The Conjuring Universe – 6 movie Hexagon analysis
(Section A )- 1 Annabelle Creation, 2 Annabelle Original and 3 Annabelle comes home
(Section B) – The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2, and The Nun.
A) Annabelle 1-3 section
Released in 2017, Annabelle Creation was the second film released. The original, “Annabelle”, whilst released earlier (2014), was set later as the sequel to Annabelle Creation. The movie we refer to as “Creation” for the remainder of the article. “Annabelle Comes Home” forms part of our Trilogy analysis. This sequel to all other Annabelle’s, was released the latest in (2019).
2 Annabelle Creation 2017 (Our rating = (9/10) – IMDb rating = (6.5/10))
Evil concepts introduced within the first ten minutes indicate, a real treat of a movie. A novel idea is that of a conduit. A physical object through which evil can be channeled. It provides a distraction from the true source of harm here, as does the camera; Often choosing to shoot the fearful child’s face, rather than the malevolent entity itself.
Perhaps the films uniqueness, lies in how distorted reality becomes, before retracting to a still sense of banter-filled normality. An ever turbulent environment, highly sensitive to change.
The camera variation, aswell as the environment provide stimulation. Events are kept fresh. Unusual environments are frequented by spirits, on all occasions. These are stumbled upon during happy times;The mood of Creation, follows no predictable pattern. This helps to shock, startle and scare, using unusual hiding places intuitively, to dramatic effect.
1 Annabelle 2014 (Our rating = (7/10) – IMDb rating (5.4/10))
The original movie is a sequel to creation. The demonic presence channeled through the doll can be felt and seen, in the form of a young girl “Annabelle Higgins”. This spirit becomes apparent and present with the doll around. The movement of the doll is never seen; This is a clever concept since it shows the evil energy through one physical object.
Disappointingly though, this movie focuses so much on the doll, it loses sight of Annabelle. This means that the real fear factor of the movie relies on the audience being creeped out by the doll itself. The lady “Annabelle”, whilst scruffy looking, doesn’t really appear that scary.
The concept of the movie works far more weakly here, than in the prequel, “Creation”. This is because the focus is not on the evil, or the victims’ reaction to it. Instead, the focus rests on the slightly creepy looking inanimate doll. Tension builders seem weaker here than in creation too. The lives of the victims, despite being all encompassed by traumatic events, don’t seem overly scared by what’s going on. They have the rationality to actively seek answers, which seems unrealistic. A state of dull calm is present all too often.
To liven things up, you want to see the doll come to life perhaps, although theoretically this couldn’t happen, since it’s just a conduit.
3 Annabelle Comes Home 2019 (Our rating = (8.5/10) – IMDb rating = (5.9/10))
A slightly predictable plot, following a doll moving about on its own before finding its way into the hands of people adversely affected by it. “Annabelle Comes Home”, is an interesting title since it has a very negative connotation to those familiar with the series earlier instalments. Namely, the evil vessel is coming to either where it belongs, or to where it wants to be. It therefore is a talking point from the off.
What is also good is the concept of typically unphased professionals in the paranormal, featuring centre stage in a horror movie. One that is designed to scare. I mean, who would be scared by professionals doing their job in dealing with typically scary things, in a calm manner ?
Another talking point or “hook” keeping audiences engaged. This is further employed in the Conjuring series.
In the same vain, the plot continues to surprise. For example, the doll conduit for the evil spirit Annabelle, is locked In a glass cabinet within the experts’ home. Annabelle has come home in theory, within 20 mins of a 1hr 30 movie. This makes the audience wonder what will happen next, and adheres to the IMDb billed genre of “mystery”.
This deep thought combined with fear, could be a very poignant tool in the horror arsenal.
“Comes home” – Spoilers:
Like in Annabelle “Original”, ghosts manifest as humans, which can instantaneously turn invisible.
Their presence is not where or when you’d expect. Unlike the ghost of Annabelle which is predictable, ie behind you or in the doll.
This variety is helpful in creating times of anticipated tension and times of tension which come as a surprise. This theme continues with The Conjuring movies.
Power cuts were used as tension builders here, as in Creation.
“Comes home” Drawbacks
A major issue with the film is at times it’s a little too busy. Being shocked becomes no longer a shock, due to over commonality of occurrence.
Much of the plot is predictable after the opening. The ending is also quite predictable. The intermittent period could contrast more. Setting isn’t that varied overall, resulting in tedium with the scary environment.
The professionals featured, do little to enhance the horror in this film, failing to draw you in with spooky stories, or plot-enhancing insightful comments. This seems a missed opportunity.
Overall a good horror. Plenty of food for thought, with innovative tactics to scare the audience. The gaps in horror themes were too expansive though, resulting in busy action, feeling less scary towards the end. The feel of the movie was intimidating, especially in the initial phases after returning home.
Things built up well, but didn’t climax. The result was a rather ordinary middle to conclusion section, which leaves you wanting more.
Annabelle 1-2 Conclusion
In Summary, Creation is by far the creepier film, tending more to evil events and fear, than a harmless, albeit creepy, doll. This is true to the concept of Annabelle, so resonates better with the storyline too.
It is good to see IMDb users agree with my decision that creation, the prequel, is a far better film out of these 2.
Annabelle 1-3 Overall conclusion
I have to say, despite featuring some novel ideas, and being superior to “Original”, “Comes home” lacked the continuous satisfaction from fear that “Creation” brought. Annabelle “Creation” is therefore my overall favourite.
Our ratings match the order of those on IMDb, these are listed below. I recommend you watch Annabelle Creation. The others are nowhere near as entertaining.
B) The Conjuring ( 1-2) and The Nun section
- The Conjuring 2013 (Our rating = (8.5/10) – IMDb rating = (7.5/10))
The opening was a little dull because not much action actually occurred. As a whole though, the film used many enticing mechanisms such as narration, which drew in my curiosity.
Additionally, the scary environment was only briefly displayed here, allowing it to be identified, yet remain somewhat elusive to the viewer.
The film plot featured a haunted house visit, as so many other horrors do. The evil was investigated in a believable way, ensuring it was respected, not deliberately provoked.
The introduction sets the scene, much like the original Annabelle. This suggests it’s set around the same time.
A music box features as the symbol of evil. It seems to wreak havoc wherever it appears. This links the film to “Annabelle”, also featuring the same box. Whilst Annabelle centres on the doll, the music box featured here actually moves, playing a tune of reasonable length. This provides more of a spectacle, than the doll. It also allows plenty of time for tension to be built, whilst the audience remains engaged.
Annabelle “Original” doesn’t possess anywhere near the level of shock elicited here. Fear in “The Conjuring”, derives from many different locations. This concept adds another dimension to evil approaches.
It provides multiple routes of attack, and directions of tension, thereby confusing and tormenting victims.
The multimedia, portraying many ways to shock audiences, provides a refreshing level of diversity here. One which is well established and professional.
For example, It features hiding places, suspense and surprise, evil looking things, tense ambience, and physical/psychological loss. All helpful components for a scary horror.
2. The Conjuring 2 2016 ( Our rating = 9/10) – IMDb rating = ( 7.3/10))
The Horror setting was quickly introduced, using immediate verbal narration.
With a 1970’s setting, a haunting investigation was immediately clear in a classic home.
Psychology was quickly brought in, pervading physical memories. This involved shadows, low light sources, and chilling whispers.
Eyes often acted visibly, as the gateway to the soul. Through dreams and premonitions, psychology linked to the physical world. Since these were only dreams though, the reality was kept mysterious. This provided, sustained intrigue for viewers.
Key sounds included creaking doors, and laughter. Mirrors were used to highlight evil, showing how senses can deceive. Seeing was the climax of fear throughout.
Sound supplied evidence of evil approaches. Sound was also crucial, as evil faces or visual representations, were often partial and unclear. Sound acts as the medium of clear communication here too. Often noises were intimidatingly deep.
Possession of people, not objects, was the mechanism of evil here. Objects are frequently possessed in various other horror movies though.
Reality is viewed differently here using mirrors. For example, some things appear next to you in the mirror, but not when you glance over your shoulder.
Text and voice narration were used in combination here. Frights emerge from typically safe places too. In bed, for example. This effect was further enhanced by featuring the festive occasion of Christmas. A time the whole family feels safe. This, like bed, lulls you into a false sense of security. Fear is unexpected …
Festive occasion, also increases the numbers of potential victims to the haunting, raising suspense. Furthermore, Christmas provides stark contrast from happy celebration, to fear.
The end-house setting, increases the feeling of exposure to evil forces. The staging of an investigation, which revealed lack of evidence, allowed good contrast between a declared safe setting, and one more isolated and open to attack. This followed investigators leaving, due to lack of evidence.
The doubt in the paranormal investigators’ minds, helped emphasise how unpredictable the paranormal is. This “crisis” period, helped break up parts of the long movie well.
Also rare amongst horror, 2 stories ran simultaneously, represented using cut scenes. The film ending, related well to earlier parts.
A true stroke of genius. A highly entertaining mixture of reality and horror, which provided insight into the characters, so impacted by active evil.
3. The Nun 2018 (Our rating= (7.5/10) – IMDb rating= (5.3/10))
The introduction is very different to other movie content in this film series. Similarly though, it still features The Conjuring series’ “Valak”. Valak features in The Conjuring 2.
The Conjuring 2 shows how later events would unfold with this character.
Immediately, the camera switches to a very eerie looking castle. Also Immediately, horror themes are evident. Namely, the source of evil, and it’s habitat. Narration is verbal, as in “The Conjuring”, introducing this setting.
Darkness is used here, totally hiding evil. It’s solely represented by sounds and injured people.
It’s frequency feels a little scarce, consequently opening scenes lack macabre tendencies. It would have been better to see a glimpse of something.
It’s more psychological though, which is an aspect occurring throughout the film. You can see the seriously disturbing psychological effects, on character personality.
Themes of spirituality were focused on throughout. Insight into creepy events was regularly hinted at too.
Sound was used well to build tension here, unusual observations and discoveries, visibly played with characters’ minds.
Rituals and cults were a pervasive theme of The Nun, the religious vale shrouds faces, maintaining mystery. Mystery is kept as effectively here, as in the Conjuring movies.
Links between earlier scenes and later ones emerge, as the mystery is slowly unravelled.
Overall, this film kept my attention throughout, using a clever plot line. This focused on religious individuals, and the Impact evil had on sacred lives. It lacked regular scares though.
Judging the film on entertainment value alone, it was clearly very good. Overall, I recommend you watch this entertaining horror/mystery. Don’t expect to be truly scared frequently though.
The Conjuring (1 and 2) and The Nun – Summary
Whilst “The Nun” shows a different take on horror, and The Conjuring shows chilling horror, The Conjuring 2 remains my favourite of the 3.
IMDB favour the original “The Conjuring”, though”.
Overall series summary
Overall, my favourite of The Conjuring Universe movies, is The Conjuring 2 that I scored (9/10), with Annabelle Creation also scoring (9/10), nipping at it’s heels.
Annabelle Creation is spine-tinglingly scary. The Conjuring 2, is arguably cleverer in plot twists and turns though. Both films have something great to offer, and should be watched before cheese and bed.
1 The Conjuring 2 ( Our rating = 9/10) – IMDb rating = ( 7.3/10))
2 Annabelle Creation 2017 (Our rating = (9/10) – IMDb rating = (6.5/10))
3 The Conjuring (Our rating = (8.5/10) – IMDb rating = (7.5/10))
4 Annabelle Comes Home 2019 (Our rating = (8.5/10) – IMDb rating = (5.9/10))
5 The Nun (Our rating= (7.5/10) – IMDb rating= (5.3/10))
6 Annabelle 2014 (Our rating = (7/10) – IMDb rating = (5.4/10))
Annabelle 1/2 Dual analysis
Paranormal 1-4 comparison:
Tags: horror, Annabelle, Conjuring, Dual analysis, benandthegang, creation, Annabelle original, conduits, malevolent, dolls, ragdoll, trilogy, the nun, music box, reaseaorg,