New-ish to VOD and On Demand is one of the most diverting horror movies of 2019, Annabelle Comes Home. While this isn’t one of the scariest horror movies of 2019, it is a lot of fun. Whether you’re with a group of friends or kicking it solo, it makes for great viewing with some cocktails.
The third film in the Annabelle series and the seventh film in the Conjuring franchise, Comes Home helps breathe new life into the brand. And that breath was certainly needed.
An Impressive Feature-Length Directorial Debut
This entertaining horror film is written and directed by Gary Dauberman, the screenwriter of the tastelessly abysmal Wolves at the Door. Luckily for horror fans, he is as talented as writing good movies as he is bad ones.
Dauberman composed both recent IT films and all three Annabelle features. In addition, he aptly played executive producer for The Nun.
The fact that Annabelle Comes Home marks Dauberman’s directorial debut is very impressive. He knows not only how to entice suspense, he successfully induces other emotions.
This horror film uses humor more than the other movies in the franchise. And the jokes land even better after a few Annabelle shooters.
Carter’s Annabelle Shooter
This shooter is based on a little-known, martini-like drink aptly called the Annabelle Special. The libation calls for 2 oz. of Benedictine, a ¼ oz. of dry vermouth, and a ¼ oz. of lime juice. Pour the ingredients into a glass of cracked ice, stir until chilled, and strain into a cocktail or martini glass straight up.
Benedictine is an herbal liqueur that has a smooth hint of honey. Tequila pairs great with honey and will put you in the right spirit to face the evil spirits in our featured horror flick.
For the shooter, we’ll use most of the above ingredients but with a couple of modifications and additions. Take 1.5 oz. of Benedictine, 2 oz. of your favorite tequila (the smoother the better, however), a ¼ oz. of triple sec, a ¼ oz. of fresh squeezed lime juice, and pour all of it into a shaker filled with ice.
Instead of stirring it, shake that shit up until the shaker is nice and frosty on the outside, then pour and shoot. Once your shooter is ready, along with any other beverage you may be enjoying during the film, you’re ready to watch our featured horror flick.
A Simple Plot for A Lot of Horror Fun
With a Fresh score of 65 percent by critics and 70 percent by the audience, Rotten Tomatoes provides the synopsis for one of the new-ish horror movies of 2019 on VOD.
“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.”
- Rated: R (for badass horror violence and imagery)
- Runtime: A smooth 100 minutes
- Cast: McKenna Grace (Judy Warren), Patrick Wilson (Ed Warren), Vera Framiga (Lorraine Warren), Madison Iseman (Mary Ellen), and Katie Sarife (Daniela Rios).
Annabelle’s Monster Mash
The film starts off with the same opening scene as the Conjuring—the demonologist couple are confiscating the creepy little doll away from two roommates who have been terrorized by it—but from a different angle or shot.
Watching Ed and Lorraine drive home with Annabelle sitting in the middle of the backseat, like some sort of demonic daughter of theirs, is a chuckle-out-loud visual. This humorous moment was followed by some solid suspense and creepy visuals.
Like this scene, Dauberman transfers smoothly and effectively back and forth between different emotions throughout the film.
Eventually, after the little shit almost kills them, Ed and Lorraine lock Annabelle in a glass case with a protective magic spell on it in a room filled with other evil artifacts.
The demon-fighting duo have some demonic business to attend to out of town—likely the supposed real-life “case” that was covered in the Conjuring—so they leave their daughter, Judy, with her babysitter, Mary.
Mary’s friend, Daniela, shows up to the house because she has an interest in things that go bump in the night.
Turns out, Daniela’s interest in the otherworldly stems from her mourning her deceased father. She’s looking for any way to reach him, even if the conduit is a demonic doll, apparently.
Daniela lets Annabelle out of her glass home to have a one on one, but only after interacting with every other artifact in the room. With the assistance of Daniela’s dumbassery, the doll eventually frees her evil roommates. And one hell of an entertaining horror thrill-ride ensues.
The characters of Ed and Lorraine are scarcely in this film. This was a good move as it allows the horror flick to stand on its own, away from the other Conjuring movies.
Annabelle Comes Home feels like a different movie altogether than its predecessors. That’s a great thing for the franchise, as it keeps the brand fresh. Plus, it’s nice to see the franchise not take itself so seriously. I’m not seven, stop telling me that these Warren stories are based on real life.
Refreshingly, three female actors take the lead, and they all deliver solid performances.
The characters of Daniela, Mary, and Judy all compliment each other well, and the actors have great onscreen chemistry with one another. Watching the trio of characters navigate their way through their newly created haunted house provides quality entertainment.
The horror film builds nicely and is a smooth roller coaster throughout. At times, this ghost/demon story feels like a fun slasher film.
This is one of those horror movies that are best watched with a group of friends or your favorite cocktail, with the volume turned up high; it’s a fun movie to have a fun time with.