There’s an extraordinary amount of creaking in demonic doll threequel Annabelle Comes Home, a schlocky horror set in a world where every door and cupboard hinge could do with a healthy smattering of oil. But perhaps the loudest creaking comes from the film’s overarching Conjuring universe, a loosely fact-based $1.5bn franchise that’s finding it harder to justify each expanding new chapter.
4 out of 5 stars.
Instalment - Universe - Spring - Curse - La
This is the sixth instalment in said universe (seven if we’re counting this spring’s The Curse of La Llorona which boasts a cameo from an Annabelle character) and while the original Conjuring might still possess an undeniable air of menace, as well as a relatively substantial true story at its core, everything since has felt comparatively superfluous. The original Annabelle, based on a character who initially cropped up in the first Conjuring movie, was a critically loathed spin-off but one that proved to be hugely lucrative nonetheless, leading to the slightly more enjoyable, yet still to my mind incredibly hollow, prequel Annabelle: Creation. Audiences swarmed yet again and now in Annabelle Comes Home, we’re returning to the house of the Warrens, the real-life paranormal investigators who inspired the entire universe of interconnected movies.
But while Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, as Lorraine and Ed Warren, do make an appearance, it’s only in brief bookended cameos and instead the plot focuses on their daughter Judy (child star Mckenna Grace, impressive, recently seen as a young Captain Marvel). Bullied at school because of her parents’ affinity for the supernatural, she’s also struggling with her growing awareness of a similar ability to see into another world. While her parents are away for the night, she’s left with babysitter Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman) and her friend Daniela (Katie Sarife), who find themselves curious to know more about the nature of...
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