I ONLY HAD TO GO THERE ONCE and vowed I would never go back. Before I share my experience, I want you to know this is just my reaction to the place; I know there will be others who think this place is a wonderful establishment and I would agree with them. It serves a purpose and obviously a need. For me, it was too weird and geared for the consumer to spend lots of money; or else, be considered less of a parent for not buying their child the things they were asking for. I had agreed to meet up with a few relatives for some shopping therapy and lunch. We wandered into this store that was filled with shoppers and their children. The store specialized in realistic toy dolls, though I do not know if the management would consider their dolls as toys. The aisles of accessories were astounding; anything you could imagine was ready for sale there, from head scarves to sunglasses to designer purses. What was more incredible to me was the in-house beauty salon and hospital for their dolls. If a child’s doll got broken, they could bring the doll into the store to get admitted into the hospital. Or, if a child wanted their doll to have a new hair style, they could make an appointment at the beauty salon to bring the doll in for a new hairdo. I checked the pricing for these things, and they were not cheap. THOUGH I DID NOT SEE IT FOR myself, I understood there was a restaurant somewhere inside the store where a child and their doll could share a meal together. Being somewhat of a cynic, I had to wonder if the doll’s meal would cost the same price as the child’s food. This was all so strange to me; to have children and their families spend such money on what essentially was a toy, baffled me. When I mentioned the in-house hospital earlier, I forgot to mention I saw a few dolls with bandages and casts on their limbs. What was going on in this place? Would the child have to buy crutches for their broken doll I wondered. The whole setup for this retail store was foreign to me. These dolls, though they were made to closely resemble actual human beings, were still a toy; a toy that could wind up discarded on a shelf after the child grew up and stopped playing with dolls. On the bright side, it was a good thing the dolls sold in this store were not like the doll in this horror, mystery thriller. AFTER A TRAUMATIC EVENT A FAMILY moves out of the city to an uninhabited country estate. They should have investigated who lived there before. With Katie Holmes (Batman Begins, Dawson’s Creek-TV) as Liza, Owain Yeoman (American Sniper, The Belko Experiment) as Sean, Christopher Convery (The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Gotham-TV) as Jude, Ralph Ineson (The Witch, Harry Potter franchise) as Joseph and Anjali Jay (The Age of Adaline, Power Rangers) as Dr. Lawrence; if no one had told me this was a sequel I would have never known. I have no memory of the original movie The Boy. And let me tell you, if the original was anything like this sequel I do not know if I would have gone in to see it. The directing was plain tired, and the script was awful. With the setting and details of the story, if the writers would have used their imaginations and pushed the limits of the story, they could have gotten an exciting and scary script here. Instead, this movie was a generic attempt at being a horror thriller. Clocking in less than an hour and half, it still felt as if I had been sitting for a long time due to the boredom I was experiencing. Sadly, I would have rather been back at the retail store that sold dolls instead of sitting through this blank stare of a film.
1 ½ stars
The first thing I quickly noticed was how tiny the doors were to all of the houses. It was my first trip to the area of Salem, Massachusetts after having just visited a historic area that was recreated to show how pilgrims lived when they settled in America. As I walked around the town of Salem I imagined humans must have been shorter back then based on the size of the doorways. I wondered how they would react to seeing the sizes of us currently. If you have never seen Salem it is a picturesque town, filled with detailed wooden houses and hearty foliage. For such a pretty place I tried envisioning what it must have been like here during the witch hunts. Though we studied the time period in school, I was always curious how the townsfolk described, even defined, someone they felt was a witch. Was it a person who did not have faith, who did not act in the same ways of others or maybe had a different diet? Throughout history there have been incidences where certain groups of people have been persecuted; it could have easily been based on their looks, besides other factors that have already been recorded in history. It must have been terrifying not only for the accused but for the citizens whenever someone was accused of being a witch. Especially at that time when there was less knowledge about the world, just imagine an eclipse or earthquake taking place and everyone panics, looking for a culprit. I know presently there are individuals who say they are witches; for all I know I may have met one or two of them in my life. If I did know for certain then they were nothing like what was found in this suspenseful mystery, horror film. HAVING agreed to leave the town and settle in a remote wooded area William and Katherine, played by Ralph Ineson (Harry Potter franchise, Kingsman: The Secret Service) and Kate Dickie (Prometheus, Red Road), felt they found the perfect place to raise their children. It was soon after settling that one of their children went missing. This film festival winning movie had an interesting stark style to it. Scenes were carefully framed as the story took the viewers along. I was taken in by the suspense, appreciating the way the script did not employ the usual scare tactics or gruesome shots filled with blood and violence. The direction was good though I will tell you the pacing tended to be methodically slow. This allowed time for the sense of dread to weigh heavier on the characters and I have to say the viewers. Set in New England during the 1630s I had a hard time with the speech; it was Old English and softly spoken. At times it sounded to me like a character was mumbling. This was not your usual horror fare; there were no jump out of your seat moments. But there was a style and simple story that worked well together in creating the ideal atmosphere for this type of genre.