I can’t say this for sure, but I don’t think there’s ever been a prequel to a prequel. Maybe there has been, but it’s rare and may turn some people off. For me, it’s not something that I was intrigued by but since Annabelle: Creation is a horror movie set within the universe of The Conjuring, I was at least open to it at the start. And although the movie itself turned out to be nothing special, there’s a part of me that is curious with what Warner Bros. Pictures’ has in store for audiences in the future as they look to develop some of this stuff even further in the future.
Before we get to all of that, I obviously need to touch on Annabelle: Creation as a movie. While 2014’s Annabelle was supposed to tell us about the origins of the cursed doll we first met in The Conjuring, it’s prequel travels deeper into the past. We’re introduced to a dollmaker (Anthony LaPaglia) and his wife who have welcomed a nun (Stephanie Sigman) and a handful of orphaned young ladies of varying ages into their home. While the intentions of all were good, the results don’t necessarily turn out that way when the possessed creation known as Annabelle comes to life in order to wreak havoc on the household.
After a few scenes, we settle into the main plot and come to realize that what we’re getting here is filled with much of what we’ve already seen before. This could be a negative for many, but it’s also something that quite a few viewers will actually enjoy to some degree. Because of this, it will likely be a financial success that will leave a good deal of viewers satisfied, but it’s safe to say that the studio will eventually have to do something different if they want to continue making movies in what looks to be another one of those cinematic universes that we know all too well these days.
Predictably, Creation isn’t all that scary in any way imaginable from my perspective. This would do some damage for people who enjoy being frightened but it’s important to note that I don’t scare easy. For others, they certainly could get a kick out of what’s seen here, but even that might be tough due to the fact that the events in the movie are almost always easy to see coming.
What this picture actually benefits from is the structure overall that’s being spread out for us. Although there are still common horror movie issues like dumb characters and familiarity with what’s going to happen, it’s well put together, easy to follow and actually attempts to develop some of the characters as they peel away the layers that are included. These factors keep things interesting to an extent, but it’s sadly not enough to turn this into a truly fantastic horror experience.
Another thing that is actually pretty good here is the acting from the young women that play crucial roles in the movie. I can’t really say that I’m familiar with much of their work before this, but they’re great and make the movie better than what it probably should have been. Finding quality acting from such a young cast is difficult, but they were able to do it here. In a way, Annabelle: Creation might have benefited from them being young and just starting out. If they were older and more experienced, they may not have been as enthusiastic about what they were asked to do since the movie itself isn’t exactly an inspired piece of work.
Because of all of this, I left the theater feeling a bit conflicted. Annabelle: Creation is fine in some ways, but I know they could have given us more. At the same time, the ending did manage to leave me feeling somewhat optimistic as far as the future of these films are concerned. Because they’re successful and they’re generally cheap to make, you know there will be more. Let’s just hope they try a little harder and make what lies ahead as sophisticated as the movie that this all came from. Based on who/what we see in the end credits, they will have a legitimate opportunity to do just that.
Director: David Sandberg
Lou Lou Safran
Film Length: 109 minutes
Release Date: August 11, 2017
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
- Score - 6/106/10