the other films. See more »
When the girls try to escape in the pickup toward the end of the film, they are shown attempting to start it with a steering column-mounted ignition switch. That type of switch wasn't common until the late 1960's. The 1940's era truck in the film would have the ignition mounted on the dash. See more »
If you haven't watched the first Annabelle movie and you want to see Annabelle: Creation, don't worry. You can skip the first one, and you definitely should skip it. The movie is a train wreck.
Since this movie is a prequel to the previously released Annabelle movie, the end of Creation (fake spoiler alert because this isn't actually a spoiler because it's super obvious) leads into the other Annabelle movie. So, if when you watch the end of Creation you wonder, "why did the story end that way?" Just Google the opening of the other Annabelle movie and find out. Or don't bother. You'll be fine either way.
Okay, now that that's out of the way, we can begin.
Director David F. Sandberg's greatest skill is his ability to craft compelling stories that lure in audiences, put them on the edge of their seats then scare the crap out of them, all in the span of about two minutes (for proof, check out his YouTube videos).
He doesn't waste anyone's time. He knows the viewers are here for a quality scare, so he doesn't bother with empty moments of unnecessary setup. He leaps right into the scares. I commend him for that approach. Seeing him execute this style numerous times is what makes Annabelle: Creation so disappointing.
The first 20 minutes reveal the difference between this all the other of Sandberg's films—nothing really happens. Sure, there is a crucial plot point and the stage is set. But that all could have taken place in a few measly minutes. I don't know why this movie dragged out multiple stretches, especially the beginning. I was legitimately bored at times; that's a bad sign when watching a horror movie.
In addition to the movie containing too many extended empty stretches, it was also far too predictable. At times, I called sequences shot-by-shot. I'm decent at predicting plots in movies, but I'm no genius clairvoyant, so if I can tell what is about to happen, that's another bad sign.
To be fair, certain moments are frightening. Sandberg adroitly utilizes frames with dim focuses and pitch-black backdrops that cause viewers' eyes to dart between the trembling character and what may be lurking in the shadows. He mixes in a thoughtful blend of jump scares and moments of dread that terrify because of the anticipation of what is about to happen.
If you're not sure what the difference is between the two types of scares, imagine this: you're washing your hands at work and a spider suddenly crawls quickly out of the faucet, causing you to gasp (that's a jump scare). After you frantically splash water toward the spider trying to wash it down the drain, you see that you have spilled water all over your pants, so now you realize that you have to walk down the hallway past your co-workers with what looks like a giant pee stain (that's the anticipation scare. And yes, this one is worse).
I hope Sandberg continues to take a moment in each of his feature films to pay homage to his short films. I won't spoil the specifics on the one he chose for this movie, just know that long-time fans of Sandberg will enjoy the nostalgia.
The bottom line is that this movie will scare you. You will likely also feel bored at times and frustrated with the decision-making of the characters. But hey, that's standard for horror movies. So, if you can put up those drawbacks for an adequate number of quality scares, Annabelle: Creation may suffice just fine for a night-time fright.
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