Annabelle: Creation expands The Conjuring franchise universe into a deeper past, where we learn how the iconic evil Annabelle doll was created, and first tainted with evil. In telling that story, Annabelle: Creation further intertwines the various monsters and story elements that began with The Conjuring, but even the most dedicated might be confused on some of the details.
With Annabelle: Creation now in theaters, fans are discussing the various secrets and Conjuring connections that the film reveals - and we're here to help explain it in full.
Here are Annabelle: Creation's Ending and Conjuring Franchise Connections Explained. Be warned: There will be MAJOR SPOILERS that follow below!
One obvious problem with Annabelle: Creation's entire existence as a film, is that the first Annabelle already told the story of how the doll became possessed by an evil spirit:
In the first film, Pete and Sharon Higgins are asleep in their Santa Monica home in 1969, when they are brutally murdered by their daughter Annabelle and her boyfriend, who are members of a satanic cult. When the assailants attempted to murder the Higgins' neighbors, John and Mia, the man is killed, while Annabelle slit her own throat, spilling blood on Mia's antique doll, and thereby manifesting the evil spirit within it.
However, in Annabelle: Creation we get a different origin story: doll maker Samuel Mullins created the iconic doll, just before he and his wife Esther lose their daughter "Bee" (short for "Annabelle," it's later revealed) in a tragic accident. The Mullins turn to their faith, asking whatever force in the universe to bring them back their daughter; what they get is a ghostly apparition, which eventually reveals itself to be a horrific demon, masquerading as the little girl.
We soon learn that demon is using the doll as a conduit, in order to possess an actual human being, and therefore gain full entry into our world. Unfortunately for young, crippled orphan girl Janice, the demon chooses her, and ultimately is successful in possessing her body. By the end of the film, Janice has escaped the Mullins' house leaving bodies in her wake - off into the world to wreak more havoc and bloodshed.
On paper, it seems like Annabelle and Annabelle: Creation tell conflicting stories. In order to bridge that gap, the filmmakers come up with an epilogue that will either pleasantly surprise fans, or have them feeling like the franchise jumps the shark with its attempt to weave Conjuring universe connections.
The Connection: In the epilogue to Annabelle: Creation, we find the possessed Janice now masquerading as Annabelle in name, fully cured of her disabilities. She turns up in a California orphanage, where she is adopted by none other than... Pete and Sharon Higgins!
Once that revealing connection is made, we take a floating trip through the Higgins' home, where we see photos of Demon Janice/Annabelle growing over the years, her blond hair turning black, and her pretty features eroding into the gaunt face of the murderous Annabelle Higgins that eventually returns to kill her parents. In fact, the movie ends by taking us back to Santa Monica in 1969, where we see the Higgins die in much more gruesome detail, before neighbors John and Mia come to investigate, thereby starting the cycle of events in the first film.
What It Means: Here's where some fans will have problems with this connection between Annabelle 1 & 2:
- The idea that "Janice" becomes "Annabelle Higgins." After all, there's no real explanation for why the demon in Janice's body would keep that name - especially when it's something that the other survivors of the Mullins house could track.
- The idea that Annabelle Higgins/Demon Janice's mortal life would end in the home of a family who just so happened to own the exact doll the demon had once been trapped in.
It's a totally contrived plot device, meant to allow room for the Annabelle demon doll to essentially have two origins. However, to be fair, Annabelle: Creation's horrific demon entity being the source of the doll's unnatural power is much more fitting than it being the soul of a crazy satanic girl from Santa Monica.
The other big connection to the larger Conjuring universe that Annabelle: Creation establishes is the presence of the infamous Nun from The Conjuring 2.
You can click HERE for the full explanation of The Nun's presence in Annabelle: Creation - or read below for the summarized version.
The demonic Nun appears indirectly early on, when the kindly Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) is moving her orphan girls into the Mullins' house. Sister Charlotte keeps a photo of her best friends from the convent where she trained, and Mr. Mullins notices something strange about that photo: When tilted away from the light, a dark shadow behind the happy nuns in the picture reveals the chalky white face of the demonic nun, lurking close by.
Honor Among Demons
The second time the Nun appears, it's direct contact: After being fully crippled by the Annabelle demon, young Janice is sitting in the yard of the Mullins' house, confined to a wheel chair. Suddenly, The Nun appears behind Janice and wheels her into a nearby barn, where the Annabelle demon finally possesses Janice, in full body and soul.
In a Marvel-style post-credits scene, we are taken to the basement of what looks like an old cathedral, lit by a row of candles on either wall. The candles are snuffed out, row by row, and from the darkness, comes The Nun, floating into view. This is a "button scene" moment, to tease The Nun spinoff film that's coming next summer.