Small Screen Reviews
Annabelle Comes Home Review
What's It About?
When Ed & Lorraine Warren are called to another case, their babysitter and her friend manage to awaken the creepy doll spirit that is Annabelle.
Who's In It?
Patrick Wilson (Watchmen, Insidious, & more recently Aquaman)
Vera Farmiga (Up In The Air, The Departed, & more recently Godzilla: King Of The Monsters)
Other notables include:
Mckenna Grace (Gifted, I, Tonya, & more recently Captain Marvel)
Madison Iseman (Laid In America, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, & more recently Goosebumps 2)
Katie Sarife (Teen Spirit, Supernatural)
Director: Gary Dauberman (debut)
Annabelle Comes Home is the third film in this specific franchise, and the seventh film in The Conjuring universe as a whole. There is no doubt that these light horrors rake in the box office receipts, and with that in mind there are going to be plenty more along the way.
Pixar and Marvel may make slight nods to other universes throughout their films, but Warner signpost with neon potential opportunities to expand the franchise for further spinoffs so wait with baited breath for The Ferryman or The Bride in the Wedding Dress films.
Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga too are only here to link the films, soon exiting stage left, to let their daughter and her unfortunate babysitters bear the brunt of the doll's rage. For Ed & Lorraine Warren, having initially decided to bring this horrific doll possessed with a demonic spirit into their home, locked behind a glass case amongst other terrifying paraphernalia, are called away on a case out of town.
As a result, they call on the services of the lovely and reliable Mary Ellen to look after their daughter, Judy. Unfortunately Mary Ellen brings along her less trustworthy friend, Daniela, who has issues of her own and a curiosity that will never lead to anything good. As Annabelle escapes from her glass tomb, the three girls are subjected to a night of pure terror in the Warren home.
Directed by debutant Gary Dauberman, the look and feel and 60's atmosphere is spot on, with great attention to detail. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are first rate as always, but soon vacate the film to leave the audience in the hands of three young actresses, who acquit themselves brilliantly.
Mckenna Grace excels as the vulnerable daughter, bullied at school due to her weird parents, while Madison Iseman once again lights up the screen following her turn in the Jumanji reboot, with Katie Sarife providing the necessary if irritating motivation for kickstarting the doll's escape.
That said, however, the film unfortunately is really short on inventiveness and genuine scares, resulting in a somewhat tepid affair.
In A Nutshell:
A great cast cannot elevate this rather tepid script which is short on scares and low on originality.
The cast especially Mckenna Grace.
The script, the lack of scares and the obvious sequel signposting.
Release date: 18/11/2019