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.
Plot: While babysitting the daughter of Ed and Lorraine Warren, a teenager and her friend unknowingly awaken an evil spirit trapped in a doll.
Director: Gary Dauberman
Aspect Ratio: 2.39 : 1
Runtime: 106 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Fun for fans even if it isn’t as frightening as some of its predecessors, Annabelle Comes Home suggests there’s still some life left in the Conjuring franchise.
“They have the formula perfected — and it makes a lot of money.”
I always find myself in a hard place describing a movie like this — the typical “horror movie,” because I’m a fan of the genre. Is this movie predicable? Yes. Is it (put my critic hat on) a great movie? No — but it is a step in the right direction for the future. Why? Because this iteration doesn’t rely too much on jump scares. Most of the movies in the Conjuring universe have an excessive amount of jump scares, but Annabelle Come Home gets back to the basics. Instead of random jump scares with no depth, there are more intense moments that drag on to create an uneasy feeling.
Keeping things fresh, there’s also a lot of frightening entities in this installment, while including callbacks to past films in the franchise — you will notice a bride in a haunted wedding dress, a Werewolf, a Samurai, the Devil, and the most interesting of them all, the Ferryman. I did some research when the movie ended and the actual name is Charon. In Greek mythology, he’s is the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead. That character could use the A24 treatment that was given to The Witch, I’d really like to see that happen. Take it way back in time and play with a mixture of the mythology and rift off the most disturbing aspects. That would be my pitch. Speaking of a new treatment with old tales, what do you think of the upcoming Gretel & Hansel movie? I hope it’s good.
Getting back to the movie, the final question is: is it entertaining? Yes it is. This is always what I come back to when it comes to the genre. While you could argue that more ‘critically good horror’ is better for the brand, these movies still serve a purpose and Annabelle Comes Home does just that. As I’ve stated before and will continue to state; The Conjuring series continues to make a boat load of money at the box office and its Warner Bro’s most successful franchise. This movie’s budget was $15 million and it made $306 million at the box office — The Nun had a $22 million budget, made $365 million at the box office — The Curse of La Llorona had a $9 million budget, made $122 million at the box office… and that’s just the last couple movies.
It’s a billion dollar horror franchise and there’s no signs of stopping because there’s a ton of money to be made. Get ready for more of the Conjuring world, it’s coming in 2020!
When it comes to my recommendation — if you’re a fan of this ongoing series you’re going to add this to your collection, how could you not? I’m not saying it’s a fantastic movie, but it does the job and if you’re just looking for a scare, this should do the trick. Otherwise, if you can handle some horror and are looking for a one-time watch, give it a rent and don’t watch it alone. You can own Annabelle Comes Home on Blu-ray and DVD on October 8th, or own it early on digital today!
Are you a fan of this franchise? Will you be picking up a copy? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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