There’s something inherently creepy about dolls, but it’s when these inanimate toys get possessed by demonic forces that horror fans flock in droves to the movie theatres. From the homicidal Chucky to the eerie clown doll from Poltergeist, nightmare toys always deliver, and Annabelle: Creation is no different. Following his horror debut, “Lights Out,” David Sandberg is back with the spooky origin story of one of the creepiest dolls in horror history.
The movie starts with Samuel (Anthony LaPaglia), doll-maker, meticulously crafting a limited edition doll that he carefully places in a wooden box. He gets interrupted by someone slipping a note with the words “find me,” and so begins the nail biting plot. When the movie reveals that it’s Samuel’s daughter, Bee (Samara Lee), who loves to play hide and seek, we also meet his wife, Esther (Miranda Otto).
On their way home from church one day, Bee is the victim of a fatal automobile accident. Consumed with grief at the loss of their only child, Samuel and Esther spend the next 12 years living in seclusion in their remote country home. They then decide to welcome six orphaned girls to their home. Accompanied by Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman), they are immediately captivated and mesmerized by the mansion.
We witness Sandberg’s deft filmmaking genius as he slowly and eerily sets the stage for the impending danger in store for the characters. He takes his time and deliberately introduces seemingly innocuous elements that foreshadow the horrors to unfold, an old stair lift, a malfunctioning rope-operated elevator, the chilling sound of the bell used by Esther, now bedridden bed due to a mysterious accident, to summon Samuel.
Janice (Talitha Bateman), who has polio and walks with the help of a leg brace is mysteriously drawn to Bee’s old room although Samuel keeps it locked and makes it clear to all occupants of the house that the room is off-limits. Most characters experience some form of hair-raising encounter with the presence, but it’s Janice who feels that the evil is coming after her. She eventually enters the bedroom, which is unlocked by the presence, and she faces a ghostly version of Bee. She makes the mistake of opening a closet where our favorite creepy annabelle doll had been locked away, surrounded by pages from the bible. From then on, the occupants of the house face the daunting task of saving their soul from the demon.
We won’t ruin the movie for you since every horror fan needs to experience Sandberg’s impressive mastery of cinematography, lighting, sound, and most importantly astounding sense of timing for themselves.
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