Archives for posts with tag: Patrick Wilson

Grade B-

Manny’s Movie Musings: Jennifer Aniston plays a single woman whose biological clock is ticking so loudly she decides to use a sperm donor to get pregnant.  Jason Bateman, playing Aniston’s best friend, is horrified at her choice, partly because he is subconsciously in love with her.  During Aniston’s get pregnant ceremony/party, Bateman gets wasted on alcohol and drugs and switches the donor’s sperm for his own.  Aniston moves away to have her baby; and 7 years later, she and her son move back into Bateman’s city.  The boy’s personality is very much that of Bateman, who slowly realizes why that is; and now he has to decide if and when to tell Aniston of his discovery.  My most memorable, movie moment of “The Switch” is the scene when Bateman decides to make the switch because of his drug/alcohol induced accident; and out of desperation, uses an image of Diane Sawyer to help him get his product out.   “The Switch” is a typical, formulaic rom-com, meaning you’ll get exactly what you think, including the ending.  Still, it has its funny moments.

— M

Grade B –

“Insidious” left us with **SPOILER ALERT** the father, played by Patrick Wilson, having his body taken over by an evil spirit; and Wilson’s own spirit is in the spirit world through astral projection. “Insidious: Chapter 2” shows us a bit of the past to make sense of what we are about to see in the present, which is the matriarch of the afflicted family (played by Rose Byrne) trying to make sense of what happened in the final moments of the first movie; and her doubt as to who Wilson really is and how to keep herself and her children safe from all the spooks and her possessed hubby.  With the help of a medium and two bumbling ghostbusters, Byrne will be in the fight of her life as she and her family are attacked by evil spirits on two fronts: the spirit world, and the real world.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Insidious: Chapter 2” is the scene when we learn of the tragic origin of the “bride in black” spirit from the first movie.

“Insidious: Chapter 2” is a clever sequel that employs time shifting and spirits of the present visiting people and spirits of the past.   There are the usual cheap scares —  spooks jumping out accompanied by a loud noise — and the genuine scares that takes its time to develop and makes you wonder what the hell is going on.  Unfortunately, the bumbling ghostbusters (one of whom is Leigh Whannell, one of the writers) usually ruin the scary scenes with their comedy acts.  This is a movie that should be played straight, sans comedic, tension relievers.  Let the audience be tense, let them be at the edge of their seats; once you got them on the hook, leave them on the hook until the end.

— M

Grade A

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return to play real life, paranormal investigators Ed Warren and Lorraine Warren, respectively.  This time, they help a family in England who claim to have an evil spirit in their house.  Wilson and Farmiga are sent by the Catholic church to investigate and prove the claim false or true, and then let the church handle the rest.  But what the married investigators discover will force them to go beyond their tasked duties and put one of them at risk of a horrible death.

My most memorable, movie moment of “The Conjuring 2” is the lengthy, opening sequence of the movie, when Wilson and Farmiga are investigating what is famously known as the Amityville Horror.  This sequence is full of genuine frights, setting the tone for the rest of the movie.

A true test of a horror movie’s worth is its ability to provide true scares, and “The Conjuring 2” passes that test with flying colors.  Yes, there is little here that most horror fans haven’t seen before; but I dare you to watch this movie alone in the dark.  I started watching this in the dark, at night, with two people — after about 20 minutes we decided to turn on a few lights.

— M

Grade B+

After a family (Patrick Wilson as the father, Rose Byrne as the mother, and Ty Simpkins as the oldest child) move into their new home, the haunting start almost immediately.  The attacks are focused on Simpkins, leading to his “coma.”  Byrne becomes the next target, hearing and seeing so many terrifying things that she is suffering a mental breakdown.  Wilson, not believing or not wanting to believe, moves his family to a new home…but the evil entities have followed.

Ghostbusters are eventually called in, and the prognosis is much worse than what the family thought.  Not helping matters is Wilson’s skepticism despite all that has happened; but he will need to believe and delve into his past in order to help save his son’s soul…and his own.

One of my memorable moments of this movie is the scene when Byrne wakes up one night to see someone walking back and forth outside her second story windows.  Back and forth, back and forth…and then the spirit suddenly appears inside her bedroom and runs after Byrne!  This made me jump and go “Oh!”

My most memorable, movie moment of “Insidious” is the scene when the red-faced demon shows up behind Wilson — don’t worry, I won’t mention when this happens.  This made me jump more and go “Oh!” louder than the scene previously mentioned.  Of all the scenes in horror movies that I’ve seen in the past two years, this one scared me the most.

“Insidious” stands well above the average horror movie; but even this one suffers from using cheap scare tactics (such as extremely loud sounds during the payoffs) in a few scenes even though it wasn’t needed.  I do give major kudos to the screenwriter for using a fairly original element in how the haunting started.  Bottom line: horror movie aficionados will enjoy “Insidious” and should try watching it alone and in the dark…but I suggest you wear diapers.

— M

“The Conjuring” is based on paranormal investigators Lorraine Warren and Ed Warren (played by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, respectively) who have been called to help a family, the Perrons, who are being haunted in their Rhode Island home.

Before we see the Perrons, we get an extremely creepy sequence of one of Patrick Wilson’s investigations that deal with a doll that a demon has taken over.  It’s a little taste of the frights that the rest of the movie has to offer.

Back to the Perrons.  Headed by Ron Livingston (who plays the father) and Lili Taylor (who plays the mother), mama and papa Perron and their five daughters move to a farmhouse, hoping for a new, good start to their lives.  What they get is a terrifying battle against evil spirits that not only threaten their lives, but could also lead the mother into eternal damnation.  Starting with the family dog who doesn’t want to enter the house, and beds being moved by an invisible force, the terrorizing of the family escalates to the point where Taylor asks Farmiga and Wilson to come to their R.I. home and find out what is happening and how they can stop the hauntings.

From day one of the investigation, Taylor and Livingston are given the bad news: there are multiple spirits in their home, and one is very malevolent; and the really bad spirit has attached itself to the family.  So, even if the family could afford to move out, the spirit would go with them.   Like herpes.  The family doesn’t have much of a choice.  An exorcism is needed, and for that to happen, Farmiga and Wilson have to get proof of the hauntings to take to the Vatican.  And proof they get.  Proof that will get you squeezing your butt cheeks in fear if you watch this movie alone in the dark.

One of my memorable, movie moments of “The Conjuring” is the scene when Farmiga is near a large tree outside the haunted house.  Wilson walks behind her and starts talking, and Farmiga slowly turns around.  She doesn’t look at Wilson, but instead her frightened eyes slowly looks up at the tree; and we see that which only she sees because of her sensitivity to the supernatural forces.

My most memorable, movie moment of “The Conjuring” is the scene when two of the sisters sharing a room in the haunted house are visited by one of the spirits.  The youngest of the two wakes because her bed is moving violently by itself.   Then the door opens, and the youngest stares at the open door, frozen with fright.  She whispers to her older sister — who at this point is now awake — that someone is at the door.  The oldest walks to the door, sees nothing but darkness, then turns around to face her sister and tell her there’s nothing there.  The youngest, now crying because she is so terrified, tells the oldest that it’s right behind her oldest sister!  The oldest slowly turns around, and the door slams shut in the darkness.  Screams are heard from the dark room.

“The Conjuring” is loaded with moments like the two mentioned above.  This is a very well made, very scary movie.  Everyone is on their A-game here, from the actors to the screenwriters to the director.  Horror fans should not miss this gem of a horror movie.

One aspect of this story is that some people can see the ghosts or demons, while most cannot.   Sometimes it’s because a person is more sensitive to the spirit world, or maybe the spirits just want to be seen by certain people.  Take your pick.  But that’s the way things are.  I saw this movie in a house of one of my best friends who lives in Virginia.  People in the house have…seen things.  I’ve visited twice, I haven’t seen s@#t, and that’s the way I like it.  Oh, did I mention that the night before watching “The Conjuring” my friends and I went to a ghost tour?  Yup, once again, I didn’t see anything odd, and I was glad for it; but I took the word of the tour guide that the house and library and school and graveyard are all haunted.  My friend — the one who I was visiting — saw an apparition during the tour.  Her daughter saw it, too.  What they saw would’ve been in my field of vision, but I didn’t see anything.  My friend also was scratched by something at the graveyard part of the tour.  As I said, some people see things, some don’t.  Just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean that nothing’s there.

So…I wasn’t exactly happy when “The Conjuring” mentioned that sometimes spirits attach themselves to people, so that wherever you go, the spirit goes with you.  As far as I can tell, I brought no “souvenirs” from that ghost tour or from the house I was staying in.  Maybe they find me too boring, maybe they don’t like Asians; whatever the case, I’m glad for it.


My friend's cat, Boots.  He looks scary in this pic, but he was just having a bad hair and eyes day.  He's really friendly and cute.

My friend’s cat, Boots. He looks scary in this pic, but he was just having a bad hair and eyes day. He’s really friendly and cute.

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