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Film Review: “Annabelle Comes Home” (2019) ★★


I personally do not mind watching horror films even though, at times, they can be so terrifying that I find it difficult to keep my eyes open throughout. That, of course, has not happened since I watched “The Omen” (1976), “The Shining” (1980), “The Exorcist” (1973), “Misery” (1980), and “The Others” (2001),  while everything else was manageable enough since overloaded noise replaced horror which the cinematic world delivered. With “Annabelle Comes Home”, I hoped to relive that juicy moment, no matter how weird it may sound, but instead I met a strangely written screenplay that barely knew how to connect the dots.

Lorraine Warren and Ed Warren (Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson) leave their daughter, Judy (McKenna Grace), with a babysitter, Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman), who, in the mean time, lets her sister Daniela (Katie Sarife) in the house as well. Wandering around and curious about the nature of Judy’s parents’ job, she unlocks the door the sign inside of which clearly stated: “Dangerous. Do Not Touch.” Ignoring all the precautions, the young woman begins touching everything she can and releases all the dangerous spirits. However, when she sees Annabelle, she gets fascinated by it and opens the locker, letting the evil out with no idea how to stop it from rapidly spreading horror.

My main problem with “Annabelle Comes Home” is the approach being taken by the writer and director Gary Dauberman to trigger the horror unleashed by the titular character. For instance, in America where privacy is a major concern, you don’t enter a house just because you’re invited, open doors that are locked, and ignore the signs that ask precisely to stay away from it. It was nothing more than just curiosity which led Daniela to release all the ghosts but the reasoning provided as an explanation towards the end does not add up that’s aimed to redeem her actions in the end.

Performance-wise, there were no issues. Whether it was the short appearance of Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, or the extremely talented Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, or Katie Sarife – all of them did a fine job to deliver what the script could not. Again, if you’re an Annabelle fan, then most likely you may not pay attention much to the gaps in the storyline, even though it may appear annoying. Other than that, everything else was in place, including well executed scenes, that indeed were scary enough, even for me, to close my eyes for a few seconds.

In the end, there’s not much you can expect from Gary Dauberman’s film. Nonethless, there’s a lesson we all should learn – do not touch things that do not belong to you. Once you enter a house that does not belong to you, do not look around and avoid getting in a room that is locked for everyone. And that’s the main moral of “Annabelle” – the story you see in the film could have been avoided. Sadly, it just could not offer anything more intelligent than an invasion into the privacy of another family that in the end results in a film that was better off not being made at all. But since it’s already done, I sincerely hope you will enjoy more than I did and won’t be picky as I was even though it’s something I truly despise doing it in the first place.

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