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Annabelle Creation

After the inexplicable success of its first entry, the ‘Annabelle’ series continues with ‘Annabelle Creation’. As a prequel, it charts the beginnings of everyone’s favourite evil dolly. Unlike its dreadful predecessor, ‘Annabelle: Creation’ is easier to watch. Due to better direction and fine acting, it also remembers to be scary. Having a Grimm’s Fairy Tales-like atmosphere, it offers evidence, that with a bit of creative flair, a decent horror film can be made on a micro budget.

Several years after the tragic death of their daughter, doll manufacturer Samuel (Anthony LaPaglia) and his wife Esther (Miranda Otto), take a group of orphans into their mansion. Janice (Taitha Bateman) and Linda (Lulu Wilson) are taken care of by nun Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman). Exploring the sprawling mansion, Janice comes across a locked room containing a doll named Annabelle. Unknowingly releasing an evil force, Janice and her friends have to fight against the powerful entity before Annabelle’s porcelain-made hands grips them in her clutches.

The best thing one can say about ‘Annabelle: Creation’ is that it makes an effort. That isn’t a bad comment as David F Sandberg’s direction makes the most of the story. Infusing a bit of mystical folklore as well as examining issues of grief and isolation, this entry is more substantial than the last. Whilst still relying too much on jump scares, Sandberg also knows how to hold back occasionally with scenes of dead silence. Those are more effective in conjuring spooky frights with the cinematography perfectly capturing the gloomy mood of the mansion and its inhabitants.

The performances also make ‘Annabelle: Creation’ watchable. Although it’s unusual seeing LaPalgia and Otto in a horror movie, their stoic presence elevate the tone, making it more interesting. Wilson and Bateman are also especially good as the little girls caught in Annabelle’s deadly trap. Their co-stars rise to the challenge of actually giving believable performances amidst the horrific shenanigans. Thankfully there isn’t much blood on display, as Sandberg seems keener on the unseen which is more imaginative.

‘Annabelle: Creation’ is far better than the first entry. It still isn’t the best of its genre but the attempt in making the fairly predictable screenplay work is commendable. Spending a bit of money on good actors and writing isn’t such a bad thing which can pay dividends even when trying to scare viewers silly.

Rating out of 10: 6

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