Category: Horror In the News

 The Conjuring – 2013


Let’s face it:  going to the movie theater is no easy feat these days.  For one, ticket and concession prices are re-joke-ulous, second the previews last forever  (I used to love previews but a half hour of previews??? Really???) and third, there is always the possibility of people talking on their phone or just being asshats in general.  That being said, I made the trek to see The Conjuring mainly based on a preview I had seen a few weeks back (I immediately knew it had to be seen) and the hype surrounding the film.  It didn’t hurt that James Wan directed it either.

So let’s get to it, shall we?  I enjoyed this film for many reasons.  First, the setting in the 70’s took me back to a place I remember with a great deal of nostalgia;  you actually had to get up to turn off your TV (which was likely to be bigger than your couch), the wallpaper was tacky, everyone drove a station wagon and there were no cell phones glued into everybody’s hands.  Ah, good times.  Anyway, the film centers around two families — the family being tormented and the couple who come to investigate and hopefully help.  The first part of the movie is really a slow burn, allowing the viewer time to get to know each family, which in this horror movie fan’s opinion is sorely lacking in too many horror films these days.  Personally, I am sick of movies where a bunch of strangers are thrown at you and then die so fast you could really care less.  Call me heartless.  Whatever.  The second half of the film, however takes off like a roller coaster.  I feel a little bad that on one of the first real scares I yelled out “Holy Shit!”  After that, I said it a couple more times, just a little quieter.

Here’s the thing:  The Conjuring was a really good, scary movie that if you are a horror movie fan (and even if not) you should go see.  Was it scarier than the Exorcist?  Hell’s no.  But that wasn’t what the director set out to do anyway.  He set out to make a truly scary film (which he did) that could be rated PG-13 (which he did not — thanks to the MPAA).  The acting was great from the entire cast and there are lots of faces you will recognize — in a good way.  If you go into this movie without any preconceived notions you will have a blast and be surprised by some of the twists and turns thrown at you.  But if you read a gazillion reviews that make this movie into something it’s not, then there is a good chance you will be disappointed and share that disappointment with others.  That would be doing a disservice not only to yourself, but to a really good movie that doesn’t deserve it as well.


Note:  The concept that this film was “based on a true story” really is not relevant to the enjoyment factor of the film as it works without it.  I dunno, I think I’m just jaded to that kind of hype after so many big time fakers (The Blair Witch Project — I’m looking at YOU).  Also, for the reviews I have read that bash the God versus the Devil concept of the film, maybe you should refrain from writing reviews about DEMONS until you have looked the word “demon” up in the dictionary.  In case you are too lazy (which I suspect you are), here you go:

Just sayin’.  🙂

Right now, a lot (and I mean A LOT) of you are wondering what the heck was going on when you turned on the nightly news or your favorite internet web site and saw footage (albeit from far, far away and partially blocked by a damn tree) of one man literally eating the face off of another man.  I know this is in no way my usual post, but I felt it was important to gather as many facts and links in one place considering my interest in the case (Horror in the news) as well as provide you with as much pertinent data as possible.

Now don’t go getting the idea that you can see the attack occurring on the footage, because you cannot.  What you can see is a very far removed camera that barely shows some shadows moving until the police show up.

If you are of the inquisitive type such as myself, you can also Google and find the incredibly gruesome and heartbreaking photos of the man who was attacked by this supposed “zombie” on the internet pretty much everywhere.  Although they are available on the internet, I refuse to provide them here not just due to my feelings for the victim, but also, if you are easily upset (or let’s face it — just a human being who would like to sleep at night) you should consider the fact that once you see something, you cannot un-see it.  The poor victim in this case was a man named Ronald Poppo.

I have to admit when my sister told me about this incident, at first I thought it was a prank.  However, it also harkened my brain to almost very zombie book I have ever read:  the protagonist hears or sees something that seems like a zombie attack somewhere in the world, but it is so far away that the person simply ignores the news and then bad things happen.  This is where fact and fiction digress.

When it comes to deciding whether or not a Zombie-apocalypse is upon us or not, we really do need to consider many factors before we head down into our doomsday shelters or start hoarding canned goods and ammo.  Here are just a few ideas as to why this may have happened and you can choose what you believe:

  1. Nothing To See Here Folks.  Nothing really happened except one man was on dope and then attacked another.   Yes, the attacker ate the victims face off for a full 18 minutes and not only swallowed said flesh but growled at the officer who tried to stop him.  It was just a side effect of some drug (bath salts – see “drug” link below).  (Note:  My vote is NO on this one)
  2.  It’s Armageddon.  Yes, there are those out there who believe this is God’s heads-up that the End Is Near.  Also, supposedly, the attacker was a bible worshiping guy (who took his Bible everywhere — ummmkay) who simply left one morning to go to a street fair where, he simply snapped (or was invaded by demons — you decide) and decided to take all of his clothes off during a 3 mile walk, attack a random homeless man and eat his face off (including his eyes, nose and mouth).  Sorry, but my God is NOT okay with this type of behavior — warning of the EOT’s or not).  (Note:  My vote is NO on this) one)
  3. The News Has It Right:  We can all choose to believe what the news said as well as videos we saw via the internet,  but unfortunately we still have a poor man who did not deserve what happened to him and some mighty strange goings-on.  I don’t have a better answer than any of you as to how a person not only gets high enough to bite, but slowly bite, chew and swallow another living persons tissue.  I am sorry, but I do question how one drug can make someone who had no predisposition to do such a thing suddenly do so.  (Note:  My vote is MAYBE on this one.  I don’t know enough about PCP and LSD to comment honestly)
  4. There is More to the Matter.  Look, I am not going to say that I believe that zombies are roaming the streets of America (or anywhere else for that matter — yet) but I will say that I believe that there could be a drug combined with something else (i.e. mental illness or another drug) out there that could cause this type of behavior.  In fact, as much as I would like to lay blame for this on one thing, I cannot.  Seems to me that there are probably several factors that lead to this horrific incident and yes, I believe the government or local police know more than what they are telling us about this drug and it’s reaction with other factors.  Call me a conspiracy theorist all you want, but if I had to guess, yes, there is a drug of some sort involved, but the answer to this horrifying act does not lie with only what we hear on the news.  Once the toxicology reports come out they will most likely blame this “bath salt” phenomena.  Although I belive this to be a good tactic in terms of not panicking the pubic or creating copycats, I also firmly believe we have a right to know what the hell is going on in cases like this.  (Obviously, my vote is YES/PROBABLY on this one)

* There was also another incident of cannibalism recently in Maryland, but the victim was already dead when the cannibalism occurred.  A very different MO than the one in Miami, so in my opinion, they are not connected.

**If you would like to donate to Mr. Poppo’s recovery fund, you can do so here.  This poor man deserves so much help so if you can, please do so!

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