The Annabelle franchise that spun off from The Conjuring series has, by the numbers, been a mixed bag. With the 2014 origin story being widely panned by critics and fans, the 2017 follow-up Annabelle: Creation’s success was a sudden surprise upgrade to the series’ fortunes.
Now we’re just days away from writer/director Gary Dauberman unveiling Annabelle Comes Home to the world, and the critics have weighed in with their thoughts. Starting off with CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg, his take on the threequel is pretty upbeat, as he describes the film thusly:
A breath of fresh air for The Conjuring Universe that both surprises with a lighter touch and demonstrates the incredible potential for the expanding continuity.
Unfortunately, not everyone is quite as happy with the franchise potential that Annabelle Comes Home demonstrates,however, as seen in our next review from The Guardian. Critic Benjamin Lee is not as optimistic about the content, as while he feels the film is “handsomely made,” his biggest takeaway is the following:
Ultimately, the scariest thing about Annabelle Comes Home is that despite its utter emptiness, more sequels, prequels and spin-offs will follow regardless.
Taking a more even-handed view over at The Washington Post, critic Michael Sullivan thinks that Annabelle Comes Home is a fun, albeit perhaps not trilogy-best, entry in the series. Giving the film a 2.5 out of 4 stars Sullivan wrote,
If it’s not quite as good as the doll’s origin story, “Creation,” it’s still way more fun than any sequel — especially one this deep into a franchise — has any right to be.
Over at Variety, Owen Gleiberman likens Annabelle Comes Home to speed dating, as he says that there are tons of fear triggers scattered throughout the film. But even with its faults in mind, he seemed to enjoy it to the following degree:
That fixed grin of hers promises a great deal of mischief, and Annabelle Comes Home, in its almost completely haphazard and what-the-hell-let's-go-to-hell way, delivers it.
Annabelle Comes Home certainly isn’t a movie for everyone. In fact, the write up the film in The New York Times sounds like it’ll play more towards the reactions you’ll hear from some of the more reserved contingent of horror fans. As she evaluated the film, critic Jeannette Catsoulis did find some solace in the performance of one of the young actors present in the film. Ultimately, though, her reaction is pretty negative:
Excepting Katie Sarife, whose subtly shaded performance as the wildly incautious friend augurs a fine career in tough-yet-tender roles, "Annabelle Comes Home" feels stretched and tired.
Rounding things out is critic Andy Crump from Paste, who was actually surprised that while the film has been sold to look like another Conjuring misadventure with the Warrens, the film shifts the focus to its younger characters pretty quick. And he sees it as a pretty smart tactic:
Annabelle Comes Home remains a hoot from start to finish, in part thanks to the joys of variety and in part because it pulls a fast one by reintroducing Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga.
So far, the reaction to Annabelle Comes Home is mixed at best, with critics going back and forth with positive and negative notes. These reviews certainly seem to vary when compared to the previous reactions that Annabelle Comes Home racked up; but with the number of reviews still climbing by the moment the overall picture just might be a bit more aligned with those results. As for the audience reaction to Annabelle Comes Home, we won’t have to wait too long to figure that puzzle out, as it heads into theaters for early shows this Thursday night.