Like it or not, we live in a time where cinematic universes are the current trend for movie studios and in The Conjuring universe, we have a set of horror films that, for the most part, are actually worth watching. After Annabelle felt like no effort went into making it as scary as either of The Conjuring films, David F. Sandberg, who had success with Lights Out in 2016, was brought in for Annabelle: Creation, a prequel to a prequel about everybody’s favourite demonic doll, or least favourite demonic doll if you scare easily.
Twelve years after the death of their daughter, dollmaker Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) and his wife welcome a nun and several girls into their home from their shuttered orphanage. They soon find themselves targeted by the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.
Sandberg seems to know how to make a solid horror film and with Annabelle: Creation, he has created a horror film that makes up for the previous instalment with plenty of atmosphere and suspense throughout. A pet hate for me in horror films is just to rely on cheap jump scares and loud noises to get a scare however, there isn’t really much of that in Annabelle: Creation.
Sandberg instead opting to crank up the creepy atmosphere through the visual style of the film, Maxime Alexandre’s cinematography well and truly delivering the essence of horror with perfect shot composition on some of the sequences keeping me right on the edge of my seat. Benjamin Wallfisch’s score is also put to good use by Sandberg, giving the film an audible sense of fear and dread throughout.
Coming to the performances, Annabelle: Creation relies heavily on two child actors who are the main targets of Annabelle. Thankfully, Talitha Bateman and Lulu Wilson are very good in the roles of Janice and Linda respectively. Put it this way, I would be far too scared to act in a film like this so hats off to them. Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto and Stephanie Sigman provide able support to the younger cast members too, making this a horror where performances aren’t an issue at all.
While this probably won’t be the last we see of Annabelle in The Conjuring universe, I don’t think we’ll see her get another film devoted to her. They’ve already announced The Nun, who gets an incredibly unnecessary mention here, as the next film in the universe and if they can make it as creepy and atmospheric as both of The Conjuring films and Annabelle: Creation, it’s going to be a scary ride.