Tag Archives: the conjuring

Annabelle: Creation – Movie Review

You are my sunshine, 

My only sunshine.

You make me happy,

When skies are gray.

You’ll never know, dear,

How much I love you.

I’m going to take your soul away.

That’s how it goes, right?

I guess.

So the universe created in The Conjuring continues to expand, this time with a spine-tingling origin story of the wonderfully creepy porcelain doll, Annabelle.  If you’ve seen every installment in The Conjuring “series,” you should already be well-prepared for this movie.

The Annabelle doll, first introduced in The Conjuring and further expanded on in 2014’s Annabelle, finally gets her own horror movie worth a few screams.   I wasn’t too impressed with the first movie.  It just was a little too predictable and boring, but this one – oh man, this one.

Warning: Here Be Spoilers

We start with the actual making of the doll by Mr. Mullins, played by Anthony LaPaglia, and a too-cute version of hide and seek with his daughter, affectionately called Bee and played by up-and-coming child actress, Samara Lee.

Side note: If her parents aren’t fans of The Ring, I’ll eat my keyboard.

Ms. Mullins, played by Miranda Otto, joins in on the fun, and we’re shown how happy life is in the Mullins household.  This being a horror movie, we know this little love fest won’t last long.  Sorry to break it to you, but Bee (whose full name we later learn is – you guessed it – Annabelle) ends up getting killed.

Flash forward 12 years later, and 6 orphaned girls are on their way to stay at the Mullins’s home until they’re able to be adopted.  They’re given almost full run of the house except for the Mullins’s bedroom and the locked bedroom of little Bee.

One of the girls is enticed to come inside Bee’s room by an unseen entity.  Of course, this is where the doll lurks, locked in a secret room lined with pages from the Holy Bible.  The girl opens Annabelle’s chamber, and that’s all she wrote.  The evil is released, and terror befalls the house.

We learn from Ms. Mullins that she and her husband had bargained with whatever force would allow them to have their daughter back in any way.  They invited what they thought was their daughter’s spirit into the doll, but what entered was actually a demonic presence.  Ms. Mullins ended up getting half her face along with one eye carved up and charred.

Don’t mess with a demon, people.

Who? Me?

We’re treated to several jump scares, some gruesome injuries/deaths, multiple appearances by THE demonic presence, and the lurking shadow of Annabelle throughout the movie. And yes, I said treated to jump scares.  I know a lot of horror fans hate when movies rely on these, but I have to say they’re very well-balanced with actual horror in Annabelle: Creation.  It’s just enough to keep us jumpy and invested in what’s going on.

I was very impressed with the effects and very happy with how they tied the movie to the 2014 version.  I don’t even want to go into details on it.  You should just see for yourself.  I love a good tie-in/movie connection.  It’s probably why I love the Saw franchise so much with all its interconnected craziness, and I love that this movie ties into not only 2014’s Annabelle, but The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2.

Oh?  How does it tie into The Conjuring 2, you ask?  Well, the demon nun makes not one, but two appearances.  Two!  One in passing in a photograph and then with an after credits scene.  I was wriggling in my seat, I was so happy.  If you’re not already aware, the demon nun is another expansion of this universe with the release of her own movie, The Nun, coming in 2018.  I know. Exciting stuff.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the acting in this film.  Everyone does a great job. Talitha Bateman plays Janice, and she’s the lucky girl that both releases Annabelle and gets possessed by the demonic presence later in the movie.  Bateman gets a huge point for the sinister portrayal of her character’s possessed self.  She’s supposed to be creepy, and is she ever.

Lulu Wilson, playing Linda, Janice’s best friend, also does a wonderful job, and I wasn’t surprised.  She was great in Ouija: Origin of Evil, so I knew I’d like her in this.  And this time, she got to be the one on the other side of the possession, so that’s nice.  I say she’s 2 for 2 in her horror movie origin story run.  I thought it was pretty funny that she was in both this prequel and the prequel to Ouija, which both far surpass their originals.  Keep ’em coming, Lulu.

So should you go see this one?  If you enjoyed The Conjuring 1 and 2, I say go for it.  Hell, if you enjoyed the 2014 Annabelle, I say definitely go for it because you won’t be disappointed after that train wreck.

Oh!  And bonus, they put in a little Easter egg concerning the REAL Annabelle doll.  You’ll like it.  Trust me.

How to Enjoy a Horror Movie

If you don’t like horror movies, I don’t understand you.  I just don’t.  Are you scared?  Squeamish?  Do you just think they’re stupid?  What’s your problem?

I have always – ALWAYS – loved horror movies, so not enjoying/watching them has never occurred to me.  They’ve just been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

Maybe you have a significant other that really loves them, or maybe you’ve been called a wuss for whatever reason.  The point is, now you want to try them out.

Well, let me help you.

I recently watched The Bye Bye Man, a movie that just came out earlier this year and was universally not-so-loved by people who watched it.  Just check out the reviews.  Rotten Tomatoes currently scores it as 24% rotten.  It’s got a 37% on Metacritic, 0.5 stars out of 4 from Roger Ebert, and a 4.2 on Imdb.

So yeah.  Not a great movie.

But guess what?  I enjoyed it.  I’m not saying it’s a good movie by any means.  I just know how to enjoy a horror movie, so that’s what I did.

So how do you do it even if it’s terrible?

  1. Know thyself and pick accordingly.

Not every movie is meant for every person, and that can definitely be said for the many variations in the horror genre.  If you can’t stand gore, it’s probably not a good idea to jump right in to Saw.  If ghosts are too much for you, stay away from The Conjuring.  Oh, you run screaming and hyperventilate at the thought of possession?  How about you avoid The Exorcist?

Maybe you want a little comedy in your horror.  Maybe  you want something critically acclaimed (few and far between for horror movies).  The point is this: pick something that you might like, not something you know you’re going to hate.

I don’t watch sappy romance movies for exactly that reason.

2.   Know the rules.

If you’ve seen Scream or just have a working knowledge of pop culture, you know that horror movies have rules.  Don’t have sex. Don’t drink and/or do drugs. Don’t say “I’ll be right back.”  And so on, and so on, and so on.  These rules don’t apply to real life, but there is a formula to a lot of scary movies, especially slashers.

And if you know the rules, you can probably catch when something’s about to happen.  That’s part of the fun.  It doesn’t work for every horror movie, of course, but you can have a pretty good time catching these little clues as they come.

3.   Turn off your brain.

Yes.   I know they should be going down the stairs and out the door instead of straight to the killer’s loving arms, but this is a horror movie.  People make dumb decisions in a horror movie.  It’s okay. You don’t have to make these same mistakes when you have a homicidal masked crazy person slowly following you.  These are not instructional videos, and on that note…

4.  Don’t be “that guy.”

Everybody loves to hear a know-it-all, right?  WRONG.  Trust me.  Absolutely no one cares that you could have totally gotten out of whatever horror movie situation you’re currently watching.  It doesn’t make you cool; it makes you annoying.

Also, if you just plain don’t like the movie, don’t be an ass about it.  Not scary to you?  Don’t bitch about it.  Everyone is scared of different things.  I, for instance, have never been actually scared by a movie, but I still love them.

5.  Don’t give up.

There are as many different types of horror movies as there are stars in the sky.  Well, not really, but you get the point.  If you pick a movie you’re not really pleased with, try something new.  If you decide ghosts aren’t for you, try a slasher.  Slashers out?  Try a zombie movie.  There’s also psychological horror, possession, splatter, survival, found footage, paranormal, and various types of monster movies to try out.  There’s bound to be one you’ll like somewhere in the mix.