Maggie

 alt=I haven’t seen an Arnie film in which he hasn’t been the tough guy blowing up things, shooting guns and kicking ass in quite a while. Maggie is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s second horror/supernatural genre movie after End Of Days and stars him with Abigail Breslin and Joely Richardson. I can’t really say that it’s a horror film because the focus is not on horror but still this will fall in the horror genre.

In the film there is a pandemic which causes infected people to become zombie like creatures after a few weeks of getting bitten by an infected person. Having been infected by a zombie, teenager Maggie calls her dad, Wade, in his Mid-western farm and tells him not to look for her. She is caught by the authorities and taken to a hospital for treatment. After 2 weeks of searching for her Wade finds her in the hospital he brings Maggie home to care for her until she must eventually be quarantined. During their return, a zombie attacks Wade at an abandoned gasoline station and he breaks its neck. Maggie doesn’t see this.

Once they reach home, plans are made to send Wade’s two younger kids (by his second wife Caroline) to live with their aunt. Maggie, having said goodbye to her step-siblings, withdraws in her room and doesn’t come out much or go to see her friends. When she falls from her swing she lands on her finger on her infected arm but feels no pain despite the bone breaking. Terrified she cuts off the finger from which a black liquid oozes out, causing her to panic and she runs out into the woods where she encounters her neighbour Nathan and his young daughter who are both zombies now. Wade comes up to them and kills them both and calls the sheriff. Although he is remorseful the sheriff finds his decision right and blames the wife Bonnie for hid her infected family from the authorities. Bonnie visits Wade that night, decrying the dehumanizing treatment of the infected and revealing that Nathan had locked himself in with his sick daughter, becoming infected himself, rather than abandon her to death among strangers in quarantine.

After a doctor checks on Maggie’s status he warns Wade that the time is soon coming for him to either quarantine Maggie or give her a lethal injection which is painful. The doctor also advises to shoot the girl as it is quicker. Wade and Maggie talk about her mom and how Wade met her. Despite finding maggots inside her decaying arm Maggie strives to achieve some sense of normalcy by going out with her friend Allie to a party, after being encouraged by Caroline, and kissing Trent – an infected boy who she used to date before the outbreak. Trent tells her of horror stories of the infected in quarantine. A couple of days later Caroline is stunned when Maggie smells “food” and realizes that it’s not something being cooked in their kitchen but rather human meat that Maggie smells. Later Maggie finds Trent, who had smelled his father as “food”, locked up his room refusing to come out. Though she tries to talk to him, the cops come by and take Trent away to quarantine by force.

Back at home Maggie finds a trapped fox that she tries to free but can’t help herself and bites off some it’s flesh. Wade kills the poor creature and Caroline leaves, urging Wade that it is time to take Maggie to a hospital. He doesn’t do so but keeps a loaded shotgun ready with him incase she turns completely and attacks. At night as Wade pretends to fall asleep, an almost completely zombified Maggie comes down her skin now gray and her eyes blackened. She stops at his side and sniffs him but kisses him lightly and goes out to the top of the house and jumps to her death.

Although it is a bit dull…..ok a lot dull….the acting is certainly really good. Arnold finding more serious character roles as he approaches his 70s (he is 68 people) and can’t do those high octane action movies anymore. Abigail is awesome as the girl knowing that her end is near but I feel that the movie could have done a lot more with the story. I give it a 7 outta 10!

The Vatican Tapes

I didn’t know much about this movie other than having watched a bit of a clip online. Decided to check it out and see if it was worth it. It was…ok I guess. The Vatican Tapes is a 2015 American supernatural horror film directed by Mark Neveldine from a screenplay written by Christopher Borrelli, which is in turn based on a story by Chris Morgan and Christopher Borrelli. The film stars Olivia Taylor Dudley, Kathleen Robertson, Michael Peña, Djimon Hounsou, Dougray Scott, and John Patrick Amedori, and was released on July 24, 2015, by Lionsgate.

An ordinary but pretty 27 year old, Angela Holmes, is celebrating her birthday with a surprise party hosted by her live in boyfriend Pete. Her sheriff dad Roger Holmes, disapproves of her choice in men (it looks like he would disapprove of anyone) is staying with her for the weekend. Angela cuts her hands badly on the knife and goes to the hospital for treatment. Soon she starts to display increasingly disturbing behaviour erratic and strange behaviors, which finally catches the eye of local priest Father Oscar Lozano. She causes a car crash which hospitalizes her and while at the hospital she ominously picks up a baby at the maternity ward, seemingly to harm it. When the police investigates, she points to one of the detectives towards the window where a raven sits (the messenger of Satan) and he stares at it and then proceeds to take two light bulbs and pierce his eyes out. She also seems to know about stuff that she shouldn’t know, like details about the love life of her doctor and the things she is doing with a married man.

All this seem dangerous enough for Lozano to call (who you gonna call) the Vatican and lead exorcist Cardinal Bruun who travels all the way to the US to chase the demon away from the girl. The cardinal arrives from Vatican City, armed with holy water and the camcorders and proceeds to exorcise the demon from the girl – only thing is, it’s no ordinary demon but apparently possibly Satan himself. Angela coughs up three eggs (what???) and spouts off some ancient language that mocks the church and stuff and later the house blows up killing everyone except Lozano and the girl. She wanders off and starts to perform “miracles” healing people etc. She is hailed as possibly divine or a charlatan and as the movie ends, Lozano is recruited by the Vatican where he is shown clips from various tv sources the rise in popularity of Angela. This is important because as the church states, the anti-christ will come performing such “miracles” and a false religion will rise around him/her and people will be misled to worship it.

It held some promise but ended up being more of the same. A few creepy things stand out and Olivia Dudley does a good job but overall it is very forgettable. 6 outta 10!

Extraterrestrial

Extraterrestrial is a 2014 sci-fi horror film that was directed by Colin Minihan, based on a script by both Vicious Brothers. It stars Brittany Allen, Freddie Stroma, Jesse Moss, Aaja Savic and Melanie Papalia, as a group of friends that must defend themselves against an alien onslaught, with veteran actors Gil Bellows & Michael Ironside playing supporting roles. Emily Perkins also has a small role in the film.

We start the film with a woman running towards a gas station store in a small town out near the woods, asking to use the phone. The clerk does not open the store as it is closing time so she gets into a phone booth next to it but after she calls 911 she is attacked by an unseen creature. As the clerk comes to check after hearing her screams he finds the booth has been lifted into the air and watches it fall right back down. He calls the sheriff’s office who can’t find much evidence of what has happened. Later we see April who has come to stay the weekend in her parent’s old cabin in the woods and take photos of it as it is to be sold. Joining her are her boyfriend Kyle and their friends Seth, Melanie & Seth’s girlfriend Lex. On their way they are given a warning by sheriff Murphy for Kyle setting of fireworks while in the car. Once they reach the cabin the 5 drink and smoke marijuana. April & Melanie run into Travis, a Vietnam vet and old friend of April’s dad, who has all kinds of conspiracy theories.

As night descends Kyle proposes to April but she hesitates as she has a job offer in NY while he still is in college. Suddenly they see something crash in the woods and upon investigating find that it’s a UFO. After returning to the cabin they hear noises upstairs, and after getting April’s father’s gun find nothing but an open door. After finding an alien on the patio April shoots it to death. They then try and drive to town but find that the road is blocked. Lex is suddenly abducted as another UFO appears above them and beams her up. The rest flee back to Travis’ place, hoping for some answers. Travis gives them his theory in that the aliens and the US government have had a treaty since Roswell; they abduct people while the government is left in control to clean up the mess. They only have one rule: No Human must Engage Them. Since April shot one of them, it was considered a breach in the treaty, and now the aliens are out for blood. The kids run back to the cabin and board up the windows, while Travis stays behind to fight, only to get either abducted or killed.

Back the cabin, Seth mistakes the cops for aliens and shoot at them and he is handcuffed and put into the back seat of the car by deputy Mitchell. Sheriff Murphy investigates the barn nearby and finds Melanie’s dog lying dead and mutilated (just like some similar cases of cattle being mutilated in the area) and is startled by a alien who he shoots at but which escapes. It is revealed that Sheriff Murphy’s wife mysteriously disappeared and he finally believes that it was aliens that took her. As Murphy and Deputy Mitchell (Sean Rogerson) argue about Murphy’s wife, an alien appears in front of the car and controls Murphy’s mind to shoot Deputy Mitchell and himself. Before the aliens can get Seth, he is saved by April and they return to the cabin. Seth tells the group that they got into Murphy’s head before he abandons the group. As he is running though the forest he is attacked by the aliens who are about to abduct him. He handcuffs his arm to a tree but he is still abducted, and his severed arm is left dangling from the tree.

As the aliens begin attacking the cabin, Kyle locks April and Melanie in the basement so they don’t get abducted. Meanwhile, Kyle hides in the bathroom with a knife, hoping to ambush the aliens. When he walks past a mirror, an alien jumps out and abducts him. Melanie secretly overdoses on meds and dies leaving April alone. April, armed with a crowbar, prepares to face the aliens but she finds out that they are leaving and realizes they have taken Kyle. She signals the UFO by setting off one of Seth’s fireworks and she is abducted. April wakes up covered in slime and on another planet, where she finds out that the aliens are experimenting on humans. Seth is shown strapped to an operating table. He is covered in a strange slime and little larvae like robots, and has a triangle shaped drawing scarred onto his stomach. He is anally probed, and then dies from his wounds. April finds Kyle and revives him. They hug and the aliens return them to earth. Kyle and April walk through the woods and upon seeing soldiers, they run towards them. They are shot, and as they are dying, April gives Kyle the engagement ring, which he takes and puts on her finger before they are executed.

As the movie ends soldiers clear out the debris and dead bodies while a senior officer approaches a man in a suit (man in black) asking “What should we do with the bodies?”. The man in the suit replies, “What we always do”. This scene could be a hommage to the Men in Black and The Cigarette Smoking man from The X-Files. The film doesn’t really pick up and though has some promise, fails to deliver. The best scenes, uptil the final moments, are when Bellows or Ironside are on screen. 6.5 outta 10!

Poltergeist (2015)

Rebooting movies from the Scifi and horror franchise seems to be the way that Hollywood does things nowadays. Poltergeist, the latest, is a 2015 American supernatural horror film directed by Gil Kenan, written by David Lindsay-Abaire and produced by Sam Raimi. A reboot of the 1982 film of the same name, the film stars Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, and Jane Adams.

The story is basically the same – the Bowen family has moved into a house that fits their price range after dad Eric gets laid off. Amy wants to write, while Eric looks for a job, and also take care of their 3 kids: eldest daughter teenage, Kendra; their son, Griffin; and youngest daughter, Madison. From day one Griffin feels that there is something strange about this house and on their first night strange noise are heard and Griffin finds a box of toy clowns in a hidden compartment in his room. In the middle of the night, lights and electronic devices start turning on and off, as some unseen force appears to move through the home. Griffin sees his sister Madison talking to o an unknown presence inside the television. She tells Griffin someone is coming, and he attempts to unplug the TV, causing the lights to go out of control. Madison then tells the family they are here.

Amy & Eric write it off as Madison talking to her imaginary friends but when they are out to have dinner at a friends house one night they learn that their house was built on an old cemetery, but the bodies were moved to a better neighbourhood. Kendra is attacked by black goo coming out of the basement when she investigates strange sounds and is grabbed by hands from a corpse. Griffin is attacked by the clowns but he destroys one and escapes from his bedroom. He finds Madison in her room, scared, crouching at a corner, and tells her to stay while he goes to find Kendra. Madison is then lured into her closet and becomes lost in an unending void. As she sees her bedroom drifting away further, she is dragged into the darkness by ghosts. Griffin, while running around the house, is grabbed by the branches of the old tree outside their house, which pulls him out to be hanging on the tree. Eric & Amy come home to find him in the branches of the trees and a frantic Kendra who can’t find Madison.

After hearing Madison’s voice coming from inside the tv Amy and Griffin visit the Paranormal Research department for help. The staff sets up equipment in the house, and install GPS locators on everyone in the house. While trying to contact Madison, Eric is ambushed in the closet by a ghost resembling her. Angered, he breaks down the closet wall, throwing a chair into the darkness inside the closet, and as the chair falls back into the living room of the house, it reveals a possible portal Madison can escape through. The investigators realize that this haunting is a poltergeist. Dr. Brooke, calls her ex-husband, an occult specialist and television personality Carrigan Burke. Carrigan explains that Madison is a possible psychic, able to communicate with spirits. He reveals that the poltergeists are trapped and are angry because only the headstones were moved to the new cemetery, but the bodies remained, and plan on using Madison to free them from their purgatory.

Using a rope that they toss into the vortex they try and use a toy drone to guide Madison back to them but when it is destroyed inside the vortex, Griffin decides to enter the realm and bring his sister back. When he finds Madison, the poltergeists attempt to destroy the rope to trap them, but they both escape. The family get in their car and begin to take their leave from the house, but the poltergeists drag them back into the house and attempt to abduct Madison again. The family saves her from being sucked into the portal, and Carrigan decides that as the only other psychic, he must go into the vortex and lead the spirits into the light. The Bowens flee as the house is torn apart by a giant light. The investigative team run to their equipment, looking for a sign that Carrigan managed to get back. As the Bowens look for a new house, the realtor shows them a house with lots of closet space and an old tree in the backyard; the Bowens drive away laughing. During the end credits, it’s revealed that Carrigan survived the incident and is back filming his ghost program, now hosting the show with Dr. Powell.

The movie does not offer anything new to the story, other than perhaps some awesome updated CGI and special effects. The movie lacks the charm of the original and fails to be memorable. 6.5 outta 10!

The Lazarus Effect (2015)

What happens when you get a good cast but a not go good script? The Lazarus Effect is one such example that even good actors who have done a reasonably good job cannot save a film such as this. Directed by David Gelb and written by Luke Dawson and Jeremy Slater, the horror/supernatural film stars Mark Duplass, Olivia Wilde, Donald Glover, Evan Peters, and Sarah Bolger.

Medical researchers Frank & his fiance Zoe are working a serum code-named “Lazarus” to help patients in coma but they discover that the serum can bring back the dead to life. The initial experiments are on dead animals, like a pig shown just before the credits, and later a dog. With the help of their friends Niko & Clay, plus student videographer Eva, they document their first successful attempt when they bring a recently deceased dog to life. The 5 of them celebrate but it is soon evident that the dog is not normal. First, his cataracts are gone and it refuses to eat and seems rather docile and confused but in one creepy scene the dog is shown to stare at a sleeping Zoe in a rather ominous manner. It also seems to be able to easily get out of it’s kennel and growls menacingly to stoner Clay. Tests reveal that the serum, instead of dissipating, is constructing strange new synapses within the dog’s brain.

When the dean of the university finds out about the experiment she reprimands Frank and that a major pharmaceutical corporation has bought out the company that funded their research. The company and their attorneys confiscate everything associated with the project. The 5 sneak back in to the laboratory as the company had missed Eva’s pass, and try to recreate the experiment but a freakish accident electrocutes Zoe and she dies. A grieving Frank uses the serum to resurrect her. Initially, the procedure appears to be a success, but the team soon realizes that something is wrong with Zoe. She claims that when she died, she went to her version of Hell which was a nightmare originating from her childhood; as a child, Zoe’s apartment building had caught on fire and she watched her neighbors burn to death after they were trapped inside, causing recurring nightmares. She also begins to demonstrate unusual psychic abilities. The Lazarus serum causes brains to “evolve” incredibly rapidly, giving Zoe inhuman powers such as telekinesis and telepathy.

Zoe is aware that the others are wary of her and she walks into a room where Nico is and when he wards of her attempts to kiss him, she uses her telekinetic powers to throw him into a locker and crushes it with him inside, killing him. When Clay demands to know where Niko is, she kills him as well by suffocating him with an e-cigarette. Later, Zoe kills Frank after he attempts to kill her with a poison injection. After this, Zoe injects herself with an entire bag of the Lazarus serum, making her abilities stronger than before. Eva is alone with Zoe in the underground lab, in the dark as Zoe cuts off the power. Zoe finds Eva and sends her into the hell that she went to when she died. Inside the nightmare, it is revealed that Zoe was the one that caused the fire in the building, causing her to go to hell upon death. Eva is able to escape and inject Zoe with the syringe, but Zoe survives and kills Eva anyway. She then injects Frank with her own blood loaded with the Lazarus serum and he awakens as the film ends.

This sort of theme of “playing god” and returning from the dead all wrong has been played out so many times that there is a lack of originality in the film. The film also relies on tried & boring jump scares that soon becomes a little annoying. However Wilde’s little evil smile & wink at Clay as she kills him is priceless. Most horror fans would be disappointed. 6 outta 10!

RIP Wes Craven

Wes Craven, the famed maestro of horror known for the Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream franchises, died Sunday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 76. Craven, whose iconic Freddy Krueger character horrified viewers for years, died at his home in Los Angeles, his family announced. Survivors include his wife, producer and former Disney Studios vice president Iya Labunka. Wesley Earl Craven was born Aug. 2, 1939, in Cleveland. His father died when he was 5. Raised in a strict Baptist household, he graduated from Wheaton College with degrees in English and psychology, then earned a masters in philosophy and writing from Johns Hopkins.

Craven’s first feature film was The Last House of the Left, which he wrote, directed and edited in 1972. A rape-revenge movie, it appalled some viewers but generated big box office. Next came another film he wrote and helmed, The Hills Have Eyes (1977). Craven re-invented the youth horror genre in 1984 with the classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, which he wrote and directed. He conceived and co-wrote Elm Street III as well, and then after not being involved with other sequels, deconstructed the genre a decade after the original, writing and directing Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, which was nominated for best feature at the 1995 Spirit Awards. In 1996, Craven reached a new level of success with the release of Scream. The film grossed more than $100 million domestically, as did Scream 2 (1997). Between Scream 2 and Scream 3, Craven, offered the opportunity to direct a non-genre film for Miramax, helmed Music of the Heart (1999), a film that earned Meryl Streep an Academy Award nomination for best actress in the inspirational drama about a teacher in Spanish Harlem.

Craven again pushed the genre boundaries with the 2005 psychological thriller Red Eye, starring Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy and Brian Cox. And in 2006, he wrote and directed a romantic comedy homage to Oscar Wilde featuring Emily Mortimer and Rufus Sewell as a segment in the French ensemble production Paris Je T’aime. Craven then produced remakes of The Hills Have Eyes (2006) and The Last House on the Left (2009). His most recent written and directed film, My Soul to Take (2010), marked his first collaboration with Labunka, who also produced Scream 4. Craven directed several other thrillers and horror movies during his career, including Swamp Thing (1982), Deadly Friend (1986) and The People Under the Stairs (1991).

Wesley Earl “Wes” Craven (August 2, 1939 – August 30, 2015)

It Follows

It Follows is a 2014 American supernatural – horror film written and directed by David Robert Mitchell. The film stars Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi & Lili Sepe and deals with a supernatural entity that follows people who have had sex with a curse person.

The movie centers around the character of Jay, a carefree college student in Michigan, who goes on a date with her new love interest Hugh. At the movie theatre Hugh points out to a girl in a yellow outfit but when Jay looks back she cannot see her. Hugh is disturbed by this and asks to leave the theatre saying that he is unwell. On another night, they park in Hugh’s car in a park and have sex. Afterwards Hugh puts Jay unconscious and she wakes up to find herself tied to a chair in an abandoned building. Hugh tells her that through sex he passed on a curse to her; apparently he got it himself after a one night stand in a bar and the curse is that a supernatural being takes on the form of someone Jay knows and only she will be able to see it. The being will follow the cursed one at a walking pace and will kill her if it catches up to her and then pursue the person who passed the curse to her. Hugh implores that Jay sleep with someone else as soon as she can to be rid of the entity. A naked woman approaches them from the nearby woods as they go. Hugh drops Jay off at home.

Jay is helped by her sister Kelly and their friends & neighbours Yara & Paul. The cops are called but they cannot find Hugh at his reported residence. Later at her college Jay is approached by an old woman only she can see and she freaks out. That night while Paul is over at their house, the entity breaks a window in the kitchen and Jay sees a half naked woman approaching her. She runs to her room but Paul & Kelly can’t see the being, now in the form of a tall man with gouged-out eyes, so Jay jumps out of the window and runs to a nearby playground. As the others catch up with her Greg, another neighbour their age, comes to find out what happened and they will him in. The next morning they 5 of them head to the house that Hugh claimed to live in and find it to be abandoned. Using a photo of his, they track him to his school and find out that his real name is Jeff and go to his house. Jeff reiterates that Jay must have sex with someone else to get rid of the curse. They drive to Greg’s lakehouse, where Jay learns to fire a gun. The entity catches up to Jay and attacks her on the shore. She shoots it, momentarily incapacitating it, and escapes in Greg’s car, crashing into a cornfield. She wakes up in the hospital with a broken arm, surrounded by her mother and friends.

In the hospital Greg has sex with Jay and after a few nights he is killed when the entity takes on the form of his mother and kills him. Once again the target, Jay flees and spends the night by the beach. The next morning, she sees three young men on a boat. She undresses and walks into the water. Back home, Paul expresses his feelings about Jay sleeping with Greg and not him; he offers to have sex with her, but she refuses. Later the 4 of them decide to lure the entity to a public indoor pool and electrocute it but instead of entering the pool, the entity picks up the electrical devices and throws them at Jay. Paul attempts to shoot the entity but cannot see it and accidentally wounds Yara. Kelly drapes a blanket over the entity, allowing Paul to shoot it in the head. It falls into the pool. Paul asks Jay if she can see if the entity is dead. Jay approaches the pool, which slowly fills with blood. To be sure Jay has sex with Paul who then goes to find prostitutes in another part of the city. As the movie ends, Jay and Paul hold hands and walk down the sidewalk; someone walks behind them.

The movie seems to be a parable about AIDS and other STDs and perhaps anxieties about sex and intimacy. Although an interesting plotline, I found the movie a bit dull and boring in parts. I give it a 7 outta 10!

Insidious : Chapter 3

Well we needed to have a sequel didn’t we? Insidious : Chapter 3 is the prequel to the events of the first movie written and directed by Leigh Whannell in his directorial debut. The 2015 film stars Dermot Mulroney and Stefanie Scott, with Angus Sampson, Whannell, and Lin Shaye reprising their roles from the previous films.

Set a few years before the events of the first film, Elise Rainer, is living a reclusive life in her home still recovering from the death of her husband, who killed himself as he was suffering from depression. Teenager Quinn Brennan approaches her at her home asking for help in contacting the spirit of her recently deceased mother who she feels is trying to contact her from beyond her grave. Feeling pity on the young girl Elise, who has stopped doing readings, agrees to try to contact Lillith Brennan, however she stops after hearing a demonic presence who threatens to kill her. She warns Quinn to stop trying to reach out to her mother on her own and that if “you call out to one of the dead, all of them can hear you.”

Quinn skips school to go to an audition for a NYC based theatre academy and sees a strange figure waving to her from the side. Not having had much time to prepare (with her overbearing father Sean asking her to help raise her younger brother Alex) Quinn flubs her lines and does not do well. Later she sits with her best friend Maggie and discusses her unhappiness and as they leave, she sees the same dark figure waving to her from across the street. This distracts her and causes her to be hit by a car, which breaks her legs. Using a wheelchair she is now resting at home with her legs in a cast and her father gets more time off from work to be around for her and even gives her a bell to ring in case she needs him. At night she notices weird things like the bell going off on it’s own and hearing a knock from behind the wall (which is the room of next door neighbor Hector, she knocks back and he copies her. Quinn texts Hector, who reveals that he isn’t home. Fearing it was someone else next door, she goes to bed. The paranormal experiences keep escalating with Quinn seeing the figure in her room and the ceilings getting craked above her bed.

The demonic figure, resembling a corpse with a breathing mask, brings Quinn upstairs to the empty apartment above hers and she sees a faceless, limbless version of herself. Hearing banging from above Sean rushes up and finds Quinn on the floor and follows the bloody footprints to the broken window. A man is lying on the pavement below, as if he committed suicide by jumping out. As Quinn goes to observe the window, the demon grabs Quinn and tries to pull her over the ledge. Sean saves her, but her neck is injured in the process. Sean contacts a reluctant Elise who tries to enter the spiritual realm but is scared away by the Bride in Black who tries to strangle her. Knowing that the Bride has vowed to kill her, Elise leaves. Alex shows Sean a video of two bloggers, Specs & Tucker, who are ghost hunters. They attempt to catch the demon but find a semi-possessed Quinn attacking them. Meanwhile Elise returns, having found encouragement from a fellow medium & friend who tells her that she is stronger than she thinks she is, and offers to help again. This time she fights off the Bride in Black and goes on.

The Demon takes the form of Elise’s dead husband, Jack, in an attempt to trick her into killing herself so they can be together. After a tearful reunion, Elise realizes that it is actually the Demon, and easily defeats him, but it grabs hold of a faceless version of Quinn. This version of Quinn is revealed to be half of her soul, which the demon now controls. Elise returns to the others and tells them that only Quinn can get the rest of her soul back. However, Quinn is losing the battle, as her alternate version gains more of her features. Elise hears the voice of the wife of the Brenner’s neighbor who had died the other night, leading her to Quinn’s diary, which contains a letter that Lillith wanted her to read before she graduated. The power from this letter helps guide Lillith to save Quinn and banish the demon. Lillith leaves her with some parting words, and the family is finally reunited. Specs and Tucker decide to join Elise to deal with other supernatural disturbances. At the end of the film, Elise realizes something is wrong when her dog keeps barking at a dark closet and the the Lipstick-Faced Demon pops out next to her.

Not bad for a sequel, which usually tends to be the worst of all horror movie franchises. This one was decent and well acted and not cheesy either, despite the plot with the mother’s spirit being involved. I’d give it a 7.5 outta 10!

The Quiet Ones

The Quiet Ones is a 2014 British horror film & Hammer production directed by John Pogue. The film stars Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Olivia Cooke, Erin Richards & Rory Fleck-Byrne. The film is set in the 70s and is loosely based on the Philip experiment, a 1972 parapsychology experiment conducted in Toronto.

Oxford professor Joseph Coupland aims to prove that supernatural does not exist and in his class shows footage of a boy from several years ago who appears to be possessed and states that his research will cure for psychological diseases like this. One of his students, Brian McNeil, is invited to film the experiment process and joins Coupland, his two assistants Krissi and Harry, and their subject Jane Harper, a young woman who generates strange phenomena and has been abandoned. Jane is generally kept locked in a room with loud rock music playing during the daytime to prevent her from sleeping in the hopes that the psychological agitation will result in increased activity. When his funding is taken away, the professor packs up Jane and invites Krissi, Harry & Brian to an isolated house in the countryside to keep experimenting on Jane.

The first proof that things aren’t quite safe is that the door to their van opens and closes on it’s own after the 5 of them have gone in. Soon Jane’s negative energy takes the form of “Evey” a baby doll like creature only she can see. Coupland instructs Jane to transfer her negative energy into a physical doll so they can destroy it. As the experiments drive Jane to the brink of insanity, strange things keep happening in the house. Brian meanwhile is upset at the unethical treatment of Jane and has begun to have feelings for her. Evey’s apparitions become more violent as anything that the people do to harm Evey ends up causing harm to Jane. Coupland, however, refuses to stop the inhumane experimentation as he is irreversibly convinced that “Evey” is merely a conventionally treatable, parapsychological disorder in Jane’s head, but the others become convinced over time that Evey is a true malevolent, supernatural force.

After another attack on the group by “Evey” Brian goes back to Oxford and conducts research on a symbol that was carved on Jane and he finds out that is from a cult who worshiped a Sumerian demon. They performed experiments on a young girl a few years ago; their leader believed that Evey Dwyer, a girl with clairvoyant abilities, was the one to bring their “idol” into the physical world. Everybody in the cult died in a house fire that Evey set, including Evey herself. Brian returns and tells them about the cult, certain that Evey is a demonic presence who is possessing Jane. He convinces Harry and Krissi, but Coupland denies his theory and responds that Evey must be a figment from Jane’s past rather than a demonic force. The 4 of them are soon painfully marked with the same symbol and later it is revealed that the boy in the experiment was Coupland’s own son and he is driven by his desire to cure his son, which upsets Jane who feels used.

After an attack on Krissi in a bathtub, Krissi & Harry are killed brutally by an unseen force. Jane realizes that she was the little girl that supposedly died in the house fire; she was born with clairvoyant powers and had set the house on fire to kill everyone. The authorities changed her name to Jane to give her a normal life, and that’s why all her negative energy is manifesting; Evey is not a demon, she is Jane’s real identity (one who can’t escape the trauma of her past life). Evey attacks Brian but Coupland knocks her out and then Brian too, typing him to a chair owever, before Coupland can prove his theory, Brian saves Jane and subdues Coupland. Once revived, Jane locks him out of the room and commits suicide by setting herself on fire. The movie ends with a now institutionalized Brian who is now clearly mad, asked questions by someone off camera about the 4 deaths and he is told that everything in the house, including the films, were destroyed by the fire. Brian laughs manically and his hand starts to smoke, just as Jane’s did.

Interesting story but a very dully and almost boring movie. Vry little to scare you but I do feel sad for the Jane character. Helps that she is played brilliantly by the rather sweet & pretty actress Olivia Cooke. Though the rest is drawn out and the movie is tedious to sit through as nothing exciting happens. 6 outta 10!

Scary Books & Films

Do You Like Scary Movies and Books?

Hell yeah! Have you not seen my past blog posts where I do reviews of horror flicks? Though I must say that this year, with the new job, I haven’t had much chance to watch many movies lately and hence I think I have only seen one horror movie so far in 2015. Yeah but in the summer, now that a lot of the shows that I watch are winding up their seasons, I will have more time to watch movies.

As for books, sure I love to read them but you know what? In the past few years I have stopped reading books as I find that I am engrossed in stuff like Youtube and Facebook and Twitter and find reading a lot more tedious and hence can’t finish a book. It is a bit annoying that I can’t concentrate and commit to finishing a book in a week or two whereas I used to devour books at rates of like 3 in a week up till 2008. The internet is too much of a distraction I tell ya!

I think I need to set aside a week or so, get some of my vacation time and find a quite place to lay low for a few days and read a few books. I miss books.

Prompt from The Learning Network from The New York Times

The Pyramid

The Pyramid is a 2014 December release and is a horror/supernatural film in the found footage vein but a little more cleaner production than your usual run of the mill stuff. Directed by Grégory Levasseur, produced by Alexandre Aja, and written by Daniel Meersand and Nick Simon the film stars Ashley Hinshaw, Denis O’Hare, James Buckley, Christa Nicola, Amir K and Daniel Amerman.

Drs. Miles & Nora Holden, an American father & daughter archeologist duo are leading an excavation dig 50 kms away from Cairo when they discover a 3 sides pyramid unlike any other seen before in Egypt and much older than the ones in Giza. Along with them are technician Michael Zahir along with documentary director Sunni & her cameraman Fitzie. As they open the apex, a rush of toxic fungal stale air rushes out causing one of the workers to get infected and convulsed. Due to the uprising in 2013 Egypt the team are ordered to evacuate the site by morning an Egyptian army soldier is sent to ensure that they do leave the site. The team however does not want to leave without getting a good look inside the pyramid and send a robot (a miniature version of the Mars rover), Shorty, in to investigate. Shorty is damaged by an unseen creature and the signal is lost, causing Zahir to want to go and fetch it as he could be in trouble with NASA, who he borrowed it from.

As they try and make their way through to the robot, the floor in a chamber collapses and after they fall down to the next level, one of Zahir’s legs is caught underneath a large piece of the ceiling and the other four are unable to move it. Sunni tries to climb up a shaft to the level above but a creatures leaps at her and scratches her face, causing her to fall down. They leave Zahir behind to find another way out, only to hear him scream, and return to find only a bloody trail leading up the wall. The remaining four are chased by what is later revealed to be cannibalistic cats who have lived in the pyramid for generations, eating on the older ones to survive. The soldier rescues them out of a tunnel but is himself pulled back into the tunnel by an unseen and powerful force. The shocked team then escape a sand tunnel only for Sunni to accidentally fall into a spike pit and get impales and have the cats eat at her flesh. Although the other 3 try to rescue her Sunni’s wounds are fatal and she dies. The remaining 3 move on and find a burial chamber and as the speculate about a way out, Miles has his heart torn out from behind but a large hand and is dragged away. Nora & Fitzie hide in another section of the chamber though Fitzie shortly returns to watch through the camera as the large creature – part man, part jackal, weighing Miles’ heart.

As Nora learns from a hieroglyphic, the creature is Anubis, and the pyramid was constructed to imprison him as he became relentless in his pursuit to join his father Osiris in the afterlife. Anubis captured humans and tried to find a pure soul by whom he can escape to the afterlife. Nora & Fitzie find a way out and climb a long shaft to get out of the pyramid but both are caught by Anubis. As Nora comes to she finds Anubis killing Fitzie and about to measure her soul and she manages to free herself by cutting the ropes that bind her using a knife she had with her. She lashes out at Anubis and wounds him, causing the cannibal cats to attack him smelling blood. She makes her way out of the shaft and into a tunnel that leads out via a cave but the fungal infection overcomes her and she passes out at the entrance. As she comes to, a small boy finds her and the camera with her and as he turns around Anubis comes at them and grabs them both as the scene fades to black and the film ends.

Not very original or scary at all but it was an ok watch for the night. Production is decent and there’s less annoying stuff than most horror films but it’s not enough to rescue this film from the tons of horror stuff that pile out the dvd/bluray sections. 6 outta 10!

Dracula (1979)

One of the numerous but probably one of the best Dracula movies based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, Dracula (1979) was directed by John Badham and starred Frank Langella as the famed count. The film also starred Laurence Olivier as Professor Abraham Van Helsing, Donald Pleasence as Dr. Jack Seward, Kate Nelligan as Lucy Seward, Trevor Eve as Jonathan Harker, Tony Haygarth as Milo Renfield, and Jan Francis as Mina Van Helsing.

Similar to the story in the novel, Dracula arrives in Whitby, England via the ship the Demeter one stormy evening. In the form of a wolf he kills the entire ship’s crew just before the ship crashes on the shore. An ill Mina Van Helsing, who is visiting her friend Lucy Seward and Dr. Jack Seward’s house sees the crash and runs to the shore to find Dracula. The Count is taken to his newly purchased but old & run down Carfax Abbey, which was sold to him via young Johnathon Harker, Lucy’s fiance. Dracula is invited to dinner at Dr. Seward’s house, whose clifftop mansion also serves as the local asylum, where he charms everyone especially Lucy. Later that night while Johnathon and Lucy have a secret rendevouz, Dracula visits Mina in her bedroom and drinks her blood. Early in the morning Lucy finds Mina struggling to breathe and calls her father to the room. Powerless, they watch as Mina dies, only to find wounds on her throat. Lucy blames herself for Mina’s death, as she had left her alone.

Dr. Seward calls for Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, Mina’s father, to come to Whitby and fills him in on the mysterious circumstances of his daughter’s death. After a period of grieving, and a chance meeting with Dracula, Van Helsing suspects the workings of a vampire and does research on it after a nurse in the asylum swears that she saw Mina feeding on a baby. He & Seward visit Mina’s grave and discover that it has been broken from the inside and track her to the local mines. It is there that they encounter the ghastly form of an undead Mina, and it is up to a distraught Van Helsing to destroy what remains of his own daughter. Lucy, meanwhile goes alone to Carfax Abbey for dinner, as Johnathon is away on work and she reveals that she is under the count’s spell and professes her love to him. They share a sensuous night of love making after which Lucy drinks some of Dracula’s blood. However, after Johnathon arrives to find her in a similar sickly state as Mina, the two doctors manage to give Lucy a blood transfusion to slow her descent into vampirism, but she remains under Dracula’s spell.

The three men realize that to save Lucy they must destroy the Count but have to restrain Lucy first as she desperately wishes to be with him. The two doctors & Harker go to the Count’s home in daylight but he is prepared and waiting for them and despite it being daylight he manages to escape. At night he bursts into the Asylum and frees Lucy and they make their way to board a ship carrying the vampire cargo bound for Romania. Harker & Van Helsing take a boat to the ship and get on board to confront the Count. They find the Count’s coffin; upon opening it they see Lucy sleeping beside her new “husband”, Dracula. Again they try to destroy him, but the Count awakens and once more fights with them. Van Helsing is fatally injured by Dracula as he is impaled by the stake intended for the vampire but manages to throw a hook (attached to a rope, from the ship’s rigging), into Dracula’s back. Harker hoists the body of Dracula high into up through the cargo hold and into the sunlight above. With animalistic screams of agony the Count dies a slow death, his body burnt into ashes.

The last scene shows a now more herself Lucy reaching out to Harker but he rejects her still feeling betrayed. As Lucy looks up she sees Dracula’s cape flying in the wind and smiles to herself, leading me to believe that we haven’t seen the last of the Count. Good film and excellent casting. A classic gothic-romantic style film with an emphasis on the romance. 8 outta 10, though it drags a bit in the middle!

The Returned (2013)

The Returned is a 2013 Spanish-Canadian thriller film directed by Manuel Carballo, written by Hatem Khraiche, and starring Emily Hampshire, Kris Holden-Ried, Shawn Doyle, and Claudia Bassols. It has a horror theme of zombies but the focus is less on that and more on the survivors of a disease that turns people into zombies and on the relationship of the two main leads and their friends.

In the alternate universe of this film, a plague that turns victims into zombies first showed up in the 1980s and causes the death of over 100 million people. Scientists do heavy research for a cure but are only able to come up with a serum that needs to be injected daily to ward off the effects. If the subject misses a single dose they quickly change into a feral state and attack people. The formula can only extracted from the dead zombies and hence by current times supplies have started running low. The infected humans have to endure discrimination, taunts and even violent threats from bigoted humans.

Kate, who is a physician in Toronto working with the Returned, has just finished counseling a young boy’s parents on the treatment for him. We then see her buying black market does of the cure, from a pharmacist at the same hospital, and stocking them for fear that they will run out soon. Kate’s own husband Alex, a music teacher, got infected 6 years ago when he attempted to assist a man whom he thought was having a seizure. Alex was treated in an army medical facility and then moved to a hospital, where he met Kate and they fell in love. At dinner that weekend Alex confesses to his best friend Jacob & Jacob’s wife Amber that he has been infected for 6 years and they support him. When protestors become violent and the government begins to set up quarantine camps, Jacob and his wife Amber invite Alex and Kate to stay with them outside the city. Kates hospital was attacked by a trio of masked men who killed the returned in their beds. Alex narrowly avoids both an attempted murder but is able to turn the gun towards the attacked and the gun goes off. He & Kate dump the body in the water. Early the next morning Kate goes back into the city to meet her source and buy more doses but finds her dead. On the woman’s body Kate finds one of Amber’s false nails and panics.

She calls Alex who searches the house and finds his supply gone and both Amber & Jacob are missing as well. Alex finds a single dose and a note from Jacob that apologizes for taking the rest, as Amber has become infected. Alex becomes desperate and tries calling Jacob who tearfully tries to justify his actions. Kate returns to the city and reveals her dilemma to the hospital chief, who gives her the hospital’s entire stash. However, the father of the infected boy Kate had treated, overhears her talking to Alex on the phone about the doses and attempts to steal the container, and, in the ensuing fight over it, the entire contents are destroyed. Kate returns to Alex at their apartment and finds him having chained himself in his studio. As he slowly experiences the changes due to not getting the dose he hands Kate the gun and asks her to shoot him. Kate has flashbacks to her childhood when she could not bring herself to kill her mother who had just been bitten & infected by her father but does shoot him offscreen. Later back in the city she goes to the hospital and in told by the chief that the that researchers have created a synthesized treatment! Unable to control her grief she breaks down. In the final scene, some months later, a pregnant Kate prepares to track & kill Jacob and Amber at a book tour.

Good movie with a sober story about the survivors of a plague rather than your typical infected zombie flick. The focus on an infected trying to stay that way and his spouse who wants to help him makes the film unique in it’s genre and hence should be treated more like a thriller than a horror movie. For a small budget ($5 mill) film, I was impressed so a 7.5 outta 10!

At The Devil’s Door

A movie titled like that is sure to get it’s share of people checking it out. I expected a lot more from this film, even after glancing through it’s synopsis but I was somewhat disappointed. At The Devil’s Door is 2014 horror film directed by Nicholas McCarthy and starring Catalina Sandino Moreno, Ashley Rickards & Naya Rivera.

Teenager Hannah is with her new boyfriend who takes her to meet a man in a trailer who offers her $500 to play a game and “sell her soul”. Not making much of it she agrees and wins a round of the shells game. The man tells her she’s been chosen, and to go down to where the roads meet and say her name (so he knows her name when he calls for her). Later that night at her house, she hears a male voice from her closet that says “come to me” and she is attacked by an unseen entity that lifts her in the air and then throws her down with some force. The movie then shifts to Leigh, a real estate agent who has just visited the now empty house that Hannah lived in and she sees a girl in a raincoat who walks away without saying a word. Leigh then goes to her artist sister Vera at the latter’s house and offered to buy one of her works, even though Vera wants to gift it to her. Later Leigh meets the owners of the house are trying to sell the house due to being unable to pay the mortgage since Chuck, the husband got sick. Leigh tells them that she say a girl there earlier and the couple say that it must have been their daughter Charlene who has been missing for several months (they think she ran away with her boyfriend).

Later when Leigh is at the house awaiting some inspection crew she see the girl again and takes her out of the rain and to her own home. As Charlene sits in the kitchen Leigh calls Chuck and says that she has his daughter with her but is stunned to hear Chuck tell her that police picked Charlene up at a local mall hours ago and that she is with him. Leigh then sees the girl’s picture in an newspaper article among the files for the house – it is Hannah White, who committed suicide back in 1987. Leigh notices Hannah is gone and she goes around the house to look for her. She finds her in an empty room staring into a mirror. When Leigh asks who she is, Leigh falls to the floor and her heart stops. A grey creature comes out of Hannah. The next day Vera is contacted by the police to come to identify the body of her sister Leigh, who died the day before. Vera finds the same files in Leigh’s home and goes to the empty house where she too sees Hannah who then takes out. Vera then goes to see Charlene who is in an institute and she tells her that she saw the same girl and what looked like a dark figure of man watching her through a mirror.

Vera then goes to see one of Hannah’s old friends who says that Hannah was pregnant before she committed suicide and that she wasn’t herself the last few days she was alive. Also that Hannah claimed a demon was inside of her, wearing her body like a costume. That night at her own loft Vera is awakened by a voice that says “come to me” and she sees a demonic face in the mirror. The entity then attacks her and throws her out the building window onto the roof of a car. When she comes to at the hospital she is told that she was in a coma for 8 months that she was also pregnant at the time. The baby is safe and progressing along fine but Vera wants it out of her. During her ultrasound, Vera sees a demonic face on the monitor and demands an immediate C-section. Refusing to hold or look at the baby she gives the baby up for adoption and after a week later, Vera goes back to Leigh’s house to gather some of her sisters belongings before leaving town.

6 years later Vera tracks down her baby, a girl and meets the mother. While the mother is in another room Vera asks the girl why she was chosen and that she knows who the girl is. The girl hands a finished puzzle to Vera and then leaves the house and runs into a partially completed house in the woods. Vera chases after her with a knife and in a room sees a dark shadow of a demon which then changes shape to that of the girl and almost stabs the girl with the knife. We then see the girl’s mother running to the house searches desperately for her daughter who she cannot find.
In Vera’s car, the little girl and Vera prepare to leave when the girl touches Vera’s hand and says, “I knew you’d come back for me, mommy.” The end!

For a movie that is about the anti-christ or coming of the devil in human form, it’s not very scary (just a couple of jump scares) and falters to excite you as anything worthy of Satan’s spawn should do. Hannah’s angst at trying to burn the money to get rid of the entity and on failing to do so tries to bury it but it still comes back is good but the film hinting that she probably harmed an infant she was babysitting and not doing so – what? The film didn’t really work for me although it is worth a watch. 6.5 outta 10!

The Strain – Season 1

The Strain is a vampire / supernatural horror drama tv series that debut in the summer and concluded it’s 13 episode first season. The show revolves around an old vampire who comes to New York City from Europe and unleashes his virus like vampirism with the help of a rich & powerful businessman who is ill and is promised eternal life and vigour in return. A small group of heroes led by a couple of scientists from the CDC, an exterminator, a hacker and an elderly pawn shop owner & holocaust survivor who fought the master vampire a couple of times back in Europe, seek to stop the spread of this disease that could wipe out humanity.

The series stars Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Mía Maestro, Kevin Durand, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Sean Astin, Ruta Gedmintas, Ben Hyland, Natalie Brown & Miguel Gomez. Leslie Hope, Roger Cross, Stephen McHattie, Adriana Barazza & Inga Cadrenal form part of a large supporting cast. It was created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, based on their novel trilogy of the same name. Carlton Cuse serves as executive producer and showrunner. Del Toro and Hogan wrote the pilot episode, “Night Zero”, which del Toro directed.

The series starts off with a plane landing in NYC with all the lights off and the doors sealed Epidemiologist Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team are sent to investigate. On board they find 206 corpses and four survivors. The survivors are quarantined until answers can be reached but with political pressure they are left to go home as they seem to be fine, despite the concerns of Eph and his team – Dr. Nora Martinez & Jim Kent, a CDC administrator. On the same plan a large box with a coffin inside is tagged to leave the airport with the help of Kent, as former gang banger just out of jail Gus drives it out to delivers it to the waiting hands of Thomas Eichhorst, an undead vampire acolyte of the Master, who is inside the coffin. Both Kent & Gus are unwitting accomplices – Gus is in it for the cash and Kent is promised that his wife, who suffers from cancer, will be moved to the head of the list for a new treatment. The four survivors start deteriorating in health and start to lose their hair and in case of the man, his penis, as they slowly convert to become vampires. The dead also revive and become vampires spreading out into the city, either killing and/or infecting more people during the night time.

Eldritch Palmer, an elderly billionaire invalid, is the financial muscle behind the whole process as his money is used to get the Master’s plan in place with Einchhorst doing most of the administration. An elder pawnshop owner, Professor Abraham Setrakian who battled the former Nazi general and saw the Master in action while in a concentration camp joins Eh, Nora and Jim providing them with knowledge and some weapons to fight the vampires. Setrakaian’s wife and daughter were converted to vampires long ago and he had to kill them so his beef with Einchhorst and the Master is personal. Also joining the fight is Vasiliy Fet, a once-solitary rat exterminator of Ukrainian descent and Dutch Velders, an internet hacker hired by Palmer to control the information from going out via news sites, who is miffed that she was a pawn in an evil scheme. Palmer is finally bitten by the Master and gains his health and strength but hasn’t changed completed. As the vampires keep infecting people, Eph’s ex-wife and mother to their son Zack, is also transformed. Adding to the mix is a group of vampires, led by Mr. Quinlan, the head of a band of undead hunters who are sent to destroy the vampire outbreak, who recruit Gus to join them.

Rather good series and very well done on the budget of a television show. It got good rating despite some slow movement initially but things picked up towards the end. I’d rate it high and I can’t for next season, which will also be 13 episodes – I think this one needs to be 20 plus.

Jessabelle

Jessabelle is a 2014 horror movie directed by Kevin Greutert and written by Ben Garant. he film stars Sarah Snook, Mark Webber, Joelle Carter, David Andrews, Amber Stevens and Ana de la Reguera. The movie is about ghosts and possessions and is produced by Jason Blum who also produced Insidious, Sinister & The Purge.

Jessie, a young woman who is moving to her boyfriend’s place, is in an accident that kills her boyfriend and also her unborn baby. Having injured her legs badly that she needs a wheelchair, the hospital make her call her estranged father, who she hasn’t seen in ages, to come pick her up when she is discharged. Her dad comes and picks her up in his truck and takes her home to his farm house in St. Francis, Louisiana. He sets her up in his wife’s, Jessie’s mom’s, old room which hasn’t been used in a while. Jessie’s mom Kate had died a little after giving birth due to cancer, which she hadn’t allowed to be treated with chemo. After a couple of awkward days spent mostly alone by her self, Jessie finds a few old VHS tapes in a box labeled “Jessabelle” and pops on in in the VCR. She sees a taping of her mother Kate, still pregnant at the time, back in 1988 who is addressing her unborn daughter.

In the video Kate does a card reading for her daughter in which “transition” comes up. The next card says that she has never left St. Francis and that she is never going to leave – which is untrue for Jessie. The third card is Water and Jessie laughs as she doesn’t know how to swim. She reads that Jessie is not alone, that there is a presence in the house with her, a female who wants her out of the house. At this point her dad walks in and breaks the tape and tells Jessie not to watch that garbage. He is so angry that he dumps the wheelchair into the bayou. That night Jessie sees a girl in a wheelchair in her room that latter disappears. In the morning she sees an old wheelchair, which her dad says he left there. He apologizes for his behaviour and says that it was Kate’s, which he found in the shed. After he leaves Jessie pops in another video in which her mother says that she spoke to Moses about the reading that he said the presence is a demon, and she should stop blaming herself for an accident that happened. Her mother then gives her another reading. Death comes up again, meaning transition, but further reading shows a very horrible death.

The next day a physiotherapists comes to the house and places Jessie in the bath and leaves the room for a bit. Jessie falls asleep and is attacked by a ghost girl as the bathtub fills with dark blood. Hearing her screams her father comes in and she opens her eyes, the attack seemingly a hallucination. The dad gets upset and makes the physio leave and on finding the rest of the tapes, attempts to burn it in the trash. However as he goes in to the shed for matches, it closes and locks by itself and the shed is accidentally set on fire, killing him and Jessie is unable to get to him. At the funeral she meets her childhood friend Preston but a hallucination of a partial burned African-American man makes her faint. After recovering she goes to have lunch with Preston and tells him about the tapes and that she’s been having nightmares. Later on her own at night she watches more tapes and in one of them is of her parents at Christmas and another is of her mother telling Jessabelle that she is already dead. The ghost then begins attacking Jessie, again leading to her discovery of another tape in the wall.

She calls Preston and after he comes they investigate lights across the bayou and find voodoo objects and a small grave labeled Jessabelle. Preston opens it up and finds the skeleton of a baby, which they think was still born, and they call the police who take the remains for analysis. The next day Preston takes Jessie to see a lady who used to cook for her parents and who’s son was a friend of Preston. On seeing Jessie the old woman starts chanting a voodoo song to allow spirits to possess people and she gets a bit violent. They leave and try to find Moses but only find his shrine with voodoo objects. While there, a group of men find them, attack Preston and tell them to leave. Preston takes Jessie home to get her things so she can stay at his mother’s, but he is attacked by the ghost and is taken to the hospital. Jessie later learns from the sheriff that the baby was African-American who was murdered after she was born, which leads Jessie to believe that the spirit, that of the baby, needs saving. When she is alone, she tries to talk to the ghost. She finds the last tape on the coffee table and plays it. She sees a white baby and her mother. At first it looks as if the mother will kill the baby but instead she curses her with a voodoo spell and then shoots herself.

It is then that Kate’s spirit appears and the truth comes out. The baby was half black because Kate had an affair with her friend Moses and he is father of the baby. When Jessie’s dad sees the baby, Kate’s infidelity comes out in the open and enraged he kills the baby and then Moses and adopted Jessie to hide this. Moses’s spirit also appears and together they tie Jessie’s hands and push her into the bayou. Preston & the sheriff see her from afar and rush to the edge of the water. As Jessie sinks to the bottom, Jessabelle comes up to her and takes her bracelet and swims to the surface, having assumed the form of Jessie. Preston lift her out of the water and takes her inside the house and when the Sheriff asks “Jessie” if she is alright – calling her Miss Laurent – she replies with a sly look, “It’s Jessabelle.” Spooky!

I would say that I like this film, though the “twist” ending is foreseeable by a mile. I still enjoyed them film and the lead actress Sarah Snook is very effective in her sweetness and vulnerability. No one else stands out but I will give it a 6.5 outta 10!