Cakes Takes on Annabelle Comes Home (Movie Review)
Annabelle Comes Home movie poster
Annabelle Comes Home Movie Review
So, back into the Conjuring Universe I go with this newest installation to the franchise! Another film centering around kids in this world of demonic horror and while I like this movie better than the last release of the universe by far. It has always seemed to me that the writers of the Conjuring Universe always focused more on the actual Conjuring movies for plot, than the side movies that also help to create the story around everything. They never stick the landing like the other movies do to me. They never seem as well written or as good as the actual Conjuring movies do. This movie did do something for me though. The plot gave us a look into what Ed and Lorraine's day to day life was like and how close they were to evil everyday, which I thought was a great concept for a movie. They were bringing back who all of these movies are really about, Ed and Lorraine, just in lesser roles this time. However, when they got into the premise of the movie, I was FAR more interested in the setting the movie took place in than I thought I would be.
The Warrens' Occult Museum is the largest of its kind. A slew of haunted and cursed items and relics, demonic items, and the original Annabelle Doll are all housed there. Seeing the parts of the movie that were in that museum room made for a more interesting story than the one we got. The items even intrigued me more than the characters they introduced, because it's an actual museum that you can go to and take a tour of! The movie did a good job of showing its own versions of different items that stay in the museum and what they may have done when exposed to unassuming humans. The movie jumps right into its setting for most of the film almost immediately and is directly connected to the first Annabelle film after the Warrens get the haunted doll from the two ladies that it was terrorizing in the first film. They bring it home and Annabelle is promptly on her BS! Within the first instances of entering the house in the care of Ed and Lorraine, Annabelle spies their young outcast daughter, Judy, who sees her parents come through the door with the doll, and you can tell that it wants her.
The demonologists have to go out on another case soon after locking Annabelle down in a glass case in their room that houses other demonic things. They bless the doll and case via a priest and leave Judy to a babysitter named Mary Ellen. Her friend, Daniela finds out that she’s babysitting the Warrens child and comes over to hang out because she assumes that would be the best place to find a way to talk to her dead father. Of course, being an idiot teenager/kid that is written into every movie, Daniela goes into the demon room and starts TOUCHING LITERALLY EVERY DAMN THING IN THE ROOM!!! (Like I’m not even kidding, the movie dedicates so much time to show her touching everything in the room) She tries to summon a way to talk to her dad in the room but to no avail, cuz spirits are gonna spirit when they want to. She finds Annabelle in the case and HAS to open the case and touch her too, but due to a distraction, she has to leave the room and accidentally leaves the glass door unlocked and slightly open. That is all a demon spirit like Annabelle needs to kick this plot forward even more. SO Annabelle proceeds to leave her glass case and appear around the house and uses its demonic powers to awaken everything else in the room to help it haunt them.
Mary Ellen’s boyfriend comes over as well while she’s babysitting Judy and that begins the hauntings. The different demons that we get in this film that haunt the three teens and Judy for the weekend are very interesting and each have their own backstory that you almost want to dive into more than this babysitter’s friend’s dead father story. The Ferryman and his coins, a huge ghost dog, and other haunted items like TV’s and phones, how they haunt, and how Ed and Lorraine got and tamed them all would make for a far more interesting tale than this did, but I digress. They had some cool spirits in this movie that I wish they gave more time to instead of the hijinks and predictable story. Anyway, Judy is the only one smart enough to realize through everyone being haunted in their own way, that the only way to fix things is to seal Annabelle back up in her glass case and lock it again, which also takes a while and leads to some other messed up things happening to them as a group before the Warrens make it home from their trip.
The vibe that the Conjuring Universe gives me is that they focus heavily on the Conjuring movies and not enough on the side movies that connect the dots to the 2 main Conjuring films and the upcoming third. If they could take the same amount of time with the writing for the plots for the side movies, they'd have a horror universe worthy enough to be a great, because the main films are just that good, but they lack conviction on the side movies. This was one of the better side films for the universe but it still had problems to me like a predictable plot and some easy scares. I do like the concept that they were going with; how Annabelle got to their home and how the spirit took everybody for a loop again and showed you what they had in their haunted showcase, but I think they could’ve done a better job of highlighting certain demons and making the plot less simple. The Conjuring movies always seem so well thought out to me and make me always want to look up the cases that they were based on. This did that as well, but it just made me want to do research on the Occult Museum instead. I’d say watch this movie if you like the Conjuring franchise, but just know that it is a side film even though it does have Ed and Lorraine's characters in it for a bit!
Actors, Actresses, and Production
Gary Dauberman (director and screenplay writer)
New Line Cinema (production company)
James Wan (producer and story writer)
Atomic Monster Productions (production company)
Peter Safran (producer)
The Safran Company (production company)
Joseph Bishara (music)
Warner Bros. Pictures (distribution company)
Michael Burgess (cinematography)
Kirk M. Morri (editor)
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This movie is a GEM!!!
Spoiler Section! SPOILERS!!! SPOILERS!!! SPOILERS!!!
How does everybody freaking know that Mary Ellen is babysitting the Warrens’ kid and are just allowed to show up and come in to also get in on this Scooby-Doo ass haunting?! I know kids are dumb, but you’d think that when you’re babysitting the daughter of a demon studying couple with a room full of haunted objects, you’d have sense enough to keep your adventurous friends away. Or maybe I was just a smarter kid than them. If I was babysitting somebody that I knew had a room that nobody should be in and one of my wild ass friends wanted to come over, I probably wouldn’t let them. I think it’s sad how teenagers are written in movies sometimes. They’re always written to be dumb and the reason that most problems occur in movies.
Also, how the hell did they REALLY overcome Daniela being possessed by a demon within the amount of time that they did!? Regan, the little possessed girl from the original Exorcist film, was possessed for a long time before her mother even really knew what to do with her. And then it only got worse from there. And you mean to tell me that these idiot teenagers and a kid with a spirit showing her the way found out how to somehow stop this girl from being killed by a spirit without an exorcism or real person who knew what they were actually doing to at least ward spirits away were able to do it?! Lol! I call BS. I honestly wish that the Warrens had to come home to all that shit and fix it themselves at the end, lol! That would’ve made a little more sense to me, but I’m not mad about it though.
Also, they made that young boy look like a biotch in this movie because to me it seemed like his role was just to pop up randomly at all times. Like he was just next to no help at all especially when the hauntings started. Like why are you even here?! Just to add a dumb love interest side plot that didn’t even really fit?!
Also also, instead of taking it upon yourself to just try to contact the spirit world yourself like you’re some kind of medium, why didn’t she just wait until Ed or Lorraine was back and then ask one of them to contact your father for you like she showed you she could have at the end of the movie anyway!? I mean, again, dumb writing for dumb kids. Lol!
Money! Money! Money!
This movie cost around $32 million to make in total and ended up grossing about $231 million back! So the film, despite it's flaws, did make double what it cost to create and then some. That is always a good thing usually, but this movie made almost 7 and a half times more than what it cost to make, so that would lead you to believe that as long as there were no screw ups with checks or anybody taking a huge pay cut, that they were able to make a decent buck for participating in this film at the end of the day!