Annabelle Comes Home
annabelle comes home | annabelle | the conjuring | gary dauberman | vera farmiga | patrick wilson | mckenna grace | sequel | demon | ghost | ghosts | haunted | haunted house | mystery | thriller | united states | madison iseman | katie sarife | michael cimino | samara lee
Film: Annabelle Comes Home
Director: Gary Dauberman
Writer: Gary Dauberman
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson and Mckenna Grace
This film I was actually intrigued to check out. After the first Annabelle film, I was down on this line of spin-offs, but the prequel Annabelle: Creation was one that I really enjoyed. I think that The Conjuring universe is quite interesting as well and for the most part, they’ve been putting out solid films and until they start to really go downhill, I’m down to continue checking them out. To get into this one, the synopsis is while babysitting the daughter of Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga), a teenager and her friend unknowingly awakens an evil spirit trapped in a doll.
We start this off at the end of Annabelle where Ed and Lorraine Warren are taking the doll home with them. On their way, they have to take a detour due to a car accident. From where they are talking to a cop, Lorraine can see a woman just staring at it and she knows this person passed away. They’re making their way on the detour when their car turns off and while Ed is fixing it, Lorraine sees spirits around them in a cemetery. They do finally make it home and with the help of a priest, lock the doll away and trapping its evil.
It then shifts to a year later. Judy (Mckenna Grace) is getting bullied at school due to the truth of her parents coming out. Her classmates don’t really understand and they’re not the nicest about it. Her parents are going away for the night and she will be babysat by Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman). She takes her to school and we see that Judy is down. She is also seeing the image of a priest that is staring at her. This kind of scares her.
Mary Ellen goes to get some supplies for that night and her friend Daniela Rios (Katie Sarife) asks her about what she is doing that night. Daniela is quite insistent on coming over. We also get to meet a boy that Mary Ellen has a crush on, Bob Palmeri (Michael Cimino) who has similar feelings.
After school, Mary Ellen and Judy are preparing a cake when Daniela shows up. She convinces them to go try out her gift to Judy. She then starts to snoop around the house and goes to the room full of artifacts. She is trying to contact her father and in the process releases Annabelle from her case. Things take quite a turn from there, with the amount of artifacts around the room and the spirits associated with them.
Now I have to say, I did find this film to be enjoyable, much like the prequel film in this series. Interestingly enough, Farmiga and Wilson are billed as the stars, but they’re not really in it all that much. I actually don’t mind that, because I thought the three female leads were all really solid. They really can carry the film and I think they’re all distinct enough that it works as well as they’re dealing with the effects of this haunting.
Something that really struck me with this film is that I’m not sure if they can really keep making other films in this line. This one was really almost a ‘Hail Mary’ in that they use a ton of ghosts and artifacts. I did really enjoy that, as it kept it from being boring. The problem though is that I think they kind of exhausted what could have been used for other films. Just something that really struck me here.
Not all of the ghosts here worked for me. There is a wolf one that I could have done without. This film, much like most in this universe, really focuses on the jump-scares. I will say that some of them were effective. I’m pretty sure that I did jump at a couple of them. The scariest part of the film for me though was a television set and what happens with Daniela. Aside from that, they explore The Ferryman entity here and I really could see a film that is just telling the story there.
I think this is a good place to shift to the pacing of the film, which I think was good. I was a bit leery seeing that this film ran about 105 minutes long. To be honest though, it didn’t feel like it. We get enough creepy things early on that it builds the tension. I could definitely feel my anxiety going up, which is something that I definitely think is effective if a film can do. This also has some heart to it. Judy is growing up with parents that do something that is quite odd. She is getting bullied, because of it. The ending has a bit of an emotional pull to it, which I definitely appreciated.
To the acting of the film, I thought it was good across the board. Grace was really good as the daughter here. I like that we get to see more of her being a psychic like her mother. It is a solid move to move away from Lorraine a bit, but still getting that aspect into the film. For someone as young as she is, she did a solid job. Iseman was great as well. She plays such a sweet character and I really liked her. She is also quite attractive. Sarife was another interesting character. I thought her back-story makes a lot of sense for the reason she is doing the things that she is. It was believable and fitting she had some of the scarier scenes to deal with. Farmiga and Wilson were solid in the part they had. I also want to shout out that Samara Lee is back in this film as Bee here as well. The rest of the cast definitely rounded out this film for what was needed.
As for the effects of the film, I do believe there were some practical effects, but for the most part they are CGI here. I actually didn’t mind it though overall. They did look good and there was never a moment where it took me out of it. There was a demon in here that was quite creepy for sure. I will also go back to The Ferryman ghost, that was pretty scary and I really liked that concept. The film is also shot very well and they use some interesting techniques.
The last thing to cover would be the soundtrack of the film. It didn’t overall stand out, but I do think they definitely make it feel like the era by playing songs that would be out then. To go even farther though, there are some scares that are built around the sound in the film. There are times that music is playing and it shouldn’t. We also can hear people talking faintly that definitely helped to build the tension.
Now with that said, I did really enjoy this film. I don’t think that it is the best in this series, but it is definitely enjoyable. I like the idea here of how the doll gets free and moving away from the parents to follow these three young women I thought was a good touch. Their acting was solid and does carry the film. Pacing for the film does help to build tension and there is also kind of an emotional weight that comes with this one as well. We are mostly getting CGI in this film, which I didn’t mind. It looked good enough and it never took me out. The soundtrack of the film doesn’t necessarily stand out, but it does fit the scenes and help with building tension. As I said, this is a good film I would say and if you like the series, give it a viewing for sure. It is an interesting ghost story.
My Rating: 8 out of 10