Annabelle: Creation

Out Now On-Demand

Lights Out helmer David F. Sandberg tackles the fourth flick in the supernatural horror The Conjuring franchise.

Several 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, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker's possessed creation, Annabelle.


Aaron Yap


One of last year’s best horror surprises was Mike Flanagan’s Ouija: Origin of Evil, a film that looked and sounded like another franchise cash-in, but was in reality much, much better than that (and definitely better than the first Ouija). Similarly, Annabelle: Creation doesn’t inspire highest of hopes, being an origin story for the titular doll from the lousy but hugely successful 2014 spin-off of James Wan’s The Conjuring. But guess what? It ain’t bad. It’s undoubtedly a marked improvement over Annabelle. Before Gary Dauberman’s script begins syncing up to cinematic-universe obligations, it feels more like a solid standalone work than a franchise entry.

Like Origin of Evil, Annabelle: Creation benefits from having a proficient, genre-reverent craftsman at the helm. Here it’s David F. Sandberg, who’s already demonstrated his aptitude for generating heart-stopping shocks in his otherwise patchy debut feature, Lights Out. If the latter somewhat overloaded the jump-scares, this one’s comparatively more measured in its delivery. The plot’s not going to bowl anyone over with unexpected revelations (and all is forgiven if you can’t tell the difference between Annabelle, Insidious or The Conjuring by this stage). But Sandberg’s atmospheric build-up, attentively table-setting the elements — an orphanage of young girls, a grieving couple, the demonic doll — goes a long way to keeping us absorbed ahead of the supernatural spook-a-thon. Funnily enough, Origin of Evil’s creepy kid antagonist Lulu Wilson shows up in the cast, but passes the evil-child-of-the-year baton onto Talitha Bateman, who’s terrific as a polio-suffering orphan bearing the full brunt of the film’s malevolent entity.

Variety (USA)


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.

Hollywood Reporter


Sandberg demonstrates a deft affinity for the elaboration of horror conventions, as well as the expansion of the Conjuring universe.



With Annabelle: Creation he manages to successfully do his own thing while still respecting a past installment - and considering how I felt about the past installment, that's extremely impressive.

TimeOut (US)


The fourth film in the Conjuring Universe, Annabelle: Creation is well performed, but the rhythm of the scares feels slightly off. Characters scream when they should be quiet and whimper when they should be hollering their heads off.

Total Film (UK)


Forget 2014's Annabelle - this is the only Conjuring prequel you need.

Little White Lies


Time to put Annabelle back in the box.

Empire (UK)


Hardcore horror buffs may laugh and scoff at the mechanics of some of the scares; the rest may never be able to walk past the window of a toy shop without crossing themselves. (Graeme Tuckett)


As a compendium of scenes that very nearly add up to a horror movie, Annabelle: Creation is pretty much a masterclass cut into five minute episodes.

Annabelle: So much better than it's predecessor

Annabelle: Creation outdoes itself as a horror movie, let alone prequel, simply because the film feels fresh and unique with its story, and the scares are still there to boot.

Surprisingly good.

Another addition to the Conjuring universe, it's a thrilling piece of horror well above it's predecessor.