The Conjuring prequel Annabelle conjures up a new trailer

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Aug 22, 2014, 8:15 AM EDT (Updated)

There isn't a whole lot of horror on tap for movie screens this coming Halloween, but the producers of The Conjuring are trying to rectify that.

Just unleashed is a new trailer for Annabelle, which serves as a prequel to last year's horror blockbuster by chronicling the history of the creepy little doll that was a key element of the original James Wan-directed movie.

To be honest, the explanation for just how Annabelle becomes haunted seems kind of contrived, and I have to question why any woman would accept such a hideous doll as a gift from her husband in the first place. But if you just go with it, then you might find that the movie offers up some of the same kinds of scares that its predecessor did. I have to admit that the final running-through-the-door shot -- which sort of references a similar effect from an obscure Mario Bava film called Shock -- made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

Starring no one from The Conjuring, Annabelle opens Oct. 3 and features Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton and Alfre Woodard, with direction by John R. Leonetti, who was the cinematographer on The Conjuring. So at least someone who was on the set of the last one is working on this one as well.

Read the official synopsis and watch the trailer below. Does Annabelle hit your horror sweet spot?

John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia -- a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia’s delight with Annabelle doesn’t last long. On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now...Annabelle.