Tag Archive: scares

But wait, there’s more…

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

The funny thing about movies is they are not always what you think they are about. The best movies have more than just the simple storyline we are told about in the beginning. There needs to be a thread that is outside of the love/action/horror/adventure tale we are watching.

Carrie 2013My son watched Carrie (2013) this past weekend. It is a remake of the old Brian DePalma horror film he has wanted to see. But here was his interesting take on it.

He thought it was more of a chick flick.

The story is based on a Steven King novel in which a shy girl is bullied relentlessly by her classmates. Her mother is a religious zealot who teaches her daughter to think about anything that makes most people happy as a sin. She also avoids telling her daughter about the birds and the bees. This makes for a very painful experience when her body changes and Carrie has no idea what is going on.

What her classmates or mother are not aware of is that Carrie is developing powers of telekinesis, the ability to move objects around. They become aware on the night of Prom when a cruel joke is played on Carrie and she breaks. Anger over years of unfair treatment is released, causing death and mayhem throughout the town.

Director Kimberly Pierce worked modern elements into the movie such as youtube and smart phone bullying. But she also brings a distinct female voice that leaves the male characters as single-note caricatures. The gore and action is there but so is the feminine perspective. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. Still, the movie is not for the younger members of the house, keep it for the teens.

The next night, my daughter and I watched The Lost Boys (1987)starring Kiefer Sutherland and Jason Patric. This movie had everything 80s about it: the music, the hair, the clothes. There were reflections on hippie parents and references to the Brady Bunch. It was a very hip, pop culture centric movie of its day. My daughter asked if the title was a reference to Peter Pan.

Lost BoysThe story is about a mother and her two sons, Michael and Sam, moving back to Santa Clara after her divorce. The former resort town is now host to a boardwalk amusement park on the beach. But the town has loads of missing people with posters on every post and bulletin board.

The reason why is simple. And before you know it, Michael has been seduced by the group of bad boys. Who doesn’t want to hang with them and do what they do. They ride bikes, they have the prettiest girl around hanging with them. But his little brother Sam learns that the town is a haven for vampires. If he wants to help his brother, he is going to need help.

While this movie does break some of its own rules about vampires, it is a fun effective teen movie about fitting in and finding your way in strange territory. Its about regrets and moving on. And the Peter Pan figure is not the one you expect it to be. As for the violent scenes, they are not as bad as some horror movies but it is not something I am letting my ten year-old or any younger children watch either.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.


Family Movie Night


By Karyn Bowman


Lately I have been obsessed with ghost stories.


I find myself staying up late at night to watch Ghost Adventures or The Dead Files on the Travel ChannelAfter I am done watching I swear I hear footsteps in the house, strange noises and such.


I have thought for a long time we have a ghost in our house. Our dearly beloved Flash seemed to be in the house, thumping her tail as she hears one of us coming up the steps. Sometimes, I swear a cat is jumping on the bed but we do not have a cat anymore.


In some ways, it is comforting knowing they want to be here. But I have also asked the ghosts in my house to never materialize in front of me because it would scare the living daylights out of me.


Knowing this I still decided to rent The Woman in Black this week. I guess I like to think I still want a little scare every now and again.


Poster Image from IMDb.com

The story involves a young lawyer (Daniel Radcliffe) going to a remote seaside village to finalize the estate of a client who has passed away. There are many papers to be sorted. What he does not know and everyone else does is that the spirit in the house he must go into is evil and takes the life of a child whenever she is seen.


We know that the lawyer is a widower left with a young son and his grief has taken him to the brink. He has also been told to complete this assignment or he will be without a job. This is why he keeps going to the house.


My 15-year-old and I watched it together. Well, he watched it and I sat in the dining room looking up facts about the movie because I was too scared to watch it. With every scary bit of music, I knew something bad was happening. I knew the woman was making an appearance or another child was forced to take its own life.


I also knew what was going to happen, thanks to some spoilers on various websites, and I wanted to see how they would play out.


I find the movie strangely effective, especially the stuff involving Mrs. Daily. During the Edwardian period, there were many notable ‘mediums’ who stated they could talk to the dead. Slate writing and the spirit speaking through the medium were common.


Daniel Radcliffe has the daunting task of losing his Harry Potter persona in a movie filled with moments to make you jump. He must be believable as the lawyer who is alone for much of the movie, reacting to sounds and bumps as well as dealing with the deep depression of grief. Radcliffe was believable for me.


But there are also good supporting performances by Ciarán Hinds and Janet McTeer, the wealthy couple who has befriended the young man, which shores up the younger actor. They help balance him.


This is probably the last ‘scary’ movie I will ever watch. Not because it was gory but for the fact there was some plausibility in the scares. My son loved the movie, every moment of it. While this is a great movie for early teenagers, I think it would be better to let the tweeners and younger children hold off a few years before watching it.


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.