Annabelle Comes Home – Film Review

Set in The Conjuring Universe, continuing on from the first Conjuring film storyline, we revisit the story of the creepy and terrifying doll, named Annabelle. Following couple Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) and Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson), the pair return home with Annabelle to lock her inside a glassed box blessed by a priest to protect everyone from all evil Annabelle controls.

Days after returning home, the Warrens travel out of town and hire Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman) who is a middle age teenager and family friend, to babysit their young daughter Judy Warren (McKenna Grace). This is the first time we see Judy as a young child, as she was a cast as a young teenager in the first two Conjuring films.

Instantly you see the close bond between the two girls and understand why the Warren’s trust Mary, welcoming her into their home with all their history and experiences. Making plans to bake a cake, the two are visited by Mary’s high school friend, Daniella Rios (Katie Sarife) who gifts Judy with some roller-skates as an early birthday present.

While Mary takes Judy around the block on her new wheels, Daniella stays at the Warren’s house and goes on a search to discover the locked room of evil items. Exploring the room, Daniella comes across Annabelle and ignores the warning sign to not open the glass box. Holding the doll in her hands, she hears the voices of Mary and Judy return home and quickly places Annabelle back in the chair and runs out of the room leaving the glass box unlocked.

It’s no spoiler that Annabelle would somehow get out and cause havoc, as that’s what we pay to see. However, this is the third spin off film for Annabelle, so how can director James Wan make this story different? With twisted and creepy stories of new evil characters. We are introduced to some of the most petrifying and grim stories such as the haunted bridal gown that possesses people and has them kill anyone in sight, The Ferryman who collects the souls of dead bodies that have coins placed over their eyes and The Hellhound that was a legitimate story the real life Warrens investigated.

I’m not going to lie, I entered this film with low expectations thinking I was about to watch a cheap scare from yet another Annabelle film, but I was wrong. Annabelle doesn’t get a whole lot of screen time and the spotlight instead shone on the girls and the new evil characters. I found the new characters refreshing, unpredictable and the entire experience kept me on the edge of my seat quite literally.

If you’re a fan of The Conjuring Universe, there there is no doubt that you will enjoy this film. Annabelle Comes Home has been my favourite of all the spinoff films in the Conjuring Universe. But as much as did I enjoy it, I do believe Annabelle’s time has run out on the big screen and it’s time now  to focus on other stories within the Conjuring Universe to keep the franchise interesting.

Annabelle Comes Home is in cinemas now across Australia.

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