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Running Time:
1 hour, 49 minutes

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for horror violence and terror.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
The set-up is promising, and it offers some decent early scares, but eventually the thinness of the story becomes overwhelmingly obvious.

Additional Info:
Anthony LaPaglia ... Samuel Mullins
Samara Lee ... Bee
Miranda Otto ... Esther Mullins
Brad Greenquist ... Victor Palmeri
Lulu Wilson ... Linda
Talitha Bateman ... Janice
Stephanie Sigman ... Sister Charlotte
Mark Bramhall ... Father Massey
Grace Fulton ... Carol
Philippa Coulthard ... Nancy
Tayler Buck ... Kate
Lou Lou Safran ... Tierney
Joseph Bishara ... Annabelle Demon
Alicia Vela-Bailey ... Evil Mullins
Lotta Losten ... Adoption Agent

Annabelle: Creation
Toy maker Sam Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) and his wife Esther Mullins (Mirando Otto) are welcoming a group of orphans to their home after the tragic death of their daughter Annabelle (Samara Lee). When Janice (Talitha Bateman), one of the orphans, snoops into Annabelle’s room, she uncovers that the Mullins’ daughter is very well alive, or is she?

Just like both Conjuring movies, c offer some well-rounded and interesting character drama. The orphans, Janice () and Linda (Lulu Wilson), are extremely likable from the get-go. Even when they are stupidly curious, like most people in horror movies, they have their own issues and drama that make them feel like real children.

Their acting abilities help as well, and theywork well together, and it shows and their relationship feels genuine and gives the audience a reason to root for them.

Although not as developed as the orphans, the Mullins offers a sense of mystery throughout the film. After the death of their child, they haven’t been the same. Mr. Mullins takes care of his bedridden wife for reasons that only become apparent at the end of the film. The mystery surrounding this couple is fairly interesting, and it gives way to scary bedtime stories told by the teenage orphans. Throughout Annabelle: Creation, it’s the character-driven storytelling that makes what’s on screen scary and suspenseful.

Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense, once famously said – ”There is a distinct difference between “suspense” and “surprise,” and yet many pictures continually confuse the two.” Annabelle: Creation doesn’t. There are ”surprise” scares in the beginning which are played for false scares, as they should be. The filmmakers are not trying to scare you, but are easing you into what is coming later.

During the second half of the film, director David F. Sandberg ("Lights Out") carefully builds suspense, and even though most of his buildup finishes with a scare, he messes with the timing just enough to keep you on edge. And he does this really well, choosing the right camera angle to show something off-putting or even using a popular camera trick in order to make you believe something will happen, when in reality, it doesn’t. He plays with horror filmmaking tropes so well that even know-it-all horror buffs are going to be surprised.

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