Tag Archives: horror movie

Annabelle: Creation – Movie Review

You are my sunshine, 

My only sunshine.

You make me happy,

When skies are gray.

You’ll never know, dear,

How much I love you.

I’m going to take your soul away.

That’s how it goes, right?

I guess.

So the universe created in The Conjuring continues to expand, this time with a spine-tingling origin story of the wonderfully creepy porcelain doll, Annabelle.  If you’ve seen every installment in The Conjuring “series,” you should already be well-prepared for this movie.

The Annabelle doll, first introduced in The Conjuring and further expanded on in 2014’s Annabelle, finally gets her own horror movie worth a few screams.   I wasn’t too impressed with the first movie.  It just was a little too predictable and boring, but this one – oh man, this one.

Warning: Here Be Spoilers

We start with the actual making of the doll by Mr. Mullins, played by Anthony LaPaglia, and a too-cute version of hide and seek with his daughter, affectionately called Bee and played by up-and-coming child actress, Samara Lee.

Side note: If her parents aren’t fans of The Ring, I’ll eat my keyboard.

Ms. Mullins, played by Miranda Otto, joins in on the fun, and we’re shown how happy life is in the Mullins household.  This being a horror movie, we know this little love fest won’t last long.  Sorry to break it to you, but Bee (whose full name we later learn is – you guessed it – Annabelle) ends up getting killed.

Flash forward 12 years later, and 6 orphaned girls are on their way to stay at the Mullins’s home until they’re able to be adopted.  They’re given almost full run of the house except for the Mullins’s bedroom and the locked bedroom of little Bee.

One of the girls is enticed to come inside Bee’s room by an unseen entity.  Of course, this is where the doll lurks, locked in a secret room lined with pages from the Holy Bible.  The girl opens Annabelle’s chamber, and that’s all she wrote.  The evil is released, and terror befalls the house.

We learn from Ms. Mullins that she and her husband had bargained with whatever force would allow them to have their daughter back in any way.  They invited what they thought was their daughter’s spirit into the doll, but what entered was actually a demonic presence.  Ms. Mullins ended up getting half her face along with one eye carved up and charred.

Don’t mess with a demon, people.

Who? Me?

We’re treated to several jump scares, some gruesome injuries/deaths, multiple appearances by THE demonic presence, and the lurking shadow of Annabelle throughout the movie. And yes, I said treated to jump scares.  I know a lot of horror fans hate when movies rely on these, but I have to say they’re very well-balanced with actual horror in Annabelle: Creation.  It’s just enough to keep us jumpy and invested in what’s going on.

I was very impressed with the effects and very happy with how they tied the movie to the 2014 version.  I don’t even want to go into details on it.  You should just see for yourself.  I love a good tie-in/movie connection.  It’s probably why I love the Saw franchise so much with all its interconnected craziness, and I love that this movie ties into not only 2014’s Annabelle, but The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2.

Oh?  How does it tie into The Conjuring 2, you ask?  Well, the demon nun makes not one, but two appearances.  Two!  One in passing in a photograph and then with an after credits scene.  I was wriggling in my seat, I was so happy.  If you’re not already aware, the demon nun is another expansion of this universe with the release of her own movie, The Nun, coming in 2018.  I know. Exciting stuff.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the acting in this film.  Everyone does a great job. Talitha Bateman plays Janice, and she’s the lucky girl that both releases Annabelle and gets possessed by the demonic presence later in the movie.  Bateman gets a huge point for the sinister portrayal of her character’s possessed self.  She’s supposed to be creepy, and is she ever.

Lulu Wilson, playing Linda, Janice’s best friend, also does a wonderful job, and I wasn’t surprised.  She was great in Ouija: Origin of Evil, so I knew I’d like her in this.  And this time, she got to be the one on the other side of the possession, so that’s nice.  I say she’s 2 for 2 in her horror movie origin story run.  I thought it was pretty funny that she was in both this prequel and the prequel to Ouija, which both far surpass their originals.  Keep ’em coming, Lulu.

So should you go see this one?  If you enjoyed The Conjuring 1 and 2, I say go for it.  Hell, if you enjoyed the 2014 Annabelle, I say definitely go for it because you won’t be disappointed after that train wreck.

Oh!  And bonus, they put in a little Easter egg concerning the REAL Annabelle doll.  You’ll like it.  Trust me.

Summer Chillout: The Thing

Well, summer is officially here, and I couldn’t be sweatier.

Seriously.  It’s frickin hot around here.

There are many ways to cool down in the summer time – crank up the AC crazy high, swim, cover yourself in ice – but each of these is either expensive, requires you to be in the sun and/or around sharks, or might result in some light hypothermia.  So my favorite way to cool down is with a horror movie that reminds me of nicer (i.e., colder) times.

And my favorite movie to do this?  John Carpenter’s The Thing.

The Thing (1982) is not only my favorite movie for a summer chill session; it’s also one of my favorite horror movies period.  It’s even on my Top 20 list.

Although the movie was initially met with criticism, both it and its score are now considered classics in the movie world.  It’s even watched at British Research stations in Antarctica as part of their Midwinter celebration held on June 21.  There are so many great things going for it.

The cast is awesome.  Ultra-80’s coiffed Kurt Russell, always cool Keith David, Wilford “I have diabeetus” Brimley, and the rest of the ill-fated group of research scientists struggle to survive an attack from an other worldly being and their own paranoia, and they just make it all so believable.

The score is haunting and identifiable.  Although movies like Halloween and Friday the 13th have very recognizable themes (and good ones, too), the theme and score for this movie is probably one of my favorites.  It just sets the bleak and hopeless tone of the movie perfectly.

THE EFFECTS!  Sorry for screaming, but I freakin love the effects in this film.  I’m not totally against CGI, but practical effects are my jam.  They just look so much cooler, and the monsters in this movie, crafted by the so-talented Rob Bottin and crew, are so creepy and unique that I just can’t get over it.

I just don’t have any bad things to say about this movie.  And for a bonus, try watching the prequel released in 2011, which is definitely not a perfect movie,  but has its moments.  CGI is used pretty heavily, but I really appreciated how they tied everything together.  Watch it immediately after the 1982 movie, and you’ll see what I mean.

If you haven’t seen this movie, do yourself a huge favor and introduce yourself to it today.  Turn down the lights, set the AC to an acceptable temp, and just imagine yourself in the snow and ice.

It’s only a few short months away from fall and cooler temps, so keep checking back with me each week for another chillout session.

It Comes at Night…or Does It?

It Comes at Night, a film by up-and-coming director/writer Trey Edward Shults, was released on Friday, and the critical reception made this one a must watch for me.  It currently has a 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, which – for a horror movie – is rare.

I finally got to see it last night with a friend, and we both went in without any real knowledge of the plot.  I knew it was a post-apocalyptic thriller, but other than the brief (and uninformative) trailer I saw before Get Out, I had very limited exposure to anything prior to showtime.

Usually, this is a good thing.  Horror movie trailers (and most trailers, really) just give away too damn much.

I really wish I’d learned a little more about this one beforehand.

Warning: Here Be Spoilers.

The movie stars Joel Edgerton (as Paul), Carmen Ejogo (as Sarah), Kelvin Harrison Jr. (as Travis), Christopher Abbott (as Will), and Riley Keough (as Kim) as survivors of a seemingly worldwide plague that has wiped out much of mankind.  Will breaks into the home of Paul, Sarah, and Travis, and after he’s knocked out and tied to a tree for the night, he’s interrogated before Paul agrees to take him back to his wife and son and bring them back to live at the house.

There are rules for living at the house.  Everyone must go everywhere in pairs.  No one goes out at night.  And the red door stays locked all night long.

Seems easy, right?

After bringing them in, all seems to be going well until the family dog, Stanley, sees something in the forest and runs away.  The dog shows up at the house later that night, bloody and sick, and has to be put down.  Both families agree to be isolated from one another after realizing the red door had been unlocked.  By whom?  We don’t know.  Neither do they.  All they know is there might be a risk for sickness.

Paranoia increases as Will’s family discusses leaving, and Paul’s family, afraid that someone would now know where to find them, decide not to allow that.  Fearing that Will’s child is sick, Paul and Sarah mask and arm themselves to confront the other family, and all hell breaks loose, ending in the deaths of Will, Kim and their toddler son.

At the end, all is hopeless.  Paul and Sarah try to cope with what they have just done, and although the point of the isolation was to prevent any illness, Travis still comes down with it anyway and dies.  The movie ends with Paul and Sarah staring at each other across the dining room table.

Roll credits.

I understand that this is a film about hopelessness and paranoia.  It did a great job at conveying that.  I was tense.  I felt sad for the characters, especially the dog (always the dog).  I just didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I wanted to.

Throughout the whole movie, Travis has nightmares about his dead grandfather, the door, and the forest.  The forest seems to hold a lot of dread for him, as he frequently dreams about seeing something terrifying in the trees. He even draws a picture of scary things in the forest.  Stanley chases after something in the woods, and his barking is abruptly cut off when he’s out of sight.  It just seemed like it was leading up to some big reveal about what was in the woods.

Nothing.

And then the unlocked door.  Who unlocked it?  What happened there?

Nothing.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad movie, and if I had gone into it knowing the plot, I might have been fine.  But IMDb says in its description of the movie that “an unnatural threat terrorizes the world.”  To me that doesn’t say sickness, so that threw me off, too.

Should you see it?  If you go into it knowing that what comes at night is actually paranoia and there are no creepy creatures in the forest, you’ll probably enjoy it.

But maybe go to a matinee.  Save your big bucks for something else.

How to Enjoy a Horror Movie

If you don’t like horror movies, I don’t understand you.  I just don’t.  Are you scared?  Squeamish?  Do you just think they’re stupid?  What’s your problem?

I have always – ALWAYS – loved horror movies, so not enjoying/watching them has never occurred to me.  They’ve just been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

Maybe you have a significant other that really loves them, or maybe you’ve been called a wuss for whatever reason.  The point is, now you want to try them out.

Well, let me help you.

I recently watched The Bye Bye Man, a movie that just came out earlier this year and was universally not-so-loved by people who watched it.  Just check out the reviews.  Rotten Tomatoes currently scores it as 24% rotten.  It’s got a 37% on Metacritic, 0.5 stars out of 4 from Roger Ebert, and a 4.2 on Imdb.

So yeah.  Not a great movie.

But guess what?  I enjoyed it.  I’m not saying it’s a good movie by any means.  I just know how to enjoy a horror movie, so that’s what I did.

So how do you do it even if it’s terrible?

  1. Know thyself and pick accordingly.

Not every movie is meant for every person, and that can definitely be said for the many variations in the horror genre.  If you can’t stand gore, it’s probably not a good idea to jump right in to Saw.  If ghosts are too much for you, stay away from The Conjuring.  Oh, you run screaming and hyperventilate at the thought of possession?  How about you avoid The Exorcist?

Maybe you want a little comedy in your horror.  Maybe  you want something critically acclaimed (few and far between for horror movies).  The point is this: pick something that you might like, not something you know you’re going to hate.

I don’t watch sappy romance movies for exactly that reason.

2.   Know the rules.

If you’ve seen Scream or just have a working knowledge of pop culture, you know that horror movies have rules.  Don’t have sex. Don’t drink and/or do drugs. Don’t say “I’ll be right back.”  And so on, and so on, and so on.  These rules don’t apply to real life, but there is a formula to a lot of scary movies, especially slashers.

And if you know the rules, you can probably catch when something’s about to happen.  That’s part of the fun.  It doesn’t work for every horror movie, of course, but you can have a pretty good time catching these little clues as they come.

3.   Turn off your brain.

Yes.   I know they should be going down the stairs and out the door instead of straight to the killer’s loving arms, but this is a horror movie.  People make dumb decisions in a horror movie.  It’s okay. You don’t have to make these same mistakes when you have a homicidal masked crazy person slowly following you.  These are not instructional videos, and on that note…

4.  Don’t be “that guy.”

Everybody loves to hear a know-it-all, right?  WRONG.  Trust me.  Absolutely no one cares that you could have totally gotten out of whatever horror movie situation you’re currently watching.  It doesn’t make you cool; it makes you annoying.

Also, if you just plain don’t like the movie, don’t be an ass about it.  Not scary to you?  Don’t bitch about it.  Everyone is scared of different things.  I, for instance, have never been actually scared by a movie, but I still love them.

5.  Don’t give up.

There are as many different types of horror movies as there are stars in the sky.  Well, not really, but you get the point.  If you pick a movie you’re not really pleased with, try something new.  If you decide ghosts aren’t for you, try a slasher.  Slashers out?  Try a zombie movie.  There’s also psychological horror, possession, splatter, survival, found footage, paranormal, and various types of monster movies to try out.  There’s bound to be one you’ll like somewhere in the mix.

The Belko Experiment: A Gore Fan’s Review

Last night, I watched The Belko Experiment, a film written by James Gunn, the same guy who gave us Guardians of the Galaxy, Slither, and the screenplay for the 2004 Dawn of the Dead.  Mr. Gunn is quite talented, and he’s already proven that he can write horror, so I was excited to check out this movie.  The trailer promised a violent, gory ride into the world of office politics.  It did not disappoint on that front.

Is it of the same caliber as Guardians?  Absolutely not, but it was pretty entertaining, although frustrating at times.  As with many horror movies, it’s very easy to settle into the “I can’t believe they’re doing that.  If I was them, I would…” way of thinking.  It’s best to just sit back, turn off your brain, and enjoy the ride.  Unfortunately, my brain’s ‘OFF’ button wasn’t working.

WARNING: HERE BE SPOILERS

Belko has been described as a mix of Battle Royale and Office Space, and I think that’s a fair assessment.  Belko is funny at times and shows the monotonous side of the workplace environment before settling into murderous mayhem.

If I find out who took my stapler, I’ll kill em.

What starts off as an almost normal morning for the employees of Belko Industries quickly devolves into the most terrifying office meeting anyone’s ever been a part of.  Ever have a group project at work go south?  Kinda like that but with more blood and exploding heads.

A voice from the building’s intercom interrupts the peaceful day by telling everyone that two people have to be killed within the next 30 minutes.  Of course, everyone thinks it’s a prank, but then the building’s defenses kick in.  Metal plates slide over the windows and doors, and before you can say “dead end job,” they’re trapped.  Everyone groups together in the downstairs lobby, and after 30 minutes pass, a few employees get some strong headaches.  Like so strong their heads explode.

BC Powder ain’t gonna fix that.

Not surprisingly, everyone panics, and one of the characters figures out that the tracking chips implanted in the employees when they each took their jobs are to blame for the violent migraines.  Tracking chips, you ask?  Well, Belko is located in Bogota, Colombia, and the employees were told the chips were implanted to locate them in case of a kidnapping.  Just a normal day in Colombia, I guess.

Now that everyone knows Mr. Intercom was serious, he gives them another task.  This time 30 people have to die within the next 2 hours or 60 will be killed.  This is where things turn into a free-for-all between those who still believe in the sanctity of human life and those who just say “Screw it. Let’s get to killin.'”

I don’t want to give everything away here, but let’s just say lots of people die.  Very violently.  I was extremely impressed by the special effects in this film.  They gave us not one but two head smashing scenes and so many head explosions that I lost count.  I’m a gore fan, so I was not disappointed there.

The one thing that did bother me is the main character.  Now, I don’t really know how I would react in that situation – and it goes without saying that I hope I never do – but the main character just really got on my nerves at times.  Good ol’ Mike Milch, played by John Gallagher Jr., is appalled at the idea of killing his friends and co-workers like any normal person would be, but he takes it to a level that I just found annoying.  This is where I wished my brain could have turned off, but it just wasn’t happening.  I found myself not really rooting for anyone to live or die and just sat back to enjoy the violence of it all.

Okay, I take that back.  I did root for John C. McGinley’s character to die.  He did a really good job playing a creep in this movie, so yeah – he needed to go.  There was also another annoying character or two that I wasn’t sad to see kick it.  I guess I just didn’t really root for anyone in particular to live.

So should you go see The Belko Experiment?  It definitely placed third out of the three movies I’ve seen in the past few weeks, which includes Logan (So awesome!) and the highly-praised Get Out, but I think it was absolutely worth the price of the ticket.  Like I said earlier, I enjoy gore and violence in movies, so if that’s not your thing, this movie isn’t for you.  But if you’ve dreamed of killing any of your co-workers, this movie might be a cathartic experience.  Enjoy it, and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

And just as a side note: If you haven’t seen Get Out yet, what the hell is wrong with you?! Go! Go now!

Blair Witch Project: The Sequel Is Here

The sequel to Blair Witch Project – which is creatively named Blair Witch – premieres tonight in theaters.  The original revived the found footage genre when it came out in 1999, and whether you love it or you hate it, you can’t deny that the movie deserves a prominent place in the Horror Movie Hall of Fame.

If that’s not an actual something, it should be.

You might be thinking, “What about Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2?”  Well, two things:

  1. Stop thinking about it.  It’s not a good movie.  It just isn’t.
  2. The creators want us to ignore it, so that’s what you should do.

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Blair Witch follows a group of college students into the Burkittsville woods where they are predictably – as the title suggests – terrorized by a malevolent presence.   According to IMDB, the main cast for the movie is double the original at a total of 6.  Hopefully, they’re all a lot more likable than the 3 from the first movie, but it doesn’t really matter.  I doubt any of them make it out alive anyway.

I’m really interested to see how this one measures up, but I’m on the fence about whether to see it in theaters or not.  Unfortunately, I am part of the group that doesn’t do very well with shaky cam movies.  I get motion sickness quite easily, I get really nervous about throwing up, and I’m cheap so I don’t want to pay for a ticket for a movie I can’t watch. I made it through the Paranormal Activity movies because the cameras were still most of the time.  PA: The Marked Ones almost did me in, but I stayed strong.  I’m a fighter.

I actually really like the original.  Many say they hate it because it’s basically just three annoying college kids arguing in the woods most of the time, but if you’re familiar with the forest – whether because you’re a frequent camper or because you grew up around it – I think it’s easier to identify with the terror and dejection of being lost and frightened.    Yeah, you just want to punch them most of the time, but when you hear the children laughing in the woods around them, see the creepy stick figures, or see the bloody bundle of Josh’s hair and teeth, you kinda feel for them.  I mean, that’s pretty terrifying.

And the ending is one of my favorites of any horror movie.  It packs a punch.  Seriously, I would recommend anyone watch just for that part.

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Anyway, if I go see the sequel, I’ll be sure to give a quick review of my experience.  I’ll also make sure to get a Sprite to help my stomach power through.  Maybe I’ll give it a pep talk beforehand.

Do you plan on seeing it in theaters?

Father Knows Best: What Horror Movie Dads Have Taught Us

Happy Father’s Day!

My post for Mother’s Day was about the many valuable lessons horror movie mothers have passed on to us throughout the years.  They’ve taught us quite a bit, but what about good ole dad? Horror movie fathers have loads of wisdom to pass down, too, so let’s look at just a little bit of what they’ve taught us.

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Lesson: Keep a classic suit in your wardrobe. It’ll come in handy more often than you think.

Father: Man (The People Under the Stairs)

Poor Mommy and Daddy just had so much to deal with: an insubordinate “daughter,” a basement full of mutilated “sons,” and then Fool came along to bring their world crashing down around them.  They dealt with it as well as they could have, and Daddy taught us a great lesson by showing us how handy a classic suit can be in a pinch.  His “organized” search for Fool and Alice in the walls of his house included an easily-cleaned, aerodynamic gimp suit that allowed him to freely move about the house without fear of getting messy or scratched or…whatever.

Lesson: Don’t let age slow you down.  You’re only as old as you feel.

Father: Grandfather (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

Wow.  We can learn so much from this old man.  He sets such a good example for his children.  Just because you’re old, dusty, wheelchair-bound, and look a little like a mummy, this doesn’t mean you’ve got to slow down.  Oh no.  Sally was on the menu, and Grandpa was going to serve her up.  Sure, his aim was off and he lacked any amount of strength, but that didn’t stop him.  Sally got away in the end, but I bet if Grandpa had given her head a few more whacks, things might have gone differently.

Lesson: Don’t give up on your dreams. (Bonus lesson: Always wear a jacket.)

Father: Jack Torrance (The Shining)

Jack Torrance was an aspiring author, and he was willing to go the distance to achieve his dreams.  Going the distance in this case was becoming the winter caretaker in an empty hotel and dragging his wife and son with him to enjoy the solitude and snow.  That’s pretty dedicated.  And yeah, it all went to hell pretty quickly, but if he hadn’t been targeted by some malevolent ghosts, by God he would’ve written that novel.

Also, after his – let’s just say – breakdown, he taught us the importance of wearing the appropriate attire to chase your son through a maze in the freezing cold.

Lesson: Look both ways before you cross the road.

Father: Louis Creed (Pet Sematary)

Lessons are often learned after a mistake, and boy, did Louis Creed make a big one by not passing on some crucial, basic rules to his son, Gage.  I guess you could really argue that Gage was actually the one to teach us the lesson, but Louis’s actions afterward kinda help to drive that one home.  So remember kids: look both ways before you cross the road, or you’ll get killed and your dad will have to bury you in cursed ground to bring you back and then you’ll go on a killing spree and kill everyone you know and love.

Lesson: If it seems too good to be true, it is.

Father: George Lutz (The Amityville Horror)

Step-dads are fathers, too, and George Lutz was a great one.  He tried his best to provide for his new family, including buying a lovely home in Long Island for all of them to enjoy.  He got it for a steal, too, and although they were told about the house’s history, it seemed like  it was a deal they couldn’t pass up.  Well, they really should have.  George sorta got possessed by the evil spirits haunting the house, and after finally breaking free of their hold on him, he was able to get him and his new family out of the house and away from it forever.

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There you have it – five excellent lessons we can all benefit from.  To all those horror movie fathers out there, based on real life and fictional, thank you for all you’ve taught us.

5 Things You Should Know Before You See The Conjuring 2

The big week is here!  The Conjuring 2 comes out this Friday, and I couldn’t be more excited.  Seriously.  I’m doing a little happy dance right now (which actually makes typing this post a little difficult, so I’m going to stop).

But we do have a lot to be excited about.  The story is badass, it has some great actors, and it’s already getting great reviews.  Plus, James Wan came back to direct instead of lending his skills to Fast 8.  The guy knows his horror.  A lot of scary movies nowadays (easy now, grandma) don’t have the right tone or try too hard, so I’m glad Wan was able to put his touch on this one.

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All that being said, I highly recommend you go see this movie. And if you are being smart and planning on seeing it in theaters, here are a few pieces of trivia to make you seem cool in front of your friends:

1.  Ed and Lorraine Warren are real people who have investigated a number of famous, creepy cases.  They were involved in the investigation of the Amityville murders as well as the story at the heart of the 2009 movie, The Haunting in Connecticut. And, of course, there was Annabelle.

Ed passed away in 2006, but Lorraine is still around and even had a cameo in the classroom scene in The Conjuring.

2. Although the Warrens are the main protagonists of The Conjuring 2, they actually had very little to do with the Enfield Poltergeist case.  They were invited to the investigation, but so were a lot paranormal researchers and investigators.  But I think we all like Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson enough that we can let this one slide.

3.  Although the movie is based – however loosely- on true events, there are many who believe the whole thing was a hoax.  A series of pictures showing one of the daughters “levitating” are believed  by many (including myself) to just be her jumping off her bed.  Others claim to have seen the daughters bending spoons to use as evidence of a haunting, and one of the daughters even said the house wasn’t haunted in an interview before being told to shut up by her sister.

4. But those involved swear that although the children involved might have embellished some things, other creepy events were all too real, including moving furniture witnessed by a number of people and strange noises heard in the house.

5. Some Philippine viewers of the first movie claimed to have strange, creepy feelings after watching it, so Catholic priests were brought in to bless people before subsequent viewings.  The set of The Conjuring 2 was blessed by a priest before shooting began, so you should be okay.

Bonus trivia: If you’ve watched The Conjuring (and I have an inkling you have), you are already aware of the Warren’s famous case about Annabelle.  You probably also know there was a movie loosely based on the story.  What you might not know is that the actual Annabelle doll is far from the creepy-looking doll from hell depicted in the movie.  She’s just a Raggedy Ann doll that got a little frisky who now resides in a protected box in the museum Lorraine Warren manages in the back of her Connecticut home.

So who’s going this weekend?  Let me know what you think of the movie in the comments.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I Saw The Ring: Not a Movie Review

I would really like to know what mad marketing genius came up with this one.  Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, in the year 2002, there were these crazy things called VHS tapes.  Before DVRs were a thing, people could use these devices to record and watch their favorite shows and movies directly from their televisions (which were much fatter in those times). 

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freeimages.com/NitinAle

A young lady was rearranging her VHS tapes late one summer night, trying to find the perfect one to cure her boredom.  An infomercial was playing (one about the Magic Bullet blender – her favorite), and during a commercial break, the girl heard a high-pitched noise that drew her attention to the screen.

Her television screen, once colorful with brightly flashing images, now reflected only one image against a backdrop of darkness – a ring of light. As she watched, the image changed, replaced by the black-and-white image of a woman with long, dark hair standing in front of a mirror.

As the woman smiled knowingly into the camera, the image changed again – and again and again and again. Dark, disturbing pictures flashed across the screen one after another. Soon after they started, the images were gone, replaced by the dark screen with its ring of light. The girl stared transfixed as a child’s voice was heard. “You will die in seven days.” Immediately, a new commercial, this one bright and happy, replaced the image, and the girl’s semi-hypnotic gaze was broken.

The girl didn’t know what to think. Was that real? Had she just imagined it? She hadn’t had much sleep lately, but she’d never hallucinated before. She wrote down what she had seen and attempted to go to sleep.

The next day she interrogated her parents and sister. Had they seen it? Anything like it? They hadn’t, and the girl began to worry that she was going crazy.

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When the seventh day arrived, she impatiently waited for the dark and the time she had seen the strange video.  The time came and went without incident, and the girl was able to have a good night’s sleep.

She forgot about the odd images for months, her attention focused on preparing for the magical world of college.

One night in October, her college friends asked the girl if she wanted to go see the new horror movie, The Ring.  The girl jumped at the chance.  She was always up for a horror movie.  It was a good one, but when twenty minutes or so had passed, something crazy happened…

I think you know where this story is going. The creepy video I (oh, I’m the girl in the story if you didn’t know) saw in the middle of the night – with absolutely ZERO INDICATION that it was for a movie – was the cursed video from The Ring.  Who does that?!

And I just want to be clear about one thing: IT WAS AWESOME.  I flipped out a little in the theater when I saw the video that had made me think I was going crazy that summer, but I was thrilled.  You know how Naomi Watts looked pretty freaked after she saw it the first time and got the phone call? That’s how I felt. I mean, I didn’t actually think I was going to die, but it was a pretty creepy feeling. And it made me appreciate the movie that much more.

I actually feel pretty special to have been one of the people to get side-swiped by the thing.

So. Anyone else out there have a fun, late-night viewing of the CURSED video? If I never find another person that saw it, too, then I’m just going to assume they’re all dead.  Like I said. I’m special.