HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Candyman
Power of the Dog, The
StageFright
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
Suicide Squad, The
One Night in Miami...
Old
   
 
Newest Articles
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
   
 
  Annabelle Creation All Dolled Up
Year: 2017
Director: David F. Sandberg
Stars: Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Eliana Bateman, Lulu Wilson, Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto, Grace Fulton, Philippa Coulthard, Tayler Buck, Lou Lou Safran, Samara Lee, Brad Greenquist, Mark Bramhall, Joseph Bishara, Fred Tatasciore, Lotta Losten
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Twelve years ago, in the nineteen-forties, there was an American couple who lived out in the middle of nowhere with their daughter who they doted over. The father, Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia), was very good with his hands and specialised in woodwork, creating dolls for the local children and his own offspring, but one day on their way back from a family outing their car broke down and while he was fixing the tyre his daughter strayed into the middle of the road and was knocked over, killing her instantly. To get over this tragedy, he and his wife Esther (Miranda Otto) have established a home for orphans in their country house, and now, in the fifties, there are new arrivals...

What does this have to do with the doll from the first Annabelle movie, which had the distinction of being one of the most tedious and inert horror villains of all time? Seriously, it just sat there while stuff sort of happened around it, and what kind of thrills can you glean from that, unless you're very easily impressed? The answer to that was damn few, so there was a definite lack of high hopes for this prequel, that in essence was a pre-prequel since Annabelle had been a predecessor to one of those Conjuring efforts which while successful had been a blight on the genre thanks to their mixture of hardline Christian fundamentalism and playing fast and loose with what little truth they had.

Fortunately screenwriter Gary Dauberman (who had a very good 2017, penning this and the Stephen King It adaptation) was able to have free rein over what Annabelle got up to here, which meant a shade more imagination and a lot less moralising, always a plus in the chiller format. This wasn't a million miles away from that It movie, featuring as it did a bunch of kids to counteract the evil, though they did have assistance from a grown-up in the shape of Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman), a nice nun to presumably salve any objections that this increasingly sprawling franchise had anything against Catholic religious orders. Interestingly, she wasn't that much older than her terrified charges.

Mullins was no help, barely characterised (the usually reliable LaPaglia had nothing to work with), but given to warning the girls away from his deceased daughter's room, which in a plot straight out of the pages of seventies spooktastic girls' comic Misty is awaiting some innocent soul to unleash its evil. The unlucky candidate for this? She was especially unlucky for she was recovering from a bout of polio, Janice (Talitha Eliana Bateman), which meant in an encouraging move we were watching a heroine who was both disabled and female, a combination you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the mainstream. Alas, it was too good to be true as her disability wound up just one more reason to be afraid of the evil come the second half, but for the first this was genuinely unusual in its focus.

Janice has a best pal, Linda (Lulu Wilson), who took over from her when she became incapacitated thanks to a spot of possession once they had gained access to the forbidden bedroom and found the dreaded doll, closed up in a cupboard. Fair enough, Annabelle still didn't do very much, but since unseen hands were placing her in unexpected places (so to speak) she did seem a lot more active this time around, and they even did the "turning the doll's head when you look away and back again" trick that the first instalment let everyone down in not doing. Very much female led, in front of the camera anyway, from villainesses to protagonists and supporting players, this was more proof that women (and girls) could be very well served by horror which gave them more to do than any other genre, and more regularly at that. The main issue was there was little forward momentum, preferring the one damn thing after another construction which was all very well, but since you knew the menace would not be wholly contained, those false endings were an irritant. Music by Benjamin Wallfisch.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3434 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: