Pros: Gary Dauberman’s directorial debut; combination of scary and entertaining Cons: abrupt transitions from fright to the normal state of the heroes of Annabelle 3 / Annabelle Comes Home
Directed by Gary Doberman
Starring: McKenna Grace (Judy Warren), Madison Iseman (Mary Ellen), Katie Sarif (Daniella), Vera Farmiga (Lorraine Warren), Patrick Wilson (Ed Warren), Emily Brobst (Rory), Steve Coulter (Father Gordon), etc. .
Atomic Monster, New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures
Year of release 2019
The Conjuring Universe series of horror films launched quite successfully in 2013. It is based on the stories of real personalities Ed and Lorraine Warren, who allegedly encountered paranormal phenomena. Among other horror films, these films stood out for their memorable mystical characters, to whom spin-offs were dedicated. In addition, James Wan, one of the creators of the Saw film franchise and director of Aquaman, took an active part in the filming.
The Conjuring Universe had a new movie coming out almost every year. Over time, they became somewhat monotonous, and the last film, “The Curse of La Llorona,” resembled a collection of classic and long-familiar techniques that make viewers jump on the spot. Naturally, within the framework of a horror film it is rarely possible to surprise with something new, but it’s somehow not good to give out continuous cliches.
Surprisingly, they managed to revive the franchise with the film “Annabelle 3,” for which no hopes were placed at all. The new horror was the result of the work of Gary Dauberman – he wrote scripts for other films in the Conjuring Universe (Gary, by the way, also had a hand in the scripts for two parts of the film adaptation of the novel “It”).
In Annabelle 3, Gary Dauberman was hired as director. He took advantage of this and created a slightly different atmosphere of a horror film, playing on the contrasts of intimidation and casual humor. At the same time, Doberman did not try to change the essence of the idea; he left the usual features of Conjuring Universe.
Among the recognizable characters in the film “Annabelle 3” are the Warren spouses (cameo roles by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson). The main character is their daughter Judy. She faces alienation from classmates who are afraid of her parents’ paranormal research. Communication with her peers does not work out, but Judy finds a common language with the good-natured girl Mary, who stays with her as a nanny. They plan to have a normal evening, but their friend Mary asks to join them. This girl is interested in the other world and wants to take advantage of the Warrens’ absence to get into the room where ominous artifacts are kept. Naturally, this cannot end well, since the Annabelle doll is hidden among them.
To be honest, the prospect of staring at Annabelle’s unpleasant doll-like grin for the entire film is not at all inspiring. But the plot turns out to be much more varied than expected. Annabelle’s character is a magnet for evil spirits, so the film kindly suggests being scared by the appearance of other creatures targeting the girls.
The film takes place in the 1970s, which helps to emphasize the atmosphere and focus on rare household items, which also play an important role in the story.
Annabelle 3 retains the old horror movie tropes (without the long stares into the darkness), but thanks to Gary Dauberman’s directing style, they don’t become irritating. This is because Doberman dilutes the tense anticipation and panic with casual and sometimes funny inserts.
For a horror film, Annabelle 3 can expect a good review. At least because the film’s script and direction turned out to be much more successful than its predecessors from the franchise. In addition, even the seemingly stupid curiosity of the characters hides a reasonable motivation.
The only thing where Annabelle 3 loses is the abrupt transitions from a dark, scary atmosphere to a calm state. This is just a movie, but even in it, the characters may well develop post-traumatic stress disorder.
Annabelle 3 revitalizes the Conjuring Universe franchise, whose films had begun to feel monotonous