Annabelle: Creation (opens in new tab) is an origin story for the creepiest toy since Chucky: Annabelle the possessed doll from The Conjuring. The film is out on August 11, and the cast - Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Lulu Wilson, and Miranda Otto - have had an unlikely person joining them on the promotional tour. Meet Father Robert an actual priest and exorcism expert who consulted on the film. He keeps his last name secret due to the sensitive nature of his work. Which literally involves possession.
"The levitation part doesn't come up every time you're doing an exorcism, but I have seen people who have been able to do things physically that you wouldn't see in normal life," he told JoBlo Movie Trailers (opens in new tab). "When somebody will have their feet on the floor and their hands back behind them, bent almost in half, that would get anybody annoyed, I suppose."
He's not an exorcist himself, but he does train other priests to perform the ritual for the Vatican's official Exorcism Institute in America. He does perform "deliverances," where he says sometimes they see signs that the person really is possessed. "If they're speaking languages that they normally wouldn't know, if they are levitating, if they have hidden knowledge of things, if they have, let's say, superhuman strength," he explains.
In another interview, he told The National Catholic Register that the movie was mostly in line with the Catholic Church's teachings when it comes to the whole exorcism shebang. For instance, that a demon can only enter a home if it's invited in. In Annabelle: Creation, the victims of the demon's attention are dollmaker Samuel Mullins and his wife Esther, who have recently lost a daughter.
Annabelle: Creation isn't the only horror production hiring men of the cloth. The creator and executive producer of the recent Exorcist TV show, Jeremy Slater, told Entertainment Weekly he had called in a priest to bless the show's set. "We brought a priest to bless the soundstages," he said. "So nothing happened there, but any time we go off the soundstages, accidents follow up."
Even if you're not a believer, it only adds to Annabelle: Creation's horror credentials to have an actual man of God wandering around on set. The movie - directed by Lights Out's David F. Sandberg and with The Conjuring's James Wan producing - is out on August 11.