WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Annabelle: Creation.
The director of Annabelle: Creation has revealed one of the regrets in making his late-summer hit. As horror spin-offs go, Creation is a worthy addition to The Conjuring franchise as we discover the dark and demonic origins of the titular doll.
David F. Sandberg was handed the reins to this Annabelle prequel, set during the mid-50s in the household of a bereaved doll-maker who welcomes some orphan girls and their nun guardian into their home, but the director has admitted that there is one moment in the film that he seriously regrets.
The Lights Out director revealed his mistake during a discussion of the new movie on Reddit, when one viewer called out a scene in which the "ghost" of the Mullins' daughter suddenly goes full Evil Dead-cheesy towards the orphan, Janis, who is lured into the demon's presence. The little spirit girl's face turns demonic as it cries "I want your soul!" The director is still cringing over it:
"Yeah, I never quite got that one right and I think of 'I'll swallow your soul' every time I see it. If I could redo it I'd make the makeup creepier and have her not say anything. Or at least whisper the line instead of full on demon voice. We tried so many variations of that voice during post. 'Maybe if we make the voice really overwhelming, that might take away from the cheese?' Nope."
Sandberg also explained that scene didn't use any CGI, "that's just makeup and regular Bee's face composited into the window reflection," and talked about other moments in the movie too, including one with the young orphan girls in the car at the end. Apparently, a "cheap jump scare" was cut out in the final film:
"We did originally have the scarecrow land on the car after it disappeared. It's in some ads for the film and in the end you can actually still briefly see it on top of the car. It just felt like maybe one too many cheap jump scares. Even I have a limit."
Annabelle: Creation is certainly not short of scares and it's a testament to Sandberg's talents in the horror genre that he was able to, arguably, make the best film in The Conjuring franchise so far. It would certainly be a shame if this film was his first and last offering with more spin-off films expected, including The Crooked Man.
However, he is working on a sequel to Lights Out, and is next going to be directing the DCEU's Shazam!, so he might be a just a little bit too busy to commit to another installment. He has shown interest in doing a reboot or remake of both A Nightmare on Elm Street and Critters, though, so hopefully he won't be leaving the horror genre anytime soon.
- Annabelle: Creation (2017) release date: Aug 11, 2017