These days your movie is nothing if it doesn't spawn a franchise. Look at what Universal is doing with their library of classic movie monsters, attempting to create an Avengers-esque universe to build from. But horror movies have always had a long history of piling on sequels and spinoffs, often way beyond reason. One of last year's genre champs was James Wan's The Conjuring, the small-budget horror banking more than $300M and earning a sequel due out next year. But with that kind of success Warner Bros. has figured now is a good time to jump in with both feet on a spinoff, Annabelle, based on the killer doll from the first film.
Starring Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, and Alfred Woodard, Annabelle is a prequel to The Conjuring that explains how the creepy doll became possessed by a demonic force. When we last saw her she was locked up in a special room by the Warrens (Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, not appearing in this film), and we got a glimpse at the case which led to her capture. This film goes even further back and follows a whole new set of terrorized characters. Wan steps into a producer role as his longtime cinematographer John R. Leonetti takes over as director. He's previously been at the helm for Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and The Butterfly Effect 2 but seems to have learned from Wan about establishing an ominous mood. Gary Dauberman, writer of the upcoming horror Crawlspace, penned the screenplay.
Annabelle arrives in time for Halloween on October 3rd. Looks like Chucky may have some new competition to contend with.