By KJ Proulx (Windsor, On.)

 

I can’t believe this is the review I’m writing for this film, but Annabelle: Creation is awesome. After the huge disappointment that was the first Annabelle, I had no intention on seeing this second instalment, until its trailers intrigued me and had me slightly interested. The trailers definitely don’t lie here, because this is honestly one of the best experiences I’ve had watching a horror movie in a long time. In terms of straight-up terror, this film delivers on every front. Here is why I believe Annabelle: Creation deserves your attention in theatres if you plan on seeing it at all.

Quite honestly, the first film was about as simple as you could get in terms of storytelling, and while this film doesn’t do many things to differ itself in terms of story, it absolutely makes up for that with its characters. Being set 12 years after the death of the Higgins’ daughter, they turn their house into an orphanage, where six children are to live, accompanied by a nun. Discovering secrets about the couple who lives there, this film very quickly turns into a roller coaster ride of thrills. The characters surrounding these events is truly what made this film stand above its predecessor, because I found myself attached to the main characters by the end, which was mainly due to the fact that there are some outstanding performances from the two leading girls.

I was into this film from the very beginning, even though it does have a slow start, but the performances of Talitha Bateman and Lulu Wilson is really what put Annabelle: Creation over the edge for me. This may sound like high praise, but I truly found myself engaged in every line of dialogue they were given. They invested themselves in their respective roles so much, to the point where I found myself thinking I was watching real events being presented on-screen. There are a few moments in particular when they outshine every other performer in the film, and they were the youngest of the bunch. I can’t wait to see more from these two actresses, because they have very bright futures ahead of them.

When it comes to the Annabelle doll, the film never once benefits from that aspect. It’s sad to say, but the object that the film is based around, just isn’t all that scary. This is where the first film suffered so much, because it solely relied on the audience feeling unsettled by the image of the doll, offering nothing else to back it up. This time around, it’s the fact that everything surrounding the doll is more terrifying, so you know that you should be ready to be scared whenever the doll presents itself. Yes, you may find yourself predicting certain story elements, but there are some genuinely goosebumps-worthy scenes throughout this film. I will be remembering this as one of the most satisfying horror experiences for quite some time. Maybe not in terms of story, but I can confidently state that this film serves as a better straight-up horror flick than The Conjuring was. It’s definitely not the better movie, but it’s 100% scarier.

In the end, this isn’t going to be known as one of the best horror films of all time, or even of this decade, but it’s definitely one of the best you will be able to see this year. There is some great character depth, some truly horrifying imagery that sent chills down my spine, and it has some of the best cinematography I’ve seen in a Hollywood horror film in quite some time. The reason I can give this such a huge recommendation, is due to the fact that people who didn’t care for the first film will more than likely love this sequel in comparison, and newcomers can easily enter this film without having seen the first. Annabelle: Creation is nothing you haven’t seen in terms of jump scares and storytelling, but it invests you in its characters and provides some very nice plot twists to keep you engaged throughout. If you aren’t sucked in by those elements, I trust you will be surprised by how chilling some of the sequences are. If you were ever planning on checking this film out, I believe it deserves your attention while it’s out in theatres.

Rating: 4/5

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