Director: Gary Dauberman
Cast: Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife
Release Date: October 8, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc on innocent victims, demonologists Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) lock the possessed doll in their home’s special artifact room, placing her behind sacred glass. But when the doll escapes and awakens the room’s evil spirits, it conjures up an unholy night of horror for the Warrens’ daughter and her friends as they desperately battle to bring Annabelle’s reign of terror to an end.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
The third installment of the ‘Annabelle’ film franchise, ‘Annabelle Comes Homes’ picks up with the iconic moment from the original Conjuring film of Ed (Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Farmiga) bringing Annabelle to their home where they’ll be able to keep a closer eye on her and implement proper protection for the demonic doll. But while the couple is away one evening as their daughter remains home with a babysitter and her friend, the doll’s evil is accidentally unleashed upon the Warren’s household, leaving the trio of young girls to try and fight through the mind tricks and other terrifying occurrences and at the same time find a way to capture Annabelle and lock her back up under spell and key.
Directed by Gary Dauberman (writer of It (2017) and the first two Annabelle installments) who makes his directorial debut with the film, from his own screenplay which was based upon an initial story by himself and James Wan, Dauberman does a great job altogether at the helm of ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ delivering a beautiful and stylish film with plenty of fun scares and creepy content sprinkled throughout. The film also features a pretty decent and limited cast which includes Mckenna Grace (TV’s Designated Survivor), Madison Iseman (Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween), Katie Sarife (TV’s Youth & Consequences) and of course Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring 1 & 2) reprising their beloved roles of Ed and Lorraine Warren in a supporting capacity, with the majority offering generally capable and fitting performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Annabelle Comes Home’ is a fun and creepy ride exploring the numerous terrors to be found within the Warren’s dedicated occult room which results in quite a few macabre entities and tense moments to keep you on your toes throughout. The film keeps things pretty much focused on the eerie content and simple scares, almost never actually getting too violent or vulgar (it’s certainly a remarkably tame R rated horror film these days in most respects), instead perfectly content to have its fun with the various creatures at its disposable, even introducing viewers to a few new haunts from the room that haven’t been previously touched upon in the Conjuring universe. ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ is smoothly guided along its course by director Gary Dauberman who does a wonderful job capturing plenty of indelible images and beautiful shots throughout, and the generally capable cast helps to keep things moving along smoothly for the most part, not to mention the added bonus of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprising their roles of Ed and Lorraine Warren, albeit in a notably smaller role here. I would strongly urge those who enjoyed the previous two films in the ‘Annabelle’ series and/or are fans of the Conjuring Universe overall to try and give ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ a chance whenever it might be convenient. It may not be on the level of the Conjuring films themselves, but is an undeniable step up from the previous two Annabelle installments and is definitely worth checking out.
Overall, ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ is a fun and fairly creepy new entry in the Conjuring Universe with some new macabre creatures and threats helping to provide at least a few fresh chills. It may not be absolutely perfect yet still conjures up enough eerie moments and supernatural fun to keep viewers engaged throughout. ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ is recommended for genre fans, particularly those who enjoy the horror films set within the ever expanding ‘Conjuring Universe’ who should have quite a bit of fun with this visually impressive new entry that’s certainly a notable improvement over the previous two ‘Annabelle’ movies. For those who have been looking forward to the film but missed it in theaters and are hesitant to drop the funds on a blind purchase of the Blu-ray release, it should at least justify the price of a rental this Halloween season.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great as a whole and delivers a sharp, smooth and detailed presentation from start to finish with no notable faults or issues to be found throughout. It holds up remarkably well even during the numerous darkly lit sequences, never allowing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation from Warner Bros. that shouldn’t have any trouble pleasing both fans and first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack serves up a clean, crisp and frequently aggressive audio presentation throughout. It repeatedly takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send creepy elements and entities, bits of dialogue and plenty more booming throughout the various speakers whenever fitting, and never conflicting with any dialogue or other audio activity that might be occurring simultaneously. Overall, this is a fantastic Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that perfectly complements the creepy fun onscreen and sounds great every step of the way.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ includes a few solid extras that fans of the film should enjoy. The release includes some ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 11 minutes in length altogether), in addition to a collection of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes offer a 3-part ‘Behind the Scenes’ look at the film’s creatures: ‘Part 1: The Ferryman/Demon’ (running approximately 5 minutes), ‘Part 2: The Bloody Bride’ (approximately 3 minutes) and ‘Part 3: The Werewolf’ (3 minutes), in addition to ‘The Artifact Room and the Occult’ (approximately 5 minutes) and ‘The Light and the Love’ (4 minutes).