Between the new Child's Play, out June 21, and Annabelle Comes Home releasing June 25, it seems as though we might be living through the summer of vengeful dolls. (You can count Toy Story 4's Gabby Gabby and her ventriloquist dummies in this category too.) But Annabelle Comes Home may be the scariest of the bunch, because it's part of the ongoing and notoriously horrifying Conjuring universe. Horror fans have seen this doll terrorize in her own standalone movies before, in 2014's Annabelle and 2017's Annabelle Creation, but will Annabelle Comes Home get a sequel as well? If you can't get enough of this creepy, pig-tailed demon, you may be in luck.
The Annabelle narrative has come a long way since the first standalone story about the possessed doll, but Annabelle Comes Home brings the doll back to Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga). The Warrens first came into contact with Annabelle in 2013's The Conjuring when the demonologists investigated certain paranormal hauntings. You would've thought that Ed and Lorraine, being the professionals that they are, would have confiscated Annabelle in order to prevent future terror, but the couple kept the doll locked in their artifacts room, where Annabelle Comes Home shows it coming back to life to torture the Warren's daughter Judy (Mckenna Grace). The terrifying doll is back in full force and this likely won't be the last time you see her.
Annabelle Comes Home picks up soon after The Conjuring's events, but the preceding Annabelle movies serve as prequels to this new addition. Annabelle shows how the doll became haunted in the late '60s by the spirit of a young woman named Annabelle Higgins, who joined a demonic cult in the late '60s and killed her adoptive parents. The next movie was a prequel to that, and Annabelle: Creation shows the origin story of how the girl who would be renamed Annabelle became possessed by a demon in the first place. Creation takes place in the '50s, so Annabelle Comes Home makes about a 20-year time jump.
Digital Spy collected early social media reactions to Annabelle Comes Home, which praised the new Conjuring film as "excellent" and "hella fun." Considering that box office is a key driver in getting a sequel greenlit, the thus far overwhelmingly positive feedback bodes well for audiences showing up at the theater for this third movie in the Annabelle sub-franchise.
Meanwhile, the filmmakers behind Annabelle Comes Home haven't publicly shared plans for a sequel to this film in particular, but they've suggested that it could lead to other spinoffs — and possibly more of Annabelle's story. Writer/director Gary Dauberman told Entertainment Weekly that he hasn't ruled anything out as far as what's happening in the future. "I didn’t look at this process... going, ‘What other stuff can we absolutely spin-off into other movies?’ [It’s about] what works for this movie, and then if people seem to dig it, then we’ll got from there," Dauberman said.
Per Collider, producer Peter Safran told reporters visiting the Annabelle Comes Home set that he doesn't have any plans to stop making movies within the Conjuring universe anytime soon. Safran said they were fair game "as long as [they] keep having original stories to tell." He continued, "The moment that you start repeating yourself and really diluting the good will that exists out there, then it’s the beginning of the end."
Once you see Annabelle Comes Home you can decide for yourself if another movie is in order. The entrance point into a whole new series may be some of the other demons that the third Annabelle introduces to audiences, like the Ferryman, who's featured in the trailer above. While talking with Entertainment Weekly, Dauberman explained that the character stemmed from the Greek myth of Charon, who ferried the deceased into hell. Perhaps that character may be the next to receive a standalone spinoff, like how The Nun stemmed from Conjuring 2 — and how the Annabelle doll originated in The Conjuring.
Whether or not the next movie to come out of the Conjuring universe is a Ferryman movie or the fourth in the Annabelle series remains to be revealed, but this franchise shows no signs of slowing down.