Annabelle Comes Home: Movie Review

After its great start, "The Conjuring" universe has had its ups and downs. Overall, with countless films under its belt, the franchise is feeling a little stale and aged at this point. The latest film "Annabelle Comes Home" falls right in the middle category. It's not bad but it's not great either. It was able to eke out some genuine scares and proves that there is some life left in the franchise - we're just not sure for how many more films at this point.
Determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc, demonologists Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) bring the possessed doll to the artifacts room in their home and placing her “safely” behind a sacred glass enclosure. But when the couple needs to leave their daughter Judy (Mckenna Grace) behind as they leave for another case. They leave her with her longtime baby sitter Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman). But when one of Mary Ellen's friends comes over and becomes curious at the artifacts room and accidentally releases Annabelle out of her cage. An unholy night of horror awaits as Annabelle awakens the other entities in the room who all set their sights on Judy and her friends.
"Annabelle Comes Home" is the kind of movie you experience then forget. At its core, it is a mindless terrifying experience. There's nothing wrong with that and in fact, if you just came to see it for the scares, then the film will definitely put a huge smile on your face. In fact, past films felt formulaic but the team behind "Annabelle Comes Home" gave us authentic and genuine scares at times. Both visuals and the soundtrack worked in tandem to make every scene feel a little more scary than they should be. But beyond the great horror, the film lacks depth and substance on a narrative standpoint. This time there are a lot of entities that will terrify - a violent bride, a samurai, a werewolf, even a haunted television - but we don't really get any background information on these haunted beings. They just mostly pop up to scare the heck out of you then wait for the next opportunity to scare you again even if we don't even know why they are there aside from Annabelle summoning them to wreak havoc. We loved the main "The Conjuring" films for the lore and the meticulous set-up behind its evil creatures that really sucked us in before but there is almost none here. Sadly, bad writing and poor character development limits "Annabelle Comes Home" severely.
Rating: 3 reels

Why you should watch it:
- gave us genuinely terrifying thrill countless times

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- bad narrative and poor character development limits the film to a brainless horror experience
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