Review of “Good Boys”

Max, Thor and Lucas (Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon and Keith L. Williams) are the Bean Bag Boys, so named due to their sitting on bean bags at Thor’s house. They are in sixth grade and their world is changing quickly. Max has a crush on Brixlee (Millie Davis) but is too scared to talk to her. When he’s invited to a party by the super cool Soren (Izaac Wang), Max is told it is a kissing party and Brixlee will be there. Max is panicked as he, Thor and Lucas don’t know how to kiss. An ill-advised internet search leaves the boys scarred and clueless. Thor suggests using the drone belonging to Max’s dad (Will Forte) to spy on his neighbor Hannah (Molly Gordon) and her boyfriend Benji (Josh Caras) and watch them kiss. While flying the drone, Max and Thor fight over the remote control and land the drone close enough for Hannah and her friend Lily (Midori Francis) to capture it. The boys go to the house to ask for it back, but they refuse, trying to teach the boys a lesson in respecting women. Thor steals one of the women’s purse that contains the party drug molly. The boys will exchange the purse and drugs for the drone, but the exchange goes wrong and the drone is destroyed. Max must replace the drone before his father gets back from a business trip as his dad told him not to touch it as he uses it in his work. The Bean Bag Boys will work together and go on numerous adventures to replace the drone, avoiding getting grounded and going to the sixth-grade kissing party.

“Good Boys” may be about sixth graders, but you must be 18 to see the film as it is filled with cursing, drugs, drinking and sexual references. It’s a shock watching these children, and they are all children, saying curse words, using sexual jargon incorrectly, sipping beer and handling S&M equipment. But you shouldn’t be put off by the cruder aspects of the movie as “Good Boys” is more about tweens on the verge of becoming teens and all the pressure that puts on their friendship.

There are layers to “Good Boys” that go beyond the cursing and sex. Max is dealing with a burgeoning interest in girls and his insecurities. Thor is being bullied to give up his love of singing and musical theater. Lucas’ parents tell him they are getting a divorce. Each is facing some very grown-up challenges and they are not prepared for them. The adventures they go on to replace the drone are a reaction to their issues. It’s like one last quest as they transition from little kids to slightly older kids.

As often happens with children, the boys fear if they get in trouble, it will be the end of the world. Their parents will no longer love them, they will never have any friends, they will not be able to kiss any girls, in other words, their lives would not be worth living. While there are consequences for their actions, the boys learn important lessons about dealing with their problems, how to treat others and crossing a busy highway is insane.

“Good Boys” is rated R for language throughout, drug and alcohol material and strong crude sexual content. Procuring molly is a big part of the story. There is also weed smoked by a college student and blown in the face of one of the kids. Sipping a beer also plays a big role in the film. Sex toys are shown, and sexual references are made throughout the film. Foul language is common and coming mostly from little kids.

“Good Boys” is a coming of age story that is set a bit younger than most. Sixth graders discovering who they are and what life means (filtered through their inexperienced minds) isn’t usually the focus of an R-rated comedy, but producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have a history of creating crude comedies in unexpected ways. A cute and diverse cast makes the shocking content even more shocking, generating big laughs and a couple of moments that make you think. Pretty impressive for a film filled with foul language and sex toys in the hands of tweens.

“Good Boys” gets five stars.

This week I’ll be reviewing “Angel Has Fallen” for WIMZ.com. The other movies coming out are:

Overcomer—

Ready or Not—

Follow me on Twitter @moviemanstan and send emails to stanthemovieman123@gmail.com.

Review of “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark”

I love scary movies. Always have. When I was a kid, a local TV station would run a 4 o’clock movie with themes and, around Halloween, it would be horror movie week. In my memory, those films would be from the British movie studio Hammer. Frequent lead actors would be Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing along with several familiar looking British actors whose names I never knew. There would be stories of vampires and werewolves and witches and demons and curses. The violence was minimal and usually only suggested. The scene of driving a stake in the vampire’s heart showed the hammer raised up high and brought down with the sound of a “thunk” as it struck the killing blow, then the vampire’s wide-eyed surprise at being bested by a mortal. You wouldn’t see the hammer actually hit the stake or enter the vampire’s chest. Any blood was minimal and only showed dripping from the vampire’s lips or the two perfect punctures in the victim’s neck. These movies, which were a decade old by the time I saw them, enthralled me and gave me the shivers as well. Modern horror usually doesn’t hold back on the gore. Each new scary movie also seems to be an effort to establish a franchise with low-budget and high-profit films with numerous sequels cranked out. “Paranormal Activity,” “Saw,” “The Conjuring,” “Insidious” and more have cinematic universes that have been very profitable, however the films they’ve produced haven’t actually been very scary. My biggest issue with modern horror (whether psychological or supernatural) is they don’t actually quicken the pulse of anyone other than the investors that bankrolled these films. Now, Guillermo del Toro has produced a horror film based on the book “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” and it appears poised to introduce a series of sequels. Given this first installment in a likely series, I have hope for these films.

Stella Nicholls (Zoe Colleti) lives with her single dad Roy (Dean Norris) in the small Pennsylvania town of Mill Valley. It’s 1968. The war in Vietnam is raging as are protests against it. Nixon is about to be elected president and it’s Halloween. Stella goes out with her friends Auggie (Gabriel Rush) and Chuck (Austin Zajur) for one last night of Halloween pranks as they are getting to old to dress up and Trick-or-Treat. The high school jock and bully Tommy Milner (Austin Abrams) has picked on this trio for years and Chuck is looking for revenge. As Tommy and his friends drive down the street past the friends, one of them grabs their bag of goodies that is actually filled with old dirty clothes. Auggie and Chuck begin pelting the car with eggs. As Tommy backs up the car, Chuck throws a flaming bag of poop through the open window, landing in Tommy’s lap, causing him to wreck the car. The bullies chase after Stella, Auggie and Chuck on foot. The three friends hide in a drive-in theater, getting in the car of Ramon Morales (Michael Garza). Ramon is passing through town, following the harvest as a migrant worker. After some conversation, Stella offers to show Ramon a real haunted house. She guides him to the Bellows house. The Bellows established the town in the late 19th Century and built a papermill. The youngest Bellows child Sarah had a physical deformity and was locked away in a secret room. The legend is she would tell stories through the wall to children that would visit the house even though she was never seen, and these stories would cause the children to die of a mysterious illness or poisoning. While exploring the house, Stella and the others find the room where Sarah lived, and Stella finds her book of stories. Soon, new stories begin appearing in the book, featuring names of Stella’s friends who begin to disappear. Stella, Auggie, Chuck and Ramon scramble to find a reason for these disappearances and a way to stop them.

“Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” is a fun and frightening film. It understands that horror can be lighthearted while also causing the pulse to quicken. It isn’t an easy mix, but writers Dan and Kevin Hageman and director Andre Ovredal find the right mix of laughs, silliness and terror to make the film an easy watch and easy to recommend you watch.

The characters in “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” make the film relatable and, to an extent, believable. Zoe Colleti plays Stella as a depressed and broken young woman, dealing with a mother that abandoned her and her father and feeling that she is responsible. We aren’t told why she feels that way and it doesn’t matter as she isn’t. Watching this young woman carry the weight of what she feels is her unlovability around like a ball and chain is painful. Colleti never overplays the drama in her character’s life, but it’s always there just below the surface. As the story plays out, we see it break through as Stella expresses that every bad thing that has happened to her, and now her friends, has been her fault. While I was never a teenage girl, I do remember thinking all the bad luck I experienced in high school was because I was a terrible person that didn’t deserve happiness. While those years are far behind me, I still remember the sting of rejection when a girl didn’t want to go on a date or not being selected as drum major of the marching band. While I didn’t have a vengeful ghost causing my friends to disappear, I could relate to how Stella felt and that is thanks to Colleti’s performance.

The look of the film adds to the scares. The spirit of Sarah is represented by a dark shadow that slides along the walls and ceiling, filling the room with a dread of what’s to come. The creatures that appear are grotesque in their rotting and/or deformed shapes. One, the Jangly Man, may cause nightmares for younger viewers. The creature can fall apart into its components: Arms, legs, torso and head. It can then reassemble itself if it needs to get somewhere its full body cannot. It has a voice like nails on a chalk board and it moves in a way that is indescribable. There is a pot full of body-part stew, a pimple exploding with spiders, a boy puking straw and more. It is a film that works hard to make you squirm in your seat and it usually succeeds.

“Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” is rated PG-13 for disturbing images, brief sexual references, thematic elements, language, racial epithets and terror/violence. We see a person stabbed through the back with a pitchfork with the tines poking out the front, but there is no blood. The pimple/spider scene may have your skin crawling. A character eats a mouthful of stew that contains a human toe. There are at least two creatures that appear to have been buried and raised up partially decomposed. There’s a brief scene showing one of the characters fishing poop out of the toilet. One of the creatures is rammed by a car into a garbage truck. There’s a creature that looks like the Pillsbury Dough Boy let himself go and grew long black stringy hair. The racial slur “wet back” is said a couple of times and we see police assume the Hispanic character is a criminal because of his race. The sexual reference is so mild I don’t remember what it was. Foul language is scattered and mild.

Early in this review, I complained about watered down horror franchises that lack any real scares. “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” manages to have some truly tense and frightening moments while still being rated PG-13 and being what is likely the kickoff of a horror franchise. Whether the quality and popularity of future chapters in this sage are worthy of critical praise and your entertainment dollar will depend on the quality of the story, the acting and if the scares are kept at a high level. Guillermo del Toro had been hit and miss over his career, creating masterworks like “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “The Shape of Water” while also putting out the overwrought but beautiful “Crimson Peak” and the busy and underperforming “Hellboy II: The Golden Army.” I want to see more stories that scare me in the dark of a theater, and I want del Toro to tell them to me.

“Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” gets five stars.

Several new films open this week and I’ll see at least one of the following:

47 Meters Down: Uncaged—

The Angry Birds Movie 2—

Blinded by the Light—

Good Boys—

Where’d You Go, Bernadette—

Follow me on Twitter @moviemanstan and send emails to stanthemovieman123@gmail.com.

Review of “Apollo 11”

On July 20, 1969, a spindly-looking craft set down on the surface of the Moon. Inside were two astronauts from the United States, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, taking the voyage that had been dreamed of since the first human looked into the sky and saw a face (or what we’ve interpreted as a face) staring back at him. It was a mission first suggested to the American people by a president that would not live to see it succeed. While the real goal of Apollo was to beat the Russians to the Moon, what it became was a rallying point for Americans at a time when the Vietnam War and the struggle for civil rights was tearing the country apart at the seams. The mission that lasted just over eight days, captivated the imagination of not only the United States, but the world and is chronicled in an amazing documentary titled simply “Apollo 11.”

The film has no narrator and uses the communications to and from Mission Control and newscasts of the time to tell the story. It is a smart choice to use NASA’s archival audio and video footage instead of recreations as there’s something cheap looking when actual events, especially ones that are documented as thoroughly as Apollo 11, have sets and actors employed to reenact events. A recent documentary series about the space program on NatGeo is filled with recreations and I had to turn it off after 10 minutes as it bored me. “Apollo 11” is far from boring.

The film puts up a countdown clock to important events, such as the launch and the ignition of the third stage breaking the astronauts out of Earth orbit and sending them to the moon. Despite these events being 50 years old and, spoiler alert, everything works out just fine, the countdown and a score that adds tension to these moments that are well known, adds building pressure as the clock moves to zero. It is a brilliant idea to increase the excitement of these events that were exciting and scary enough if they were experienced in real time.

Much of the technology, including the lunar lander and its ascent stage, were largely untested. The computers that would guide Armstrong and Aldrin to their landing sight were rudimentary at best and, as the astronauts approached the Moon’s surface, easily overwhelmed. Recent interviews with NASA officials that were there at the time, believed the chances of success were 50-50. While there had been numerous space flights putting men in Earth orbit and two manned flights orbiting the Moon, landing was an infinitely more complicated endeavor. The film is a testament to the technological advancement, dedication and bravery of everyone involved in getting the astronauts to the Moon and back again.

As a seven-year-old child, I remember watching the poor quality black and white TV images as Armstrong stepped off the ladder of the LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) and made history. While I knew what I was seeing was a big deal (I was a huge follower of the space program), it is only as I got older and learned more that I began to realize just how amazing seeing those images was. “Apollo 11” is a much needed reminder that we can do good and important things if we focus our thought, talents and treasure on a goal with no expectation of financial gain. Many earned a profit from our exploration of the Moon, but it wasn’t a requirement. That is the attitude we need if we are going to continue to make strides in space and on the ground. In other words, we’re screwed.

“Apollo 11” gets five stars.

This week, I’ll be reviewing “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” for WIMZ.com. (Warning: Trailer may contain NSFW language)

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Review of “Midsommar”

Dani (Florence Pugh) has suffered an unimaginable loss when her mentally ill sister kills her parents and herself. Her emotionally distant boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor) has been considering breaking up with Dani for a year but lacks the courage to do it. Six months after the tragedy, Dani accompanies Christian on a trip to Sweden with his friends Josh (William Jackson Harper), Mark (Will Poulter) and Swedish native Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren). The Americans are with Pelle as he returns to his small village deep in the Swedish wilderness called Harga. They are his guests for a festival in the village that is only held every 90 years. Harga is a close-knit community where everyone dresses in white, there’s a ritual for everything and nature is worshipped and revered. Josh, like Christian, is a graduate student working on his doctoral thesis. Josh is studying the summer solstice rituals of various cultures, including the version practiced in Harga. Everyone in Harga is warm and welcoming, happy to see the newcomers and looking forward to sharing their bounty and the festival with them. As the Americans see more of the festival, they are horrified by what is considered normal by the Hargans. Soon, the summer solstice festival will become a moment of truth and decision for Dani, Christian and the other visitors.

“Midsommar” is an acid trip of a movie. There are moments when fantasy and reality are indistinguishable, and images of beauty are splattered by levels of gore that I’ve rarely seen. It is a film that is both gorgeous and ugly, sweet and sour, and filled with warmth and frigidness. It is also a movie I could not take my eyes from and wanted more when it ended.

“Midsommar” is a film that is sold as a horror film but that is not true. It is a mix of genres while not being any one of them. I suppose “thriller” might be the most accurate slot in which to file the film, but that still isn’t quite right. “Midsommar” is a slow burn, presenting as a domestic drama at first before gradually oozing its way into a nightmare. It’s a film that requires patience and a willingness to allow the story to play out in its own time.

One of the most distinct things about the film is the cinematography. Vast landscapes are filmed with the love of a parent for a child. There is a shot that moves from right side up to upside down and stays inverted for a very long time. Drugs are consumed on a couple of occasions, both voluntarily and involuntarily, and that affects the way scenes are shot. There’s nothing flashy about these scenes and that’s what makes them so amazing. If you see the film you might not notice what I’m talking about, but there are moments when solid objects flow, oscillate and warp. It is done subtly but adds so much to the hallucinatory nature of these moments and the film in general.

It is also a movie that takes a close look at toxic relationships. There’s the obvious one between Dani and Christian, but there’s also the ones that surround them. Christian and Josh go from friends to enemies when Christian decides his doctoral thesis will focus on Harga, piggybacking on Josh’s research. Mark doesn’t like Dani and encourages Christian to dump her. Mark is passive-aggressive towards Dani and she feels his enmity towards her. The residents of Harga notice these cracks in their friendship and subtly use them to split the visitors apart. This could be an allegory for politics as those in power, and hoping to stay there, find the fracture lines of those that disagree with them and apply pressure to cause a fissure.

Maybe I’m looking for a meaning behind everything in this movie since I have to believe writer and director Ari Aster has that in mind. There is so much going on in both the foreground and the background, from the movements of the extras to the designs on the walls of the barn where everyone sleeps, that is clearly designed to tell the story without actually telling the story. We are given clues of what’s to come, but it just appears to be set dressing or random visuals to support how quirky the village is. All these clues of the madness to come are delivered in bright colors, mostly in daylight, and with a smile. Aster’s genius is showing you what’s going to happen without giving away any of the surprise. Even after having told you this, should you see the movie, you won’t see what’s coming. It’s a brilliant bit of film making.

The gore in the film is shocking in its suddenness and its extremeness. Usually, gore in horror movies is so over the top and expected (it’s a horror movie after all), its appearance loses some of the impact. In “Midsommar,” the gore is unexpected and is so visceral, so…gory, it is shocking while also being almost welcome. Much of what passes in movies of all genres for violence is so stylized that it loses the ability to move us. In “Midsommar,” the gore that happens early on, that tells us this isn’t your dad’s horror movie, will move you. You know something bad is about to happen, you expect what you’ve seen before, but you get something soooooooo much worse. It’s a shocking scene that works within the context of the movie despite having what’s come before being so idyllic. If you have a weak stomach, you will be tested by a couple of scenes in “Midsommar.”

“Midsommar” is rated R for disturbing ritualistic violence and grisly images, strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language. I won’t go into a lengthy description of the violence and gore on display other than to say there are rocks, giant mallets and fire involved. There is a bizarre and unsexy sex scene near the end of the film. There are a couple of scenes featuring full frontal male and female nudity. Drugs are ingested both voluntarily (psychedelic mushrooms) and involuntarily. Foul language is scattered.

The reactions to some events of the film may leave you wondering why anyone would stay in the village after seeing them. I wondered that as well. There isn’t really a satisfactory answer to that question other than the characters didn’t feel like they could leave. They were guests in a friend’s home village, witnessing another culture’s ways, and some of the characters believed they should stay to absorb all the events in context before making any judgements. It doesn’t really work in my brain as a reason, but it’s the best I can come up with.

Ari Aster’s “Midsommar” is a weird experience, but one I’m glad I had. It’s a film that demands your attention but in the politest way. It lulls you into thinking this is going to be almost a travelogue then collects your passport and won’t give them back. You’re stuck with the rest of the audience as you take a journey into a Swedish “Twilight Zone” that would make creator Rod Serling say, “That’s too much!” It is visually stunning in every conceivable way and will have those willing to go for the ride with an open mind wanting more by the end. I loved “Midsommar” and need to go back and watch Aster’s “Hereditary” to see if I missed out on his madness early on.

“Midsommar” gets 5 stars.

Disney’s remake of “The Lion King” is the only new film opening this week. I’m not interested in seeing it and may either take the weekend off or see something else that I find more intriguing. Anyway, here’s the trailer:

Follow me on Twitter @moviemanstan and send emails to stanthemovieman123@gmail.com.

Announcement

On Wednesday, July 4, I saw “Spider-Man: Far From Home” and it was great. However, my wife and I had to make the difficult decision to release our dog Roy from his pain and let him go to that big dog park in the sky. It sucks. I am having a harder time dealing with it than I thought, so I took some “Me” time over this weekend and didn’t write a review. I’m sorry for the four or so of you that read my movie musings but I just don’t care about writing right now. Perhaps I’ll get into a mood to put some thoughts on the internet in the next couple of days. Considering it pulled in $185 million since it opened on July 4th, I don’t think it needs my added praise.

I’m sorry for the delay but I’m just not in a place to put my thoughts together. I apologize and should be back to my snarky self in no time.

Thank you for your understanding.

Review of “Annabelle Comes Home”

After an investigation, Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) bring the doll called Annabelle to their home. Lorraine figures out the doll is a beacon for spirits and the Warrens put it inside a special display case, made with glass from church, and blessed by a priest. Once the display case door is locked, Lorraine can tell the evil is contained. The display case is in a locked room along with the most dangerous items the Warrens have collected during their years of investigations. A year later, the Warrens are leaving for an overnight investigation. Their 12-year old daughter Judy (McKenna Grace) will be watched over by a babysitter named Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman) who will spend the night. Mary Ellen’s friend Daniela (Katie Sarife) reads a newspaper article questioning whether the Warrens are frauds and learns of their paranormal past. She arrives at the Warren house after they leave with an agenda: Her father has recently died, and she hopes to contact his spirit using items from the Warren’s collection. Because of the newspaper article, Judy is being bullied at school and her friends are refusing to come to her upcoming birthday party. Judy is a sensitive to spirits like her mother and is seeing the ghost of a dead priest watching her at school. Daniela finds the keys to the locked collection room and looks around, touching numerous items and asking for a sign there’s a spirit present. Annabelle moves forward and bumps into the glass, getting Daniela’s attention. She unlocks the case and puts Annabelle back in her chair, but she forgets to lock the display case door. When she leaves the room, Annabelle again leans forward and this time, she escapes. Soon, everything in the collection room begins causing trouble for Daniela, Mary Ellen and Judy.

“Annabelle Comes Home” is the seventh entry in the “Conjuring” universe of films. Annabelle, along with the Nun, are the two big bads that have spun off into franchises of their own. Perhaps we’ll get a team-up film where the two demonic entities join forces to try and defeat the Warrens. But that’s another movie for another day. “Annabelle Comes Home” almost manages to overcome its genre conventions and tell a decent story with some scares thrown in to keep its fans happy. Sadly, almost is only good enough in hand grenades and horseshoes, and “Annabelle Comes Home” gives up the ghost as the inevitable happy ending approaches.

The main themes of the film are loss and acceptance. Katie Sarife’s Daniela is dealing with the loss of her father in a car accident. She is desperate to reconnect with her dad and get closure following his sudden passing. Her desire for contact overrides her doubt about the paranormal and her fear of the unknown. She abandons reason and safety to find peace and comfort. You see the same thing happen when the grief-stricken attempt to drown their sorrows with alcohol and/or numb their feelings with drugs. In all those examples, the pain remains, and the outcome isn’t good.

McKenna Grace’s Judy is being ostracized because of her parent’s work. She’s considered a freak and is the target of bullying at school. Judy is in a tough spot as she is about to enter her teenage years, hit puberty and get her first glimpses of adulthood. Adding parents that are the targets of public scorn and suspicion adds a nearly intolerable level of pressure for such a young and sensitive girl. Judy and Daniela begin an unlikely friendship, finding comradery in their different struggles. It’s this bonding, along with Mary Ellen, that forms the backbone of the story.

This exploration of female friendship and shared struggle is actually well done and engaging, considering this is a horror movie. The three don’t blame each other for the trouble they are facing (despite Daniela’s actions being the cause) and work together to contain Annabelle. They form their own little non-traditional family when there’s no one that can help them.

McKenna Grace gives a wonderful performance as Judy. She’s calm in the face of all the weirdness and uses what her mother has taught her about the spirit world to guide Mary Ellen and Daniela through the danger. Grace has a poise and maturity one might not expect for a 13-year old. She’s believable as the already experienced ghost buster and her character lacks the precocious snark that might be added in a less well thought out script.

While the story of female empowerment in the face of demonic threat is well done, the final act undoes most of the good work that sets it up. Director Gary Dauberman, who co-wrote the script with producer James Wan, falls back on haunted house scares in an overstuffed finale. Several things in the Warren’s collection get a moment in the moonlight as the film turns up the attempted scares per minute to maximum. I say attempted because nothing much in the film causes the pulse to quicken even a little bit. An early scene with spirits coming from a graveyard is effective, but that’s about all that managed to startle me. The movie does a good job of building tension but never quite pays it off, then it throws everything at the audience in a frenetic ending that becomes tiresome.

“Annabelle Comes Home” is rated R for horror violence and terror. There are some blood-covered ghosts, a werewolf, a horned demon, corpses with coins on their eyes and the spirit that guides them to the afterlife, the ghost of a priest with very dark eyes and a cursed suit of samurai armor. We see part of an exorcism, a stabbing, a werewolf tries to kill a character, a ghost pukes itself into the mouth of another character, a demonic TV shows a bloody future for one character and a demon tries to suck the soul out of a character. There is also some ghostly throwing of characters in various scenes. Foul language is mild and only occurs two or three times. Why the film got an R rating is a mystery.

Looking at my review of “Annabelle: Creation,” I have many of the same opinions about that film as I do “Annabelle Comes Home.” Both films have quality performances from young actresses but waste their efforts by building tension and setting up scares, but never delivering quality frights. This film tries to have quantity instead of quality as it throws everything at the audience in the last 20 minutes in hopes to score some scares, but the lackluster boogiemen won’t threaten anyone’s bladder control.

The “Conjuring” films and their spinoffs are wildly successful, taking in a worldwide gross so far of over $1.7 billion on films with a combined production budget of $139 million. That’s about 13 times return on investment. People keep paying to see these films, so the studio will keep making them. I haven’t found any of the films I’ve seen in the series to be very scary and “The Nun” was laughably bad. Perhaps I’m too jaded or too old to be affected by these films the way the makers intended, but scary should be scary no matter how old I get, and this film just isn’t scary.

“Annabelle Comes Home” gets three stars out of five.

A superhero and horror are on tap for the holiday week with both films opening prior to the weekend. I’ll see and review at least one of the following:

Spider-Man: Far from Home—

Midsommer—

Follow me on Twitter @moviemanstan and send emails to stanthemovieman123@gmail.com.