IT LOOKED LIKE it was not being affected by gravity when I first saw it. Walking into the small building one would not even expect to see such a feat of masterly craftsmanship. Off to the side of a larger sized room, rising up from the floor, was a spiral staircase. It was like none I had ever seen before because there was no center pole for the stairs to connect to on their way up. The design of it reminded me of one of those spiral DNA or some such diagrams in a science book. I could not imagine this spiral staircase could withstand the weight of an average person, it looked too delicate. Curious to learn how this beautiful staircase wound up in this place, I pulled out one of the information booklets I took at the front door. After the building was almost completed, the builders realized there was no room for a traditional staircase. After spending days fretting over their dilemma, a stranger appeared at the building site and offered to solve their problem. THERE WAS MORE to this documented story; the history about this building and its spiral staircase was a captivating read for me. I am always interested in learning about the history to a place I am visiting or a person I am meeting. It is said there is much to learn from looking back at history and I agree with that statement. A perfect example would be the time I was listening to a friend sound off on their poor record on dating. Listening to their reasons why a relationship never went beyond a certain time frame, I noticed a pattern forming with each person they talked about. After listening to them go on about their different romances, I shared my observations about the common connections I saw between each individual. After explaining my feelings on what I heard about each relationship we had a deep discussion about the pattern my friend was following unconsciously. If I had not heard the history of those past relationships we may not have found a way to avoid the same dating results. So you see paying attention to history can be an enlightening experience as you will see in this horror thriller. LUCKY FOR THE orphans Esther and Samuel Mullins, played by Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings franchise, What Lies Beneath) and Anthony LaPaglia (Empire Records, The Client), decided to open their house up to board the young girls when their orphanage closed. Little did the girls know they were not the only boarders. This latest installment to the The Conjuring franchise starred Stephanie Sigman (Pioneer, Spectre) as Sister Charlotte, Tabitha Bateman (The 5th Wave, The Hive) as Janice and Lulu Wilson (Deliver Us from Evil, Ouija: Origin of Evil) as Linda. The idea to this story was well thought out as the movie set the right tone from the start. Though there were a couple of scenes with blood, this mystery film relied more on atmosphere and mood instead of violence which I appreciated. There were some tense scenes; however, I felt the movie never went far enough. Maybe because the first movie in this series had the intensity and thrills in the right mix, this one was somewhat of a letdown. What kept my interest was the history about the doll that has been featured in each film. If you enjoyed the previous pictures then this one will provide you the insight you have been looking for. There was an extra scene at the end of the credits.
2 1/2 stars
I remember it as if it happened last weekend. Someone’s older brother had told us about this game that used magic. One of my friends had gotten it as a gift and we were to meet at his house to play the game. It was sometime after dinner when we went down into his basement that was set up as a family room. The floors were covered in linoleum but there was this big oval throw rug that covered part of it between 2 long couches. We sat on the floor around the coffee table after we removed the candy dishes and magazines. Off to one side was a bar that had a variety of bottles in different sizes and colors. We all knew we were not allowed to go behind the bar because there were 2 shelves that held these unusual shaped bottles. On the wall above the shelves was a large clock that not only told time but also had these dancing colors that bounced up and down when a switch was turned on off to the side of the clock. ALL of us were sitting around the table with the game board out; our hands were placed on the triangular shaped piece that had a monocle in the middle of it. At least that is what it looked like to me. My friend had read the instructions to the rest of us and it was time to ask a question to see if the plastic disc would move. All of us were leaning over to see what would happen after the question was asked but suddenly the lights went out in the basement. However the clock over the bar turned on, shining its multi-colored lights. I remember hearing someone scream and we all ran up the stairs, leaving the game behind us. No one initially thought there was something evil in the room and certainly nothing like what was in this horror film. ALICE Zander, played by Elizabeth Reaser (Young Adult, The Twilight Saga franchise), had been struggling to keep things afloat after the death of her husband. It was not until she brought in a board game to include in her fake séances that things took a turn—to something worse. Set in Los Angles during the 1960s, I initially sat in my seat wondering where this prequel was going story wise. I am here to tell you it went to some thrilling, dramatic places. With Annalise Basso (Oculus, Captain Fantastic) as Lina, Lulu Wilson (Deliver us From Evil, The Millers-TV) as Doris and Henry Thomas (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Legends of the Fall) as Father Tom; Lulu stole this movie, she was wonderful. The fact there was no blood shown or gore was a plus for me; but having the writers incorporate a family’s emotional and economic struggle into the plot only added more dimension to the story. I liked this film more than the first one. Even though some of the scares were your typical shock the audience stunts I did not mind them. The whole look of the film and Lulu’s performance made this an entertaining experience; plus I enjoyed the audience’s reactions around me. They were similar to me and my friends the first time we played that game.