The franchise has been through a lot of ups and downs, and this is up there, I am exhausted and thrilled and properly conjured by the Universe.
Dauberman has wisely left his signature business out of this house. As a result, the Conjuring Universe finds its not-only-stable but one brisky tale that comes with a caution of “brace yourself” after a long time. This franchise fascinates me. Let me put it that way simply. For somehow within its flaws and incompetency, this series contradicts itself perpetually. And there is something honestly raw and ambitious about it. Just like those so called spirits, a chapter every now and then pops up with a tremendous strength and manages to take all the attention for granted resulting into a mano-y-mano experience of western style filmmaking in the end.
And that is why, the high points of the series, the good chapters, are the one that can be related personally by the viewers. Not by the characters, for somehow every installment always ends up maniacally breaking the most closest relations of the characters. And this one stands tall in that matter. The formula is so simple and yet so effective. The pseudo reaction to the infamous Warren couple’s (Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson) work casts a muttering inexpressible and unnoticeable impact on their daughter- which is exaggerated smarty by introducing this chapter- Judy Warren played powerfully by McKenna Grace.
I don’t know how to express Grace, but let me try starting by the crux of the Universe that ignited all this fandom, Farmiga. And I am a part of it. Farmiga is my kryptonite. I accept it gracefully. Not because I hold Jason Reitman’s Up In The Air, dearly, but in fact it came from this very role of hers. My mother says her behaviour is bizarrely similar to my grandmother, whom I never met. And the way she sees those dead beings through and through like some transparent being- irony!- no one in the franchise has managed to embody that emotionally welcoming firmness.
Grace glances at those no-good doers with the same sharpness. She lacks the humility and pain in her looks but it fits in perfectly, since she is inexperienced and new to the field. This is why I would lean towards all the assumptions made in the franchise with enthusiasm and gullibility. The Universe that curses and creates and conjures, there is not a single scratch on the real life based characters that it whispers about. Their behaviour, language and characteristics speaks more about this demonic world than any of the cases ever could. Ergo, the franchise despite taking lethal blows, enters the 12th round every night.
Also, I wonder why the live screen time feels more personal and easily adaptable than your average narration. I mean, every now and then it does and has to strain. And it does here, too. But I don’t mind it. Not the build up nor the anticipation of the screams and gasps. I respect the teasing game especially when it doesn’t reveal its trump card. And after this franchise, I can understand that even ignorance is a part of the game. Anabelle Comes Home with the best gift wrapped around her tiny wooden cold hands, it is everything you dream of, every nightmare.