ReviewWriter: Florey DMWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“The Conjuring”, “The Conjuring 2”, “Annabelle”, “Lights Out” The Good, the Bad and the Demonic Doll:
After his feature directorial debut last year, "Lights Out" helmer David F. Sandberg has gone on to create another success, this time in the form of the sequel to 2014's "Annabelle".
Though a follow-up, Sandberg's "Annabelle: Creation" actually serves as the prequel to the first movie, if you watch until the end, you will see how the movie ties up nicely with its predecessor.
Horror fans, however, maybe will prefer to forget the first one ever existed seeing as how this sequel is a positively vast improvement from the 2014 movie (sorry director John R. Leonetti). The doll is no longer just a passive audience member but is more involved this time around, something to actually be feared by those on and off screen.
The story stays loyal to its source material for the most part, seeing that here the doll is possessed by the supposed spirit of a young girl instead of a grown woman as seen in the first movie (though, again, Sandberg somehow still managed to iron out this little detail, making the differing possession in the first movie still valid).
As mentioned, the involvement of the possessed doll is more satisfactory in this sequel/prequel, it didn't just appear in the background while being completely ignored by the characters onscreen. The devil here is a much stronger presence and appears more frequently so do be prepared for some stomach-churning scenes.
The build up to the horrifying sequences takes some time so do sit patiently while waiting for Annabelle to really start terrifying your socks off. About 50 minutes into the movie and you'll start reaping the rewards of your patience.
By the third act, you'll forget to even breathe as scene after scene only coach you closer to the edge of your seat (or deeper into your blanketed cocoon), waiting with bated breath for what would unfold next. As proven in his first feature, Sandberg has a way of making people anticipate the worst and here again he showcases the same knack. He even uses elements from his previous movie to intensify the scenes, such as toying with the lights to create a suffocating fear of the darkness - or what's in it, to be exact.
Even the swooping camera movements help in creating not only a smooth visual flow but also create a somewhat nauseating sensation, making audiences feel uneasy and full of anticipation of what to come.
If you've watched the last instalment in the "The Conjuring" franchise, which would be "The Conjuring 2" where The Nun (whose popularity has warranted the character its own upcoming spinoff movie) first made an appearance, keep your eyes peeled for a simple nod towards the character, which comes in the form of a short conversational exchange between Mr. Mullins and Sister Charlotte.
As for the doll, for avid horror fans who would want to complain that the creepy porcelain doll still doesn't look anything like the original real-life Annabelle, Sandberg compromises by inserting a scene where the main character receives a Raggedy Ann Doll much like the one the story is inspired by.
While most sequels are really just a gimmick to extend a franchise's shelf life, this one works well and actually saves what was initially thought to be a dead-end for the "Annabelle" spinoff series.
As long as Sandberg keeps a tight rein on it, a third "Annabelle" movie is more than welcomed.
As the credits roll for "Annabelle: Creation", stay seated for the two post-credits scenes (no long waits, each is about 2 minutes apart). Watch out for:
• The nod to "The Conjuring" franchise's The Nun.
• Two post-credits scenes. Trivia:
• Lulu Wilson, who stars as Linda, also starred in 2016's "Ouija: Origins of Evil".
• Talitha Bateman, who stars as Janice, is the older sister of Gabriel Bateman (he played Robert in "Annabelle" and Martin in "Lights Out").Cinema Online, 09 August 2017