REVIEW: ‘Ready or Not’ is a fun way to end summer 2019

Before this movie whenever I heard the phrase “Ready or Not” I thought of the Fugees song. Now, I might think of a very bloody wedding reception.

“Ready or Not” follows the character Grace, played by Samara Weaving, on her wedding day. While nerves are nothing new for a person on their wedding day, Grace is having a bit more anxiety than usual because she happens to be marrying into a massively wealthy family.

She’s calmed down a bit, though, by her fiance Alex (Mark O’Brien) and her new family, who provide pleasantries and reassurance. That is until it comes time for the family tradition of having a game at midnight. The family decides to play a game of Hide and Seek, with Grace being the person to hide. At first Grace just thinks it’s a silly quirk, until it turns out the family is actually hunting her as part of a sacrificial ritual. As a result, Grace’s wedding night turns into a fight for survival.

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REVIEW: The ‘Scary Stories’ here weren’t too frightening

This is one of those movies where I don’t really know who the audience was supposed to be. “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” carries a PG-13 rating and has some serious subject matter but there are times where it feels like it’s made for a younger audience.

The movie mainly follows three friends, Stella (Zoe Margaret Colletti), Auggie (Gabriel Rush) and Chuck (Austin Zajur), who meet another teen on Halloween named Ramon (Michael Garza). After pissing off some jocks with a prank, the four eventually find themselves at an old abandoned house and stumble upon a book.

Allegedly, there was once a woman who lived in the house and wrote scary stories which resulted in the deaths of youths in the community. That book just so happens to be found by Stella, who opens it and reads a few entries. It turns out to be a mistake, though, as new entries in the book begin to appear and lead to the disappearances of teens in the town.

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REVIEW: ‘Crawl’ delivers solid creature entertainment

Florida Gators, well known for their basketball and football abilities, along with terrorizing families in hurricanes.

The types of gators featured in “Crawl” refer to the latter, although a horror movie with Tim Tebow would be entertaining.

Anyway, “Crawl” tells the story of Haley (Kaya Scodelario), a college swimmer who’s just wrapping up practice as a dangerous hurricane starts moving in on Florida. The campus and pretty much everyone else in the area opt to evacuate, but Haley finds out her dad Dave (Barry Pepper) hasn’t been answering his phone and could still be in the path of the storm.

Haley travels to her home town and in fact does find her dad at her childhood house. The problem is that Dave has been severely injured in a crawl space by an alligator which is still around the area. With the storm producing floods as time goes on, Haley and her father are in a fight for survival, both against rising water and more gators brought in as a result.

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REVIEW: ‘Midsommar’ is as stylish as it is suspenseful

Whoa nelly does this one get wild.

Florence Pugh plays Dani in “Midsommar,” the second feature film from director Ari Aster who last year helmed the fantastic “Hereditary.” Dani is a college student who, in the first act, goes through a major tragedy in her life. The subsequent depression Dani goes through becomes a point of stress between her and her boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor).

However, she gets an opportunity to get away for awhile by traveling abroad to Sweden to spend time at a rural town by way of an invitation from their friend Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren). Dani, Christian, along with their friends Josh (William Jackson Harper) and Mark (Will Poulter) decide to go with Pelle for the trip, both to study the culture and have some fun. While the town they go to seems to be just a calm place holding a midsummer festival, though, the lead characters soon learn about some rather disturbing rituals by the locals.

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REVIEW: Latest run in with ‘Annabelle’ doesn’t offer much new in horror

On the surface, the set up for the latest “Annabelle” implies something new. However, as time goes on, it turns into the same old story.

“Annabelle Comes Home,” the seventh movie in the Conjuring Cinematic Universe, again follows the movie-version Warren family, who’re much more entertaining and compelling than their real life fraud counterparts. The movie opens with Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed (Patrick Wilson) driving home with the Annabelle doll in their, er, custody. After some freaky moments, the Warrens are able to get the cursed doll back to their artifacts room, where it’s secured in a holy case, and life seems to settle to normal.

As life goes on, the Warrens plan a business trip and leave their daughter Judy (Mckenna Grace) in the care of a babysitter Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman). Despite dealing with the paranormal regularly, the Warren’s home and neighborhood is pretty straightforward suburbia. However, Mary Ellen’s friend Daniela (Katie Sarife) eventually comes over to hang out and has an interest in the Warren’s case files. Unfortunately, through a series of events, she lets loose the paranormal entities in the Warren’s artifacts room, including Annabelle.

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REVIEW: When ‘Child’s Play’ isn’t trying to be a remake, it’s at its best

If only this hadn’t been called “Child’s Play.”

This new “Child’s Play” basically takes the framework, such as the character names and the iconic doll, and throws the rest out. Instead of using the original concept, with a murderer transferring himself into a doll through voodoo, this new “Child’s Play” goes with an artificial intelligence route.

The movie follows Andy (Gabriel Bateman), a young pre-teen who lives with his mother Karen (Aubrey Plaza). Karen works at a mid-size retailer that sells the new Buddi Dolls, which are toys that can also connect digitally to other electronics, like an Alexa. Karen eventually ends up lucky enough to snag a Buddi doll (voiced by Mark Hamill) through a stroke of luck. However, during its creation, that certain doll unfortunately became defective. As a result, the doll becomes aggressive.

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REVIEW: Want a film so bad it’s good? ‘The Intruder’ is your movie

I’d never argue that “The Intruder” is a good movie by any means. But I can’t deny that it is really entertaining.

The thriller now playing in theaters follows a young, wealthy couple, Annie (Meagan Good) and Scott (Michael Ealy). The two live in San Francisco but are looking to move to a more rural area. They decide on Napa Valley and check out a house for sale in a secluded area, owned by Charlie (Dennis Quaid).

Charlie, who now lives by himself after losing his wife, is selling the house for a high price, but decides to knock some dollars off because he likes Annie and Scott. The purchase is finalized and the married couple moves in to the new home. However, Charlie seems to have a hard time letting go as he often drops by the couple to check on them and see if they need help with the property. Eventually, Charlie’s behavior starts to worry Scott, as he comes across like he’s hiding something.

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REVIEW: ‘Pet Sematary’ has scares, but lacks solid storytelling

Another Stephen King adaptation has made its way to theaters, inviting audiences once again to the wonderful state of Maine.

“Pet Sematary” is the second adaptation of the King novel, the other releasing in 1989. This film, directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, shares some similarities as the film and novel, while also featuring a few differences. Jason Clarke plays the main character Louis here, a doctor and father in a family of four who are relocating from Boston to rural Maine.

The rest of the family consists of Rachel (Amy Seimetz), Ellie (Jete Laurence) and Gage (Hugo Lavoie). Upon arriving, the family settles in fairly well to their new rural community. The family, by introduction from their neighbor Jud (John Lithgow), do soon learn that their property includes an odd cemetery for pets, though. The land is proven even more eerie after the family cat is killed by a truck and Jud reveals there are some areas where, if buried, dead creatures can be brought back.

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REVIEW: ‘Us’ provides the thrills but is undercut by consistency issues

“Us,” definitely not to be confused with the drama show “This is Us,” is the latest picture from Writer/Director Jordan Peele.

The film tells the story of Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o), who’s visiting a beach vacation home with her family, which includes her husband Gabe (Winston Duke), daughter Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and son Jason (Evan Alex).

While Adelaide is has some reservations about being in the area again because of some bad memories from her past, she tries to make the most of her vacation with her family. Things seem to be going OK until night falls and the family is confronted in their vacation home by a group of doppelgangers.

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REVIEW: ‘Greta’ has just enough entertainment value

I can’t say “Greta” featured some great decisions by its characters. However, this one has enough thrills to get by.

“Greta” doesn’t open with the character Greta (Isabelle Huppert), but rather the film’s protagonist Frances (Chloe Grace Moretz). A new resident to New York City, Frances is trying to move on with her life in the big city months after the death of her mother. The film picks up with her riding the subway back from work, and once she gets to her stop, she notices a purse.

Because the lost and found center at the subway office is closed, she looks at the ID card in the bag and find’s Greta’s address, determined to return it herself. Her endeavor is successful and Frances meets Greta, a kind woman who lives on her own. The two start on friendly terms, but Frances soon learns that Greta is rather obsessive.

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