I’m loving the horror resurgence at the moment. This has to be one of the biggest years for horror films, with an abundance of flicks getting cinema releases, usually a big no-no when it comes to the terrifying genre. A big thanks can be given to James Wan and his Conjuring universe for this reconnaissance, and if ever there was a symbol of the series, it’s that creepy-ass doll Annabelle.
In this, the third Annabelle film, things take place immediately after paranormal investigators, Ed and Loraine Warren have commandeered Annabelle, a porcelain doll that has a demonic presence attached to it, and have locked it up in their blessed artefact room. But when the couple leaves their 10-year-old daughter with babysitter, Mary Ellen, her friend accidentally releases all the evil inside said artefact room.
First of all this sounds like a pretty cool premise. By opening up the Warren’s artefact room, where they have dozens of cases locked up there, we have the potential of weaving a bunch of different spooky tales together. Unfortunately what we get is a bit of a mish-mash, rather than an intricate narrative. It reminded me a lot of those Goosebumps movies that came out over the last few years, more of a greatest hits than anything with weight.
Now I always have had a bit of a thing against The Conjuring spin off films, The Nun, Curse of the Weeping Woman and the Annabelle films have all been pretty underwhelming when compared to the pure Conjuring films. It seems unless James Wan is directing, or Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are involved playing the Warrens, the film is a dud. But not even Farmiga or Wilson could save this one. Saying that, they are only in the film for about a quarter of its running time, and the performances from young Mckenna Grace as Judy Warren and her babysitter Madison Iseman are strong. I actually really like the characters, there is an especially sweet connection between Iseman and her love interest, Bob (Michael Cimino). But the problem is: it’s just not scary.
Now I may be desensitised, I watch a lot of horror, but I feel like unless Wan is behind the camera these Conjuring offshoots always resort to fairly cheap, by-the-number scares. And Annabelle Comes Home is no exception. Even the jump scares didn’t have me jumpin’. I’m not even sure why this is an Annabelle sequel. The creepy doll is barely in it.
In the end this is just another ordinary Conjuring offshoot. Will James Wan quit dicking around on the bottom of the ocean with Aquaman movies and just make Conjuring 3 already? Ok. Cool.
The most average of average scores. FLAWED WATCH.