On my first go-round with The Conjuring, I actually missed most of the beginning of the film with the Annabelle story because whoever was driving got us there late. So instead of safe in a theater with 100 other people, I had to first experience the creepiness of the Annabelle doll by myself at home. Why do people (especially James Wan, who seems to have a strange obsession with dolls) need to keep reminding us that dolls are terrifying? We know this. But anyway, there's some good stuff in this scene and though it doesn't have much, if anything, to do with the main story, it was a good way to introduce the film and set the tone. I also loved that wonderful swelling music at the beginning, and how the title scrolled on the screen - big as life - after the text background information on the Warrens.
Touted by many movie-goers as one of or the scariest film(s) ever made, The Conjuring was not only a huge financial success, but also one that actually delivered the goods it promised. I think it respectfully portrays part of the real story of the Warrens while still doing its job of being creepy and unsettling. And with a sequel and a spinoff movie on the way, we'll see if lightning can strike three times.