Annabelle Comes Home (2019)

It’s another month and we’ve got another Conjuring-adjacent movie released into theaters. Didn’t we just have one of these? And aren’t there a dozen more in production? Funnily enough, it’s likely that all of these movies combined cost less than the cheapest MCU film, but I digress. We’ve got Annabelle Comes Home to deal with—not to be confused with Spider-Man: Far From Home, although a crossover might make both franchises even more fun at this point. It would especially help this one. Could you imagine Spider-Man showing up to fight the eponymous demonic doll?

And you thought I was going off on a completely nonsensical tangent bringing up the MCU, didn’t you?

Annabelle Comes Home takes place largely at the house of the Warrens. Ed and Lorraine (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) have taken the Annabelle doll and placed it in their special glass box—you know the one, since you’ve 100% paid attention to and remembered all the other movies in this franchise. They have a daughter, Judy (Mckenna Grace). Judy has a babysitter, Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman). Mary Ellen has a friend, Daniela (Katie Sarife). And despite the opening couple of scenes focusing on the older Warrens, the majority of the film places these three women at the front of the action. Well, four women, if you count the Annabelle doll.

The main action comes after one of these characters does A Big Dumb and releases Annabelle from its metaphorical shackles, allowing the doll or the spirit(s) within it to cause all sorts of super fun havoc within the home, as spirits are wont to do. It’s scary for the characters and it’s sometimes startling for us, and that’s pretty much all one expects from a wide-release horror movie these days, so I suppose Annabelle Comes Home does the job just fine.

The only good Conjuring movies are the ones that keep the “Conjuring” namesake anyway, so as long as the spinoffs maintain some level of tolerability, I don’t really have a problem with them. And that’s more of what Annabelle Comes Home is. It’s tolerable. It doesn’t overstay its welcome, the jump startles are fine for what they are, it has a moderate sense of how to build atmosphere, and its three leading ladies are more than serviceable. It would have been nice to see even more of Wilson and Farmiga, but the few scenes we do get with them are nice. And, yes, the Annabelle doll will forever be creepy, visually, if nothing else.

It would be foolish to hope for anything more than a tolerable horror film from the 3rd chapter in the Annabelle spin-off franchise. It’s impressive that they’ve even got this far; the first movie is so bad that it should have killed the series outright. But the second one is mediocre and so is this one, so it appears that’s the level of quality we should expect going forward. Hey, maybe if they keep trying, eventually one of these spin-offs will be legitimately good. It appears they’re going to keep making them as long as they keep making money, so they shouldn’t have a lack of attempts. This one’s fine if you like haunted house-esque movies.

Conclusion: Annabelle Comes Home is fine.

Recommendation: If you like these movies, be happy this one is perfectly okay. We’ve seen far worse from this franchise.

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