Forget possessed dolls and demons that WANT YOUR SOUL. The most unbelievable thing about Annabelle: Creation is its suggestion that the titular doll, that ghoul-faced monstrosity with the sunken eyes and sallow skin that we first encountered in 2013’s The Conjuring, was something lovingly created back in the 1940s by a kindly dollmaker, and—even more implausible still—that customers positively clamored for them. Only slightly less plausible is that the dollmaker (Anthony LaPaglia) and his wife (Miranda Otto) would open their home to a bunch of orphan girls when they know that there’s been a demon hanging around. Now, everything is endless creaking floors, creepy scarecrows and, of course, the freaky doll in, what is little more than a collection of funhouse spooks that are telegraphed a mile out. This is so forgettably obvious and rote a “horror” movie that you have forgotten the scares even before they strike. The only disturbing thing about the film is the genre-ritual terrorization of female characters—their fear played as titillating—who in this case are so young that it feels like a kind of perversion. Pedo-fear-lia?
Director: David Sandberg
Producer: Peter Safran, James Wan, Richard Brener, Walter Hamada, Dave Neustadter, Hans Ritter and Steven Mnuchin
Cast: Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Lulu Wilson, Philippa Coulthard, Grace Fulton, Samara Lee, Tayler Buck, Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto, Lou Lou Safran and Alicia Vela-Bailey