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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Annabelle: Creation - Out-Scares Its Predecessor - A Devilish Doll Returns

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5 stars)

Released 08-11-2017

Watched 09-04-2023

Reviewed 09-06-2023

Available to Buy or Rent

"Talking about the things that bothers us, sometimes, it's all the help we need."

When it comes to horror franchises, sequels often fall short of delivering the chills and narrative substance of the original. Fortunately, "Annabelle: Creation," directed by David F. Sandberg, defies this norm by not just matching but surpassing its predecessor in terms of horror elements and storytelling. As a fan of the franchise, I can attest that this installment was the scariest I've seen so far, making even the first Annabelle film seem like a child's play in comparison.

What's particularly noteworthy about "Annabelle: Creation" is its ability to deftly interweave the narrative threads from the first three installments of the Conjuring universe. This serves as a refreshing change from the all-too-familiar 'sequel for the sake of a sequel' approach. It manages to be more than a standalone story, and instead, acts like a vital puzzle piece that fits perfectly within the larger narrative fabric of the franchise.

In terms of scares, the film leaves no stones unturned. It employs a variety of techniques—jump scares, psychological horror, and eerie sound effects—to create an atmosphere that keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. What enhances the horror even more is the excellent pacing, which builds tension in a manner that is neither rushed nor lagging. The use of practical effects and shadow play adds an extra layer of realism, making it easier for the audience to immerse themselves in the dread-filled world of the cursed doll.

The performances are compelling all around, particularly from the younger cast members, who bring a sense of vulnerability that makes their encounters with the supernatural all the more harrowing. While the film does incorporate familiar horror tropes, they are executed with a level of skill and craftsmanship that rejuvenates them, making the experience feel both fresh and frightening.

That said, the film isn't without its shortcomings. Some of the plot points are somewhat predictable, and one could argue that it doesn't push the boundaries of the horror genre in any revolutionary ways. But these are minor quibbles in what is otherwise a heart-pounding, spine-chilling cinematic experience.

To sum it up, "Annabelle: Creation" is an exhilarating installment in the Conjuring franchise that not only scares, but also enriches the overarching storyline in a way that few sequels manage to do. It's a must-watch for fans of the series and horror aficionados alike, promising an experience that is as narratively engaging as it is terrifying.

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