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‘Annabelle: Creation’ Screening Provides Screams at L.A. Film Festival

Variety logo Variety 6/20/2017 Dave McNary
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Love of horror movies and screaming pervaded the red carpet Monday night for New Line’s advance screening of “Annabelle: Creation” for the L.A. Film Festival at the Theatre at Ace Hotel.

“I love scary movies; I did my first one when I was six in ‘Deliver Us From Evil,” recalled 11-year-old Lulu Wilson, who plays Linda. “After that I really got into it. I feel like it’s a great range for a child actor because you get to experience everything from joy to terror. Everyone should see ‘Annabelle: Creation’ if they’re ready to scream.”

Wilson plays the youngest of six female orphans in the demonic doll prequel. It’s set in a rural home in the 1960s with a couple — played by Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto — who lost their daughter many years ago. David Sandberg, who made his feature directorial debut with “Lights Out” last year, directed the feature from Gary Dauberman‘s script.

Talitha Bateman , the 15-year-old sister of “Lights Out” star Gabriel Bateman, plays Janice in the film.

“It’s the biggest part I’ve had,” she noted. “And I had to do a lot of screaming, which I loved.”

Grace Fulton , who plays the oldest of the orphans, said, “I’ve never done a horror film before and I’ve never had to scream like that. The movie is very cool, sort of an homage to 1960s horror films.”

LaPaglia, who has dozens of credits going back three decades, is also a newbie to horror. He made a conscious decision to stay somewhat aloof during last summer’s shoot.

Josh Welsh, president of festival operator Film Independent, noted that “Annabelle: Creation” is the fourth New Line horror film to get an advance screening at the festival, which showed “The Conjuring” in 2013 and both “The Conjuring 2” and “Lights Out” last year.

“When we played ‘The Conjuring’ four years ago, people went crazy,” Welsh recalled. “We love having these films here.”

Both “Conjuring” movies grossed around $320 million each worldwide; 2014’s spinoff “Annabelle” took in $250 million; and “Lights Out” grossed nearly $150 million.

“Annabelle: Creation” bows Aug. 11.

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