Gary Dauberman Interview: Annabelle Comes Home

Annabelle Comes Home is the third installment of New Line Cinema’s hugely successful Annabelle films starring the infamous sinister doll from the Conjuring universe. Gary Dauberman, the screenwriter of the Annabelle films, IT and The Nun, makes his directorial debut on the film, which is produced by Peter Safran (Aquaman), who has produced all the films in the Conjuring franchise, and Conjuring universe creator James Wan (Aquaman). Dauberman directed the film from a screenplay he wrote, from a story by Dauberman & Wan.

Determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren lock the possessed doll in the artifacts room in their basement. 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, Judy Warren, her babysitter Mary Ellen, and her friend, Daniela.

Dauberman truly solidifies the Conjuring universe as the horror franchise we deserve with its next-level world building and "bet you didn't see that coming" scares. They're smart, and naturally avoid being formulaic, all the while not sacrificing story to deliver the scare and simultaneously subverting your expectations.

So, You're steeped in horror. Horror is in your blood. So, I've gotta ask the question; are you a believer in the supernatural?

Gary Dauberman: I am a believer in the supernatural. Nothing has happened to me personally for me to be a believer but, (you know) I've just always... when I was a kid I'd get that Time Life series; mysteries of the unknown and I just always liked the unknown and looking for answers to these questions we cant really answer I guess. And I just think it's a little bit more fun to live a world where we have these spirits, these entities. For me its a little bit more hopeful, even if they're demonic, then that must mean there's something also good out there. And I grew up in Philadelphia and there's a lot of history (you know what I mean) so there's a lot of history and it feels like tour surrounded by a lot of ghost stories there and I feel like there's a lot of influence there as well.

Speaking of ghost stories you're telling ghost stories almost like, forever. Going throughout the Conjuring Universe, even co-writing IT and IT 2, I've gotta ask; are you changing the ending... for IT

Gary Dauberman: Changing the ending?

Vera Farmiga in Annabelle Comes Home

Versus what ending we've known from the novel and 90's miniseries? You don't need to tell me what it is...

Gary Dauberman: I'm not even gonna touch that question. But I tell you, man. Andy, once again, knocked it out of the park with this one. I can't wait for people to see it. I saw the reaction to that trailer and that's just like a small taste of what's to come.

As far as this film is concerned, when it comes to jump scares you guys happen to be the kings of jump scares. How did you choose to make a change as far as still doing jump scares but making them natural, fresh, instill subverting our expectations?

Gary Dauberman: Well I think that's the thing I think a lot about the expectations and you do try to subvert them. And I know people get down on the jump-scares and stuff but I love a good jump scare when it's executed well and then I like where if you think we're going to go left then go right and I think there are a couple moments in this movie where it's going to come and maybe it doesn't come in the way you expect. I think there are a couple moments of this movie where we do think about a lot of what the audience is experience with and try to come at it with something new and fresh and subvert their expectations, right? That being said I love a squeaky door or floorboard and all that, and if you make it part of the scare it still works as opposed to just being the scare that works too.

James Wan was quoted by saying concerning The Conjuring 3 that it will have to do with something concerning a trial someone going to trial and then using the excuse of possession and a werewolf as a defense. Is that connected or leading into anything from this film?

Gary Dauberman: I can't speak to Conjuring 3 I'm not involved in that in any way other than being a cheerleader because you know I'm such a fan of everyone that's involved. Michael Chaves is a super talented film maker and I just love The Conjuring franchise I've been so focused on this one that I haven't really... You know, I'm going to visit them in a couple weeks just to say hi, but I will find out more then.

More: Read Screen Rant's Annabelle Comes Home Review

Key Release Dates
  • Annabelle Comes Home (2019) release date: Jun 26, 2019
Wolverine Hugh Jackman
Wolverine's Famous 'Healing' Scene Gets It Completely Wrong

More in Interviews