‘Annabelle’ Could Take Chucky Down in Box Office Brawl

Horror fans have probably thought about the idea of two creepy dolls from two different franchises going toe-to-toe. We’re talking about Annabelle and Chucky, and these two are not walking down some unholy wedding aisle.

Last week, the Child’s Play franchise was officially revived when a remake of the first movie hit theaters on June 21. To play off an imaginary rivalry going down between these two killer dolls, the forces behind Child’s Play put out a playful ad that sent a message to Annabelle and her team. They’re putting everyone on notice that Chucky is number one.

But there is a real duel brewing when it comes to the box office. Annabelle Comes Home is being released today, and there is evidence supporting that the demonic toy can hold her own against that other evil toy, and she doesn’t even speak.

Annabelle doll.
Annabelle from ‘Annabelle Comes Home.’ | Warner Bros. Pictures via YouTube

The talent and story behind Annabelle

First, like Chucky, Annabelle has a lot of history. While she’s just as sinister at the Good Guy doll, her backstory is linked to real events. To bring those stories to life, Gary Dauberman was tapped to write all three Annabelle movies and The Nun. Though Annabelle Comes Home is his directorial debut, he’s also the screenwriting mastermind behind both of the modern It movies. He knows to scare the __ out of people.

All the creepiness within The Conjuring universe is owed to the paranormal adventures of Lorraine and Ed Warren. More than that, Dauberman has been thoughtful about how the Warren family is portrayed in the movie, particularly the Warrens as parents, and as a couple. By paying attention to their humanity, it raises the stakes for the characters in Annabelle, making things super frightening. He told Relevant Magazine:

“They tried hard to give a normal life for Judy but, that said, I think they were self-aware enough to know what they did was not normal. But then, what is a normal life? I know they just knew what their life was, and I know they tried to provide stability for Judy while still having the experiences they were having out on the road.”

Fan reception

People tend to separate critics’ reviews from fan opinions, and online audience reviews are fairly favorable for 2019’s Child’s Play. Chucky from the ‘80s was the stuff of nightmares (if you grew up in that era) and this remake certainly has nostalgia and curiosity on its side. While 2019 Chucky looks different and makes use of modern tech, that doesn’t make his knife-wielding murder spree any less terrifying. Most Google audience reviews place this movie at a 7 or above out of 10.  

Annabelle is riding on her own franchise as well, with The Conjuring and its spinoffs doing well with moviegoers. Early reviews are calling Annabelle Comes Home scary, tense, and in the words of A.V. Club, “fun when it’s supposed to be.” Fans who have already seen it like it for the jump scares, sound effects, and suspense-building tension. That ugly porcelain doll is doing what she does best.  

If you love horror, you want to watch these movies to feel scared or to see the gore. These dolls are capable of both. Further, both characters have their own merits, with Chucky interjecting jokes when he goes after people, and Annabelle’s silent-but-deadly style of mayhem. It’s been noted that the movies in The Conjuring’s franchise have been consistent with scariness and success, so Annabelle could very well slay Chucky this summer.