This movie felt like The Conjuring series is coming to a close. Is this the final movie? I have no clue. (I tried to do some research, but the jury is still out. No final conclusion on whether or not we’ll get more).
The directors and producers have already proved they’re willing to branch out. Those have varying results. The Nun was a flop, and I rated it 5.5/10. Curse of La Llorona was much better, and I reviewed it here. While The Nun was loosely connected to the franchise, Curse of La Llorona was a stand-alone film and proved they can do horror well outside of The Conjuring universe.
Annabelle Comes Home is certainly connected to The Conjuring, but also stands alone in a way. Read below to find out what I mean.
“new” ghosts are adequate
This movie introduced some new ghosts, rather than playing on the Nun character which fueled Conjuring movies for years. This is the first difference. These new ghosts were adequately scary, although they lacked development or background of any kind. All these ghosts come from the Warren’s room of haunted artifacts.
Some aspects of these ghosts are true, while the plot at large seems to be fictionalized. This is increasingly common with The Conjuring movies. While the Conjuring namesake films and the first Annabelle movie were based on real events, the latest movies have been unashamedly fiction, which is not a bad thing. To read more about the artifacts, click here (after you read this review, of course)
NEw Actors Can (and Do) Carry Their Own Movie
Along with new haunts, the new actors are also talented in their own right. While the main character may technically be the Warren’s daughter, her babysitter (played by Madison Iseman, who I recognized from something but I don’t know what and don’t care to Google it). These actors are strong enough to carry their own movie… which they basically do. The Warrens are only present for small portions of the film, and don’t help much in the way of “defeating Annabelle.”
Well-Done In the middle
The middle section of this movie is story, as well as the development of the two babysitters. While there are some intriguing questions, such as “why is this girl obsessed with the haunted room?” and “is she gonna get with Bobs-got-Balls?”, the best parts came when the characters were split up. (Did those questions confuse you? You’ll understand if you watch the movie.) The characters are all forced to confront monsters on their own, which led to some frightening moments. Sadly, Annabelle isn’t present very much either.
More cliche than previous films (by far)
If you cut out the Warrens from the movie and replaced their daughter with some random little girl, you would essentially have the same movie. That’s where this film fails. It is very cliche, more so than any other Conjuring film. Even the Nun had some tricks up its sleeve, even if they weren’t well-used. This movie is your typical babysitter-gets-haunted, must-save-kid ordeal, only with a special doll that shows up three times.
Wasted “final movie” of the main two actors
Ah…. yes…. if this is indeed the final movie for the two Warren adults, it is…. bad. A series like the Conjuring, one of the must successful and most creative in existence, deserves better. An actor like Vera Farmiga or Patrick Wilson, who both have elevated their careers and turned this series into something special, deserve a better send-off.
Is this their final movie as Ed and Lorraine Warren? I don’t know. Lorraine died recently, and this movie was dedicated to her. Give them a Conjuring 3. Give them a proper send-off. Otherwise, this grade will get worse as time goes on.
EDIT 2 MINUTES AFTER PUBLICATION: There is a Conjuring 3 confirmed. Still, using the Warrens as click-bait doesn’t get my approval. Not changing my grade.
STOP WITH THE ONE NIGHT THING For real!!
Another movie where everything happens in one night. A better execution, but still an issue.
Final Score: 6.8/10
Better than the last Annabelle film, way better than The Nun, still a few key aspects away from being top-notch.