Film Review – Annabelle Comes Home

Annabelle Comes Home (MA)

Directed by: Gary Dauberman

Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson 

Three stars

Review by: Julian Wright

Ever wonder what happened when paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren first brought haunted doll Annabelle home and locked her in a glass case in their basement?

It seemed to be a blind spot in The Conjuring extended universe that has covered pretty much every other misadventures of the perpetually smiling demon magnet. Well, now we can find out.

Unsurprisingly, as it turns out, it was more of the same haunting shenanigans.

In a moment of questionable parenting, Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) leave town for the night not long after acquiring Annabelle and leave their young daughter Judy (Mckenna Grace) with babysitter Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman).

Mary Ellen’s friend Daniela (Katie Sarife) pops over and despite all warnings against it, enters the forbidden locked basement that houses all the cursed, possessed and haunted items that the Warrens have collected for safe-keeping.

No prizes for guessing what happens next as the three young girls are trapped in the house overnight with myriad restless entities.

ANNABELLE 3

Credit where it is due – Daniela is given a backstory and motivation to go into the locked basement, she isn’t just a silly teen in a rebellious mood, like so many of these types of films.

However, the attention to character motivation ends there.

If you have seen any of The Conjuring, Annabelle or even any of the Insidious films, there is not much here that you haven’t seen before.

Characters creep through a dark house for several minutes at time, with a failing torch until something leaps out at them. One thing that does set this entry aside is director Gary Dauberman’s patience in drawing out the jump scares.

There is a lot more build up here than its predecessors, and even though the pay-off isn’t always worth the wait, it is evident that he much less keen to jolt us than he is to get under our skin.

 

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