Cinematic Releases: Non-Sex Doll: Annabelle Comes Home (2019) - Reviewed

Last week, Child's Play and Toy Story 4 hit theaters. Now, another toy is ready to discharge pure cinematic drivel on the masses! 

The Conjuring series rolls on with the third entry in its spin-off line of Annabelle movies. Transporting us from the 2017 backstory about a doll maker that releases the possessed creation upon the world back to the realm of the Warrens and their paranormal work, theater goers are going to be rather dismayed at the laziest and most predictable of the entire franchise. Can't we go back to the days when we got Freddy or Jason every year? It would be SO much better. 

The latest film sees the dreaded doll make her way to the Warren's room of evil in their dreary residential home. As another movie in the ever expanding library of flicks based on the successful original film by James Wan, this latest entry lacks the horrific heart of Annabelle: Creation and never capitalizes on the much needed talents of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. They're only side characters here, and it hurts the overall finished product in more ways than we could imagine. They're both ultimately useless, only used for some exposition and a way to work out the closing moments. While it's understood that this isn't a straight Conjuring movie focused on their characters, both Farmiga and Wilson are sorely missed when their young daughter could have used a much heavier emotional connection. 

Stay in your box, ugly doll!

Using a procedural set-up that leaves their daughter home alone with a babysitter and her morbidly curious best friend, Annabelle Comes Home flunks at creating atmosphere or anything new for the series. Where the previous movie had a sense of foggy nostalgia for earlier times in horror with its nearly perfect delivery, this one sidesteps creativity for baseline jump scares and pure neglect for its audience. When evil is unleashed on the Warren home, we're quickly reminded of how good the first couple movies actually were. Annabelle Comes Home quickly becomes a caricature of itself, cashing in on silly plot points, unlikable characters, and supernatural creatures that really don't belong anywhere near these movies. 

I've defended these flicks time and time again, even going as far as to give The Nun a fair review when all others bashed and disqualified it as pure garbage. Unfortunately enough, Annabelle Comes Home is a hampered effort that does nothing creative or fresh with a script that could have used a total rewrite to bring more Vera and Patrick to the forefront while idiotic teenagers become fast food for the demonic presences infiltrating their home. As an early summer, lower budget horror flick, ACH is a stale mix of repetition turned into sheer boredom. There is literally nothing to latch on to that we haven't seen a million times over. 

Horror is meant to scare us. It's meant to reflect the things that scare us to our core. It's a theme or genre that should transport us into darkness and cast doubt on our own mortality. Sadly though, it's become really easy to churn these out with no heart or real creativity behind them. Do yourself a favor and see a real horror movie. Honestly, this one did more to annoy me than entertain me. That in itself, is a feat. Skip this one, hard. 

-Chris George