Annabelle: Creation is a 2017 American supernatural horror filmdirected by David F. Sandberg and written by Gary Dauberman. It is a prequel to 2014's Annabelle and the fourth installment in The Conjuring Universe. The film stars Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, and Miranda Otto, and depicts the possessed Annabelle doll's origin.
12 years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, where they soon become the target of the dollmaker's possessed creation, Annabelle.
Why It Rocks
- Brilliant and impressive performances from the actors, especially Joseph Bishara as the demon that haunts Annabelle.
- A dark, suspensful setting/environment that fits the tone of the movie.
- Well-done story devlopment.
- Annabelle is a haunting, unpredictable antagonist.
- Many scary scenes that’ll leave you shivering in terror, such as the scene where the Demon breaks Samuel’s fingers with it’s supernatural powers.
- Interesting, well-developed characters, especially the sympathetic main character, Janice.
- The way the film shows the origin story of how Annabelle became a demonic figure is nicely-done and well-executed.
- The cinematography is decent and captures the tone the other Conjuring films had.
- The ending is unexpected, as we get a glimpse of the Demon Nun (Valak) from The Conjuring 2, which will leave audiences wondering what will happen in the next film.
Annabelle: Creation grossed $102.1 million in the United States and Canada and $204.4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $306.5 million, against a production budget of $15 million. With its release, it pushed The Conjuring franchise past the $1 billion threshold, making it only the third horror series to cross that mark, after the Alien franchise and Resident Evilseries. Deadline Hollywood calculated the film made a net profit of $108.7 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues.
In North America, the film was released alongside The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature and The Glass Castle, and was projected to gross around $30 million from 3,502 theaters in its opening weekend. The film grossed $4 million from its Thursday night previews, the highest of The Conjuring series and double the original Annabelle's $2.1 million. It went on to open to $35 million, the lowest of the series, but still topping the box office. In its second weekend, the film dropped 55.7% to earn another $15.5 million, which was a smaller second-weekend drop than Annabelle (57%) and The Conjuring 2 (63%), and the best second-weekend hold of the franchise since the initial Conjuring film (46%).
Outside North America, the film was released to positive reception from international audiences, which is reflected in its box office performance. It broke several opening records for the horror genre as well as for the studio and came in ahead of The Conjuring and Annabelle in many markets. The week prior to its domestic release, the film debuted in Italy at number one, with $1.1 million. It earned $35.4 million on its opening weekend from 39 markets, almost on par with its domestic debut and marking the second biggest international opening in the franchise, behind only The Conjuring 2. Overall, the film was number two at the international box office after Wolf Warriors 2. The film expanded to 56 markets in its sophomore weekend, adding a handful of major markets and thereby topping the worldwide chart for the first time with an estimated $42 million.
It recorded the highest opening weekend in the franchise in 26 markets and the biggest launch for a horror film of all time in Sweden, Poland, Portugal, India, Malaysia ($2.2 million), the UAE ($1.1 million) and Vietnam. The top openings came from Mexico ($8 million), Korea ($6.7 million), and India ($9.8 million). In South Korea, the film grossed $1.2 million from Thursday previews. Despite its South Korean release falling during diplomatic tensions, it ultimately opened there with $6.7 million, as the number one foreign release and the third highest-grossing movie overall behind local films A Taxi Driver and Midnight Runners.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 70% based on 158 reviews, with an average rating of 6.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Annabelle: Creation adds another strong chapter to the Conjuringfranchise–and offers further proof that freaky-looking dolls remain reliably terrifying." Metacritic, another review aggregator, assigned the film a weighted average score of 62 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, the same score earned by the first Annabelle film.
Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter called it "wickedly terrifying," and said it was "closer in tone and old-school psychological fright tactics to the original film than either The Conjuring 2 or Annabelle." Peter Debruge of Variety, while criticising the plot, said the film nevertheless "manages to conjure some effective scares," and that "this effective yet empty-headed horror movie goes to show how eager audiences are to be scared, and how even an unsightly doll can do the trick when the spirit is willing." Similarly, Chris Hewitt of Empire felt that while the "movie can't hold a flickering candle to the James Wan-directed entries in the series... it's got plenty of decent shocks, and the odd genuine surprise, up its sleeve." However, Emily Yoshida of Vulture wrote that "Annabelle: Creation’s countless sequences of foreboding silence—hands reaching for doorknobs, our heroines shuddering in the dark, waiting for their demonic tormentor to attack—offer nothing to really latch on to, no larger reason to care that’s not purely technical". Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "C" grade, calling it "a mishmash of clichés and nonsense" and writing that "none of this will seem new to horror fans".