Watched Date: 10/27/19
Annabelle Comes Home is yet another reason why The Conjuring franchise has been getting mixed results that are never fulfilling after you’re done watching. Because outside 2013’s The Conjuring and its sequel, everything else has been labeled as underwhelming (Annabelle Creation) to reasons why the genre is lame to many (Annabelle, The Nun). Let me remind you 2014’s Annabelle is the worst horror movie of the decade. And it wasn’t until last December when I skipped The Curse of La Llorona after hearing how bad it was. But this is the third movie to feature the creepy doll that has no idea what it wants to be.
What’s the Story: Determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) lock the possessed doll in the artifacts room in their house. But when the doll awakens the room’s evil spirits, it soon becomes an unholy night of terror for the couple’s 10-year-old daughter Judy (McKenna Grace), her babysitter Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman) and her best friend Daniela (Katie Sarife).
Even though the trailers left little to be impressed about and its predecessors weren’t anything to be high about, especially the sequel, I watched the seventh entry and third installment with an open mind to see if this was going to be the one that was going to finally get some genuine scares. Unfortunately, Annabelle Comes Home has got to be one of the worst horror movies to be released last year. Gary Dauberman has worked in this universe in the past, as he wrote the previous Annabelle movies and The Nun, and he makes his directorial debut with this. That was already a warning sign when he’s responsible for how poorly written those movies were to the franchise and written this as well. If this was given to anyone else, maybe this sequel would’ve been a lot better.
Let’s talk about the positives first before getting into what I hate about the movie. The performances weren’t the worst part, surprisingly. McKenna Grace has been one of one favorite young actresses out there for a while from the work she’s been in, and what I liked about her character is that she’s the only one with brains, and I also liked how she also sees dead people like her mother. As for the rest of the performances, Madison Iseman and Katie Sarife did a fine job, not anything that blew me away when all they needed to do is be frightened. It was also nice to see Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga back as Ed and Lorraine Warren, respectively, outside of what they’ve usually been in, but they should’ve been in it a lot more with their limited screen time. And the last good thing to be said is that having it take place in one location, the Warrens’ house, has the same appeal as it was at a haunted house of some kind.
But outside the performances and the overall look inside the house, everything else in Annabelle Comes Home is bad. When watching any horror movie, it can fail by doing this one job: Not being scary. Yet again, this is another movie from the genre that doesn’t come close to being creepy, testing the patience of those who wanted to be scared. Only composed of stupid jump scares, Dauberman incorporates them into the story that isn’t effective every single time. Creative as the scares might appear to be, its execution didn’t work for me because they shouldn’t be that predictable. Here is another film in the series that follows an absence of tension. This is getting to the point of tiresome whenever there’s a scene where the camera pans over for a moment, comes back to the starting point to where the character was positioned, and something appears.
It’s one thing for a horror movie to not be scary, but it’s a crime when it’s also boring. The style Dauberman tried to do in his directing didn’t stand out in the slightest since it looked like everything else we’ve seen before, and that’s mainly because the story doesn’t have anything new to say as it just becomes a movie of characters walking about in the house being scared. And it’s easy to see why characters make dumb decisions in these movies, I wouldn’t be stupid enough to walk into a room with a “Warning. Do Not Open” sign, filled with haunted stuff and go about touching them. I get there’s a backstory for the character of Daniela who wants to reconnect with her dead father, but doesn’t she know she’ll cause trouble for everybody in the house? There were a couple of new scary characters that might have a spin-off in the future but really shouldn’t for our sake. Even for a tame Rated R movie, there wasn’t anything in here that warranted that rating.
Those who are fans of The Conjuring franchise probably won’t have any qualms with this entry. But even though it has a fairly decent score on Rotten Tomatoes from critics and audiences, Annabelle Comes Home sucked. Not once did this scare me, and it did the unspeakable thing of being boring. This was just an unneeded third movie that drags the series down even more in terms of not giving us anything new. As this franchise moves forward, I’m just hoping some improves some with any more of these. In seeing how this and the Child’s Play remake came out a week apart, I much rather watch the latter again than this.
How I would Rank The Conjuring Franchise (so far):