The demonic doll Annabelle returns to cinemas in Annabelle Comes Home, the third movie centered on the titular doll and the latest entry into the growing Conjuring Universe. After Daniela (Katie Sarife) accidentally unleashes all of the spirits locked away in the Warrens’ basement, she and Mary (Madison Iseman) and Judy Warren (Mckenna Grace) have to work together to survive the night.
As simple as this premise is, there are some connections to the previous movies and real-life facts in relation to the Warrens (and their long history in the occult) that flew under the radar. Here are 10 things you may have missed in Annabelle Comes Home.
10 Father Gordon
Annabelle Comes Home is jokingly referred to by fans as “The Avengers of the Conjuring Universe” and the latest movie cements this sentiment by featuring Father Gordon’s quick appearance in the opening act.
In the movie, he doesn’t do much outside of bless Annabelle to contain the demonic presence in the doll. This isn’t a departure from what he’s normally shown doing in the Conjuring movies, since he’s more of the Warrens’ spiritual advisor and middle man for communications with the Vatican rather than an active exorcist and paranormal investigator.
9 Ed Warren’s Acoustic Performance
During Judy’s birthday party, Ed has the party-goes sit in a circle so he could sing them a song while playing the guitar. This isn’t just a callback to Ed’s musical number in The Conjuring 2, but a chance for actor Patrick Wilson to show off his musical skills.
Prior to taking such high-profile roles as Nite Owl II in Watchmen and Ocean Master in Aquaman, Wilson was known for his stellar Broadway career, where he earned numerous awards and nominations. His most iconic acting/singing credit was Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera back in 2004.
8 Familiar Objects
The Warrens’ room of evil artifacts has appeared more than once in The Conjuring movies but it’s only now that the room and its occupants are given center stage. Some familiar items like the music box, samurai armor, and the toy monkey make quick cameos, but it’s the armor that gains prominence.
The story behind the armor is still shrouded in mystery, since no one talks about it before it starts moving around the house. The only clue to its origins are the screams and voices Mary hears when she walks past it.
7 The Practical Werewolf
One of the more surprising ghosts to appear in Annabelle Comes Home was an honest-to-goodness werewolf, referred to as a Hellhound or the Black Shuck by the characters. What’s noteworthy about it is the fact that it’s a practical effect.
Stuntman and creature actor Douglas Tait (with the help of some puppeteers) portrayed the monster, wearing the costume that had a fully-functioning animatronic head. Minimal CGI was used to enhance Tait’s performance, but otherwise it was all physical. It’s just a shame that the wolf was constantly obscured by digital fog.
6 Taking Annabelle Home
Annabelle Comes Home opens with the Warrens quite literally bringing the cursed doll home after they finished solving its case. The Warrens tell their clients that it may be best to take the doll away from their home, which serves as the catalyst for the movie.
This prologue is basically the epilogue to the Warrens’ introductory case in The Conjuring, where they’re shown explaining to some tenants that the doll isn’t possessed. The scene also serves as the most important bit of exposition, where it’s revealed that the doll is a conduit for demons.
5 The Warrens’ Public Image
Early in the movie, Judy is shown reading a newspaper article saying that her parents are just supernaturally-themed conmen. Ed and Lorraine make some comments about this but drop it when Mary knocks on their door.
The Warrens’ struggle to be considered legitimate plays a major role in The Conjuring 2, and this internal conflict’s beginnings could be seen in Annabelle Comes Home (which occurs before the second Conjuring). This was also something that the real-life Warrens dealt with in real-life, and the debate surrounding their legitimacy continues to this day... even after both have since passed away.
4 Bee Comes Home
After Daniela releases the demonic doll from its glassy prison, a little girl knocks on the Warrens’ door and asks for Annabelle. Mary’s confused look only makes the girl laugh, and she’s never seen again afterwards.
This girl is none other than Annabelle “Bee” Mullins, the girl that the doll was named after following her sudden death in the prologue of Annabelle: Creation. Samara Lee returns to reprise her role as the Mullins’ child, although she comes back in her possessed form instead of her charming one.
3 Annabelle’s Prison
After bringing Annabelle home, the Warrens and Father Gordon decide that the best course of action is to contain the doll and its powers in a makeshift cabinet made out of chapel glass.
The real-life Warrens also encased the doll in a similar prison, although it’s a lot more wooden than its cinematic counterpart. As a form of added protection, a Tarot card of The Devil was also attached to the cabinet’s door. The card’s art may be different in the movie but its purpose remains the same.
2 The Real Annabelle Doll
Equally as memorable as the Annabelle doll is the fact that the doll in the movies isn’t based on a real one. The Annabelle doll does exist, but it’s a big fluffy Raggedy Ann doll that’s cuter than it is demonic.
In Annabelle Comes Home, Raggedy Ann is briefly seen in a gameshow, where the host gives the doll to an excited girl. This isn’t the first time that Raggedy Ann showed up in a Conjuring movie, as she was seen near the end of Annabelle: Creation when Janice’s adoptive parents gave her the iconic doll as an introductory gift.
1 Annabelle’s Shadows
Just before all hell breaks loose, Annabelle messes with Judy in her bedroom. When the Warren’s daughter knocks the doll off her bed, her rotating nightlight shines a light on Annabelle, thus revealing her true forms with each spin.
The doll is shown to have four shadows that include a doll, two girls, and the ram demon. The two girls are actually Annabelle’s first two hosts: Annabelle “Bee” Mullins from Annabelle: Creation and an adult Janice from the first movie. The ram demon inhabiting the doll is also the same one that appeared all throughout The Conjuring movies.