IN THEORY I THOUGHT my idea would work. With the variety of items I needed to purchase as gifts for the holidays, I thought it made sense to go to one of those massive shopping centers. There was one within driving distance from my house; so picking a cloudy day, I drove out to the shopping center only to discover there were a lot of other people who had the same idea as mine. After some time driving up and down the aisles of parked cars, I found a space in the outer reaches or a better description would be, in the frozen tundra. Making my way to the indoor shopping center, I had a loose game plan on how I should navigate through the maze of stores that were on multiple levels. Once inside the warmth in temperature greeted me like a long lost relative. WITH MY MENTAL LIST of people who I needed to buy gifts for in my head, I maneuvered into the continuous stream of shoppers ahead of me. I felt like a worker ant falling into step. Almost every store I passed had some kind of sign stating a sale; with the amount of people everywhere one would have thought the stores were giving away stuff for dirt cheap. I went into one store and navigated my way to the department where I had to buy 1 of the needed gifts. Surprisingly the whole process was relatively painless, so I was able to move on to the next item rather quickly. However my luck quickly ran out at the next place. This store had unique items that were made exclusively for them and unfortunately they did not have in stock the one item I needed. Moving on I made my way to another store on a different level, hoping I could regain my shopping mojo. Sadly it was another strikeout; they had what I needed but not in the right color. When I left that store I had to stop for a moment to reorganize my list, thinking of other items I could get to replace what I initially wanted to buy as gifts. Not sure what I needed I found myself aimlessly wandering in and out of a bunch of stores, getting propelled forward by the ever present stream of shuffling shoppers. I soon came to the realization I had no idea where I was going or why I was there. Lo and behold I felt the same way about this latest installment of this horror mystery franchise. ELISE RAINIER, PLAYED BY Lin Shaye (There’s Something About Mary, Dead End), was used to hearing and seeing spirits. But she wasn’t prepared for what was waiting for her at the home she grew up in. With Leigh Whannell (Saw franchise, Cooties) as Specs, Angus Sampson (Winchester, Mad Max: Fury Road) as Tucker, Kirk Acevedo (The Thin Red Line, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) as Ted Garza and Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar) as Gerald Rainier; I could not tell you where this thriller fits into the time frame for the entire series. There were a few spooky scenes but out of the 4 films, this one was the least suspenseful. However I can tell you the humor on display was a relief since it forced the viewer to have some kind of an emotional response. I felt the script was listless and uninspiring; I did not feel a connection to any of the characters, though I liked Lin’s performance. Maybe it is time for the movie studio to regift this franchise and get it out of their hands.
1 ¾ stars
The first clue on whether a film will be good or not is when the movie studio does not release it for critics to review. It is not because the editing department was trying to clear up a fuzzy looking scene or the sound department wanted to dub in a better sounding scream; the studio wants to make a quick buck before film reviewers bury the picture. Since I do not want to disappoint any of my followers, let me say I took a bullet for you by seeing this atrocious film. Not being my favorite genre and not realizing it was a sequel, I at least expected to be scared. On the contrary, I found nothing surprising or suspenseful in this movie. You may be asking yourself how I would know if I do not usually attend screenings of horror movies. The answer would be I at least can experience suspense and tension on a physcial level and this bloody film did not provide it. What it did offer was enough blood to shut down the American Red Cross for a month and enough dead bodies to keep a tristate region of universities stocked with cadavers for several semesters. Emma Fitzpatrick (The Social Network, In Time) played Elena, a daddy’s girl who sneaked out of the house one night. You know what that meant; she had to be the victim for going against the wishes of her father, played by Christopher McDonald (Requiem for a Dream, Happy Gilmore). Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) reprised his role of Arkin, the only individual who knew where the killer set up shop. Surprisingly I liked the elaborate contraptions created to capture and kill innocent victims; they would make Rube Goldberg proud. Rounding out the cast was the muscle guy, the woman of ethnic background, the character of unknown allegiance and several easily disposable actors. In conclusion I will just say this movie was so bad, I did not get upset with the guy next to me who kept texting throughout the film.
1 1/4 stars