Annabelle Comes Home (2019)

Originally released on June 26th, 2019

If you find out that the house you’re in has a room filled to the brim with supposedly cursed artifacts, do yourself a favor and don’t sneak into said room and touch everything in it.

That’s exactly what happens when a girl named Daniela (Katie Sarife) convinces her friend Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman) to let her come over while she’s babysitting the child of the famous demon-fighting duo; the Warrens. Judy Warren, (Mckenna Grace) seems to have followed in her mother’s footsteps, having an ability to see and communicate with spirits. Due to her parents’ well-known choice in career, little Judy has a hard time making friends, instead clinging to Mary Ellen, her babysitter.

What ensues when Daniela, a girl who lost her father and is now trying to contact him, decides to pry into the room of artifacts and ultimately unleashes everything–including Annabelle. The evil doll we have come to recognize through her previous films and cameo in The Conjuring.

Personally, Daniela’s character annoyed me due to her blatant disregard for the rules of the room. Since she believed she’d be able to talk to her dad, it means that she believed in the ghosts and stories of the room–so to ignore the warnings and touch everything anyways, was super annoying. She learned her lesson though, I guess being haunted by evil beings would have that effect on someone.

I actually watched this movie in a theater that had about six other people in the room, and the big screen and powerful speakers combination made it so this movie was definitely scary–but a bit all over the place.

It becomes almost like an anthology of scary stories, a collection of some notable creatures that the Warrens dealt with–but none of them apart from Annabelle warranting their own movie which means they all get sandwiched into this installment. While it was scary, it felt too messy. Too many creatures all packed into one story. It lost it’s structure.

A scary movie has to do more than simply scare you. It has to leave some sort of imprint, have an effect. Being scary is the bare minimum nowadays and this installment felt like it had nothing going for it except for the scares. It lacked lasting power for me, a movie that is easy to skip over if you have another option.

I haven’t watched Annabelle: Creation yet, but I’m planning on it. What did you guys think of this installment?

Annabelle (2014)

Originally released on October 3rd, 2014

Lets officially take a dive into the first official movie I’ll be talking about that is part of the Conjuring Universe.

This movie begins with the Form family comprised of John Form (Ward Horton) and Mia Form (Annabelle Wallis). Mia Form is pregnant, and as a gift for their unborn daughter, John gives his wife a rare porcelain doll. One night, the couple is disturbed from their sleep as a home invasion takes place next door. John goes to see what is happening while Mia stays behind and calls the police. John is attacked by the killers, but the police arrive and kill one of the assailants–the man, while the woman commits suicide in the nursery, slitting her throat while holding the doll. The killers turn out to be the estranged daughter of the neighbors and her unidentified boyfriend, both of whom were known to be in a cult.

As with all movies in this universe, paranormal activity begins occuring over the next few days. Mia gives birth to a healthy baby girl named Leah, who becomes the sole obsession of the malevolent spirit. Mia reaches out to the detective who dealt with the home invasion in order to find out more about the cult–and with the help of a bookstore owner and fellow tenant Evelyn (Alfre Woodard) they learn that the cult practiced devil worshipping and hoped to summon supernatural creatures. They were successful, and Mia learns that a demon has latched onto them in hopes of claiming a soul.

It’s all a very scary scheme to get Mia’s soul, the demon using a priest’s body as a way to get into the apartment and abduct Leah. Mia is standing on the edge of the window with the doll in her hands, ready to sacrifice herself for her child when Evelyn stops her. Evelyn has had her own demons to deal with, having felt immense guilt over the death of her daughter Ruby in a car accident while she was driving. She decides to give her own life as atonement. Six months later we watch as the doll is bought from an antique shop, meaning that her story isn’t over yet.

Thoughts

I remember seeing this film in theaters when it came out, and I remember how scared I was. Especially knowing that the story of Annabelle is one that the Warrens, the duo the Conjuring Universe draw inspiration from, have told is true. I find this movie scarier than the Insidious franchise, only because of my own aversion to dolls. They creep me out and I don’t like them. I remember being caught off guard by Evelyn’s death, but most importantly, the jump scares in this one were enough to genuinely frighten me.

Have you guys seen this one? What did you think?