“Annabelle: Creation” – 8/10

The Blumhouse tapestry of horror films continues to take shape with this well-crafted origin story. 

Annabelle first appeared in “The Conjuring” (2013) in a supporting role. She starred in her own forgettable spin-off film a year later. Honestly, the current Annabelle film doesn’t offer anything new, but it’s scary and fun as hell.
Good performances by adult and child actors keep things entertaining in this 1950s period-piece that details the making of the doll and her first murderous rampage (i.e., series of well-designed funhouse gotcha moments). It’s a fine addition to the growing Blumhouse horror-verse.

Directed by David F. Sandberg (who did the creepy “Lights Out”), “Annabelle: Creation” features innocent protagonists, a haunted house, a bout of demonic possession, and a few more well-executed clichés that keep things from ever letting up. Oh yeah… and the memorable, perpetual stare of our reliable old fiend, the Annabelle doll.

It’s refreshing to see a film that delivers precisely what it promises. I highly recommend seeing this in a theater with other horror fans — the gasps of the audience are a value add. 8/10.

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