One common thing I’ve been hearing regarding current horror films is that the sequel to horrible horror films is actually really good, or better than the predecessors. I honestly can’t really disagree. Annabelle: Creation was indeed better than the original, but that’s not a very big accomplishment because the first really wasn’t all that great to begin with. Now, I’m a hard man to please when it comes to scary or haunted dolls. The best film I can think of in that aspect is probably The Boy because it was done differently. That’s probably still true, but Annabelle: Creation is a close second, because once again, it is done differently. Let’s get into it.
12 years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, where they soon become the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle. – IMDb
In terms of doing things differently, the doll wasn’t a full-blown focus of the film, it is just a conduit of something darker, which was the focus of the film. They have a lot of focus on sounds rather than visuals, but they also don’t abandon the visuals either. Apart from that, the film did a good job with camerawork, casting, and acting…which isn’t really a common thing to find in horror films if we’re honest with ourselves.
These are just my first impressions, though. Let’s go ahead and break down Annabelle: Creation to interpret the stars.
TITLE – Annabelle: Creation
Year – 2017
Genres – Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Possible Awards – Sequels & Prequels
PEOPLE SCORE – 7/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 1|Casting – 2|Importance – 1|Chemistry – 1
First up, we have the people category, starting off with the subcategory of acting, and thankfully, the acting was noticeably great. The characters were fine, but I won’t be remembering them forever. I am convinced that nobody else can play these characters. They are perfect for these roles. In this film, there were characters that certainly held independent importance and purpose, but not enough. The main characters basically held the importance while everyone else sorta of blended together. As far as the chemistry goes in this film, there wasn’t much of it. While it was fine, no one really cares about the relationships in this film.
WRITING SCORE – 7/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 2|Story – 1|Originality – 2|Interesting – 1
Next up, we have the writing category, starting off with the dialogue subcategory…which was as unremarkable and forgettable as the meal you had last Tuesday afternoon. I would certainly say that the film is very well-balanced and consistently holds a strong focus on the story at hand. When it comes to the actual story, I can’t really say it’s the best. It’s got a few things here and there that I think a lot of people will enjoy, but it’s certainly not the greatest story ever told. In my opinion, I also think this film feels fresh and pretty darn original. I’d say I was interested enough to watch the film, but as I watched the movie, my interested died down pretty rapidly and was gone before the film ended.
BTS SCORE – 7/10
Visuals – 1|Directing – 2|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1
Next up, we’re taking a look at behind-the-scenes, starting with the visuals. In this case, the visuals were pretty standard and typical to what you’d expect. Nothing blows you away, nothing looks horrible, either. It is what it is, folks. The director actually did a really good job here. Completely based off of what they did, the movie looks and feels great and authentic on a different level. Well done! Nothing challenging or difficult in the editor’s desk, folks. They stitched the movie together just fine, but there’s nothing else to report here because even a kid could probably do it. As with most films, I consider this film to be exactly as advertised, which is good. There wasn’t anything fancy or memorable about the music. It was basically as good as it needed to be in order to keep the tone in place…and that’s what they did here, as well.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 10/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 2
Next up, we’re chugging right along into the narrative arc category, which is one of the easiest categories to score highly in. First up, we’re looking at the introduction, which did perfectly. By the inciting incident, we knew who everyone was, the basic setting, and what’s going on in these people’s lives. How about the inciting incident? That was perfectly clear and set the rest of the film up for a good ride. How were the obstacles? Totally fine. There were plenty of clear obstacles in the way, just as you’d come to expect. How was the climax? The climax was perfect. It felt like a perfect culmination of everything else put together, just as it should. Lastly, we’re gonna talk about the falling action, which was really great. It had a nice little calming down moment and a definite returning to a new norm moment as well, so that’s good.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 3/10
Rewatchability – 1|Fun – 1|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks Audience IN – 1
Okay, so was this movie as entertaining as it wanted to be? Let’s get into that. As far as rewatchability is concerned, I don’t know. I might watch it again if I was in the mood, but I don’t see myself looking for the film anytime soon. Did I have fun while watching it, at least? To a degree, yeah, but that really just had to come down to a few scenes here and there, not the entire film. Do I have any impulse to buy it? No way, Jose! What about talking to somebody about the film that hasn’t heard of it? I really have no impulse to tell anybody about it, honestly. Does this suck you in, though? Maybe in certain parts, but definitely not throughout.
SPECIALTY SCORE – 40/50
Franchise – 10|Universe – 10|Sequel – 5|Horror – 5|Halfway Decent – 10
Onto the specialty categories. First of all, I want to see how this fits into its own franchise, the Conjuring Universe and if it ultimately adds anything to the story. As far as the franchise goes, it definitely feels like it fits as an Annabelle film, which is great. As far as the universe is concerned, it fits rather well, actually. This universe has been expanding itself nice and slow, and I think the same is done here with a few creatures like the scarecrow and the hint of the nun here and there, full points for both franchise and universe. Does it add anything new to the franchise? I’m not really sure if it does. It explains the origins of the doll, which is good, but other than that, I’m inclined to say no. So, half points there. How was the horror, was I scared? It had a few jump scares and creeping moments that got me, but for the most part no, half points again. Finally, would I consider this halfway decent? Yeah, I think I would.
TOTAL – 74/100
Score # – 200