nnabelle Creation is a marked improvement over its 2014 predecessor Annabelle, although neither film can top the movie that spawned them James Wans’ The Conjuring, Annabelle Creation is the rare horror sequel that is better featuring more engaging protagonists and a far less problematic ending.
On paper Annabelle Creation shouldn’t work as well as it does given its typical genera clichés and derivative elements, thanks to the sincerity of its characters and director David F. Sandberg execution what could have been emotionally vacant and silly is instead genuine and spooky. Set in the 1950’s this prequel sequel chronicles the original incarnation of the doll and how evil first became drawn to it, years after a doll maker and his wife loose there little daughter Bee in a traffic accident they take in Sister Charlotte and a group of orphan girls. Quicker than you can say ‘don’t open that door to the room that you were told to never go into’, the girls unwillingly unleash the evil force that possesses Bees’ doll Annabelle.
From the outside the Mullins desert home holds the picture of dusty and domesticity, framed almost like a homestead than a classic western, it’s the houses interior that proves more foreboding, Sandberg makes good use of this real estate milking the houses various attributes for maximum effect in the movies more chilling sequence. Polio stricken Janices’ handicapped generates many such suspenseful moments as she struggles to escape the perilous situations, less effective are some of the CGI moments which aren’t as good as the movies more particle small scale scares.
None of these freight house tricks would ultimately matter if I wasn’t invested in the characters, the cast particularly the talented youngsters help elevate the material by bring life into the characters who are on paper thinly drawn. The evil entity itself could have been more strongly defined, yes a demon is a demon but one with some resemblance of motivation beyond being merely evil would have been better.
Annabelle Creation doesn’t explore any real new ground either as a horror movie or as an entity expanding The Conjuring universe, but it does manage to yield enough of the old school spookiness that fans of this franchise can expect and enjoy, while also providing a more emotionally satisfying tale than its 2014 predecessor.