Annabelle: Creation

Annabelle: Creation ★★½

[45]

Good atmosphere, and it's clear that David Sandberg knows what he's doing behind the lens, I just don't think this is quite to the level of the two CONJURING films of the same cinematic universe. He has this style of scare tactics where he makes something dead silent, and you kind of know a jump scare is coming. But it doesn't come the exact moment you expect it. Instead, he plays it off as though there will be no jump scare, and waits a few extra seconds for you to exhale and collect yourself, and then he freaks you out. Used sparingly, it's a great maneuver to unleash. The problem is that this is really the only mechanism he employs, and despite its forestalling nature, you'll have it calculated in no time at all. Child actors are always tough because most of the time, they simply can't act (not every youngster is capable of the ROOM-level performance of Jacob Tremblay). This becomes painfully more apparent when you have six child actors which account for nearly three-quarters of the main cast. Not sure exactly how much water that criticism holds, though, as the adult actors in this picture aren't very capable, either. And I'm not the biggest fan of showing the demon as they do here (with the most generic "demon" face and head, to boot) e.g. things like the scarecrow or the anemic looking daughter are far more chilling than trying to give Beelzebub himself a true form. Not without its scenes of genuine thrill and tension, but a bit too undercooked to excel at anything it attempts, and for that reason (and a few others), it wasn't all that scary (or haunting, or unsettling, or enticing, etc.). Loved the house, though, just wish it was utilized a little more. That, and the goddamn scarecrow.

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