Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.
Out of all the horror franchises out there, the Conjuring Universe stands tall as one of the best, most cohesive film series out there. Beginning in 2013 with The Conjuring, the series has spawned several spinoffs, including three films about the haunted Annabelle doll. In what seems to be the conclusion of the Annabelle trilogy, it has its low moments but mostly hits all the high marks.
The film's prologue expands on what we already know: the Warrens are approached by three nurses who are being haunted by the doll. A year later, after the events of the first Conjuring film, the Warrens are called away on a case and leave their daughter Judy in the hands of babysitter Mary Ellen. Her friend Daniela comes over because she's obsessed with The Warrens' many cases. After Daniela finds a way to enter the Artifact Room, against explicit orders not to, she releases the demon surrounding the Annabelle doll which in turn awakens the other entities in the room. Now, the three girls have to find a way to survive the night and trap Annabelle one final time.
Let me start by saying McKenna Grace really impressed me in this film. She's been expanding her acting range lately, appearing in an Amityville film and The Haunting of Hill House series. Her turn as Judy Warren in Annabelle Comes Home was impressive and will certainly open up her career to more options in the future.
The thing most horror films suffer from is a slew of cheap jumpscares. This film has its occasional cheap shot but for the most part keeps its scares smart with a gradual buildup. And while Daniela seems like the typical dummy at first, she actually does have a motive and her story turns out to be the most emotional part of the film.
The lack of music amped up the creepy factor. You were always on edge, just waiting to see what would happen next. It could be a little trying at first because Daniela and Mary Ellen walked so slowly during the "let's see what that noise was" moments but once the true horror kicked in, everything went smoothly.
Is the film 100% historically accurate? No. Technically, the actual Annabelle doll was a Raggedy Ann, not a creepy wooden antique. Despite the liberties taken, there is documentation about the things that the Warren family witnessed.
In conclusion, if you're a horror fan then you'll enjoy this film. It hits mostly high notes. Accuracy aside, I believe it pays good tribute to the recently deceased Ed and Lorraine Warren who faced and overcame a lot of evil and helped many people in their lives. I give Annabelle Comes Home a 3.5 out of 4.
© 2019 Nathan Jasper