Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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I Am Behind You by John Ajvide Lindqvist

As day breaks over the camping grounds, four families are waking up to discover that things have changed. It’s a beautiful day, but instead of the usual camp, they find themselves surrounded by a large field of grass, and there’s no sun in the sky. Nothing but green grass and blue sky as far as the eye can see. What’s happened? Have they been moved? Why? Where are they? As they try to find the answers, each of them is forced to confront not only their deepest desires, but also their deepest fears.

Lindqvist (Let the Right One In) has long been one of my favorite horror writers. Much like Stephen King, not only is he a keen observer to human behavior, he also has a master’s touch in crafting a truly terrifying story in which the monsters aren’t always the scariest thing about it.


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Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

Dracula (Adam Sandler) and the gang are back. This time they are taking a cruise for monsters. Drac isn’t completely sold on the idea but relents for Mavis (Selena Gomez). Once they are on board, Drac starts to lighten up. And the cause is the cruise director, Ericka (Kathryn Hahn). But what Drac doesn’t realize is Ericka is actually a descendant of Van Helsing, the family who has made it there life’s work to kill monsters. She has the location of an artifact that can kill Dracula. But she is starting to have feelings for Drac and must decide between love and fulfilling her family’s legacy.

Another great chapter to the Hotel Transylvania movies. It is fun movie to watch. Also starring the voices of Kevin James, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Fran Drescher, and Andy Samberg.  Rated PG

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Brea (Paula Patton) and John ( Omar Epps) are headed to their friend’s isolated house in a small town in Northern California. They are going to celebrate Brea’s birthday and John is going to propose. On the way there, they stop at a gas station where Brea has a strange encounter with a woman in the bathroom. She seems to need help but before Brea can find out she is gone.  Once at the house they start to relax and have a good time. But their romantic weekend is disruptive by the friends who weren’t supposed to be there until the next day.

As they are talking a phone goes off. It is in Brea’s purse but isn’t hers. As they look through it they stumble across some pictures. It turns out that the pictures are of women who are up for auction. Before they know it, the owner of the phone and his buddies show up at the house. Now it a matter of survival. Will they be able to make it out alive?

This was a pretty good movie. The acting wasn’t that great but the suspense was pretty good. Also starring, Roselyn SanchezLaz Alonso, and Missi Pyle.  Rated R

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The Spy Who Dumped Me

Audrey (Mila Kunis) has just been dumped in a text by her boyfriend, Drew (Justin Theroux). Her best friend Morgan (Kate McKinnon) tells her to burn his things. She is about to when she gets a call from him saying he made a mistake and to please not burn his things. Audrey is torn. The next day she is apprehended by two men claiming Drew is a spy and that he has something that belongs to them. They let her go and Drew turns up at her apartment along with some people intent on killing him. Next thing she knows he is admitting to be a spy and asks her to deliver a trophy to a person in Austria. Audrey and Morgan flee the apartment and decide to deliver the trophy. They don’t know who to trust and find themselves on a wild adventure.

I really liked this movie. It was funny and entertaining. And it doesn’t hurt that Jaime Fraser was in it! Also starring, Sam Heughan, Gillian Anderson, Jane Curtain, and Paul Reiser. Rated R

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Watch the Girls by Jennifer Wolfe

Liv Hendricks is a washed up child actor. In her thirties, she is currently working on a web series that is basically Scooby Doo. Every night she gets black out drunk to sleep. When she was 17, her younger sister went missing and hasn’t been seen since. Her other sister has become a semi-famous actress, who Liv barely talks to. One night at a bar, Liv goes on a rant, not knowing she is talking to a reporter who recorded the entire thing. The next morning, it has gone viral and Liv is out of a job. Liv decides to start her own web series solving mysteries.

Liv is soon backed by an obscure director who wants her to solve the disappearance of his niece and the other three woman who have gone missing in the same woods. Liv arrives at the town but before she knows it her sister shows up. She is then left a cryptic message saying “Follow the white wolf.” Soon Liv is in over her head and in danger. But she is about to find out that she might have a connection to the disappearances.

This was a disturbing book that keeps you guessing until the twisted end.

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Unfriended: Dark Web

Five friends get together and Skype for game night. But Matias keeps getting messages from the previous owner of his new laptop. It turns out Matias took the laptop from a lost and found and now the owner wants it back. Matias snoops around and finds that the owner is up to some shady stuff. Like shady, murdery (yes, I know that it isn’t a word but it fits!) things. Soon Matias and his friends are being targeted and have to do what he says if they don’t want to die.

This was a pretty good scary movie. It wasn’t paranormal like the first one, Unfriended, which made it scarier to me. Rated R

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Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Fifteen year old Oscar is taking one of his long exploratory walks through Barcelona, when, attracted by music coming from an abandoned-looking house, he decides to take a look inside. Frightened when the house turns out to be inhabited, he runs out, and later discovers that he has a pocket watch in his hand, one that he’s mistakenly taken from the house. Returning to the house the next day, Oscar meets Marina, a girl of about his own age, and her artist father Germán. Marina, who also has a sense for adventure, takes Oscar to an old cemetery, and shows him an unusual ritual that takes place every last Sunday of the month. A carriage arrives, and a woman, veiled and dressed all in black, approaches a grave, unmarked except for a black butterfly, and lays a single red rose. Oscar and Marina, intrigued by the mystery of it all, follow the woman as she leaves, and find themselves embroiled in a mystery that dates back to post war Barcelona. An intricate puzzle of intrigues that include business tycoons, the police, and a beautiful opera singer, takes them into the darkest parts of the city.

Darkly atmospheric, Marina is told in classic gothic style, and has many hints of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It’s the perfect Halloween read – scary, but not super graphic, and just enough psychological tension. Recommended for teens and adults. Also by this author: The Shadow of the Wind.