Movie Review: Annabelle: Creation

RATING: 2.5/5

 

OVERVIEW: Psychological horror films prey on our most primal fears, the parts of our brains that haven’t evolved all that much since we lived in caves and hunted for animals to be able to have our next meals. What’s that in the shadows? A snake? A bear? A clear and present danger to our very lives?Annabelle Creation is no different from any of the bazillion films made in this subgenre, and while it looks and sounds fairly promising, it doesn’t offer anything new for horror movie geeks.

REVIEW: Annabelle: Creation starts when Mullins family consisting of Samuel and Esther Mullins lose their only daughter Annabelle in a car accident. Cut to a few years later few orphans from St. Eustace’s Girls’ Home arrive at Mullins house to stay as apparently they’ve no else place to stay. Samuel offers his place to these orphans and their caretaker Sister Charllote to stay. His wife, now, Esther is bed ridden and can’t walk because of some accident she faced.

The story builds up when girls start exploring the house facing some paranormal things happening. Enters our main hero – Annabelle the doll messing things up as she’s been doing in the entire Conjuring series. Running from a room to another, facing spooky things never imagined before and a twist about Annabelle is what the story comprises of.

The film is directed by David F Sandberg who made the surprisingly fun Lights Out last year. Much like that film, Annabelle Creation is visually lush and has competent performances, and it’s also got a well-designed atmosphere. But Lights Out had a new kind of supernatural threat, something we’d never seen before, and it made the film worth revisiting. The core story and ghostly entity of Annabelle Creation is unfortunately so cliché it hurts.

Seasoned fans of the genre will roll their eyes at how conveniently things play out here. At one point, it feels like every character is being haunted by a demonic presence in the house, separately, in their own rooms — yet, there seems to be no overall sense of panic. By the time morning comes, the girls discuss the occurrences of the previous night as though they were nightmares, even though they saw inexplicable things happening.

 

Sandberg’s script is weak and storytelling shaky, but he sure knows how to build tension. True, even that gets predictable after a while — a pattern of silences, false alarms, and sudden jolts emerges very early on but it does get the adrenaline flowing. However, it fails to build any empathy for most of its characters, as a result of which we feel almost nothing when the body count starts piling up.

Final Verdict of the film is If you’re a sucker for horror movies and follow the Conjuring series from the first part, then this movie is for you. Do not expect anything extraordinary watch the film, get scared and come back.

 

–Panchanjanya