Annabelle: Creation suffers a bit in terms of storytelling. It does however, have some nice tension, decent scares and an altogether ominous mood. One thing I find particularly noteworthy are the acting performances of the kids. I rarely find those to be believable, let alone in this genre, but Sandberg did a good job in that department.
With a premise right out of an early 70's Stephen King short story and a melancholy, James Newton Howard-ish score, "Annabelle: Creation" continues the "Conjuring" series' penchant for injecting the genre with a welcome dose of film school class. It's refreshing to see a Hollywood horror film in which Friedkin and Lynch feel like touchstones, and the "R" rating is simply for a pervasive mood of terror and dread.
Horror is The simplest genre to be good in, so the fact that these keep looking like Ghost Whisperer episodes is a shame. This uhm..franchise spinoff is one of the most boring offenders. Carnival-ride-ghost-train, you can almost see the tripwires that trigger boos. 2 stars for when it ups the threat (a good scene involving a covered well & footsteps + when you actually see how the demon looks[dinner table scene])
Such an improvement on the original (and be honest no one saw it coming, did you?), that 'Annabelle' quite rightly seems to have blossomed into a legitimate franchise of her own. It seems the people behind this one actually sat down and really thought about the wealth of backstory they had here and made a really good horror. What with rediscovering 'Chucky' and enjoying this... maybe, the demonic dolls are back?
Perhaps a sparse improvement when compared to the first prequel. Plus, even if her fate was not pleasant, it allowed a disabled person to survive a horror movie. However, it doesn't make it less weaker. They should have left this doll alone. "The Conjuring" actually make it mysterious and spooky, but the prequels made the doll less appealing.
Yes, it's creepy but it's set in a creaky old house filled with dolls and demons in the middle of nowhere. The Annabelle films actively try to say nothing with the exception that evil is scary, demons can set bizarre limits on their powers and... that's about it. These films only exist to make audiences jump once or twice and then be forgotten faster than it takes to leave the mall.
The ending is a bit rushed and sort of falls short, but the first and middle acts (especially the middle one) are pretty good. Great atmosphere, good acting and some decent jump scares. Plus it's a MASSIVE improvement on the first installment. I'm sold. Liked it a lot.