Reviewed by: Jehangir Ali Shah
Having heard mixed reviews about the latest installment in the Conjuring universe, I decided to tag along and find out for myself. The movie offered the same style of screenwriting and story progression that we have been accustomed to for the previous Annabelle films, owing to the fact that the writer of Annabelle Comes Home is also the writer for Annabelle and Annabelle: Creation - Gary Dauberman. However, what is different is that this time Gary Dauberman marks his directorial debut as well, interweaving the same style and elements that are constant throughout all the movies of the conjuring franchise.
While I feel like there were better movies in the universe that did a better job at being, well, horror movies, I don’t feel like this movie is completely unwatchable, although may be forgettable. The cast includes: McKenna Grace as the bullied-in-school daughter of the Warrens, with Madison Iseman playing the role of her nanny Mary Ellen and Katie Sarife playing Mary Ellen’s best friend, Daniela (read: the one who’s responsible for all the trouble). The Warren couple, however, just pops up at the beginning of the movie to set up the premise and depart for work leaving their daughter in the hands of the nanny and appear at the end to give the movie a somewhat meaningful conclusion. The plot of the film was weak, too; I feel the whole madness could have been avoided if Daniela had decided to ask Ed and Lorraine personally to get in touch with her father, for whose death she holds herself to be responsible. Moreover, after the whole movie was over, I could not pinpoint as to why Daniela felt the inclination to release Annabelle. Why she decided to open a cupboard where a doll which cannot be called the prettiest looking was kept, with a door that literally spelt out “POSITIVELY DO NOT OPEN”. Maybe connecting with her father wasn’t her only goal or maybe her curiosity got the best of her in that moment, who knows?
I feel like the acting was spot-on from all three of the leading ladies of this film. Moreover, what I thought to be the cherry on the cake was the addition of Michael Cimino as Bob Palmeri, who served to provide humour in the way he tries to avoid impending doom and ultimately confess his love to Mary Ellen.
The film is not exactly groundbreaking in any sense of the word, but does enough to offer you an enjoyable evening. Ghosts, hellhounds, evil ghost brides, undead corpses all with Annabelle at the center of it provide a good number of jump scares and suspenseful momeSnts that will be sure to bring you to the edge of your seat.
Do I think this movie is worth a watch? If you enjoy all the aforementioned things or are just a devoted lover of horror movies and in particular, The Conjuring franchise, then by all means do watch Annabelle Comes Home. I think there is a different kind of fun in watching a movie just to watch a movie. And that’s exactly what Annabelle Comes Home did for me.