Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library


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Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

After the brutal murder of their father in a home invasion, the Locke family moves across the country to his family home in Lovecraft, Maine. As the family settles in, odd things begin happening in Key House. Nina is wrapped up in her grief after her husband’s death, and doesn’t take much notice of the strange happenings around her. Teens Tyler and Kinsey just aren’t paying much attention to their little brother as Bode discovers the magical keys to the house and what they can do. As they soon find out though, there’s a demon who wants the keys, and he’ll stop at nothing to get them.

If you’re looking for the perfect October read, this 6 volume series, plus the 2 prequel volumes, is just the ticket. It’s got the perfect blend of magic, horror, and adventure. Plus Joe has built some really great characters – maybe he took some lessons from mom & dad (Tabitha & Stephen King)? The artwork by Gabriel Rodriguez sets just the perfect tone, and I really hope that Mr. Hill & Mr. Rodriguez will collaborate on other projects. This series is in development for TV by Hulu, and will feature Danny Glover and Nate Corddry.

 

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Life

A group of scientists are on a mission to find life on Mars. They have the sample and are headed back to Earth. As they begin to study it, the sample starts to evolve. They have discovered life on Mars. As they continue to watch it grow, something goes wrong in the lab and it gets out. Soon it is killing the crew off one by one and getting bigger and bigger. With only a few crew members left alive, will they be able to survive and destroy it or will it make it to Earth and destroy us?

I really liked this movie. I didn’t know what was going to happen and the ending totally tricks you. But if you are watching this for Ryan Reynolds, be warned he isn’t in it that much. Starring, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, and Rebecca Ferguson. Rated R


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The Belko Experiment

It is just another day at the Belko Company, an American business located in Bogota, Columbia. As they go about their day a voice comes over the building’s intercom saying they had half an hour to kill two people. Everyone is confused and thinking it is a joke. Until the building goes into lock down and no one can leave. When the half hour is up and no one has been killed, everyone is relieved. Until the heads start exploding. Now it is a kill or be killed situation. Will anyone survive or will this experiment kill them all?

I really liked this movie. I didn’t know who was going to turn into a killer and who was going to try and keep their humanity. I definitely recommend this one. Starring, John Gallagher, Jr., Tony Goldwyn, John C. McGinley, Sean Gunn, and Michael Rooker.  Rated R


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Split

I watch quite a bit of horror and thriller flicks and most disappoint, but Split is a standout guaranteed to give you the creeps. This comes as no surprise since it was written by The Sixth Sense’s acclaimed director and creator, M. Night Shyamalan.

James McAvoy plays Kevin, a man with dissociative identity disorder (aka split/multiple personality disorder) who sees psychiatrist Dr. Fletcher.  She believes that her patients are extraordinary in that the different personalities can change the body’s chemistry, where one personality might have diabetes and the others don’t.

Unbeknownst to Fletcher, the controlling personality of Dennis, who possesses dark and immoral tendencies, has abducted three young women in a parking lot and are holding them captive down in the maintenance area where he works.

As the girls try to escape, they are confronted with Kevin’s other personas: Hedwig, a nine-year old boy, Miss Patricia and others. Unlike the other girls, Casey comes from an abusive past and tries to befriend Hedwig in hopes he will help convince the “others” to let them free. Unfortunately, the stronger personalities seem to be in control and have other plans for the girls.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so just watch Shyamalan’s latest, which will keep you on the edge of your seat. You’ll realize that the darkness of the mind is far scarier than any kind of supernatural element. Rated PG-13


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Rings

Typically horror sequels and the subsequent movies aren’t very good, and Rings proves my point.

When Julia’s texts and phones from her boyfriend Holt, who has just started college, go unanswered, she drives to his school to find out whats going on. Holt is part of an experiment headed up by one of his professors (played by The Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki), who had found an old VCR with the “ring” video at a flea market.

If you watch the video, which features a creepy girl crawling out of a well, you receive a phone call that you will die in 7 days. The only way to escape death is to copy the video and have someone else watch it. Only then you are safe, but then the person who watched it is confronted with the same problem. To save Holt, Julia watches the video. Not wanting to give a death sentence to the next guy, Julia and Holt begin researching the origins of the video.

This movie was the worst! It was not scary at all, and it was so boring that midway through, I had to fast forward to the end.  Also, if you didn’t enjoy watching Naomi Watts’ character from the first The Ring (2002) coughing up hair, you won’t want to see it again in this one either. Rated PG-13


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Stephen King’s It

MV5BY2I0ZGI0MzItN2RhZi00ZmQ3LWI5MmUtNWE2MTAxZmY5Njc1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTQxNzMzNDI@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_With the remake coming out soon, it was necessary to see the original 1990 miniseries based on King’s horror novel about a deranged clown. Compared to the CGI of today, the special effects of 1990’s are laughable, but the story has heart.

In sleepy Derry, Maine a rash of children have been murdered and the cops have no answers. Local librarian Mike, though, has a clue and can’t believe Pennywise, the clown, is back. He reunites his five childhood friends who have all left Derry for bigger and better things and who have not seen one another in over thirty years.

Avoiding school bullies and broken homes, the group bonded that one summer and took down a clown that was terrorizing their small town. It was a particularly upsetting for Bill, who’s brother Georgie was murdered. Now as adults, the group set out to destroy Pennywise once and for all.

The story takes place through present day and flashbacks from their childhood. Although horror at it’s core, It is also a story of the strong bonds we make with our childhood friends. It’s because of this aspect that viewers will be reminded of The Big Chill and Stand By Me and make this miniseries memorable. Rated TV-14


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Ouija: Origin of Evil

ouijaIn this new Ouija horror flick that takes place in the 1960s, single mother Alice Zander is trying to make ends meet by providing seances out of her home. When her teenager daughter sneaks out of the house and plays Ouija at a friend’s, Alice is inspired to add the board to their ruse.

There are rules to the Ouija that need to be followed, and one of these rules is to never play alone. Little sister Doris sees the board and tries it out. She believes she can communicate with their deceased father. But the viewer learns that she may be communicating with a demon that is not her father and is possessing her.

Older sister Lena seeks the help of the priest at their Catholic school. But even he might not be able to save Doris and her family from their fate.

There were a few scenes that make you jump and yes, the Ouija board scares the bejeezus out of me personally, but overall this is a disappointment. My all time favorite is still the super campy 80’s Ouija original, Witchboardstarring Tawny Kitaen.