Annabelle: Creation tells the story of how the ever creepy doll came into existence and serves as a prequel within this The Conjuring universe. Things start with an old doll maker and his wife that are struck with the tragic loss of their daughter. There's then a specific jump of time as the two take in a group of orphan girls since their group has nowhere to go. It starts off easy with the area being introduced while setting up things to come. Some of the girls get character development, but the focus lands clearly on the two youngest of the group and it might have been nice to see more from the older girls.
Annabelle eventually comes out to play and it gets crazy as one might expect. With this film I felt that it went for an older style of horror and perhaps a tad too many genre clichés. It's not to say I didn't enjoy it or found that it wasn't scary, but some areas were lacking. I also felt that it was hit or miss on jump scares and that it didn't feel as tense as The Conjuring films which are what I hold as a current modern standard for that genre.
The film did look really great and I loved some of the smooth transition shots that were present. The setting wasn't too exciting, but the way it was shot was solid. I felt the full effect of a horror movie at times, but at other times it didn't seem to be building towards more tension. In general the acting was well performed with this being entirely focused on the young cast and that's often hard to get right. The main character Janice (Talitha Bateman) was surprisingly great delivering on her type of performance perfectly. For the most part things are used to their full potential, yet some aspects could have been awesome to take advantage of. There were a couple scenes or well horrific elements such as a scarecrow that could have played a more interesting part in the story.
Annabelle: Creation tells a surprisingly well done origin story that I wouldn't have thought necessary. If you enjoy the horror genre then this is a great movie to watch and while not as great as The Conjuring movies I certainly enjoyed it. It does help build on the series and fills in some of the aspects of this creepy creature. For the most part you feel some tension and a couple moments provide a good shock. The acting was solid and I liked how all aspects of the doll along with any mystical portions were explained in detail. No parts of the story were left out and this felt like a solid point for the series based around this doll to continue forward.
Review for Annabelle: Creation at Theater with Standard Viewing
Screening was Provided by Warner Brothers