FILM REVIEW: Annabelle Comes Home delivers jump scares and cheap thrills
FILM REVIEW: ANNABELLE COMES HOME (15)
SHOWCASE CINEMA DE LUX PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW
CAST: VERA FARMIGA, PATRICK WILSON, MADISON ISEMAN, McKENNA GRACE, KATIE SARIFE & MICHAEL CIMINO
RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 46 MINS
DIRECTOR: GARY DAUBERMAN
Less than just one week ago I was reviewing Midsommar, which was very much a slow burning art-house horror where you really needed to concentrate to fully appreciate the underlying narrative.
For those that watch this particular genre for the cheap ‘jump scares’ (nothing wrong with that!), Midsommar is not your movie.
However, Annabelle Comes Home is.
Firstly, I must warn you that this is not quite the film the trailer promised. This could be a good or bad thing depending on personal preference.
Annabelle Comes Home is not about Annabelle. Yes, you heard me right!
As Lorraine Warren (Bates Motel’s Vera Farmiga) – a ‘demonologist’ with her husband Ed (Aquaman’s Patrick Wilson) – points out at the start of the film, the doll isn’t possessed at all, but a beacon that attracts other spirits.
With this being the seventh movie in The Conjuring universe, chances are you already know that the creepy antique doll resides deep in the Warren’s basement – a museum of haunted and cursed items that they have collected over the years. Annabelle lies within a glass case that warns nobody should open it any circumstances.
I can’t help but think something so sinister should be a little more heavily guarded.
My point is highlighted by the fact that not long after the Warren’s go out of town, leaving their daughter Judy (McKenna Grace) under the care of teenage neighbour Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman) and her friend Daniela (Katie Sarife) – the glass container is opened.
This unleashes a variety of demons. Some are interesting and perhaps even worthy or their own stand-alone movie, whilst others you’ll barely remember soon after the credits roll.
For me, Annabelle Comes Home didn’t really feel like a movie, but rather an experience. From a budget point-of-view, it makes sense to film a horror in one location (in this case the Warren’s home) but with so much going on in just a few different rooms, it gets repetitive. The format is literally, ‘Cut to one room . . . jump scare. Cut to next room . . . jump scare. Repeat.’
It’s a fun ride but there is very little that pushes the actual story forward. Those looking for nothing more than cheap thrills should be satisfied enough.
I just wanted this to take The Conjuring universe forwards a little more.
By Mikey Clarke