The Scorch Trials

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Vampire Owl :: This is not really the maze runner, is it?

Vampire Bat :: There is no maze in this one; but it is still officially a maze runner movie.

Vampire Owl :: How can this be a maze runner movie without the protagonists running through the maze?

Vampire Bat :: Well, they don’t even walk through it, but the title demands so.

Vampire Owl :: I was hoping to see more of the maze.

Vampire Bat :: We all were; the maze part was so good in the first movie.

Vampire Owl :: They could use the same again, in some other way, like levels change in games.

Vampire Bat :: Well, they were out of the maze in the first movie itself, so I think that it was never going to be possible.

Vampire Owl :: The audience never gets what they want to have, right?

Vampire Bat :: That has always been the case.

[Gets three cups of tea with jackfruit chips].

A flashback to the first movie :: The first movie which had gathered some good opinions from the critics and viewers began this adventure in the area which was surrounded by stone walls, leaving only one escape route, through the maze. This maze has strange creatures wandering inside though, and it was more like suicide for someone to go out through that path, which made the people inside create a small civilisation of their own, and the numbers increased with more and more people send up through a lift from under, which goes down only when all the weight is removed from it. The residents of this area which they called “The Glade”, trained runners to go through the maze and find a way out. The movie ends with them finally finding a way out through the maze.

What is it about? :: Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and the other surviving youth from the maze, Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), Minho (Ki Hong Lee), Frypan (Dexter Darden) and Winston (Alexander Flores) are taken to what seems to be a safe place away from all the trouble – they are welcomed to a facility run by Janson (Aidan Gillen) who promises to make things better. It is all about one virus and finding a cure; all those who have escaped and reached the facility seems to be immune to the same. But things don’t seem to be normal with this particular facility. Soon, they find out that it belongs to World Catastrophe Killzone Department (WCKED) led by Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) who was supposed to be dead, but it is not the case.

So what happens next? :: As they understand that the WCKED is experimenting on the immunes, despite being warned of “The Scorch”, the deadly situation that prevails outside the facility, the group makes an escape, and goes on in search of hope. They look forward to meeting with a resistance group, “The Right Arm” who are supposed to be hiding somewhere in the mountains and are bringing the fight to the WCKED. Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito) and Brenda (Rosa Salazar) who leave their crew to help them in finding the resistance group. But the question remains if the resistance group really exist, and even if it does, are these people of any good when facing the WCKED who are armed with the best technology and weapons?

The defence of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials :: The movie does catch your attention very early, as the scene shifts from the maze to what seems to an entirely new world. The new world detail is really good if you have a nice look at everything. We are given the assumption that there is something huge coming up all the time, and with secrets left to be brought out, we keep hunting for the same with the protagonists. There is no real love story in here to slow things further than what has been going on then, and that is also a positive. There are some good action sequences around here too, and one really ends up thinking that there is the need to watch the next and the final movie of the franchise, Maze Runner: The Death Cure to get the best of it; the movie ends in such a way that we have to look for that sequel coming up on January 12th, 2018.

The claws of flaw :: The main trouble that this movie has to face is that it is a Maze Runner movie without the maze, and as that was the most important factor which made the first movie a success, this one was sure to trail. With the idea of rebellion not that well used as with Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games and Beatrice Prior of Divergent, Thomas doesn’t do the same that well – our protagonist doesn’t go on to develop that much as a character. The moments of big thrills and heavy emotions are also missing in this particular flick. Too many people as well as incidents are predictable here, and the story doesn’t have that big strength which it should have had with the idea of the scorch being introduced – it could have been a show stealer like the maze, but it just isn’t as the movie slowly moves through it to the expected end.

How it finishes :: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials could have surely been a better movie, and there is no doubt about it. It surely doesn’t get to be that good as its predecessor which had the maze and the creatures to keep things better. Still, this one manages to be there as the movie which keeps us interested in watching the final movie of the franchise. Maybe the movie could have tried not to be like many other movies, with so many elements from them coming together here, and not all of them having that much of an effect. It is more of a case of being confusing due to such additions, while the original Maze Runner was rather clear on what it was doing and proceeded through the path on which it was supposed to travel. It surely works, but not as much as it could have, with so many things within their reach, or rather too many of them! Expect no hunger games!

Release date: 18th September 2015
Running time: 131 minutes
Directed by: Wes Ball
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen, Ki Hong Lee, Barry Pepper, Lili Taylor, Patricia Clarkson, Alan Tudyk, Rosa Salazar, Jacob Lofland, Alexander Flores

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Conjuring

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We are all going to die – I would hope that the same would happen as fast as possible. I watched The Conjuring and it was scary, and I am hundred percent sure that it can give anybody sleepless nights. But what has happened to me? Why am I not afraid of the supernatural movies? There should be something wrong with my intellect that all these supernatural things have become such an integral part of my life that humanity and its inherent evil scares me more than the dead. Death has always been more beautiful than the living, and with its presence among the humans, the evil makes its score ahead by a long margin, and the good waits for death. Death makes us even, being the great leveller that it is, and as the dead stays dead, it is the living that suffer in their memories, but if they come alive, then too, it is the living who are tormented by their unrest. Being tormented both by the living and the dead, the human life is a vessel full of Sulphuric acid, and we lack adamantium, both in the soul and the body, for we get broken by the supernatural as well as those which are super and natural. They are all part of the big shame of that torment which is brought down upon us not by the dead, but by the living. The dead are indeed better, for they do what they are supposed to do, and it is just the living creatures that contradict themselves.

Believe in the world of the dead and not of the living, for the latter is full of pathetic fools who know nothing about the other world, and it is from their lack of knowledge and extreme stupidity that I would indeed discourage each and everyone of you from doing anything on the supernatural, at least in India. In the name of science, some have denied their own roots, and how can they even look into the dead and the undead worldwide? Do they think that everything can be answered? Some questions have no answers, and others have many. There are some others which should be found out. Some of them can’t be explained, and some of them need to have a life of their own, and make more out of themselves. I would want most of you to know this before you go and watch this movie, and please be prepared to be scared; otherwise you might end up like some arrogant people who despise this world of horror and think that they are inferior works of art. They belong to that category which loves butterflies and despises bats. I am a Vampire Bat myself, but I can’t help it and I shall never choose to be not a crocodile even if I live in Lake Placid surrounded by hunters. I can tell you what an inferior work of art is, but I shall do that later. For now, let me assure you that this is one of the best works, both as an art of horror and also as fantastic entertainment.

The first thing I would like to make clear about this movie is that it has a great build-up. It has its humble beginnings of horror in the form of the supernatural in one of the most interesting dolls which has ever graced the big screen since the Child’s Play series, Annabelle doll – it should have had a significant role in The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren by Gerald Brittle; from page 39 to 53, it seemed to have a presence which can only be confirmed by someone who has seen this book outside the Amazon preview. Annabelle is not just another doll, as it is that thing which was part of what the famous paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren faced during the early 1970s. The Conjuring is more about what the name suggests, but what do we conjure, or summon? Can the spirits summon themselves? In Annable’s case, it was summoned into the doll, but the same can’t be said about the others, especially the haunted house we are dealing with. The story and presence of Annable is more important as the symbol of everything evil that exists within the movie. It is also the scariest image which exists without the help of an visual or sound effects, as the doll itself becomes the visual representation of all the evil that tries to break free in the human world.

The story goes back to 1971, when Carolyn (Lili Taylor) and Roger Perron (Ron Livingston) move into an old house in the middle of nowhere, with their five daughters – Andrea, Nancy, Christine, Cindy and April (Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland, Joey King, Mackenzie Foy and Kyla Deaver). Their dog refuses to enter the house and is later found dead, and they also come across a cellar which might have been supposed to be hidden. Carolyn has strange bruises on her body and Christine is pulled down from her bed on multiple occasions. Cindy begins to sleep-walk a lot. April, the youngest of the girls become friendly with one of the spirits. One night, the spirits get more aggressive, as Carolyn is locked in the cellar and the spirits indulge in direct attacks. Even as they don’t believe in that kind of stuff, they are forced to contact paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) for a solution. The Warrens conduct an initial investigation and find out the existence of spirits, for which an exorcism might be required. They try to get evidence for the same, so that they could get authorization from the Catholic Church.

During a background check, Ed and Lorraine discover that the house and the plot once belonged to a lady who was accused to be a witch, Bathsheba, who killed herself after cursing all those people would try to take her land, and the Perrons were among them. A lot of murders and suicides have already occured in those houses that have since been built upon the property, and the house of Perrons was just a part of the big cursed neighbourhood. Bathsheba’s speciality has been about possessing the mother and making them kill their children, as she herself had sacrificed her child to the dark powers already during her lifetime. There are so many spirits around, and they belong to those mothers who were possessed and forced to kill their own children. There are also the spirits of dead children who were killed. There is rather a soul collection in the house, and considering the strength which Bathsheba has possessed through the years of doing the will of darkness, the Lorraines might be up against more than what they could handle with ease. Bathsheba is also able to move out of the house and follow Lorraines to their world involving the Annable doll which they have kept in their house. Even as Carolyn is to be possessed only to kill her daughters Christine and April, the Warrens has the fight brought to them at their house, and it turns out to be a battle which is beyond a house and a family.

How does this movie score over The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia and Evil Dead, the other two much expected horror movies which graced us with their presence this year? Well, this is the exact opposite of Evil Dead in its portrayal, as it is no gore fest, and not much blood is shed. There are no body parts being thrown at you and the insides never come out. There is no use of bad words, and even with so much less use of special effects, this movie creates a world which is no less creepier than Evil Dead. This one has powerful microseconds of thrill and suspense, for this quiet one is a beautiful world of the supernatural, the world of infinite horror. The use of silence is worth mentioning, and the sound effects are not extravagantly wasted. When Evil Dead tried to sell blood and gore, The Conjuring tries to sell artistic horror of high quality even as the end is slightly lesser in effect after an excellent climax. The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia could have been this movie, as both have similar settings and stories of history which involves random evil people and victims. But our movie scores in its treatment of the subjects and some wonderful acting. It is smartness and creativity that should define our movie which will continue to score and scare more people. Check for Evil Dead anyway: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/evil-dead/

Vera Farmiga as Lorraine Warren and Patrick Wilson as Ed Warren steals the show, and from the beginning itself, we are given the power to feel that they can be nothing other than the paranormal investigators. They don’t try to be heroic at any moment, and the movie doesn’t try to take any heavy load from the earlier movies which it can’t carry. The ghosts may be familiar, but they are not similar enough, and they are surely not the same. We know that there is also a sequel in development. You can enjoy it with a willing suspension of disbelief or by stopping being a moron. You have to accept that you are not that kind of person who knows everything, and feels that the supernatural is a lie. There is God, the devil, the demons and the witches – there are demonic possessions and there exist the need for exorcisms, the earlier you come to know about it, that much the better. But there are no real romanticized versions of the vampires in reality, and the title “vampire” is the cultural construct. The more you know that, the better it is for you – there is a world which you shall never know; embrace the same, and stop asking questions. Your disbelief shall be your end, and it shall lead you to your doom, an annihilation which you might have deserved by them with your lack of belief and that basket of nonsense you always carry in the name of science, logic and reason.

Release date: 19th July 2013 (USA); 2nd August 2013 (India)
Running time: 112 minutes
Directed by: James Wan
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor, Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland, Joey King, Mackenzie Foy, Kyla Deaver, Shannon Kook, John Brotherton, Sterling Jerins

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.