Annabelle: Creation review by Bobby Blakey
When James Wan unleashed The Conjuring on audiences back in 2013 fans hoped for a sequel, but never expected it to spawn and entire new horror universe. Now after one sequel with 2016s The Conjuring 2 and the first spin off film Annabelle hitting theaters in 2014 it became clear that there was something more happening here. Now the next chapter in the now officially labeled The Conjuring Universe is here with Annabelle: Creation, but could this new chapter offer up something more for the franchise or should they have left the doll behind the protective blessed glass?
Annabelle: Creation follows a dollmaker and his wife who welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home several years after the tragic death of their daughter, but there is something else here when they all become the target of the dollmaker's possessed creation, Annabelle. This latest entry stars Anthony LaPaglia, Stephanie Stegman, Miranda Otto, Lulu Wilson and Talitha Bateman who all do a great job here. For those not in the know this is a prequel that tells the official origins of the Annabelle doll, but does a great job making sure you know it is connected to a bigger universe. It has a pretty slow initial pace as the film moves that had me worried at first, but then realized it was all by design to give it that creepy old school horror feel. Director of Lights Out, David F. Sandberg does a great job at building the tension here despite it often times being predictable. This aspect doesn’t hurt the film in any way as it is kind of the norm in the horror genre, especially if you are someone that watches a lot of them.
As mentioned above, the cast all do a great job with each of them brining just enough depth to make their characters work without a forced back story for every single person forced down our throats. Even the set-up is pretty slim and works great to get it moving along. Sandberg has delivered something that not only fits into the world of The Conjuring to perfection, but far surpasses the subpar Annabelle that for all its flaws I still enjoy. I am sure for those not jaded by the scares of the genre will no doubt find themselves jumping a few times. The thing that made this work for me the most, but might be that thing that puts some off is that those tormented throughout the film are small children. This added a creepier feel to the direction of it all and a fresh take since Hollywood likes to typically steer clear of this kind of thing. The film is not overly gory in anyway despite a few bloody scenes, but it does offer up a story and some creepiness worth checking out.
While you can technically see this film by itself it is highly recommended that you check out the other films in the universe prior to seeing it as they do some interesting things to make it all come full circle. I am interested to see where they are going with this newly formed horror universe with The Nun, The Conjuring 3 and The Crooked Man all coming down the line, but until then Annabelle: Creation does a good job at filling the void. Be sure to stay through the credits for a fun little extra bit.
This release not only includes the film but also bonus content including deleted scenes, commentary, and featurettes hat take you further inside the horror of Annabelle. See how it all began when Annabelle: Creation available now on Digital HD, Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.