The Reel Review


This “tween-quel,” set after the first two Annabelle movies (Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation) but somewhere in the middle of the larger, seven-film, Conjuring franchise, is about the horrors unleashed in the Warren home after Ed and Lorraine (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) leave town for a job and the inquisitive friend of their daughter’s babysitter releases it from the sacred glass case in the family’s evil artifact room.

Despite a handful of requisite jump scares, the story is more creepy than it is scary, and the few scares it does possess are often tainted by oddly-timed comic relief, giving it the feel of a mildly entertaining, but awkwardly-constructed, high school Halloween haunted house. The film does an excellent job capturing the groovy, early 1970s setting, and Mckenna Grace (Gifted, I, Tonya) does a fine job as daughter Judy, who, like her mom, has the ability to see the dead around her – which should serve as some consolation since none of the other kids at school will play with her. But Madison Iseman (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) and Katie Sarife’s performances as the saccharine sweet babysitter and her bestie with a habit of not following directions, are less inspired.

In his directorial debut, Gary Dauberman (who co-wrote the story with The Conjuring writer/director James Wan) does offer up some clever moments and chilling demons, but it often feels more like a preview for future Conjuring films than a story interested in scaring the bejesus out of filmgoers. It is salvaged somewhat, however, by a sweet ending, once Ma and Pa Warren return home to clean up the kids’ unholy mess.


• The real Annabelle doll is in the Warrens’ Occult Museum in Monroe, Connecticut. Unlike the doll in the films, it is a Raggedy Ann doll whose owner claimed would mysteriously appear in different rooms of her apartment in disturbingly odd poses, along with brief messages scrawled in red crayon on parchment paper.

Annabelle Comes Home hit theaters on June 26 – Mckenna Grace’s 13th birthday.

The Conjuring 3 just started production in Atlanta, Georgia with a scheduled release for September 2020.


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