In a day and age of cinematic universes it was only a matter of time before the horror genre got a piece of the action. Whether or not it was the intention to create this universe when ‘The Conjuring’ was made I’m not sure but it’s no surprise that one developed considering how profitable these kinds of movies are. So here we are at the prequel to the spin-off of ‘The Conjuring’. Set before the events of 2014’s ‘Annabelle’, ‘Annabelle: Creation’ tells the origin story of everyone’s least favourite dolly.
The movie focuses on doll maker, Samuel Mullins and his wife Esther. After a family tragedy they open up their home to a group of orphaned girls whose previous orphanage was closed down. However, the arrival of the girls awakens the terrifying secrets hidden in the house. Whilst this narrative isn’t overly original there were some creative moments contained within it. It connects well to the other films in this series and fills in the gaps in the story nicely. The cast is largely made up of young performers who cope adequately with the requirements of their roles. However, it’s the writing for these characters that might come under fire. No more than any other horror film in which you shout at the screen in dismay as characters make ludicrous decisions though, this may as well be part of the genre now.
If you’re judging the film on scares though, how does it hold up? Well this self-confessed horror wimp didn’t hold up too well! I suppose that should be kept in mind, I’m easily startled but I still wouldn’t feel a whole lot more comfortable if I had to watch this movie again, which often I would be after a first viewing. Nonetheless, the film begins with almost every horror trope in existence. Creaking doors, flickering lights and movements in the shadows all feature heavily during the opening scenes leading you to think that this horror has little to offer. However, as the film progresses so do the scares culminating in a great finale. The conclusion to the film is an incredibly tense experience. It seemingly goes on for an age whilst never letting up the suspense creating a truly exhaustive horror experience. There’s a collection of good scenes throughout the film too, which depending on your tolerance for horror may have to be watched through fingers!
As horror sequels/prequels go ‘Annabelle: Creation’ is probably a lot better than expected. Hardcore fans of the genre might be left disappointed with the unoriginality of the overall narrative and use of over utilised techniques however there’s still plenty to appreciate too. I was impressed by the creativity of certain sequences and the horror was appropriately terrifying. In summary I’d conclude that this origin story isn’t anything really spectacular within the genre but its a well executed horror film of a similar quality to the original.
Rating – 7.5/10
Question: What is your favourite horror sequel or prequel?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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