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Mr Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) handcrafted wooden toys and dolls. He seems very happy with his wife Esther (Miranda Otto) and their daughter, Bee (Samara Lee). That is, until Bee is quickly taken from them in a road accident. Some time later, the Mullins’ open their old home to Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) and a handful of young girls from an orphanage, in particular a wheelchair/crutch-bound girl named Janice (Talitha Bateman).
By this time, Mrs. Mullins has been bed-ridden with a “condition” and Mr. Mullins appears quiet and withdrawn. Janice doesn’t do as she’s told – which is to stay away from one locked bedroom – but something draws her to enter this room and look around. It’s the Mullins’ daughter’s room. She is led by what appears to be Bee’s ghost, and she finds the doll: Annabelle.
Strange things start happening in the home. The young girls start experiencing things first. Janice’s closest friend Linda (Lulu Wilson) is the first one to figure out what’s starting to go on, speaking to Mr Mullins about it briefly. It doesn’t take long for things to escalate. Linda manages to get Sister Charlotte to understand the root of the problems so far – the doll – and she confronts Mrs. Mullins. The Mullins’ appear to know and understand what’s going on, hinting it’s been dealt with before; but it’s not enough to save them all this time.
Annabelle: Creation is a 2017 American supernatural horror film directed by David F. Sandberg and written by Gary Dauberman. It is a prequel to 2014’s Annabelle and the fourth installment in The Conjuring series. The film stars Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto, Lulu Wilson and depicts the possessed Annabelle doll’s origin.
Principal photography began on June 27, 2016, in Los Angeles, California, at the Warner Bros. Studios, Burbank lot, and concluded on August 15, 2016. Sandberg decided to use Steadicam and tracking shots, because of the film’s period setting, and he wanted to maintain the “old school” feel of the first two The Conjuring films. According to Sandberg, he does not believe in ghosts or demonic entities, saying, “I haven’t experienced anything in life that would lead me to believe they exist”. Sandberg reported that actress Stephanie Sigman, who played Sister Charlotte, was “a little bit freaked out by that doll” and, after hearing that a priest had blessed the set of The Conjuring 2, requested the same ritual be performed for this film.
Annabelle: Creation premiered at the LA Film Festival on June 19, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on August 11, 2017. The film has grossed over $306 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the atmosphere and acting, and noted it as an improvement over its predecessor.
Annabelle: Creation has grossed $102.1 million in the United States and Canada and $204.4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $306.5 million, against a production budget of $15 million. With its release, it pushed The Conjuring franchise past the $1 billion threshold, making it only the third horror series to cross that mark, after the Alien franchise and Resident Evil series.
About the Story
In 1943, dollmaker Samuel Mullins and his wife Esther grieve for the loss of their seven-year-old daughter Annabelle “Bee”, who was killed in a car accident. Twelve years later, in 1955, the Mullins open their home to provide shelter for Sister Charlotte and six girls left homeless by the closing of their orphanage. Despite having been told not to enter Bee’s locked bedroom, Janice, a young orphan crippled by polio, is awakened by a noise, discovers a note saying “find me”, and sneaks into the room, which has mysteriously become unlocked. She finds a key for Bee’s closet and unlocks it, where she sees an eerie porcelain doll. This unwittingly releases a powerful demon, who begins to terrorize the girls, displaying a special interest in Janice.
On the second night, the demon continues to torment Janice, revealing its true form and declaring that it wants “her soul”. Although she attempts to get away using a stairlift, she is left severely injured when caught by the demon and thrown from the second floor landing to the first floor. The next day, Janice—now confined to a wheelchair—is dragged into a shed. The demon, taking Bee’s form, successfully possesses her. One of the other orphans, Janice’s best friend Linda, notices changes in her behavior and admits to Samuel that Janice had snuck into Bee’s room and found the doll two nights earlier. Shortly after Linda’s revelation, the possessed Janice, who can now walk, transforms into the demon and brutally kills Samuel.
Sister Charlotte speaks with the disfigured Esther, who is confined to her bedroom. Esther explains that after Bee’s death, they prayed to whatever entity would grant their wish to see their daughter again. An unknown entity answered their prayer and though they briefly see Bee’s spirit again, the entity convinces them to transfer its essence into one of Samuel’s crafted porcelain dolls. They happily agree but soon realise that they have attracted a demon looking for a human host.
One night, Esther sees Bee’s spirit, along with the porcelain doll, transforming into the demon, who gouges out her left eye. They take the doll to Bee’s room and lock it in a closet wallpapered with pages from the Bible before enlisting the help of priests to bless both the room and the house. Esther then reveals that she and Samuel opened their house as a shelter for the orphans to repent of their dealings but now regrets it, since she realises that this has provided an opportunity for the demon to look for a human host.
The demon crucifies Esther and bisects her body and slams Sister Charlotte on the wall, prompting the other orphans to leave the house. Linda is trapped in the house and hides in Bee’s room as the possessed Janice tries to stab her. Sister Charlotte recovers and locks the possessed Janice and the doll inside the closet. The next day, police arrive to search the house and its surroundings and find only the doll inside the bedroom closet, which they remove as evidence. Janice has escaped through a hole in the closet wall and relocates to an orphanage in Santa Monica. Still possessed, she becomes reclusive and calls herself Annabelle. The Higgins family soon adopt Annabelle.
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Annabelle: Creation (2017)
Directed by: David F. Sandberg
Starring: Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Eliana Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto, Lulu Wilson, Brad Greenquist, Philippa Coulthard, Tayler Buck, Alicia Vela-Bailey, Lotta Losten
Screenplay by: David F. Sandberg
Production Design by: Jennifer Spence
Cinematography by: Maxime Alexandre
Film Editing by: Michel Aller
Costume Design by: Leah Butler
Set Decoration by: Lisa Son
Art Direction by: Jason Garner
Music by: Benjamin Wallfisch
MPAA Rating: R for horror violence and terror.
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: August 11, 2017