The story that branched off from James Wan’s The Conjuring (2013) has literally given Annabelle a life of her own, first with the 2014 offshoot film named after that cursed and possessed doll. Now, a new film brings the doll back to the big screen, but how does Annabelle: Creation fit into the franchise that introduced her and the offshoot film that made her an icon in her own right? Director David F. Sandberg answers that and other compelling questions about his latest box-office smashing horror hit.
Spoilers Ahead As The Origins Of Annabelle: Creation Are Explored
While 2014’s Annabelle was a prequel offshoot to The Conjuring, it wasn’t really the origin story that horror fans had expected, when they flocked to theaters. Now, as L.A. Times reveals, we are finally getting that story — and then some. Annabelle: Creation introduces us to the very beginning, when the Annabelle doll was manufactured in the early ’40s as a part of a limited edition collectors item. Only 100 similar dolls were created.
The dollmaker, Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia), is shown devoting great care and a love of his craft in creating Annabelle, painstakingly assembling, refining, and painting the doll.
Later, Samuel and his wife, Esther (played by Miranda Otto), suffer a family tragedy, bringing an end to the dollmaker’s passion for life and art. It isn’t until many years have passed that the couple once again open up their doors and their hearts, but, this time, it’s to a group of unsuspecting orphans.
It doesn’t take a leap of the imagination to guess what happens next in Annabelle: Creation. While the doll torments her new house full of defenseless children, one handicapped orphan, Janice (Talitha Bateman) may be the only one capable of stopping Annabelle from spreading her reign of evil.
David Sandberg On Indulging His Dark Side For Annabelle: Creation
Speaking to AZ Central, David F. Sandberg reveals that he was busy working on Lights Out, when producers approached him with the idea of directing Annabelle: Creation. He says he was reluctant to sign on and expected a sequel that pretty much rehashed the plot of the first film, but, upon reading the script, Sandberg found that this would be more than the average sequel.
In fact, what most appealed to him about the film is that audiences don’t need to see the 2014 film to enjoy Annabelle: Creation. It stands on its own, yet it leads into the events of the first film.
Asked about shooting on a dark, scary set, David dispels our fantasies, as he reveals that the set is as technical and busy as any film set. Sure, the physical set of the house does seem a little foreboding, but with technicians and crew running around, child actors playing between takes, and flashes and lights brightening up the rooms, Sandberg says it’s not as dark as one might expect.
Many of Sandberg’s horror films use darkness as a tool for creating a frightening atmosphere and he says he’d rather make it too dark than too light. He feels that works to the film’s advantage, even when audiences can’t make out what’s going on.
Sandberg takes advantage of daylight as well. In one scene, Janice finds herself under attack, while in the barn in the middle of the afternoon and the Annabelle: Creation director says he was surprised by how well that scene came together.
“And then when we had our first test screening … one of the things they said was how much they liked that scary things happened in the day, because scary things usually happen at night. ”
Annabelle: Creation hits theaters today.
[Featured Image by New Line Cinema]