The extended summer-monsoon season is already far better looking than the dismal summer that saw Hollywood go down with the fever of sequels and rehashes, just as ‘Toy Story 4’ and the seventh instalment in the ‘Conjuring’ universe that hit theatres this week rekindled some hope for distributors and producers. However, yet again, there still is no new original movie in near or far sight. While franchise vehicles are completely characteristic of the summer and vacations for quite a part of the populace, unfortunately or fortunately, sequels, prequels and spinoffs have become the norm.
To give you an idea, not a single week has passed since the summer movie season kicked in with the release of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ in April, that is not a part of a franchise or shared universe. We are not necessarily complaining as long as we genuinely get to see great movie every week, but this year has been especially unremarkable until now in terms of the films that have come out, both on critical fronts and commercial. The latest to ride in that wave of films is ‘Annabelle Comes Home’, the third film in a horror franchise spun off from another one that kicked off with James Wan’s superior ‘The Conjuring’ back in 2013. While it seemingly does look better at the outset, and having watched it, I can confirm that this is still one of the better entries in the franchise, but doesn’t hold up to the force that were the two Wan Conjuring films. Read on to get to my final word on the film, but before that, there is plenty for you to chew on if you loved ‘Annabelle Comes Home’.
Summary of the Plot
The third Annabelle film opens four years after the events of the first ‘Annabelle’ film in 2014, with the same scene starring the two demonologists investigating the mysterious and violent happenings at the house of Debbie and Camilla, two nurses who live together. By the sheer number of occurrences, this scene should be part of the movie going public’s rote memory by now. This is actually the exact same scene from the prelude of the first Conjuring film, and in essence, this is also right where the first ‘Annabelle’ (2014) ended, with Annabelle being bought from an antiques store by a woman for her daughter Debbie, and finally, the Warrens taking the doll in, but what happens next is what is explored by the beginning of this movie.
While the Warrens are driving Annabelle to their own residence, they come across an accident near a tunnel that fans of the franchise may instantly realize to be from the other instalment from this franchise released just earlier this year, ‘The Curse of La Llorona’. The accident causes the road to be blocked while they are instructed by a police officer to turn back and take an alternative route.
Needless to say, they quickly get lost on the road, and their car uncannily breaks down near a cemetery where Ed gets down to examine. Lorraine sees a number of spirits from the cemetery awakened and drawn to them, with one of them pushing Ed on to the street, who then narrowly escapes an accident from a speeding truck passing by. Lorraine is quick to deduce that the spirits were actually drawn to Annabelle, and the couple arrange for Father Gordon from the first ‘Conjuring’ film to bless the house and encase her in a glass enclosure inside the Warren’s room for haunted artefacts. It is revealed in the opening text that the room was in actuality too, blessed weekly, and even the demonologists credited Annabelle’s malevolence.