Annabelle: Creation


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Annabelle: Creation
"In the dark no one can hear you die"

OK, you've been here before. The creaking door, bats at the window, cliches of the ghost story.

Here's another - isolation. And another - the living doll.

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Ghosts are most effective when their haunting has a logical basis. There are rules, or used to be in the old days, like no touching. Admittedly there are poltergeists but that's furniture rearrangement. Suddenly the temperature drops and the candle flickers and you feel a presence. You may not see anything, but you know. It's in your head. The horror!

This latest incarnation collects the usual scarespects, accompanied by heavy, doom laden music. Subtlety is a made word in a confused world. Doesn't apply here. What you get is paranormal violence and buckets of tomato ketchup.

Way out in the American West is a big house on a ranch. Not sure about the ranch, but there is a big house where a miserable looking Anthony LaPaglia and a bedridden Miranda Otto exist. Ten years earlier their daughter Annabelle had been run over by a truck and they have never forgotten, never recovered.

A van load of photogenic teenage orphans, escorted by a too attractive nun, arrive out of the blue. Their reason for dropping in is neither important nor explained. What matters is that they are here and in Annabelle's room sits a doll with a shiny, smiley face. No prizes for guessing what she gets up to.

It is difficult to judge the period which feels like the Twenties, but the girls call each other "you guys", which belongs to a post Monica Lewinski era. However, it is what scriptwriter Gary Dauberman wants it to be, which feels at times like one of those Freddy Krueger spin-offs where young people in woods are slashed to death in glorious slo-mo.

When silence becomes toxic you have a situation where fear can breed. Here you are beaten around the head with noise and visually assaulted. The result is nostalgic and disturbing.

In the dark no one can hear you die.

Reviewed on: 05 Aug 2017
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Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker's possessed creation, Annabelle.
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