Jake Perlman
August 15, 2014 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Annabelle

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
95 minutes
Wide Release Date
10/03/14
performer
Eric Ladin, Alfre Woodard
director
John R. Leonetti
distributor
New Line Cinema
genre
Horror

We gave it an F

After making a big impression in the opening scene of last year’s horror hit The Conjuring, a pretty doll named Annabelle has scared up her own self-titled origin story. Set before The Conjuring, director John R. Leonetti’s film focuses on a young woman (played by The Tudors‘ Annabelle Wallis — yes, that’s her real name) whose life is upended after she receives the doll as a gift. Producer James Wan, who directed The Conjuring, speaks about the doll’s big-screen breakout.

From Raggedy to Riches
Annabelle is based on a real-life Raggedy Ann that was investigated for demonic possession in the ’70s. James Wan had to change the doll’s look for legal reasons, but was happy to. ”I wanted her to be pretty at the outset but then really creepy when all alone in your room,” he says.

Seeing Triple
Only one doll was used in The Conjuring, but there were three different versions for Annabelle. ”Some may be better at standing up,” says Wan. ”Some may be better for a close-up.”

She’s No Chucky
Despite using animatronics on the Saw films, Wan didn’t employ any for Annabelle: ”We wanted to not give her that much life, or rather, to let her be what she is, an inanimate object.” Unlike Chucky in Child’s Play, he says, ”she’s not going to walk around with a knife in her hands.”

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