There's something inherently creepy about dolls. Be it Fats, Chucky, Billy from Saw or the bastard clown doll from Poltergeist, there's something just not right about them. Then there's the evil porcelain dolls that used to stare at you from their glass cabinet prison at your nan's house. Annabelle definitely falls in that category.
The 'star' of The Conjuring is back, in a sequel to the self-titled Annabelle and a preview to the franchise as a whole.
It all begins with dollmaker Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) and his wife (Miranda Otto) losing their daughter Annabelle (Samara Lee) in a tragic accident. 12 years later, for reasons relatively unknown, they allow a nun (Stephanie Sigman) and a group of orphans, including best friends Janice (Talitha Bateman) and Lina (Lulu Wilson) to move in. Mrs. Mullins is confined to her room after a mysterious accident, and there are strange noises and occurrences at night. Cue creepy doll, and we all know what happens next...
There's plenty of jump scares, loud bangs, creative special effects and innovative uses of props. There's even an out of place cameo from a franchise character, seemingly only to set up another film. The two child leads do a great job but you find yourself not caring as much for the others.
If it's character depth and a lasting narrative you want, you'll be disappointed. If you want something that delivers highly on scares and makes you spill your popcorn, this is the film for you.
While slightly better than Annabelle, it's still not as strong or engrossing as The Conjuring films. However, the end ties up things rather nicely and leads the way for a franchise that, like producer James Wan's Saw, shows no signs of stopping for a while - The Conjuring 3 and further spin-offs The Nun and The Crooked Man are already on their way.
ANNABELLE: CREATION / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: DAVID F. SANDBERG / SCREENPLAY: GARY DAUBERMAN / STARRING: STEPHANIE SIGMAN, TALITHA BATEMAN, LULU WILSON, PHILIPPA COULTHARD, GRACE FULTON / RELEASE DATE: 11TH AUGUST
Expected Rating: 6/10