Annabelle Comes Home Blu Ray Review (Warner Bros)
Annabelle Comes Home is a 2019 horror film written & directed by screenwriter Gary Dauberman (Swamp Thing, IT, The Nun, Annabelle franchise, & Are You Afraid of the Dark?) in his directorial debut. It’s a sequel to 2014’s Annabelle & 2017’s Annabelle: Creation. It’s the 7th installment from The Conjuring universe. It was produced by James Wan (Saw franchise, Annabelle franchise, The Conjuring franchise, & Insidious franchise), Peter Safran (The Conjuring Universe, Flatliners, Aquaman, & Scary Movie), & Michael Clear (Lights Out, Swamp Thing, MacGyver, & Mortal Kombat). The original Judy, Sterling Jerins didn’t return for this sequel. It had an estimated $27 million budget & it grossed $228.6 million worldwide at the box office!!!!
Demonologists Ed (played by: Patrick Wilson from Watchmen, The Conjuring franchise, Insidious franchise, Hard Candy, & Fargo TV Series) & Lorraine Warren (played by: Vera Farmiga from The Conjuring franchise, Bates Motel, Running Scared & The Departed) confiscate the Annabelle doll. During the drive back home, the doll summons spirits to attack Ed but he narrowly survives. Annabelle is locked in a sacred glass case in the couple’s artifacts room that is blessed by Father Gordon to ensure the evil is contained. The Warrens hire Mary Ellen (played by: Madison Iseman from Jumanji franchise, Riot Girls, Still the King, & Goosebumps 2) to babysit their daughter Judy (played by: Mckenna Grace from Captain Marvel, Fuller House, The Haunting of Hill House, & Amityville: The Awakening) while they travel overnight to investigate another case. Judy notices the spirit of a priest that begins following her. Mary Ellen’s friend Daniela (played by: Katie Sarife from Girl Meets World, Twisted Sisters, & Zombies and Cheerleaders) arrives uninvited to the Warrens’ home. She is curious about speaking to the dead. She sneaks into the artifacts room & starts examining them trying to contact her late father. She abruptly leaves Annabelle’s glass case unlocked & the terror begins shortly afterward with the spirit of Bee Mullins (played by: Samara Lee from Annabelle: Creation, Concussion, The Last Witch Hunter, & Foxcatcher) unleashed. Annabelle begins releasing other spirits such as the Ferryman, the Bride, a Feeley Meeley board game, & the Black Shuck. Mary Ellen’s crush Bob Palmeri (played by: Michael Cimino from No Child Left Behind) is attacked outside & hides in the Warrens’ backyard. Mary Ellen is tormented by the Ferryman & Judy is confronted by Annabelle in her bedroom. Daniela gets locked inside the artifacts room & tormented by various objects. Judy explains that they must lock Annabelle in her case again so the other spirits will rest. Can they fight off & survive all these evil spirits in one night????
I enjoyed the original Annabelle & I thought Creation was even better. The Conjuring Universe is very hit or mess with it’s entries. Lately, it’s been more of a miss for their recent films including this one. The actual concept for Annabelle Comes Home was actually great but unfortunately it was executed poorly. Almost nothing happens for the first hour which makes it a rough viewing experience because it become very dull after awhile. The best thing about the earlier moments was the extended cameos from Patrick Wilson & Vera Farmiga. Just a warning, they are barely in this besides the beginning & the end. They were great in their small roles. Their chemistry is top notch & they have those characters down perfect at this point. I will say if you are very very very patient, this feature does pay off when all hell breaks loose in the house. The special & visual fx are great, all the evil characters in this were really cool. I would love to see more of them in future Conjuring spin offs or prequels. Madison Iseman & Katie Sarife both provide some nice eye candy here. They are not bad here, nothing that will blow your mind but they give solid performances in this. Mckenna Grace was really good in this & honestly she probably had the best performance out of all the leads here. I thought the supporting cast could have been better. This was definitely the weakest Annabelle so far but it did have it’s moments but I thought it took too long to get to them. You might want to rent or wait for this to hit cable first before considering a purchase. It was just okay to me.
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Warner Bros! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks fantastic on blu ray. This one has some crazy visuals especially in the haunted room. The feature is a little dark at times but it does work with the concept. It’s loaded with a variety of audio options that includes English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1, & Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1 on this release. The dialogue is very clean & there’s definitely lots of it for the first hour. When the film actually gets somewhere, the suspense & thrills are elevated. The music sounds great here. It also has English SDH, French, Portuguese, & Spanish subtitles. I wasn’t a huge fan of this sequel but both picture & sound are impressive on this release.
Let’s discuss the special features from Warner Bros! “Behind the Scenes” is broken down into 3 different segments which includes the 5 minute “Part 1: The Ferryman/Demon”, the almost 3 minute “Part 2: The Bloody Bride”, & the 3 minute “Part 3: The Werewolf”. It has interviews with director Gary Dauberman, actors Alexander Ward, Natalia Safran, Michael Cimino, & various members of the production including special fx artists. Alexander Ward (Teen Wolf, Sleepy Hollow, Westworld, & American Horror Story) played both The Ferryman & The Demon. It shows the vast differences between both roles. Natalia Safran (Shazam!, Aquaman, & Flypaper) plays The Bloody Bride. She gives her take on the role. It has all kinds of behind the scenes footage including the actors transforming into these demented creatures. A few of them were brand new characters added to The Conjuring Universe from this feature. I can see a few of them getting their own movie someday. They talk a little bit about each character like how they were created, their experience playing them, & the look of them. “The Artifact Room and the Occult” is a little over 5 minutes. It has interviews with various members of the film including producer James Wan. This is a brief tour of the room that caused all the chaos in this follow up. It goes into detail about the various objects located in there. They chat about adding a few since the other movies. Family members comment on how authentic it is compared to the originals. “The Light and the Love” is a little over 4 minutes. It has interviews with the two actors on their iconic characters. Plus director Gary Dauberman & producer James Wan joins them, This is about the relationship & love between the Warren despite all their insane adventures during their work. They chat about their chemistry & what the roles mean to them. It shows a variety of clips from the other Conjuring features. A little over 11 minutes of “Deleted Scenes” which includes Roller Skate, Kitchen, Birthday Cake, Daniela and the Bride, Search for Annabelle, Alternative Ending, & Talk About the Werewolf. I am surprised a few of these didn’t make the final cut. It also has a slipcover, a digital code, & a DVD copy of the release. It’s available everywhere right now!!!!