A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Annabelle Comes Home is the third Annabelle movie and the seventh film in The Conjuring horror franchise. While the movie isn't especially original, it's well-made and has plenty of intense scares. Expect lots of scary ghosts, demons, and monsters, as well as very spooky sounds and music. One creature wields a knife while wearing a bloody dress, and another has a bloody face. There's a stabbing in the stomach, and a scene of a ghost "vomiting" a stream of blood into a character's face. A character is bullied, and a man is nearly hit by a truck. Language includes a use of "f--k" and a few uses of "s--t" and "balls." Teens flirt a bit, and a teen boy tries for a kiss but is thwarted.
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What's the story?
In ANNABELLE COMES HOME, paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) have just wrapped up a case involving a demonic doll, Annabelle. They decide to bring the doll to their room of haunted, cursed objects and lock it away. Some time later, they head out on a new case and leave their daughter, Judy (Mckenna Grace), in the hands of trusted babysitter Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman). Mary Ellen's friend Daniela (Katie Sarife) comes over, determined to explore the secret room for her own reasons. Unfortunately, Annabelle escapes and starts wreaking havoc, looking for a soul to possess. She also unleashes several other monsters, including a hellhound and the terrifying Ferryman. Can the girls survive this night of horror?
Is it any good?
It's not exactly groundbreaking, but this seventh movie in The Conjuring horror franchise is crafty and shrewdly made. It whips up many good scares and has logical, accessible characters. In the complex series timeline, Annabelle Comes Home follows Annabelle (2014) and Annabelle: Creation (2017); it takes place in the 1970s, after the events of the first The Conjuring (2013). All that aside, however, the main thing that matters here is the simple fact that Annabelle is an evil demon and is after somebody's soul. Screenwriter Gary Dauberman (Annabelle, It, The Nun) makes his directing debut, following a template established by creator James Wan: spooky use of three-dimensional space, sleight-of-hand rhythm, and spare cutting. He takes to it expertly.
Dauberman also has a great deal of fun with the forbidden room and all its various, monstrous treasures. But the real trick here is the characters. Little Judy, who seems to have picked up some of her mother's clairvoyance, is having trouble at school because of her parents' work and can't seem to make friends. Daniela is also quite touching, hoping to communicate with her dead father while blaming herself for his death; she's more than just a busybody poking around where she shouldn't be. And it's a welcome surprise to see Farmiga and Wilson back as the Warrens. All in all, everything clicks satisfyingly into place for a solid scarefest that's worth getting dolled up for.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Annabelle Comes Home's violence. How much blood and gore is shown? Was it gross? Shocking? Funny? How did the filmmakers achieve this effect?
Is the movie scary? What's the appeal of scary movies?
How does the movie compare to the other entries in the Conjuring series? How does this universe work overall?
Given that these movies are based on real-life cases by the real-life Warrens, what do you think about the possibility of some kind of existence after death?
Why is Judy bullied at school? How is this problem solved? Could it have been handled any other way? A better way?
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