Last week we had the creepy ventriloquist dolls from “Toy Story 4” as well as the remake of “Child's Play” featuring the return of Chucky. What's with all these evil dolls on the big screen? Anyway, we have this latest addition to the Conjuring Universe and it proves to be largely dull and fright-free which serves as a double-edged sword. It should've contained more frightening moments which could've easily given it a boost. On the other hand, it's not nearly as insufferable as “The Nun.”
Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson reprise their roles from the Conjuring movies, but they're absent for most of the movie due to the fact that they have to investigate another case. They choose to leave their daughter Judy (McKenna Grace) at home with her babysitter (Madison Iseman) and her friend (Katie Sarife).
The only rule they have while gone is not to go exploring their basement containing all of their supernatural artifacts. How long do you think that will last?
Eventually the girls do find their way inside the basement where they discover the creepy doll Annabelle and it isn't long before she displays her wicked magic on the girls.
The girls never leave the house and instead we're subjected to a series of clichés such as false jump scares, inviting the babysitter's boyfriend over when the parents have strictly forbidden it, and even one of the girls is haunted by demons from her past.
The three young girls the movie centers around do give nice performances, but the material leaves them stranded in a lot of scenes that are mostly quiet until we hear the proverbial noise that either leads to a scare or it doesn't.
“Annabelle Comes Home” checks off the list of typical clichés and once we know it's going to be more routine, the less effective the suspense becomes.
Fans of the Conjuring movies may find it enjoyable, but other horror fans may find it to be a missed opportunity. Annabelle should stay locked up until there's a more sufficient script to tap into her sinister ways.
(Rated R for horror violence and terror.)