AT THE MOVIES
by Isy Jordan
Director: David F. Sandberg
Starring: Anthony LaPaglia, Samara Lee, Miranda Otto, and more...
Twelve years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker's possessed creation, Annabelle.
Annabelle: Creation is part of the Conjuring universe which includes The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2, and Annabelle. While the sequel to a spinoff of The Conjuring might seem to be something to watch on a winter night on Netflix, don't be fooled movie fan. This is a sequel of substance and one that any horror fan would enjoy, even without having watched any of the other movies. For fans who saw Annabelle, you'll enjoy the ending immensely.
So basically, as the title implies, we go back to Annabelle's, the titular doll's, beginning. We watch as a nice dollmaker who lives in a small country home with his wife and small daughter finishes our menacing doll, what was intended to be the first of one hundred. Shortly after he complete's the doll, tragedy strikes and his daughter is lost in a horrible accident.
Twelve years later, we see a group of teen and preteen orphaned girls being delivered to the same country home to live, accompanied by a young nun. Our story focuses on two main girls who are preteen. There's Linda, a perky, hopeful girl who is devoted to her friend Janice who was a victim of Polio and has mobility issues. The dollmaker and his wife, who we are told was badly injured years before, invite the girls into their home. Almost immediately, strange, scary, and paranormal things start to happen in a series of events that lead to a terrifying conclusion.
I've been a horror fan for a long time. I'm usually very unimpressed with cookie-cutter sequel films in the genre and rarely even give them a go. The marketing on this film pulled me in and I was rather glad it did. It's a gem of a movie. The acting is spot on, very impressive for a young cast of actresses who were all new to me. The story was simple but effective given the execution. The timing and atmosphere of the movie intensified the scares and drove the story along at a pace that was like a really good thrill ride.
At 109 minutes, it's a bit long for a horror film but completely worth it. The rating is an R for disturbing images, violence, and more. An over-the-top gory film, this is not. The story telling here doesn't need gore or shock to advance it. That's not to say they didn't throw in a few jump scares because they did. But as far as this horror fan is concerned, they didn't hit one wrong note. This is a wonderful film and just in time for the Halloween season. I'd really recommend it to fans of horror and of good movies.