Ooh if you like jump scares, then watch out! Oh… you hate jump scares? Yeah, you’d better not watch it then. I’m talking about the new movie, Annabelle: Creation. This is the prequel to Annabelle (2014). It tells the story of how evil gets attached to the doll in the first place. It’s a classic horror tale of a family who loses their child in a tragic accident and who go too far to bring her back.
So negatives first. Most, if not all, horror clichés are used in this movie. There was one place where the main characters were gathered around an old, covered, rock well in the middle of a field and something started crawling out of it. I thought, “this is not imitation – this is robbery!”. This movie certainly ’borrows’ a lot from a bunch of movies.
The next problem is that this movie heavily depends on child actors. For me, this usually puts a limit on how good a film can be – particularly with reaction shots. It’s not that the children do a terrible job, just a pretty average one.
The last problem for me was that I found the main ‘bad guy’ quite confusing. ‘He’ has no rules or restrictions. ‘He’ can be one character or three or four characters at the same time. Or are they different evils working together!? Can’t get through a door? But can teleport all-over the place!? Hurt by a bang to the hand with a torch but not bothered by all sorts of body breaking transformations? A few little inconsistencies like this are expected, but it was the sheer number of them that kept the movie from being really scary and turned some peak tension moments into a cinema full of laughter. But hey, that’s still entertainment right?
The good news, is that there is good news. Production values are very high. There are a lot of special effect shots and they are all effective. If you go to see this movie, make sure you take someone who is susceptible to jump scares. You’ll have a great time watching them because the jump scares start to come thick ‘n fast.
You’ll best enjoy this movie if you go in thinking that it’s not going to be revolutionary. If you go in with the right expectations, and especially, if you go in with the right group, you could love it! Well… really like it. I liked it. But I don’t want to see any more Annabelle unless it’s a comedy.
I’ve noticed a clever trick that this series does. We’re introduced to new characters in one movie and those characters then get their own spin-off movie where they’re further explained and developed. Annabelle was originally just a doll in a glass display box at the end of The Conjuring. The Evil Nun from The Conjuring 2 has her own movie coming soon (The Nun) and she has a small cameo in this movie as well. It’s been announced that the Crooked Man from The Conjuring 2 is also getting his own movie.
In Annabelle: Creation, I noticed a few possible new spin-off candidates. There was a creepy old lady with a bell and a night light, a scarecrow (but the movie already looked a lot like Jeepers Creepers a few times so, I can’t see that one happening), and there was also a half of a lady. It’s a smart business model, like a movie promo/pitch ‘product placement’, thing.
Annabelle: Creation is worth seeing on the big screen, so that being said, I’d have to give it a 6 or 7. Let’s go with 7.