When a ﬁlm is as successful as The Conjuring it makes sense to continue along the same vein.
With sequels and spin-offs already been and gone on the big screen, the latest outing in this newest horror franchise is Annabelle: Creation, an origin story that might not have been essential but one that ﬁlls in tiny mysteries.
We open with the Mr Mullins, a doll maker and creator of the terrifying Annabelle doll, and his wife and young daughter. A happy family by all accounts, until tragedy strikes and the Mullinses lose their daughter.
Skip forward 12 years, and six orphaned girls under the charge of a nun ﬁnd themselves living with the Mullinses. Mrs Mullins is now a recluse and Mr Mullins seems odd, for lack of a better word, and it isn’t long before locked doors start to open and objects start moving around.
The presence in the house has taken a particular interest in young Janice, who has polio and requires a brace and crutch for mobility, and soon it becomes evident that the Mullinses are hiding some terrible secrets.
The chills and jump scares are there although the doll itself is less intimidating than the ghostly spirit/demonic creature that is the Mullinses young daughter.
Annabelle: Creation also does something different in that while the girls are under the care of Sister Charlotte, there are fewer religious overtones than in the previous ﬁlms, though the presence of God isn’t completely removed.
There are also plenty of objects and scenes set up early in the ﬁlm that are brought back in the climactic moments (a scarecrow, abandoned well, secret passageways under and through the house are just some examples) though their obvious placement and attention can spoil the bigger moments through sheer audience expectation.
As for the acting, the most notable mention should go to young Talitha Bateman as Janice, who plays the role with a curiosity and innocence that works well for the character.
Big names Miranda Otto (who has a Phantom of the Opera vibe going on) and Anthony LaPaglia as Mrs and Mr Mullins are underused but provide the plot points to drive the ﬁlm along at the crucial moments.
With an ending that ties neatly into the original origin story Annabelle (though you would be forgiven for not immediately recognising this if you haven’t seen that ﬁlm in a while), there are other subtle hints along the way that point to past (and future) moments in the Conjuring multiverse of ﬁlms, meaning there will be plenty more ﬁlms to terrorise fans in the future.
Have you seen Annabelle? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!