Forget The Dark Universe. The best horror series currently rules the chart belongs to James Wan, whose “The Conjuring” spin-offs provides a world full of nightmarish entities like The Crooked Man, The Nun, and a doll that could even scare Chucky off. Welcome to the frightening realm of Annabelle Creation Movie Online, now advanced with an entire film to bring its backstory.
Although 2014’s “Annabelle” did well enough at the box office to ensure a following movie, reviews were less than stellar. But the unexpected flying success of Mike Flanagan’s “Ouija: Origin of Evil” offered an answer that was likely too good to turn the other cheek: recruit an indie horror director to make a prequel-sequel take place in the past. Thus, the hideously creepy doll of the first work was reborn, this time with “Lights Out” director David F. Sandberg behind the camera.
The premise of Annabelle Creation Movie Online is simple enough to turn out effective. The Mullins reside in an isolated country house with their only daughter, Bee (Samara Lee). Her father, Samuel (Anthony LaPaglia), is a doll-maker, and the movie’s opening scene is dedicated to witnessing him meticulously craft a limited edition line of a very special doll. You already know: Annabelle is carefully kept inside of a box in a pure white dress, and although she’s a brand new model, her face still just as petrifying as her first appearance in “The Conjuring”. Annabelle is the very first doll of her line, and as it shortly turns out to also be the very last.
On their way home from church, Bee is involved in a deadly automobile accident that competes against David Lynch’s unflinching episode in the “Twin Peaks” revival. Filled with grief, Samuel and his wife, Esther (Miranda Otto) live in solitude, until 12 years later, when they ultimately welcome a small group of orphaned girls and their protective nun, Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) to live in their home.
Among the girls are two quarrelsome best friends Linda (Lulu Wilson) and Janice (Talitha Bateman). Coping with polio, Janice depends on a leg brace and can’t get around, but fortunately for her, the house’s staircase is equipped with a flamboyant motorized chair, one that demands the rider to fasten him or her belt before it will function — you already know where it is going.
Janice is warned not to stay close of Bee’s locked bedroom, but she’s still lured in anyway; this time, the door is opened. Inside, Bee’s room is intact and full of a delightful bunch of toys, including a grand, handmade doll house that’s a tiny version of the Mullins’ house. As Janice reaches inside, a small closet door opens unveiling a key. After looking back and forth between the doll house and Bee’s bedroom closet, it becomes awfully clear that the key belongs to the larger closet, and Janice doesn’t waste any minute. Inside, Annabelle is positioned on a small chair, encircled by torn pages from the Bible, and a painted cross. It’s a horrifying image, one that definitely leaves Janet in a complete creeped-out state. She does her best to lock the doll back up in the room, but in case it wasn’t clear, she’s missed her opportunity.
And so we arrive at the biggest problem with Annabelle Creation 720p Online: its heavy dependence on noticable horror clichés: jump scares, flickering lights, demonic presences hiding in gloomy shadows, peeking through key holes to witness Annabelle sitting in a moving rocking chair. The typical stuffs. As with the first movie, Janice is a perfect target for possession.
Sandberg brazenly wears his influences on his sleeve, and tucked inside are very remarkable references to Wan’s “Insidious”, “Silence of the Lambs” and, probably most shockingly, 1973’s “Messiah of Evil”. However while these nods will definitely satisfy horror fans, they don’t really bring anything extraordinary. Wan thankfully was able to bring old tropes to life, like demon face shockingly appears behind Patrick Wilson in “Insidious” or the basement clapping sequence in “The Conjuring”. Sandberg’s tributes seem like carbon copies that need to be paired with some cheap scares as to stick the landing.
Yet, Annabelle Creation Movie Online does provide some surprising moments, and successes in delivering some genuinely eerie shot. Even when you can find the tricks from miles away, Annabelle Creation Movie Online hits the terror notes it’s aiming for.
Most of that can be used to describe its titular mini-monster. The viewers never witness the doll move on her own, but she haunts every shot she appears in, staring threateningly behind glass eyes and a painted distress. Her lingering presence makes everything eerie, and keeps the audience unsettled.
Annabelle Creation Movie Online stumbles towards the end with an easy-predicted prologue that sums up the sequel and initial with a tidy bow that may make logical sense, but which diminishes the impact of the tale’s ending but also lets the series, should it be ready for another sequel, to move forward in the future. The movie also confirms the “Conjuring” universe’s next promising project, “The Nun”, and hints at the chance of another time jump to a new area full of its own gigantic amount of horror lore: Romania.
Until we arrive there, Annabelle Creation Movie Online will do the trick. It might not be another sequel to “Conjuring”, but the new installment manages to engage the appeal of the series well enough to keep its blood flowing until the next project.