Annabelle Comes Home offers up the same terrifying thrills as any movie in the Conjuring universe, serving as the sixth in the franchise. At the Los Angeles premiere of the film last week, I looked around during the film's third act and saw many of those in the audience covering their eyes as if it would shield them from the inevitable jump from a ghoul appearing on screen (the thump of a the bass got them every time, anyway). These scares, though, came after a good bit of levity and fun, offering a more unique tone to Annabelle Comes Home by comparison to other Conjuring universe movies. In fact, the decision to go with a young cast and use them as a means to bring out some laughs during the horror flick is something executive producer James Wan is quite proud of.
"The key is to make each one feel different," Wan tells ComicBook.com in the video above. "And I think that's very important, so when you create this world, it doesn't start to feel stale. It doesn't start to feel to repetitive."
The previous films in the Conjuring universe, especially the first Conjuring movie itself, have been dubbed some of the scariest films of the horror genre. First time director Gary Dauberman wrote the script for Annabelle Comes Home (having written the other Conjuring universe films and the recent hit IT and its IT: Chapter Two sequel). In doing so, he changed up the tone a bit and brought some of the entertaining levity seen in his IT script to the third Annabelle movie. He is one of fifth directors to have helmed a Conjuring universe movie now, following Wan, David F. Sandberg, John R. Leonetti, and Corin Hardy -- meaning each has had their opportunity to leave their respective fingerprints on the franchise.
"I think it's important that you come into each installment, each chapter, with a different sort of outlook on things," Wan explained. "And just for the very nature that Annabelle Comes Home, deals with a younger cast, means that it kind of wants to be more of a fun film. More of like a classic, haunted house, rollercoaster film, because of that, and I think that's good. And we embrace, we lean into that sort of 80s emblem style of characters and I think it was the perfect approach for this one."
While it's different in tone, Annabelle Comes Home is thoroughly rooted in details from previous films, right down to being book ended with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga's Ed and Lorraine Warrren characters. "You can't bring Annabelle back to the Warren's home and not have Vera and Patrick in there," Wan said.
Speaking of different, next up for Wan is an Aquaman spinoff in the form of The Trench. While many details haven't yet surfaced as far as story, cast, or directors, Wan is certainly aiming for hook in some scares there. "We're still deep in sort of crafting the script, crafting the story right now so I don't want to get into that too much, but definitely it's one that I really want to lean into the horror of it, so it's going to play more as a monster horror movie then it will as a superhero film, but it's still definitely part of the Aquaman world," Wan said.
Annabelle Comes Home hits theaters on June 26.