Starring: Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Baterman, Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto.
Plot: The Mullins family lead a seemingly ideal in family live until a terrible tragedy occurs. More than a decade later a group of orphans go to live with the Mullins and become very aware of another presence in the house.
I did not expect much from Annabelle: Creation when I initially heard of its production, a sequel to a mundane spinoff of a much better film, the curse that is ever diminishing returns of a horror franchise before it has inevitably been stripped of all it’s worth hanging ominously over its head, even its title suggests they aren’t even trying anymore. However, I then saw who was attached to direct the film, David F. Sandberg, Annabelle: Creation was to be the sophomore effort of the director who last year brought us his impressive debut Lights Out, suddenly a faint ray of light had cast itself over this film, was this a good omen?
I approached Annabelle: Creation with fairly low to middling expectations after the godawful 2014 Annabelle, I was surprised to be met with an actually quite entertaining and well crafted horror movie. Sandberg handles the ensuing chills and thrills with a deft hand and a technical artfulness on some well considered tracking shots and stedicam work to capture the wonderfully conceived scares, some of which you might see coming a mile away but still dished out in a fun and effective manner that with raise a game grin from the most stoic of genre enthusiasts and fans of The Conjuring series alike. Horror movie sequels can be approached by studios with a ‘shooting fish’ mentality, throw enough jump scares in and the kids will turn up in droves, it gets as though they don’t even have to try, a direction that the franchise looked to be going with the dire and certainly inferior, Annabelle. Thankfully that mentality has not been taken with this instalment in an actually pretty consistent franchise minus the aforementioned blip, strong scares wrapped up in a decent, well crafted spook story.
There are some decent turns from the minimal cast, the child actors all deliver strong performances, avoiding the peril of poor acting and becoming annoying which can sometimes plague younger characters in horror films. The adult contingent of Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto and Stephanie Sigman all offer excellent support in a film that is predominantly driven by its younger cast members.
Fans of The Conjuring series are not going to feel let down by Annabelle: Creation, it is a strong and scary addition to the franchise that will entertain and frighten in equal measures even perhaps the most hardened sequel cynic.