Annabelle Comes Home
Cast: Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife
Director: Gary Dauberman
None of the franchise films or spin-offs of The Conjuring series achieved what the first film did, and the reason was pretty simple: It was totally organic. The concept of evil forces being manipulative was explored from a different angle. The Conjuring featured them as part of the universe where the characters were aware of supernatural presence yet they co-existed.
The Conjuring 2, Annabelle and even The Nun failed to bring out that unique sense of urgency of the first film, but they projected enough chills to have a recognisable template. Unlike most of the slasher or exorcism horror stories, they didn’t really intend to separate black and white.
The latest film in the series, Annabelle Comes Home, carries forward a similar tone. Something that would give you a hint of psychological pretense and disturbance than plain horror.
The gloom sets in within minutes when little Judy (Mckenna Grace), eldest daughter of the Warrens, is home alone with her babysitter Mary Allen (Madison Iseman) and a troubled neighbor Daniella (Katie Sarife). As expected, they let the scary doll out of the closet and she starts playing with their minds.
This is where Annabelle Comes Home had the chance to deep dive into the psyche and surrounding of the kids, and really be different, but the director Gary Dauberman couldn’t detach himself from the lust of predictable dagger-wielding witch and soul-sucking creatures.
This isn’t the real problem though. The characters appear too comfortable even with deadly spirits around. They look calm in most life-threatening situations as if they know the final outcome.
Despite being the origin story, Annabelle Comes Home lacks the innovation. It’s a pretty straight forward tale of werewolves coming out of thin air and screaming their lungs out up close. The countryside set up which added dimension to the earlier films is a hindrance here as there isn’t much to distract the audience who keep waiting for something unique to happen.
Annabelle Comes Home may not jolt you the way the previous Conjuring films did.
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