Waverly Hills Sanitorium scary but there were a few good jump scares

We meet the Warren’s daughter, Judy (Grace) and her babysitter Mary Ellen (Iseman). Judy’s about to turn 11 and it’s apparent she is being picked on because of her parents. The most recent newspaper headline reads, “Heroes or Hoaxes.” The Warrens are going out of town and Mary Ellen will be babysitting overnight. The clichés begin to pile up again. We meet Mary Ellen’s friend Daniela (Sarife) and the boy she’s crushing on Bob (Palmeri). Daniela promises to not come over when Mary Ellen is babysitting. She does. She promises to not go into the locked room and to watch the cake. She goes in the room…the cake burns. Without giving anymore away Annabelle gets out. Then havoc begins.

At this point in the film, it dawned on me there wasn’t much of a plot. All the cast shines in their respective roles and it was nice to see the three female leads hold their own but there just wasn’t much for them to do. Walk in a room. Get scared. Rinse and repeat. I will say there is a clever scene regarding a pizza delivery guy giving Bob advice. The way to woo a woman is through “Rock and Roll” If you take anything from this review, take that.

Throughout the film there are several monsters and beings that came off rather disturbing. It wasn’t Waverly Hills Sanitorium scary but there were a few good jump scares. I felt like this film was almost setting up future films. We hear a backstory about a certain demon, and then see it. I appreciate the universe trying to branch out more, but I just wish the same effort would have been used on the film in front of us. In the “final” act all the horror is amped up. The monsters alluded to, we get to see in action, and I felt that the leads didn’t get a break from the madness. Thankfully Bob didn’t pull out an air horn for a final scare like someone did weeks ago, but the scares were there.

There could have been a good film here. The leads all played their parts well, and especially Judy (Grace), she came off as the strongest of the group and that surprised me. We witnessed a few scenes for humor and a few jump scares. I just wish there was more of a plot in place. That thought and the cliché tropes stuck with me and hurt the overall experience. You could do much worse on this week’s movie, but I suggest going to see Toy Story 4 again or get a sneak peek of Spider-man. Next week’s review. 2 stars out of 5 #SHOPLOCAL

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