Samuel is a doll-maker who lives peacefully out on a farm with his wife Ester and his daughter Annabelle. But when seven-year-old Annabelle is accidentally killed, the once happy family is torn asunder.
Twelve years later, Samuel opens his home up to Sister Charlotte and six young girls who were left homeless due to the closure of their orphanage. Young Linda and Janice are saddened by the move, but the best friends are happy that they at least get to stay together. Samuel and his wife give the kids and Sister Charlotte full run of the house, with the exception of being told to avoid Annabelle’s locked bedroom. But when Janice finds a note under the door of the forbidden room and the door unlocked she gives into temptation and enters and explores, eventually finding one of Samuel’s handmade dolls hidden away in a locked closet. Without realizing the danger she’s put herself and the other girls in, Janice leaves the room without re-locking the door, inadvertently freeing the demon and giving it free reign to terrorize everyone in the house.
Well, since I felt that Annabelle Comes Home was entertaining enough, I figured that I might as well check out its predecessor, Annabelle: Creation, which is the origin story of the titular evil doll from the Conjuring series. Or I guess they’re really set on calling it a “universe” or something. Whatever. Doesn’t matter. Annabelle: Creation has the best reviews out of the three films in the spin-off series, and since it’s a prequel, it doesn’t matter when you watch it, because the only thing that connects it to the other films in the series is it’s ending, which ties directly into the beginning of the first Annabelle film. Also interesting to note, it’s also canonically the second film in the Conjuring series (The Nun beats it for the earliest title by about three years), despite being the fourth film released. Confused yet? Good, because sometimes this crap makes my head spin unnecessarily too. But in the case of Annabelle: Creation it isn’t really important and is just background noise. Because you don’t need to know anything about any of the other movies to enjoy this one…. Assuming, of course you like creepy killer doll movies.
While the story of Annabelle: Creation feels very familiar (especially if you’re already familiar with the other Conjuring movies, or hell, even the Child’s Play films), the plot is still leaps better than the first Annabelle film(not that that was a high hurdle to overcome). Or at least it is until you get to the ending and realize just how many coincidences and jumps in logic this spin-off series is taking in order to try to tie the first two films together. Most of those messy plot issues still fall squarely on the shoulders of the first Annabelle and not Annabelle: Creation, but that doesn’t mean that this prequel still doesn’t suffer from its own problems, like not explaining why Samuel and his wife kept the demon doll locked up in their house instead of giving it to the church to deal with, or how Samuel is so successful with his doll business, despite his creations looking like they just came out of the pit of Hell, even before one of them was taken over by a demon. Also, while the beginning and middle of the film do an excellent job of ramping up the mystery, tension and scares, sadly the illogic of the first film comes in to rear its ugly influence during the final third. Characters start to act irrationally and against pre-established behaviors, the movie’s own plot, including several reasonings established in the prior Annabelle film, start to contradict themselves, and the anticlimactic ending causes the film to go out with an unimpressive and disappointing whimper instead of the BANG! it had so much success in building up to. All of that doesn’t completely interfere with one’s overall enjoyment of the film, but the level of stupid on display does put at least a small dent in it.
Although one very stupid thing the movie showed that I actually did like, was that the film’s entire plot was put into motion all because Samuel didn’t do a good enough job of hiding the key to the closet where his evil doll was kept. Keep in mind that this dude knows the doll is evil and needs to stay locked away, but instead of doing something smart, like keeping the key on his person or putting it in a lock-box in a bank, he keeps it in a place that’s less than three feet away from the doll. Why am I amused by this, you may ask yourself? Because the entire plot of Annabelle Comes Home begins for the exact same reason: because the Warren’s left the key on their desk at home. In fact, what they did was even worse, because they didn’t even bother to hide the damn key. It was placed on top of the desk, where it could be easily spotted. So while Samuel was stupid regarding the key, at least he went through the trouble of actually hiding it. Badly, mind you, but at least an attempt was made.
Anyway, I just find it amusing that all the events surrounding both of these stories, and really the entire spin-off series, could have easily been completely avoided if any of the homeowners involved had simply practiced basic home security.
This was preventable! This WHOLE THING was preventable!
Anyway, beyond those small issues Annabelle: Creation actually holds up pretty well. The story may feel a bit too familiar at times, but it moves at a good pace, has some nice tension, a good creepy atmosphere and some decent scares. And like the rest of the films in the Conjuring series the visuals are sharp and impressive, filled with a lot of nice gothic imagery and some seriously impressive photography. The characters do tend to feel a bit too cliche at times (much like the plot), but all of the acting is on point, especially from the younger members of the cast. So really, Annabelle: Creation is a pretty solid horror outing. Not great, but definitely worth at least one watch to genre fans.
Annabelle: Creation is available on a variety of streaming services.
Annabelle: Creation is also available on DVD and Bluray.
2 thoughts on “Annabelle: Creation (2017)”
I feel like I’ve watched one of these and liked it but I can’t remember which one. I’d watch this though.
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Honestly, all the creepy doll movies are starting to blur in my mind at this point. I thought the first Annabelle was…okay, I guess? I mean, it had a couple very creepy moments, but was largely forgettable. Everything about this one was much better by comparison, but I’ll still probably end up mixing up the stories of all three films at some point eventually.
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