Annabelle Comes Home (Subtitled) (15)



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Horror (2019)
106mins US

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman
Director: Gary Dauberman
Writer(s): Gary Dauberman
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

In 1968, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren take possession of a doll from two nurses, who claim that the plaything orchestrated violence in their home. Annabelle exerts her malevolent influence on the Warrens. They consign the doll to a glass case, which has been blessed by a local priest. A few years later, Ed and Lorraine are called away on important business and they leave their young daughter Judy in the care of babysitter Mary Ellen. Annabelle prepares to strike...

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LondonNet Film Review
Annabelle Comes Home (15)

The Conjuring horror franchise expands at a furious pace with a seventh instalment in as many years, embellishing the mythology of a creepy doll, which is a conduit for tormented souls. The first Annabelle standalone feature, released in 2014, was a disappointing slice of supernatural horror hokum, which plundered Rosemary's Baby and The Omen for scares. A 2017 prequel, Annabelle: Creation, was a marked improvement, tracing the plaything's hellish origins back to a freak car accident in 1943. This new chapter slingshots forward in time to the late 1960s, dovetailing neatly with the prelude to the original Conjuring, which introduced audiences to a wooden moppet with a hand-painted rictus grin...

Annabelle Comes Home. Copyright: 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Caption: Mckenna Grace as Judy Warren in Annabelle Comes Home, directed by Gary Dauberman. Photo: Justin Lubin. All Rights Reserved.Writer-director Gary Dauberman's script is a potpourri of haunted house cliches, which lightly jangle nerves but are simply too familiar to have us jumping out of our seats in genuine fear. He forcibly separates three central characters and a token male love interest so they can be subjected to different manifestations of evil (spooky spectres, swirling fog, grasping hands, possessed inanimate objects) before a climactic demonstration of unified force to vanquish the darkness for good. Or at least until The Conjuring 3 casts a shadow over the 2020 summer box office season.

Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga) take possession of a creepy doll, which has exerted a malevolent grip on the home of two nurses. The Warrens witness the figurine's insidious threat during a night-time drive home. "It's a beacon for other spirits," intuits Lorraine, who places Annabelle inside a special glass case in the couple's room of artefacts, which is regularly blessed by local priest Father Gordon (Steve Coulter). One year later, Ed and Lorraine are called away on business and they leave their young daughter Judy (Mckenna Grace) in the care of babysitter Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman). The girls bake a cake to celebrate Judy's birthday. Mary Ellen's friend Daniela (Katie Sarife), who is desperate to channels spirits and contact her late father (Anthony Wemyss), gatecrashes the celebration and secretly attempts to gain access to the room where Annabelle is stored. "It's not really good for anyone to go in there," warns Judy. Alas, Daniela ignores these sage words and unknowingly leaves Annabelle's glass case ajar. The three girls and Mary Ellen's crush Bob (Michael Cimino) become targets for the doll's diabolical meddling.

Annabelle Comes Home is a curiously old-fashioned story of things that go bump in the night, tapping into universal fears of monsters that lurk in the shadows or under the bed. Thirteen-year-old Grace invests her bullied heroine with a winning combination of pluck and self-doubt, blossoming into a chip off the old psychic block as director Dauberman puts characters through the emotional wringer. They emerge battered and bruised. For us, it's a far less unsettling experience.

- Jo Planter

Annabelle Comes Home. Copyright: 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Caption: Mckenna Grace as Judy Warren in Annabelle Comes Home, directed by Gary Dauberman. Photo: Justin Lubin. All Rights Reserved.


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