Fright at the Museum!
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 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 Warrens’ basement – a museum of haunted and cursed items that they’ve collected over the years. Annabelle lies within a glass case that warns nobody should open it under 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 Warrens go out of town, leaving their daughter Judy (McKenna Grace) under the care of a teenage neighbour named 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 more.
ESP rating 2.5/5
Running Time: 1hr 45mins
Directed By: Gary Dauberman
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Madison Iseman, Mckenna Grace, Katie Sarife & Michael Cimino.
See Annabelle Comes Home and much more at Showcase Cinema, Peterborough. Visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for the latest up-to-date show times. You can also join the chat on Twitter @showcasecinemas or on Facebook by searching for ‘Showcase Cinemas UK’.