Annabelle Comes Home (2019): ‘A Jump Scare of a Film’ – A Film Review

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So jump scares are a technique within horror films to build a moment of tension that ends with a sharp movement, noise or image (most of the time all three) that tends to induce a jump out of the audience. Annabelle Comes Home is a horror sequel from the spin off series from The Conjuring. This successful horror film franchise has loose roots within The Perron Family and the Enfield Hauntings. The age of ghost or paranormal horror films is upon us …though maybe beginning to wane. These films revel in the realism that they can have with small tricks to infer odd occurrences, all with the idea that it could unsettle audiences. As such they can be relatively cheaply made and offer mild horror for audiences. Perfect for the 15 year old market that is supposedly the prime target for a movie going audience. It’s not too extreme, it’s not too expensive, it’s easy and now, it is an established franchise. Though we’re seeing less than we have done, we’re perhaps seeing the need to make these films more and more original.

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Annabelle Strikes Again

Annabelle Comes Home follows the Annabelle spin off series surrounding the possession of a doll called Annabelle. As a haunting/possession film Annabelle Comes Home uses many jump scares and continually offers imagery thats creepy or potentially creepy. Little time is devoted to the characters and their development is very little, though they are well performed. This manages to keep the film interesting enough to see to the end but there isn’t much staying power. There isn’t much reason to follow these characters into whatever next instalments will be coming. The main character of the series therefore remains, Annabelle, a doll that never talks or moves but is referred to a lot by all other characters.

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The Scares?

Many other beings or entities (ghosts or demons?) enter the fray in this film but always their presence is likewise followed by other characters. If they do appear on screen they are largely in CGI that isn’t very convincing and breaks the realistic tone of the rest of the film. It’s a strange balance but these horror films have a huge potential in the idea of the real. If they can fool you that these events can or have happened, then the horror can stay with you. But, much like the jump scare that is overused, it can be quickly employed without much affect.

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The biggest problem of Annabelle Comes Home, beyond the repetitive nature or lack of development in the film, comes with the idea of establishing a tension, ending with a quick scare, only to realise that it was all pointless – the very idea of the jump scare itself! So many objects or ideas are planted for a scare later on in the narrative but amount to nothing. Whilst the entirety of the film is a long tension, bridled with jump scares and greater images, but once the impact of the source of fear occurs,it ends. It was quick, it was pointless and worst of all SPOILERS. It doesn’t affect anything at all. Annabelle Comes Home was a tale of ‘a quick jump scare I experienced in life’ nothing more. END OF SPOILERS.



Annabelle, a possessed doll, is taken to be hidden in the basement of the Warren house so it can be hidden safely away forever. Until, one day’s, their daughter, Judy Warren (McKenna Grace)’s babysitter and friend release her.




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A Note on My Reviews

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis below the review for any who wish to see one.


Films Mentioned

Annabelle (d. John R. Leonetti USA 2014)

Annabelle Comes Home (d. Gary Dauberman USA 2019)

The Conjuring (d. James Wan USA 2013)


Further Reading

Official Site

James Wan Interview

Cast Interview

Gary Dauberman Interview

Behind the Scenes


What Critics Are Saying


If you liked this

The Nun (2018): ‘Hollywood’s Contemporary Horrors’ – A Film Review

Brightburn (2019): ‘A Super Hero Horror’ – A Film Review

Us (2019): ‘A Horror without Horror’ – A Film Review


This was an analytical review of….


Annabelle Comes Home (d. Gary Dauberman USA 2019)

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One response to “Annabelle Comes Home (2019): ‘A Jump Scare of a Film’ – A Film Review”

  1. For me, Annabelle Comes Home didn’t really feel like a movie, but rather an experience. From a budget point-of-view, it makes sense to film a horror in one location (in this case the Warren’s home) but with so much going on in just a few different rooms, it gets repetitive. The format is literally, ‘Cut to one room. .. jump scare. Cut to next room. .. jump scare. Repeat.’

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