Starring Talitha Bateman, Stephanie Sigman, Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto, Lulu Wilson
The more sequels and prequels they spin off The Conjuring, the more they ruin what that 2013 film achieved. Creation is a prequel to Annabelle (2014), where we finally get the origin of the doll. If the performances in The Conjuring made that horror flick what it was, Annabelle was a huge step in the wrong direction, and Creation falls to nearly the lowest level of performance work. The story puts young girls with little to no acting experience in the lead and there are more laughs than thrills. The pacing of the film is off, as Lights Out director David F. Sandberg uses the slow, drawn out, predictable tease to navigate the audience through the story.
When simpleton’s Samuel (LaPaglia) and Esther (Otto) Mullins lose their sweet young daughter in an accident, the religious couple break with their faith. Allowing their daughters soul to inhabit one of Samuel’s prized porcelain dolls, they find some comfort in having a presence in the house again. Sooner than later, they realize whatever being is in the doll, is not their daughter. Twelve years later, things have calmed down on the Mullins property. With Esther resigned mostly to her bed, Samuel offers their large home as an orphanage for young girls. Sister Charlotte (Sigman) arrives with the latest batch, including the crippled Janice (Bateman) and her best friend Linda (Wilson). That’s when unsettling things begin to happen.
The first hour bores the audience with an excessive amount of opening and closing of doors, whispers, little girls screaming while the narrative glacially moves forward.
Sandberg miraculously managed to turn an inventive short film into an above average thriller with Lights Out. He carbon-copies that same technique onto this franchise which works about like putting a round peg in a square hole. The first hour bores the audience with an excessive amount of opening and closing of doors, whispers, little girls screaming while the narrative glacially moves forward. Honestly the plot doesn’t get much better, Creation’s running time feels brutal, as we watch the girls scare themselves under sheets, in closets and creepy barns, predicting every formulaic boo and scare moment. The point of view jumps around as much of the narrative. None of the young actors have the ability to make us care about the livelihood of their characters. LaPaglia (The House of Mirth) and Otto (The Lord of the Rings), the two most seasoned actors, barely have any screentime.
Because of the previous Annabelle film and all the other demons that go with those movies, when the creature(s) finally appear it’s not some monumental moment. The picture’s only interesting moments are the subtle hints of the creepy nun in a photograph or whether or not a wicked looking scarecrow is going to come to life. The film gets an R rating, but it’s tame compared to other terror movies. Gary Dauberman who penned the script for Annabelle, is also working on an upcoming spin-off of the terrifying Nun seen in this franchise, so these characters will continue to on and on until we have forgotten why The Conjuring (not written by Dauberman) was good in the first place. It should also worry excited horror fans of the upcoming IT film that Dauberman is also behind that script.
A lame, by the numbers, elementary horror film that has zero creative or original intentions.