1986 or 1987
The best song here is the main one; Christmas All Over The World; a hymn good enough to be a holiday standard. That’s thanks mostly to the chorus, which is both cute and enchanting. The next best is Happy Holidays To You; the only song without the word Christmas in the title. The others, one of which has New Edition covering The Jackson Five, are nothing to write home about.
my rating : 3 of 5
This starts like a corny rap song from the mid-1980s, but give it a minute. Once the bass, chords and that glorious organ riff drop, you know you’re in for something special. It’s a gospel song and a (God)damn good one not so much because of but despite Lively’s lyrics.
The music carries the song; the production is splendid minus the tacky intro; with the minister’s raps more-or-less serving as filler until she finally starts singing near the end. “Clap Your Hands, leap for joy” the chorus goes, “Uh-huh.” That last bit is her catchphrase.
my rating : 4 of 5
The prelude, which introduces “paranormal investigators” Ed and Lorraine Warren via their Annabelle Case, is silly, but the following story begins decently enough. It has a family; a husband and wife along with their five daughters; moving into a house in Harrisville, Rhode Island. The year is 1971 and, despite a janky furnace, the retro vibes are warm and inviting.
It’s when the spooks begin; the house is, of course, haunted; that things start to get silly again. Perhaps The Conjuring, with a less ominous title, would’ve been better as a light Brady-Bunch-like coming-of-age story. As is, the movie, which is supposedly based on a true story, with all its lazy horror genre clichés, gets more and more ridiculous the longer it goes.
my rating : 2 of 5