The Conjuring 1 and 2 are a couple of my favorite horror movies. They actually scared the crap out of me, gave me nightmares for days...real terrifying stuff. They worked for me on a number of levels, not the least of which being that the main characters were capable investigators of the occult, not hapless victims waiting to be attacked or killed by the monsters.
After those, the Conjuring Cinematic Universe went downhill a bit but they still made enough to continue pumping out films. I saw Annabelle Creation because I loved the period they set it in but sadly, it proved to be pretty disappointing. I've seen MASH episodes that were scarier. So how did this installment in the series come out?
Pretty much okay. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn't have seen it at all if they hadn't shown the Warrens in the trailer (not once but a couple times). Then they were in the movie for about 5 minutes total. They were magical but the rest of this film is a pretty by the numbers ghost story with characters written to make stupid mistakes so they can be scared.
What this amounts to is not really engaging me at all. I jumped twice (once they got me good) but for the rest of the film, I just didn't find it scary. Judy Warren, their daughter, was the absolute best part because she knew what was going on and didn't make the dumb mistakes of the other characters.
The Annabelle doll itself is scary looking but the real version is so much more terrifying considering it doesn't look like Satan crafted it on a boring Saturday night. The horror of that thing was the reputation. The way the doll is in the film series makes it so screwed up looking that no one in their right mind would be keeping it around if not because it looked creepy, then because it looks filthy in a way you could never clean.
A Conjuring 3 movie is set for 2020. I'm hoping they return to the roots and get out of this...pathetic character path they've found themselves in. While I didn't despise the people by the end of the movie, they did little to make me care about their plight. And in a horror movie, the only way you're going to get scared is if you care what happens.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 (extra half point because the actress who played Judy Warren was incredible).
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