The success of 2013’s The Conjuring has inspired its own ever-growing cinematic universe. The first spin-off film was Annabelle, which kicked off its own trilogy – Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, and Annabelle Comes Home. Despite each of these films being at least fairly solid additions to the Conjuring universe, Annabelle Comes Home is certainly the weakest of the trilogy.
At this point in time, spin-offs of The Conjuring have come to fruition by taking a person or object in one of the previous films, and giving them their own story. The Annabelle franchise was inspired by a possessed doll that was featured in the opening of the first Conjuring movie.
The Annabelle series explores the doll’s origins, leading up to its landing place in Ed and Lorraine Warren’s occult museum. The first film explores the doll’s journey leading to its eventual home with the Warrens. The sequel chronicles the literal creation of the doll, Annabelle. Annabelle Comes Home, the weakest of the bunch, is about the terror that the doll eventually wreaks on the Warren home, and takes an unusual angle that didn’t quite work.
For a film about the demonic doll Annabelle, Annabelle Comes Home tends to focus more on personal demons than the very real one haunting the Warrens’ home. The movie pivots inward to the inner struggles of its leading ladies — Judy, daughter of Ed and Lorraine Warren, and Daniela, friend of Judy’s babysitter. Judy struggles with the stigma of being the daughter of Ed and Lorraine Warren, and everything that entails. But the personal demons of Daniela, a character who does not really have a connection to the Warrens anyway, might wrongfully be at the forefront of this story.
Without a doubt, her story still is compelling. She was the driver in a car crash that led to her father’s death. The Warrens’ basement is full of spirits, albeit demonic ones. So naturally, she is drawn to that place to hopefully find a connection to her departed father. The scares in Annabelle Comes Home work around this story instead of letting the horror take the spotlight, as it should. And because of that, the scary moments were severely overshadowed.
Every movie in the Conjuring universe has true moments of terror. Whether it’s in the original franchise or an off-shoot like the Annabelle series, the moments of fear work because they all revolve around one truly demonic presence, which causes the scares to build. Annabelle Comes Home simply strays too far from that formula. Because of that, it suffered and became the weakest in the trilogy.
More: Does Annabelle Comes Home Have A Post-Credits Scene?