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I am a horror movie junkie. I can’t get enough and I will watch just about anything if the premise sounds creepy enough. So far the most effective horror movie I’ve ever seen remains The Descent (2005). In terms of originality, acting, twists-and-turns, and very (very) effective scares, that movie is aces. If you’ve never seen it, don’t watch any trailers, don’t read any spoilers. Just find it, turn off the lights, turn off your phone, look sharp, and enjoy. It’s a masterpiece.

Annabelle Comes Home, on the other hand, feels like someone sleepwalking through a horror movie.

Here's a sample of my review; the full-version will be on CultOfWhateverin a day or so…

annabelle-comes-home-clip.jpg

EVERY CONJURING MOVIE NEEDS TOOTHLESS VILLAINS

If you’ve watched these movies you already know that almost no one ever dies. I’m racking my brain trying to figure out why Annabelle Comes Home was even rated-R. There’s no excessive gore, language, or anything so terrible to warrant the rating. At one point, someone gets stabbed with a knife, falls to the ground, looks down at the wound only to discover it wasn’t real. That’s the closest thing to a kill this movie has to offer. The monsters/ghosts/demons only conceivable weapon is to go “boo!” in a variety of “SUDDENLY LOUD NOISES” ways.

And really, that’s the biggest flaw in these movies. The scares are effective to a point, but after a while they lose any efficacy when you know no one’s going to get got. It starts to become a chore as characters run from monsters that you know either won’t or can’t hurt them. Just once I’d like to see a movie with either a high kill count to establish stakes or at least an explanation for why these monsters never seem able to take out an eight year old girl. Just tell me that they don’t want to kill but only want to scare because they feed off the fear or something like that. Tell me anything and I’ll buy it. Just don’t ask me to believe that the murder nun or the killer bride or the…TV that knows the future?…whatever: Don’t ask me to believe those things are actually trying and failing to kill an unarmed teenage babysitter.

That’s just sad.

6/10 - Inoffensive, but hardly riveting or inventive. It needed more…anything.