Movie review: Ouija

Keep thinking its just your friends pushing the game marker around...

It’s Hallow-Month!  So horror movies are naturally the way to go. Want to get to the nitty-gritty?  Here’s a little list I’ve borrowed from another source  that’ll help you get to what you’re looking for in a Halloween horror show.  Does Ouija measure up as Boo-tastic, or is it just a bomb?  Read on….

Story: Two little girls play around with an Ouija board.  Fast forward to high school, and one of those little girls hangs herself “under mysterious circumstances”.  Wanna guess how the other girl handles it?  If you said “by using the same Ouija board”, you should be a scriptwriter!

Scares: Even though this is cliché-central, there are a few Gotchas here, of the “jumped from the shadows” variety.

Splat factor: Not much blood, though there’s desiccated bodies, stitches where you wouldn’t want ‘em, and top-notch visual effects to signify possession.

Closing scene “shocker”?: Not if you know anything about horror movies.  But for the noobs, they could be shocked.  With this film, I expected a “leave room for a sequel” twist.

Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: Though the usual tropes can be found in just about every single horror movie since 1979, this movie’s an original. And by original I mean the first in an inevitable series.

Trick or Treat?: Ouija is more of a drinking-game film than a serious horror film.  Why else would the characters be so incredibly stupid?  “Hey, my BFF just died after strange stuff was happening to her.  Let’s whip out the Ouija board just lying on her bed to see if we can talk to her!  What could happen?”  What really made my eyes roll were the lack of grown-ups.  (Y’know, beyond the twenty-somethings playing high school students.)  A group of kids start dying, and nobody’s parents are around?  Anywhere?  C’mon.

Are there good points?  Surely.  The FX is top-notch, but with director Stiles White a member of Stan Winston’s shop, that’s to be expected.  Still, seeing that A-game level of effects made my evil heart happy.  David Emmerich’s cinematography is also fantastic, head and shoulders above the usual horror movie.  This is Emmerich’s first film as a cinematographer (though he’s got quite the resume in camerawork), and I’m looking forward to seeing more of his clear-eyed, ultra-sharp visual style.

The actors are all fun to watch, but they’re little more than walking dead with targets painted on ‘em.  Olivia Cooke as Deb, the brain trust that decides to use the Ouija board to summon her BFF, reminds me of a young(er) Rose Byrne.  I feel sorry for these actors for having to act out the motivations of teens with no clue, but then they got to work with some obviously talented FX folks, so it balances out.

Score: 2 out of 5 pumpkins.  One for the use of a slumber-party toy to wreak havoc, another for the cool FX.


Movie Screening: Ouija (WED 10.22.14 @ 7:30PM)

I remember playing with a Ouija board once…just once.  It wasn’t a dark room, it wasn’t even night time (I’m no dummy!), and the second the group of hands started moving around the board, I stood up and left.  Fast forward to today and our friends at Universal Pictures have rebooted the concept into a new game of horror for a group of teens.  Want tickets for the Baltimore screening?  Follow the Ouija banner for the details…

Keep thinking its just your friends pushing the game marker around...

Keep thinking its just your friends pushing the game marker around…

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Movie Review – “Kill the Messenger”

TwitReview: Jeremy Renner stars in Kill the Messenger. The real-life story about journalist Gary Webb who’s articles in 1996 revealed the hidden truth about the CIA controlled drug trafficking taking place in the United States.  Grade: B-

kill_the_messenger_movie_poster_1 [Read more...]

REVIEW: The Judge


The Judge

Heading to the theater to see The Judge, I was optimistic and cautious at the same time. I knew very little about the film, and the trailers more or less focused on the Robert Duvall vs Robert Downey Jr. angle. Yet, I left just as conflicted as I came. The Judge is not what I thought it would be. I thought I would be like watching the re-birth of the 90’s era John Grisham films: hot shot lawyer helping presumed innocent father, using nothing but his raw instincts and sharp eye. What I found was a funny, heartwarming, and often too life-like depiction of family turmoil.

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Movie Screening: Dracula Untold (TUE 10.07.14 @ 7:30PM) – Where’s Geek For E?

I bet you think they can’t tell a version of the Dracula story that you haven’t seen, but we’d guess you’d be wrong.  This retelling is an action-adventure epic that centers on Dracula the warrior not necessarily the blood-sucking ruthless killer we’ve seen in countless other iterations.  This time out, you get to know Dracula the man and how an epic need in a time of distress gave birth to an unholy monster with the power to save us all.

Want to catch this new adventure-thriller with us?  Sure you do.  Click below the banner for the details.


This time, he fights for us!

This time, he fights for us!

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Movie Review: This is Where I Leave You

Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, and Jane Fonda walk into a movie.  Wait wait, there’s more; Connie Britton, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll are there too.  Punch line?  Tons of ‘em.  There’s also plenty to squirm over, as the cast has no problems showing you their characters good and bad sides.  I found myself disgusted and hilariously amused by this family; it’s like the family down the street that are definitely hipper than thou, but that you’d never switch places with in a million years.  In the end This is Where I Leave You left me with more laughs than pauses.  That’s thanks to the brilliant work of the cast, and director Shawn Levy’s easygoing but well-timed pacing.

This is Where I Leave You deals with the pain and strangeness of losing your dad, and how families that are prickly can have surprising tenderness for each other.  At least when they’re not titty-twisting the younger kids.  I mean c’mon, sweet is all well and good but let’s be real.  Middle kid Judd Altman has just found out his wife has been cheating on him with his boss.  While in his funk of self-pity, sister Wendy calls to tell him that their father has died.  As they come together with their brothers Paul and Phillip, momma Hillary tells them their father’s final wish; for them and their families to all sit Shiva for a week in the family home.  Wendy’s picture-perfect marriage is seen to have problems that aren’t helped by her reunion with former boyfriend Horry (Timothy Olyphant).  Paul and wife Alice are desperately trying to conceive, and the fact that Alice and Judd used to date isn’t helping things.  Phillip, the baby of the family and lifelong screwup, brings home fiancee Tracy (Connie Britton), who used to be his therapist but can’t seem to help him rein in his destructive behavior.  And Judd gets a visit from his ex telling him that she’s pregnant…and it’s his. Got all that?  Good.  Surprisingly, all that plays out easily, and TIWILY has an ensemble feel that’s in no small part due to the chemistry between the leads.


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Movie Screening: A Walk Among The Tombstones (TUE 09.16.14 @7:30PM)

Liam returns!

Liam returns with a vengeance!

No one denies Liam Neeson’s a bad ass, and although he keeps portraying the lone equalizer for the mob or for a family in his last few films, he plays it so well we just want to keep seeing him do it.  Know what I mean?  If you do, then you know the root of his new film,  A Walk Among The Tombstones.  Based on Lawrence Block’s bestselling series of mystery novels, A Walk among the Tombstones stars Liam Neeson as Matt Scudder, an ex-NYPD cop who now works as an unlicensed private investigator operating just outside the law.  When Scudder reluctantly agrees to help a heroin trafficker (Dan Stevens) hunt down the men who kidnapped and then brutally murdered his wife, the PI learns that this is not the first time these men have committed this sort of twisted crime…nor will it be the last. Blurring the lines between right and wrong, Scudder races to track the deviants through the backstreets of New York City before they kill again.


Wanna catch the Baltimore screening of this gritty new crime thriller?  We at Geek for E want you to walk amongst the tombstones.  That’s right, shoot a selfie (or work your Photoshop magic) to put your face next to a cemetery, tombstone or even a mausoleum.  The first 40 posts to our Facebook page of the image, win a set of tickets for 2!

DISCLAIMER: Your ticket does not guarantee your admission to any screening.  As always, arrive early!