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Annabelle Comes Home (Blu-ray Review)

Well, score Annabelle. The spin-off has passed its man series The Conjuring now in installments with her third. This gives us an Annabelle Trilogy now. This one was released at a time this past summer that was all about dolls/toys come to life and affecting the lives of youths in certain ways (The Child’s Play remake and Toy Story 4 were released the week before). She did her normal success at the box office (Though on a slight down click). Now Annabelle Comes Home can come to your home on October 8th on Blu-ray. A shame these shadows and fog type movies aren’t taking advantage of the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray technology and HDR/Dolby Vision because they would look quite stunning I’d imagine. Anyway, the film is available for pre-order now and you are more than welcome to use the Amazon link below to get yourself a copy delivered to you on the day of release.

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Film 

Determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren lock the possessed doll in the artifacts room in their house. But when the doll awakens the room’s evil spirits, it soon becomes an unholy night of terror for the couple’s 10-year-old daughter, her friends and their young baby sitter.

Annabelle passes her parent series, The Conjuring with a third film in the sub-series which means the Warrens have to make a guest appearance. That’s probably not the way it works, but here they are. Its more of a cameo role, but how they work in is pretty neat. This whole narrative has a nice feel and fun attitude, not wasting a whole Conjuring movie on “A Weekend at The Warrens”. I actually have to give them points at how clever they pulled off this setting and idea.

Then again, I have qualms with the same things I would praise in this movie. I love that this thing goes bananas with demons/ghosts/monsters and is an all out romp inside their house when the cursed stuff goes nuts. It follows right after the opening sequence of the first Conjuring movie. However, you can’t help but feel all of this is some superflous movie to do nothing other than set up future Conjuring spin-off movies. I don’t think these are rejected ideas or ones made with just Comes Home in mind. I think we have at least 3 spin-off movies playing around here within the Warren’s home and possibly even more based on other items seen in the room. While I think this does work on its own, I can’t help but see through the cracks beyond the film into the production office on this one.

That aside, this movie is kinda dumb and fun at the same time. It delivers great with said monsters’ designs and execution. There is nothing really deep here than just another Annabelle movie. There’s not attempt at making this super serious and this is just a late night new horror movie that’ll pass your time decently and move on. Madison Iseman, who I enjoyed in the Goosebumps sequel, continues to build horror cred here with this movie. And you can’t help but enjoy the time you DO get to spend with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. This film is nothing great, but I did have a decent time and some fun overall with it. Creation still rules, but Comes Home was an okay time.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Annabelle, like the rest of The Conjuring movies, is not blessing the Warrens with the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray treatment yet at home. Nevertheless, this looks pretty terrific with great details, sharpness and clarity in the image. Its also pretty rich with its blacks and crating the haunted house feeling. A 4K would improve the blacks and make this movie look really beautiful, but this disc will have to suffice for now.

Depth:  A lot of this takes place inside and it feels nice and pushed back and multidimensional as it can. Movements are natural and smooth throughout with no distortion issues abound.

Black Levels: Blacks are pretty deep with just a little hint of being on the grayer side of things. Spooks are aplenty in these shadows and darkness which consume but don’t mask any important details. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are pretty strong with primaries jumping out to good degrees. They are pretty well saturated and done to effective levels as well as muting well under the appropriate lighting.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from the beginning to end of the movie. Facial features and textures like make-up, freckles, wrinkles, lip texture and more are pretty clear and discernible from any reasonable distance.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD compatible), English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

Dynamics: While we don’t get a 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray for Annabelle to come home to, we still get the Atmos track to comfort her into a viewing spaces. This one has a great mix with its volume placement and levels for horror related sounds for jumps and thrills. Its a pretty tame movie for a while, but when shit hits the fan, this movie really gets going.

Height: Some solid shrieks and creeks come from above as well as combining with out big moments to build a full room sound.

Low Frequency Extension: Stomps, crashing, engine hums and more hit pretty good and jumpy from the subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation: Sounds whirl around the room, hide in little corners and jump around to attack for more. When things get really crazy all the speakers work together in unison with nice rolling sound.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.

Extras 

Annabelle Comes Home comes with the DVD version and a digital copy of the film.

Behind The Scenes – These little featurettes focus on the new monster/ghosts/demons in the film and have the actors who play them, director Gary Dauberman, James Wan, production designer Jennifer Spence and the costume designer discussing the inspirations and execution for them. This features behind the scenes footage and such.

  • Part 1: The Ferryman/Demon (HD, 5:18)
  • Part 2: The Bloody Bride (HD, 2:57)
  • Part 3: The Werewolf (HD, 3:07)

The Artifact Room and The Occult (HD, 5:07) – This one goes over the room of cursed items in the Warren’s home and how they come up with some of them and ones they bring back and the ability to introduce new ones they hadn’t.

The Light and the Love (HD, 4:26) – Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga talk about their characters’ relationship and fun with the movies and James Wans’ desire to show them as the light in the dark worlds they explore.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 11:28)

Summary 

Annabelle Comes Home gets by on some good creature creations, funhouse scares and good atmosphere though it feels like it exists to set up other movies. Its Blu-ray release has top of the line sight and sound while having some quick moving but decent extras on the disc. This is much much much better than The Nun and Curse of La LLarona, but still could have been more. For the right price, its a nice modern fright pick up, but for now, give it a rental.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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