The conjuring 1 and 2 are just two solid horror films in my opinion. They don't necessarily do anything new, but the way they actually make the characters in the films more fleshed out and likable is a big plus in my book. Also james wan seems to have such a great understanding of how to create tension and build up in his films. My favourite example being the clap game from the 1st conjuring, something shown to be an innocent thing early on in the film made into one of the best scares in the film later. I don't consider these films to be the pinnacle of horror filmmaking but they are effective rollercoaster hotter films.
The first insidious is similar but not quite as well done.
Honestly from the way your speaking horror doesn't seem to be the genre for you.
Nah, man. I grew up on horror and grew to admire Rick Baker and Stan Winston. Tom Savini. I worked in haunted houses behind the stage and in front. I have dabbled in some film and TV. I fucking love horror but those films are bland and boring. They have no psychology to them. Cheap tricks. Overdesigned ghosts and props. The regular Raggedy Ann doll would be better for Annabelle. When you can't trust an everyday innocent-looking object, it's even more frightening. When big scary doll that looks like big scary doll comes to life...it's a well no fucking shit. Chucky looked like a kids toy and looked very innocent.(talking just the first film) When Andy kept saying Chucky says, they had a build-up where mom thinks her kid is just having an imagination. When he came to life cussing and screaming in an adult man's voice that was some good horror. Insidious...again it's Darth Fucking Maul from Star Wars as your demon. It's so god damn goofy looking I burst out laughing. I love horror, I'm just immune to the tricks but that does not mean I don't know when something is done well. Why I didn't flinch at all during Until Dawn the game. I went in blind but I knew the timing they wanted for jump scares. The oldest and cheapest trick in the book. Another cliche was trying to trick me into chopping off my own character's finger or killing one to save myself. A lot at that point did not add up and it felt like a setup. I got everyone to live.
I love horror in general but modern horror relies on cheap shit. Easy to predict. Stuff a very casual person would fall for. There is no build-up anymore. No looming sense of dread. No set up that makes you feel safe then removes it. Poltergeist 1982 or Excorcist. They did well making you feel safe and slowly pulled it away but not too much. When they hit with something big or just enough of something you felt uneasy. Not jump scares. Not giving away too much too soon. Even Evil Dead did this well and it's over the top batshit insane but it's well made despite the low production values. I love my Jasons and Freddy's but those films are self aware they are shlock and know what those fans want and deliver. Accidental shlock like Annabelle or Darth Maul is just shit.
Only thing I agree with is the Annabelle doll (even though its barely in the conjuring film) they could have toned it down, although old dolls often do look creepy, i think the chucky doll was the right level of creepy and realistic. Although childs play isnt what i consider good horror, its cheesy fun 80s schlock. But not really scary in the slightest. There's no tension at all because there is never any doubt that the doll is alive, they show how it happens in the first scene of the movie. But the film then tries to act like it isn't alive for the audience, even though we are clearly shown that it is. The demon from insidious isn't particularly goofy looking, it's design is kinda meh to me. I can't understand you championing 80s horror when that's full of the goofiest stuff in horror cinema. I love it but let's not kid ourselves.
I mean it feels like you haven't watched many modern horror films at all, because so many that I mentioned do exactly what you want. Take for example the colour out of space, that film starts off with just showing the family living normally, shows us how they interact how they get along then the inciting incident happens and things slowly start to change and keep escalating till the climax. I'd say a vast majority of the films I mentioned have great build up and payoff.
The exorcist never makes you feel safe at all, that film from the beginning has a creepy atmosphere and makes you aware that something is wrong from near the beginning. Which isn't bad, it just doesn't match up with what you said. Poltergeist is a good example, with it starting out like a Spielberg film, like ET, then slowly adding horror elements, although it could be said that certain aspects like the clown have the same issues as Annabelle. Also the scene when the guy starts tearing his face off looks pretty bad.
I'm sorry to say the first few Friday the 13th films take themselves quite seriously, it's only really part 6 when the series becomes self aware.
Just give some modern horror films a shot. Watch some that I listed, there are so many truly great horror films from this decade that any horror fan would be doing themselves a disservice to dismiss.