In Brief: Annabelle may have come home but her movie makes me wish I’d stayed home.
I am not a fan of the Conjuring movies. They’re the horror movies produced — and often written and directed — by James Wan. The series is loosely based on the real-life exploits of Ed and Lorraine Warren. The couple continually do battle against evil from the “other side.”
By the way, the key word in the last paragraph is “loosely.”
In the movies Ed and Lorraine use all kinds of psychic paraphernalia to eventually rescue families, individuals and the rest of us from fates worse than death by those that are dead.
Not as dead as these movies but close.
Or to put it another way, if you’ve seen one, you’ve pretty much seen them all. What changes are the locations, victims and source of evil but not much else. Annabelle Comes Home — is based on the two previous Annabelle movies. In this one the Warrens have imprisoned the demonic doll in a glass cage in their home’s haunted stuff room.
While Ed and Lorraine are on a trip, the babysitter’s best friend — against dire warnings from the babysitter — gets into the locked room, opens the glass door and lets the doll loose. Annabelle then activates the assorted bad things also locked in the room. It leads to a terrifying night for the daughter, the babysitter, the friend and the babysitter’s boyfriend.
To them it’s terrifying. For the rest of us it is snooze-inducing.
When the doll’s creator, and writer of the two previous movies, and the writer and director of this one, Gary Dauberman tries to frighten you with things that pop up on screen, or with a loud sound effect or musical note, it doesn’t come close to working. As Annabelle, other horror story characters and artifacts skitter around and torment the three main characters you never worry about the kid, the babysitter, the friend or the boyfriend.
Well, maybe the best friend but no one else.
This is formula movie-making. Period. I’m still mind-blown that people actually pay to see these films. Fortunately, most of you won’t see it because this is a classic example of why I see movies so you don’t have to.
Director: Gary Dauberman
Stars: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife, Michael Cimino
A classic example of why I see movies so you don’t have to. Give this one a non-frightening 1/2 on the Friday Flicks 0 to 5 scale.
Click here for theaters and show times.
Gary Wolcott has been reviewing movies on radio, television and newspaper since 1990. He believes — and this is an estimate only — that he’s seen something close to 10,000 movies in his lifetime. Gary is a lifelong fan of films and catches a couple of hundred movies a year. He believes movies ought to be seen on the big screen and not on the small screen in your living room or family room. While he loves movies, he also says reviewing film can be a real sacrifice and that he sees many movies so you don’t have to.
He is one of KXL 101.1 FM’s film critics and joined the news staff in 2014. Gary is also the film critic for Tri-Cities, Washington’s Tri-City Herald.