Retrieved by demonologists Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) from a group of terrified young nurses, the Annabelle doll has been safely secured for a year in her new home amidst the Warrens’ myriad haunted artifacts when New Line Cinema’s “Annabelle Comes Home” begins. Despite the relative quiet during that time, all the relics are still conduits for malevolent forces that are undoubtedly aware of Annabelle’s presence among them.
The screenplay was penned by “Annabelle” franchise writer Gary Dauberman, who makes his feature directorial debut with “Annabelle Comes Home.” “It felt like a natural progression and the right time to make that leap, and James and Peter were very supportive,” he notes of producers James Wan and Peter Safran. Wan and Dauberman co-wrote the story, and the latter says that they knew immediately they wanted to anchor it at the Warren house and continue with the cool, 1970s throwback vibe, while taking a closer look than ever before at the Warren household.
“It’s the early `70s, a little while after the Perron case we followed in ‘The Conjuring.’ The Warrens are starting to deal with a little press surrounding them as people find out what they do for a living, which, unbeknownst to Ed and Lorraine, is weighing heavier on Judy than she’s letting on.”
Judy Warren is their ten-year-old daughter. And while this, like all the “Annabelle” films, specifically, is primarily fictional and only briefly touches on the event outlined in the real Warren case files, Dauberman felt it would be interesting to experience the paranormal world her parents inhabit from Judy’s point of view. “What would it be like to be their daughter and see them come home from work, where they deal with these frightening, otherworldly occurrences every day?” he ponders. “Or to have objects that are essentially souvenirs from all their terrifying investigations just sitting there down the hall?”
Curiosity would certainly get the better of most kids, but Judy has steered clear of that part of the house, appreciating the gravity of her mom and dad’s warnings against venturing beyond the locked door. Annabelle might be the most recent addition to the eerie collection, but the space hosts hundreds of items, every one of which has been deemed dangerous enough to confine and to receive regular holy blessings from a priest.
James Wan, creator of the “Conjuring” franchise, says, “I think my obsession with creepy dolls led me to the Warrens, and it was stumbling across the story of the real Annabelle that led me to dig deeper into who they were and to learn about this doll that was the centerpiece of their collection.”
Since introducing his film version of Annabelle to the world, Wan admits, “My fascination with the idea that an inanimate object—something that’s supposed to be so innocent and meant as a child’s plaything—could harbor a demonic entity only grew exponentially. So, with the Annabelle stories and then the Crooked Man in ‘The Conjuring 2,’ I’ve continued to feed that interest.”
“Annabelle Comes Home” is distributed in the Philippines by Warner Bros. Pictures, a WarnerMedia Company.