Annabelle Comes Homes continues to wear out a familiar formula that no longer surprises or frightens.
The seventh episode of the cinematographic universe The Conjuring, Annabelle Comes Home continues to use up to the rope a familiar formula that no longer surprises and hardly frightens.
If you stretch the sauce, it’s no longer tasty.This is what happens to the evil doll Annabelle who no longer knows which demon to turn to to provide a good scare. It may call a horde of evil spirits, enveloping fog, threatening mirrors, suspicious games, incredible kaleidoscopic lamps, but nothing can change that. Almost everything has already been shown previously, in much better.
After an intriguing introduction featuring the main characters of this series (Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson), the story takes its time to get started, mixing up the teenagers’ confusion (as in the painful first Annabelle) and the fears associated with childhood (like the breath-taking second Annabelle: Creation). Nothing raises, except for a few valid themes – the indirect influence of parents, school bullying, feelings of guilt related to bereavement – which are discussed far too summarily. The young actresses may be doing the job correctly, the beings they defend are not very interesting.
Then after a completely stupid decision of a friend of the heroine, the doll is released from her glass cage, bringing with her some very bad company. All of a sudden, there is more action to be taken – much more than in the desolate The Curse of La Llorona, which took the spotlight earlier this year – that is sweeping through this dangerous home. One at a time, the different characters are attacked by evil entities, creating repetitive crescendos of tension that are unfortunately aborted by an inconsistent montage.
All constructed in the same way, these worrying moments often leave indifferent, ultimately providing very little cold sweat.Mechanical bursts occur instead of sound effects, which are used in the carpet. As for the care given to the atmosphere and the atmosphere, he disappoints somewhat, proving to be well below the popular The Nun.
One wonders if this series should not have been limited to the two films The Conjuring, the most effective and successful of the lot.The other derivatives do not really do much, except to reinforce what has already been said and shown. The only exception is the disturbing Annabelle: Creation, which was directed by a talented filmmaker (David F. Sandberg, to whom we also owe Lights Out and Shazam!). He possesses a real aesthetic and graphic vision, which is lacking to the other hired tasks (all except James Wan, of course).
For his first stay behind the camera, Gary Dauberman struggles to find his bearings, offering no production that stands out. It is even worse on the scriptwriting side. His many scenarios concocted for this universe are pitiful, and Annabelle Comes Homes is no exception. And unlike his writings on It, he can’t hide behind Stephen King’s words this time.
The time has come to mix up the cards in order to breathe a little life into this licence, which is becoming increasingly decrepit. By always offering a similar treatment, interchangeable characters and identical stories (even the composer is the same from film to film!), the whole inevitably ends up being similar and, ultimately, boring. No doubt that The Conjuring 3 that will be released next year will bring back the original chills, except that we must seriously question the relevance of the other episodes. If we ever see Annabelle again, we’ll have to put her in the hands of a real filmmaker… or have her face Chucky. This is at least one feature film that will not take itself seriously.