The latest film in The Conjuring Universe, “Annabelle Comes Home” (2019) is probably the least scary movie of the extended franchise. Gary Dauberman has been the writer of the previous two Annabelle films and “The Nun” (2018), but as director of this, he somehow fails in narrating a story amid overdoing every possible supernatural element.
“Annabelle Comes Home” follows the events after “The Conjuring 2” when paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren bring home the ugly and evil doll, lock it in a glass case and keep it away in their basement along with similar hunted artifacts.
As expected, the possessed doll was supposed to create nuisance but to take the storyline forward, we are advanced to three years when the brave demonologist couple leaves their daughter Judy at home in charge of babysitter Mary Ellen, as they go away to investigate another case.
Then we learn that Judy herself is able to see spirits and often finds this weird but mature enough to ignore such things. She, however, is struggling to deal with bullies at school and hence has hardly any friends, who can celebrate her birthday at home. This makes her get closer to her babysitter who is friendly and caring.
They were later joined by her friend Daniela, who was more curious to learn more about the Warrens’ job and wanted to make some contact with her dead father than spend time with Judy.
As they try to spend the night inside the home, Daniela sneaks into the locked artifacts room and starts checking each forbidden object; in the process, she becomes too curious to unlock the creepy doll, Annabelle. From here on, the terror begins as the doll with its power releases other evil spirits, and soon the house turns infested with numerous spirits.
Looking at the plot and the characterization, we can say that “Annabelle Comes Home” has a decent story, to begin with. While there is not much screen space for the characters of the Warren couple, there is enough backstory to focus on Judy and the other two side characters.
So far, the film looks interesting and engaging as Annabelle releases all the spirits trapped and starts wreaking havoc on the three girls. However, the narration is too slow in building the tension, and the fact that the jump scares are not creatively planted, makes the film less effective.
“Annabelle Comes Home” is one of those films that could have worked probably a decade back, but now the horror films have evolved with so much creativity in play that it is not at all a norm to go with clichés. It is hard to buy the same old routine of moving objects, unimaginative scares, and no genuine effort to develop an interesting storyline out of a decent plot.
Nevertheless, as fans of “The Conjuring Universe”, you might give it a try but expect not much scare, even though the makers have thrown a lot at you. Yes, they have focused more on jump scares than the characters and this has worked against the film.
“Annabelle Comes Home” Movie Trailer
Annabelle Comes Home – Plot
Determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren bring the possessed doll to the locked artifacts room in their home, placing her “safely” behind sacred glass and enlisting a priest’s holy blessing. But an unholy night of horror awaits as Annabelle awakens the evil spirits in the room, who all set their sights on a new target—the Warrens’ ten-year-old daughter, Judy, and her friends.
Starring: Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife, Patrick Wilson, and Vera Farmiga
Writer-Director: Gary Dauberman
Story: Gary Dauberman, James Wan
Release Date/Year: June 26, 2019