For Warner Bros., The Conjuring is the spine-tingling gift that keeps on giving — but you have to give the studio credit for at least getting creative when it comes to the franchise’s myriad spinoffs.
When mapping out plans for Annabelle: Creation, a period-set horror film based around the freaky doll first introduced in The Conjuring, the production team decided to go big when it came to the creepy old house that would (err) house pretty much all of the action. Variety reports director David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) and production designer Jennifer Spence mapped out the entire house as if it were real, then built it on a soundstage in Burbank. Literally the entire interior of the house, including a few rooms that didn’t even make it on screen (and Sandberg even added a freaky space under the stairs, and a dumbwaiter to boot).
When putting together the house’s design, Sandberg and Spence combed through the script to design the house in a way that perfectly fit the flow of the narrative. Several of the shots connect between rooms, so it would’ve been a lot harder to pull that off if the rooms weren’t actually connected. So they built a house. Sandberg has shot a lot of his previous stuff on location anyway, so building a location to fit the movie was the logical next step. For Spence, the execution was all about creating a sense that the space was “vast,” so they laid it out to make it as big and creepy as possible.
Annabelle: Creation opens this weekend.
Check it out (along with our face-off over the scariest dolls in horror), and let us know if that’s a house you’d like to stay in for a night or two.