'Annabelle Comes Home' [BR+DVD+Digital]
(Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife, Michael Cimino, Samara Lee, et al / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital / R / 2019 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren bring the possessed doll to the locked artifacts room in their home, placing her “safely” behind sacred glass and enlisting a priest’s holy blessing.
But an unholy night of horror awaits as Annabelle awakens the evil spirits in the room, who all set their sights on a new target—the Warrens’ ten year- old daughter, Judy, and her friends.
Blu-ray Verdict: Allow me to begin by saying that I had absolutely no idea that the real Lorraine Warren died just a few months before this film was released.
Indeed, she passed on April 18th, 2019, at the age of 92 and thus I feel like this new film was definitely a really nice tribute to her.
As for the actual film, well, this third film in the 'Annabelle' series marks Gary Dauberman's directorial debut and it's a good start for the seasoned and acclaimed horror writer.
This story does echo familiar with certain thematic aspects that we've seen in this film universe, with youth being the focal point surrounded by the paranormal phenomenon.
The plot also does take a little bit of time to develop and maybe spends too much time trying to develop some of the characters before anything really exciting does happen.
But once things do start going bump it does get very fast paced and thoroughly foreboding at times, all while staying grounded with the plot.
In all honesty, the actual "set up" here to the story is largely a gimmick, as two young girls agree to stay at the Warren's house overnight and babysit their ten-year-old daughter.
With only their curiosity and numerous trapped malevolent spirits and demons to keep them company, what could possibly go wrong? However, aforementioned series writer Dauberman, understands what makes these films fun and appealing.
So, when one of the girls wanders into the basement and unleashes Annabelle, so too does she unleash the many other demons trapped below.
Ergo, what ensues feels like a live action broadcast of a puppet master pulling the strings on his favorite creations. Throughout the night, the girls are chased and tormented by the monsters and entities from the Warren's previous cases, and it's the sort of outlandish premise that benefits from the kitchen sink approach Dauberman provides.
That said, the overall setting of the Warren house fits the particular story very well and adds nice substance with the artifacts room. The late '60s/early '70s ambience is perfectly done and sets a terrific tone, and the lighting and camera work is phenomenal as usual for the series.
There are many different callbacks to other films in the universe with familiar entities as well as a few new very creepy ones making frightful sporadic appearances.
It almost acts as a 'Conjuring' universe greatest hits, if you will, which isn't a bad thing and was actually quite fun. The finale finishes off the film in excellent fashion with a fantastic culmination of events; and, once again, I was left wanting more (whether it be another 'Annabelle' or the upcoming 'Conjuring 3'.
Sure, some of the scares were a wee bit cliché at times, but they do enough to keep them fresh a majority of the time. Overall this gets the 'Conjuring' universe back on track after the last two middling-to-decent films released ('The Nun' and 'La LLorona').
So, simply put, if you enjoy the series / universe that 'Annabelle' and 'The Conjuring' bring forth, then this third installment is most definitely for you, my friends! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
- The Artifact Room and The Occult
- The Light and the Love
- Behind the Scenes Part 1: The Ferryman/Demon
- Behind the Scenes Part 2: The Bloody Bride
- Behind the Scenes Part 3: The Werewolf
The 'Annabelle Comes Home' [BR + DVD + Digital] arrives October 8th, 2019 via Warner Bros.
Official 'Annabelle Comes Home' Trailer