‘I let her out…’
The Conjuring universe is a curious beast. Despite being arguably the highest grossing horror franchise ever (only Godzilla – a film that I would claim is closer to sci-fi, has grossed more), The Conjuring and its related feature films have yet to throw up a movie that is actually any good. Annabelle: Creation was probably the best of them, which inevitably raised expectations around Annabelle Comes Home, the third spin off film to feature the ubiquitous, inanimate doll Annabelle. The result is disappointing if not disastrous.
When babysitting for famous ghost hoarders Ed and Lorraine Warren, a pair of teenagers accidentally unleash a Pandora’s box of evil.
This premise is actually very solid. The idea that all the bad shizz stored in the Warren’s secret room is awakened at the same time, thus sparking a greatest hits of everything The Conjuring, could have been something genuinely frightening and powerful. And, occasionally, Annabelle Comes Home is that. Too often though, Gary Dauberman’s film feels like a tired retread of things we have seen before rather than a shot in the arm for an ailing franchise. As with pretty much every film in the series, Annabelle Comes Home isn’t terrible, but it is also so far from groundbreaking to make it almost insulting, particularly in this brave new world for horror movies in which we currently find ourselves.
As with the Marvel universe, there is a sneaking suspicion that perhaps these films aren’t for me, but equally, they don’t inspire anywhere near the same level of critical respect as the Disney behemoth and yet they are stunningly popular. Is this more evidence to the widely held belief that people are stupid (soon to be confirmed yet again but another crushingly depressing general election) or, is this just confirmation that I am an elitist ass? As always, dear reader, the answer probably lies somewhere in the middle.
In short, if you love these movies then watch this one. If you don’t (well done), toss Annabelle to the side and don’t give her a second thought, even if her eyes do appear to be following you around the room…