Annabelle: Creation

Annabelle: Creation ★★★

Eh, it's all right, I guess. The Conjuring-verse is starting to wear thin. It was exciting when it was new and we desperately needed some spooky, atmospheric haunted house movies to relieve us from the constant deluge of gory torture porn. But the novelty is gone at this point. I'm tired of movies that are 80 percent characters walking around quietly until something scary happens. Also tired of these movies' tendency not to define their worlds one bit. I need rules; I need structure. The unknown can be scary, yes, but so can the known, if you use it right — tell me what the monster can do, and put the characters in a situation where I know EXACTLY what they're risking. At least define the monster well enough that any victories the characters achieve don't feel plot-mandated. At one point, a character temporarily gets away from a demon by hitting its fingers with a hammer, which...okay, that works? I mean, it's an inter-dimensional being that travels as a giant smoke cloud, so...

But it's competently made and nice-looking, and the kids are surprisingly decent, for the most part. Much better than the original, which I truly don't remember one shot of.