Annabelle Comes Home will take audiences back in time a bit to tell the origin story of its creepy titular doll in its third standalone installment. However, the film will not be without its key references and outright appearances from characters, locations, and props from other Conjuring universe movies. Among them is the infamous artifact room but this time around it has a new innovation which will become canon, capitalizing on a portion which had not been seen on screen before.
Annabelle Comes Home production designer Jennifer Spence had a little fun in rebuilding the artifact room for this movie's set. As a result, she thought it would be a nifty idea to add a trap door in its expanded back corner. While the trap door isn't expected to come into play for Annabelle Comes Home, Spence expects it to play a role in a future film.
"The trap door doesn't actually have a scene at the moment," Spence told ComicBook.com on the set of Annabelle Comes Home. "It's something that I did just thinking ahead, you know when I'm doing these movies. I tend to do more than one. I've sort have been on this roll with these movies. I kind of know that there'll be more to come, inevitably. So, just what I was designing, I thought it was a better idea if I could include some things that maybe aren't in the script in order to open up some other avenues for future directors and future ideas. I've got one in the stairwell of the house and one on the floor, under the floor of that little alcove."
It's a creative technique which Spence counts on paying off further down the line.
"Even if we don't use it, it's just something fun to put there," Spence explained. "Then maybe in the next story... It may not be the Conjuring 3, might be the Conjuring 4, but it's just to give me, to give everybody a bit more room to work in."
This new trap door is not the only new set piece Spence is adding the mix to literally open doors for future movies in the Conjuring universe. She's going all out. "I also put that hidden staircase behind the fireplace, because when I was watching all the films, just to go back to Conjuring, I noticed that you could never see behind the door when you came in the main office," Spence said. "I thought 'Well, why don't I put something there?' It's a nice way to move from upstairs and downstairs without going through the same hallway. I kind of tend to do that in all my movies."
Spence previously worked as a production designer on Annabelle: Creation, Shazam!, the Insidious and Paranormal Activity movies, and Lights Out. I did it with Annabelle 3, 2, Creation... I put a lot of different rooms in the house that we didn't necessarily use and then we ended up using it anyways; cause they liked it."
Of course, with the new additions also comes the return of iconic props seen in previous films. "The monkey is in it and the little spinny music box, that is from the Conjuring 1," Spence proudly noted. "There are artifacts in the room that we were able to bring back, that were kept either with me or Warner Brothers. There's a lot of dressing in there that's the same and then there's new stuff as well. You will see it's not a perfect match because the film was made, I think, over seven years ago, the first one. They didn't keep as much as we thought. I mean no one ever thinks, 'Oh, we're gonna make it 15 times.'"
Still, walking through that artifact room, it certainly offers up haunting vibes from the Conjuring universe which fans will get to experience once again. Annabelle Comes Home hits theaters on June 28.