A midquel that expands on the story of everyone’s least favourite doll – Annabelle. This Annabelle Comes Home review is brought to you by AboutFlick’s Mr T.
Director: Gary Dauberman
Review: It seems that the producers of The Conjuring franchise are no longer content with making money once a year. After experiencing box office success with the critical failure – The Curse Of La Llorona in April, they are back again with Annabelle Comes Home, which marks the seventh feature in The Conjuring Universe.
This movie picks up right after the prologue to the original Conjuring with the Warrens realizing that the Annabelle doll is powerful enough to awaken other dormant spirits around it. To subdue its evil powers, they decide to keep it locked up behind some sacred glass in the room where they keep other haunted objects in their collection. However, in a predictable turn of events, all hell breaks loose, quite literally, when they are away for one night and the curiosity of their daughter’s babysitter leads to Anabelle getting free.
Those of who are tuning in to watch me bash the acting in the film are in for some disappointment. It isn’t as bad as you would expect. Mckenna Grace has shown immense potential in her previous outings in Gifted (2017) and The Haunting Of Hill House (2018) and her performance as the bullied young girl beyond her years is quite impressive. In fact, the portrayal of the film’s three women is quite mature and the chemistry between Grace, Madison Iseman and Katie Sarife makes the movie engaging in parts. Vera Farmiga redeems herself after a lacklustre performance in the Godzilla sequel last month. And yeah, Patrick Wilson is back as well, as a guy who is too nice to be real. Despite meaty performances in Little Children (2006) and Fargo (2015), I’m sure he’ll be known as the guy who is almost always there in the Insidious films and The Conjuring Universe.
The creepy set design coupled with a lot of jump scares means that you’ll either like it or hate it. And judging by the box office success of the previous films, I’m guessing most of you will like it. For a first-time director, Gary Dauberman does a fine job assisted by Director of Photography Michael Burgess.
But what lets this movie down is the story – or the lack of it. While not as bad as The Nun or La Llorona, it’s not really that high a bar to clear. The sheer stupidity of some of the characters’ actions in Annabelle Comes Home is mind boggling and the stakes are never really that high because it slots right between The Conjuring (2013) and The Conjuring 2 (2016). Also, the message that faith in the Christian religion can lead to deliverance from evil could have worked a few decades before, but now feels like propaganda.
Ultimately, this movie introduces us to a lot of other scary characters and objects in the Conjuring Universe and I’m sure they’ll each get their own separate movies in the near future and I think that was the most terrifying thought lingering in my head as I was walking out of the theatre.
Rating: My rating for Annabelle Comes Home is 2/5.
Who is this film for: If you are craving a horror film involving jump scares and creaky cupboards, but don’t want to invest in storytelling, then you can watch this movie. Other horror fans would probably be better off watching Hereditary (2018), The Witch (2015), Sinister (2012) and The Haunting Of Hill House (2018).