Thursday, August 10, 2017

Annabelle Creation Review: A Thrilling Experience and A Chilling Addition to The Conjuring Universe!

In 2013 the horror world was forever changed with the release of The Conjuring. The summer film became one of the most successful horror movies of all time as it was successful both critically and financially. On that day the Conjuring Universe was born which made up of the Conjuring series and its spin-offs. Among the spin-offs is the supernatural series entitled Annabelle. This evil doll made her debut in The Conjuring where she made quite an impact with brief scenes. The doll's presence was so memorable that the studio decided to give the specter her very own spin-off movie. Annabelle was released in fall of 2014 and while the movie did not meet the reception as its kin did, the movie managed to garner some success in the box office. Because of this Warner Bros. decided to give the series another chance and develop another film based on the demonic toy. This sequel became the latest chapter in the Conjuring Universe-Annabelle: Creation. Directed by David F.Sandberg Annabelle: Creation is in fact a prequel that tells the events which brought the evil spirit to life. With the director of Lights Out attached this movie there was some good buzz going into this terrifying continuation; but does Annabelle: Creation bring the scares to theaters or is it time to exercise this spin-off franchise?

Annabelle: Creation tells the story of a group of orphans who move to a farmhouse where owners Samuel and Ester Mullins (Anthony LaPagila and Miranda Otto) open their home to become the girls' new orphanage. After making themselves at home one of the girls, Janice (Talitha Bateman), finds a room where a doll is locked away. The doll is no ordinary toy as it houses an evil spirit that the Mullins summoned after mistaking it for their daughter who was killed twelve years earlier. Once released the evil spirit begins to haunt Janice and the other girls in the hopes of terrorizing the residents and taking their souls.

The tale to this ghost story was one that filled with terror and excitement. Once the prologue concludes movie get right into the thick  but this is not to say the plot felt rushed. In fact the plot had the proper build up to it as it emphasized the story behind Annabelle and the horror surrounded this tale. Yet this story was not without its flaws as the likes of structure prevented the plot from being truly captivating. The plot was very formulaic with the likes of exposition and development taking place during the day, and the haunting occurring during the evening. Now this kind of structure is common for a horror film (and the movie did change things up from time to time), but in the case of Annabelle: Creation this direction in storytelling could be daunting at times. Still, even with the formulaic structure, the story to Annabelle: Creation was very much effective as it kept me on the edge of my seat and managed to work within the confines of its established plot.

Horror films can have issues when trying to create a captivating cast but thankfully this for the case for Annabelle: Creation. The cast for this horror film was very much believable in both characterization and performances. This was seen in the likes of Talitha Bateman who provided a convincing performance as Janice; as well as Lulu Wilson who was just as believable as Janice's best friend Linda. Along the two young girls was Stephanie Sigman as Sister Charlotte who made for a interesting supporting character for the orphans. The other girls could be a little simplistic in their characters but there was enough in their direction to make them come off as tolerable. In the matter of supporting performances both Anthony LaPagila and Miranda Otto filled those roles in decently as the Mullins. While both could have used more screen time the performances for the Mullins worked for the movie by giving it characters that, although common, were effective for a proper horror film cast. Last and certainly not least was the spirit of Annabelle. Sometimes it can be hard to give a horror villain a standout character, and while Annabelle may have had a simplistic characterization the spirit certainly had the presence to be memorable and frightening monster; and props to both Joseph Bishara and Samara Lee for bringing this dark apparition to life.

In the case of horror, the scares of Annabelle: Creation were very much effective. While the movie's tactics did rely heavily on the likes of jump scare it was how the film used its frightening elements that made all the difference. The movie blended a dark atmosphere with shocking execution, and together these factors transformed Annabelle: Creation into a haunting thrill ride that would keep the suspense pumping. Also helping with the likes of horror was the movie's cinematography which gave a distinction to the movie's tone all the while the film a dynamic look and presentation. Another stand out factor for the movie was its use of sound. The sound to this horror film went as it expected as it could both subtle and loud, but this direction was very much effective as it only helped to create the right atmosphere for this frightening experience.

Annabelle: Creation is an impressive horror film to say the least. Although the movie could be too formulaic for its own good, it still manages to be effective thanks to its compelling execution  and its frightening atmosphere. While it may not be as haunting as the likes of The Conjuring, Annabelle: Creation is a film worthy of this cinematic universe as this spin-off film managed to be a chilling ghost story to experience on the silver screen.

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