Annabelle Comes Home is a horror movie for the faint of heart; meaning that if you have a heart condition, then you’re safe with this latest offering from The Conjuring universe. My credit card statement is scarier than anything on display in this movie.
But far be it for me to shit all over the film. I thoroughly enjoyed the two actual Conjuring films, as well as Annabelle: Creation, and was genuinely looking forward to this one; however, Annabelle Comes Home will make you wish you had stayed at home. (Oh my, I just did it again.)
Here are some of my criticisms—er, I mean observations following the screening:
- Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga (the Warrens) are nowhere to be found for most of the film. They appear long enough to bring Annabelle home, then 4 years (read: minutes) later the dynamic demonologists take off overnight in order to investigate another case, only to return at the end of the movie, post-climax. It feels like the closing credits have more screen time than these two wonderful actors.
- Annabelle looks bored. Admittedly not a very multi-expressive doll to begin with, but even she seems to be finding little pleasure in the film’s plodding storyline. A telling scene is when Annabelle is sitting on the chair in her glass case, it having just been left unlocked by a curious, grief-stricken, careless and thoughtless teenager. The doll falls/leans forward, pushing the door open with her head so that she may escape her sacred prison and in doing so resume her unleashing of spiritual terror. Alas, this important turning point in the movie reminded me of someone knocking their head against a wall out of frustration. Other than me, that is.
- This is a horror movie, right? The movie spends so much time attempting to introduce and establish the characters of the Warrens’ daughter (the talented McKenna Grace of Netflix’s terrific The Haunting of Hill House), her babysitter, and the babysitter’s plot-required best friend (the aforementioned “curious, grief-stricken, careless and thoughtless” teen), that it seems to forget it’s a HORROR movie. There are many scenes intended to build suspense, but it takes so damn long to get to the actual scare that the only thing I felt building was a series of yawns. And the eventual pay-off for each scene is about as satisfying as being constipated.
- Go to the light…switch. I don’t know how many times (answer: many) I wondered why a character wasn’t turning on a light in the house when there wasn’t any indication of the Warrens having not paid their electrical bill. And the ones that were on gave off as much light as a firefly. The poor lighting may be there to help establish a horror-worthy atmosphere, but what it also does is make the characters appear to be equally bright.
- “Bob’s got balls.” Watch the film, if only to discover how the babysitter’s crush, Bob (an almost afterthought of a character) earned his nickname…both times, and for different reasons. Amusing? Entertaining? Neither. Beyond stupid? Absolutely.
Have you seen Annabelle Comes Home yet? If so, how would you not review it?