Based on true events and in memory of paranormal consultant and demonologist Lorraine Warren, Annabelle Comes Home is the latest instalment in The Conjuring/Annabelle cinematic universe. Annabelle is believed to be the most terrifying addition to The Warrens’ Occult Museum and the movie explores why the doll is sealed inside a glass cabinet to this day.
The latest chapter takes place after the events of the first movie (the second being Annabelle’s origin story). Now in the possession of Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga), the pair proceed to drive the doll back to their house. Unfortunately, they get lost and their car breaks down outside a cemetery. Masses of spirits converge upon them and Lorraine, more sensitive to presences, realises that Annabelle is a beacon. Finally within the confines of their house, a priest blesses the doll but Lorraine fears the protection will not hold. So, they place Annabelle in a glass cabinet aptly labelled ‘Warning! Positively Do Not Open’.
A year later the Warrens go on a trip, leaving their daughter Judy (Mckenna Grace) with her long-time sitter Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman). Her friend Daniela (Katie Sarife) proceeds to snoop around the Warrens’ house, hoping to find something with which to contact her recently deceased father. She succeeds in unlocking the artefact room and ultimately unleashes Annabelle. At the same time, she awakens a whole host of other spirits. From corpse brides to hellhounds, samurais and a ferryman who demands payment, Annabelle Comes Home strays from its focus on the doll. But, what viewers instead get is a look into the Warrens’ extensive collection of haunted artefacts.
In his directing debut, Gary Dauberman makes some impressive cinematographic choices, leaving the audience’s focus transfixed over the shoulders of the on-screen characters. Scares are not where or when you would expect and this is what keeps you on the edge of your seat.
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