Linda (Lulu Wilson) considers switching bedrooms in Annabelle: Creation. (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

Reel Reviews: The doll is back

We say, “Annabelle: Creation will do, for now.”

In rural ’50s America, a doll maker’s daughter named Annabelle dies in a tragic accident. Missing their only child, her parents pray to anyone who is listening, offering to pay any price just to have her back in any form. They get their wish in the form of a possessed, creepy doll, but Annabelle is not alone in there.

Years later, when the farmhouse is going to be used to house orphans, Annabelle is released from the home and her family.

We say, “Annabelle: Creation will do, for now.”

HOWE: I personally thought this was one of the better horror movies we have seen in a long, long time. I admit we haven’t had a lot of them recently, so that may warrant a bit higher score than normal. Annabelle: Creation is well worth a visit to the darkened theatre.

TAYLOR: It was okay. I find Annabelle (the doll) unsettling, as I do most insane looking, ghost-faced dolls. Putting her in a house full of curious children is a good mix and the film, although not directed by James Wan, has the “Wan feel.” All the hallmarks of your typical horror film are present: weird cinematography, long bouts of silence as we peer into the darkness and not really wanting to see what is there, and unexplained deaths. There are fewer jump scares than the usual horror flick, which is good. I’m much more affected by a still shot of Annabelle sitting in the corner, staring at us.

HOWE: I will admit it did give me the creeps, and I must congratulate the team for making that happen. Jump scares are cheap, and this film doesn’t seem to have any. What the filmmaker gives us instead is tension in the buildup. Scary foreboding music, dark shots of whoever or whatever is lurking in the shadows, and just enough of it to get the blood pumping and the hairs on the back of your neck to start standing up. Yet saying all of that, there are some moments that made myself and the rest of the audience laugh. I don’t know if it was intentionally placed to relieve some of the tension.

TAYLOR: I think it was, although sometimes people laugh at themselves for being scared. Take your date to Annabelle: Creation. See if it scares you.

Taylor gives Annabelle: Creation 3 wise pennies out of 5.

Howe gives it 3 Hail Marys out of 5.

— Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears every Friday.