The horror genre, at least for me, can be divided into pre-2013 and post-2013. This is because of James Wan’s film, “The Conjuring.” He is a horror genre revolutionary and currently the field’s best-living director. However, I want to separate the projects he has signed as a director and those he has produced. The level of the films he directed is different from those he produced. Nevertheless, James Wan and Peter Safran can turn any project into gold. James Wan brings a unique atmosphere to the horror genre, especially in terms of cinematography, and he is determined to expand this universe. Starting with “The Conjuring,” his films have grossed over $1 billion. And the expansion will continue as there are three more planned films. I would have laughed if someone had told me a few years ago that a man would come and successfully connect different horror films to create a universe. But now, I follow it with great pleasure.
When the creepy doll Annabelle gained significant attention in “The Conjuring,” it was only natural to have a spin-off. In 2014, a film was made with John Leonetti as the director, but unfortunately, it wasn’t effective. This was because James Wan didn’t direct it, and the person who did tried to imitate James Wan’s style. Nonetheless, despite the absence of a strong impact, the film was decent and successful. It was enjoyable to watch a horror film set in an apartment for the first time since “Repulsion.” But something was missing. Now that missing piece is complete: David F. Sandberg.
After gaining popularity with his short horror films, especially “Lights Out,” which took the internet by storm, director Sandberg caught James Wan’s attention, and they decided to make a full-length version of “Lights Out.” “Lights Out” was good for Sandberg’s first feature film, but it was average overall. However, Sandberg has improved himself, not only in his skills but also in adapting to the shooting style of the James Wan universe. This is what made “Annabelle: Creation” successful. The editing, cinematography, and horror scenes aligned with “The Conjuring” films. The teenagers who initially said, “This isn’t scary,” couldn’t move in their seats by the film’s end. For me, this is a kind of success.
Annabelle: Creation focuses on the origin of Annabelle, telling the story of a grieving family that takes in a nun and orphan girls. This family, living away from the world, opens their home to six girls. However, due to the trauma of losing their own daughter, the family doesn’t treat the children warmly. Just as the girls are starting to get used to the house, frightening events begin to occur. The girls witness strange occurrences every night, which intensify day by day.
Let’s start with the film’s negatives: The story isn’t directly given. Events happen in the movie, but there is no resolution until the last 15 minutes. There is no unfolding of events or understanding of the situation as in “Insidious” and “The Conjuring.” The young children are pulled into darkness without realizing what they are facing. A mystery is attempted to be created, but in the universe itself, it falls short. Talitha Bateman takes the lead role in the film, and Lulu Wilson, who is starting to appear in many horror films, is also present. These two young actresses have at least proven to me that they have the potential to become essential actresses in the future.
The films’s strengths lie in the director’s understanding of James Wan’s style. The first Annabelle film had some issues in terms of the horror aspect. Although it had some quality scenes, it fell short when viewed as a whole in terms of delivering scares. However, David F. Sandberg didn’t make the same mistake as John Leonetti and approached the shooting style in line with James Wan. The fact that the film takes place in an old house, far away from everything, also increases the intensity of fear. There are many scenes in Annabelle: Creation that are worth watching. I genuinely congratulate the director in this regard.
In James Wan’s universe, everything is interconnected. In David F. Sandberg’s first film, “Lights Out,” the lead role was played by Talitha Bateman’s sister. Likewise, we catch a glimpse of Lotta Losten in the movie… Many details in the film connect to other films and future films. The mask worn by the mother, the Annabelle doll, and all the elements found in the Warren family’s room of cursed objects. They are all either details we have encountered before or new dangers we will face in the future. I waited eagerly for the Warren family to emerge from the darkness in the film, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Moreover, the film paves the way for “The Nun,” or Valak, coming in 2018. These connections indicate that we may encounter actors from the James Wan universe again in future films.
In summary… “Annabelle: Creation” is a highly successful film where everything is done right regarding horror. It is evident that director David Sandberg has learned much from James Wan and implemented them wonderfully. James Wan, who manages to create insane fears within a single house, continues to expand his universe and now even creates seamless transitions between these films. The transition between the two Annabelle films was so effective that it astonished everyone in the theater. We eagerly anticipate “The Nun” in 2018 and “Insidious 4,” whose release date is uncertain, which will likely raise the level of horror even further. We are excitedly awaiting them.
Cast & Crew
director: David F. Sandberg
writers: Gary Dauberman
starring: Anthony LaPaglia, Samara Lee, Miranda Otto, Lulu Wilson, Talitha Eliana Bateman
USA | 2017 | 109 MINUTES |