Dragon Tales: Annabelle Comes Home (2019) review

Dragon+Tales%3A+Annabelle+Comes+Home+%282019%29+review

Graphic by Malati Powell for The Easterner

By Star Dragon, Reporter

This is part eight of a nine-part entertainment review series by The Easterner. Star Dragon, author of this article, is a reporter for The Easterner. Her opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of The Easterner, its staff or Eastern Washington University.

The thrilling, funny and clever movie, Annabelle Comes Home, is the third edition to the Annabelle horror series. The Annabelle franchise is based on the real tales surrounding a Raggedy Ann doll, originally gifted to a nursing student named Deirdre by her mother in 1970, according to Film Daily. 

Supposedly, Dierdre would find the doll in different locations and positions throughout her apartment, but that wasn’t the worst of it. Over time Dierdre found written notes saying “help me” scattered around her apartment, saw the doll levitate, and witnessed the doll attack a friend, according to HollywoodReporter. 

Dierdre and her roommate contacted a local church who proceeded to ask Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal researchers and self proclaimed Demonologist, for help, according to the book The Demonologist written by Gerald Brittle. This is where the movie begins.

Once the Warrens obtained the doll from Dierdre and her roommate they drove home and experienced car trouble. The Warrens were in the car, surrounded by heavy fog, when it suddenly came to a halt. Ed leaves to fix the engine while Lorraine is left with Annabelle. 

The car is stopped directly in front of a cemetery and Lorraine begins to see spirits. Ed finishes fixing the car and Lorraine sees the chilling image of him surrounded by ghosts. One of them pushes Ed into the road and a truck barely misses hitting Ed. This instance makes Lorraine realize Annabelle works as a “beacon” for other spirits. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q2RXFDSh2g

The Warrens return home to a priest waiting for them on their porch. Together they bless Annabelle and store her in a case made out of an old chapel’s glass in a room dedicated to artifacts from their research. 

The movie does a great job of depicting the real work of the Warrens, especially their artifact room. 

Here is the real room:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=6jLFmb-gWxY&feature=emb_logo

Here is the prop room:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDKjRIvIYxM&feature=emb_logo

While the life of a paranormal investigator may seem far from normal, the movie shows that much of their life is like everyone else’s. 

The film shows the happy-go-lucky life of the Warrens at home with their young daughter Judy. The Warrens tell their daughter they have to leave home for a day but are leaving her with her beloved babysitter, Mary Ellen. 

Mary Ellen drops Judy off at school where she experiences visions of spirits, just like her mother. Judy’s life, much like her parents, isn’t always spooky. She is taunted by bullies and is rejected by her peers when she invites them to her upcoming birthday party. 

The movie showed a more relatable side to the Warrens, making the characters easy to empathize with. 

Mary Ellen goes to the supermarket to buy supplies for a birthday cake to surprise Judy. At the store Mary Ellen is taunted by her friend Daniela who desperately wants to see inside the Warrens’ home. To embarrass Mary Ellen, Daniela makes a plan to mortify her infront of her crush, who happens to work at the store. To avoid more trouble Mary Ellen invites Daniela over. 

This scene depicts a funny and all too common experience of high schoolers. I think many people would make the same choice as Mary Ellen, because being embarrassed in high school often felt like the end of the world. But, Mary Ellen’s humility and Daniela’s morbid curiosity will later cost them both. 

Once Judy returns home Mary Ellen begins baking the cake for Judy. Daniela gifts Judy with a pair of roller skates as an early birthday present. Daniela offers to watch the cake bake while Mary Ellen and Judy go outside to  try them out. Daniela uses this time to snoop around the house. 

She finds the door to the artifact room and asks spirits to let her in. With no prevail the door is still locked, but another door across the hall creeks open. Daniela enters the open door and finds Ed’s home office, and inside a key to the artifact room.

Daniela enters the room wide eyed and asks for another sign. The room is silent until she begins to leave. Then a tap comes from inside Annabelle’s glass case, where she is now hunched over.

Daniela opens the case and sits Annabelle back up to her original position, when suddenly the fire alarm goes off. Daniela was too busy snooping to remember the cake, and also too startled to remember to lock Annabelle back inside her case. 

When watching the movie it’s tempting to scream at Daniela through the screen. It’s hard for me to imagine choosing touching a creepy doll over eating a freshly baked cake. 

Then weird occurrences slowly start to begin. Mary Ellen meets a girl at the front door who asks to play with Annabelle, Daniella sees the ghost of her dad through a window outside and worst of all Judy is faced with an angry blood thirsty bride. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Rxjt9MNdco

After all the girls experience scares they join in Daniela’s favorite pastime: snooping. 

They rummage through the Warrens’ case files depicting a murderous bride, bodies with coins over their eyes and a werewolf surrounded by fog. 

They seem to be having a fun time until Daniella asks Judy about the doll Annabelle. The mood swiftly changes as Judy tells her not to even speak the name of the doll. Daniella looks concerned. This is where it would have been a great time for her to fess up to letting it out, but of course Daniella carries on without a problem.

 This is until she leaves the house realizing she still has Ed’s keys in her pocket. Daniela remembers hearing about a pocket watch that helps you contact deceased loved ones, so she decides to return back to the Artifact room. While snooping more, she gets locked into the room and her keys disappear.  

Daniela then is harassed by many of the haunted items in the room until Mary Ellen and Judy let her out. Finally Daniela admits that she let the doll out. 

Everything goes downhill from here. The doll works as a beacon and conjures the spirits of the ghost shown in the Warrens case files.

While Judy is asleep in bed Annabelle cozies up to her, Mary Ellen is tormented by the sight of coins dropping around her, and Daniella tries to kill everyone while wearing the wedding dress. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWVNdBjDIPI

The only funny scene after the hauntings begin is when Mary Ellen’s crush, from the grocery store, tries to serenade her outside her window. He sings terribly and is chased off by the werewolf. 

These scenes would make even the toughest of horror fans jump in their seats. I don’t think I will ever look at coins the same way again … or dolls … or wedding dresses. 

Judy turns on a movie reel of her father performing an exorcism while Daniella is possessed by the wedding dress, soon she returns back to her normal self. Together the three girls face their fears of the ghosts. They find Annabelle and the keys to safely lock her away. 

The girls and Mary Ellen’s crush all sleep together in the living room with the lights on until the Warrens arrive back home. 

This was a huge sigh of relief for not only the girls, but anyone watching as well. The jump scares were so well done I couldn’t wait for them to be over. 

The movie ends with Judy having her birthday party. Mary Ellen and Daniela come to the party along with Judy’s friends from school. Lorraine pulls Daniela aside from the party and tells her that her father is still with her. 

It was a heartwarming end to the horror-filled film. 

I highly recommend this movie to anyone who is a real fan of the Warrens’ work or a horror movie buff. It had scary, heartfelt and funny scenes making this a very fun movie to watch … especially with easily startled friends. 

As a fan of the Warrens’ legacy I thoroughly loved this film. For a more in depth look at the real Annabelle case read “The Demonologist, The extraordinary career of Ed & Lorraine Warren” by Gerald Brittle.