Column: Continuation of the Conjuring series – ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ 

By Emily Cooper, Editor in Chief

I received a notification on my phone earlier this week letting me know the next movie of the Conjuring series hit theaters on June 26, so on the same day I got the brilliant idea to write a review of it, having previously written on the series.

(See more: Column: A day-long nightmare, a Conjuring movie marathon).

There are eight movies in the Conjuring Universe: The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2, Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, The Nun, Annabelle Comes Home, The Curse of La Llorona and The Conjuring 3, set to release in 2020.  

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Firstly, my expectations for this film weren’t as high as they were for The Nun, I’ll be honest. I wanted the horror from the first two Conjuring movies to come back to life with the new Annabelle one, but I wasn’t ready to doubt the movie until I saw it for myself. 

Let’s rewind for a second. In the first two Conjuring movies, it was that creepy scare that really caught the audience’s attention, myself included. As the series progressed, it got more in depth with including movies strictly about Annabelle and her past. 

I sat in the recliner at the theater on the end, a perfect spot. I had Oreos and a Diet Coke waiting with me for this movie. I snuggled in a blanket and glued my eyes to the screen— it was showtime. 

Annabelle Comes Home is about our favorite possessed doll, which paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren locked in the artifacts room of their house. A year later, the Warrens are called to another investigation, leaving their daughter Judy (Mckenna Grace) and babysitter Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman) to fend for themselves when Mary Ellen’s friend Danielle (Katie Sarife) gets too curious in the Warren’s house— specifically, in their basement. 

This movie is the most directly connected to director James Wan’s originals. It begins with a familiar opening— “Annabelle Comes Home” spelled out in blood-red letters.

The opening scene reintroduces us to the Warrens, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, as they acquire Annabelle. 

I, along with I would assume the many other fans of this series, was excited to learn how the doll came to be in the Warrens’ possession.

It became clear to me after the initial scene of Danielle wandering around the Warren’s house that every action is foreshadowed and certain characters, for the first time in this series, have been given irresistible arcs. 

Judy is one example. She was able to finally express some of her thoughts and opinions during the movie about the doll and other entities that possessed her house.

This all makes sense once it came to the credits and I saw that Gary Dauberman, the writer of Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, The Nun, and Annabelle Comes Home made his directing debut with this film; he also co-wrote the 2017 film adaptation of It, based on the novel by Stephen King.

I won’t spoil, but I will say this movie felt more of a family-friendly horror film. I say that because the film explores Judy’s struggles from a lack of friendships, a love story between Mary Ellen and a neighboring boy and Danielle just looking for a signal from her departed dad. 

There’s nothing wrong with any of those points, but this series used to be aimed at creepy jump horror and now it has turned to overusing the ghosts that were locked in the artifacts room. 

On a positive note, I will say this movie did bring to light Judy’s similarities to her mom when sensing spirits around. That did help the story progress into more depth. 

The story ended on a sweet note when the parents came home and the loose ends were tied up. 

For those unsure about seeing this new Annabelle movie, I will say this: make sure you are ready for a well-developed storyline with humorous parts. If you like horror mixed with humor, this is for you; otherwise, you’ll see it as taking away from the horror.  This movie suggests to fans the possible life still left in the Conjuring Universe. 

Conjuring 3 is set to hit theaters in September of 2020— let’s hope it ties together the reason for this new Annabelle movie, something it seemed to lack. 

Editor in Chief Emily Cooper can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @ECooper212.

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