Annabelle Comes Home (2019) Movie Review
Written By: JASR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Gary Dauberman
Producers: Christopher Levy, James Wan, Peter Safran
Writers: James Wan, Gary Dauberman
Date Released: June 26, 2019 (USA)
Vera Farmiga as Lorraine Warren
Patrick Wilson as Ed Warren
Mckenna Grace as Judy Warren
Madison Iseman as Mary Ellen
Katie Sarife as Daniela Rios
Michael Cimino as Bob Palmeri
Samara Lee as Annabelle “Bee” Mullins
Steve Coulter as Father Gordon
Rating = 2.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) entrust their daughter Judy (Mckenna Grace) to her babysitter Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman) until they come back the next morning. Mary Ellen’s friend, Daniela (Katie Sarife), gets intrigued by the Warrens’ house when she finds out that they are demonologists. Daniela joins Mary Ellen in babysitting Judy and secretly goes to the couple’s artifacts room where they store all the keepsakes and elements from their investigations. Fascinated by everything in the room, Daniela touches everything and even unlocks Annabelle’s glass case. Daniela’s nosiness leads to the release of all the terrors previously kept in the room – terrorizing the three girls the whole night.
The main protagonists of Annabelle Comes Home are Judy, Mary Ellen, and Daniela – three young girls who end up being plagued by entities. Since they are all so young, they don’t really engage in anything bloody or gory. That’s not the case with jump scares, of course. While the movie doesn’t have blood and gore, it is filled with jump scares partnered with scoring that could frighten jittery viewers.
The Grave Review
If I were to describe Annabelle Comes Home in three words, I would say: jump scare galore. It’s as if the crew brainstormed all possible jump scares they could think of and put everything in the movie. Annabelle Comes Home feels like being in a horror house that has all the entities you could think of: a bride, a doll, and even a werewolf. Jump scares are a known tactic used by horror house attractions, and Annabelle Comes Home is not any different.
I strongly feel that the movie would have been more fun if it were transformed into a theme park attraction since it has nothing but jump scares. The movie is so flat that you can actually tell the story in one sentence. It focuses more on jump scares than the plot, and if you curate only the significant events of the movie, it would just be a five to ten-minute short film.
Fortunately for the movie, it was saved by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. The two have been known to perform remarkably in The Conjuring movies – and seeing them in Annabelle Comes Home is a saving grace. Despite their short exposure, Farmiga and Wilson were able to show the Warrens’ loving relationship with each other and with their daughter. Speaking of which, Mckenna Grace, who portrayed their daughter, gave an excellent performance as Judy. This isn’t Grace’s first time in a horror production, and I believe her previous acting experiences helped her succeed in her portrayal.
Another saving grace for me would be the easter eggs. I enjoyed seeing the mirror from The Conjuring (2013), a Raggedy Ann doll that looks like the real-life Annabelle, and Bee whom we met in Annabelle: Creation. The “miss me?” message from Annabelle is also an iconic component of The Conjuring, and it’s a great easter egg for fans of the franchise.
However, while the movie has multiple easter eggs, it also has multiple antagonists. Judy, Mary Ellen, and Daniela are terrorized by so many entities that the movie just starts to become laughable at one point. As a fan of The Conjuring franchise, I noticed what the team was probably intending to do: They made Annabelle Comes Home to introduce us to a new set of entities and set up for a new possible spin-off. To make matters worse, some antagonists are rather laughable than scary – especially the werewolf.
Fans of The Conjuring Universe know that the demon manipulating Annabelle already got a soul at the end of the first Annabelle movie (2014), so I find it quite redundant that the demon is looking for a soul in Annabelle Comes Home. In fact, it’s also redundant how it haunts the nurses at the beginning of The Conjuring since the events of the Annabelle movie take place before the doll becomes owned by the nurses – unless of course, it needs a soul each time it’s released or each time it has a new owner.
Overall, Annabelle Comes Home would only be a good movie for those who are looking for jump scares and wanting to scream. For those who are after a good plot, I’m afraid Annabelle Comes Home doesn’t have that. Nonetheless, the actors who portrayed the Warrens did a good job, and many items in the film paid homage to the franchise – two factors that I loved.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Annabelle Comes Home (2019) two and a half graves out of five graves.
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