Annabelle Comes Home Movie Review - Timid attempt at scares
This third feature in the haunted doll series has Original Conjuring franchise stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson appear with Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, and Katie Sarife.
Annabelle Comes Home
Director: Gary Dauberman
Cast: Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson
This third feature in the haunted doll series has Original 'Conjuring' franchise stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson appear with Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman and Katie Sarife - but it's the latter three who take-up most of the runtime here. Producers James Wan(Conjuring) and Peter Safran appear to have gotten their creative juices flowing with almost a successful release every year but that's not to say that the films they put out are anything great. Their horror universe has a faithful enough following that will latch on to anything that plays on 'fear' and the worldwide Box-Office receipts for even the most inept (The Curse of La Llarona) of the lot prove it to be true.
The first lot of franchise films were adapted from the writings and experiences of renowned paranormal investigator Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson) and his clairvoyant wife Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) but 'Annabelle comes Home' is a departure from that truth, so-to-speak. It's a fictional spin-off, building on the series' successful mythology, written-in and (now also) directed by Gary Dauberman. There's nothing new here. Dauberman tries out the same old tricks within a confined space – in this case, unleashed within the confines of the Warrens' home.
Check out the trailer here:
The film opens with the Warrens transporting the doll back to their home. Their car breaks down outside a cemetery on a dark, misty country road, and suddenly we see the waking dead appear and push Ed into the path of an oncoming trailer. He has the fortitude to scamper out of the way quickly, though. The Warrens reach home, a priest performs the ceremony to contain the influence of the doll and it's eventually locked up in a glass case surrounded by other haunted artefacts that the Warrens have accumulated over the years. Cut to the Warrens readying themselves to resolve another case and leaving their 10 year old daughter Judy (Mckenna Grace) with teen babysitter Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman). When Mary Ellen's friend Daniela (Katie Sarife), still grieving over the recent death of her father in a traffic accident, shows up, all hell breaks loose. Daniela sneaks into the artefacts room and releases Annabelle from her prison. Thereafter, Annabelle, the beacon of other evil spirits, lets loose a flurry of paranormal apparitions. The girls are trapped in a house full of evil ghosts trying to harm them - and it's not scary in the least.
All the action is limited to one day and night and the three young girls run from one room to another, wield crosses, murmur ancient curse-antidotes etc. to wrest free. The narrative in fact takes quite a long while getting into the scary act and the lead-up is pretty boring. There's not much in the way of scares and everything seems repetitive. There's neither thrills nor tension in this apparition happy showcase of ghosts.
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