Title – Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
Director – Gary Dauberman (feature debut)
Cast – Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife, Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga
Plot – Evil doll Annabelle is awoken when a group of children unwittingly awaken her from her slumber when they are babysitting in the house of Ed and Loraine Warren (Wilson and Farmiga).
“Sometimes it’s better to keep the genie in the bottle”
Review by Eddie on 28/06/2019
There’s a lot of good will when it comes to the Conjuring universe, thanks to James Wan’s noteworthy efforts with the Conjuring standalone films but we are now getting to the point (much like what happened with Saw films) where saturation and frequency of films set in the combined universe are starting to get more than a little stale.
Following on from this year’s early disappoint The Curse of the Weeping Woman and last year’s crime against the horror genre The Nun, the third entry into the Annabelle corner of The Conjuring universe Annabelle Comes Home may be better than the first Annabelle film (which isn’t saying much) but overall, this lacklustre and relatively scare free haunted house like creeper just isn’t worth your time and money.
While getting early wins thanks to the cameo like appearance of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the Warrens and their collection of the not so cute doll, Annabelle Comes Home loses momentum quickly as it starts to focus on Madison Iseman’s Mary Ellen and Katie Sarife’s Daniela babysitting the Warren’s daughter Judy (played by the capable McKenna Grace) as the film confines us to the Warrens house, a completely unwarranted romance subplot involving Michael Cimino’s Bob and an even worse narrative device in the form of Daniela wanting to contact her dead father meaning debut director Gary Dauberman has a tough time making up for the more mediocre elements of its fright fest.
To say Annabelle Comes Home has no scares on offer would be wrong, as always there’s the nerve wracking sound design, a nice new horror figure in the form of the Ferry Man (let’s not talk about the foggy werewolf) and Annabelle the doll still manages to be creepy without doing a whole lot while the films exploration of the Warren’s notorious room full of haunted and evil possessions is a lot of fun for fans of the series but there’s truly nothing memorable on offer here as the film struggles to keep up the pace in its shoebox like set-up and rather bland main characters.
The Conjuring films and some of the more successful spin-offs like Annabelle Creation have always been at their best when combining interesting characters with the jumps and nerve shredding, while Wan set the standard with how a low budget film can still be directed with flair and energy but there’s none of that to be found in Annabelle Comes Home as it instead is happy to follow the well-trodden and worn out formula of similar films both past and present.
We are not at the point where it feels like quality returns from this series may be a thing of the past, unless the maestro himself Wan decides to come back to the franchise he gave life to as the quality we are getting at the moment is not cinematic quality and would be better suited as a streaming service device where quality content is more of a gift not an expectation.
Final Say –
A mostly forgettable Conjuring spin-off that feels like the death-knell to Annabelle standalone adventures, Annabelle Comes Home has a few neat moments and some nice Easter Eggs for fans of the universe but there but fleeting instances in an otherwise tiresome and lame attempt to make more money from a worn down entity.
2 copies of Feeley Meeley out of 5