Overview: The director of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and The Butterfly Effect 2 brings us a spin-off to my favorite horror film of the last few years. Who thought this was a good idea? Warner Bros Pictures; 2014; Rated R; 98 minutes.

The Background: The best experience I’ve had with horror films lately is either when I revisited classics like Texas Chainsaw Massacre or when I wrote about Dead Silence being on Netflix instant. I’m a fan of James Wan’s horror films for their ability to stretch a budget and still create palpable horror atmosphere (I even liked Insidious 2). Practical effects even give them an old timey feel. I think The Conjuring was a staple of modern horror and a movie I’m not eager to revisit because it turned me into a giant sniveling baby. Dead Silence is a wonderfully horrifying midnight movie to show on a traditional Halloween movie night. It made me scared of dolls again. Annabelle doesn’t make me do anything besides shrug and walk off in disappointment. Make no mistake, this is an awful movie.

The Yawning: I don’t flat out hate this movie. It doesn’t do anything right, but I’m not too angry. I wasn’t too interested from the trailers and it’s barely been a year since the release of the movie it spun off from. Several friends asked “Why aren’t you excited for it?” Because from the trailers you can tell it’s going to be nothing but jump scares and white people making stupid decisions regarding personal safety. And don’t even get me started on the police here. If by some mistake you end up walking into a theater to watch this movie, few things will frustrate you like these police officers.

Stupid characters wouldn’t be so bad if there was an ounce of actual horror to be experienced. There isn’t. What we have here is a cash grab of the lowest common denominator. No build up to any scares. They just happen. Annabelle reminded me of another horror film earlier this year called The Quiet Ones, where nothing scary was actually going on beneath the surface of the film. There were only manufactured moments designed to blast the audio and visuals with some mechanism to cause you slight discomfort.

Annabelle’s Baby: Perhaps Annabelle’s biggest crime is the cut and paste from Rosemary’s Baby. The occult plays a heavy hand in the film proceedings. A woman won’t be helped by figures of authority. It’s a haunting film that still resonates to this day. If you haven’t seen Rosemary’s Baby please rectify that immediately. This is how mediocre and forgettable Annabelle is. I just used my review space to recommend another movie to you.

Paramount Pictures

Yeah, I can’t believe they didn’t think we’d notice either.

Final Thoughts: At least it’s not a direct sequel so we can avoid things like The Conjuring 2: Scary Doll Boogaloo.

Grade: F-