Annabelle: Creation

Annabelle: Creation

2017, R, 109 min. Directed by David F. Sandberg. Starring Talitha Bateman, Lulu Wilson, Stephanie Sigman, Miranda Otto, Anthony LaPaglia, Joseph Bishara.

REVIEWED By Josh Kupecki, Fri., Aug. 11, 2017

We all have them: some configuration of words brought together that sound like fingernails crossed on a chalkboard. It could be “fusion cuisine,” “well, actually …,” or maybe “nice to e-meet you,” or “Nineties swing band.” They trigger a certain frisson of disgust, and the expression that is currently parking its bee in my bonnet is “cinematic universe.” Blame Marvel, I suppose, for having to create that term to distinguish all the superhero things that happen in their comic books from all the superhero things that happen in their movies. Unfortunately, now everyone seems to be fixating on that phrase, positioning (often questionable) spin-offs of popular franchises and series, or tediously mapping Easter eggs of celebrities to come up with cockamamie theories on certain cinematic cosmos. (Yeah, yeah, Quentin Tarantino, we know, but where’s the timeline on John Travolta’s journey from 1977’s Saturday Night Fever to 1985’s aerobic nightmare Perfect? I’ve almost cracked it, it’s just not there yet.)

All this gloss is to stave off me telling you to steer clear of the latest film in the Conjuring cinematic universe, Annabelle: Creation. James Wan’s first two films of the Conjuring series were both enjoyably old-school with the frights and also very well cast. But they have expanded the brand, first with the 2014 prequel Annabelle, about the demonic doll who had a brief cameo in the first Conjuring film, and now with this pre-prequel, directed by David F. Sandberg (Lights Out), which goes back further to, you guessed it, the creation of the evil demon doll. Set in an unclear time and place, although context clues place it in the Fifties, dollmaker Sam Mullins (LaPaglia, distilling his dialogue into a series of unique grunts) and his wife Esther (Otto) lost their daughter to a horrific car accident. Twelve years later, as you do, the couple agree to take in six orphans and their guardian, Sister Charlotte (Sigman) to live in their farmhouse. But something’s not right, rooms are forbidden, everyone is shifty, there’s a dumbwaiter, a spooky well, and a creepy barn, and maybe the dead daughter is really a demon who has inhabited the Annabelle doll and causes death and bloody mayhem. It’s maddeningly unclear sometimes, the whole doll/possession/ghost story, as the filmmakers play extremely loose with the film’s internal logic. Couple that with the stale scent of well-worn dialogue. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

Creepy dead girl ghost at window: “Can you help me?”

Orphan with polio: “What do you need?”

Creepy dead girl ghost who is now a demon face: “Your soul!”

Cue creaky door noise followed by five jump scares.

That sums up Annabelle: Creation, another entry into another universe that no one was really asking for, but here we are nevertheless. To add another one to the chalkboard list: “Yeah, no.”

Showtimes

Tue., Aug. 22

5:15, 8:15, 11:05
AFA 11:15am, 2:05

Wed., Aug. 23

11:15am, 2:05, 5:15, 8:15, 11:05

Thu., Aug. 24

11:15am, 2:05, 5:15, 8:10, 11:15

Tue., Aug. 22

4:00, 7:00, 10:40
AFA 12:10

Wed., Aug. 23

12:10, 4:00, 7:00, 10:40

Thu., Aug. 24

12:10, 4:00, 7:00, 10:40

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Tue., Aug. 22

3:10, 5:20, 8:10, 10:30
AFA 12:00

Wed., Aug. 23

12:00, 3:10, 5:20, 8:10, 10:50

Thu., Aug. 24

11:30am, 2:20, 5:10, 8:00, 10:50

Alamo Drafthouse Village

2700 W. Anderson, 512/861-7030, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/village

Tuesday matinee Baby Day shows (first show of the day) are intended for parents and their children younger than 6. Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Tue., Aug. 22

2:20, 5:10, 8:00, 10:25

Wed., Aug. 23

1:50, 4:40, 8:00, 10:20

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Tue., Aug. 22

CC/DVS 1:30, 4:15, 7:15, 9:15
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 1:30, 4:15, 7:15, 9:15

Wed., Aug. 23

CC/DVS 1:30, 4:15, 7:15, 9:15
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 1:30, 4:15, 7:15, 9:15

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Tue., Aug. 22

digital 10:00am, 11:20am, 12:50, 2:10, 3:40, 4:50, 6:30, 7:50, 9:20, 10:30
digital, luxury lounger 10:00am, 11:20am, 12:50, 2:10, 3:40, 4:50, 6:30, 7:50, 9:20, 10:30

Wed., Aug. 23

digital 10:00am, 11:20am, 12:50, 2:10, 3:40, 4:50, 6:30, 7:50, 9:20, 10:30
digital, luxury lounger 10:00am, 11:20am, 12:50, 2:10, 3:40, 4:50, 6:30, 7:50, 9:20, 10:30

Thu., Aug. 24

digital 10:00am, 11:20am, 12:50, 2:10, 3:40, 4:50, 6:30, 7:50, 9:20, 10:30
digital, luxury lounger 10:00am, 11:20am, 12:50, 2:10, 3:40, 4:50, 6:30, 7:50, 9:20, 10:30

Tue., Aug. 22

digital 12:55, 4:00, 7:00, 9:55
digital, luxury lounger 12:55, 4:00, 7:00, 9:55

Wed., Aug. 23

digital 12:55, 4:00, 7:00, 9:55
digital, luxury lounger 12:55, 4:00, 7:00, 9:55

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Tue., Aug. 22

digital 12:25, 1:50, 3:15, 4:35, 6:05, 7:30, 8:55, 10:20

Wed., Aug. 23

digital 12:25, 1:50, 3:15, 4:35, 6:05, 7:30, 8:55, 10:20

Thu., Aug. 24

digital 12:25, 1:50, 3:15, 4:35, 6:05, 7:30, 8:55, 10:20

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., Aug. 22

digital 11:25am, 12:50, 2:15, 3:40, 5:05, 6:30, 7:55, 9:20, 10:45
digital, luxury lounger 11:25am, 12:50, 2:15, 3:40, 5:05, 6:30, 7:55, 9:20, 10:45

Wed., Aug. 23

digital 11:25am, 12:50, 2:15, 3:40, 5:05, 6:30, 7:55, 9:20, 10:45
digital, luxury lounger 11:25am, 12:50, 2:15, 3:40, 5:05, 6:30, 7:55, 9:20, 10:45

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Tue., Aug. 22

digital 11:50am, 3:30, 7:00, 9:45

Wed., Aug. 23

digital 11:50am, 3:30, 6:45, 9:30

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Tue., Aug. 22

1:35, 4:30, 7:30, 10:20

Wed., Aug. 23

1:35, 4:30, 7:30, 10:20

Thu., Aug. 24

1:35, 4:30, 7:30, 10:20

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Tue., Aug. 22

12:00, 2:40, 5:15, 7:20, 8:00, 10:00, 10:45

Wed., Aug. 23

12:00, 2:40, 5:15, 8:00, 10:00, 10:45

Thu., Aug. 24

12:00, 2:40, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Tue., Aug. 22

CC 1:00, 4:00, 7:20, 10:40

Wed., Aug. 23

CC 1:00, 4:00, 7:20, 10:00

Thu., Aug. 24

CC 1:00, 4:00, 7:20, 10:00

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Tue., Aug. 22

CC/DL/HI 12:00, 2:25, 4:50, 6:50, 7:25, 9:30, 10:00
ClosedCap;DescListen;HI 12:00, 2:25, 4:50, 6:50, 7:25, 9:30, 10:00

Wed., Aug. 23

CC/DL/HI 12:00, 2:25, 4:50, 6:50, 7:25, 9:30, 10:00
ClosedCap;DescListen;HI 12:00, 2:25, 4:50, 6:50, 7:25, 9:30, 10:00

Thu., Aug. 24

CC/DL/HI 12:00, 2:25, 4:50, 6:50, 7:25, 9:30, 10:00
ClosedCap;DescListen;HI 12:00, 2:25, 4:50, 7:25, 10:00

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., Aug. 22

CC/DVS 12:15, 1:40, 3:05, 4:30, 6:00, 7:25, 9:50, 10:30

Wed., Aug. 23

CC/DVS 12:15, 1:40, 3:05, 4:30, 6:00, 7:25, 9:50, 10:30

Thu., Aug. 24

CC/DVS 12:15, 1:40, 3:05, 4:30, 6:00, 7:25, 9:50, 10:30

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Tue., Aug. 22

11:45am, 2:20, 4:45, 7:20

Wed., Aug. 23

11:45am, 2:20, 4:45, 7:20

Thu., Aug. 24

11:45am, 2:20, 4:45, 7:20

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Tue., Aug. 22

4:00, 7:15, 10:25

Wed., Aug. 23

4:00, 7:15, 10:25

Thu., Aug. 24

3:00, 6:30, 9:30

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., Aug. 22

CC/DVS 2:10, 5:05, 7:55, 10:45

Wed., Aug. 23

CC/DVS 2:10, 5:05, 7:55, 10:45

Thu., Aug. 24

CC/DVS 2:10, 5:05, 7:55, 10:45

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/austin/

Tue., Aug. 22

11:20am, 2:20, 7:30, 10:30

Wed., Aug. 23

11:20am, 2:20, 7:30, 10:30

Thu., Aug. 24

11:20am, 2:20, 7:30, 10:30

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Tue., Aug. 22

10:20am, 1:20, 4:20, 7:20, 10:20

Wed., Aug. 23

10:20am, 1:20, 4:20, 7:20, 10:20

Thu., Aug. 24

10:20am, 1:20, 4:20, 7:20, 10:20

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Tue., Aug. 22

11:05am, 1:50, 4:30, 7:10, 9:55

Wed., Aug. 23

11:05am, 1:50, 4:30, 7:10, 9:55

Thu., Aug. 24

11:05am, 1:50, 4:30, 7:10, 9:55

Tue., Aug. 22

12:20, 1:00, 3:50, 7:45, 9:25

Wed., Aug. 23

12:20, 1:00, 3:50, 7:45, 9:25

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Tue., Aug. 22

11:20am, 12:00, 2:00, 2:40, 4:40, 5:15, 7:20, 8:00, 10:00, 10:45

Wed., Aug. 23

11:20am, 12:00, 2:00, 2:40, 4:40, 5:15, 7:20, 8:00, 10:00, 10:45

Thu., Aug. 24

11:20am, 12:00, 2:00, 2:40, 4:40, 5:15, 7:20, 8:00, 10:00, 10:45

Tinseltown North

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Tue., Aug. 22

digital 12:05, 3:00, 6:00, 9:00
digital, luxury lounger 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:35

Wed., Aug. 23

digital 12:05, 3:00, 6:00, 9:00
digital, luxury lounger 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:35

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar Blvd, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., Aug. 22

CC/DVS 11:00am, 2:00, 4:45, 7:00, 9:35

Wed., Aug. 23

CC/DVS 11:00am, 2:00, 4:45, 7:00, 9:35

Thu., Aug. 24

CC/DVS 11:00am, 2:00, 4:45, 6:50, 9:25
READ MORE
More David F. Sandberg Films
Lights Out
Prepare for an onslaught of jump scares

Josh Kupecki, July 22, 2016

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Annabelle: Creation, David F. Sandberg, Talitha Bateman, Lulu Wilson, Stephanie Sigman, Miranda Otto, Anthony LaPaglia, Joseph Bishara

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