Horror in Theaters: Read reviews of recent horror movies and shows by Beats Editor Livvie Hurley


Livvie Hurley

“The Nun” provides a good thrill, lacks in narrative

“The Nun” provides almost more than enough jump-scares and has thrilling cinematography, but lacks a well-developed narrative.

“The Nun,” a spinoff of the 2016 film “The Conjuring 2,” tells the story of an investigation of the death of a young nun in Romania by priest Father Burke (Demián Bichir) and novice nun Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga). The two, along with countryman Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet), discover a malevolent demonic presence in the abbey where the deceased nun committed suicide and are forced to fight it.

The cinematography does not fail to entertain, as it is another work from producer, screenwriter, and director James Wan, known for his work with horror movies such as “Insidious.” The demonic nun herself is creepy and well-done in the sense of creating a thrilling image. That, along with the several jump-scares, covers the bases of a typical horror movie. The only problem with the jump-scares is how much the movie relies on them, since it lacks a clear and well-developed storyline.

The actual storyline of how the nun came to haunt the abbey is only briefly explained in the middle of the movie, which is not good because it is essentially what the whole movie is shaped around. After that explanation, the movie progresses by using typical aspects of cinematography used in other horror movies, like sound and camera movement. The narrative is not there throughout the movie, which was detrimental to the overall experience.

Overall, the movie is well-done cinematography-wise. “The Nun” is a good thrilling movie if all you’re looking for is a good scare. It is not a movie for those like me who expect a little more than movie magic and special effects makeup.


“The Haunting of Hill House” tells a good story, confuses timelines

“The Haunting of Hill House” has a messy timeline which was confusing to keep up with throughout the series.

The show, recently released as a Netflix original on Oct. 12, follows a family haunted by the ghosts of their childhood home. Loosely based off of Shirley Jackson’s novel Hill House, the series takes a different approach by focusing on the haunting of the human mind rather than the typical haunted house archetype.

The storyline is fresh and unique from other horror movies and shows. Each child faces a different childhood demon from the Hill House into adulthood. The plot is based around the suicide of one of the sisters, Nellie, following the suicide of the mother from years ago, both taking place in the Hill House. The series has a new take on a classic horror movie theme, which was refreshing to watch.

The series frequently switches back between the children growing up in the house and the children as grown-ups in the present-day. The thought behind that approach was fine, but in the end it makes it harder to understand. There was no sense of time while I was watching it. It switched between the haunting experiences of the children, to the very present conflicts, to random adulthood experiences.

The first five episodes are dedicated to the specific experiences of each child, all focusing around the recent suicide of one of the sisters. I found myself having a lot of questions that interfered with my overall enjoyment. Some questions were not answered until the last few episodes, and some were never answered.

All in all, the series is not too impressing, but is worth a watch if you want to experience something new from the horror realm. While it was pretty confusing, I would still watch it again.


“Halloween” has a new take on a classic

“Halloween,” released in theaters Oct. 19, takes the classic horror movie and modernizes it to fit today’s horror movie standards without losing the authentic storyline.

The plot takes place 40 years after Michael Myers (Nick Castle) attempted to murder Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). Myers was incarcerated for years until his escape on Halloween night, plotting to murder Strode once and for all.

I have to say I am not usually a fan of slasher films, but this movie’s suspense moments were thrilling, keeping me on the edge of my seat. There are plot twists around every corner and it is definitely not a predictable slasher film. Curtis’s performance was spot-on and portrayed the character well.

When the original “Halloween” movie was released in 1978, it did not have the technology to create the special effects of today’s movie-making. With the help of today’s advancements, this movie had exceptional cinematography, while also keeping the original, classic eerie music. The gore made me cover my eyes a couple of times, but that was something essential to why the movie was enjoyable.

This is definitely a movie worth seeing for older and newer generations alike. Keeping some of the authentic features that make it a “Halloween” movie while also incorporating new features to entertain younger horror fans made it the best movie of the “Halloween” franchise.

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