Directed by: Gary Dauberman
Starring: Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife, Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Drama
Release date: 26 June, 2019
Running Time: 106 Minutes
While babysitting the daughter of Ed and Lorraine Warren, a teenager and her friend unknowingly awaken an evil spirit trapped in a doll.
Annabelle Comes Home is a 2019 American supernatural horror film based on the legend of the Annabelle doll. It serves as a sequel to 2014’s Annabelle and 2017’s Annabelle: Creation, and as the seventh installment in the Conjuring Universe franchise. The film is written and directed by Gary Dauberman in his directorial debut, from a story co-written with James Wan. Wan also produced the film with Peter Safran. The film stars Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, and Katie Sarife, along with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who reprise their roles as Ed and Lorraine Warren from the Conjuring Universe. The film is dedicated to Lorraine Warren who died in April 2019.
The film was theatrically released in the United States on June 26, 2019, by Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema. It received mixed reviews from critics.
Movie Trailer: #1
Movie Trailer: #2
Three years after the first film, in 1970, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren bring the possessed Annabelle doll to their home, after some claims from two nurses, Debbie and Camilla, that the doll often made violent activities in their apartment. The doll finally placed in the sacred glass box in the couple’s artifacts room and blessed by Father Gordon, even though it attacked Ed through the other dead spirits on their way home.
One year later, the Warrens welcome Mary Ellen, who will be in charge of babysitting the couple’s daughter, Judy, when they go overnight to investigate another case. Mary Ellen’s duty immediately begins with driving Judy to her school. In school, Judy sees a strange priest spirit, who has been following her since then. After shopping from her friend’s supermarket and meeting her crush, Bob Palmeri, Mary Ellen starts to bake a cake for Judy’s birthday, when her troubled univited friend, Daniela, comes to the Warren’s house, because of her curiosity to speak with spirits so that she can contact her late father, who died in a car accident when she was driving. After she brought a roller skates to Judy, Judy gives her approval to enter the artifacts room, while she is playing with Mary Ellen outside.
Daniela found the door’s key in Ed’s working room, and starts exploring and touching artifacts in the room while she tries to contact her late father. But, she accidentaly leaves Annabelle’s glass box unlocked after knocked the glass box and thought that it was her father’s response. The terror begins shortly when the front door is always knocked, but there’s no one there, accept the spirit of Bee Mullins interrupting Mary Ellen. That night, Annabelle begins releasing other spirits, such as The Bride,The Ferryman, and “Hellhound.” While Bob asked Marry Ellen out for date, he was attacked by Hellhound. Shortly after, Mary Ellen was attacked and dragged by the Ferryman, while Judy is being interrupted by Annabelle in her bedroom. When Daniela wants to return the artifacts room’s key, she is trapped inside the artifact’s room and disturbed by a monkey toy and an old TV who can predict near future.
A future and bloody Daniela appears in the TV screen after she accepts a telephone message. When the real Daniela wants to grab the telephone, Judy and Mary Ellen manages to escape and prevent Daniela for doing so. The trio eventually escapes from the artifact’s room after Annabelle terrorizes them again, and Judy tells that they must lock Annabelle again so the other spirits also stop disturbing. When they want to retrieve the doll, Daniela is attacked and possessed by The Bride, and starts attacking Mary Ellen. But eventually, Mary Ellen and Judy found the doll after the priest spirit who is Judy’s guardian, showed them a way. Daniela recovers thanks to Ed’s archival footage of The Bride exorcism and helps Mary Ellen and Judy lock the doll again. After the doll is locked, the disturbance stops and the other spirits are gone. The trio also reunited with Bob.
The next morning, Ed and Lorraine returns and the trio tell them about the event. Eventually, Daniela says sorry for her doing to Lorraine, but Lorraine knows that it’s because she wants to contact her late father. Lorraine received messages from Daniela’s father and tells her about it. In tears, Daniela hugs Lorraine and the two reunite with the others to celebrate Judy’s birthday party along with Judy’s friends. The films end with an actual family photo of the Warrens to commemorate Lorraine Warren’s death on April 2019.
Annabelle Comes Home Movie Review:
It’s rare for a series of spin-offs to outclass the originals, but that is precisely what is happening with the Annabelle films. The third and most recent, Annabelle Comes Home, is easily the best of the lot, and therefore, by law of elimination, better than both Conjuring films.
This isn’t high praise, by the way. The Conjuring franchise remains a baffling example of how, despite being rather ordinary, a series of films could alter the landscape for mainstream horror movies in Hollywood. They’ve spawned several imitators, each more terrible than the last.
Annabelle Comes Home is neither here nor there – too generic for hardcore horror fans to enjoy, and desperately lacking in jump scares, which is sure to dissatisfy longtime fans of the franchise.
But more than any previous entry in the Conjuring Universe, Annabelle Comes Home is perhaps the most directly connected to director James Wan’s originals. It begins with a familiar opening crawl, with blood red letters announcing the title and reassuring you that yes, you have arrived at the correct screening.
But in addition to relaying information that I have already forgotten, the opening crawl performs the double duty of re-introducing us to Ed and Lorraine Warren, played by a returning Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, as they acquire the creepy doll. The Conjuring series, at seven films old now, is established enough to offer fan service, which is perhaps why this prologue exists. I assume fans would be excited to learn how exactly Annabelle came to be in the Warrens’ possession.
On their way back home, they witness a car accident. The detour takes them along a deserted stretch, where their car promptly splutters out of life, stranding them and Annabelle near a haunted house. It is then that the Warrens first experience the evil that the doll is capable of. It sounds scary, but it really isn’t.
The Warrens, shook from their latest paranormal experience and displaying a sort of obsessive thrill at having found another haunted artifact for their vast collection, arrange for a priest to come and help them ‘contain the evil’. Annabelle is soon ensconced in her cabinet, compelled by a bunch of mumbo jumbo to remain there until an idiotic teenager sets her free.
Which is exactly what happens when a year later, the Warrens are summoned to another investigation, and forced to leave their thoroughly messed up daughter, played by the very talented McKenna Grace, under the supervision of a babysitter. But instead of warning her about having boys over or keeping an eye out for exposed electrical sockets, the babysitter, played by Madison Iseman, must protect young Judy Warren from the minefield of possessed objects that her parents, for some vague reason, have decided to stow in their basement – perhaps to introduce some gothic terror to their mundane suburban lives.
This, ladies and gents, is what you call a classic horror set-up. The premise has been set; the traps – as they were – have been laid. In that regard, Annabelle Comes Home is clearly the work of a writer – every little twist and turn is foreshadowed, and certain characters, for the first time ever in this series, have been given compelling arcs.
The film has been directed by Gary Dauberman, who is both a franchise veteran and also a first-time director. Dauberman has previously written both previous Annabelle films, the eye-goungingly terrible The Nun, but crucially, also the wonderful Stephen King adaptation, It – an indication, perhaps, of just how limiting being stuck in a franchise can be. Promisingly, he does display a solid command over his craft, often elevating uninspired sequences by using nifty, in-camera trickery.
The difference between a good horror film and a bad one, since Dauberman has been involved with both, depends squarely on the antagonists. And tellingly, Annabelle has absolutely no agenda whatsoever other than slipping into children’s beds and perching on a rocking chair from time to time. Now compare that to Pennywise, who had a dense backstory and a compelling modus operandi, in addition to a creepy physical appearance.
But by voting with our hard-earned money, we’ve given our approval to the Conjuring Universe and its unambitious brand of horror. Don’t expect a severe course-correction anytime soon.