REVIEW: The Devil went down to ‘Conjuring’ and it wasn’t a good time

The totally not con-artist Warrens are back in another movie about a demonic possession that really happened and wasn’t made up.

Yes, there was a lot of sarcasm in that lede.

The eighth film in the “Conjuring” cinematic universe takes place in 1981 with Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) assisting in an exorcism of a young boy. In the process of the exorcism, the demon possessing the boy is transferred to a man assisting in the situation, Arne (Ruairi O’Connor).

During the altercation, Ed suffers a heart attack and is taken to a hospital. When he recovers, he warns of Arne’s possible possession, but it’s too late. Arne commits murder on his landlord and is arrested by the police. Facing a potential death penalty sentence, the Warrens begin an investigation into the possession to try to prove in court that it was a demon that caused the murder.

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REVIEW: ‘The Unholy’ squanders potential with horror cliches

Here’s a horror movie that actually would have been better off had it not been a horror. At least not such a straightforward one.

“The Unholy” stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Gerry. A disgraced journalist with a history of fabricating stories, Gerry now works as a of paranormal reporter. He travels around to write about UFO sightings and haunting to make some cash. His latest story brings him to a small Massachusetts town, but unfortunately, the supposed subject ends up being dud.

However, as luck would have it, Gerry discovers an interesting artifact near a rural church. Following his discovery, a young girl named Alice (Cricket Brown), who’s been deaf all her life, can suddenly hear and talk perfectly. According to her, she can communicate with the Virgin Mary and begins performing miracle healings. Her miracles begin drawing a lot of positive attention, but while this is happening, Gerry starts to notice sinister signs.

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LAMB Movie of the Month: ‘Host’ review

The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t just changed how we watch movies right now, but how we make movies. “Host,” a film focused on paranormal Zoom meeting, is a prime example.

For their regular virtual get-together, the main character Haley (Haley Bishop) brings together her group of friends for an online seance. Haley, who’s hired the medium for the call, is taking the Zoom meeting seriously, but the rest of her friends see it as just harmless fun.

The call does start off innocently enough, with the friends getting settled. However, at one point, something goes wrong and an evil spirit is invited in. As a result, all of the friends are put in danger.

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REVIEW: While there’s room for improvement, ‘Relic’ stands as a solid thriller

In most cases it’s good to hold on to items important to one’s family… except when they happen to be haunted or produce evil.

Unfortunately, that’s basically what we have in this picture.

Set in rural Australia, “Relic” tells the story of three women, the eldest Edna (Robyn Nevin), her daughter Kay (Emily Mortimer) and her granddaughter Sam (Bella Heathcote). Edna, now a widow, lives alone in an old house and is getting to the age where it may be appropriate to have her stay at an assisted living facility. This is made apparent when she goes missing and comes back acting strangely.

At first, both Kay and Sam suspect the issue may be dementia, or general cognitive decline. However, as the movie goes on, Edna’s actions, and the house itself, become more sinister.

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10 years of horror: Looking back at 2013-2014

Since I’ve been reviewing movies for a decade, I decided this year to take a look back at some of my favorite horror movies since 2008. So far, I’ve already taken a look at movies through 2012, so here’s the next few through 2014.

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REVIEW: ‘The Nun’ is a generic, one note picture that you can skip

I wasn’t sure if “The Nun” would be all that scary. But what I really didn’t expect was for it to be so boring.

“The Nun” is part of the “Conjuring” cinematic universe and actually takes place decades before the original movie came out. The story follows Father Burke (Demian Bichir) and a young nun in training, Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga).

The two are sent to Romania by the Vatican to investigate the death of another nun at an old abbey. As they begin their investigation with the help of a local farmer (Jonas Bloquet), though, they soon learn that they have to face a horrifying entity.

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Insidious 3 review

Director:
Leigh Whannell
Cast:
Dermot Mulroney
Stefanie Scott
Lin Shaye
Leigh Whannell
Angus Sampson
Rated: PG-13

The third installment of the “Insidious” franchise serves as a prequel rather than a sequel in the franchise’s timeline. The film follows a girl named Quinn (Scott) who is being haunted by an evil spirit.

As the haunting gets more severe Quinn and her family seek the help of Elise (Shaye), a spirit and demon expert who may be able to assist. The only problem is Elise is dealing with problems of her own.

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Poltergeist review

Director:
Gil Kenan
Cast:
Sam Rockwell
Rosemarie DeWitt
Kennedi Clements
Kyle Catlett
Jared Harris
Rated: PG-13

The 2015 remake of the 1982 film “Poltergeist,” doesn’t stray too far from its original roots. Like the first film, “Poltergeist” follows a family with a father, Eric (Rockwell), a mother, Amy (DeWitt) and a couple of kids. The family is under a financial strain, however, they do move into a new house hoping that their fortunes will change.

Long story short, they don’t. After getting settled in their new home, the family starts coming across strange occurrences, each growing more frightening than the last. It’s made worse when the parents learn that their house was actually constructed on a burial ground.

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Unfriended review

Director
Levan Gabriadze
Cast:
Heather Sossaman
Matthew Bohrer
Courtney Halverson
Shelley Hennig
Moses Jacob Storm
Will Peltz
Renee Olstead
Rated: R

A group of high school friends decide to hang out on a Skype chat in “Unfriended,” a movie that completely takes place on a computer screen. It seems like a fairly average night for the group until an unidentified person joins their Skype chat.

The group soon begins to believe that the unidentified person is actually their friend who committed suicide after a series of extreme cyber bullying.

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The Conjuring review

Director:
James Wan
Cast:
Vera Farmiga
Patrick Wison
Lili Taylor
Ron Livingston
Rated: R

Finally some smart characters in a haunted house movie.

“The Conjuring” follows the Perron family, that includes Carolyn (Taylor) and Roger (Livingston) and their daughters. The family moves into a house out in the country and as time goes on they begin experiencing some strange phenomenon. Things start moving on their own and it appears that there is a spirit of some kind that haunts their new home.

Enter Ed (Wilson) and Lorraine (Farmiga) Warren, two specialists in the super natural who the Perrons seek for help. These two, who are actual specialists in real life and which this movie is based around, come to the house and begin their investigation.

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