Annabelle Comes Home is the best spin-off movie in The Conjuring universe so far. Instead of focusing on the actual Annabelle doll, we get to experience the demonic powers attached to it. Learn why you cannot miss this movie in our Annabelle Comes Home review here!
Annabelle Comes Home is the third movie about the Annabelle doll, which originally introduced us to The Conjuring universe. After all, the very first movie opened with a story about this doll where Ed and Lorraine Warren had to help three young people be free of it.
And that is exactly where Annabelle Comes Home begins. We’re back in that very same living room with the young people talking with Ed and Lorraine Warren. Following this moment, Ed and Lorraine leave with Annabelle to bring her home to their locked-off room full of demonic or otherwise possessed items.
Of course, the trip home isn’t exactly unproblematic, which immediately tells us that Annabelle is trouble. Of course, since this is the third movie about the Annabelle doll, we already know that.
Read more in our Annabelle Comes Home review below!
The simple but efficient plot
I recognize that the plot in Annabelle Comes Home is rather simple. But let’s be real; Plenty of iconic horror movies have very simple plots. Just think of The Shining or Poltergeist. What matters is the fact that the simple plot works and is efficient at being scary (since this is a horror movie). And it definitely is!
Of course, the actual Annabelle doll isn’t dangerous in the same way that Chucky of Child’s Play is. Annabelle doesn’t do much of anything on her own. Instead, she’s the equivalent of the television in Poltergeist. That damn television was a portal of sorts in exactly the same way the Annabelle doll is.
However, Annabelle seems to connect with every single evil thing in that room at the Warren house. And yes, this does actually include an old television that has some very special “qualities”.
Also, keep your eye out for a cameo from the “real” Annabelle doll. Or, actually, I’m sure it’s a copy since the real doll is (of course) still behind lock and key at the Warrens. Watch out for a seemingly innocent TV show that features a gift being given to a child.
And remember, the real Annabelle is a rag doll and not the porcelain doll we know from this horror franchise.
Annabelle Comes Home is a prequel and a sequel
Unlike The Curse of La Llorona, which was only “part of” The Conjuring franchise by a very loose connection, Annabelle Comes Home manages to tie together The Conjuring universe quite efficiently.
This movie is both a sequel to Annabelle (and its prequel Annabelle 2: Creation) and a prequel to both The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2.
This also means we have a new actor portraying Judy, the young daughter of Ed and Lorraine Warren. Anything else would have been too strange since the original actress was in the two The Conjuring movies that take place after this one. While Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson can span decades in age, a teenager can’t suddenly portray a pre-teen.
Fortunately, the brilliant young talent, McKenna Grace, is absolutely perfect as Judy Warren. Then again, I expected nothing less since she’s already been awesome in several productions. Especially in the horror genre.
She portrayed the young version of Theo Crain in the mind-blowingly awesome Netflix horror series The Haunting of Hill House. Also, she was the young Sabrina Spellman in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and she was also a young version of Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel. Yeah, that’s one hell of a resume as far as characters are concerned.
Also, she was in the horror movie Amityville: The Awakening and now she’s one of the lead actors in Annabelle Comes Home. There’s no doubt that McKenna Grace has a wonderful career ahead of her so we’re bound to see her in a lot more movies in the years to come. Probably including plenty of horror productions!
Strong debut from Gary Dauberman
Annabelle Comes Home was written and directed by Gary Dauberman. If this name sounds familiar (as it should to most horror fans), it won’t be because of his work as a director. Directing Annabelle Comes Home is his first time directing anything. He doesn’t even have a short film to his name.
However, he does have a very impressive resume when it comes to writing horror movies. And also, producing a few of them. He wrote on several movies in The Conjuring universe and is the sole screenwriter for both Annabelle and Annabelle 2: Creation.
Gary Dauberman also co-wrote the script for It (2017) and It: Chapter Two (2019). He even created the new TV series Swamp Thing, which had a hard time being released and was canceled almost before it began.
Still, with this impressive background in writing horror movies (and knowing everything about Annabelle), it was an obvious choice for James Wan to give Dauberman this chance. I can’t imagine it’s something he would regret now. More than any other spin-off movie in The Conjuring franchise, this one actually feels like a James Wan movie.
Well, except for the fact that we don’t get the classic James Wan shots, but that would have been out of place. James Wan is also credited with coming up with the story along with Dauberman, so it does seem like he has been very involved with this production.
Hopefully, Annabelle Comes Home is a good indication of what to expect from the next movies coming to the franchise.
Annabelle Comes Home is out in theaters in the US from June 26, 2019.
And also, in other countries worldwide from June 28, since The Conjuring franchise is very much a global phenomenon.
Director: Gary Dauberman
Stars: Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga
While babysitting the daughter of Ed and Lorraine Warren, a teenager and her friend unknowingly awaken an evil spirit trapped in a doll.