[Side Note: Because I wasn’t a huge fan of THE CONJURING (thought it was decent, but vastly overrated), the horrible reviews for the first ANNABELLE movie kept me at bay. However, after thoroughly enjoying THE CONJURING 2, I was willing to give CREATION a chance.]

ANNABELLE: CREATION is a horror movie that’s best viewed with a lively audience, but it should also play well on its own. Instead of breaking new ground, CREATION’s goal is to simply give you the exact kind of scares a possessed doll movie promises — and it succeeds for the most part.

After the tragic death of their young daughter years earlier, Sam and Esther Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto) decide to open up their large, secluded home to the remaining members of a ‘local’ orphanage. And it’s the inexplicable curiosity of polio-stricken Janice (Talitha Bateman) that leads to the discovery of a doll that would look creepy even without the whole ‘demon’ thing attached to it.

[Here’s a slight word of warning: Based upon what we learn, the characters here range from being insanely irresponsible to just downright foolish. Basically, in other words, this movie is full of stupid people doing incredibly stupid things… so proceed with caution if that is likely to bother you.]

Much like a few other new releases, CREATION could have benefitted from tighter editing and a shorter run time (at 109 minutes-long, the padded length of its second act is far too noticeable, after the fact). To its credit, though, CREATION doesn’t drag, and is a tense joyride throughout.

Director David F. Sandberg (LIGHTS OUT) is proving quite capable of helming enjoyable — if forgettable — horror movies that serve its purpose well. In spite of occasionally shoddy CG-work, the tension created is quite palpable, and the numerous jump scares are effective because they are earned.

ANNABELLE: CREATION is a fun movie that falls apart as soon as you open it up to scrutiny; which probably explains why its once-shockingly high Rotten Tomatoes score now sits at 70% (as of this posting). It’s a true ‘check your brain at the door’ film, and that escapism is a big part of the reason why it works.

And, yes, there is a post-credit scene.

Three out of Five Beers.

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