[31 Days Of Horror ’22] Mini Reviews: Annabelle Comes Home (2019) and X (2022)

Mini Review
Day 21: ‘Catch Up’
Annabelle Comes Home (2019)

Since the release of The Conjuring (2013), the film has had two sequels with another reportedly in development and numerous spin-off films. The first of the spin-offs was Annabelle (2014), based on the real life doll who may or may not be haunted. Annabelle Comes Home (2019) is the third in the series about the doll, following up from the prequel Annabelle: Creation (2017). It would seem there are different stories to be told when it comes to Annabelle as well as The Warrens (Ed and Lorraine), who briefly appear in this film.

The film takes place as Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) pick up Annabelle the doll, to take back with them to store her safely. Once home they put Annabelle away in a glass case, life goes on as usual. Until Ed and Lorraine go away leaving their daughter Judy (Mckenna Grace) to be looked after by babysitter Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman). A friend of Mary Ellen’s Daniela (Katie Sarife) decides to pop over to the Warrens during the babysitting and she stumbles across Annabelle, potentially unleashing her demon once again.

While Annabelle Comes Home doesn’t quite reach the heights of Annabelle: Creation, it does vastly improve upon the first film, with a clearer direction, pacing and build up. Ed and Lorraine are not the focus of the film, their daughter Judy, Mary Ellen and Daniela are with the trio being stuck in the house with Annabelle. The events may be slightly predictable, it does go through some usual tropes, the execution of it is well handled with some intense scenes. McKenna Grace is the star of the film, her performance is charming and compassionate. This is one of the better films in The Conjuring Movie Universe, focusing on characters as well as scares.

Rating:

Mini Review
Day 22: ‘From 2022’
X (2022)

One of this year’s most talked about horror films is surely X (2022) from Ti West, the film already has a prequel with Pearl (2022) with a sequel possibly on the way. It was the obvious choice for the prompt and being it is from Ti West, whose previous films The House Of The Devil (2009), The Innkeepers (2011) and The Sacrament (2013) were all ones I quite liked. X is a film that won’t be for everyone, but for those who it does connect with, it’s such a crazy ride!

A small film crew for an adult production head to a small house in a remote location in Texas to shoot the film. This is a horror film, you know the drill! The crew arrives with Maxine (Gia Goth), Bobby-Lynne (Brittany Snow), Lorraine (Jenna Ortega), Jackson (Kid Kudi), RJ (Owen Campbell) and Wayne (Martin Henderson) for a quick shoot. The people who they are renting the place from don’t like them much, they are elderly and clearly have their own problems. Like I said earlier, this is a horror film, the film crew are not in for a good time.

X is a film that moans, it is sleazy, dirty and extremely bloody! This film kind of explains why horror and porn somehow go hand in hand, it actually really works well. There is a lot to praise, the sound design is incredible, the performances are great with Mia Goth being a stand out and Martin Henderson playing it like he’s a weird Matthew McConaughey and it is excellent. The creep factor runs high, once we meet Pearl (also played by Mia Goth) all bets are off and the film goes into overdrive. This is something different for Ti West and it really works, it is one of the most unique horror films from the past couple of weeks and well worth your time.

Rating:

 

Reviews written by Marcella Papandrea

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