Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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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.


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Security by Gina Wohlsdorf

Manderly Hotel is getting ready for it’s grand opening. It is located in Santa Barbara, California and is a high class hotel that leaves nothing wanting. A select few of the staff are staying over to keep preparing for the opening. Tessa, the manger, is one of the remaining. But she is in for a shock when a man from her past shows up. Not really wanting to deal with him she tries to ignore him.

Brian has come to Manderly to put the past behind him and Tessa and to maybe start a future with her. He joins her as she makes her rounds. But unbeknownst to them, there is a killer loose in the hotel.  As they reconnect, the killer is killing off the staff one by one. When they realize the danger, will it be to late?

I really enjoyed this book. At first I was confused about the narration but then it is revealed who is telling us the story. The only thing I wasn’t sure about is why it was happening. Definitely one I would recommend.

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Knock Knock

knockIn Knock Knock, Keanu Reeves plays, Evan, an architect who is home working while his wife and kids are away for the weekend. It’s pouring rain the night his doorbell rings and two young, beautiful women are asking if he knows where the “Gregory’s” live.

He knows of no such neighbor but the women ask if they can come in to use his phone to look up the address of the party they are supposed to be going to since the cab driver just dropped them off. Evan contacts an Uber for them, who can’t come for 45 minutes. He allows the girls to dry their soaked clothes in the dryer while they wait.

The two women are obviously trying to seduce him, and he eventually relents after much pressure. After a hot tryst, the next morning he finds the women have made a mess of his house and won’t leave. He finally gets them into his car and drops them off outside their supposed house. But the women aren’t satisfied, claim that they were underage and come back to his house to terrorize him.

Interesting premise; terrible delivery! Plus, Keanu’s acting, as pretty as he is, is just comical it’s so horrendous. It was entertaining enough, but not one I would really recommend. Rated R

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The Disappointments Room

roomDana and David and their son, Lucas, are relocating to a small town to start fresh after a tragedy that befalls the family. Once there Dana finds a secret room. Determined to get it open, Dana finally finds the key. What she finds is an empty room. When she goes in, the door shuts and locks her in. After of hours of being in there and having hallucinations, the door opens. She soon discovers it was only minutes that she was locked away. Dana starts to think that she is going a crazy and she just might be. Is it all in her head or are the hallucinations real?

Don’t watch this movie. I have to say it…The Disappointments Room was a disappointment! It wasn’t scary and I didn’t like the story at all. Don’t waste your time. Starring, Kate Beckinsale, Mel Raido, Lucas Till, and Gerald McRaney. Rated R

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Blair Witch

blairIn this third movie in the Blair Witch franchise, James locates an online video in which he believes he sees an image of his sister, who disappeared decades ago and was never heard from again. The video was found by a young couple who have claimed to have located it in the Maryland woods near a tree stump.

James, two friends and a videographer agree to search the woods with James to see if they can find what happened to his sister, Heather. As they trek deeper into the woods, strange things start happening. Time seems off and there is no daylight. One of his friends cuts her foot but it isn’t healing. The couple who led them to the videotape location seem to have an ulterior motive.

The whole movie is shot through the perspective of James and his friends’ video recordings, which has been overdone in horror films. The ending is super predictable, and there was nothing terribly scary to make this worth watching. This should appeal only to die hard fans of the original Blair Witch Project. Rated R

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cellWhen a single pulse is transmitted simultaneously through all of the cell phones in the world, it turns people into crazed killer maniacs. Artist Clay Riddell (John Cusack) happens to be at the airport when the havoc breaks out, and joining up with a group of other survivors, he is desperate to make his way home to his family. The group is in for the fight of their lives as they make their way through the desolate landscape, and trying to figure out the cause of the situation is proving to be a deadly proposition.

Disclaimer: I am a HUGE Stephen King fan. Now that that’s out of the way…I read Cell when it came out about 10 or so years ago, and it was one of the creepiest books I’ve ever read. King did what he does best – take a group of very different people and throw them into a situation where they have to figure out how to survive together against extreme circumstances. Now, I get it that a film adaptation is often times going to be different from the book. But this one? I don’t even know where to begin. Even a cast that includes Cusack and Jackson can’t fix what went wrong here. It just feels so disconnected – you never really get a chance to connect with any of the characters, and you never get a clear understanding as to what exactly the whole attack was about. And what’s up with the guy in the red hoodie? We may never know, unless of course we read the book. A great premise, a really good book, but an awesomely awful movie. Rated R. Also featuring Samuel L. Jackson and Stacy Keach.