Sunday, August 13, 2017

Annabelle: Creation

Movie Name: Annabelle: Creation
Year of Release: 2017
Director: David F. Sandberg
Stars: Miranda Otto, Anthony LaPaglia, Lulu Wilson, Talitha Bateman, Stephanie Sigman, Philippa Coulthard, Samara Lee, Grace Fulton, Tayler Buck, Mark Bramhall
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Score out of ten: 6
View Trailer

The universe of stories developed by director James Wan with his "The Conjuring" film series continues, this time around with a prequel to "Annabelle", who first appeared in "The Conjuring", followed by it's original film dated from 2014. In "Annabelle: Creation" we are introduced to the family who first came in touch with the doll, and the malevolent force that lies within. This family is composed of a father, who is a doll maker, and who originally creates the Annabelle doll, the mother, and the young daughter, named Bee (diminutive from Annabelle). A dramatic accident leaves the family without their daughter,  and a few years later, a small group of orphan girls comes to the house. The girls, under the tutelage of a kind and helpful nun, are excited by the prospect of living in such a nice place, but soon one of them, the sweet Janice, starts realizing there are disturbances and strange occurrences around the house. These events start escalating and get progressively more aggressive, until one their hosts, Mrs. Mullins, unveils what has happened since the demise of her daughter.
Director David Sandberg has followed his debut feature "Lights Out", with another stylistic and smartly built exercise in suspense and horror. Using the premise established in the first (and not so accomplished) "Annabelle", the director takes the narrative to the origins of the mystique surrounding the doll, creating in the process, a haunted house type of horror film. The film smartly suggests more than it shows, playing with the shadows, shapes, and the fear coming from the young children. It also takes its time to create the sense of unease, and menace that starts permeating everyone, in particular the group of children that are in the house. The film is beautifully shot, and while most characters don't have enough depth or dimension, the environment and universe that is built is successful and sufficiently enticing. An interesting film from a promising director.