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Posts Tagged ‘new horror movies’

Warning Spoilers Below

Candyman 2021, directed by Nia DaCosta, written by Jordan Peele, and starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, appeared to be a retelling/sequel of the classic 1992 Horror film. The story follows artist Anthony McCoy, also known as the baby that was taken and almost sacrificed to Candyman in the original movie. Anthony’s goal is to become a prominent name in the art world. However, to reach his goal, he opens the door to resurrect Candyman through his artwork and loses himself and the life he has built with his girlfriend in the process.

Without trying to give too much away, I struggled to like this film. I tried because I loved the original, and I like Jordan Peele’s work. The storytelling process was a bit much, and I didn’t particularly appreciate how the writers tried to water down the legend that Tony Todd worked so hard to create. I was sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time, hoping to see Tony.  Honestly, the main reason why I wanted to see this film was that I was hoping to see Tony throughout the film, not just in the last five minutes.  The story about the baby being all grown up was a good concept, but it became lost when the writers attempted to recreate the story by adding “new Candymans” in the mix. The whole idea of trying to turn Anthony into Candyman wasn’t a good idea at all. The haunting elements that made this franchise so thrilling weren’t present. The story was overworked, and the kill scenes were just “blah.”  I will say that I was very excited when I saw Coleman Domingo (FEAR THE WALKING DEAD); however, when his character arc came full circle, it was just another letdown for me. The storyline was a little disjoined despite some elements from the original blended within. Although the cast was ok, I didn’t get that initial chemistry I usually see and discuss in my reviews. I was not too fond of the idea of multiple Candymans and one of them leaving candy on the floor before a victim succumbs to the hook. Another thing I didn’t like was how they tried to alter Daniel Robitaille’s (Candyman’s) origin story.

I still want fans of the original to see this film because it does make a great conversation piece. You will find yourself constantly comparing this new version to the original and analyzing the conceptual process of this film. Unfortunately, the film missed the mark for me, but maybe some new fans will come to like this version. I might attempt to watch it again once it is released on a streaming service.

I gave this film 2 ½ stars.

L.L.

Check out the trailer below:

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The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It “Review”

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson and directed by Michael Chaves is the third film in the Conjuring Franchise. The film follows Ed and Lorraine Warren as they investigate a murder that is potentially linked to a demonic possession. Documented as true events, we see two characters and a story that explores how strong Ed and Lorraine’s love for each other is. Ed and Lorraine are in a different stage in their lives and careers as they continue to battle the dark forces to save and protect the families they connect with.

Overall, this film was strong in its storytelling components. Wilson and Farmiga make a great pair, as their on-screen presence continues to charm movie goers. The supporting cast did not do much for me. I was hoping to see some storytelling blending between the court case and the haunting/exorcism, somewhat like the Exorcism of Emily Rose. There were some noticeable horror references throughout the film that were fun to point out, but I did feel like the first two films were much better than this latest installment. I was also looking for a deeper connection to the Nun in this film, but that also fell a bit flat. Since the Nun has appeared throughout the franchise, including a prequel, I was still hungry to see if there was more to that story despite the ending in The Conjuring 2. The special effects were average according to my expectations. This film did not give me that “jump out of my seat” feeling, but it was still worth watching and it was a lot of fun.

This was my very first in-theater post pandemic movie. I gave this movie 3 ½ stars. I highly recommend watching all the Conjuring Universe Films.

L.L

Check out the trailer below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9Q4zZS2v1k

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Pet Sematary, directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer and starring Jason Clarke tells the story about a family that moves into a house and discovers an Ancient burial ground on their property. After ER doctor Louis has a paranormal experience working in the Emergency Room, Louis and his wife Rachel are haunted by two different ghostly creatures. Believing in the afterlife is the main theme of this film. Compared to the original film there were elements of it throughout the remake. The overall cinematic structure of the film was a dark homage to 80’s classic horror. The mood of the film mirrored that old-school feeling that scary movies gave off years ago. The actors onscreen chemistry were fitting and the writing was true to its originality. The effects did not overshadow the tone of the film. Overall the film was very entertaining and storyline convincing. However, I did feel that the movie was a bit short; like there is more story to tell, but something is missing. I would go for a prequel to this film and tell the story of how and who created that burial ground in the first place.  There is definitely more that can be created as a franchise feature. I highly recommend this film.

I gave this movie 4 stars.

L.L

Check out the trailer below:

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Us directed and written by Jordan Peele and starring Lupita Nyong’o is a supernatural horror that tells the story of a family’s encounter of doppelgangers. A family vacation at the beach becomes horrifying as Adelaide Wilson’s past portrayed by Lupita Nyong’o come to resurface with deadly vengeance. This movie had me at every turn. The opening scene in conjunction with a strong and mysterious score set a very intriguing tone for this film. The process of storytelling was done extremely well and the fact that I have never seen or heard of a horror film concept such as this made this movie so fresh and new. Lupita did a wonderful job holding her own in displaying a vulnerable inner and outer character strength. The children played by Joseph and Alex were very believable and shared a great presence with Nyong’o. My only reservation was the character of Gabe Winston portrayed by Winston Duke, the character appears to be a little out balance for me, but, the overall family dynamic and chemistry was blended well. There were some elements of light comedy that added to the authenticity of the film.

The dark aura that the film carried was a sheer genius and it gave me more reasons to question how deep is our reality. It was a fun thrill ride with unbelievable twists. This movie is an example of bringing horror to a whole new level of thinking and realization. The effects were good, just the perfect balance of visual representation through a lens. This movie is worth seeing twice.

I gave this film 5 stars.

L.L

Check out the trailer below.

 

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 Halloween 2018 directed by David Gordon Green, written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill and starring Jamie Lee Curtis continues the decades-old saga between Laurie Strode and her serial killer brother Micheal Myers. Two podcast journalists interested in getting into the mind of Michael Myers unknowingly provokes his killer instinct during a visit at the maximum security facility. Their presence unleashes a chain of events that reeks havoc once again on the small town of Haddonfield Illinois. Laurie spends her whole life preparing for Micheal’s return and in the process has neglected her daughter Karen and granddaughter. As she tries to prepare them and make an attempt to mend their broken relationship, Myers sets his sights on finding Laurie to finish what he started 40 years ago.

This movie was a great way to bring a fresh light upon the franchise. A classic in its own right, the evolution of Laurie Strode is just remarkable. Her resilience and strength are awe-inspiring and one of the greatest elements of the storyline is that fact that Laurie is a grandmother now. Jamie Lee Curtis’ portrayal is just plain epic. To see her in this role as a mature woman in Hollywood is magnificent. I’ve always been a fan, but this just makes me love her even more. Micheal’s personality has always been dark and creative when it came to his carnage, and this time it was even more intense. You would think that being locked up for so many years, that he would weaken a bit but absolutely not. There is a moment where his humanity does surface but only for a second, which is followed by the shadows of the monster that we know move within him.

There were surprises at every corner and more questions raised about the real family connection that Laurie and Micheal share. There were references from the past films and a great tribute to the legacy that Dr. Samuel Loomis left behind. The effects were realistic and the cinematography had some great elements to it.

I think that the casting choices were very wise and overall the movie was fun and exciting to watch. I may try to get back to the theater to see this movie again. There was nothing disappointing about this film. The mood was very classic and I found myself comparing scenes to the previous films.

I gave this movie 5 stars!

 

L.L

Check out the trailer below!

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IT poster

IT 2017 Movie Review

By LaTaey Lane

IT directed by Andy Muschietti and starring Bill Skarsgard is a remake of the 1990 original film by horror legend Stephen King. IT follows the story of seven middle school kids from a small town called Dairy in Maine as they band together to fight against the adversity of socialism and the horrors of a demon clown named Pennywise. Pennywise wrecks havoc on the town and its inhabitants as he attacks and preys on the children’s deepest more inner fears.

This was a really good horror movie. Bill Skarsgard’s rendition of Tim Curry’s Pennywise was just awesome. He made the character into his own and did the film great justice. There were screams around every corner and the intensity of the film provided that authentic feeling you get as a child watching horror for the first time.

The best thing about the film was Bill Skarsgard and the young lady Sophia Lillis. The other cast members were not as convincing as the original cast of youngsters, and I did not appreciate such a dramatic change in the character’s back stories and personalities. I do feel that the purity and innocence of being a child were taken away from the writing. There was too much foul language, and at times it became overdone and overused. I know kids will be kids, but this was a bit much. The original writing and cast choices were not only perfect but projected Stephen King in the way he was meant to be perceived as a writer. Being brought to the 80’s was a nice addition, but I think the score was worthy enough to be way better. The score did not carry the film and transport movie goers to the time. I still think it was good. I just hope that the casting director makes good choices when choosing the adult cast for Chapter two. I hope that they are well known established actors that will just enhance the film, but the fact that Stephen King had no involvement in the film, that may be unlikely that the adult cast will be well known. I’m looking forward to seeing where they will take the story since the parts of the setting and elements of the creature were already changed.

I give this movie a strong 4 stars for scare tactics!!

Happy Horror Season

L.L.

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Annabelle Creation Poster

Annabelle Creation directed by David F. Sandburg and starring Anthony LaPaglia and Maranda Otto follows the origin story of how the infamous Annabelle doll came to be. This movie blends the classic haunted house story with the classic idea of demonic possession. The parents of a little girl must cope with the loss of their beautiful daughter and in the process open themselves up to a realm of unimaginable darkness. Soon after a displaced orphanage of girls along with a nun and priest set up residency in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Mullins. The girls quickly learn that there are secrets that the Mullins family have locked away within the house. The innocence of a child like presence becomes something evil in such a way that the residents in the house began to fight for their very souls.

I know that many people go into watching these horror movies with a closed mind, claiming that they have seen it all. That maybe true but if you are looking for a good old-fashioned scare filled with hand grabbing, door creeks, floor board sounds, and severed bodies, then this movie is for you.

The acting was average, and special effects were pretty good, but it was the manner in which the Annabelle story was written that drew me in. The writing was done in a way that answered many questions, but it also was related to the original movie, which also tied into the demon nun from the Conjuring, which we will learn more about when The Nun hits theaters in 2018. I’m very invested in this franchise and I hope that people are willing to give it a chance.

Overall this movie was very enjoyable with lots of scares around every corner. This is a great movie to kick off the horror movie season.

I gave this movie 4 stars.

L.L.

Check out the trailer below.

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Don’t Breathe directed by Fede Alvarez and produced by Horror Legend Sam Raimi, stars Stephen Lang and Jane Levy.  The story follows a young woman and her two friends as she tries to make a better life for her and her daughter. Living the life of a criminal, Rocky and her two friends have knowledge and experience in robbing houses. They soon come to learn that a local blind man is sitting on hundreds of thousands of dollars of settlement money. The three decide to rob the man with the hopes of everything going smoothly. The plan is underway but things soon go sour despite the blind man’s disability.

This movie was just outstanding. It’s the perfect horror movie that fans have been anticipating for a long time. The intensity and suspense building is great. The overall concept was nice and fresh. The score kept the thrill going and Stephen Lang did an amazing job portraying “the blind man.”

I give this movie 5 stars, this is the type of film that people will be talking about for a long time. Go see it, if you haven’t already!

Happy Haunting

L.L 

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image

The Conjuring 2, starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson was thrilling and intense. Directed by James Wan, the true story follows the paranormal case files of the famed demonologist Ed Warren and his Psychic Medium wife Loraine Warren. This time the couple travel to Enfield England to investigate potential paranormal activity that a local family claims that is terrorizing them.

The Catholic church hires the couple to do a formal investigation to prove to them that a potential exorcism is needed to help the family.

From the moment they enter the house strange things seem to be happening but there are signs that just don’t point to demonic activity. A local sceptic is determined to prove that the young girl is faking possession episodes in order to gain attention. She films the girl having an episode and states that her video is evidence of the girl’s false intentions.

Ed and Loraine make an attempt to head home when the two of them discover that not only is the girl telling the truth but also that there is something deeper that they may have to face in order to save the girl and her family.

 

This movie was the most anticipated horror film of 2016. It was well done and did not disappoint. Since it was based of the real case files of the Warrens, it really made you think about the real dark forces that do exist within the world. Farmiga and Wilson were great as usual and I really hope that there are multiple films that come from the franchise. New Line still has the magic of bringing horror to us in ways that give their films a distinct feel that demands an emotional response from its fans and movie goers alike.

I give this movie five stars, it’s a must see film of the summer.

L.L.

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it follows

It Follows directed by David Robert Mitchell and starring Maika Monroe tells the story of a young college girl who is haunted by a supernatural entity after a sexual encounter with a guy goes terribly wrong.

The movie had a good story line but it just didn’t fully deliver as I expected. The guy that Jay sleeps with passes on to her some kind of entity that wants to kill her. The entity follows her everywhere and comes in the form of people that she some times knows. She and her friends spend all their time running away from the entity. On a couple of occasions they try to fight back but they quickly realize that they can’t defeat it. Jay takes into consideration and makes an attempt to pass it on, but her attempt fails.

The movie had some good scenes but overall it is a very slow-paced film. The tone of the film has a classic late 70’s early 80’s feel to it and I got the idea that the writers were going that, but that just was not enough to make it successful.

There were so many things that the writers and director could have done to make this horror magic, like coming up with a detailed plot that fully explains the origin of the entity and how to pass it on or defeat it.  The most important thing they could have done was make the haunting even more haunting, not just have people following the main character. I mean at times the appearance of the entity was more startling instead of scary. The entity should have been more  of a creature that hides in the shadows and comes for her at more of a time that is least expected. The opening scene where the girl has her legs broken forward was better than the whole film. They could have taken a more supernatural approach to this film and incorporated that type of gore and horror that the introduction promised.

I hate to say it, but i feel that modern horror is starting to die. Every movie that I give a chance lately has ended in nothing but disappointment. It seems like the film industry is becoming nothing but remakes, or shotty ideas that are not fully developed or portrayed in ways that horror movie fans can appreciate like in the decades of film and writing creativity. Thank goodness for Netflix and my classic horror collection.

The music was well done, the effects were almost not existent and the acting was mediocre. I’m happy that I didn’t spend money at the theater for this.

I give this movie two stars, if you can get through it.

L.L.

Check out the trailer below.

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