The methodical coils tighten and then pounce and pounce again in "Annabelle: Creation," an undeniably effective if eventually wheel-spinning cinematic jack-in-the-box. This 1940s- and '50s-set prequel to 2014's atmospherically frightful "Annabelle"—itself a prequel-cum-spinoff of 2013's "The Conjuring"—concocts almost too many uncomfortably hairy situations to count, but this repetitiveness becomes its gradual undoing in a third act where characters spend an inordinate amount of time meandering around a dark house when they should be running out the front door. Suffice it to say, Sidney Prescott would not approve. What is wholly approvable is the devilish skill with which director David F. Sandberg (2016's "Lights Out") brings to each scare scene. James Wan has a right to be proud.
Twelve years after a tragic accident claimed the life of toymaker Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) and wife Esther's (Miranda Otto) precocious 7-year-old daughter Bee (Samara Lee), the couple agrees to take in six orphaned girls and their caretaker, Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman). The farmhouse is like a mansion to these young ladies and there is plenty of room outside to roam and play, but the polio-stricken Janice (Talitha Bateman), wearing a leg brace to help her get around, is mostly confined indoors. Samuel makes it known Bee's old bedroom is off-limits, but late one night curiosity gets the best of Janice. It is in here where she discovers the treasured Annabelle doll Bee's dad made for her. This is no ordinary doll, however; Janice senses immediately that dark forces are surrounding it, the smiling plastic nightmare possessed by something other than the Mullins' departed little girl.
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review