I missed this one at the cinemas because as usual any places local to me had it showing at silly times during the week, sometimes it’s as if they want horror movies to fail in the cinemas. I always like a creepy demon doll story and this one answered the question I wanted to know after watching Annabelle, where did this bloody doll come from?
Director – David F. Sandberg
Writer – Gary Dauberman
Stars – Anthony LaPaglia, Mirands Otto, Talitha Bateman, Samara Lee and Stephanie Sigman.
Budget – $15 million estimated
Run Time – 109 minutes
Tagline – The Next Chapter In The Conjuring Universe
Trivia – 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.
Trivia – The farm house was also used as Dolores’s home in Westworld (2016).
The Conjuring “universe” is shaping up really damn nicely in Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga they have cast the perfect people to take the Conjuring films on from strength to strength. With so many cases surrounding the Warrens there’s always something else to make a film from, the subtle and not so subtle hints they include in The Conjuring have led to the Annabelle films and also The Demon Nun film which is out later this year.
This film focuses on the creation of Annabelle hence the title Annabelle Creation although I’m sure you kind of guessed that! The film follows a bunch of orphans who along with a Nun are invited to live in a somewhat isolated farm house until they are adopted. The farm is owned by a couple who lost their daughter a few years before the husband is a doll maker and the wife is mysterious, dwelling in a room the kids are banned from entering.
Janice is one of the young girls at the home, she and the others are told to stay away from a particular room in the house that is supposedly always locked up. Despite Janice being wheelchair bound she can get around on crutches and something draws her to the locked room. She creepily stumbles on a key and enters the room, it’s here that Annabelle is revealed to us. Now Annabelle isn’t like Chucky, “she’s” not a doll that’s gonna make a witty comment then slice your throat. She’s just fucking creepy and she’s possessed which means bad and extremely creepy things happen when she’s free.
At first all the girls enjoy being in the big farm house but whether they want to admit it or not they all begin experiencing things. This is where the movie excels, call it desensitisation through watching so many horrors as a kid but I don’t get scared any more. I wouldn’t say Annabelle scared me but it is a creepy film and I’d love to watch it with someone who is easily frightened, I think they’d be close to crapping themselves. There really is all sorts of scares in this film from the standard things moving around to things coming alive and much much more that I don’t want to reveal due to spoilers.
It’s down to Janice to convince Sister Charlotte that something terrible is inside this house. The Sister confronts the husband and he doesn’t seem shocked at all, in fact he knows what’s going on and in a series of flashbacks we see the reason why Annabelle is such a messed up doll. It’s not long before everyone starts to experience the evil inside and sometimes just outside the house.
- The acting is spot on Miranda Otto and Anthony LaPaglia are excellent as the husband and wife, the younger girls which are more main characters than the others are great at playing their parts. Sometimes having such young actresses or actors in a horror film can backfire.
- The effects and make up are as you’d expect with a Conjuring universe movie absolutely spot on.
- The flashback in the film is well placed to show us the real start of things.
- The jump scares are great.
- The whole creepy atmosphere created during Janice’s night times walks is beautiful to watch.
- Sounds strange but they really nail the movements of all the haunting creatures spot on in this.
- The design of the demon is great in glimpses but I wasn’t a fan of it’s look when it is fully revealed.
- Does no Patrick Wilson count as a bad thing?
I honestly can’t think of anything else I didn’t like about this film. It’s got decent jump scares in there that combine well with the overall atmosphere of the film, I believe this is the creepiest film I’ve seen in a long long time. It’s a fine addition to the series of films they’re creating around the Warrens and their encounters. If your other half doesn’t like horror films or is easily scared then please try and get them to watch this with you. I can’t speak highly enough of this movie, it was a pleasure to watch unfold from start to finish.
Overall Rating – 9/10