Not every genre movie is original or unique and there is nothing wrong with one just done right. There are many horror releases every year, but most of them are not very effective or memorable. The expectations after the release of the very original and successful Get Out earlier this year were low, but Annabelle: Creation manages to surprise and keep the faith in the horror genre to a certain extent. If you are wondering if it is better than the first part, then you can rest assure that it is not only better, but also easily stands on its own as a decent horror film.
12 years after the tragic death of their daughter, a couple decides to take in a few young girls from the local orphanage. However, the story of their daughter’s death is far from over and the evil that once lurked is unleashed in the house. The film’s scope is narrow and it takes place in a house pretty much from beginning to end. I jumped on board once I heard that this prequel was directed by David F. Sandberg, who delivered one of the biggest success stories of 2016 with Lights Out. Not only was Lights Out a smash hit making more than 100 million dollars at the box office, but also it was scary and efficient, it got the job done in 80 minutes.
Sandberg brings his own touch to the Conjuring universe with this prequel and the result is decent enough to call it a win; it is easy to say its 2 out of 2 for him in the horror genre. He belongs to the James Wan school of horror (the director of The Conjuring and Insidious) which means most of the atmospherics and scares are done in the old fashion way through effective use of sounds and camera work to scare you from what you can’t see instead of using a lot CGI and visual effects in front of the camera.
There are no surprises or twists here – nothing that you haven’t seen before. However, what the film lacks in originality story-wise, more than makes it up with high competence behind the camera. Here we have a film-making crew in love with the horror genre, a spot-on cast, a creepy atmosphere, and some very effective scary scenes. Why do we watch horror movies in the first place? Most of the time not to see something that we haven’t seen before, but to experience those fun goosebumps on our skin, and in that regard Annabelle: Creation delivers.