Usually, when a series is three or four movies in, fans begin to notice a dip in quality.
The Conjuring universe has taken a different approach to extending the lifespan of their movies’ mythos. With the Conjuring franchise itself, Annabelle and the Nun all falling in this universe, there’s some good variety.
Though some may say the overlap means things are still getting a little on the repetitive side, Annabelle Comes Home delivers some genuine scares. In only ten days, it delivered over $40 million at the box office. Warning, spoilers ahead.
The third Annabelle movie and the seventh film in the Conjuring universe, this one centers around Ed and Lorraine Warren’s young daughter, Judy, who is being babysat by Mary Ellen. This film takes place years after the Warrens have locked their haunted objects in a room, with Annabelle being the most heavily guarded of all, warranting her own case with a note to never open.
Soon Mary Ellen’s friend, Daniela, arrives and seems very interested in the Warrens’ former line of work. It is revealed that Daniela lost her father in a car accident while she was behind the wheel, and seeks to see if there is anything to the afterlife in hopes of reaching out to him.
After finding the keys to the room, she enters and ultimately unlocks Annabelle’s case. As we learned in previous installments, Annabelle is a conduit for other spirits. Releasing her also leads to the animation of a cursed suit of Samurai armor, the appearance of a dead knife-wielding bride, and even a werewolf-like creature outside.
Daniela ends up locked in the room after believing she sees her father – only to turn and find a bleeding, decayed version of him screaming that she did this to him. The TV in the room ends up turning on by itself and appears to tell the future. One part shows Daniela bleeding and screaming after answering a phone – but before she can answer it, Mary Ellen and Judy enter the room to stop her.
After figuring out what’s gone wrong, they struggle to put the doll back in the case. Judy had been tormented by the bride, and even followed by the ghost of a priest at her school. Mary Ellen, who had a striking resemblance to a victim of an entity named “The Ferryman” was stalked by his ghost.
The film ends with the doll being locked away, and the girls coming clean to the Warrens as they return home. Lorraine tells Daniela her father said he misses her, and to stop being so hard on herself. Judy, having escaped the stigma of her family name, has a birthday party with tons of friends in attendance.
Overall, this film did a lot with a simple premise. Taking place almost entirely in one house, the film has a claustrophobic feel that saves the jump scares for the right moments. It’s the Annabelle fans are used to, but it still adds to the Conjuring universe as a whole.