REVIEW: ANNABELLE COMES HOME

Starring

Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Patrick Wilson (Aquaman)
Mckenna Grace (Captain Marvel)
Madison Iseman (Goosebumps 2)
Katie Sarife (Teen Spirit)
Stephen Blackehart (Brightburn)
Douglas Tait (Star Trek)
Samara Lee (The Last Witch Hunter)
Eddie J. Fernandez (Crash)

Annabelle Comes Home (2019)Demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren confiscate the Annabelle doll from nurses Debbie and Camilla, who claim that the doll often performed violent activities in their apartment. During the drive back home, the doll summons spirits to attack Ed, but he narrowly survives. Annabelle is locked in a sacred glass case in the couple’s artifacts room that is blessed by Father Gordon to ensure the evil is contained.Katie Sarife, Mckenna Grace, and Madison Iseman in Annabelle Comes Home (2019)Some time later, the Warrens welcome Mary Ellen, who will be in charge of babysitting their daughter, Judy, at the house while they travel overnight to investigate another case. At school, Judy notices the spirit of a priest that begins following her. Mary Ellen’s friend Daniela arrives uninvited to the Warrens’ home, who is secretly curious about speaking to the dead. She sneaks into the artifacts room and starts examining them, ultimately trying to contact her late father. She abruptly leaves Annabelle’s glass case unlocked, and the terror begins shortly afterward with the spirit of Bee Mullins unleashed. That night, Annabelle begins releasing other spirits, such as the Ferryman, the Bride, a Feeley Meeley board game, and the Black Shuck.Steve Coulter in Annabelle Comes Home (2019)Mary Ellen’s crush Bob Palmeri arrives outside and serenades her, but is later attacked by the Black Shuck and hides in the Warrens’ backyard. Mary Ellen is tormented by the Ferryman, while Judy is confronted by Annabelle in her bedroom. Daniela had left earlier, but sneaks back to return the artifacts room’s keys. She gets locked inside the room and tormented by various objects, such as a piano and an old television that can predict the near future. She finds the Mourner’s Bracelet and sees her father twisted into a malevolent spirit. A bloody and screaming Daniela appears on the television screen after having answered a cursed telephone. The real Daniela later unwittingly reaches to answer the telephone, but is interrupted by Judy and Mary Ellen.Steve Coulter and Vera Farmiga in Annabelle Comes Home (2019)Judy explains that they must lock Annabelle in her case again so the other spirits will rest. Bob protects Judy from the Black Shuck as she retrieves Mary Ellen’s asthma inhaler, while Daniela is attacked and possessed by the Bride. Eventually, Mary Ellen and Judy find the doll when the priest’s spirit, acting as Judy’s guardian, guides them to the Ferryman. They manage to retrieve the glass case’s key after they are attacked by demonic hands from the Feeley Meeley board game and a possessed Daniela, but struggle to secure the case as the demon of the doll physically attacks them. Daniela recovers when Judy plays Ed’s recorded footage of the Bride’s exorcism, and helps put the doll back in the case. After the case is locked, the disturbances cease as the spirits return to their slumber, and Bob reunites with the trio.Annabelle Comes Home (2019)Ed and Lorraine return the next morning and the girls approach them to recount the eventful night. Daniela apologizes to Lorraine, who gives her a comforting message from her father. Later, many friends gather to celebrate Judy’s birthday party.Annabelle Comes Home (2019)The best part about this film was the overall fun- this film doesn’t hold anything back. The film is, at times, truly frightening, and extremely entertaining. Most of the scares never happen the way one would expect, which is a strength of the film; most horror films rely on cheap jump scares and predictability. This film decided to go against the grain on some of the scares, and think outside the box, bringing a creative spin into the mix, such as the television screen inside the Warren’s locked room. The atmosphere is great, there is some investment in the characters, so the audience is invested in what happens to them, and there is an overall sense of fun. Overall a must-see for those invested in the Conjuring universe, and a recommendation for horror fans in general. Have fun with it!

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: ORPHAN

CAST

Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Peter Sarsgaard (Lovelace)
Isabelle Fuhrman (The Hunger Games)
CCH Pounder (Avatar)
Jimmy Bennett (No Ordinary Family)
Margo Martindale (Mike & Molly)
Karel Roden (Hellboy)
Aryana Engineer (Resident Evil: Retribution)
Rosemary Dunsmore (Total Recall)
Genelle Williams (The Incredible Hulk)
Leni Parker (Earth: Final Conmflict)

Isabelle Fuhrman and Aryana Engineer in Orphan (2009)Kate and John Coleman’s marriage is strained after their third child was stillborn. The loss is particularly hard on Kate, who is also recovering from alcoholism. They decide to adopt a 9-year-old Russian girl, Esther, from the local orphanage. While Kate and John’s deaf-mute daughter Maxine “Max” embraces Esther almost immediately, their 12-year-old son Daniel is less welcoming.Isabelle Fuhrman in Orphan (2009)Kate becomes suspicious when Esther expresses far more knowledge of sex than expected of a child her age. When Esther seriously injures another girl at a local park, Kate initially believes that the event was an accident but becomes alarmed when Sister Abigail, the head of the orphanage, visits with the warning that bad things frequently happen in Esther’s vicinity. Esther overhears this and uses Max as a distraction so that she can kill Sister Abigail with a hammer, which she hides in the children’s treehouse. Kate is convinced that something is wrong with Esther but John does not believe her. Esther is allowed by John to play hooky from school. During conversation, Esther tells him that she doesn’t think Kate likes her very much. He says that’s not true and that she should do something nice for her. Esther then presents Kate with roses from the grave of their passed child. Kate grabs Esther by the arm, frantic with the fact that she cut the roses. During the night, Esther breaks her arm and presents it to John. He kicks Kate from their bedroom due to Esther’s request for safety. Kate then buys wine which she refrains from drinking. The next day Esther causes Kate’s car to roll into on coming traffic with Max inside. Esther points out the wine to John, who tells Kate to go to rehab or he will leave with the kids. Kate finds Esther’s hidden Bible and discovers that it came from the Saarne Institute in Estonia, which she eventually learns is a mental hospital. She e-mails a picture and asks for more information.Peter Sarsgaard and Isabelle Fuhrman in Orphan (2009)When Daniel learns about Sister Abigail’s death from Max, he plans to retrieve the hammer and prove Esther’s guilt. Esther overhears their conversation and confronts Daniel as he searches the treehouse, setting it on fire and locking Daniel inside. Daniel falls to the ground trying to escape and is knocked unconscious with a major neck injury. Esther attempts to kill him with a rock but Max stops her. While Daniel is hospitalized, Esther slips into his room and smothers him with a pillow but doctors quickly revive him. Kate realizes what Esther did to Daniel and attacks Esther but orderlies help John to restrain her. As John takes Esther and Max home, doctors sedate Kate.Vera Farmiga and Isabelle Fuhrman in Orphan (2009)That night, Esther tries to seduce a drunken John, who finally believes Kate was right and threatens to send Esther back to the orphanage. Meanwhile, as Kate is coming out of sedation, she receives a call from Doctor Värava at the Saarne Institute, who reveals that Esther is actually a 33-year-old woman named Leena Klammer. She has hypopituitarism, a condition that stunted her physical growth, and has spent most of her life posing as a little girl. Värava tells Kate that Leena is extremely violent and has murdered at least seven people, including a family who adopted her in Estonia, whom she killed because the father rejected her sexual advances.Vera Farmiga and Isabelle Fuhrman in Orphan (2009)Leena flies into a rage after being spurned by John and ransacks her room. She removes the makeup, false teeth, and body wrappings, revealing wrinkles and dark spots on her face, as well as fully developed breasts and a fully developed body figure. Leena then shuts the power in the whole house and stabs John to death. Max witnesses this and hides. Kate cannot reach John on the phone, so she calls the police and rushes home to find him dead. Leena gets a gun from John’s safe and shoots Kate in the arm, then goes searching for Max, finding her in the greenhouse. While Leena shoots at Max, Kate crawls onto the greenhouse roof, breaks through the glass above Leena, and lands on her, knocking her out. Kate takes the gun and leaves the greenhouse with Max.Isabelle Fuhrman in Orphan (2009)Leena regains consciousness and finds Kate and Max outside near a frozen pond. Leena lunges at Kate, knocking the gun out of Kate’s hand and hurling them both onto the ice. Max watches from a hill above, picks up the gun and tries to shoot Leena, but shatters the ice instead, causing Kate and Leena to drop into the water. After a brief struggle, Kate climbs partially out of the pond with Leena clinging to her legs. Leena, hiding a knife behind her back and reverting to her little-girl persona, begs Kate not to let her die, calling her “mommy.” Kate angrily responds that she is not her mother and kicks Leena in the face, breaking her neck. Max and Kate are met by the police moments after.Isabelle Fuhrman in Orphan (2009)Overall, if you are tired of bad horror films, and want to see a very intelligent and well made film, i would suggest this. Or if you just want to see a great movie see this! I was very surprised at how excellent this movie turned out, and everyone else will be too! Seriously, if you want great, check it out!

REVIEW: GODZILLA: KING OF MONSTERS

Starring
Kyle Chandler (Game Night)
Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things)
Bradley Whitford (The Cabin In The Woods)
Charles Dance (Game of Thrones)
Thomas Middleditch (Zombieland 2)
Aisha Hinds (Cult)
O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Long Shot)
David Strathairn (Darkest Hour)
Ken Watanabe (Inception)
Zhang Ziyi (Horsemen)
Joe Morton (God Friended Me)
CCH Pounder (Avatar)
Eli Roth (Clown)
Godzilla and King Ghidorah in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
Five years after the existence of giant monsters, now called “Titans”, was exposed to the world, Dr. Emma Russell, a paleobiologist who works for the Titan-studying organization Monarch, and her daughter Madison witness the birth of a larva dubbed Mothra. Emma calms Mothra down with the “Orca”, a device that can emit frequencies to attract Titans or alter their behavior. A group of eco-terrorists, led by Alan Jonah, suddenly attack the base, slaughter everyone and kidnap Emma and Madison. Mothra flees and pupates under a waterfall.
Godzilla and King Ghidorah in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
Monarch scientists Dr. Ishirō Serizawa and Dr. Vivienne Graham approach former employee Dr. Mark Russell, Emma’s ex-husband and Madison’s father, to help track them down. Mark is reluctant at first, due to his hatred for Godzilla (whom he blames for the death of Madison’s brother Andrew), but he eventually agrees. The Monarch team follows Godzilla to Antarctica, where Jonah intends to free a three-headed Titan codenamed “Monster Zero”. Emma frees and awakens Monster Zero, which kills several Monarch members, including Dr. Graham, before battling Godzilla and escaping. The team then learn that Emma was not kidnapped by the terrorists, but is secretly working with them. Emma contacts Monarch and argues that the Titans must be awakened in order to heal the Earth from the damages that humans have caused.
Godzilla in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
From a Monarch bunker in Boston, Jonah and Emma use the Orca’s signal remotely to awaken another Titan, Rodan, in Mexico. Monarch lures Rodan into fighting the approaching Monster Zero, but Monster Zero swiftly defeats Rodan before being ambushed by Godzilla, who severs his left head. During the fight, the Navy launches a prototype missile called the “Oxygen Destroyer”, seemingly killing Godzilla. Completely unaffected, Monster Zero regrows his lost head and awakens all the other dormant Titans around the world, with Rodan submitting to his rule. Madison disowns her mother for her actions. Through mythological texts, Dr. Ilene Chen discovers Monster Zero is Ghidorah, an ancient alien seeking to transform the Earth to his liking. Mothra emerges from her cocoon and flies to Monarch’s Bermuda base to communicate with Godzilla, who survived the detonation and is recuperating in an ancient underwater city. Via submarine, the team locates Godzilla’s lair, where the whole area is highly radioactive. They deduce that it will take far too long for Godzilla to heal on his own and decide to detonate a nuclear warhead to speed up the process. Dr. Serizawa sacrifices himself by manually detonating the weapon, which revives Godzilla and increases his power.
Godzilla in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
Emma realizes that the destruction that Ghidorah and the other Titans will bring to the world is much worse than anything that humans could inflict, but Jonah ignores her pleas to stop. Unknown to them, Madison overhears this and steals the Orca. Arriving at Fenway Park, Madison broadcasts a frequency that calms the Titans and unwittingly attracts all of them to her location. Ghidorah lands in Boston to destroy the Orca, with Godzilla arriving with Monarch’s assistance to engage him in battle. Mark leads a team to rescue Madison and escape the city after learning that Godzilla’s radiation levels are increasing and will lead to a thermonuclear explosion. Mothra arrives to help Godzilla but is intercepted by Rodan; she defeats him, but is injured in the process.

Ghidorah overpowers Godzilla and prepares to kill him, but Mothra sacrifices herself and transfers her energy to Godzilla, rapidly healing him. Mark, Emma, and Madison are reunited and reactivate the Orca to lure Ghidorah away from Godzilla. Emma sacrifices herself to lead Ghidorah away, giving Mark and Madison time to escape. Godzilla enters a newly-empowered state, glowing red and melting everything around him. In this state, he easily defeats Ghidorah, obliterating him completely with several nuclear pulses. After Godzilla reverts to his normal state, Rodan and the other Titans arrive and bow down to him. During the end credits, news clippings and Monarch files show that the Titans are helping to heal the planet, a suspected second Mothra egg has been discovered, some of the Titans are converging on Skull Island, and ancient cave paintings show Godzilla battling Kong. In a post-credits scene, Jonah and his forces purchase Ghidorah’s severed left head in Mexico.Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)King of the monsters is a movie I’ve been waiting and wanting to see ever since I first saw the animated show and later got reacquainted with the Japanese classics. If you want to get the essence of a Godzilla movie, its lore and just basic monster on monster action in a grand scale with masterful visuals; this is the movie for you. This is a Godzilla movie done right and I have no problem saying I was satisfied for the most part. The rating might be off-putting to many but I loved what I saw and have been waiting for a movie like this for a very long time

REVIEW: HENRY’S CRIME

Starring

Keanu Reeves (John Wick)
James Caan (Elf)
Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Judy Greer (Ant-Man)
Fisher Stevens (Hail, Caesar!)
Peter Stormare (John Wick: Chapter 2)
Bill Duke (Mandy)
Danny Hoch (Maniac)
Currie Graham (Pompeii)
David Costabile (Breaking Bad)
Guy Boyd (Sharp Objects)

Keanu Reeves in Henry's Crime (2010)Working the night shift as a toll collector on a lonely stretch of highway in Buffalo, New York, Henry is a man seemingly without ambition, dreams or purpose; a man sleepwalking his way through life. His wife Debbie is not happy with the situation. One morning Eddie, a friend, drops by to ask Henry to play in a baseball game, as one of the others is ill, and Henry agrees to. As they drive to the game in Henry’s car, Eddie asks Henry to stop at an ATM. But Eddie, and two acquaintances also in the car, instead rob the Buffalo Savings Bank, and Henry is arrested as an accomplice.Keanu Reeves and Vera Farmiga in Henry's Crime (2010)Rather than give up the names of the real culprits, Henry takes the fall and goes to jail. There he is celled with the irrepressible Max, a con man who has grown far too comfortable with the familiarity and security of his “idyllic” life behind bars, but one who also helps plant an idea in Henry’s mind which will change his life forever: for a man to find his purpose, he must first have a dream. Debbie decides to divorce him, and she marries Joe, one of the acquaintances. Upon his release eighteen months later, Henry finds his purpose. Having done the time, he decides he may as well do the crime. Discovering a long forgotten bootlegger’s tunnel which runs from the very same bank to a theater across the alleyway, he convinces the reluctant Max to file for his long overdue parole – to help stage a robbery of the bank.Keanu Reeves in Henry's Crime (2010)Max encourages Henry to become an actor in the theater’s current production of The Cherry Orchard by Chekhov, to assist Max, “volunteering” to work in the theater, in getting access to the tunnel. Meanwhile, Henry finds himself falling for the production’s mercurial leading lady, Julie. Debbie’s husband Joe is recruited to help clearing the tunnel of mud; he informs Eddie, who insists in participating too. Frank, a guard at the bank forced into retirement, helps by informing the robbers when there is a lot of money in the vault. During the actual robbery, Eddie uses a gun to try to take all the money himself, but is overpowered by Max and is left behind in the vault. As the three make their escape, Henry demands Joe stop the car. Henry wishes Max well, and he then returns to Julie.Keanu Reeves and James Caan in Henry's Crime (2010)Time Out described it as a “Quiet Triumph” and I tend to agree. It’s not the best movie ever made but is clever, multi-layered (stories within stories within…) and an interesting, often tongue in cheek, look at acting as a process. It is enjoyable, although slightly uncomfortable in places as Farmiga plays self reliant/involved diva and ego-above-her-status-actress very well and with great aplomb. Caan’s comic relief as the wannabe lifer adds some one liners and fun to a film that has an old-fashioned serious classic quality both in style and direction (something to do with dimensions of camera angles/screen apparently), and the soundtrack is brilliant. Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard lends a certain gravitas to the proceedings, and a backdrop for the real-life storyline, as does Reeves’ deliberate delivery and method metamorphosis from downtrodden bored/boring-but-nice average Joe to cavalier passionate lovestruck criminal-mastermind, which is impressive! I think this film is a slow burner.

 

REVIEW: WHEN THEY SEE US

When They See Us (2019)

Starring

Caleel Harris (Goosebumps 2)
Jovan Adepo (Mother!)
Chris Chalk (Gotham)
Kylie Bunbury (Game Night)
Aunjanue Ellis (The Help)
Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Felicity Huffman (Cake)
John Leguizamo (Kick-Ass 2)
Niecy Nash (Scream Queens)
Michael K. Williams (12 Years a Slave)

When They See Us (2019)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUESTCASY

William Sadler (Iron Man 3)
Aurora Perrineau (Truth or Dare)
Blair Underwood (Agents of SHIELD)
Joshua Jackson (Fringe)
Omar Dorsey (Our House)
Suzzanne Douglas (School of Rock)
Famke Janssen (X-Men)
Christopher Jackson (Moana)
Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus)
Storm Reid (12 Years a Slave)
Adepero Oduye (Geostorm)
Dascha Polanco (Orange Is The New Black)

Marquis Rodriguez in When They See Us (2019)When They See Us,  premiering on Netflix, is the kind of miniseries you get when the right showrunner assembles the right team and right performers with the unequivocating intent to correct an important story that many people still get wrong. In this case, the celebrated producer, director and screenwriter Ava DuVernay (“Selma”; “Queen Sugar”) takes on the injustice of what happened to the Central Park Five — four African American men and one Hispanic man who, as teenagers, were rounded up, taken to a police precinct office and coerced into saying they brutally assaulted and raped a white woman who was jogging in Central Park one evening in April 1989.When They See Us (2019)There was never any physical evidence that they did. The boys, who ranged in age from 14 to 16, confessed after many hours of coercion, intimidation and threats from detectives; two of the boys were separately urged by their fathers to tell the police what they wanted to hear. In media coverage, the boys were compared to savages who took part in a “wilding” crime spree. The real estate mogul Donald Trump took out newspaper ads to demand their execution. The boys — Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson and Antron McCray — were found guilty on some of the charges in a 1990 trial. They spent between six and 13 years in detention centers and prisons. As everyone ought to know by now, the jogger’s true attacker confessed in 2002 and his DNA matched the physical evidence. A state Supreme Court vacated the Central Park Five’s sentences on the district attorney’s recommendation. As adults, the five men sued the city and finally reached a $41 million settlement in 2014When They See Us (2019)If the next words that occur to you are “Yes, but what about the victim?” (meaning the jogger, Trisha Meili, who wrote a memoir and still publicly expresses her doubt about a lone attacker, as well as her disappointment that the city agreed to a settlement), then it seems you have two options, 30 years later: You can absorb what “When They See Us” is trying to tell you, or you can retreat comfortably back to the open-shut templates of “Law & Order” reruns.When They See Us (2019)Split into four episodes, DuVernay’s approach bluntly but successfully turns this story inside-out, borrowing the look of true-crime dramas while discarding the genre’s usual tropes. It focuses primarily on the boys, their families and the irreparable effects of their jailing. Rather than lionize them, it goes one better and humanizes them. As the title suggests, it’s all about how they were seen, and, by extension, how most minority teenage boys are still often seen — not as children and young citizens, but as potential thugs. The series is deftly attuned to context, portraying a late-’80s New York that seethes with mob mentality when it comes to solving and prosecuting this particular crime — which, to be sure, was both heinous and infuriating. This is a drama about modern lynching; rather than leading to a noose and branch, it follows the Central Park Five on a ruinous trip through a penal system that finds ways to punish inmates even after they’re paroled.SEI_70399735In tone and execution, “When They See Us” fits somewhere between John Ridley’s underwatched ABC anthology “American Crime,” which also subverted the procedural genre in revealing ways, and Ryan Murphy’s FX hit “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” which taught viewers a thing or two about the effects of time and context. Without any background primer, the first episode moves quickly through the night of the crime and the days after, beginning with the adolescent lure of watching a group of one’s peers decide, in the moment, to head off to Central Park on a spring evening. The pace and dialogue are not expository, nor do they provide much time to get to know the boys intimately as characters. (That comes later.) The young actors playing the teens (Jharrel Jerome as Korey; Ethan Herisse as Yusef; Caleel Harris as Antron; Asante Blackk as Kevin; Marquis Rodriguez as Raymond) ably convey the confusion and panic of being misidentified, hauled in and falsely accused.la-1559144992-gzayf72d4e-snap-imageFelicity Huffman (talk about timing) plays Linda Fairstein, the newly appointed head of the district attorney’s sex-crimes unit, who arrives at the crime scene not long after an unconscious, nearly dead Meili was discovered. “When They See Us” is unsparing in the way it portrays Fairstein pushing detectives to make the case fit the wilding narrative. You better believe DuVernay is in no mood to re-litigate, build a Wikipedia page or pay lip service to anybody’s doubts. Here, in this telling, the cops are almost always corrupt, Fairstein is menacingly reckless and the prosecutor (Vera Farmiga as Elizabeth Lederer) lucks out in the second episode with a jury willing to convict the boys based on the videotaped confessions alone.WTSU_102_Unit_01838R-1This swift treatment of the crime and the trial allows DuVernay and her co-writers(Robin Swicord, Attica Locke, Yusuf Hassan and Michael Starrbury) to spread their wings in the series’ second half: Once the headlines die down, the boys become men — first languishing behind bars and then, after most of them make parole, trying to put their lives back together. The story of their parents and family (with fine performances from Niecy Nash, John Leguizamo and Michael K. Williams, among others) also begin to take shape. The showstopper comes in the fourth episode, as Korey, who was tried and convicted as an adult rather than as a juvenile, embarks on a violently terrifying, dozen-year journey through the state prison system, which includes a long detour into solitary confinement and a heartbreaking, hallucinatory (yet artfully envisioned) glimpse of his past and present. Jerome, the only actor in the series to play both the teen and adult versions of his character, gives a remarkable performance, as the system beats Korey down to the mental equivalent of rubble and he emerges as an entirely different man. When the news of his freedom comes — and the series reaches its full, swelling sense of the miraculous — the viewer will finally understand his or her part in all this: All that’s being asked of us is to see.

 

REVIEW: THE NUN

Starring

Demián Bichir (The Hateful Eight)
Taissa Farmiga (Justice League vs Teen Titans)
Jonas Bloquet (Elle)
Bonnie Aarons (Silver Linings Playbook)
Charlotte Hope (Game of Thrones)
Ingrid Bisu (Toni Erdmann)
Sandra Teles (Deep State)
Manuela Ciucur (The Oak)
Ani Sava (To The Bone)
Patrick Wilson (Stretch)
Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)

Taissa Farmiga in The Nun (2018)In 1952 Romania, two Roman Catholic nuns living at the Saint Cartha’s monastery are attacked by an unseen force when they enter a tunnel to retrieve an ancient Christian relic. The surviving nun, Sister Victoria, flees from the attacker, a demon appearing as a nun, and hangs herself. Her body is discovered by Frenchie, a villager who transports supplies to the nuns.Bonnie Aarons in The Nun (2018)The Vatican learns of the incident and summons Father Burke to Rome, where they ask him to travel with Sister Irene, a nun in her novitiate, to Romania in order to investigate the situation. While Sr. Irene is teaching children the relationship between religion and science in a school, her Mother Superior interrupts her and informs her that Burke has arrived in order to request Irene’s accompaniment in his trip to Romania.Taissa Farmiga in The Nun (2018)The pair travel to Romania and meet with Frenchie, who leads them to the abbey. They discover Victoria’s body and remove a key from her corpse. Inside, they encounter the Abbess, who informs them that the nuns observe a period of silence during the night and offers them lodging at the attached convent if they wish to return the next day. Frenchie is attacked by a demon as he returns to the village, but escapes. Burke tells Irene that a boy he exorcised, Daniel, was fatally injured during the exorcism, and Burke has carried the burden of the boy’s death with him ever since. Irene reveals that as a girl, she had visions particularly of a nun, causing the Church to take an interest in her. Burke is rescued by Irene after being buried alive in the graveyard by the demonic entity.Bonnie Aarons and Demián Bichir in The Nun (2018)The next day, Irene and Burke return to the abbey, but only Irene can enter as it is cloistered. She meets some of the other nuns and learns that they are praying constantly, swapping in shifts, to keep the entity at bay. Sister Oana reveals the abbey’s history: it was built in the Middle Ages as a castle by a duke who was obsessed with the occult. The duke summoned the demonic entity through a rift in the catacombs but was killed by Christian knights, who sealed the rift with an artifact containing the blood of Jesus Christ. The bombings during the Second World War caused the rift to reopen, unleashing the entity. Burke identifies the entity as Valak and discovers the Abbess has been dead all along.Bonnie Aarons and Taissa Farmiga in The Nun (2018)Frenchie heads back to the abbey to help Irene and Burke. Irene is attacked by Valak and joins the nuns in desperate prayer to fend off the demon. When the group reunites, Irene discovers that none of the nuns she had seen and talked to were real and she had been praying alone, later realizing that Victoria had been the last nun in the abbey and had sacrificed herself to stop Valak from possessing her body and unleashing evil. Theorizing that Valak can only be stopped if they seal the rift with the blood of Christ contained in the reliquary, the trio retrieves the vial with the key Victoria had. Irene then informs Burke that God has called her to make her solemn vows as a nun and asks Burke to elevate her to the status of a professed nun, which he does in the abbey’s chapel.Bonnie Aarons and Taissa Farmiga in The Nun (2018)After the trio unlocks the tunnel door, Irene is lured into a pentagram and possessed by Valak. Frenchie smears some of the blood of Christ on her face, casting out the demon. Burke is wounded by Daniel’s ghost as Valak starts to drown Irene in a flooded chamber. Irene expels the blood of Christ in the demon’s face, banishing it as the blood of Christ seals the rift. After Frenchie resuscitates Irene, he reveals his real name is Maurice. Unbeknownst to the others, Maurice has been possessed by Valak, as evidenced by an inverted cross on his neck. Twenty years later at a university seminar, Carolyn Perron watches as Ed and Lorraine Warren present footage of their attempt to exorcise a possessed Maurice. In the footage, Maurice grabs Lorraine, giving her visions of Ed dying, which initiate the Warrens’ investigation of the Hodgson household haunting, as well as their encounter with Valak itself. In a time where found footage and torture porn films are considered scary it was nice to see a good old fashioned ghost story. The conjuring series is a good one and the Nun is no exception. A nice eerie tone with a couple of twists make it an instant classic. If you’re a fan of the conjuring series you’ll enjoy it.

 

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: THE CONJURING 2

CAST
Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Patrick Wilson (Watchmen)
Madison Wolfe (The Campaign)
Frances O’ Connor (Bedazzled)
Franka Potente (The Bourne Identity)
Simon McBurney (The Last King of Scotland)
Maria Doyle Kennedy (Sing Street)
Robin Atkins Downes (Suicide Squad)
Bonnie Aarons (The Princess Diaries)
In 1976, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren document the Amityville murders at the Amityville house, to determine if a demonic presence was truly responsible for Ronald DeFeo Jr. mass murdering his family on November 13, 1974 and the subsequent haunting incident involving the Lutz family. During a seance, Lorraine is drawn into a vision where she relives the murders and discovers a demonic nun figure, before seeing Ed being fatally impaled. After a struggle, Lorraine is able to break out of the vision.
One year later, in 1977, the Hodgson family begins to discover strange occurrences within their home in London. Janet, the second oldest of four children, is seen sleepwalking and conversing in her dreams with an entity who insists that the house is his. Eventually, all siblings of the house and their mother Peggy witness paranormal events occurring right before their eyes, forcing them to seek refuge with their neighbors. When the media attempts to interview the Hodgsons, Janet is possessed by the spirit of Bill Wilkins, an older man who previously lived and died in the house, and who wants to claim his territory. As Janet begins to show more signs of demonic possession, the story eventually reaches the Warrens, who are requested to assist the local church in the investigation. Lorraine, in fear of her vision of Ed’s death becoming reality, warns him not to get too involved in the case, and reluctantly agrees to travel to London. She has yet another vision of the demonic nun in the collection room wherein the demon says its name, which Lorraine scribbles in her Bible.
While staying at the Hodgson residence, Ed and Lorraine consult with other paranormal investigators, including Maurice Grosse and Anita Gregory, on the legitimacy of the case. They also attempt to communicate with Wilkins’ spirit, hoping to talk him out of harassing the family. One night, after the Hodgsons witness Janet being possessed, Gregory presents video evidence of Janet purposely wrecking the kitchen as if for a prank. Ed and Lorraine are then convinced to leave the family on their own, but soon they discover that the spirit of Wilkins is only a pawn, being manipulated to haunt Janet, while the true mastermind is the demonic spirit that has been haunting Lorraine in her visions.
Ed and Lorraine return to the Hodgson residence, only to find Janet being possessed once more and the rest of the Hodgsons locked outside the house. A lightning strike hits a tree near the house, leaving a jagged stump resembling the object that impaled Ed in Lorraine’s vision. Ed ventures inside the house alone, and finds Janet standing near the window, ready to leap onto the stump and commit suicide. He manages to grab Janet in time, but finds himself holding onto a curtain that is being torn from its rings by his and Janet’s weight. Lorraine remembers that she wrote the demon’s name – Valak – in her Bible. She enters the house and confronts Valak, addressing it by name and successfully condemning it back to Hell. Janet is freed of her possession, and Lorraine pulls her and Ed to safety.
A text epilogue reveals that Peggy lived the rest of her life in that house and died in 2003, sitting in the same spot in which Wilkins had died 40 years earlier. Upon returning home, Ed adds an item to his and Lorraine’s collection – “The Crooked Man” zoetrope toy owned by Peggy’s youngest child – placing it near April’s music box and the Annabelle doll. The couple then dance to “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley.
The Conjuring 2 is as strong as the first. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first, or indeed likes haunting films.