Lets officially take a dive into the first official movie I’ll be talking about that is part of the Conjuring Universe.
This movie begins with the Form family comprised of John Form (Ward Horton) and Mia Form (Annabelle Wallis). Mia Form is pregnant, and as a gift for their unborn daughter, John gives his wife a rare porcelain doll. One night, the couple is disturbed from their sleep as a home invasion takes place next door. John goes to see what is happening while Mia stays behind and calls the police. John is attacked by the killers, but the police arrive and kill one of the assailants–the man, while the woman commits suicide in the nursery, slitting her throat while holding the doll. The killers turn out to be the estranged daughter of the neighbors and her unidentified boyfriend, both of whom were known to be in a cult.
As with all movies in this universe, paranormal activity begins occuring over the next few days. Mia gives birth to a healthy baby girl named Leah, who becomes the sole obsession of the malevolent spirit. Mia reaches out to the detective who dealt with the home invasion in order to find out more about the cult–and with the help of a bookstore owner and fellow tenant Evelyn (Alfre Woodard) they learn that the cult practiced devil worshipping and hoped to summon supernatural creatures. They were successful, and Mia learns that a demon has latched onto them in hopes of claiming a soul.
It’s all a very scary scheme to get Mia’s soul, the demon using a priest’s body as a way to get into the apartment and abduct Leah. Mia is standing on the edge of the window with the doll in her hands, ready to sacrifice herself for her child when Evelyn stops her. Evelyn has had her own demons to deal with, having felt immense guilt over the death of her daughter Ruby in a car accident while she was driving. She decides to give her own life as atonement. Six months later we watch as the doll is bought from an antique shop, meaning that her story isn’t over yet.
I remember seeing this film in theaters when it came out, and I remember how scared I was. Especially knowing that the story of Annabelle is one that the Warrens, the duo the Conjuring Universe draw inspiration from, have told is true. I find this movie scarier than the Insidious franchise, only because of my own aversion to dolls. They creep me out and I don’t like them. I remember being caught off guard by Evelyn’s death, but most importantly, the jump scares in this one were enough to genuinely frighten me.
Have you guys seen this one? What did you think?