Annabelle: Creation

Lina Al Taii, Entertainment Editor

Gasps and covered eyes filled the theatre as the young crippled orphan Janice was thrown over the stairs by a demon presence trying to possess her body.
Annabelle: Creation, directed by David F. Sandberg, is a prequel to Annabelle (2014) and the fourth volume of The Conjuring.
Sandberg cleverly portrays the chilling story of a demon taking possession of the porcelain doll named Annabelle.
When Sister Charlotte, played by Stephanie Sigman, brings seven orphan children to Sam and Esther Mullins’ home, a demon’s announces its presence and tries to take possession of one of their bodies.
Janice and Linda, the two main characters, vow to stay together until someone can adopt both of them. However, Janice is partly disabled in her leg due to Polio.
Janice’s weakness makes her the perfect target for the demon presence living in the Mullins household.
The demon, which begins the movie locked in a closet covered with Bible verses, calls to Janice at night and causes her to open the closet and release the demon, causing the whole movie to take place.
Director David F. Sandberg, who previously directed Lights Out (2013) and Lights Out (2016), took over directorial responsibility of the Annabelle series from former Annabelle director John R. Leonetti.
Sandberg did not hold back on any aspect of horror or shock factor with Annabelle: Creation.
However, one factor of the film which was not as strong as it needed to be was the physicality and presence of the demon.
Though the demon does its intended job of causing fear and anticipation throughout the movie, there are no set rules or dimensions of the it’s capabilities.
For instance, the Mullins claim to have “locked” the demon in the closet covered in bible verses for an uneventful 12 year period.
However, the demon seems to have miraculously freed itself when it physically leaves a note under the door for Janice to find, and then leads her to the open door of the room where it is kept in a closet.
This brings to question if Janice really freed the demon or if the demon already had a strong power and connection outside of the closet.
On the contrary, Sandberg does a great job at foreshadowing and creating suspense leading up to Janice’s release of the demon.
First, Sandberg begins the movie by showing Sam and Esther Mullins’ with their young daughter, Annabelle.
Sam is a successful doll maker and has just finished making the first, and only, “Annabelle” doll.
However, Sam and Esther’s daughter shockingly gets run over and killed by a car.
This sudden death causes the audience to wonder what will happen to the Mullins family. Moreover, Sandberg builds on this suspense and anticipation by creating a very suspicious and secretive mood around the Mullins household once the orphans move in.
For instance, Esther Mullins is revealed to be ill and disabled. However, she is kept in a closed room where only Sam visits her.
Later in the movie, the Mullins reveals that her disabilities were sustained where she was physically attacked by the demon living in the Annabelle doll.
Sandberg’s attention to the minute details ultimately pays off in the overall presentation of the film. Another major example of this type of detail is the first way the Annabelle demon contacted Janice.
During the exposition of the film, Sam Mullins plays hide and seek with his young daughter Annabelle.
Annabelle leaves Sam notes on folded papers telling him to find her. In return, when Sam finds her, he leaves a note telling her “I found you”.
Similarly, Sandberg takes this aspect of their relationship and makes it the form of contact between the demon and Janice.
On Janice’s first night in the Mullins household, she finds a note under her door which says “Come Find Me”.
This results in the audience not only feeling totally creeped out, but also considering if it is Annabelle’s actual ghost that is contacting these girls.
This speculation is exactly what ran through my mind when Janice opened that folded note.
Furthermore, this would explain why Sam Mullins seemed so secretive when he told Janice not to open the door to Annabelle’s room.
However, Sandberg later reveals that though the Mullins did once believe this demon was their daughter’s ghost, they had learned the opposite a long time ago and subsequently locked it into a closet.
Compared to the other Annabelle movie and The Conjuring series, Annabelle: Creation was a massive success in production, presentation, and performance.
Admittedly, I spent most of the time with my hands partly covering my eyes in fear or anticipation.
However, that ultimately means Sandberg created a work of horror with depth, strong main characters, and a suspenseful mood supported by both the plot and the score.