Based on the endless investigations into the paranormal by the demonologist couple, Ed and Lorraine Warren, Annabelle, the raggedy doll, was locked up in the museum of haunted artefacts set up in the Warrens' home, only to escape every now and then and wreck havoc in various houses and institutions on both sides of the Atlantic. She whispered ghoulish sweet nothings in peoples’ ears, and made such a song and dance about her trapped soul, that some residents were forced to seek out an exorcism from the said demonologists.
This excellent business model worked well for decades, and ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ is the latest update on how the demonic doll was successfully contained in her protective glass case - for the nth time. This time the film is a ‘Home Alone’ version of haunting that took place when the Warrens left town for urgent investigations elsewhere. Their daughter, Judy, was left in the custody of a babysitter called Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman) who had no clue what was in store for her when she accepted this innocent assignment.
Apparently, the Warrens had built up quite a reputation for being the creeped out people of suburbia. Judy's friends were reluctant to come home, even for her birthday party. So lonesome little Judy (Mckenna Grace), true to her DNA, turns out to be the Macaulay Culkin of diabolism. Mr. Culkin, in his ‘Home Alone’ films had to subdue burglars who were mere mortals, and who had clumsily broken into his home; Ms. Mckenna has to battle a poltergeist who can conjure illusions, and who uses parapsychology to trap weak minded victims into doing her bidding. This is totally a different category of the Home Protection Plan.
The problem with the film is that once Annabelle is allowed to escape, she starts her usual antics immediately - strange disembodied voices, inexplicable movement of furniture, electronic devices being switched on and off mysteriously - and the whole shindig does not stop till the Warrens come back home the next morning. There is no respite, no sub-plot, and almost the entire movie is shot on a single location - the house. This is claustrophobic, and after a while Annabelle, like the spoilt doll she is, becomes predictable. There is nothing she does that you haven’t seen her do before in previous avatars.
In short, this is a disappointing film. Even die hard fans of voodoo, hoodoo and what have you, will feel a little let down.