Annabelle Comes Home
Dir. Gary Dauberman (2019)
The Warren’s daughter and her babysitter (and her friend) accidentally unleash Annabelle, who is revealed to be a door through which all other spirits can run free.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
By far the craziest of the Conjuring films, Annabelle Comes Home is an excellent teen horror/thriller in the same vein as all of those movies we all grew up with. After the Warrens rescued Annabelle from college kids who had already dealt with her shit, they drive it home and realize after some car trouble in front of a cemetery that Annabelle serves as a magnet for other evil spirits to show themselves and wreak havoc. They take it home to lock it in their demon-proof cabinet for safe-keeping. They waltz it in the front door past their young daughter, not stopping to tell her that this is one doll that she really really doesn’t want to play with.
Her babysitter, the always awesome Madison Iseman, comes over when the Warrens have gone out to fight demons (or on a date, I don’t know their life), and she invites her friend over to hang out. The friend’s dad has recently died in a car crash in which she was driving, and her guilt drives her to go into the demon-basement and try to summon his spirit to apologize. This leads to a scary-as-hell scene where her dad appears and screams at her while blaming her for his death. After that, literally all hell breaks loose and we’re treated to an hour of great teen scares and some frightening imagery.
LOOK BEHIND YOU!
The sheer volume of scary creatures and jump scares does become a bit overwhelming, and this certainly isn’t an all-time classic, but it serves its purpose and is a great addition to the Conjuring Universe. Iseman is great as the babysitter and relationship with her male suitor, played with charm and humor by Michael Cimino, is an excellent break from the horror. He plays a horrible off-key and mistake-filled rendition of Everything I Own by Bread that will make you like the song a little less but is a nice sweet moment in the film.
There are some great scares, though, and this definitely has the feel of the stereotypical teen jumpscare movie, which is actually a little refreshing coming from the Conjuring Universe. It’s got the same creepy shit that the other movies do while appealing to people who may have been turned off by the other films in the series. It’s a nice closure to the Annabelle trilogy and by far my favorite of the three.
Peek a boo!
Who this movie is for: Conjuring fans, Teen-horror fans, People who were sad Madison Iseman became Jack Black in Jumanji
Bottom Line: It’s a ghost story, and it’s super fast paced and filled with a creepy ambiance and jump scares. Is it a little derivative? Sure, but some of the best horror movies are. One of the best Conjuring movies and the best creepy doll movie I’ve seen other than the Child’s Play movies. Not only worth a watch, but it deserves a place in the regular rotation of Conjuring films. Worth a rewatch if you weren’t sold on it the first time.