Best Horror Movies 2017: ‘Annabelle: Creation’ Review, And Where It Ranks Among The ‘Conjuring’ Franchise

Warner Bros. Pictures

One of the best horror movies of 2017 is currently playing on CineMAX and streaming on VOD, Annabelle: Creation. With titles like It, Get Out, and Alien: Covenant, 2017 was a hallmark year for horror movies, and Annabelle: Creation is considered one of the best from last year by both audiences and critics alike. This marks the fourth feature-length film in The Conjuring Franchise, and it’s by far the most effective sequel since the original debuted in 2013. Directed by David Sandberg (Lights Out), the film stars Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Lulu Wilson, Philippa Coulthard, and Anthony Lapaglia.

IMDb provides the premise for one of the most popular horror movies of 2017.

“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.”

What makes this film work better than the first Annabelle film, and Conjuring 2 for that matter, is that the filmmakers take their time more in Creation. The other movies in this horror franchise rely on heavy use of CGI, cheap jump-scare tactics, demonic shadowy figures that go bump-in-the-night, and of course, that creepy little doll.

But in Creation, Sandberg focuses more on mood, character development, and good old-fashioned storytelling than jump-scare after jump-scare scene. That isn’t to say that there isn’t a good deal of special effects or jump-scare moments, but because the filmmakers take their time, the scares are way more effective than the other sequels.

scene from one of the best horror movies of 2017, 'Annabelle: Creation'
Featured image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The storyline works well thanks to solid performances from the cast. And though the entire cast does a bang-up job, Talitha Bateman as Janice steals the show. The character of Janice is such a central point to the story that if Bateman didn’t perform on the level she did, the movie wouldn’t have worked (though no doubt, the doll would still be creepy as all get out). She’s the type of actress that her performance transcends through the screen; whatever she’s feeling, the audience is also likely to feel.

With a runtime of just under two hours, the story builds to a climax that provides a satisfying payoff (especially if you’re familiar with the first Annabelle). And make sure to keep the movie rolling when the credits hit because there is an additional post-credit scene worth the wait. And if after this horror gem you’re in the mood for more stories from The Conjuring universe, The Nun is set to be released on September 7, 2018.

Because of stellar performances, brilliant direction, genuine suspense, and a handful of truly scary scenes, Annabelle: Creation is one of the best horror movies of 2017.