Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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Wish Upon

Clare’s dad, Jonathon (Ryan Phillippe), finds a box with Chinese writing on it. He thinks Clare (Joey King) will like it and gives it to her on her birthday. Clare and her two friends are always getting bullied at school, especially by the most popular girl, Darcie. Frustrated one night, Clara is holding the box and wishes that Darcie would rot. The next day, she finds out that Darcie is in the hospital actually rotting. Clare thinks it is a coincidence and keeps making wishes. But every time she makes a wish, someone she knows dies. Now Clare has to find out how to break the curse before it is too late.

I actually really liked this movie. It had a good concept and it kept me wondering what was going to happen next. And if you are a Stranger Things fan, Barb is in it! Rated PG-13


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Happy Death Day

A sorority girl wakes up in the college dorm of a nerdy kid and can’t remember what happened the night before. She goes about her day (and she isn’t a very nice person, by the way). Although it happens to be her birthday, this is not a day she wishes to celebrate, as this is also the birthday of her mother, who died a few years earlier. At the end of the day, she is murdered, but she doesn’t know by who.

The next day, she wakes up in the same dorm room, and it’s the same day, and again she gets killed by the end. She keeps having the same nightmare of a day (Groundhog Day style) but is determined to find out who her killer is, and she learns a little bit about herself along the way.

You’ll find Happy Death Day to be not overly gory but still contains an intriguing premise for a horror flick. I also enjoyed the elements of mystery and humor. Rated PG-13

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Better Watch Out

Seventeen-year old Ashley shows up to babysit twelve-year old Luke one more time before she moves. His parents are out at a Christmas party, and Luke has a plan to capture Ashley’s attention. He has been in love with her for some time, and tonight he will make his move. However, everything goes awry when they are confronted by a break-in and need to find a way to escape.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so that’s all I am going to say. This might have been a straight to DVD type movie, but it actually was a decent horror flick. Not too gory with a good twist viewers won’t see coming.

Also, if you are a fan of Stranger Things, be on the lookout for a small role from Dacre Montgomery who plays Billy Hargrove in Season 2 of ST. Rated R.

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The weirdness of this movie starts at the very beginning where none of the characters in this movie have names.  Jennifer Lawrence plays the young wife of a renowned poet (Javier Bardem), who has not written in years and suffers writer’s block. They live in an old house in what looks like a rural location. A man played by Ed Harris unexpectedly drops in, as he confuses their homestead as a bed and breakfast.

Bardem invites him in and allows him to stay, much to the wife’s chagrin. Then, Harris’ wife, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, arrives and is also invited to stay. The couple have a blatant disregard to Lawrence’s requests about her house, smoking when she has asked them not to or visiting Bardem’s home office, which she has said is off limits. Then the couple’s two grown children show up and an altercation over the father’s will ensues.

The movie only gets weirder from there, with Bardem finally able to write his next poem. The reaction from the public is bizarre, with them treating him like he is some sort of God and Lawrence the ultimate sacrifice. This movie isn’t for everyone, and you’ll be left baffled and confused unless you understand the deeper meaning, which went way over my head. Rated R.

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It takes so many people to make a movie and that’s what surprises me most about Bloodrunners, that no one said “this movie is bad and we should not make it”. However, it was still made and I watched the whole thing. The story takes place during prohibition and involves a crooked police department that shakes down local bars for bribe money. Things go awry when a new bar owned by ICE-T (aww yeah) pays the bribe but continues to run booze without the cops knowing. This leads to a standoff at which point we discover they’re not running booze but BLOOD! That’s right, ICE-T is also a vampire. Now the crooked cops have to fight the vamps and choose a “cathouse” for a base of operations. There’s also convoluted back story involving vamps in WWI, one of the cops got the local madame preggers before going to the war, and a gay man runs the entire operation as a front because a black man in charge would’ve been too crazy for the 30’s but apparently a gay man was totally fine??

My final take? I friggin’ loved this movie. It was so laughably terrible that it came back around to being good again. There was so much dialogue and exposition that I’m sure every rule of film school was broken. 4/5 stars.

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Bird Box by Josh Malerman

As Mallory and her two small children make their way down river in a boat, we soon see that something’s off. Something is following them, but we’re not sure what. Animal? Human? Supernatural being? We don’t know, and Mallory and the kids don’t know because they’re not going to take their blindfolds off to find out. That’s right, blindfolds. Because everyone still left alive in this post-apocalyptic world wears them. Because if they see what’s following them, they will die. And it will not be pretty.

If that wasn’t tense enough, the story goes back and forth through time, explaining the events that led to these moments in the boat, and how a pregnant Mallory ended up living in a house full of strangers when the world fell apart. If you’re a horror fan, or if you just like a good scare once in awhile, put this on your TBR list ASAP. I loved this one, and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

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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.