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Blu-ray Review: Annabelle: Creation

October 24, 2017

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

A prequel to the 2015 film Annabelle, which was itself both a spinoff and prequel to The Conjuring, Annabelle: Creation offers a well made tale of demonic possession, involving the creepy doll that acts as a conduit for evil spirits.

The prologue introduces us to Samuel (Anthony LaPaglia) and Esther Mullins (Miranda Otto), a dollmaker and his wife who live in an old farmhouse with their young daughter Bee (Samara Lee).  But their lives are turned upside down when Bee is killed in a tragic accident.

Twelve years later, the couple decides to open their home to nun Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) and a group of six girls from a shutdown orphanage, with the only rule being that they aren’t allowed to go in Bee’s old room, which is kept locked.  But when the door to Bee’s room mysteriously opens, things take a dark turn and the girls start being terrorized by an evil supernatural entity that has taken over the dollmaker’s creation Annabelle, with the dark spirit preying most upon the youngest girls Janice (Talitha Eliana Bateman) and Linda (Lulu Wilson).

While the first Annabelle film was a decent and pretty entertaining no frills horror movie that I liked well enough, Annabelle: Creation is a rare horror sequel that actually exceeds upon its predecessor.  It’s still a notch below both The Conjuring and its sequel, which set the bar really high for modern studio horror films, but it gives fans of the series exactly what they want.  Directed by David F. Sandberg, who is new to the franchise and shows a sure touch handling the material, this is a well crafted and affectively creepy film that offers a solid mix of atmospheric tension and jump scares.

Carried by a good cast, the film does an efficient job of setting up both its story and setting in the first half, with details that we know are going to come into play later on.  For example, Janice has had polio and can only walk with a leg brace and crutch, and there is a chairlift in the house to help her up and down the stairs, which are both elements that are used affectively to up the suspense when things get tense.  The film doubles down in the second half by delivering plenty of scares and many nicely staged moments of creepiness, turning the old residence into a veritable haunted house.

The twist ending of Annabelle: Creation finds a pretty clever way to tie into the first film, in a slightly different way than expected, keeping the franchise going smoothly along in a way that proves there are more stories left to tell and new ways for the films to connect.  The end result is a rock solid fright fest that fits nicely into the expanding Conjuring universe, providing a fun and worthwhile experience for fans of the series, and doubling as a perfect viewing choice for Halloween.

The Blu-ray also includes a commentary track with David F. Sandberg, a selection of deleted scenes which are edited together in a single block with built in commentary, as well as the two featurettes The Conjuring Universe, which offers a look at how all these films tie together, and Directing Annabelle, a roughly forty minute piece that shows a bounty of behind the scenes footage.  The disc also has the two creepy short films Attic Panic and Coffer, which are both directed by David F. Sandberg and feature elements that were later worked into Annabelle: Creation.

Annabelle: Creation is a Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release.  It’s 109 minutes and rated 14A.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 26, 2017 7:12 am

    A prequel to a prequel? Nice!


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