CST333

Film Review – Annabelle: Creation

Director – David F. Sandberg

Produced by: Peter Safran, James Wan

Written by: Gary Dauberman

Cast – Samuel Mullins (Anthony Lapaglia), Esther Mullin (Miranda Otto), Annabelle “Bee” Mullin (Samara Lee), Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman), Linda (Lulu Wilson), Janice (Talitha Bateman), Nancy (Philippa Coulthard), Carol (Grace Fulton), Kate (Tayler Buck), and Tierney (Lou Lou Safran)

Rating – 3/5

Looking to increase your body’s noradrenaline after spending chinese new year trying hard to get over the topics of life with your extended family? Well, I have got a thrilling movie for you – Annabelle: Creation. It’s the Fourth legitimate entry into the spooky-wonderful “The conjuring” films and the Second movie in “Annabelle” doll prequel. In “The conjuring” and “Conjuring 2” investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren said that the doll is a real doll, it’s a case of a real-life demonic possession. “Hollywood aesthetic is largely committed to the literal, the realistic, and the representative” (Wee, 2011). Annabelle: Creation might not be the scariest movie, but it surely will give some chills and thrills after all those busy family gatherings, it definitely is therapeutic and does the job. To enjoy along popcorn and a drink is a must. 

In the opening of the movie, Samuel Mullins, dollmaker (Anthony Lapaglia) and his wife Esther Mullins (Miranda Otto) lose their young daughter who they called Bee (Samara Lee). Annabelle Mullins died terribly in an automobile accident. The title of the movie suggests that the movie took place before the first Annabelle Movie and this movie shows how the doll becomes dangerous and frightening. 

first scene. death.jpg
Opening scene
samuel (father) with cross sign
Samuel – dollmaker standing against the evils

Following the catastrophic death of Annabelle Mullins (Bee), Samuel and his wife pray to meet and see their dearest daughter again. Their prayer came true, they were able to see her spirit (or what they thought it would be), however it asked for permission to get her soul into a doll so that she can live with them permanently. They fulfilled the demand but immediately they discover that it wasn’t their girl’s spirit in the doll, they were prompt to lock it up in a closet and along with that they pasted bible verses all over the room so that the evilness goes away. After 12 years, Mr Mullins and Mrs Mullin decides to call in orphan kids, giving shelter them, who have nowhere to live, soon they shifted in with Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman), a nun who looks after them. As soon as they entered the house, the “spirit” released. Weird things start to happen and wicked power targets one of the girls, Janice (Talitha Bateman)

6 girls with nun.png
Sister Charlotte and 6 orphan girls

Of the bunch Janice and her closest friend Linda (Lulu Wilson)  are the youngest and are always cornered by the older girls. Janice suffered from polio and has hard time holding the sticks in hand and to walk on one leg, you surely feel bad for her, however the movie doesn’t allow pity party. Janice and Linda maybe at a loss in some ways, but you wish good for them and also trust that they will overcome this thing, and this keeps the suspense soaring throughout. 

janice friend thowing away the doll.jpg
Linda trying to help Janice get back to normal by throwing away the demonic doll.
nun and janice talking abt the doll
Janice on a wheelchair trying to tell Sister Charlotte what happened light night in the closed room

The Directors Sanberg, seem to have “ingest” its precursors “The Conjuring” and “Insidious” mostly for the film score (background music) and shot composition. The genre film is cannibalistic: “implicitly each new genre film ingest every previous film” (Lim, 2007). The doll was utilized very well, there were some fantastic stunt scenes that felt reminiscent of the film “The Conjuring”, they deliver unique, fun, and fresh thrills that you won’t be expecting at that moment.

One component that may have been failure in the movie “Annabelle: Creation” is the role of Samuel, Dollmaker (Anthony Lapaglia) and Esther (Miranda Otto). Their performance was good but they couldn’t stand out as they were behind the shadow most of the movie, so the impression couldn’t match up with the other characters like Sister Charlotte, Linda and Janice, they definitely stole the show. So the problem was only in their character not with Janice or Linda’s story or Annabelle mythology.

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Half face mask to cover the scar given by the evil spirit

half mask half face of mother.jpg

without the mask (mother).jpg

If you have heard or seen “Lights Out” also directed by David F. Sandberg, then this movie is a must to get your hands on. He managed to do what he wanted to do creatively, as after reading the script he found out it’s a standalone film, he got the freedom to film it the way he wants to but he respected the past series as well. If I look back and ask myself about how I felt about the past films, then this one is very impressive. This movie for sure proves that Conjuring spin-off film are promising and that strong characters are crucial especially ones like Linda and Janice who had no issues with supporting this franchise. The film has grossed over $306 million worldwide while it’s budget was only $15 million. “Horror films are often cheap to make, they are usually star-driven, don’t need a lot of expensive special effects and can be made in a tight locale” (Lim, 2007).

 

References:

  1. Lim, B. (2007). Generic ghosts: remaking the new ‘Asian horror film’. London: Hollywood and the New Global Cinema, pp.109-125.
  2. Wee, V. (2011). Visual Aesthetics and Ways of Seeing: Connparing Ringu and The Ring. 2nd ed. Cinema Journal, pp.41-60.
  3. Wikipedia: Annabelle: Creation
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