Director: David F. Sandberg
Produced by: Peter Safran, James Wan
Screenplay: Gary Dauberman
Starring: Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Lulu Wilson, Philippa Coulthard, Grace Fulton, Lou Lou Safran, Samara Lee, Tayler Buck, Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto.
Coming out of the cinema whistling, You are my Sunshine, after watching a horror movie may sound sinister, but there was a tongue-in-cheek, wry streak to, Annabelle: Creation.
Set in what looks like the 1930s, Samuel Mullins, a dollmaker (Anthony LaPaglia) and his wife, Esther (Miranda Otto) live an idyllic life in the countryside with their daughter Bee (Samara Lee), short for Annabelle.
Then tragedy strikes and Bee is taken from them.
Years later, time has taken its toll on the dollmaker and his wife, but they decide to make their home into an orphanage where several young girls and Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) come to live with them, to bring some happiness back into the household.
It only takes one night for the daemonic Being inhabiting a life-sized doll to make its presence known. And slowly, the creation of Annabelle, the possessed, is revealed.
Producers, Peter Safran and James Wan, who brought, The Conjuring series have partnered up once again for, Annabelle: Creation.
Directing is David F. Sandberg (Lights Out (2016)) from a screenplay written by Gary Dauberman who also wrote the first, Annabelle.
Happily, for fans of, The Conjuring, there are threads tying pieces of the films together and the linking of, Creation to the original, Annabelle is seamless.
New to the franchise is the cast with, Anthony LaPaglia as the foreboding husband and, Miranda Otto as the wife.
I can’t decide whether I like Lulu Wilson as Linda who also had a starring role in the recent, Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016). I liked her better here, with direction highlighting her, too-good-it’s-creepy personality adding to that wry flavour.
There’s a fine line between comedy and horror. You don’t want the audience laughing at the movie, you want the audience to laugh with the movie and at some points of the film, particularly with Linda on scene, it was a close call.
But as the film progressed and the ramping of tension increased with Sandberg once again making use of light and darkness and classic devices such as super-freaky scarecrows and sheets over the, ‘not there’, I was happy for a bit of comic relief from young Linda.
But I have to admit I wanted the film to be scarier.
I felt there was a lighter touch here, compared to say, the recent, The Conjuring 2 (2016) (which I gave 4.5/5) as there wasn’t enough reason for the daemonic Being inhabiting the doll to attack some and not others.
Strengthening the backstory would have added so much more.
Sure, keep the mystery but showing more would have added to the fear – it can’t be just because one person is more physically weak than the others, right?
Not the super-scare factor I was hoping for, but there were a few jumps and tense moments with effective use of the soundtrack; and linking to the original, Annabelle and, The Conjuring series will satisfy fans.