Love, love, love this latest outing from James Wan and The Conjuring Universe. This is how horror movies should be done! These guys can do no wrong in my book.
The movie goes back to when Annabelle first came into the Warren’s possession (no pun intended). If you know the story of the doll, then you know it was ‘rescued’ by Ed and Lorraine after it had terrorised the nurse who’d received it as a gift. The movie begins here and the opening sequence charts the Warren’s trip home.
En route they are re-routed due to a road traffic accident and their car breaks down outside a cemetery. As Ed goes to check the engine, Lorraine opens up the map, blocking the window and her view of the cemetery. This is where this franchise of films comes into its own, because we, the audience, are fully expecting something to appear outside that window, and so are on the edges of our seats – breath held, stomach in knots – but it doesn’t. Instead, a voice comes from behind her saying ‘I like your doll’, making the audience jump.
Once home, the Warrens call a local priest to bless the doll before locking it securely in a glass case with the words ‘WARNING! Positively do not open.’ Well, we all know what happens when we’re not allowed to do something!
The next day the Warrens go away on a case, leaving their daughter, Judy, in the care of her babysitter, Mary Ellen. We soon learn that Judy is picked on at school because of her parents’ occupation, but also that she is developing her mother’s skills as a psychic. Mary Ellen is planning a cosy night with Judy when her friend Daniela invites herself over. Daniela has recently lost her father and, blaming herself, she wants to get into the Warren’s ‘Occult Museum’ to see if she can make contact with him.
As expected, Daniela gets into the room filled with all the haunted objects they’ve collected and, without realising it, she releases them. Disappointed at not seeing her father, she exits the room and pretends that nothing has happened until, that is, something does.
The pace of this movie is just right. Full of jumps and scares, twists and turns, it keeps you in a constant state of tenseness and breathlessness.
I cannot fault this film. As I said, for me, this is how horror movies should be. It’s not about what you are shown by the filmmakers, it’s about what you conjure up in your mind!
I cannot wait for The Conjuring 3 next year!!