With the seventh film in the “Conjuring” series, the creepy doll Annabelle comes home. How does it perform? Annabelle Comes Home compared to its qualitatively fluctuating predecessors? We reveal this and more in our review.
Judy (Mckenna Grace) is the daughter of ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren.
The plot summary
Determined to stop Annabelle from causing further harm, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) take the possessed doll into their home, where they lock her away in a locked artifacts room – housed “safely” behind holy glass, which was also consecrated by a priest. But an unholy night of terror awaits them when Annabelle awakens the evil spirits of the room, who now all have one target: Judy (Mckenna Grace), the Warrens’ ten-year-old daughter, and her friends Mary (Madison Iseman) and Daniela (Katie tariffs).
Annabelle Comes Home Movie Meaning
In 2013, horror veteran James Wan (“Saw”) laid the foundation for a horror universe. “The Conjuring” kicked off and told the story of the lives of demon hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren, who have been exorcising ghosts and defeating evil forces on behalf of their clients for many years. Three spin-offs followed, two about the creepy doll Annabelle and the backstory of the creepy nun, who had already made her big appearance in “Conjuring 2” , but was badly punished in terms of quality with the film called “The Nun” . At the beginning of the year, another “Conjuring ” spin-off, “Llorona’s Curse “, was released, which was kept secret until shortly before the start, but was only very vaguely linked to the previous films and primarily as a stand-alone film a Mexican legend should be understood. “Annabelle 3” now moves very close to the Warrens in terms of narrative; It’s not for nothing that the film’s original title is “Annabelle Comes Home” and thus sets the tone. The Warrens don’t play as big a role as they do in the “Conjuring” films and are conspicuous by their absence most of the time. The setting chosen was the ghost hunter couple’s eerie property (in particular the storage room for all the cursed objects that the two of them have dealt with in their past) and their daughter Judy acts as the main character. Although “Annabelle 3” noticeably runs out of steam in the final third and debutant director Gary Dauberman (who wrote the script for “It,” among other things ) loses himself in pure hysteria in the finale, the film proves to be the most successful “Conjuring” spin-off to date , which proves that the narrative principle that the best stories stand or fall with the characters also counts in the horror genre.
“Is Annabelle home?”
If you think about it in the spirit of the studio, which is of course interested in maintaining the “Conjuring” universe in the long term, the basic idea of “Annabelle 3” is very smart: making a room the pivotal point of a story, which contains countless cursed objects, all of whose backstories have the potential for another horror film, is worth its weight in gold from a purely economic point of view, even though it clearly shows off its status as a spin-off supplier. But that’s exactly how the Warner horror universe came into being in the first place. Now Gary Dauberman, who appears here for the first time in the position of director, makes it very easy for himself. Particularly in the final third, he strings together one equally effective and unimaginative jump scare after the next by making characters appear and disappear out of nowhere, turning up the soundtrack to the max and finally even distributing the characters acting on the screen across three different set pieces, so that he… the basic basics of horror films can be fired in triplicate. Unfortunately, this sometimes comes at the expense of plausibility. Especially in comparison to the first hour, in which the horror slowly and comprehensibly makes its way into the Warren house, “Annabelle 3” with its interchangeable escalation ultimately sells itself significantly short.
Of course, the plot point about a room that is actually not allowed to be entered, but which the characters ignore in order to drive the horror plot, has long been worn out by now. In “Annabelle 3” it still works well, on the one hand because the characters developed by Gary Dauberman in the author’s position have a high likeability factor and on the other hand he once again addresses the outside perception of the Warrens. A complex argument about whether the Warrens are charlatans or actually ghost hunters (here, of course, they are primarily characters in a horror film) looks different. But as in the two “Conjuring” films, the skeptics from outside are also given at least a brief opportunity to remember their existence; here in the form of a newspaper article. It is understandable that a young teenager finds the room full of horror artifacts fascinating, since there are no such things as ghosts and demons anyway. And just when the scary things start to happen little by little, Dauberman spreads them out over the three different protagonists long enough so that it quickly becomes clear to the viewer that something is seriously wrong here, but that the characters only discover it later; After all, they only ever experience a third of the horror firsthand. At least in the first hour, the chilling atmosphere builds up much more slowly than it releases towards the end.
The fact that Dauberman learned from the best is also evident in such elementary things as camera work. Michael Burgess, who has already been confirmed for “The Conjuring 3” and was already responsible for the images for “Llorona’s Curse”, uses too little light here and there, but knows how to optimally stage the winding Warren house. Although some scenes, especially some jump scare setups, are very reminiscent of previous “Conjuring” films (sometimes the makers also look at other genre representatives such as “Insidious” or “Evil Dead”), the mood can change due to the fact that they move as if floating Unfold the camera well. The score by Joseph Bishara (“The Prodigy”) On the other hand, it is primarily functional and, especially in the finale, is limited to individual string tones that are loud and go through your bones. As with so many other horror films, “Annabelle 3” is always at its best when it focuses on its characters. It’s nice to finally find out more about the Warrens’ daughter, who was mainly the plaything of the demon events in the second part and who really takes center stage here for the first time. Mckenna Grace (“Captain Marvel”) has excellently internalized the embodiment of a girl who lives under constant tension and is equally fascinated by her parents’ work and forms it together with Madison Iseman (“Goosebumps 2: Spooky Halloween”) and Katie Sarife (“Supernatural”) a harmonious trio that worthy represents the Warrens during their absence. In the end, the focus here is on the creepy Annabelle doll, who hasn’t lost any of the creepy factor in the last few years.
Conclusion: In “Annabelle Comes Home” debutant director Gary Dauberman routinely presents the basics of horror cinema, which unfortunately gets lost in jump scare hysteria in the last third. However, thanks to the firm anchoring in the “Conjuring” universe and Warren’s daughter Lucy as a sympathetic main character, the impression prevails that we are dealing with a very solid spin-off of a series that has now grown to seven films.
“Annabelle Comes Home” can be seen in USA cinemas nationwide from July 4th.