Spoiler Warning! – This article is going to talk about a scene from Annabelle: Creation’s climax. If you don’t want it spoiled, click away now.
One of Annabelle: Creation’s strongest aspects (depending on who you ask) is how utterly relentless it is with its scares. Granted, there are more than a few jump scares in its 109-minute runtime, but most of the scary moments are strictly visual and I’ll be the first to admit that many of them followed me home from the theater.
One of, if not THE scariest moment in Annabelle: Creation comes when Lulu Wilson’s Linda is trying to escape a possessed Janice (Talitha Bateman) in the house’s dumbwaiter and she ends up in the basement. She’s disoriented for a second before she realizes that the top half of Esther Mullins’ corpse is crumpled up in front of her.
Suddenly, the bloody-faced corpse springs to life and crawls in an almost inhuman way (much like Lights Out’s Diana) towards her and she manages to escape at the very last second. As soon as that scene ended, I noticed my hands were shaking; so when I sat down with the film’s director, David F. Sandberg, I had to ask how it was made.
“When we were putting the movie together in the edit I was like, it needs something extra here,” Sandberg explained. “I was sort of joking with Michel, the editor, that maybe they just find half of Mrs. Mullins and she was like ‘Yeah!’ Instead of laughing it was ‘Okay, let’s do that,’ so that was a late addition and we had that scene we shot later on with her crawling on the floor.”
I was almost sure there was either some prosthetic or even digital work at play in the scene, but Sandberg assured me that there were no digital effects involved what-so-ever.
“I got to work with an amputee,” Sandberg said. “That wasn’t CGI. I asked, ‘Can we find someone without legs?’ which freaked everyone at the office out. But we found this woman without legs who was totally up for it and so into it and she kind of looks like Miranda [Otto]. We had some blood and hair and stuff to her face to cover it up a little bit, but yeah. That’s one of those weird things I’ve always wanted to do… work with amputee people in horror movies because they can do cool things.”
So there you have it, folks, straight from the director himself. Much like The Crooked Man from The Conjuring 2, the possessed corpse of Esther Mullins comes down to incredible practical makeup and stunt work.
Gotta love it.