Annabelle Comes Home

What is the movie about? :: Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) continues their paranormal investigations, and manage to take the Annabelle doll home, as it had been terrorizing those who had kept it at home. During their return home, they are forced to stop the car near a cemetery, and the spirits summoned by the doll almost kills Ed. The couple are quick to take the doll to the artifacts room and is blessed by Father Gordon (Steve Coulter) before any other terrible events happen due to the demonic connection that the doll makes. The doll is kept inside a glass case, and a warning sign is provided outside, so that nobody would even think about opening the case, in case they get inside the artifacts room ignoring the warning given outside. At the same time, they continue the paranormal investigations, and add more items to the artifacts, filling the space with remains of the supernatural.

So, what happens with the events here? :: Judy Warren (Mckenna Grace) doesn’t have a good time at school as students lead by Anthony Rios (Luca Luhan) makes fun of her in the name of her parents’ paranormal investigations, and even refuses to attend her birthday party in the name of the same. Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman) is the one in charge of babysitting her, and she is only happy to listen to the stories about spirits and exorcism. Mary Ellen’s friend Daniela Rios (Katie Sarife) also comes to visit her, as the two try to make cake for Judy early, even though the birthday party is still scheduled a few days later. But Daniela’s aim is not the birthday, as she is haunted by the guilt of driving the car when her father was killed in an accident. As the Warrens are believed to have connections with the death and the undead, she hoped that something there would help her.

And what else follows with the happenings? :: When Mary and Judy are outside the house, Daniela offers to check the cake, and at the same time sneaks into the room where the artifacts are kept, hoping to find something to connect to her father. Only a message from her father could comfort her and save her from the guilt. While trying to find something that could help her and failing in doing so, she opens the glass case where Annabelle doll was held, and leaves it open, as the spirit is unleashed, looking for a human soul. Mary Ellen’s crush Bob Palmeri (Michael Cimino) arrives outside at the same time, and finds himself facing another spirit which Annabelle had awakened among the others. The house soon finds itself infested by more than one spirit, with Annabelle, the Bride and the Ferryman only some of them, as night arrives. Each space seems to be taken over by a spirit, as they try to find a solution.

The defence of Annabelle Comes Home :: We are never short of a little bit of horror, as there has been the need. The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2, The Nun, Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation and now this one has left us full of this franchise which never really seems to leave us. There is enough horror in store in this movie too, with danger lurking behind the doors, windows, curtains and within the shadows. There is also more than one spirit in store here, and the room of artifacts is once again clarified to be the one place nobody should be visiting even during day time. The movie does mark a certain return to form for the franchise, as within this movie, we can see hope for further spin-off versions. Well, the doll is nothing that never ceases to catch our interest, even more than Chucky, the Child’s Play doll of our childhood. The characters of this movie are also nicely worked out, with the older people left out, and those who have no prior knowledge of such terror being forced to face it. As usual, we have those nice sound effects as bonus.

The claws of flaw :: Annabelle Comes Home has the predictability which has been there with the horror movies up to an extent, but it does rise above the same on occasions. Even with the repetitions, we have enjoyable moments, but it seems to keep some of those with pride. The movie does take a little bit of too much time to get into the horror mode, and considering the fact that this is a movie franchise which has had a lot of time already, and understanding the idea that Annabelle needs no more time to begin the hunt, we could have began this earlier in style. Even then, the story isn’t developed that much, as all these converge into one point. Annabelle doll could also be scary with its moments, and there should have been the realization that it should be the scariest among them all, as it is the movie of the doll, and not of the other demonic abominations which could have had smaller space in comparison.

The performers of the soul :: In a horror movie, you often look forward to the performances of the ghosts, demons, vampires, zombies and werewolves instead of the humans, but here, we are blessed with the younger actors who can act, and adds as a bonus to the flick. Mckenna Grace, the child actress seems to be perfect fit for a horror movie, as she displays the skills here. She already has some horror movies to her credit and more is to come up – for the common audience here who rarely watches Hollywood movies, she played the childhood of Captain Marvel’s titular character. Madison Iseman who played Bethany in Jumanji is also here, along with Katie Sarife, all of these having good scope for future considering their performances. Patrick Wilson and Vera Fermiga have very less to do this time, as facing the demons in the house is left to the teenagers.

How it finishes :: Annabelle franchise has another interesting movie, and The Conjuring franchise also has another welcome addition. But it has to be said the horror genre hasn’t been that powerful these days, with what strength was displayed by The Conjuring when it released in 2013 not staying. As long as you are a horror fan and a fan of the franchise, this one should stay to keep the momentum going for the series, but a lot of these have been getting repetitive. Still, this one manages to continue to be strong, and we can watch it and enjoy the movie with the doll. But we are always looking for more, and now at the time of the Corona Virus, the evil spirits are not the ones which are the scariest among them – and even a medical thriller like Virus can be scary; so we are to work more and find better ideas to make such premises work better, and until then enjoy this movie.

Release date: 26th June 2019
Running time: 106 minutes
Directed by: Gary Dauberman
Starring: Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife, Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Michael Cimino, Paul Dean, Steve Coulter, Luca Luhan, Anthony Wemmys, Alison White, Stephen Blackehart, Sade Katarina, Kenzie Caplan

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

<— Click here to go to the first Portuguese movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Italian movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Latin movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Polish movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Russian movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Serbian movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Russian movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Ukrainian movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Indonesian movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Norwegian movie review on the site.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

In the Tall Grass

Vampire Owl: How tall can the grass around the castle get?

Vampire Bat: They surely can’t be taller than us, because we have to use those fields for daily exercise, sports and other activities.

Vampire Owl: The grass in this movie surely looks scary even for vampires.

Vampire Bat: It is based on Stephen King and his son Joe Hill’s 2012 novella with the same name, and so it had to be scary.

Vampire Owl: I didn’t know that Stephen King’s son was also writing horror stories.

Vampire Bat: Yes, and there are film adaptations based on his works, like The Horns which had Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple in the lead.

Vampire Owl: That is something not well known, I am sure.

Vampire Bat: The television series NOS4A2 is also based on his novel of the same name, and is pronounced Nosferatu.

Vampire Owl: So, he is also a master of horror, only of a later and new generation.

Vampire Bat: Yes, his original name is Joseph Hillstrom King, and his brother Owen Philip King and mother Tabitha King are also authors.

[Gets a ghee roast and three glasses of grape juice].

What is the movie about? :: Becky DeMuth (Laysla De Oliveira) is a young lady, six months pregnant, who seemed to be becoming a mother before he was prepared for it, and due to the same reason, the child’s father Travis McKean (Harrison Gilbertson) is no longer with her, leading her to think about not having this baby or leaving the baby behind after giving birth. Her brother Cal DeMuth (Avery Whitted) is in charge of driving the car all the way to San Diego so that she can live with her aunt there, and with Travis gone, he considers himself to be the protector of his sister and her child. Traveling through an empty road, they stop at an empty space near what seemed to be an abandoned old church. Some other vehicles were also parked nearby, but there was nobody around. It is then that they hear the voice of a child from the field nearby, which has very tall grass, and they also hear the child’s mother calling.

So, what happens with the events here? :: The two gets concerned, and enters the grass field, and begins searching for the mother and child. The sound seems to close, but they are not able to get to the father and child, despite moving quickly towards them. In the process, Becky and Cal are also separated from each other. There is no network connection in the mobile phone, and they are not able to find each other despite being able to hear the voices. In the process, they meet the members of a family who are all trapped in here. The boy whose voice they had heard is Tobin Humboldt (Will Buie Jr) who had entered the grass field chasing his dog, and his father Ross Humboldt (Patrick Wilson) and mother Natalie Humboldt (Rachel Wilson) had also entered the space following him. Now, the family is separated just like the brother and sister. It seems that there is no way out, or is there at least a slight chance?

The defence of In the Tall Grass :: The movie scores the best with its visuals. With the tall grass, and a mysterious rock in the open area which seems to be the middle of the grass field. This open space with the rock is as grand a visual as the tall grass which seems to have no end. There are separate feelings provided during the day and night, and we look back to a past which modernity cannot understand – something which goes to time before American colonization and the earlier tribes settling down, as the modern world looks at its people in confusion. There are those minutes in the beginning which serves the best to bring the terror, as the two siblings jump once to see each other close, and then with the next jump, they are nowhere to be found. The movie is also of a short length, and with only tall grass all around, it is a good thing, bringing no elongation.

The claws of flaw :: The humanization of the grass is rather underused, and the movie doesn’t have even a monster to use when caught in such a strange, supernatural world with creepy grass, a strange rock and darkness – it has a loop, and so much of mystery, but never chooses to reveal them. The background of the characters are not explored much either, and we don’t know why one character is acting different from another. The characters go out of control, as we don’t know who is dead, and who will end up killing someone, and also about who all are real, and belonging to what kind of loop. It is the kind of confusion that comes in the middle, but thankfully, things get solved in the end. But the movie could have used a post-credits scene, because this is the kind of horror film that will make people ask the questions, and they need to answer them.

Performers of the soul :: The movie has a collection of unknown actors and actresses trying to escape the tall grass field. Patrick Wilson of The Conjuring, Annabelle and Insidious fame is the only person whom most of us know. The actor who was also there in A-Team, Aquaman and Watchmen continues to be the one who makes the most impact, even though his character is so less developed, even though it was the one which needed the most of such development. Laysla De Oliveira is another actress among all others whom we are seeing for the first time, and she comes with a good performance as the pregnant lady caught in between some tall grass with no hope for escape. Will Buie Jr, the kid shows the hopeless and creepiness of those caught in such a situation very well. Harrison Gilbertson was there in Need for Speed, but we would be noticing here for the first time, and he is fine, and so is Avery Whitted. Rachel Wilson’s role is too small.

How it finishes :: The movie has you in a situation from where there can be no escape. The rules of the world, its physics won’t matter inside this strange field of tall grass, and it is a scary place to explore, and the movie has used this setting well enough to create the needed horror impact. But it has to be noted that there is not much of work done beyond that, and there is also a certain amount of confusion here, as everything is not that clear as far as In the Tall Grass is concerned. There are many things which this premise could have had, but as it is now, the whole thing looks good, and catches your attention – there are some nice visual moments of glory too. In the Tall Grass is surely not the movie which would make horror feel great, but is enough to keep it going, staying strongly within the genre, and using the tall grass to its advantage.

Release date: 4th October 2019
Running time: 101 minutes
Directed by: Vincenzo Natali
Starring: Laysla De Oliveira, Harrison Gilbertson, Avery Whitted, Will Buie Jr, Rachel Wilson, Patrick Wilson, Tiffany Helm, William Frater

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Aquaman

What is the movie about? :: A lighthouse keeper Thomas Curry (Temuera Morrison) comes up against Atlanna (Nicole Kidman), who is the princess of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis which had sunk under the Atlantic Ocean on one eventful day of ambition and hubris. He saves the injured princess and they fall in love. The unexpected sequence of events lead to the birth of Arthur Curry (Jason Mamoa) who shows the ability to communicate with marine lifeforms, and it is only one of his special skills. With the attack of the troops of Atlantis threatening her family’s life, she decides to go back to the city, hoping to come back on another day when the situation gets better. An Atlantean Nuidis Vulko (Willem Dafoe) is assigned to train Arthur as he grows up.

So, what happens with the events to follow? :: Back to the events after the incidents of Justice League, the invasion of Steppenwolf had made Arthur further part of saving the world as Aquaman, a name with which he has been referred to by the media. He comes up against the pirate David Kane (Yahya Abdul-Mateen) and his team while the group was trying to hijack a nuclear submarine – Arthur ends up defeating them, and leaves David’s father dead in the process, for which the young pirate wants revenge. Meanwhile, Orm (Patrick Wilson), Arthur’s younger half-brother and Atlantis’ king wants to begin a war against the people on the surface, as revenge against polluting ocean and causing the death of many creatures of the seas. Using an attack by David as the immediate cause, he seeks the support of the rest of the underwater kingdoms to go on war.

And what else is to follow here? :: He easily gets the support of Nereus (Dolph Lundgren), another king under the sea, and looks forward for more. The daughter of Nereus, Mera (Amber Heard) supports Arthur to become the king as the rightful heir to the crown. But at the same time, Orm wishes to get rid of Arthur, who is the first-born of the queen and therefore has a claim to the throne of Atlantis. Despite Orm sending huge tidal waves all around the world, the surface world remains ignorant about what lies beneath. Mera convinces Arthur to try and save both worlds and he agrees. But the fact remains that Arthur doesn’t have much of a chance against the power that Orm holds on his way to becoming the Ocean Master. But there might be one chance – the question remains if he can take it.

The defence of Aquaman :: One can appreciate Aquaman for its great fight sequences and stunning visuals more than anything else. It becomes a spectacle easily with these, and we just love to keep watching without taking eyes away at any moment. The visuals under the sea has all those fights happening underwater too. We have so many things to add to this visual extravaganza. Atlantis itself is a beautiful sight, and we see that even the people and their costumes are nice. There is a lot of world detail around here. The locations on the surface are also nicely chosen. The fight scene in Sicily is glorious, and the final combat is great to watch. There is also the allusion to the tale of the legendary British king Arthur, and the other reminder is related to Thor: Ragnarok which had the hero from Norse mythology fighting his sibling for control over the kingdom. Well, it even has some horror with its marine creatures – that reminds you who the director is.

Positives and negatives :: There is nothing special being added to the story, and there are no twists coming your way. The similarities to Thor: Ragnarok are many, with not just the sibling battle, but also regarding the early defeat, loss of weapon and arena battle, this time in the absence of the Incredible Hulk. But we see the cast, and most of the problems vanish with the beautiful visuals – Amber Heard does what Natalie Portman couldn’t do in Thor, as the action star on the lines of Kate Beckinsale of Underworld and Mila Jovovich of Resident Evil, as she does the same thing better than ever. A journey through the underwater world, and witnessing a city with so much detail can negate the negatives easily enough. There is some nice humour, and the emotions stay strong for most of the time too. It hasn’t been that easy going for DC, even though Suicide Squad was a movie I enjoyed a lot, personally. Aquaman makes it easy for DC to go forward now.

The performers of the soul :: Jason Momoa remains strong in this one, and unlike that Justice League role, this time, he brings more charm. He nicely gets into the mix of Justice League with this one, and it will be interesting to see how everything works out with another movie with a team of superheroes trying to match the Avengers in another universe. Amber Heard is amazingly good as the warrior princess from underwater. We remember her for her presence in the thrilling horror movies like All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, The Ward and The Stepfather as well as the action thrillers like And Soon the Darkness, 3 Days to Kill and Drive Angry. This one will be the new way to identify her, as a character which brings the best. She is perfectly suited for action sequences other than being remembered as a scream queen, and it is something that she seems to reiterate here. Patrick Wilson from Insidious & The Conjuring fame becomes an extremely effective villain too. Nicole Kidman has some fine moments too.

How it finishes :: Aquaman might be that one movie which could rise its level to catch up with Marvel, and after Wonder Woman, we have one another movie which lifts the universe again, with hope for even more. On the lines of Thor and Norse mythology, DC has its Greek mythology and elements including Atlantis about which we have read about in Plato’s Republic right in place. The myth and the visuals here can be considered to be even ahead of Wonder Woman, even though the island its inhabitants had their own charm too – nothing matches some nicely created underwater visual splendour though. With the second part of Avengers: Infinity War and Captain Marvel to do the job for Marvel, DC has surely made its move in a nice way, the director of Insidious and The Conjuring, James Wan has made a point once again. Well, it is surprising that Aquaman about whom not many people know – the lesser known superhero now has a movie better than each and every better known superhero of Justice League.

Release date: 14th December 2018 (India); 21st December 2018 (USA)
Running time: 143 minutes
Directed by: James Wan
Starring: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen, Graham McTavish, Temuera, Ludi Lin, Randall, Djimon Hounsou, Natalia Safran, Sophia Forrest

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Conjuring 2

theconjuring2 (2)

Vampire Owl :: We were so close to missing this movie; it could have disappeared leaving us with only those positive opinions about this movie.

Vampire Bat :: But we didn’t miss, and it is the beauty here.

Vampire Owl :: Now, we have some new horror to report about here.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, and it is sweet to see so many people choosing this movie over the other inferior movies.

[Gets the tickets with some cheese popcorn].

✠ This was recently posted by me at Kiagia.com: http://www.kiagia.com/index.php/current-film-releases-movie/1454-the-conjuring-2-movie-review

In the year 2013, when The Conjuring released, there was new life for the horror genre. The first installment in The Conjuring movie series had such huge success that it made sure that there will be more to come, and after the spin-off Annabelle, the sequel to the original arrived, and has managed to be the talk of the town again. This movie continues the adventures of the American paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine, the Warrens who were associated with going through a good number of cases of haunting throughout the country. The Conjuring is based on the case of the Enfield Poltergeist which goes back to 1970s in England where there were claims of poltergeist activity and the Warrens were involved in the investigation.

Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) are checking the Amityville house in 1976, but Lorraine goes through a vision through the murders which happened at place and comes across a creature that looks like a demonic nun, along with a scene of the death of Ed. It has her worried about the future of their paranormal investigations, and she feels that there is some terrible fate awaiting them as long as they go on with their job. She does have another visit from the demon in her dream, and Ed also draws a portrait of the demon. It is in the year 1977 that the Hodgson family comes up against some weird incidents at their house. The police are helpless against these, and they decide to call the local priest instead to figure things out.

The family includes a divorced mother Peggy Hodgson (Frances O’Connor) and her two daughters, Janet Hodgson (Madison Wolfe) and Margaret Hodgson (Lauren Esposito), and her two sons, Johnny Hodgson (Patrick McAuley) and Billy Hodgson (Benjamin Haigh). It all begins with Janet, the second of the children beginning to talk to darkness and also seems to sleep-walk during the later hours of the night. There seems to be the presence of an evil entity, that claims that the house belongs to him and everyone else is trespassing. As the rest of the family also witness the presence of something not of this world, they stay at the neighbour’s house, but even then, they are not spared. At more than one occasion, Janet is possessed, and her situation only gets worse.

This finally brings Ed and Lorraine to the haunted house. They consult with other paranormal investigators, including Maurice Grosse (Simon McBurney) and Anita Gregory (Franka Potente) and they come across the spirit of an old man named Bill Wilkins (Bob Adrian), but the Demon Nun (Bonnie Aarons) is not really out of the equation. Soon, they will find out that the spirit of the old man, the demon, the vision of Ed’s death and the new case of possession and haunting, they are all connected to each other. With fear of death in their minds, can they go past the spirit and the demon to save the little girl who has put her faith on them? Or will the house remain haunted forever, and the family destined to remain in trouble?

It is difficult to compare the two movies, but one can safely say that this sequel is almost as good as the original. The success of this movie can be attributed to many things, including the setting which has been used here, the one strong demonic antagonist which is very well supported well by a secondary opponent, the jump scares that excels in quality and the acting department itself. With a huge number of scares in store, the movie is certain to keep all of its audience entertained. The attempt to scare begins with the first moments at Amityville itself, and they just keep coming as if to remind you that we are not done with you yet, and that we will always have something to scare you.

The best moments of the movie include the first appearance of Bill’s spirit, the Demon Nun coming out of the portrait, the possession of Janet, the sudden appearance of the Crooked Man and the spirit rising from underneath water. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson have done their parts wonderfully, and one got to love Madison Wolfe who played the possessed child. The one problem that people can have with this movie, is with those emotional moments, but they are actually very less in number. Throughout its run, The Conjuring 2 does make the viewers feel that they are part of this dangerous journey through the haunting, and with successfully doing the same, manages to be the sequel that the original movie deserved.

The Conjuring 2 has almost everything working in its favour. If you have watched the original, you will need to watch this sequel, and if you haven’t, still you need to check this one out. It works for everyone, and so we can be assured that there will be sequels to this movie, Annabelle and also that spin-off titled The Nun featuring the antagonist of The Conjuring 2. Here, we have a movie which needs to be watched with its entire splendor on the big screen, and it is a safe bet to make. This is also a franchise that knows what it is doing, and so the fans can be sure about getting their money’s worth with more titles which are to follow.

Release date: 10th June 2016
Running time: 147 minutes
Directed by: James Wan
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Frances O’Connor, Madison Wolfe, Simon McBurney, Franka Potente, Lauren Esposito, Patrick McAuley, Benjamin Haigh, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Simon Delaney, Shannon Kook, Sterling Jerins, Bob Adrian, Abhi Sinha, Robin Atkin Downes, Bonnie Aarons, Javier Botet

theconjuringii

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Batman v Superman

batmanvsuperman (2)

Vampire Owl :: I am not in favour of such people who claim to have powers above our kind. And they call superheroes only to fight each other? Strange, isn’t it?

Vampire Bat :: I don’t think that you should mind; Superman is from far beyond our realm; he is not even part of a known planet.

Vampire Owl :: Still, I think that there is going to be too much of a superhero crowd here.

Vampire Bat :: I had reserved that dialogue for Captain America: Civil War, and when there are X-Men around.

[Gets the tickets with some cheese popcorn].

✠ This was recently posted by me at Kiagia.com: http://www.kiagia.com/index.php/current-film-releases-movie/1355-batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice

There are not many movies which the audience has been waiting for, during this year, as much as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This follow-up to Man of Steel has taken almost three years to be finally there for the audience to enjoy the weekend, and this time, it is for Easter. With movies like Wonder Woman, Justice League Part One, The Flash, Aquaman and Justice League Part Two lined up to follow, this one had to arrive at least now, to create that much needed base for Justice League and the other lesser known heroes to the fans outside North America and Europe.

Time has passed after the battle between Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod (Michael Shannon) which spread chaos and destruction all around the city of Metropolis. There were a lot of casualties, and the wound was not healed with time, as the new superhero had transformed into a controversial figure, with some people appreciating his presence as the savior of mankind while the others finding him as a threat and the false god – someone who is more of an alien than a man for the people on Earth. ­The television channels take over that particular topic and as it continues to be the hot item for discussion, there is someone who is a lot mad at this superhuman.

Batman (Ben Affleck) is a very unhappy man, as Bruce Wayne had his own troubles with that particular battle between the two aliens. After twenty years of fighting crime in Gotham City, he feels that it is his chance to avenge this alien for the death and destruction which he showered upon humanity with one big battle. At the same time, Clark Kent finds Batman as that kind of dangerous vigilante who should be stopped from taking law into his own hands when police should be handling such cases. With Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) also feeling the need to get rid of Superman, he will find a way to make the two heroes battle each other while having another plan in his mind.

The number of people waiting for this movie has been very high, even more than the grand wait for Captain America: Civil War. The need to watch the two big superheroes going against each other was what everyone really wanted to see. Even though that surely happens, it is not exactly what the movie is about. There is too much of time taken in this movie to get to that, and the basic idea is also not about their dislike for each other. With Wonder Woman not that much utilized, the movie’s aim just becomes establishing something like a base to bring the Justice League idea into the scene, even though that is not done with full strength either.

The movie is still with some very nice moments, and the action sequences work pretty much fine around here. It is also one of those rare opportunities to see Batman and Superman, along with Wonder Woman together in a movie – there are the others too, like Aquaman, The Flash and The Cyborg, but they are just present there in some videos. Batman also has too many dream sequences to make one wonder what the motive behind the same might be. The viewers do end up wishing that something better was created out of the material with two superheroes having similar thoughts of saving the world, but being so different from each other that it creates tension.

Unfortunately for the movie, the villain played by Jesse Eisenberg is just not menacing enough – this is not the Lex Luthor whom we had wished to see around here. Both Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck plays the too simple superheroes here, as they just go through their plans without much of the thoughts behind them – the audience might have felt that there could be more behind their ideologies, but things seems to go rather straight and clear with this movie, which troubles the cause. Amy Adams as Lois Lane has things going better, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is the one who scores the most as any superhuman – at least her side is rather clear here, and it is one character that never goes down the level in this movie.

This one might also be the worst movie from Zack Snyder who has directed movies like 300, Watchmen, Sucker Punch and Dawn of the Dead. The best thing about this movie though, is that the audience is going to be treated with some bigger movies with roots in this particular flick; Gal Gadot is sure to be an awesome Wonder Woman in the big movie which is to arrive, as that is proven here with ease. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is surely not that bad, but it is not up-to the expectations either. You can still watch this one for the action sequences, and also for having that base for what is to follow with the movies which are on the list to arrive.

Release date: 25th March 2016
Running time: 150 minutes
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, Gal Gadot, Scoot McNairy, Callan Mulvey, Tao Okamoto, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Michael Cassidy, Kevin Costner, Christina Wren, Michael Shannon, Carla Gugino, Robin Atkin Downes, Patrick Wilson, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Patrick Leahy, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Soledad O’Brien, Anderson Cooper, Nancy Grace, Charlie Rose

batmansuperman

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Insidious II

insidious2 (8)

It was in 2011 that we were treated with one of the “different” horror movies in the name of Insidious which was partially copied to Hindi by Bollywood’s last sequel to Raaz. Now we have its sequel, in the same year as two horror big-shots release, including The Conjuring and Carrie. Never before did more than one horror movie release here in the same year, and I almost thought that this was never going to release, just like The Chainsaw 3D, Evil Dead and The Haunting in Connecticut: Ghosts of Georgia. But here we are, with this sequel, even as the original never released on the big screen here and we had to strive to get to it. It didn’t release on that original date of a Friday the 13th though, as it just released here on a Friday 15th, about two months later. Its trailer had reached here long ago, and was well received by the audience who had a great experience with The Conjuring which itself had delayed – all three horror movies releasing late here – something with the censor board or looking forward to their performances in other parts of the world before the risk is taken here? May be they underestimate the audience quite a lot. They can end their devotion to the series if there was any, and look for cheap gore.

After a small flashback into the childhood of our major father character during the time of his encounter with the Lady in Black, the Bride, the movie takes over the story from where it had left off, with Elise (Lin Shaye) dead, and the demon from the other world taking over the body of Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson). There is a lot of mystery over the death too. With Josh doubted by Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne) and his children, Lorraine Lambert (Barbara Hershey) goes to visit Elise’s friends and partners in finding the supernatural after feeling strange occurences in the house and even seeing a woman in white. The same mysterious woman knocks out Renai after abducting their little kid for a few moments. The piano playing by itself is just one of the strange things occuring in the house. Lorraine meets up with Carl (Steve Coulter), one of the old friends of Elise, who is another paranormal investigator using his dices to contact the spirits from the other world. Through the dices, after contacting Elise, they find out that they will know something from Our Lady of Angels hospital where Lorraine used to work as a nurse during her young days.

There Lorraine remembers the story of Parker Crane (Tom Fitzpatrick), a patient who committed suicide by jumping from the top of the hospital, as he appeared to her after his death. They are guided to his home, and they soon find out that the spirit which is leading them might not be of Elise at all, and it is not a good one nor is it friendly. They come across the story of a serial killer and his mother who used to terrorize him throughout her life as well as after it. It becomes clear to them that Josh is possessed and not himself, even as the detective couldn’t find him guilty of the murder of Elise. Renai and the kids are in danger, and so are they themselves. There are only a few ideas left for their survival, and one of them might be to drug Josh and bring the original person back to his body; the other one might be to find him in the other world itself. With time running out, and a serial killer ready to come back to this world through Josh’s body, this time more powerful than before, can they make the right decision and succeed or does the demon killer take charge start its killing procedure?

So where does the sequel stand in front of the original? I would consider it as slightly better than the original, even as most of the critics seemed to have found it negative if not average. I was surprised by the same though. The movie has an unsettling atmosphere supported by a truly phenomenal settings which has been used to support the same, and give us a truly paranormal feeling. The tricks to scare the audience might feel a little repetitive, but are used in the right manner with correct effects. Yes, it i genuinely scary, and undoubtedly scarier than its predecessor. There is the presence of more scary moments and it explains most of the things which were left unexplained in the first, and also contributes to the horror of the same. The spirits are pretty much good both in the real world and the other. The Lady in White and the Bride in Black are just two of those figures which rule the screen. There is nothing like the man possessed though. Insidious: Chapter 2 undoubtedly becomes the next best horror movie to The Conjuring here, and it is still insignificant as there are only two English horror movies released here. Yes, it is effective and undoubtedly very creepy and successfully scaring people. But do not watch this if you are not a horror fan or you are pseudo-horror fan who says that this isn’t enough for “the great ME” – the things pride can do to you, my dear vain man.

Patrick Wilson is the star here, and he plays the astral traveler possessed by the demon with so much ease. We can see his transformation as he becomes more and more of the demon who has taken over his body. He seems to be a person perfectly fitting horror movies – loved his performance in The Conjuring too. He was a gifted spirit walker, but is now kept out of his body by the demon, both roles well done. There is a little bit of The Shining’s Jack Torrance in him for sure. Rose Byrne has a sweet and innocent screen presence, and Barbara Hershey is no stranger to such things, tracing back to playing that victim of supernatural sexual liasions in The Entity – her presence itself is a real boost to the movie. Jocelin Donahue plays Lorraine’s younger self to perfection, and Lin Shaye’s Elise is very good, and her younger self played by Lindsay Seim is no different. Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson as Specs and Tucker provides the comic relief which is very less throughout this serious movie. Tom Fitzpatrick’s villain is strong and ruthless, yet made scary more by the visual imagery and effects rather than anything else, and so is the case with Danielle Bisutti’s Lady in white, or the Mother of Crane. The kids have limited role this time, and are no longer the focus of the movie.

Thanks to James Wan for giving us this fine sequel, the third of his brilliant horror collection beginning from Insidious and going through The Conjuring. It is very much a necessary sequel and it only adds to the value of its predecessor even as it doesn’t reach above The Conjuring. None of the two movies of the series are to be looked at alone, as they perfectly compliments each other, adding something which perfects the other. There has been nothing wrong with the badly reviewed horror flicks of the year, The Chainsaw 3D, The Haunting in Connecticut: Ghosts of Georgia, and this one – but the critics choose to devalue them for almost no real reason. They can’t understand that the Lady in White or the mother was mentally not right. I wonder why would they feel bad about people in the other world being white, and how the people in this world are able to fight with the demons in the spectral world. People are looking for strange questions while it is not the movie that makes sense, but their questions. They can’t find the answers, but it doesn’t mean that they can take the creativity of the viewer as a big zero, for nowadays it is the common arts graduate who has the right imagination. But still, The Conjuring might be the horror movie of the decade if we consider The Cabin in the Woods as not just horror.

It is the season of demons, that is for sure – just because of one thing, that Krrish 3 has been given four out of five by some strange people. Such acts of evil has forced me to keep the rating of this movie a little higher than I intended to. There are weird people in this part of the world who rate the movies of their language high, and the others low – and some of them follows the foot steps of those who reviewed it from America and Europe, but in that case, one has to consider the fact that what third rate movies like Krrish 3 would get if they review the same would be zero out of five if no negatives are allowed. So following their rating for English movie is pure hopelessness as long as they are going to rate horrible Bollywood movies with a consistent four out of five just because it has superstar sons acting in it or the same will make the pathetic fan-boys and girls incredibly happy. May be they can learn something from the Malayalam movie critics who give a maximum of three out five for the best movie of the year. Our world will only get better when the demonic fans disappear and all actors are considered as equal performers – hope Insidious could do that.

Release date: 15th November 2013 (India); 13th September 2013 (US)
Running time: 106 minutes
Directed by: James Wan
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Ty Simpkins, Barbara Hershey, Steve Coulter, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, Lindsay Seim, Jocelin Donahue, Andrew Astor, Danielle Bisutti, Tom Fitzpatrick, Michael Beach

insidious2

@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.

The Conjuring

theconjuring! (1)

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

theconjuring copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.