I have never been one who was easily scared during a movie, but I have had my moments. That moment that made me question certain things was in 1982’s “Poltergeist” and that stupid clown that comes alive. For years I refused to look under my bed after bedtime for fear that I too would be grabbed and pulled under. Lucky for me it was just a movie and clowns is really just a picture of happiness and would never harm anyone. So needless to say with my fear of dolls/clowns coming to life and attacking, I was kind of excited what “Annabelle” would have in store for me.
If you don’t know who Annabelle is, she was a supposed possessed doll that Ed and Loraine Warren help put away. The Warrens were the couple in the seventies you called because there were no Ghostbusters. Having to already suffer through a telling of Annabelle’s story in 2014, someone got smart and decided to take it back, way back to the creation of the doll. The Mullins are a happy family that has everything. Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia ) builds limited edition dolls, while he wife tends to their daughter Annabelle (Samara Lee). Just when everything seems perfect an accident takes Annabelle away and that’s the last we see of the Mullins. Fast-forward to twelve years later and a group of girls move into the Mullins house as an orphanage.
The Mullins still live there, but very little is seen of the wife. Soon the kids start exploring the house, when Janice (Talitha Bateman) decides to go into a room she was told to stay out of. Just like when you do anything you are not supposed to there be consequences, in this case it is the unleashing of a demon that uses a doll as a conduit. Things soon are going bump in the night and the occupants of this once quite house will soon wish they never went there in the first place.
After such a promising start in the short film before the original “The Conjuring” it really was disappointing how bad the first “Annabelle” was. So the plan was simple, tell an origin story, bring back the writer Gary Dauberman, and find a hot director who just released a hit horror film in David F. Sandberg (Lights Out). I am all aboard with all of that on the table, but a little confused on bringing the writer back, it seems though my confusion was misplaced. This is how you tell a good ol’ “grab the arm of the person next to you” horror movie. With its long shots that keep you guessing at what’s coming next, “Annabelle: Creation” puts its best foot forward and never looses track of it.
Sure for the experienced horror fan the frights might be a little lacking, but for everyday people who just want to be scared for an hour or so, it’s exactly what they want in a scary movie. Like the last ‘Conjuring “ film, I couldn’t help thinking that not only is this a good horror film, it would make a killer haunted house during Halloween. Everything in the house screams, “get out” but for our sakes the characters ignore all of them and we get to watch them make bad decisions galore. I enjoyed this chapter in the ever-growing “Conjuring” universe and hope “The Nun” doesn’t need two films to get it right. Until then, find someone who is as creeped out by dolls as you are and take them to see this one.