Annabelle trailer

Warner Bros. Pictures

For those who saw The Conjuring, last year’s exercise in seeing exactly how much demonic activity has to occur in one house before a dad can perhaps wonder if something might be wrong, the Annabelle doll owned by paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren made an eerie and unappetizing prologue to the main haunted house story. The possessed doll that traumatized a group of girls before coming to live in the Warrens’ trophy room of conquered demonic goods, Annabelle was one of the creepiest parts of the film — and now she’s getting her own origin story so that, I don’t know, maybe people like that dad will finally understand to call a priest ASAP?

The trailer for the aptly titled Annabelle (directed by John R. Leonetti) doesn’t give us so much of a comprehensive look at the plot of the spinoff, as it does cut right to the chase and just show us, in gruesome detail, what exactly happened when Annabelle transformed from ornate, yet grotesque porcelain doll, to the tiny murder machine that haunts nightmares. A young married couple is living in a creaky Victorian house (is there any other kind?) and preparing for the arrival of their new baby, when the husband presents the wife with Annabelle — a thoughtful (terrible?) gift for their new bundle of joy. But their happiness is short-lived; getting murdered by your friendly possessed next door neighbor will really suck the joy out of everything.

After that drop of blood seeps into Annabelle’s eye as she sits cradled in demon-neighbor’s arms (she really likes her dolls, didn’t you hear?), it’s still unclear how her reign of terror begins. The film’s plot has been kept under wraps so far, but there are the details from The Conjuring to help piece together a semblance of what might happen next. According to certified paranormal investigator Vera Farmiga, the Annabelle doll was just a vessel for an evil spirit to inhabit; the doll itself wasn’t haunted. Naturally, when the woman’s blood made contact with the doll, the demon just moved “bodies.” Demonology 101.

What’s missing is the stretch between her possession and when she landed in the hands of the group of college girls who ran screaming to the Warrens for help at the beginning of The Conjuring. Now the owners of Annabelle, they think she’s the cutest (even though anyone with a brain can see from 10 miles away that chick is haunted), until the doll starts leaving them notes and appearing in strange parts of the house even after tossing her in the garbage.

What’s the moral here, kids: never investigate the murder next door, always research your antique collectables.

Check out the trailer below:

Annabelle is in theaters October 3rd.


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