<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>


Directed by Gary Dauberman. Starring Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife, McKenna Grace, Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga

Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes


Not a fan of The Conjuring or Annabelle, finding stories about haunted houses and creepy little girls or evil dolls too formulae and done-to-death (pun intended), I was eerily surprised by Annabelle Comes Home.

Continuing with the trend of prequels, this story offshoot (part of The Conjuring franchise) takes us to the beginning when demonologist duo Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) find the demon doll Annabelle but can’t destroy it for fear that things will get worse. So, they lock the doll up behind a glass cabinet in their basement of demon objects and have her blessed by a priest. There’s a sign on it that says ‘Positively Do Not Open’, which you just know is begging to be opened by some dim-witted teenager.


The teenager – Daniela (Katie Sarife) – turns out to be smart though as she visits her friend Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman), who’s babysitting Judy (McKenna Grace) while her parents Ed and Lorraine are out of town. There’s a reason Daniela goes snooping around the basement as she knows about Judy’s parents and their obsession with the occult.

While there are quite a few usual scares, they’ve been done very nicely. Sometimes a pause or silence does the trick more than a loud ‘fright noise’. All three of the girls are strong actors and bring a confidence and intelligence to what could otherwise just be them trying to evade or fight off the bad guys.


It’s the little things that scare you, the things that can’t be seen, and that’s why Annabelle Comes Home is so creepy. There are lovely little visual tricks like Daniela seeing what she’ll do a few minutes later in an old-fashioned TV sort of like a reflection, only the TV shows her chills to come!

Of course, you’re going to wonder why Judy’s parents have left their daughter in the house while they’re away, but this goes to the normalisation of their ‘job’ where even the daughter is aware of the gravity of the spirits that surround the family.


Annabelle Comes Home is a great fright film that’s set in the 70s and has a feel of those old classic creepies that didn’t rely on special effects.


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