Review - 'Annabelle: Creation'
A lot has been said about Annabelle: Creation being better than its predecessor and many proclaim that it should have been the one they made instead. First off, I don't think the first one is all that bad. Coincidentally, I also don't think this new film is all that good, In fact, I really think these two films end up on pretty much the exact same level, though for slightly different reasons.
Annabelle: Creation tells the story of a group of orphans who are taken in by a couple that lost their only daughter twelve years prior. All seems well until something draws Janice to the daughter's room. Once Janice discovers a creepy doll locked away in the closet, things start to take a turn for the worst.
I'm honestly a little upset that people are so quick to praise this film when it clearly has some glaring flaws, even ones that I feel are more obvious than the issues present in the previous film. The first film is constantly derided as being bad, but at least the scares happened organically and our protagonists made semi-logical decisions when faced with the deadly spirit that afflicted them. In Annabelle: Creation, anything can happen at any time and there are no rules and nothing really ever makes much sense.
These gaps in logic are somewhat mitigated by the fact that this film is indeed pretty scary and is good at riling up a crowd that just wants to be frightened senseless, even if this film's scares aren't the type of scares that stay with you all night afterwards. The movie honestly reminded me of a theme park ride, not unlike The Haunted Mansion at Disney world, but much darker and more twisted in nature. I never knew what was going to be thrown in my face next.
Another area where the film stumbles is with its cast. There's a bunch of unknowns in this film, save for a Miranda Otto, and a lot of the dialogue is extremely clunky. There's one scene that sticks in my mind as being particularly bad where two of the orphans, Janice (Talitha Bateman) and Linda (Lulu Wilson) are reminiscing about their hi-jinks at the orphanage they used to live at. This scene is meant to be endearing and heartfelt, but it just comes off as extremely scripted and completely falls flat. That said, despite that one instance, Talitha Bateman does a good job with the material she's given and you really feel sympathy for her character.
One aspect of Annabelle: Creation that is vastly improved upon from its predecessor is the production value. This film looks great and the lighting is spot-on. It's pretty clear that director David F. Sandberg knows how to stage some great shots, even if the scripts he's working with aren't quite as strong.
There's really not much that is exceptional about this film; the acting is sub-par, the gaps in logic are obvious and it doesn't do anything particularly new, but it is scary and everything is well-presented. All-in-all, Annabelle: Creation is a decent scare-fest, nothing more and nothing less.