Annabelle raises hell in this third installment by inciting a demonic bust out.
Continuing off the intro to The Conjuring, Ed and Lorraine Warren quickly discover Annabelle’s demonic potency on their drive back home. Annabelle, who is a beacon for other spirits, doesn’t hesitate to incite violence and terror by summoning spirits during their unexpected halt at the Maryville Cemetery. After Ed’s near-death experience, the couple manage to return home and lock the doll away in a glass case after having it blessed by Father Gordon. We’re told by Lorraine, “the evil is contained (as long as she remains locked up).”
The Warrens must head out for a day on a demon-hunting escapade, and leave Mary Ellen to babysit Judy while they’re gone. Mary Ellen’s overcurious friend, Daniela, shows up uninvited and gifts Judy with a pair of roller blades. While Mary Ellen heads outside with Judy to test out her new blades, Daniela manages to tactically acquire the keys to the artifact room. She ventures inside, only to touch just about every haunted artifact (to include Annabelle), despite the multitude of “do not touch” signs strategically placed around the room.
Normally, this horror film miscalculation cliché would have given me an aneurysm. However, we soon discover that Daniela’s interest with the supernatural is justified by her longing to make contact with her deceased Father, as well as her knowledge of Lorraine’s ability to communicate with the dead.
What should have been a birthday bash for Judy instantly turns into a monster mash, thrown by the post-prison break Annabelle, and it goes without saying, there’s a huge turnout.
Terror ensues at the Warren residence and invites a multitude of jump-scares, anxiety-ridden anticipation, and soul-seeking demons. We’re presented an entourage of evil spirits, including The Ferryman, a haunted suit of Samurai armor, a malicious wedding dress, a vintage monkey toy with clanging cymbals, and a black shuck, who is essentially just a werewolf.
The long night grows into a claustrophobic fight for survival and sanity for the three girls who are constantly being separated and locked into different rooms, only to be beleaguered and terrorized by Annabelle and her demonic coterie, whose mission it is to obtain a soul.
Unlike the current horror film movement that has been spewing out hate and barbarity, Annabelle Comes Home leaves the humanity in tact by presenting more anticipation and less death. I was also thankful for the soft, comedic relief that broke the seemingly, enduring moments of trepidation.
Overall, the film is by far the most creative of the Annabelle series, and hopefully the cap off for this trilogy. It did seem a bit like a feminist version of Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, however the lineup of strong actresses support the action to be tenable.
After watching the Warren’s artifact room come to life, we can surely expect more spin offs to become part of The Conjuring Universe. This film is currently scoring over 70% on Rotten Tomatoes’ audience score, which is solid as far as horror films are concerned.