Movie #220 2020: Annabelle: Creation (2017)

I’ll admit it: I was hesitant to watch the second Annabelle movie. The first one was so poor that I was put off for a hot minute. Yet, I persevered. But did it improve at all?

Annabelle: Creation is an origin story of sorts. We take a look at how Annabelle first came into being, and in true Conjuring Universe style, it’s set in the past. We learn that Annabelle was made by a doll maker for his daughter, who died suddenly in a car accident when she was a young girl. Years later, the doll maker and his wife decide to turn their country ranch into an orphanage to house young girls in need of a home before they get adopted. Sounds lovely, right? Well what the couple don’t tell the nun who brings the girls to stay is that they have a possessed doll locked up in their house, and let’s just say she doesn’t stay locked up for long…

I’ll start this off by saying that I was pleasantly surprised by this one! It’s by no means a brilliant movie, but it does stand up to the two Conjuring movies that came before it. (By this, I mean The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2, not Annabelle.)

I know I keep harping on about it, but seriously: whoever costumes this franchise is insanely talented. And the same for the set dressers. It’s truly some of the best I’ve ever seen in horror. (I researched this since and found that the films are all dressed by different people from movie to movie, so it turns out there are a bunch of good period horror costumers around!)

An improvement is made on its predecessor in terms of cast and characters too. Whilst Annabelle was pretty much a single character all the way through, Creation is a much higher developed universe with more people to get to know. Lulu Wilson and Talitha Bateman as the two ‘sisters’ in this movie are very impressive for young actors, and really get into the roles they’re asked to play. More importantly, I’ve just come to the realisation that Miranda Otto is a quietly brilliant actress, even if you can’t see her for most of this. It’s great to see yet another female star holding one of these movies together.

As a whole package, Annabelle: Creation moves a little slowly at times, but it is certainly a step up from the first Annabelle movie. Honestly I already can’t remember the story line for its predecessor, but Creation has a much more comprehensive plot set up with more interesting twists and turns. Everyone is a sucker for an origin story, and the creators definitely tapped in to an interesting niche here.

Perhaps the biggest let down of Annabelle was that it seemed to ditch the entire sound department that made The Conjuring so great. However, there’s a definite step up in the sound department here despite it not being overly scary. It could have done with a little editing for pace at times, but quite easily the more solid Annabelle movie so far.

Albeit not being quite as good as The Conjuring 2, giving this anything less than a 3 wouldn’t be right. It’s more of a 3.2/3.3 kind of deal, so take that into account when you check the rating below!

Annabelle: Creation is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.

TQR Category Ratings:

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