We’ll be the first to admit that we’re getting slight Hollywood horror fatigue. The Conjuring franchise has been churning out jump-scare fuelled horror after horror and The Nun was arguably one of the most disappointing films of 2018. Still, when a new ghostly feature comes out, we all rush to the movie theaters to see what the next flick has in store.
Anabelle Comes Home is far from a masterpiece but in many ways, it is the perfect haunted house movie. A bunch of kids are stuck in a big house with a spooky basement full of demonic activity and possessed artifacts. When Daniela heads downstairs looking for a cheap thrill, she makes the mistake of letting out the demon possessing Anabelle, aka the creepiest looking doll we have ever seen.
The movie builds up gradually, starting with footsteps upstairs and objects being moved around. Soon, there are ghostly figures and demonic shadows and the suspense heightens. Daniela’s experience stuck in the basement is a bonafide nightmare and even the most skeptical of skeptics would not wish to be down there with her. With horrifying ghouls roaming the halls, the sense of haunting reaches a whole new level and Judy’s ghosthunting parents aren’t around to help.
What makes the third installment the best in the Anabelle franchise is the characters. Getting a glimpse into the life of Elaine and Ed’s daughter is interesting and her character is compelling. Judy begins experiencing hauntings at the start of the film, which is paired up with her classmates bullying her for her parents’ freaky profession. This has us rooting for Judy early on and desperately hoping that she and her new friends will survive the ordeal.
When it comes to horror films starring kids, it’s important to strike the balance between bravery and childishness. Watching a terrified child run away from monsters is distressing, but watching a child who isn’t scared of anything is unrealistic. Like IT, Anabelle Comes Home strikes the balance between three mini heroes and three scared kids in a haunted house. And this is why we so desperately want them to escape unscathed.
Overall, Anabelle Comes Home is hardly going to win any awards, but after watching intense psychological thrillers like Jordan Peele’s Us and Ari Aster’s Midsommer, a fun and jump-scare-packed haunted house movie is more than welcome.