Annabelle: Creation (2017) Review

Creepy DollTwelve years after a tragedy befalls a family who conveniently lives in the middle of nowhere, the father decides to open his home and heart to a nun and the orphans under her care.  In another film universe this premise might have produced a charming family movie full of life lessons and cheer.  In Annabelle: Creation (2017), the family, the nun, the orphans, and, by extension, the audience are subjected to relentless terror.

Part of what made this movie so entertaining was that I didn’t go in with high expectations.  While I had enjoyed the first two Conjuring films, I never bothered to see Annabelle (2014) which only got a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes.  Going in to this movie, I didn’t remember much about Annabelle the doll.  I remembered her eerie appearance, of course, but other than that, I mostly remembered her getting safely locked away in a cabinet during the first Conjuring film.  But here, Annabelle is uncontained and ready to wreak havoc.

The first two Conjuring films were (supposedly) based on a true story.  While watching these films, there’s an extra layer of creepiness as you wonder whether these events really could have happened, but the fact it’s based on reality can zap some of the suspense.  Deep down, you know that Ed and Lorraine Warren will survive since the people they’re based on survived, and that evil will be vanquished—at least until the sequel.  Annabelle: Creation offers no such comfort: none of these characters are guaranteed to survive unscathed or even survive at all.  The body count is higher than either Conjuring film and with it comes the terror of knowing that anything can happen.  The horror is nicely varied, with lots of gnarly body horror and gore as well as possessed children, scarecrows, and dead bodies.  The only downside to these terrors is that there are way too many times when characters walk into dark, creepy basements or go into forbidden rooms when they know they shouldn’t.  I appreciate that this movie made me shriek in the middle of a crowded theater, but it also made me want to yell out advice to the characters, and that’s never good.

Though the characters aren’t incredibly developed, I did find myself caring about them.  Stephanie Sigman is wonderful as a sweet and compassionate nun named Sister Charlotte, and I definitely rooted for the orphan girls.  While I do love horror films where the main characters use their ingenuity and strength to fight back against their foes (You’re Next, Get Out, and 10 Cloverfield Lane are all excellent examples), I also love horror films like this where the main characters have no chance because the villain is so powerful, so unstoppable, and so evil.  The women here are so vulnerable and ill-matched to confront an ancient, shapeshifting evil, which definitely adds to the horror.

Another thing I particularly liked about this movie was its focus on female characters.  With the six orphan girls, the nun, and the mysterious wife, the screen was filled with women.  I really enjoyed the scene where the little girls Janice and Linda use a paper fortune teller and promise each other that they won’t let anyone adopt them unless they’re adopted together.  I also really liked the scene where the mysterious wife reveals herself; she stops being the intriguing figure who haunts the imaginations of the girls and confides in Sister Charlotte, telling her story in her own words.

Overall Annabelle: Creation is a great new addition to the Conjuring universe and definitely worth checking out if you want a good summertime scare!

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Annabelle: Creation (2017) Review

Scary Story of the Day: The Art of Jacob Emory by Peterdivine

Before I start marathoning scary movies and TV shows, I want to recommend one of my absolute favorite stories. Jacob Emory, an aimless young man, returns from a trip abroad with a strange object that allows him to create moving, living drawings. Things inevitably go wrong. I hope everyone has a very happy Halloween!

Here is a link to read the story.

Here is a link to listen to the story.

Doodle

Scary Story of the Day: The Art of Jacob Emory by Peterdivine

Scary Story of the Day: The Russian Sleep Experiment.

Goosey Night, Mischief Night, Gate Night, Cabbage Night. Whatever you call it, this day of pranks and thrills needs to be commemorated by a very scary story. The Russian Sleep Experiment is about an experiment that supposedly took place in 1940s Russia, where a group of men were exposed to an experimental gas that forced them to stay awake. What happens to these men is absolutely horrific. This story is extremely gory and contains scenes of absolutely horrific violence so please take caution!

Here is a link to read the story.

Here is a link to listen to the story.

Saw Picture

Scary Story of the Day: The Russian Sleep Experiment.

Scary Story of the Day: Jessie Mack

Most of the stories I’ve featured here this month are things that most likely didn’t happen. At least I sincerely hope that Mr. Widemouth and the creature from the crawlspace aren’t real. But this strange story about a group of New Jersians who become obsessed with the name “Jessie Mack” always gives me a chill because I really could see this happening. Unlike the many more literary and well plotted stories, “Jessie Mack” is a very strange story that has no neat resolution, which makes me wonder if the author, who swears that his story is autobiographical, might just be telling the truth. Some notes of warning: this story contains lots of profanity and includes many mature topics including drugs and drug overdose, vomit, and suicide.

Here is a link to read “Jessie Mack”

JM

Scary Story of the Day: Jessie Mack

Scary Story of the Day: The Crawlspace by Kaitie H.

Knowing how cheap and crusty our flat in London was, I’m kind of surprised my roommates and I didn’t have a creepy crawlspace (though we did have a suspicious-smelling fridge). We may have had to deal with mice and mold, but the girl in this story finds something much worse lurking in the dark corners of her flat.  Be careful studying abroad in Rome!

Here is a link to read the story.

Here is a link to listen to the story.

Library

Scary Story of the Day: The Crawlspace by Kaitie H.

Scary Story of the Day: The Strangest Security Tape I’ve Ever Seen

A gas station worker tries to catch his strange coworker in the act of stealing motor oil, but when he watches the security tapes, he uncovers a disturbing mystery. This story contains some profanity.

Here is a link to read the story.

Here is a link to listen to the story.

Gas Station

Scary Story of the Day: The Strangest Security Tape I’ve Ever Seen

Scary Story of the Day: Anansi’s Goatman Story

A mysterious, mimicking being stalks and infiltrates a group of teenagers during their camping trip. Though many scary stories are easy to dismiss as being fake, this raw and unsettling story might make you think twice about taking a trip into the woods. This story contains mentions of vomit and lots of profanity.

Here is a link to read “Anansi’s Goatman Story”

Here is a link to listen to “Anansi’s Goatman Story”

“Anansi’s Goatman Story” was made into a short film.  Though the dialogue and casting leave much to be desired, the portrayal of the Goatman is very well done.  Click here to watch!

Eye Shine

Scary Story of the Day: Anansi’s Goatman Story