Continuing on from the 2013 hit, this sequel blends fact and fiction to follow real-life ghostbusters Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) from the 1976 Amityville haunting to an encounter with the Enfield poltergeist in 1977 London. Filmmaker James Wan continues to deploy every cinematic gimmick he knows to freak out the audience, and the fact that it's based on a true story makes it even more unsettling. Although the cliches of the genre feel a bit tired.
The story opens in Amityville, where the Warrens are deeply disturbed by supernatural forces and decide to take some time off. But they're soon summoned to England to help a family being terrorised by a nasty spirit. Arriving in Enfield, North London, they meet Peggy Hodgson (Frances O'Connor), a plucky single mother of four, who is worried that the ghost of an angry old man is threatening her 11-year-old daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe). Now staying with neighbours (Simon Delaney and Maria Doyle Kennedy) across the street, Peggy has also called in two experts, a true believer (Simon McBurney) and a sceptic (Franka Potente), to work with the Warrens to clear this malevolent presence from the family home.
While the script inventively intermingles the facts of the case with a generous dose of movie fiction, Wan fills the screen with all kinds of creepy goings-on, including banging noises, levitating furniture and flickering TV screens. Additional standard scares include a nerve-jangling toy and a seriously scary nun (who's about to get her own spin-off film, like the creepy doll Annabelle from the first movie). Wan also uses manipulative movie trickery from moody music to grubby production design to prowling camerawork that constantly reveals something frightening in the deep shadows. What he never does is find a new way to scare the audience: we have seen all of these tricks before, but of course they still work.
Continue reading: The Conjuring 2 Review
Not fazed by their previous experiences, Lorraine and Ed Warren are still successful paranormal investigators and their reputations have made them known around the world. As they hunt for new cases to investigate they decide to travel to England, Enfield just outside London to help a single mother and her children who are being haunted by a nasty spirit.
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This is a prime example of what is common referred to as a geek show. In the olden days, that meant that carnival goers were ushered into a back tent (and usually asked to cough up a few more dimes) to view a geek doing geek things, like biting the heads off chickens or swallowing worms. It was the lowest rung of entertainment, the 20th century equivalent of bear baiting.
Continue reading: Creep Review
Aside from Solondz's decidedly risky topics, his format in Storytelling takes chances. It presents two separate shorts, entitled "Fiction" and "Non-fiction," with no obvious connection between the two. The only true thread is that both comment on the telling of tales, the shifting of points of view, and the way most people in Solondz's suburban landscapes constantly paddle their painful lives upstream.
Continue reading: Storytelling Review
The Bourne Identity is based upon Robert Ludlum's famous series of spy thrillers about the elusive and extra-human Jason Bourne. Matt Damon plays Bourne, a spy who survives a shipwreck in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea but does not remember his identity or past. Implanted in his back are a series of bullets and a capsule containing an account number for a safety deposit box in Zurich. Once inside the box, he uncovers a supply of passport identities, money, and weapons - which only adds to his confusion.
Continue reading: The Bourne Identity Review
Yet such is the world of Blow, the most wildly anticipated drug thriller since, well, last year's Traffic. Welcome to the "based on a true story" tale of George Jung (the inimitable Johnny Depp), just a suburban boy from New England who tires of his conservative life and heads for -- where else -- L.A. Here (in the 1960s, natch), Jung hooks up with the local hair stylist/drug dealer and starts his own small pot distributorship. Soon enough he's running drugs back to Boston with the help of his friends and flight attendant girlfriend (Run Lola Run's Franka Potente). But just as he's made a name for himself, he gets busted and lands in prison.
Continue reading: Blow Review
Staying 100-percent true to the surprising, cerebral, cliché- and catch-phrase-eschewing spirit of 2002's "The Bourne Identity," screenwriter Tony Gilroy (returning from the original) and director Paul Greengrass have put together a breathless sequel with tense intellectual punch, smart, seat-gripping action, and a hero who is utterly compelling, almost without saying a word.
Still suffering from amnesia and nightmarish recovered flashes of his past assignments as a CIA assassin, the now-tempered Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), and the girl (Franka Potente) who helped him survive a relentless manhunt in the first picture, begin "The Bourne Supremacy" having their peaceful incognito existence on an Indian beach shattered by a rogue Russian secret service agent (a silently daunting Karl Urban) with a sniper rifle.
In one of the film's few conventional contrivances, the plot is set in motion when, after a nerve-racking chase through the tight, ancient streets of this third-world seaside town, their jeep plummets off a bridge and this otherwise professional killer heads home, assuming they're dead. Bourne in turn assumes the CIA has come to finish the job they started two years ago, and immediately begins a hunt of his own -- fulfilling his pledge that "if I even feel somebody behind me, there is no measure to how fast I will bring this fight to your doorstep."
Continue reading: The Bourne Supremacy Review
Continuing on from the 2013 hit, this sequel blends fact and fiction to follow real-life...
Not fazed by their previous experiences, Lorraine and Ed Warren are still successful paranormal investigators...
Writer-director Todd Solondz has a knack for making us feel downright uncomfortable. He did...
Last year, Christopher Nolan took memory loss to a new level with his masterful thriller...
Staying 100-percent true to the surprising, cerebral, cliché- and catch-phrase-eschewing spirit of 2002's "The Bourne...