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Monday, June 7, 2021

‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’: How the Franchise’s Latest Villain is Connected to ‘Annabelle’

Demonic doll Annabelle, a mainstay of the Conjuring Universe, gets name-checked directly in the third entry of The Conjuring core franchise. In The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Arne’s lawyer begins as a skeptic, arguing that the demonic possession as a defense sounds ridiculous and would be difficult to prove. Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) offer to make the lawyer a believer by introducing her to Annabelle. Cut to the aftermath, where the visibly shaken woman announces in court her change of heart on the topic. That wry in-joke is only the tip of the iceberg to the doll’s connection to this sequel.

The first Conjuring spinoff explored the origins of Annabelle, set in California during the late ’60s. The inciting event for Annabelle saw the Form family’s next-door neighbors brutally murdered by adoptive daughter Annabelle Higgins, who’d previously ran away to join a cult. While Mia Form’s husband goes to check on the neighbors, Annabelle and her boyfriend attack her. Annabelle transfers her soul to Mia’s newly acquired doll as she cuts her own throat, her blood dripping into the doll’s eyes. It begins a series of escalating paranormal events; the haunted doll seeks to claim Mia’s baby.

Eventually, Mia seeks answers, first from the authorities involved with the Higgins’ case, then through a bookstore owner. The detective reveals that Annabelle Higgins and her boyfriend were part of a cult known as the Disciples of the Ram and that they were dedicated to conjuring up inhuman spirits. More specifically, they were attempting to “resurrect the Ram.” Mia later learns from the pages of an occult book that summoning up demonic entities requires sacrifice or the blood of an innocent, which explains why the cultists invaded her home to attack after murdering the neighbors.

The spinoff’s follow-up, Annabelle: Creation, traced Annabelle “Janice” Higgins’s childhood as an orphan up through her adoption by the Higgins, flashing forward to that fateful night where she transferred into the doll. It didn’t explain how Annabelle became a Disciple of the Ram; it showed how Annabelle became the Ram itself. Creation saw the Mullins open their home to orphans many years after their daughter tragically passed. They felt it’d been enough time, and the demon they’d locked away went dormant. That is until it lured Janice into freeing it, beginning a new reign of terror. That demon bears ram’s horns and the cult’s marking on its chest.

In Conjuring 3, Lorraine discovers a witch’s totem beneath the Glatzel house, which meant that young David’s possession resulted from a curse. On the night of the exorcism, the curse was passed from David to Arne through Arne’s invitation. Ed explains that the totem draws the demon, working as a beacon. Series regular Father Gordon (Steve Coulter) suggests they seek answers from the priest that helped expose the Disciples of the Ram cult, Father Kastner (John Noble).

Father Gordon explains that Kastner long retired as a priest but spent an extensive period studying the cult and getting acquainted with them to understand why they did what they did. During their visit with Kastner, he shows the Warrens his basement collection of Satanic and occult objects collected while studying the Disciples of the Ram over nine years.

Lorraine visits Kastner once more for exposition on the curse just ahead of the film’s climax. It must target and claim three victims to be complete; the child, the lover, and the man of god. The child target was David, the lover was Jessica, and the arrival of a totem at the Warrens’ house marked Ed as the final target. The latter prompts Kastner to lead Lorraine back down to his basement, where he shows her a family photo album. It contains pictures of his daughter, Isla, whom he raised in secret while continuing his studies of the Disciples of the Ram. His research and growing collection sparked a fascination in Isla, which eventually caused her to fully submerse herself in the world of Satanism and black magic.

Isla is the one behind the curse; she’s the film’s villain, referred to as The Occultist (Eugenie Bondurant). While she seems to be operating on her own, putting her soul on the line as she promises three victims to complete her curse, her rise to villainy originates from the Disciples of the Ram, even if indirectly. Kastner and his daughter make a tragic and sinister counterpart to the Warrens; demonic darkness to their light. The mythology behind Isla Kastner expands the Conjuring universe even further, tying The Devil Made Me Do It to Annabelle in an unexpected way.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/editorials/3668236/conjuring-devil-made-villain-connected-annabelle/

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