Annabelle: Creation

Annabelle: Creation ★★

Saw alone at the Movie House in Belfast.

To be fair, I only went to the movies to try and stay awake a little longer and balance out jet lag. And the movie did, by the skin of its teeth, keep me awake. But beyond the fact that it cleared that very low bar, I have little nice to say about this movie. It's a period piece where they gave some care to the set design and props but not the dialogue, so the illusion breaks whenever anyone opens their mouth. It's a horror film where they mix and match threats without any regard for internal logic (it's a personal ghost fueled by grief... no, it's a poltergeist just fucking with people for fun... no, it's a demonic presence with an actual purpose... or maybe...). There's a room lined with pages from the Bible, a nun plays a critical role, rosary beads and crucifixes make an appearance, but no effort whatsoever has been made to milk Christianity for anything that might be truly uncanny or resonant. I have no right to be annoyed by that. But I am. (The Witch has made things harder for the other children who don't want to do their homework, I guess.) A horror film that won't stoop to being grotesque, trashy, or tawdry and that won't tell a legitimate story with solid emotional beats is just null. I'll add a couple stars for Talitha Bateman. If there were a full-sized movie to carry here, she could carry it.

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