Movie Review: Annabelle Comes Home

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When is a horror movie not like a horror movie? When it fails to scare, that’s when. While the closing credits are scrolling on the screen, the only question that comes to mind is “Why the heck did Annabelle come home if she wasn’t going to cause out and out mayhem and carnage?”

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Picking up where Ed and Lorraine Warren meet the nursing students and bring Annabelle into their homes, this movie borders on the (not so) funny-ha ha and cheap theatrics and very little on the actual spook factor.

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Always referred to as a conduit through which an evil spirit tries to get its hands on a soul, Annabelle does precious little to actually acquire a soul when given the chance. Instead she unleashes a room full of malevolent spirits (literally roomful) and each one comes in, says ‘Boo’ and goes away just as easily. I have never seen a movie where the supernatural bad guy is subdued this easily. Jason had to be killed over 10 sequels, Freddy over at least 5 and even the shark from Jaws was more tenacious. This movie was truly a bah! humbug kind of a situation for those of us who like to be spooked and feel the cold, crawly fingers of fear inching around us while we sit in a darkened theater and watch the hapless preyed upon.

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Onto the players- Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are so comfortable in the role that they are cast in that they don’t seem to have to try at all to become the Warrens. But in all honesty, their time on the screen was fairly limited as well so…

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Judy, played by McKenna Grace is the surprise package. She’s sweet, vulnerable and rather believable as the child who can sense spirits and is also terrified of them. She sort of has a Haley Joel Osment-vibe going for her. One hopes she gets better movies rather than that of the Mean Girls ilk as she matures as an actress. Madison Iseman as Mary Ellen fulfills her part well enough but the introduction of Bob the teenage boy and the Hellhound chase he takes part just make for a discordant comic element which was unwittingly brought in; or was it?

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The demons that are unleashed either suffer from very little focus given to their individual characters or in the way they’re made up to look because they don’t look scary enough! The demon trying to suck out Judy soul, the dead priest who guides them to Annabelle or even the Ferryman and his passengers who all appear with coins over their eyes, artfully placed to make them look creepier; are all just sad props in a movie where the main character just didn’t do enough.

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Annabelle Comes Home doesn’t come up to scratch. The first two movies in the series were much better. One can avoid this. Even on home media. Better yet, give Ol’ Chucky another go. He was something…

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Rating: *

Oh No You Did Not!!

Red and I impose parental controls on TO’s digital media views and mainly their content.

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It’s not so much to keep him away from profanity (he gets a dose of that when I drive) but also to keep him away from concepts that he may not be able to understand and end up getting freaked out about stuff in the process.

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A while back he and 2 of his cute little friends let it slip how they’d sneaked a peek at The Conjuring while playing unsupervised at another friend’s house. I was able to correlate that with a period of being kicked out of my own bed because someone was afraid to sleep alone in their own room. Or even when they did sleep alone, they wrapped themselves up like a mummy and gave me sleepless nights about suffocation and what not!Image result for kids watching horror movies

This morning I was telling Red over coffee that I had weird dreams last night from seeing clips from The Shining and being partly sleep-deprived and suddenly pipes up a voice from behind me, “Oh yeah, that boy with his cycle and those 2 girls who meet him in the hallway and that old guy who gives him icecream and tells him not to go in a room…that movie, right, with all the blood?”

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After internally WTFing with myself liberally I turned around to ask him how he knew about the movie which he did not have the clearance to watch. He told me very casually that he’d watched it at another friend’s house but only a little bit and he wasn’t scared of it at all!

A part of me is happy that he’s choosing good stuff to watch and not getting messed up in his head by watching things like Evil Dead or the Saw movies, but almost 10 may not be the best age to watch someone’s spiral into insanity and attacking their family with an axe. Just saying.

And while my mother let me watch horror movies when I was his age, I can honestly say I was in it for the blood and gore and she was ok with it because she knew it was a phase and I’d outgrow it. She steadily kept her hand over my eyes during the scenes with nudity though. Come to think of it, most Hollywood undead serial killers are such perverts! They wait till a person is “otherwise occupied” and choose that time to cut their heart out. But those days of cozying up with my mom on the couch, hogging on Hershey’s chocolate pudding cups and watching Jason slash through teenage bodies with his chainsaw…oh the nostalgia. Am almost choked up.

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But if this kid thinks he’s going to watch gore before he’s 35 he’s got another thing coming!

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P.S: This blog post and the others like it have been brought to you courtesy of a Macbook Pro that I was given so very thoughtfully for my birthday this year and about which I have not waxed on eloquently enough.

Disclaimer: This is not an Apple sponsored advertisement. More like Red-sponsored.

 

 

Ye Gods…

My child is currently anti-clowns. Especially Pennywise. Apparently he snuck a look at the new IT and it creeped him out big time. So Pennywise is the present symbol of everything that’s bad in his freaky little world.

Today after he got back from school he was using me as a trampoline and I made a scary face and did my scary laugh to get him to leave me alone. Apparently I was too successful because he called me Pennywise.

Knowing how he feels about the character, I made my sad face (I have a whole gamut, I’m not like Zoolander) and he immediately rushed to mollify me saying,”Don’t be sad..you’re just like Pennywise…only nice.”

Yeah..just call me Gymbo.

Dafuq Wake-ups

My kid doesn’t often beat me to the alarm clock. The days he does are often a mixture of me cussing him out in my native tongue (while half-asleep mind you) or me having a really shrieky-freaky wake-up call.

Try this scenario on for size: you, nice and cozy under a comforter; it’s cold, dark and smoggy outside and suddenly a small, cold object starts tapping at your face and head. You can’t figure out what it could be and then suddenly it turns out to be a hand!

You open your sleep-weary myopic eyes and there’s a cute but solemn face staring at you unblinkingly. Then it sniffs and says in a slightly phlegmy tone, “I woked up.”

You can’t help but give out a garbled, scared moan…it’s your kid. An hour before his usual wake-up time and with bad grammar no less!!

No wonder I’ve been thinking of little brat from The Grudge!

*shudders*

Scary, Creepy Kids!

I used to love slasher flicks while I was growing up. The gorier the better. Blood spurting out and my day was made! Ok..am not as ghoulish as that sounds but it was fun to watch…thrilling even while Michael Myers silently crept up or Jason advanced with his machete and the background score with its slightly chilling nuances…

But I grew up and the blood and gore just wasn’t fun anymore..it wasn’t even remotely scary.

A long time after that, of not being scared or even remotely rattled, I saw The Ring. And Samara…she was creepy. Not in the grotesque form she comes out from the t.v in the end but the unflinching, unblinking facade of human Samara…it was eerie and she did more for the creepy factor in the movie than anything else. The menace in her voice when she’s being interviewed by the shrinks of the asylum she’s admitted in…C-R-E-E-P-Y.

Another kid who was undoubtedly creepy and could’ve very well been the bad guy of the movie was the little kid from the same movie- Aidan. I mean what is with that frigid glance and unmodulating tone?

Let’s hark back to the good old days when the original Damien Storm made one wonder *how* such a small child could actually have been found suitable to play the role of the Antichrist…his eyes cold and features devoid of warmth. *brrr*

Last but certainly not the least- the little kid from Grudge takes the cake. The geisha-like face, eyes black like marble…Toshio is pretty freaky and has quite a a bit of startle factor!

No wonder the Jasons, Freddys and Myers have conceded their spots. The Gen-X of scarers are here to stay!

Check out this more comprehensive list of scary kids-http://www.chillertv.com/friday13/13-children-from-hell-some-literally

Here’s to goosebumps!samara_morgan