Annabelle: Creation Might Just 'Scare Your Pants Off'

' The Conjuring' spinoff includes 'blood-curdling' third act
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2017 10:13 AM CDT

The creepy doll that frightened in The Conjuring (2013) and Annabelle (2014) is back in a prequel to a prequel, in which viewers meet the toy maker who created her. When tragedy strikes, Annabelle is locked away in a room in his California home—until curious orphans discover her. Critics are giving it a 69% "fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Samples:

  • Presenting Annabelle's story in reverse may sound like a "recipe for disaster," but Annabelle: Creation is not a disaster. It's "spine-tingling," writes Isaac Feldberg at the Boston Globe. He describes it as "the kind of old-school chiller that starts slow, patiently turning the screws" before "a brutal, blood-curdling crescendo of a third act." Feldberg adds most will "come away feeling spooked and satisfied."
  • Its scenes are "cheekily effective," writes Jeannette Catsoulis at the New York Times, who reserves most of her praise for director David F. Sandberg. He "proves a master of the flash-scare, a nifty choreographer of precipitous timing and striptease visuals. But he's also adroit with more leisurely horrors, like the snap-crackle-pop of the murderous shade flexing for the kill," she writes.

  • Julia Cooper at the Globe and Mail, however, says the film is "as lifeless as an old doll." It doesn't "concern itself with details such as motive" and features a script "full of mawkish dialogue weakly delivered by the film's child actors." To boot, "Sandberg does nothing to update his horror film from some of the genre's more damaging stereotypes," including disability as weakness, Cooper writes.
  • For Colin Covert, though, this is "the eerie and unsettling prequel [Annabelle] deserves." He calls the film "impressively creative" and "refreshingly intelligent"—a "taut shot in the arm for a genre that badly needs it." As for frights, this Annabelle installment is "the scariest one yet," he writes at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "Buckle up your belt or this moan-inducing, female-centric supernatural thriller will scare your pants off."
(Read more movie review stories.)

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