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Annabelle, the devil doll who is not possessed (got it?), presides over a hyper grab bag of a haunted-house thriller that fails to conjure much fear.

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Director: Gary Dauberman With: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, McKenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife, Stephen Blackehart, Steve Coulter, Samara Lee, Paul Dean. Release Date: Jun 26, 2019

Official Site: http://bit.ly/Annabelle-Comes-Home

In a country that should probably think about renaming itself the American Entertainment State, fan culture now produces an obsessive level of pop scholasticism, one that can parse the rules and details of movies and TV shows as if they were fine points of law. In a review of a horror movie, I once called a character a zombie who was not, technically, a zombie (he didn’t have the precise credentials to be classified as the living dead), and tons of readers called me out on it. I learned my lesson, even though a stubborn part of me still thinks, “If it walks like a zombie, and talks like a zombie…”

There’s a comparable bit of pesky Talmudic niggling woven into the premise of the “Annabelle” films, of which “Annabelle Comes Home” is the third, and maybe the most hyper and generic. Annabelle is one of those creepy Victorian dolls that has been a staple of horror films for decades. In her bangs and red-bowed pigtails, with a sallow face marked by sunken but popping eyes, bloody scratches, and a ripe smile, she bears a marked resemblance to the ventriloquist dummy in the 1978 Anthony Hopkins psycho thriller “Magic.” That fixed grin of hers promises a great deal of mischief, and “Annabelle Comes Home,” in its almost completely haphazard and what-the-hell-let’s-go-to-hell way, delivers it.