When they announced Annabelle: Creation, I really thought it was a complete start over, ignoring the previously released film which was…not as successful. Since Annabelle was a prequel to the Conjuring (of a sorts) I had not expected a prequel to the prequel. But Annabelle: Creation is connected to it’s predecessor.
Opening in 1943, we meet Doll maker Samuel Mullins and his wife Esther. They adore their young daughter Bee. When she is killed in a tragic accident they are broken hearted. The film jumps ahead twelve years and the Mullins have opened their home up to a Nun and several orphan girls. Samuel still seems a broken man, and explains his wife is unable to get around much, due to an accident years before. There is one rule given by Samuel, to avoid a certain room.
But curiosity gets the best of young Janice, who opens the door to discover a doll sitting in a chair. This soon results in all sorts of strange events, sitings and soon Janice claims to be seeing the ghost of Bee. Things escalate into a frightening fight for survival by the young girls and their nun.
Annabelle: Creation is a marked improvement for this part of the Conjuring Universe. The rural setting creates an eerie sense of isolation that has a lot of impact. There are plenty of jumps and legit scares in the film. The demon tied to the doll is a classic demon you might see in a cathedral painting, which is fitting with the Christianity themed spirituality. The Mullins are a tragic couple who we discover were so overcome in their grief, they allowed darker spiritual forces into their home and paid a terrifying price.