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It may not be great, or even really good, but “Anna” delivers a few solid scares and isn’t a bad way to spend an hour and a half.

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. In honor of this age-old saying, all Tubi Tuesday selections for the month of October will be Mockbuster Horror films.  Some are good, some are bad and some are downright confusing.  We kicked things off with the 2006 Asylum Pictures film, Snakes on a Train. Last week, we dove deep into the confusing Paranormal Entity. This week, we explore the bizarre, extremely low-budget horror film Anna.

The Original:

Annabelle is loosely based on the true story of a supposedly possessed doll, as investigated and documented by paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren. In the film, a young couple comes in possession of the demonic doll after cult members break into their house and try to murder them. After the birth of their first child, the demonic spirit grows stronger and stronger as it tries to acquire the soul of the young child while the mother battles the forces of evil.

The Mockbuster:

Anna follows two guys who steal the haunted doll from a haunted museum and then bring it to a creepy abandoned warehouse. Their goal is to film their exploits in order to gain some sort of clout on the internet. At first, the doll doesn’t do much. So, they hire a sex worker to babysit the doll who ends up possessed. A cult who lives at a haunted house appears, and then the men are tormented by the doll for the remainder of the film.

If I’m being completely honest, this is not a very good film. There are spelling and grammar mistakes in the opening crawl, as well as numerous instances of boom mics and cables being visible in the shot. The editing is bizarre, the story is uncertain if it wants to be a comedy or a horror film, the actors are dubbed in many parts for unknown reasons,  and the dubbing itself is not very good at all.

The film doesn’t have much going for it except two things. First, it sticks to the true story of Annabelle, as the real doll is currently sitting in Zak Bagans’ museum. Second, when it actually decides to be a horror movie, the scares and practical effects are pretty decent.

The problem is the film spends too much time showing two grown men rock a baby doll to sleep and sing it lullabies in hopes that it will conjure a demon. The extremely low budget also sticks out like a sore thumb for most of the film, but it’s not unbearable.

In spite of all that, it’s well worth the watch.

That’s not because it’s some sort of horror classic, or even because the creative team showed tremendous potential. The reason I encourage you to watch this film is that I strongly believe it’s important to support low-budget and indie horror, even if that low-budget horror has to resort to cheap tricks like copying the name of a much more popular film to garner interest.

This interest sometimes converts into exposure, profit, and experience. If harnessed correctly, that could lead to the creative team moving on to bigger and better things. And that’s how truly great horror films get made.

Who knows, one day, maybe, The Asylum will be ripping off their films!

Check out Anna now streaming for free on Tubi.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies)

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