Shazam!

What is the movie about? :: In an ancient magical temple in another dimension, a powerful wizard named Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) has spent centuries searching for someone pure of heart to grant him his powers and make him his champion. The previous champion was corrupted as he had released the Seven Deadly Sins for personal gains which killed the rest of the Council of Wizards who shared space with him. The sins, pride, wrath, greed, envy, sloth, gluttony and lust are also looking to escape and find their own champion. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong), who had spent many years searching for the magical temple, manages to find the clues, and reach the place before the champion could be discovered by the wizard. He was someone who was forced to live in hope for finding the power, after being rejected at a younger age by the wizard due to his attraction to the temptations of the deadly sins.

So, what happens with the events here? :: Making his way to the magical temple, he steals the Eye of Sin, and the sins become part of him as they defeat the wizard. An angry Thaddeus uses his newfound power to kill his father, brother, and his own company Sivana Industries’ board of directors, as nobody believed what he described as a child, about the wizard and the deadly sins. At the same time, a fourteen year old foster child Billy Batson (Asher Angel) keeps running away from foster homes to search for his mother, from whom he became separated when they were at a grand carnival. Finally, he is put in a group home with five other foster children including Frederick Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer) who becomes his best friend, the beautiful and academically driven Mary Bromfield (Grace Fulton), extremely loving and good natured Darla Dudley (Faithe Herman), gamer and technology expert Eugene Choi (Ian Chen) shy and sensitive Pedro Pena (Jovan Armand)

And what else follows with the happenings? :: The group home is run by Victor (Cooper Andrews) and Rosa Vasquez (Marta Milans) who tries to keep the family together with great effort. But they are not really a family with differences showing up at all times, especially with Billy, who desperately wants to meet his biological mother again. One day, when Billy finally decides to stand up for Frederick as a brother as he sees himself in his position, he is chased by bullies to end up in a metro from where he is transported to the magical temple, which is known as the Rock of Eternity. There, the wizard chooses him to be his champion of the good against evil, and to save the world from the deadly sins which were unleashed, and the vessel which Thaddeus had become. A confused Billy reluctantly agrees, and on saying the magic word, is transformed into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) – but he is clueless about what happens next with the wizard gone. What can he do now?

The defence of Shazam! :: This is the movie when DC decides to go away from its darker and serious tone, towards a world which has common men and women with children having all the fun in the world, and at the same time, brings some fine jokes. Shazam! never really makes one feel that there is terror beyond words, and that the world is in peril – it is thus something which is best suited for children. The movies like Justice League, Man of Steel, Aquaman and Wonder Woman gave that feeling which made an apocalypse come closer, but in this case, with a continuing funny side and added kids, it never feels that the Seven Deadly Sins and its vessel will bring that terror. The movie’s superhero elements are usual, but well explored. We also have some kind of message about family, which feels too common and repetitive, but is there to be taken.

The claws of flaw :: Compared to the usual superhero stuff, Shazam! takes a deviation, and this sometimes works, and at times, it just doesn’t. Without the feeling of enough terror faced by the world, it struggles to keep up the momentum, even though it is never that foolish as Deadpool and Deadpool 2 even with that funny side which stays throughout the movie. It is still not that effective as Ant-Man and Ant-Man 2 managed to come up with. Starting from an idea which wouldn’t make sense even in the superhero world, the movie is more or less childish in nature, and for the same reason, it doesn’t work that well with the adult audience. Shazam! is best suited to be an animated movie, and the fact that they have managed this far is worth the applause, but it will not be something that will stay in our minds for long as it goes too childish at times.

The performers of the soul :: This movie comes from the director of Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation – doesn’t really carry that feeling of horror and terror into this movie, as he makes another one to work. David F Sandberg will also be directing the second film in the series too. Concerning the performances, the movie’s strongest point is its villain, Mark Strong as Dr. Thaddeus Sivana is a joy to watch as he becomes a controlled, evil villain whom we can admire. The kids led by Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer are pretty good, but nothing much for us to remember. Zachary Levi makes a pretty good impact as the adult version superhero. Grace Fulton is the next one whom we remember. She could have a bigger superhero appearance sooner or later as she seems to be very much suited for such a character. The Seven Deadly Sins could have had human forms too, as they would provide more to explore within them.

How it finishes :: Shazam! is the first movie which I watch during the Corona Lockdown, during its early stages. India went into a complete lockdown on 24th of March midnight, and it was supposed to go on until 14th of April midnight, a time period of 21 days. But our lockdown at home had started rather early, on 22nd of March, one day before the Janata Curfew and the lockdown of Corona infected districts and states. The situation has definitely changed now, and so have our worries. With the vaccine almost here, lets hope that we all survive this pandemic. We can only hope that there are no more big variations of the virus which would bring further trouble. This will also be the final movie of the year to be reviewed on Movies of the Soul, as we hope for a new beginning in 2021, with the expectation that it won’t be that bad as 2020, but you can never be so sure about it.

Release date: 5th April 2019
Running time: 132 minutes
Directed by: David F Sandberg
Starring: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Djimon Hounsou, Faithe Herman, Grace Fulton, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Marta Milans, Cooper Andrews

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Annabelle: Creation

Vampire Owl: Did they confirm with Annabelle before making this movie?

Vampire Bat: I am sure that they don’t really believe that Annabelle is real; otherwise they wouldn’t have dared.

Vampire Owl: But she does, and I had tried to adopt her and failed because I didn’t meet the minimum requirements.

Vampire Bat: There are minimum requirements for adopting a doll? This is surely a new thing.

Vampire Owl: Yes, and the procedure is also not under vampire control. It is far beyond our reach.

Vampire Bat: That is pure nonsense. The Vampire World has fine diplomatic ties with each and every race in the realm, even with those we don’t like and have war with, at times.

Vampire Owl: But we are beyond many levels of realm now. Annabelle’s contact details is beyond.

Vampire Bat: You shouldn’t be venturing the world beyond, alone – unless it is also human world.

Vampire Owl: There is that red guy with long horns out there. He talks business very well, and I think that he is a very rich man from the human world.

Vampire Bat: Well, most of the human millionaires have to be demons at one point or the other; being too rich has its own side-effects.

[Gets three cups of iced tea with Arrowroot biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: A dollmaker in the countryside, Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) and his wife Esther (Miranda Otto) are living a happy life with their seven year old daughter Annabelle (Samara Lee). Things seem to be too perfect until one day, the child is run over by a car, which leaves the two into a state of grief from which they never seem to get away, finding the tragedy too terrible to escape from. A few years later, the Mullins open their home to provide a place to live for Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) and six girls who were left homeless after their orphanage closed. Among the girls, there are Janice (Talitha Bateman), a girl who can’t walk right, as well as her best friend from the orphanage, Linda (Lulu Wilson) who have agreed to the fact that if they are adopted by a family, they will go together as one, and not to separate houses.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: The other girls include the two elder ones, Carol (Grace Fulton) and Nancy (Philippa Coulthard), as well as the remaining two, Kate (Tayler Buck) and Tierney (Lou Lou Safran) who find their own ways to have fun in the huge house at the countryside which is nothing less than a palace or castle for them. There is a certain restriction imposed on the girls from entering Annabelle’s room though, and Samuel is very strict about the same. Despite such an instruction, Janice is awakened by a noise, and she enters the same room which is somehow unlocked despite being locked all the time, after she gets a note in front of the door which says “find me”. With curiosity getting the better of the girl who never really had the time or energy for an adventure, she gets into the room which has a lot of toys, but in the closet, there is a special one, the Annabelle doll, and as she uses the key to open the door leading to it, a demon is unleashed.

And what is to follow next in this adventure? :: The unleashed demon doesn’t wait in beginning to terrorize the girls, starting with the one who brought it into this world. Even though the other girls are reluctant to believe in the existence of such a demon, they are soon forced to have belief in the evil force inside the house. It reveals itself to Janice, and tells her that it needs her soul. The attacks get worse, and she is thrown down the stairs, leading her to be fully restricted to the wheelchair. Soon, she shows the signs of being possessed, and a scared Linda tells Samuel about the same. It is revealed that he and his wife had felt a presence a long time ago, which they believed was of their daughter Annabelle’s spirit, and gave it permission to pass through the dimensions and enter a doll which was made by him. But soon, they realize that they had attracted a demon looking for a host. They took the doll to Annabelle’s room and locked it in a closet with pages from the Holy Bible, and keep it away with the help of priests and prayers. It remained there for long, but not anymore!

The defence of Annabelle: Creation :: You will find Annabelle: Creation to be scary, and also better than the previous Annabelle movie, making the origins of something worth our attention, all the time. It has that kind of a setting, which will not only have the scary side to be stronger, but also having a fine emotional side, as we are more bothered about the characters than in most of the other horror movies. It is the setting that makes sure that it rises to The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 movies, even though not in totality. There is smartness in how the doll is used, and there is also the images of the scarecrow, and even the light is not capable of stopping our force of evil right here. The girls are all lovable, especially Talitha Bateman who plays the main character, who manages the fear and sadness before possession, and the change after the presence being inside her really well. Stephanie Sigman as Sister Charlotte is capable of carrying the whole thing too.

The claws of flaw :: There is a certain amount of slowness with this movie in the beginning stages, establishing a lot about the characters and the setting. The movie could be termed as about twenty minutes longer than it should have been, as this could be the perfect one and half hours of horror being unleashed quick and smart. There are also those moments which could have been scarier, with further frightening things added. You will find that a few mysteries remain unsolved in this one. There is the reminder about The Woman in Black: Angel of Death which had a school’s headmistress and children being evacuated to Eel Marsh House, an isolated manor house on a certain island in the marshes, being safe from the German bombing offensive against Great Britain during the Second World War. But you will find Annabelle: Creation to be a better movie than that one, without doubt despite feeling that you have seen the setting before.

How it finishes :: Don’t miss the final post-credits scene set in the Abbey of Saint Carta, Romania, for there is the little teaser to the upcoming movie The Nun, as the demon Valak makes the next move. Valak was someones who had created a better impact than any other demon with a name at this part of the world, and we know here that something huge is still to come, and with its setting in Romania, one can be sure that it has the inner strength to overtake all movies in the franchise. Until then, you can watch Annabelle: Creation, an improvement on its predecessor, and one of the horror movies to watch from the year 2017. You have loved Chucky of Child’s Play, with seven movies in that franchise, and Annabelle is like more of serious and believable horror with its tale – why shouldn’t the dolls have all the fun? Even The Boy had one in there to bring the thrills as well as the twist; humans really need to watch out. We might have a Cinematic Universe of horror here which can rise above that of Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and team; better watch out, Avengers!

Release date: 11th August 2017
Running time: 110 minutes
Directed by: David F Sandberg
Starring: Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto, Lulu Wilson, Grace Fulton, Philippa Coulthard, Samara Lee,Tayler Buck as Kate, Lou Lou Safran, Mark Bramhall, Adam Bartley, Lotta Losten, Alicia Vela-Bailey, Tree O’Toole, Joseph Bishara, Fred Tatasciore, Brian Howe, Kerry O’Malley, Annabelle Wallis (cameo), Ward Horton (cameo), Bonnie Aarons (cameo)

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Lights Out

lightsout-2

Vampire Owl: I often feel that Don’t Breathe is Lights Out.

Vampire Bat: Where does the confusion come from? Why is that so?

Vampire Owl: Because lights are out in Don’t Breathe.

Vampire Bat: And I hear that you don’t breathe in Lights Out.

Vampire Owl: But lights are also out in Lights Out – so we don’t breathe too? So there are two movie titles inside this one.

Vampire Bat: Yes, and with lights being out in Don’t Breathe, there are two of them there too.

Vampire Owl: Such confusion! So many of my friends are confused between these two impressive horror movies.

Vampire Bat: Yes, they end up talking about one movie when asked about the other flick.

Vampire Owl: Why can’t people be better informed about horror movies?

Vampire Bat: Because people just not good enough to know the eternal truth in life, which is undoubtedly horror.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with banana chips].

What is the movie about? :: Paul (Billy Burke) is running a textile warehouse, and is married to Sophie (Maria Bello) who seems to be having certain mental problems, talking to herself in the dark which has their son Martin (Gabriel Bateman) a lot worried. One night, Esther (Lotta Losten), Paul’s assistant sees a dark figure when the lights are turned off, but nothing is seen when the lights are turned on. He warns Paul about the same, but he doesn’t want to listen to her as he is busy with his own problems at home. Left alone in the warehouse, he himself sees the shadowy figure when the lights are out. Despite his best efforts to keep the light turned on, they just keep going out. Even though he manages to lock himself inside his cabin with lights turned on, the figure manages to enter after turning off all lights at the warehouse, managing to murder him.

So, what happens next? :: Paul’s stepdaughter, Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) lives separately, after problems with her mother. But when Martin starts having problems at school and his mother doesn’t pick the phone, Rebecca is called by the authorities and she visits Sophie only to decide that it is better to have Martin move to her place. As they move to her place leaving a depressed Sophie behind, Rebecca sees a shadowy figure at the door which attacks her, but disappears with the light. This reminds her of something that she experienced as a child, and determined to do something about it, with the help of her boyfriend Bret (Alexander DiPersia), she gets the much needed information about this creature of darkness that was referred to as Diana during her childhood. But there is more to it than she thinks, with a long flashback which ties this creature with the memories of Sophie.

The defence of Lights Out :: Are you afraid of the dark? Well, this one makes sure that you stay afraid of darkness no matter how hard you try to escape from that fear, so better be warned. With a creature that vanishes with light and appears with no light or a very low amount of light, this movie manages to bring the best possible scares in a short amount of run-time. There is the creature which one can’t seem to stop, except for hoping that the lights don’t go, and with the realization that the absence of light is darkness, which is the reality as the night arrives, one can’t dare to stop being afraid. With the idea from the director’s own short horror movie, this also manages to be clever just as the short-film. It brings to us variety in horror, and with a run-time of less than one and half hours, it keeps us not breathing for most of the time. If it does bring back to the valiant, the most common fear of the dark, one needn’t be surprised.

Positives and negatives :: Your need to be afraid while switching off the lights is back – this kind of horror movies which uses the basic fears have been missing for long, but has returned for the best. Consider yourself in the theatre watching this movie in the dark, and then the power goes – what would you think? Watching this one late night is surely the better idea. With better attempts from the protagonists to stop this creature, we could have had more here though, but this movie ends too early – less than one and half hours is too less for this kind of a movie at a time when pathetic movies are rather too long. We need movies like this one, to be longer, as this is one creature that we are going to miss except for when the lights are turned off and we misunderstand one of our hanging shirts to be a creature. Maybe a better flashback story and more of it would have helped – maybe we could have had more scares before the family comes together with the creature.

Performers of the soul :: As Lights Out attempts to use your most possible fears against you, we have our cast which is very well suited for this movie. Teresa Palmer, as expected, leads the way, as she looks less like Kristen Stewart like she did in Warm Bodies and Point Break, and once again performs a lot better than her in Twilight and Snow White and the Huntsman. She does make a fine choice for horror movies, as she has proven in this one. Having her in this one was a big bonus with the creature being too good by itself, and we can say that Maria Bello keeps her character safe. Gabriel Bateman also joins in, and Alexander DiPersia does better than a usual supporting character in a horror movie will do. Before Insidious: Chapter 4 and Annabelle 2 coming up from him, James Wan has produced another gem here, which goes with a long list of fine horror movies.

How it finishes :: This interesting horror movie, Lights Out is based on a 2013 Swedish short-film which had the same concept of a creature of darkness using the same to bring the scares to the viewers. Running for just three minutes, it was one nice scary work from the same director, and the actress featured in the short-film also had a small role in this flick, as the assistant at the warehouse. Among the two movies, the way the short-film brings the scares in such a short amount of time, is just an act of brilliance, and it is sure to scare you more than enough to get you interested in this full-length movie. If you haven’t watched the short-film yet, do watch it below, and then you can understand what this movie is about. Most of the people have already watched this one, as it had went on to become very popular on Facebook and Twitter.

 

AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! 🙂

Release date: 22nd July 2016
Running time: 81 minutes
Directed by: David F. Sandberg
Starring: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Billy Burke, Maria Bello, Amiah Miller, Alicia Vela-Bailey, Ava Cantrell, Lotta Losten, Andi Osho

lightsoutt

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.