Annabelle: Creation

Annabelle: Creation ★★½

Great visual aesthetic and sound design in service of tired horror movie cliches. A creak in the steps, followed by silence, followed by blaring sound cue and creepy thing emerging, etc. LIGHTS OUT was a strong, creepy debut for David F. Sandberg that had a lot of gravitas to the broken family story in that film. It's a disappointment, but since they're making this whole "Conjuring Universe" thing with Annabelle and the Marilyn Manson nun, it seems like there's a formula in place it needed to adhere to. 

Full disclosure: I did not see the first ANNABELLE. But if this is getting moderately positive marks from critics, that first one must be truly awful for this competent but disposable film to get such a pass.