Annabelle: Creation, another instalment in the Conjuring and Annabelle franchise created by director David F. Stanburg was released August 11th. After the success of the other films, the winning formula for creating fear is put to work once again. However it may seem that this formula is becoming tired, as many find this film boring and predictable. But being a wimp I was terrified the entire way through, I will try to keep my own opinions to myself and think about how tougher people would view this film.
As is the downfall of many horror films of this genre the scare factor comes from predictable jump scares. This film in particular coming as a prequel to many other films about the same idea and by the same people falls back heavily on this trope. Throughout the film I was able to predict many of the things that were going to happen, whether they were small scares or major plot points. This for many would lessen the scare factor of the film, but because I am a huge wimp I was still terrified for a majority of the film having to hide behind my hands. However I do think I was mainly scared by the some of the other horror tropes that were employed using visual and auditory effects which I won’t go into detail about to avoid spoilers.
However, despite its predictability the back story of the Annabelle doll does fit with the other films in the series well. The plots that tie in with the first Annabelle (2014) were excellent and one of the few things I was unable to predict or work out until the very end. Giving the actual doll such a long history, in my opinion, makes it scarier as many have tried and failed to defeat the entity employing the doll as a conduit. There are hints throughout the film to the Conjuring series of films that are subtle and should be looked out for and could possibly hint to the future of the franchise. The links of this film in particular to the original story of the Annabelle doll are better than others in the series, with a Raggedy Ann doll featuring alongside the films more creepy wooden doll. These links to the supposedly true story could enhance the horror factor for some audience members. Finally there are some after the credit scenes you should definitely stick around for as I only found out afterwards I had missed them.
As I have already said the jump scares were predictable but one thing this film does well is the creation of tension. There is not a moment throughout the film I was able to relax, which was both uncomfortable in itself but also proof that the film really did try to subvert typical ideas that the audience is safe from the horror during the daytime. The music that is used by Benjamin Wallfisch is one of the major ways tension is created. Wallfisch has previously scored for films such as The Cure for Wellness and Lights Out, coming up later this summer we will hear his scoring again in Stephen King’s It. The style which is very particular to this franchise of films and others by producer James Wan is another way tension is built. The use of dramatic lighting and shadowing is effective in showing only glimpses of the actual fear inducing antagonist.
All in all I would say I really enjoyed this film and I did find it terrifying. However I can easily see how people who are less wimpy than I could find its predictability and its similarity to other films in the genre boring. I do suggest going to see it in cinemas as all horror films are better with the atmosphere and darkness you can only find in the cinema. In all honesty I will be sleeping with the light on for at least a week :’).
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