Annabelle: Creation

Horror,Thriller,Mystery

Review: This prequel to 2014’s Annabelle – which itself is a spin-off from The Conjuring – somewhat explains the genesis of the series’ supremely creepy wooden doll Discuss this article

annabelle_creation
© ITP Images

While Warner Bros tweaks its superhero stories and Universal tries to launch its Dark Universe of monsters, one horror franchise has mushroomed successfully under the radar.

This prequel to 2014’s Annabelle – which itself is a spin-off from The Conjuring – somewhat explains the genesis of the series’ supremely creepy wooden doll.

Anthony LaPaglia plays an improbably prosperous dollmaker in the 1940s, and Miranda Otto his wife – the soon-to-be bereaved parents of seven-year-old Bee (Samara Lee). Twelve years later, still devastated, the pair open their home to a kindly nun, Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman, the polar opposite of the scary sister in The Conjuring 2) and six orphaned girls in her care. Quicker than you can say “don’t go near that doll”, things are going bump in the night and doors are opening and closing on their own.

Annabelle: Creation is well performed, but the rhythm of the scares feels slightly off. Characters scream when they should be quiet, and whimper when they should scream, and it blatantly steals the rocking-chair gimmick from the 2012 adaptation The Woman in Black.

That said, it’s still terrifying – a monster this grotesque will always be unsettling – but director David F Sandberg (whose only other feature-length movie is last year’s Lights Out) sometimes fumbles the slow build.

While it’s better than Annabelle it’s nowhere near the main Conjuring films. Maybe they’ll have better luck in the next spin-off, The Nun (due to be directed by Corin Hardy, also tasked with bringing The Crow back to life) coming to cinemas in summer 2018.

The bottom line
Nothing is scarier than a scary doll.

By Helen O’Hara
Time Out Doha,

Annabelle: Creation

  • Duration: 109
  • Released: Thu, 17 Aug
  • Language: English
  • Director: David F. Sandberg
  • Stars: Stephanie Sigman, Miranda Otto, Lulu Wilson

Add your review/feedback

Subscribe to weekender newsletter

Submit

Search

Explore by

Our favourite features