Annabelle is accidentally unleashed, along with a host of
evil spirits that have been trapped by Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
Written and Directed by Gary Dauberman
Starring Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Mckenna Grace,
Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife, Michael Cimino
Sequel to 2013's The Conjuring and 2017's Annabelle: Creation
I'm a huge fan of James Wan's Conjuring universe, so I was very much looking forward to this film, as listeners of the podcast can attest to. While it was a decent effort that was far better than the first Annabelle, it wasn't the horror extravaganza I expected. It was a pretty slow starter with mostly predictable jump scares and an abrupt ending. Not to mention the Warrens are barely in the film, as they only bookend it by appearing at the beginning and the end. The film takes place during the events of the first Conjuring, with Judy Warren (Mckenna Grace), their daughter, being pursued by Annabelle and the other spirits that the Warrens have locked away.
The characters are pretty one-note and there isn't much to talk about there. I liked the variety presented with the spirits who are brought forth alongside Annabelle, with the Wedding Dress Ghost and the Ferryman standing out among others. My largest problem with the film is that it abandons atmospheric tension in favor of jump scares that you can see coming from a mile away. It's exactly the opposite of what attracted me to this franchise. There are moments that are quite frightening, but I don't feel like this one will be held on the same pedestal as the Conjuring films.
Annabelle Comes Home is fun for a spooky sleepover, but there's not a lot of substance that will keep me coming back. For longtime horror fans, it's dull and predictable, and the fact that there's virtually no consequences for anyone's actions means that no lessons are learned either. Here's hoping that the next installment tries a little harder to stand out.