Malignant

Vampire Owl: We are all malignant, aren’t we?

Vampire Bat: Why are you categorizing us as evil again?

Vampire Owl: We cannot be part of the good, can we?

Vampire Bat: We have done more deeds of goodness than any other species.

Vampire Owl: Yes, in comparison to humans, we are not evil at all.

Vampire Bat: Well, we could even be considered good, in that case.

Vampire Owl: I don’t understand why humans consider themselves to be less evil than the undead species.

Vampire Bat: Well, it is mainly because they are not good enough to be undead.

Vampire Owl: Yes, they just go into the grave and won’t rise again these days.

Vampire Bat: Dead humans! Less evil than those alive, aren’t they?

[Gets a vegetable samosa and three cups of white tea].

What is the movie about? :: In the year 1993, in Simon Research Hospital, Dr Florence Weaver (Jacqueline McKenzie) is treating a strange man with superpowers with the help of her colleagues Dr Victor Fields (Christian Clemenson) and Dr John Gregory (Amir Aboulela). One night this man who seems more like a strange entity escapes and kills a number of people in the research facility. Florence feels that this should end soon enough, as there are messages coming from the entity about killing them all, as he has learnt to broadcast his thoughts through speakers and control electricity. Twenty seven years later, Madison Lake Mitchell (Annabelle Wallis), a pregnant woman who is forced to live with her abusive husband, Derek Mitchell (Jake Abel). She has to spend the whole time in the house, as she keeps getting ill, and so many of her children had died inside the womb. But Derek remains abusive as usual and needs no reason to attack her.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: After Derek smashes her head against a wall, she has a dream, about him being killed by an unknown assailant who had entered the house. The attacker looks less human and more like a supernatural entity. After the brutal murder, she realizes that it was not a dream as Derek is found dead, and the killer also attacks Madison, leading her unconscious. CST Winnie (Ingrid Bisu) who is the first on the scene finds the situation as a case like never before. She is informed by her sister Sydney Lake (Maddie Hasson) that the baby didn’t survive. Detective Kekoa Shaw (George Young) is the officer in charge, and he would be supported by Detective Regina Moss (Michole Briana White). There is no clues being left behind though, with no footprints, fingerprints or signs of forced entry. The police begins to do doubt if she had murdered her abusive husband. She decides to stay in the same house, even though her sister asks her to leave and start again. Now, things change for her.

The defence of Malignant :: It seems that even though Malignant isn’t a well-known movie among the horror of its times, it does manage to come up with something stronger than expected. They mystery that is hidden in here is pretty much strong, and there are secrets which are interesting enough. Its divergence is also something to be appreciated, as we see how interesting the deviation happens to be. The music is nicely suited for the movie, and there are enough sound effects to support the same. The atmosphere related to the killer and his past are also nicely created. There is something to wonder around here for most of the time, and the creepiness never really leaves us completely. There is a lot of skill related to how things have been created here, a world in which something out of this world thrives, and uses the atmosphere to the terror. There is also the beauty in this world of terror, which doesn’t seem to amaze us either. There are some fine effects using the lights, and the movement of the monster is an interesting thing by itself. We also have the interesting twists to add to the same.

Positives and negatives :: The movie should have actually been better marketed to bring more audience to understand it with the right elements. As this movie goes through a different path, it also contributes as a different kind of a scary film. We know that there is something about this horror which is differently scary. This also feels like something which is more possible in this world of chaos than the ghosts, aliens and others. The ending seems to be a little bit forced, but does feel appropriate, and could have worked nicer with a little more care. The messages are also present, related to motherhood and sisterhood here. The movie also has some scope for a future sequel, and this is the kind of idea which can bring more and lead to more of divergence. This is also a reminder to the fact that terror has no limits, and it can return at any time. The psychological elements are also working really well around here. We go through the elements of murder investigation with a supernatural touch, and the twists take this a step further through different genres. Yet, it could felt scarier with the first half, and it had some struggle there.

The performers of the soul :: Annabelle Wallis leads the way in this horror movie as the scream queen in trouble. She has been part of Annabelle and The Mummy, thus being no stranger to all the horror. As she is no stranger to this genre, she manages things really well, never providing the feeling that she doesn’t belong. One also has to appreciate Marina Mazepa who performed as the body double for the monster figure – a work deserving a lot of appreciation as we look at it, with a lot of flexible action to be performed from her side. Maddie Hasson also blends into the horror really well, and could be part of more films belonging to the genre. The two performances playing the sisters are also to be appreciated around here, with an emotional side also getting into the act. George Young as Detective Kekoa Shaw does the job really well, but the police is indeed the clueless team in this particular film. Michole Briana White as Detective Regina Moss serves as the more disbelieving police officer. Jacqueline McKenzie and Jean Louisa Kelly plays interesting characters from the past well.

How it finishes :: Malignant works well, even though it is not that good as some of those nice and interesting horror and slasher movies which Netflix had gained earlier. The movie manages to be a different kind of horror, and has those kind of twists which we don’t usually imagine. As you move towards the end of the movie, the surprise is something that will have our interest. We have had variety in horror with It Follows, Don’t Breathe and Lights Out, and it is time to have one more added to the list. This is also the kind of horror that comes from the inside and the manifestation of the creature is something which you will find terrifying enough, and then you have the gore as well as a lot of action, much to the surprise of all of us who are looking for the horror to come in the usual pattern. You have to love it when divergence is worth it, and when you get the least expected, and in a good way, there is not much to complain around here.

Release date: 10th September 2021
Running time: 111 minutes
Directed by: James Wan
Starring: Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Michole Briana White, Jean Louisa Kelly, Susanna Thompson, Jacqueline McKenzie, Jake Abel, Ingrid Bisu, Christian Clemenson, Ruben Pla, Amir Aboulela, Josh Rutgers, Jon Lee Brody, Dan Ramos, Paula Marshall, Zoe Bell, Ray Chase, Marina Mazepa, Andy Bean, Patricia Velasquez, Mckenna Grace, Madison Wolfe

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Conjuring 3

Vampire Owl: We have missed The Conjuring series so much.

Vampire Bat: Yes, La Llorna, Nun and Annabelle couldn’t serve enough.

Vampire Owl: Well, the original will always rise above the spinoffs.

Vampire Bat: Most of the time, I would agree to the same.

Vampire Owl: You are trying to focus on the possible exceptions for too long.

Vampire Bat: We have to look at the exceptions too, as they are also present.

Vampire Owl: I would focus on the righteous horror that this franchise brings.

Vampire Bat: Yes, that will remain our primary focus at all times.

Vampire Owl: I also suggest the use of one vampire character in the franchise.

Vampire Bat: I am pretty sure that won’t be need, with so many demons and ghosts wandering around in this particular universe.

[Gets a vegetable cutlet and three glasses of chocolate shake].

What is the movie about? :: In the year 1981, the expert demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) are documenting the exorcism of 8-year-old David Glatzel (Julian Hilliard), with his family being present there. His sister Debbie (Sarah Catherine Hook), her boyfriend Arne Johnson (Ruairi O’Connor), and Father Gordon (Steve Coulter) are the others present there, as the process unfold in Brookfield, Connecticut. During the process of exorcism, Arne calls the demon a coward and asks it to enter his body instead of David’s. Despite being warned not to talk to it, he has the demon interested here with his talks. Ed sees that the demon transport itself from David’s body to Arne’s, but suffers a heart attack due to the violent demonic attack, and is taken to the hospital. This particular exorcism was meant to end months of torment of David, but for Arne, it was just the beginning of a long period of torture. Arne and Sarah seem to be having perfect life, but not everything is that perfect with them. The two are in love, and Arne is close to proposing, but their life is no longer about just that and work.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Ed takes about a month to wake up, and it turns out that only he saw that the demon entered the body of Arnie. Then the first ever murder in 193 years history of that town occurs, as Arnie murders the landlord of the apartments with 22 stabs. Lorraine does call the police, but the cops arrive there late, and can only find Arnie covered in the blood of the victim, and holding the murder weapon that belonged to him, with his fingerprints all over it. The lawyer doesn’t think that there is any hope for Arnie to escape in the name of demonic possession, but she is convinced by the Warrens. Still, fighting the first American murder trial to defend using demonic possession, the Warrens are not sure where the demon has now gone. There is no trace of any such demon on Arnie, as he is able to read from the Holy Bible and use the Holy Cross without any difficulty. This means that there is the need to be find the source of all these which started with one child’s possession. What all secrets do that hold? Are they good enough to save Arnie from death sentence?

The defence of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It :: With the initial plans on exorcism, we know that the movie is really serious here, as it gets into action very soon – it is as if the demons cannot wait, and we also get into that horror mood with it, as we are led with the fine beginning. The demon is about seriousness from the beginning itself. There are the secrets to be discovered about an occult, and the effective use of darkness, sound effects and quick scares continue to be present as any other film of the genre would possess too. There is some deviation from the usual demons which are seen around, and some fine visual treats are arranged not just with the locations of the time, but also with the use of lighting in the darkness. The footsteps in the darkness and the effective music nicely play part in this one. The case that the film deals with, is also interesting in its own way, and one would have to keep thinking about the possibilities of such a thing happening, even though evil humans are always possible of a lot of things. What would happen when an evil human is possessed by an evil spirit?

Positive and negatives :: We are already a little too much familiar with this world of The Conjuring, and we see things which have been used many times before with the franchise, as well as the spin-offs – the demons are not really the strangers that we knew them to be. The demons should surely have required an update, after all these years, it is only appropriate for them to get their own upgrades at least with science and technology developing. You can see many possibilities here, and some of them are lost, even though the basic elements of the franchise do remain similar in nature. We have all been fond of these portrayal of evil spirits, and there is no real harm in asking for more every time. Well, the demons deliver better than humans, that is for sure, and the same is ascertained by the end of the film, as promises are better kept by the forces from the other world. The ending could have been a spectacle though, and this one came so close to it in moments, but the film doesn’t become that grand a thing with its final scenes.

Performers of the soul :: Patrick Wilson is someone whom we have seen on many occasions on the big screen, unlike the other actors and actresses who have consistently acted in horror films. Insidious has already seen him in there as part of the other successful horror franchise, and he has been the villain in Aquaman, but nothing to remember him like his role in this particular franchise. He continues to do what he has been doing the best here too. He seems to have seen more superpowers and supernatural in his work in Hollywood than anybody else, and we can be sure that more is to come from this franchise for him. Vera Farmiga surely has more work to do as far as the unveiling the mysteries of this particular paranormal investigation is concerned, and she continues her work as she was doing in the earlier parts of the franchise. Sarah Catherine Hook plays the loving and supportive girlfriend in an appreciable manner – the kind of lover who never gives up against any adversity, as sweet as you can get. Ruairi O’Connor plays the possessed with a certain amount of skill too, while Eugenie Bondurant is as pure evil as you can get here.

How it finishes :: When you have another film from The Conjuring franchise, you just get ready to watch it without thinking twice, and I am sure that most of us did the same, and have landed on this particular flick. We are all fans of that one great franchise which has found no parallels, especially with more and more spin-offs added to it, all of which having the scope to develop as separate tales of demons. It might seem that people are losing their fears for demons due to the rise in the number of demon-like humans who have infected our world with lies and hatred, not holding back in cheating people or taking a life. Then there is also the Corona virus which has shaken some people’s faith in God as well as the fear of Devil. But we just cannot ignore the presence of the supernatural, at least in the movies, for the presence of evil is always there, and it is always feels better to blame it on something else, when humanity itself is the biggest representation of the demons. After all, our trust on humans can only be as much as our trust on demons.

Release date: 15th December 2021 (Amazon); 13th August 2021 (India)
Running time: 112 minutes
Directed by: Michael Chaves
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, Julian Hilliard, Eugenie Bondurant, John Noble, Snannon Kook, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Keith Arthur Bolden, Keith Arthur, Vince Pisani, Ingrid Bisu, Andrea Andrade, Ashley LeConte Campbell, Sterling, Jerins, Paul Wilson, Charlene Amoia, Davis Osborne, Mark Rowe, Stella Doyle, Jay Peterson

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Nun

What is the movie about? :: Making everyone aware of the events before The Conjuring 2 related to the demon nun, the viewers are taken to a monastery in Romania which is more or less resembling a castle from the medieval age. The nuns at the monastery are attacked by a demonic presence and the surviving nun, Sister Victoria (Charlotte Hope) commits suicide. Her body is discovered by Maurice Theriault a.k.a Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) who brings the supplies to the monastery and believes that the crosses around the building only keeps the evil inside, not preventing anything evil from getting inside. Vatican, after knowing about the problem, sends the veteran investigator of the paranormal, Father Burke (Demian Bichir) to investigate, along with the British novitiate Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) who is supposed to have her special visions.

So, what happens with the events to follow? :: They do reach the destination and meet up with Frenchie who introduces the place as belonging to the Dark Ages or even further before. They find the body to be sitting instead of lying as it was kept earlier. Burke and Irene stays at the monastery while Frenchie returns home, only to be attacked on the way, near the tombs. Burke and Irene are also attacked by demons, but they manage to survive, and so does Frenchie who somehow reaches the local tavern. Burke who is almost buried alive is saved by Irene, and he hopes to do more with his skills. They figure out that there is a long history for the monastery which used to be a castle, and it says a story of demons, witchcraft and more terror that lies beyond and beneath. What they are seeing outside is only the tip of the iceberg, and more is to be revealed.

And what is follow with the tale? :: Sister Oana (Ingrid Bisu) at the monastery reveals to Irene that there is a terrible past that is not known about the monastery. She tells Irene that in this space, a castle by a duke who was obsessed with dark magic existed during the middle ages. The duke was killed by the forces of Vatican and the portal to hell which he was opening, was sealed with a certain artifact having the blood of Jesus Christ. It was the bombings of the Second World War that opened the portal again, and it seems that evil has crossed over to this world from the other. To prevent this evil entity from taking over, the nuns keep praying all the time, calling perpetual adoration to be the only chance to keep the demon away. But the question remains if that would be enough, as the demon is more powerful than they could ever imagine, and they are running out of time.

The defence of The Nun :: The best thing about the movie its setting itself. The Gothic setting gives the mystery more life, and we can feel the horror from the environment itself. The Gothic architecture with hidden secrets makes sure that we are wondering what would happen next. The scares are also waiting to happen at almost all corners. The darkness and the sound effects are also used to make sure that the frightening sequences manage more. The creepy feeling is always present. The movie also leaves something to bring a prequel to the beginning of the demon Valak’s existence in this world. More of how much it frightens you is based on your willing suspension of disbelief, and it is certainly not that easy in the modern world as far as the demons are concerned – humans can do that better, and be the bigger threat to their kind.

The claws of flaw :: There was something special expected with a movie of The Conjuring like The Nun. But the same is not delivered here, and the movie also seems to be confused about making the best use of the genre by adding the jokes when things should have been kept serious. The best of of the elements is not there when needed. There are also moments when the movie seems to provide the feeling of Evil Dead, a flick with which this one should have kept a distance considering the kind of themes the two deal with. Even with the religion and myth, the movie could have achieved more. It could have been longer with scarier moments with all those features that a Gothic castle in Romania could provide, taking us back to the memories of Bram Stoker’s Dracula itself.

The performers of the soul :: Taissa Farmiga remains strong throughout this movie, and it is a quality that has to be appreciated in horror movies when its heroine raises the level very much. Even though the name is not that much familiar to those from this part of the world, her work in the series American Horror Story did establish her as a scream queen much earlier. Demian Bichir makes a strong hunter of demons in this one. Jonas Bloquet supports pretty well, and adds a certain funny side even to the more serious sequences – that happens when not needed too. The other characters are of lesser relevance in comparison, and as in any other horror movie, they have a bigger struggle for survival compared to the main characters – from the results itself, it is clear that their existence is of less significance throughout the movie.

How it finishes :: The series of horror coming from The Conjuring franchise is never getting old – we have had The Conjuring, Annabelle, The Conjuring 2, Annabelle 2 and now The Nun, almost none of them failing to leave a mark in one way or the other. The Annabelle doll in the movie brought one spin-off earlier, and the demon Valak now brings another. There is always scope for a lot more in The Conjuring universe, but it surely have to do better, and more than what The Nun did. Despite agreeing to the fact that this is an enjoyable flick, the franchise needs to bring something special to keep the level of horror higher. All of us welcome each and every movie in the franchise with a lot of expectations, and there is always scope for more with all those demonic spirits among which many more are yet to come from hell.

Release date: 7th September 2018
Running time: 96 minutes
Directed by: Corin Hardy
Starring: Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Charlotte Hope, Bonnie Aarons, Ingrid Bisu, Jonny Coyne, Sandra Teles, Mark Steger, Manuela Ciucur, Ani Sava, Jared Morgan, August Maturo, Claudio Charles Schneider, Michael Smiley

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.