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Annabelle Creation movie cast: Miranda Otto, Stephanie Sigman, Anthony LaPaglia, Lulu Wilson
Annabelle Creation movie director: David Sandberg
Annabelle Creation movie rating: 2 stars
PARENTS frightened of their own child have sustained many a horror film. A malevolent spirit in a child’s doll many others. We needn’t look further than even The Conjuring, of which Annabelle: Creation is the fourth spin-off, and the prequel to a prequel. Yeah, by now, they should have this pat down. Annabelle: Creation has all that, plus a desolate house, orphans, nun, a mysterious woman behind a curtain, a forbidden door, a scarecrow, a barn, a basement, a chair lift, a lift hidden behind a wall, a well, and lots and lots of dolls. Who needs a story, or even one character that does things besides opening strange doors?
Sometime in the early 1940s, a doll-maker and his wife, Samuel (LaPaglia) and Esther (Otto) Mullins, lose their young daughter to an accident. They sequester themselves in their old, rickety farmhouse, away from all civilization, along with their grief, the doll Annabelle (named after their daughter) and “something else”. Twelve years later, to this house arrives a nun (Sigman) with six girls, her wards at an orphanage that has shut down. One of the girls, Janice (Bateman), is polio-afflicted, and left on her own by the other girls, starts exploring the house with its many secrets and strange happenings.
Then the happenings never cease, with director Sandberg (Lights Out) deploying largely the same tricks. The questions we want answered are never asked. So, we know nothing of the nun, but for the titillating detail that she was once at a “Romania convent where the other sisters have no contact with the outside world”; nothing about the girls, of varying ages and desires, and some more interesting than the others, stuck together; and almost zero about the couple who have put them in harm’s way. The actors, with the exception of Bateman, and that largely because she is the star victim this time, are largely impassive.
One thing is clear though, we are not done with Annabelle yet. The photo the nun shows of her Romania convent has a mysterious figure lurking in the shadows. Up next in The Conjuring series is Nun.