Annabelle: Creation is everything we hoped for. An instant classic in the horror genre, the movie delivers on story, sight, and sound. The perfect spin-off!

Annabelle: Creation ties all the current elements of The Conjuring universe together perfectly. Both story and style are completely in line with the two The Conjuring movies.

And Annabelle: Creation manages to deliver on the most important element of all: True horror!

If you liked the 2007 Spanish horror movie The Orphanage (El orfanato), then Annabelle: Creation should tick all the boxes for you. There’s no crazy rush to jump-scares. Instead, we get to know the characters and become familiar with both the physical and emotional setting.

Of course, all of this is with one goal in mind: To make the horror hit harder later on! And it works.

We get to know the sweet and innocent orphan girls to make the contrast that much bigger when the evil and darkness enters the story.

The girls are scene stealers in the best way!

And let’s be completely honest, the girls in Annabelle: Creation are the stars. I actually expected Miranda Otto (Lord of the Rings) to have a much more prominent role, but the young girls are at the heart of the story. Anthony LaPaglia does have a bigger role than Miranda Otto, but it’s still very limited compared to Lulu Wilson and Talitha Bateman.

This isn’t to say anything bad about the adult actors, I was just surprised they didn’t have more prominent storylines. Whenever well-known names are part of the cast, you expect them to play big parts.

In this case, it was actually a pleasant twist. And really, this is exactly what works well with horror movies: Putting the kids front and center.

There’s the aforementioned The Orphanage and (of course!) It, but also the recent Netflix smash hit Stranger Things. And with the upcoming feature film version of Stephen King’s It (the previous adaptation was a TV mini-series), it’s very much a current trend.

annabelle creation review - Miranda Otto - Annabelle 2

Especially the two youngest girls are giving amazing performances in Annabelle: Creation. And of course, these are also the victims of the evil forces at play.

Experienced horror-stars at a very young age

Talitha Bateman portrays the character of Janice. A young girl struggling with the aftermath of polio, which has her in leg-braces. Bateman was also in the sci-fi adventure The 5th Wave which starred Chloë Grace Moretz.

Her best friend is Linda, who’s played by Lulu Wilson, who most will probably recognize from Ouija 2. Even if you haven’t bothered to watch the movie (which you should!), she’s featured prominently in all the promotional material.

In Annabelle: Creation she’s dealing with a very different character, but she’s just as intense and impressive as she was in Ouija 2. She just fits in perfectly with these origin stories that take place decades ago. An old soul in the young girl.

I also want to mention Stephanie Sigman, who plays the young nun taking care of the girls. She has such warmth and sincerity without being gullible to the girls’ tricks.

Oh yeah, and the fact that she’s a nun, which – besides dolls – is the horror element of The Conjuring universe is no coincidence. And in this story, there’s a brief cameo and teaser for the next spin-off in this crazy James Wan horror universe: The Nun.

annabelle 2 creation - Talitha Bateman and Stephanie Sigman

Most importantly, Annabelle: Creation is classic horror in a way everyone should enjoy. An old house full of strange noises. A creepy barn with a lifelike scarecrow and an old well out back. Also, sound and image constantly working in perfect balance to create pure terror!

Simply the perfect origin story

Since this is a prequel to the first Annabelle movie and essentially an origin (or “creation”) story, it’s extremely important that it fits perfectly with the first movie. And it definitely does!

In fact, the story in Annabelle: Creation continues straight up to the beginning of the first movie. Effectively, this means it ties in absolutely perfectly with the previous story.

Also, this means it’s a good idea to watch the first Annabelle movie. Or at least be reminded of how it began. It’s not necessary to enjoy Annabelle: Creation but it does add a little something extra!

David F. Sandberg is a master of horror

As a Scandinavian, I’m very proud to have Swedish David F. Sandberg proving that he’s a horror-master of the best kind. Personally, I really enjoyed Lights Out as well, but even if you didn’t, you should be able to recognize that Sandberg knows and loves horror.

And, of course, we also get to see his wife Lotta Losten in Annabelle: Creation in a small, but significant role. She was the star of the short film version of Lights Out, which started their current Hollywood adventure.

Here at Heaven of Horror, we can’t wait to see what David F. Sandberg and Lotta Losten will give us next. These two are in the absolute elite of horror creators right now!

Annabelle: Creation is out in worldwide distribution and US theaters from August 11, 2017.

Don’t miss out on an amazing The Conjuring spin-off. Definitely the best one yet!


Director: David F. Sandberg
Writer: Gary Dauberman
Cast: Lulu Wilson, Talitha Bateman, Miranda Otto, Anthony LaPaglia, Stephanie Sigman


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. However, they soon become the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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