Annabelle Comes Home stars Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman and Katie Sarife. The film is directed by Gary Dauberman, who wrote or co-wrote the other Annabelle films,  Annabelle: Creation, and Annabelle, within the world of The Conjuring.

The story is the latest film in The Conjuring film universe, telling the adventures, or experiences, so to speak of Ed and Lorraine Warren (Wilson, Farmiga) and for the record, I have been a big fan of the Conjuring films, but.....

Determined to keep the Annabelle doll from wreaking more havoc after defeating it in a prior film, the paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine lock the possessed doll in their artifacts room in their house. It's s special room that they have blessed weekly that is labelled with all kinds of warning signs about don't touch anything, don't open anything etc., etc..

But then as the Warren's take leave of the home leaving a babysitter (Iseman) behind to watch their daughter (Grace), but the babysitter's idiot friend (Sarife) tampers with the 'room' and unknowingly awakens the evil spirit trapped in the doll.

When the doll awakens, it seems to awaken all the evil spirits in the room. Or at least all the spirits of the things that the nosy teen touched when she broke into the protected room.

And all the fun begins. Well, sooner or later that is.


First off, the film is more about the kids of the film than the Warren's themselves. It's almost a typical teen horror film rather than a film about the Warren's, but rather, uses the environment that the Warren's have built from their pursuit of demons.

If you like in-depth story development, you will get this through act one and halfway through act two before anything really kicks in with the supernatural events. In this, the film excels, delivering a rich tapestry of depth for the new characters we meet.

But that's also code for being an extremely slow and boring start. At one point I checked my watch and was horrified to see I was only an hour in with barely another 46 minutes left. That's how bored I was feeling.

I was getting really anxious for the crap to start hitting the fan, and when it did, it was basically one basic horror trope after another, with nothing real new or inventive as the standard 'scary movie jumps' kicked in here and there.

The story was detailed but for me, boring, which was very very surprising considering the story was written (or mailed in?) by James Wan, the writer behind some of the Saw movies, Insidious, (which I loved) The Nun, Aquaman and the like.

On IMDb the film has an early rating of 6.7/10 but with very few (around 3k) users chiming in. Rotten Tomatoes critics gave the film a 69%, which I believe would stem from the highly detailed opening half of the film.

It was truly a great opener with a wonderful amount of development, but I was there for the horror and got less of it than I was hoping for, hence, my boredom.

Some quotes from RT include

"It's a mostly effective thrill ride of lo-fi scares, and the script early on dispenses with the most obvious question: Why not just throw Annabelle away, or destroy her? That would only make things worse, the Warrens explain."


"Annabelle Comes Home" is so low stakes it's barely a movie - more like a very special "Brady Bunch" episode in hell.


"If the film falls flat as horror, it succeeds little better as a symbolic coming-of-age story: the lesson imparted is about the importance of playing it safe."


"It's hard to say whether Annabelle Comes Home represents a new low for films set in the Conjuring Universe but it's the most obviously commercial, quickly assembled with little concern..."


This review snippet from Devesh Sharma (and the one above by James Berardinelli) nails it for me...

"In a supposed horror film, the level of spookiness is rather low. Yes, there are jump cuts galore and a couple of scenes do shake you up. But all said and done, you don't actually jump out of your seat..."

[ rottentomatoes: annabelle_comes_home ]


All I'm going to say is thank god I only paid for matinee/early bird prices for Annabelle Comes Home.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Follow Cinema Static on: