"Annabelle: Creation" serves as a prequel of a prequel in "The Conjuring" universe.
This is a surprisingly effective horror thriller for most of its time and what it may lack in some areas, it compensates for in solid atmosphere, strong performances, and just enough of an intriguing story to hold it together.
The movie takes place years before the first movie and it centers on a series of orphan girls coming to live at a new home and it focuses specifically on two girls named Janice and Linda (Talitha Bateman and Lulu Wilson) who vow never to separate from each other during their stay. They’re under the care of a priest and a nun (Stephanie Sigman).
The house is run by a husband and wife (Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto) who are still suffering from the loss of their daughter. The husband is a doll maker and one of his latest creations is, you guessed it, Annabelle.
No one in the house is aware of Annabelle’s supernatural abilities until it starts making chaos ranging from creaking doors to being able to move on its own.
Soon, everyone in the house becomes aware of a series of events and it takes them awhile to figure out what’s responsible and when they do, everyone starts screaming for the hills.
I’m not sure if a prequel was warranted to yet another prequel and I doubt it’ll be very memorable except to diehard fans of "The Conjuring" universe, but as a late summer entry, it knows what it wants to do and does it well. Plus, it’ll be interesting to see what the next chapter will be and how everything will be tied together.
The suspense ratio is just high enough for me to recommend it.
Rated R for horror violence and terror.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.