Annabelle Comes Home is a sweet movie disguised as a scary movie
One of the spin-off films Conspiracy universe — Annabelle Comes Home — recently joined the lineup of movies available to stream on HBO Max. The 2019 film stood out from the rest annabelle films being the only one to involve the Warren family in its main action. However, that was not the only way Annabelle Comes Home stand out in the franchise. Unlike the other entries – all of which were produced by frequent horror director James Wan – the film was meant to be more than just a horror movie.
This does not mean Annabelle Comes Home wasn’t intense because it certainly was, with its titular doll and ghostly manifestations that included a deadly samurai, a creepy smuggler, and a vicious werewolf. However, it also featured characters that went against the typical stereotypes seen in other horror films and gave them unexpectedly satisfying and heartwarming arcs. This mixture makes Annabelle Comes Home feeling like a soft movie disguised as a scary movie.
The three main characters of Annabelle Comes Home were Judy, the Warrens’ young daughter, her babysitter Mary Ellen and her friend Daniela. The film gave Judy – played by McKenna Grace, who has shown that she has no fear of ghosts lately Ghostbusters: Afterlife — a satisfying arc by having her bravely accept the psychic abilities she inherited from her mother. She even gained acceptance from her peers and learned that not all ghosts are evil, as she came to trust the specter of a priest who wanted to help her against Annabelle.
Annabelle Comes Home also stands out with the characters of Mary Ellen and Daniela. In any other horror movie, the two could have been portrayed as bored teenagers being given the task of caring for young Judy. Instead, the two came out as if they liked being in his presence and wanted to help him with his problems in school and in his life. By the end, all three of them felt like really close friends who would have bonded even if they hadn’t gone through the horrible experience they had survived together.
Annabelle Comes Home also gave a relatable and emotional reason why Daniela made the mistake of breaking into the Warrens’ room of paranormal artifacts and letting Annabelle out instead of just attributing it to outright rebellion. She wanted to communicate with the spirit of her deceased father, who died in a car accident that she felt was her fault. In the end, she got the closure she needed via Conjuring veteran Lorraine Warren.
When Lorraine pulled her aside, she told Daniela that her father’s ghost said he still loved her and that his death was not his fault. It’s one of the many touches of an effective horror movie – where no humans die – that audience members feel their chords while their nerves are also tested. Not all horror movies should aspire to be as emotional or sentimental as Annabelle Comes Homebut if more were this rich in character development, it would definitely be a better thing for the genre.