By Olivia Dower
Once again the famous doll, Annabelle, comes to theatres for the third time to tell her story. The previous film in the series, Annabelle Creation, explains the origin of the doll’s curse. Annabelle Comes Home follows her into the home of the Warrens and shows what happens when her power is underestimated.
Annabelle Comes Home not only correlates with the Annabelle series, but it brings together many features of the Conjuring film franchise. It focuses on the couple from The Conjuring and features trinkets and toys spotted in these films such as the clapping monkey and the haunted samurai armour.
The film begins with Annabelle being collected by Ed and Lorraine Warren, demonologists, and kept safe in a protective case that seals the evil within it. This case is in the locked room where the Warrens store the cursed items they collect from clients. From there, the film tells a story of a terrifying night when the demon of Annabelle is released while Judy, the daughter of the Warrens, is home alone with her babysitter and a friend.
Annabelle Comes Home draws viewers into the home of an unleashed evil that makes them feel like they are walking through a haunted house. The jump scares (and many fake jump scares) keep the viewers’ hearts racing, without a moment to relax. The film did a good job terrifying the audience, but seemed to lack in motive behind Annabelle’s scare. It did not add many details to the mission of Annabelle but instead it took its viewers on a rollercoaster ride of horror.
Like many horror movies, the characters acted contrary to how you would expect someone to respond to such terror. Not many would knowingly walk again and again into a room full of dangerous spirits. When felt threatened, most people would try to call for help. These characters acted overly brave for their situation though it did push the suspense of the movie. If you are looking for a thrill ride, this movie is a good choice.
Throughout the film there is an overwhelming amount of demonic evil within the house that is revealed to the girls staying there. Ed and Lorraine Warren are used to seeing this kind of darkness, especially Lorraine who has a unique ability to see spirits that others cannot.
One of the characters in the movie is hoping to find reconciliation with her deceased father. Guilt drives her to reach out to the supernatural, but unleashes the curse of Annabelle instead.
At the end of the movie the girl wonders why Lorraine would keep such evil things. Lorraine tells her, “all the evil in here reminds me of all the good that is out there.” Through all the terror, the movie communicates a message: if there can be that much darkness in the world then there must be an even greater light to overpower it.
Overall, Annabelle Comes Home was a thrilling ride with creative characters and classic horror movie moments. The Warren parents, although not the main characters of this film, provide the overall message of the movie through their Catholic beliefs. After a traumatic night of demons, Lorraine points to the hope we have in believing that the bad can be conquered. The movie brings this verse to mind: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5) We do not have to fear when we have the light on our side.