By Jessica Nardo
Upon the revisiting of The Conjuring Universe, we now have the third installment of everyone’s new age scary doll with Annabelle Comes Home. This is the sequel to the original 2014 Annabelle; even though technically the sequel was a prequal in Annabelle Creation. These films have become the “family friendly” films for Conjuring fans and even though it can be considered the most predictable it still seems to hold an audience with traditional but played out horror troupes. That does not mean that the movie is necessarily terrible, but it’s just your average, run of the mill popcorn horror flick that will entertain during the summer.
Director Gary Dauberman returns to the helm for this one and so do original stars Vera Farmiga & Patrick Wilson as the forever loved haunting experts The Warrens. However, this film does not focus on them as much as it focus on daughter Judy, played by Mckenna Grace. It must be tough being the kid of such infamous parents while attending a private school no less and that’s what we get to explore in this film. Along with Judy we have the positive influence of a babysitter, Mary Ellen played by Madison Iseman, severely interested best friend of said babysitter Daniela, Katie Sarife & my personal favorite, babysitter lover Bob (who plays a small role but such an important one none the less), Michael Cimino. In a nutshell, Annabelle comes homes (yes I am aware of what I did here) the stay in the basement of haunting within the walls of the Warren’s resident. It’s clear that out of all objects within the house, Annabelle is pretty much the main attraction of all things evil. She is placed in the glass case we’ve seen before and left secure. After that, well remember severely interested best friend? Yeah, she pretty much throws a wrench in all that mess when she decides that she just has to see the room for herself.
Beyond the simplistic plot, you can honestly say these characters are very endearing. You truly enjoy them as individuals, and they are so sweet it seems to play up to a good juxtaposition in a horror film. That being said, other than your basic jump scares and “No don’t go in there” moments, it’s a very formulaic movie. Nothing new is explored here other than the point of view of the characters and their experiences in relation to the horrors of the Warrens. As previously mentioned, these characters do come with some layering and you do root for them to win in a very different way than the average scream queen. The interesting component is when the Annabelle begins to bring out all the boogie man nasties about, it does open doors to possible new explorations of the cases that the Warrens participated in as well as a very touching pre-credit scene.
At risk of using the F word, this movie is your basic “fun” summer flick to enjoy before occupying your evening with something else. You’ll feel for the characters and be invested in their outcomes as well as the possibilities there are for the upcoming Conjuring Universe films. Hell, if Toy Story 4 isn’t your type of family film, this one sure will be.