Last night I screened Annabelle: Creation, starring Talitha Bateman and Lulu Wilson.
A couple who suffered a tragedy years ago opens their home with good intentions to a girls' orphanage, but soon things go awry. Though the Mullins ask the girls to respect their privacy and stay away from their deceased daughter's old room, the toys inside prove too tempting for Janice (Bateman) and Linda (Wilson), so all hell breaks loose.
To top it off, as if being an orphan shunned by the "cool" girls isn't enough, Janice is disabled, wearing a brace on her leg and using a cane. She has to reach her bedroom upstairs by a chair lift, reminiscent of the one in Gremlins.
After a horrific encounter seemingly sparked by a doll (the famous "Annabelle" one from the prior film), Janice ends up paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Because this is the 1950s and we're at a faraway farmhouse, the chair looks like something from the 1800s.
Anyway, much ensues—mysteries surrounding the bed-confined Mrs. Mullins are revealed, Linda proves to be a loyal friend to a fault and I spent the better portion of the movie trying to place the accent of the resident nun, Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman). Post-film research reveals in real-life she is from Mexico, but I'm not sure her character was supposed to be?
So, here's what you need to know: the film does have scary, jumpy moments; the acting (especially by the two child leads) is excellent and the ending ... well, leads us exactly to where we began with the film Annabelle, since this was a prequel.
I enjoyed it, but missing were our trusted anchors—Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) Warren, for whom this franchise centers. Their absence was palpable and I hope the team doesn't complete another film without them.
This installment wasn't as good as the others, but it wasn't bad. Go see it for the "gotcha" moments or rent it on a dark night, holding a doll for good measure.