James Wan’s demonic doll Annabelle has been a breakout star of the Conjuring franchise ever since her first appearance in the opening of the first film about the real life paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren. She has since spawned her own spin-off series and in her upcoming third film, Annabelle Comes Home, fans get to learn about the true power of Annabelle after the Warrens make the mistake of putting her in their dangerous artifact room.
During a visit to Warner Bros. Studios, IGN was among the press invited to visit with director Gary Dauberman in his editing bay and get a sneak peek at three spooky sequences from the newest entry into the ever sprawling Conjuring-verse.
The first scene screened takes fans back to the aforementioned opening scene from The Conjuring, which saw the Warrens explaining the nature of the doll to some of her victims. Though the girls, Debbie and Camilla, think that she’s just the ghost of a young girl who is inhabiting the doll, Lorraine quickly explains otherwise: “I think what we have here is something extremely manipulative. It’s something inhuman.” Fans will recognize this moment, but here it’s expanded as the Warrens take Annabelle on a journey back to their house.
We get some nice character beats here as the couple drive home with Annabelle in the backseat. “Band of Gold” plays on the radio and they joke about Ed’s terrible sense of direction. It’s great to see Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga back together as play off each other and joke about ending up in California, due to Ed’s useless driving. There’s a nice nod to their daughter Judy (McKenna Grace) who plays a huge part in this entry, as they say they could pick her up first and then head to the Gold Coast for a nice holiday.
As the Warrens drive home they hit a roadblock because of a terrible accident. It’s a dark night but it looks like it could have been one of the people who used to own Annabelle. After offering their help to a bemused cop, he asks them to turn around and makes a comment about Annabelle, saying “Nice doll.” Ed quickly quips, “That’s what you think.” The pair turn around as Three Dog Night’s “Mama Told Me Not To Come” plays.
It’s this connection to the dead that has drawn her here, and her desperation to reconnect with her father has put her and the other girls in the house in grave danger. Suddenly, a piano in the room begins to play. Daniela follows the sound and begins to play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. As her fingers move over the keyboard, her father appears to play with her, his rotting hands on the piano.
For Dauberman, the scene also connects to the logic and rules of the franchise, especially how people interact with the spiritual side of the films. “You know, if you go online and look at videos of the [real] artifact room, there are all sorts of people who want to poke the bear and they want to see if it’s real. Like, ‘Haha, isn’t this funny?’ But maybe it isn’t as funny with a demonic entity attached to you.”
You’ll be able to investigate the artifact room and experience the true horror of all of its secrets when Annabelle Comes Home hits screens June 26th.
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