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Annabelle Comes Home

Third time is usually the charm with sequels, although in ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ it isn’t. Another in the strangely popular ‘Annabelle’ series and part of the ‘Conjuring universe’ of films, this entry adds up to very little. Made on a miniscule budget while pursuing maximum box office dollars, its’ cheapness is evident. Akin to a tired mechanical carnival ride that’s seen better days, ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ creaks along with mundane predictability until its foregone conclusion.

When respected Demonologists Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) Warren go away on a case, they hire babysitter Mary (Madison Iseman) to look after their young daughter Judy (McKenna Grace). Before Mary invites her friend Daniela (Katie Sarife) over, the Warrens warn her to never enter their artefacts room containing a plethora of supernatural items such as possessed doll Annabelle’. A potential night of peace is swiftly shattered when Annabelle escapes, unleashing the evil spirits the room holds. Mary, Judy and Daniela face a night of unholy terror as demons wreak havoc from the grave.

‘Annabelle Comes Home’ is pure lazy film-making. Having a bunch of ghosts that could potentially spin-off into their own films, this entry plays like an extended commercial. There’s little sense of ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ being its own entity, just a highlights package of what may come. What’s left is an endless series of jump-scares, loud music and bad acting. When the performances are scarier than the spectral spirits, you know something is amiss.

Directed by Gary Dauberman, ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ frequently ups the boredom factor. Barely any genuine tension is generated as one contrived situation is placed upon the other. Dauberman fails to reveal any directorial skills, clumsily handling the already threadbare and predictable material like an amateur. The CGI isn’t anything seen before with the ‘Conjuring Universe’ apparently filled with ghosts with similar looks and doing the same things.

When a film’s conclusion comes a merciful relief more than the trauma its characters face, you know it’s in trouble. ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ arthritically draws on the horror well with barely any enthusiasm. Imagining another entry in the ‘Annabelle’ franchise conures its own brand of horror with this third outing evident that Annabelle’s wicked dolly ways are finally on the wane.

Rating out of 10: 1

CURRENTLY STREAMING ON AMAZON PRIME.

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