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Annabelle Comes Home

Annabelle Comes Home

Movie
Director(s): 
Genre: 
In Theatres: 
Jun 26, 2019
Grade:
B+
Running Time: 
106 minutes

For the longest time I assumed that The Conjuring was a one-hit wonder when it comes to its horror cinematic universe. The first film was a terrifying treat but subsequent films have fallen further and further from the tree. Annabelle Comes Home is the seventh film in the universe and the third in the Annabelle franchise, and it marks a homecoming for the series. It’s as traditional as horror films come and has plenty of unsettling moments that will have you jumping out of your seat. Annabelle Comes Home is the best film in the franchise since the original The Conjuring and will make you terrified of creepy dolls if you weren’t already.

 

Following a tragic and haunted past, the cursed Annabelle doll has found its way into the possession of demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga). Knowing the evil contained within the doll, the Warren’s lock it inside a glass cased that has been blessed by the church and place it in the basement will all of the other haunted artifacts they have collected over the years. But when the Warrens have to go out of town on business and leave their daughter Judy (Mckenna Grace) with the babysitter (Madison Iseman), Annabelle is accidentally released from the glass case. Now free, the evil contained within Annabelle looks for a more permanent human host while leaving a trail of terror in its wake.

 

I’ll admit that my memory of the entire Conjuring universe it a bit hazy. With the exception of the original, none of the films are all that memorable in regards to their story. Sure, I knew the creepy Annabelle doll was a part of the universe, but I can’t recall when she first appeared. I didn’t even realize that there were six other films before Annabelle Comes Home as they all seem to run together. That being said, I was highly impressed with the latest entry to the series as it delivers plenty of great traditional horror scares.

 

What the film does best is play with expectations. Rarely what you think is going to happen on screen actually happens. Early on in the film, Lorraine Warren pulls out a road map and puts it up to her car window, covering it completely. Most horror films would have something not scary like say a normal person pop up when she pulls the map away. In this scene there’s nothing. There are a lot of scenes like this where they get set up to be something scary and then there’s no jumpscare. All of the tension comes from the build up in your own mind, which I found to be more effective than simply delivering the same old scares horror audiences are used to. That being said, there are still plenty of the more traditional scares as well so truthfully you never really know which direction the film is going to go until it happens. It all comes together pretty well to constantly keep you on your toes.

 

My only problem with the film is that there are moments that feel shoehorned into the story in order to set up future films in this universe. The addition of a werewolf is particularly cringy, especially given the lackluster special effects that went into it. It just makes everything feel cheap. The film’s obvious attempts at expanding its mythology aside, I found the story to be perfectly serviceable. It’s nothing amazingly groundbreaking for horror, but it’s still satisfying to watch.

 

Overall, Annabelle Comes Home is one of the best entries in the Conjuring franchise. It’s has multiple unsettling moments and scares that’ll make you squirm. It’s a solid traditional horror film through and through.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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