Annabelle Comes Home

106 minutes | Rated R

    Annabelle returns to theaters for a third film with the movie Annabelle Comes Home. This is the seventh film in the Conjuring universe produced by James Wan. The films center on cases investigated by real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren played in the movies by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. The couple first gained attention with their investigation of the incident that inspired the movie “The Amityville Horror.” Lorraine recently passed away and the film is dedicated to her memory.

    The new film begins with Ed and Lorraine leaving their daughter Judy, played by Mckenna Grace, with a babysitter Mary Ellen, played by Madison Iseman, while they are away making a public appearance. Schoolmates do not want to attend Judy’s upcoming birthday party due to the spooky nature of her parents’ work. Mary Ellen’s friend Daniela Rios, played by Katie Sarife, who recently lost her father in an automobile accident that she feels responsible for, is intrigued by the Warrens and their work. Daniela finds out that her friend is babysitting for the Warrens and invites herself over. She asks Judy if her parents keep any creepy stuff around. Judy tells her that it is all locked away in a room for protection. The opening lines of the film inform us that the Warrens have the “relic room” regularly blessed by a priest to contain the evil within.

    Daniela gives Judy a pair of roller skates for her birthday.  While Mary Ellen and Judy are outside with the skates, Daniela finds her way into the relic room and interacts with many of the cursed items within, hoping to find a way to communicate with her dead father. While looking through the room, she removes Annabelle from her case. Ed and Lorraine consider the doll named Annabelle to be the most dangerous of these cursed items. Strange things begin to happen to the three girls and in the house.

    Annabelle Comes Home, like many of the other films in the “Conjuring” universe harkens back to the supernatural thrillers of the late 1960’s and the 1970’s and is set during the latter decade. Strangely, I found this film to be more humorous and less scary than the other films in the series. Perhaps the filmmakers should return Annabelle to her case for a while and focus on some of the other relics in the room such as the samurai armor or the cymbal playing toy monkey.

    Annabelle Comes Home is rated R for frightening imagery and some mildly suggestive content. It should be fine for teens and up. While still enjoyable, this third Annabelle film is not as good as the previous ones, I rate it three out of five possessed dolls.