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Monday, June 24, 2019

ANNABELLE COMES HOME REVIEW



While babysitting the daughter of Ed and Lorraine Warren, a teenager and her friend unknowingly awaken an evil spirit in a doll.

Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, McKenna Grace, Madison Iseman, and Katie Sarife

Directed by: Gary Dauberman

Written by: James Wan, and Gary Dauberman

  It was like love at first fright when Annabelle debuted in “The Conjuring.” I just knew fans needed more of her, and we’ve had more of her than I could’ve ever imagined. However, some of that love disappeared by the end of “Annabelle Creation” because it really sunk in that Annabelle would never be like Chucky. She draws the evil out, but never is going to be more than a creepy looking doll. 
  That’s made clear when “Annabelle Comes Home” begins with the Warren couple trying to bring Annabelle home. Evil spirits are drawn to her in a great scene that sets the tone for the rest of the movie. As quickly as the Warren’s make an appearance, they’re off leaving this haunting experience to their young daughter Judy (McKenna Grace). She’s not alone, as her babysitter Mary (Madison Iseman), and friend Daniela (Katie Sarife) are left to fend off an assault of evil by Annabelle and company.
  And what a wonderful assault of evil it is! It all works because they keep everything so simple. Babysitter’s friend comes over and decides to open doors she shouldn’t. Annabelle is released from her box, and all the evil spirits in the Warren’s secret room do their best to scare the girls, and the audience. The tension is high, and the pace of the scares will keep the audience glued to the screen. 
  Besides a couple of quick moments outside, all of the action takes place in the house. In turn they create a terrific haunted house experience. Obviously there are some great scares in the secret room, but arguably the best one takes place in Judy’s bedroom. Lets just say she has a special light in the room, which the audience knows is going to play a role at some point, and it doesn’t disappoint. 
  It’s nice to see Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed (Patrick Wilson) back again, but they aren’t the stars of the show this time. That belongs to the three young ladies McKenna, Madison, and Katie. All of them are fantastic both when it’s time to be afraid, and when it’s time to stand up and fight. McKenna does this the best, and does this with the most pressure on her. Being the youngest but most experienced with the paranormal, Judy is forced to lead the others out of this mess. Hopefully she’ll return in future Conjuring movies, or even another Annabelle.
  Less is more in “Annabelle Comes Home,” and it creates probably the best of the three Annabelle movies. A simple plot with one location, and the focus on primarily three characters allows the scares to flow. There’s a combination of familiar demons, and some creepy new ones that will keep the audience on edge. In the end I’m glad I didn’t give up on Annabelle, and even more excited to see her reach the heights I knew she could when she first appeared. Because this movie provides such a great blueprint on how to make a true scary movie, I give it 4 pools of blood!

  HorrO

Monday, June 17, 2019

THE DEAD DON'T DIE REVIEW



The peaceful town of Centerville finds itself battling a zombie horde as the dead start rising from their graves.

Starring: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tom Waits, and Chloe Sevigny

Written and directed by: Jim Jarmusch

 Bill Murray and Adam Driver teamed together…unusual but could work. Leading a cast of stars including, Tilda Swinton, Tom Waits, Chloe Sevigny, Danny Glover, and Selena Gomez…why not? To top if off fighting the undead…sounds good! Or maybe not!
  “The Dead Don’t Die” takes place in the small town of Centerville. A very slow moving town where nothing much seems to happen. In a way, it’s kind of like the movie. The movie takes on the pace of a slow moving zombie, and never picks up. The audience will sit there waiting for that kick ass zombie fighting scene to come, but sorry it never does. Yes, there's a little zombie fighting, but there’s not much to get excited about.
  Another thing the audience will be waiting for is the true Bill Murray to make an appearance because zombie Bill is all they get. Officers Robertson (Bill Murray), Peterson (Adam Driver), and Morrison (Chloe Sevigny) are suppose to serve and protect, but of course the dead aren't going to die if they pretty much do nothing to stop them! If they aren’t standing by the window of the police station, they’re driving around watching the zombies destroy the town. There are many scenes when Robertson and Morrison are just there having an extremely casual conversation about whatever is going on. It’s there that you would expect a great line from Bill, but nothing. These awkward scenes seem to fit Adam better, and one of the funniest things in the movie involves him instead.
  As for the rest of this cast of stars, they might as well all be zombies too. By the time any of their characters get anywhere, they die! They truly could’ve got any actor to play most of those roles. Probably the only interesting character is Zelda (Tilda Swinton) just because she’s so weird, and has one of the most random things happen to her in the end. 
  It’s a real shame they couldn’t do more with this movie. They do something intriguing by having the zombies come back drawn to their favorite items, or activities when they were alive. It would have been nice to see more of them then some of the useless scenes of the living. One of the taglines for “The Dead Don’t Die” is “the greatest zombie cast ever disassembled.” With the zombie like pace, performances that could’ve been done by anyone, and need for more zombie action, they should never have been assembled to begin with. Because this movie should be put back in the grave, I give it one pool of blood!

  HorrO

Saturday, June 1, 2019

MA REVIEW



A lonely woman befriends a group of teenagers and decides to let them party at her house. Just when the kids think their luck couldn’t get any better, things start happening that make them question the intention of their host.

Starring: Octavia Spencer, Diana Silvers, and Juliette Lewis

Directed by: Tate Taylor

Written by: Scotty Landed

  The weekend is here, and you’re looking to party! Look no further than Ma’s house! Under age drinking and drugs…no problem! Drink, dance, lock lips, take a nap, whatever…just don’t piss off Ma. Ma throws a wild party, but is “MA” the movie just as exciting?
  Lets start with the obvious and commend Octavia Spencer for her portrayal of Ma. Ma never really seems normal, but Octavia takes her character from as close to normal as Ma can be to totally nuts by the end. Unfortunately the rest of the cast is just alright. The next most important role is Maggie played by Diana Silvers. Maybe it’s because she’s playing the new girl in school, but she never really stands out. She just didn’t get her character to the point where you’re rooting for her when Ma becomes totally twisted.
  The other thing that holds back this movie is that it’s predictable. After the parties start the audience is shown Ma having flashbacks of herself in high school. Lets just say she wasn’t the most popular kid, and this lets the audience quickly figure out what’s going on here. Soon enough it becomes an obvious story of bullying and revenge. The only question left is how far Ma will go to carry out her revenge.
  In the end, “Ma” fails to be as exciting as the parties she throws. Octavia clearly stands out in her role as Ma. However, the teen cast can’t follow with a strong performance of their own. Not to say the movie is boring, just that there’s nothing really new for horror fans. The story is put together too well leaving nothing to surprise horror fans, including moments that might make others cringe. With that said, I give it 2 pools of blood, and move on to the next party!

  HorrO
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