Tag Archives: movies

More Conjuring 2, the Warrens, and the Enfield Poltergeist – The Big Séance Podcast #55


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Lana and John of Carbon Lilies join me to discuss the questions many have brought up about the upcoming Conjuring 2 movie and whether Ed and Lorraine Warren were ever really involved in the case.

 

Pssst… Are you looking for the SpeakPipe Link?

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13 Spooky Movies to Watch Before Halloween – The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #46

What spooky movies should you watch before Halloween? Patrick has a list of 13, and you probably haven’t heard of some of them! Also, some various Halloween updates, and Patrick’s witch friend, Meth Hazel makes another appearance!

 

Pssst… Are you looking for the SpeakPipe Link?

 

13 Spooky Movies to Watch Before Halloween, The Uninvited (1944), The Big Séance Podcast, BigSeance.com

A moment from The Uninvited (1944)

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The Ouija (2014) Movie Trailer! Finally!

I don’t know how many of you are experiencing the beautiful weather that we’ve been having here in Missouri, but I’ve been desperately trying to find someone with a pumpkin, because this weather almost requires a jack-o-lantern, and you KNOW I love it!

So along with the weather and the fact that The Big Séance Podcast was listed as a “New and Noteworthy” podcast on iTunes this week, what could possibly make things better? The Ouija (2014) movie that I blogged about over a month ago, after having seen the preview in the theatre, has finally released the trailer and poster! Let me say that again… FINALLY!

I don’t know all the details, but the movie seems to have a horrible promotion plan, which has left early fans waiting for a trailer completely frustrated, and the film’s official website seems to continually change, as if constantly “under construction”. The film’s release date has now moved to October 24th, according to the Facebook page (which has had a considerably low number of “likes”). The trailer, which seems to show the old artwork from the website, simply says “Coming Soon”. This morning the official website had the new artwork and stated the film was coming this Halloween, however, if you go to the site at this moment, all the artwork is gone and it’s a blank Blumhouse Productions page that simply says “about the film”.

Will we actually get to see the film in October? Who knows! But I’m excited! My goal is to get into an advanced screening of this film, so stay tuned! The trailer looks great, which is why all their dysfunction surprises me. Surely they have more than 2 people on staff to work on promotion.

 

 


Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

This last weekend I watched the first film from my list of movies that I plan on checking out this fall. Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby (1968) has been one of those movies that I’ve always heard about, and I’ve always been aware of its place of importance in psychological horror films. I remember my mother talking about how disturbed she was when she saw it as a girl. For whatever reason, maybe the weirdness factor that the film has going for it, I just never watched it.  

 

By the way, in no way am I intending this to be a review of the film. For a basic synopsis and further information about the film check out the Wikipedia and IMDb pages. Rosemary’s Baby did, however, inspire some rambling and blabbering below. 

 

A snowy aerial view of The Dakota Building. Photo courtesy of http://blog.daum.net/jun1234/78.

A snowy aerial view of The Dakota Building. Photo courtesy of http://blog.daum.net/jun1234/78.

 

The Dakota Building in Manhattan.

The Dakota Building in Manhattan.

From the very beginning, with the beautiful shots high above Manhattan in New York City, I was sucked into the style and the setting of most of the film.  Even though I followed the plot and the story, I wasn’t much interested, actually. I was too busy absorbing the beauty of the apartments and the interior of the fictional “Bramford” building. The filmmakers wanted to film the interior shots inside the beautifully upscale and historic Dakota Building in Manhattan, but in the end they weren’t allowed, forcing them to film in a studio and use The Dakota for exterior shots only.  I want to assume that they based the design of the set on the actual Dakota. The building, constructed between 1880 and 1884, is just the type and style of architecture that I fall in love with. And even though the movie takes place in the 1960s, it is clear that the apartments in the film are meant to be outdated and misplaced for the time period. The main characters (played by Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes) “update” their apartment with a fresh coat of white paint soon after moving in, but I actually preferred the darkness of the walls and wallpaper, the ornate trim, the glow of the wall sconces, and the dusty shelves and books. Fortunately, the older neighbors are stuck in the past, so for much of the movie I got to stay in that turn of the century “excuse me while I retire to my study” world. 

 

 

Ruth Gordon (1896 - 1985)

Ruth Gordon (1896 – 1985)

Once I finished the film, I was surprised to find special features with behind the scenes information and interviews from several people involved. This led to one of my infamous non-stop labyrinths of research and Googling of the film, The Dakota Building, and the cast and crew. A few of the actors, like Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer, were born before the turn of the century and were involved in silent films! I don’t know why that fascinated me so much!

 

Anyway, it was an interesting film and worth finally seeing it. It wasn’t nearly as “weird” as people led me to believe it was, plus the acting was great!  

For more beautiful stills from the film, check out this post from Beautiful Stills from Beautiful Films

 

You might also like:

Top 10 Spooky Movies for Fall (2013 Version) (Big Séance)

The Uninvited (1944) will finally be released on DVD (Big Séance)

The Conjuring Sequel and the Enfield Poltergeist? (Big Séance)

Christina Ricci as Lizzie Borden on Lifetime? (Big Séance)

The Conjuring Movie Review (Big Séance)

The Innocents (1961) (Big Séance)

House On Haunted Hill (1959) (Big Séance)

The Changeling (1980) (Big Séance)

 


Movies I Plan On Checking Out This Fall (2013)

In my last post, I listed the Top 10 Spooky Movies For Fall. After doing some research, I’ve come up with four classic spooky/fally movies that I haven’t seen but would like to see in the coming months. Tracking down at least one of these will be difficult, but I’m going to try. I hope to write a review for at least a few of them. 

Linked titles take you to IMDb. Photos take you to Amazon.com.

 

Session 9 (2001)

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Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Watch Trailer

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The Uninvited (1944)

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(...if I can find it.)

(…if I can find it.)

Dead of Night (1945)

Here’s a clip…

 


Top 10 Spooky Movies for Fall (2013 Version)

Well I held off for as long as I could stand it. Last year I posted this list a whole month earlier. It’s September. I have pumpkins. Just lit a candle. Just saw a witch flying in front of the moon in a meme on Facebook. I don’t care what you say it’s FALL! Alright let’s go.

 

In chronological order by release date. Linked titles take you to more info on the film. Photos take you to Amazon.com.

 

Psycho (1960)

There’s just something about a Hitchcock classic in black and white that gets me electrified for fall. And with the success and rise in popularity of A&E’s Bates Motel series starring Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring), the original Psycho has made it back onto the scene for lovers of this spooky genre. As a kid, I was obsessed with this movie… a movie most known for the screeching strings in the score that in my opinion forever changed film music, and that horrifying shower scene. I was known to refer to it as simply “Bates Motel”. If you haven’t seen it in a while, it’s time to dust this one off and give it a watch! Just be sure to shower BEFORE showtime! Watch the trailer.

 

The Innocents (1961)

I watched and fell in love with this film for the first time last year. The movie begins with a black screen and a creepy melody, “O Willow Waly”, which is sung a cappella by a young child. Much of the film is shot in beautiful outdoor garden-like settings, and the rest of the movie takes place in a beautiful large country estate. It really is beautiful to see on screen. And then, of course later, that same beauty creates the good old-fashioned spookiness that I love in a horror movie. No special effects needed. The storyline involves two children, their governess, and the ghosts of the former governess and valet who possess the children.

 

 

Carrie (1976)

This movie first played at screens just two years before I was born, but it was actually only like 6 years ago that I saw it. I’ve seen it many times since. The wonderful Sissy Spacek hasn’t aged a day since filming it. Also, at the time I had no idea that Betty Buckley (a Broadway star to me) was in the film. For many people, this was the first time they learned of a phenomenon called “telekinesis”. Carrie has an amazing film score that I think is really beautiful, but unfortunately it isn’t really accessible or recognized. The beautiful score from final scene that finishes with a surprise, is simply genius and is one of my favorite movie themes. Don’t waste your time with any of the remakes. They are horrible and just don’t even come close to the small budget original. Watch the trailer.

 

The Changeling (1980)

Like The Innocents, it was only last year that I saw this film for the first time. Starring the wonderful George C. Scott, it has that classic spooky movie feel that I always prefer. I very rarely enjoy all of the computer generated imagery (CGI) of modern-day films. I get a much bigger scare out of some good sound effects, an emotional score, an incredibly spooky setting, darkness, a ball bouncing down the steps, or a secret dusty room that has been untouched for decades. This movie has all of those things. Fitting right into the subject of this blog, The Changeling also includes a séance scene, and believe it or not… even some EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena). Watch the trailer.

 

The Watcher in the Woods (1980)

I first watched this Disney Pictures film when I was very young. Until recently, I sort of forgot about it, which is unfortunate. I was two years old when it was released, and I can’t believe I’m old enough to mention that it stars Bette Davis… but it does. I never understood why it was the Disney company that made this film, simply because it is so incredibly creepy! Don’t believe me? Watch it! I remember having nightmares about it. But it is such a good movie. From imdb: “When a normal American family moves into a beautiful old English house in a wooded area, strange, paranormal appearances befall them in this interesting twist to the well-known haunted-house tale. Their daughter Jan sees, and daughter Ellie hears, the voice of a young teenage girl who mysteriously disappeared during a total solar eclipse decades before…”

 

 

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Ohhhh my beloved Hocus Pocus. I’m finding that I’m far from being the only nerd that enjoys a tradition of watching this film every year. As a young teenager I loved it because it had all of the elements a spooky Halloween themed movie needed to have… witches, spells, graveyard, a black cat, and a cute main character. But of course, what makes this movie fabulous is the hilarious trio of Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, and Bette Midler. It used to be on cable a lot more, but I try to catch it every time it’s offered. In fact, I think I’ll set the DVR now. Most of these movies are on my list because of the nostalgia that they bring, and this one brings back feelings of the excitement I’d get as a kid around Halloween. Watch the trailer.

 

Halloween H20 (1998)

The events taking place in this film, along with the year it was released, marks twenty years after the original. It is one of those nostalgic college movies for me. I used to be into these old slasher movies a lot more than I am now. Don’t get me wrong, if a Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday the 13th, or a Michael Myers (Halloween) marathon catches me on the right day in October, I just might get sucked in. But even though this is probably on many lists for being a really horrible movie, it is my favorite of the Michael Myers films, with the possible exception of the original Halloween, which I haven’t seen in a long time. It is the Halloween movies that has forever changed the meaning of  The Chordettes’ Mr. Sandman for me. And of course, there is the unforgettable classic Halloween theme. Watch the trailer.

 

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

People often make fun of me for loving this movie. It is a movie I have often watched late on Halloween night by myself after the trick-or-treaters fizzle out. I’m not sure why, because this movie doesn’t exactly scream “HALLOWEEN”, but ah well. I think the improvised faux reality style in which it was made was ground breaking and shocking. Several films have used this technique since. If you’re not familiar with this movie or the way it was filmed, it might be worth checking out its wikipedia page. Then again, that might ruin it for you. Watch it first and then check out the page. Though a lot of people complained about getting nauseous in the theaters due to the amateur shaky film footage, I think they’re whiners! Watch the trailer.

 

What Lies Beneath (2000)

Again, college nostalgia for me. I was lucky enough to have HBO in my apartment back then, and this was shown a LOT for a year or two. It’s just a creepy movie with some pretty intense spirit communication, including a funny scene with a Ouija board. Right up my alley. Plus, who could forget the amazing bath tub scene? I’ve never personally had one of those “lounge in a tub” kind of bath tubs, but when I see one I immediately think of this scene. Sadly, this is one of those movies that is becoming hard to find unless you own the DVD. I do not.

 

  

 

The Others (2001)

The last movie on our list tries to give us a glimpse into what happens when we die and what it might be like. That, of course, is probably not how Hollywood describes it, but that’s the question that is pondered and brought up so many times in this blog and in other paranormal circles. Again, like most the movies from this list, it has all of the spooky elements to it. Creepy old house, creepy children giggling, lots of darkness, and a séance scene that includes some automatic writing. And then… the creepy old woman… with the little girl’s voice! I thought this was a very well-made movie.

 

 

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Christina Ricci as Lizzie Borden on Lifetime?  (Photo Credit: David Shankbone)

Christina Ricci as Lizzie Borden on Lifetime?
(Photo Credit: David Shankbone)


House On Haunted Hill (1959)…


This evening I knocked another movie off of my list of
Movies I Plan On Checking Out This Fall. The last movie I watched from this list was The Changeling, which I absolutely loved and I can’t believe it took me so long to see it. I had so much to say about it. I was surprised to find so many spirit communication topics that fit right into this blog, and it just seemed to be a really good movie that I will watch again for sure. Tonight I watched the black and white original version of House On Haunted Hill (1959) starring Vincent Price. Before tonight I was only familiar with the 1999 remake that I saw in college.

I normally prefer classic old school spookiness to computer generated imagery and effects. However, the 1959 version is so very bland, a bit boring, and possibly even silly by today’s standards. Its length is pretty short and it ends abruptly. From what I remember, the remake seems to fix most of these problems, including having a real ending. 

 

 

FromWikipedia: House on Haunted Hill is a 1959 American horror film. It was directed by William Castle, written by Robb White and stars Vincent Price as eccentric millionaire Fredrick Loren. He and his fourth wife, Annabelle, have invited five people to the house for a “haunted house” party. Whoever stays in the house for one night will earn $10,000 each. As the night progresses, all the guests are trapped inside the house with ghosts, murderers and other terrors.”

 

It may be that I’m being a bit hard on this film. After all, horror genre was in its infancy, I suppose. Even so, I’m not inspired to say much, so I’ll leave you with the trailer. 🙂 

 

 

 


The Changeling (1980)… Definitely a must see movie!

Last weekend I watched the first movie from my list of Movies I Plan On Checking Out This Fall. Before researching for my list, I guess I always assumed that The Changeling from 1980 was just an earlier version of the more recent movie with the same name (minus “The”), starring Angelina Jolie. They are completely different movies. I found the whole movie on YouTube. After some time there is a slight sound delay, but it didn’t both me too much. (By the way, I’ve discovered that some of these old classics are out of print and not even available… so if you can’t find them, search on YouTube.)

 

There’s a 36 year difference between the oldest and most recent movie on my list. The Changeling is the most recent, but it still has that classic spooky movie feel that I always prefer. I very rarely enjoy all of the computer generated imagery (CGI) of modern-day films. I get a much bigger scare out of some good sound effects, an emotional score, an incredibly spooky setting, darkness, a ball bouncing down the steps, or a secret dusty room that has been untouched for decades. This movie has all of those things. 

 

As far as spirit communication goes, this movie fits right into the subject of this blog! After seeing the trailer I knew there was a séance in the movie. But I had no idea, and was so surprised to discover that EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) also played a role… and a very important one! Most researchers credit 1959 as the year EVP was discovered… at least EVP as we know it. So, EVP existed during the time The Changeling was filmed, but it certainly was not a common subject of interest, and we didn’t know as much about it then. It seems that featuring EVP in a film at that time was probably risky. Well… I mean I was two years old, so I didn’t know anything… but you know what I mean. It was really cool to see it since I’m so passionate about it.  

 

And… George C. Scott was great in this film. Other than A Christmas Carol and Patton, which I watched in a high school social studies class, I don’t remember seeing him in any other movie. 

 

Watch the Movie Trailer

 

 

If you haven’t seen this movie, you should… then report back here! I’m also still taking suggestions on some good classics to watch for fall. They don’t necessarily have to be spooky I suppose. 

 

 

 


Movies I Plan On Checking Out This Fall…

In my last post, I listed My Top 10 Spooky Movies For Fall. After doing some research, I’ve come up with five classic spooky movies that I haven’t seen but would like to see in the coming months. Does anyone know any of these? It was nice to get many of your opinions or additions to my last list. Any suggestions or movies that I should add to this list? 

Linked titles take you to IMDb. Photos take you to Amazon.com

The Innocents (1961)

Watch Trailer

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Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Watch Trailer

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House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Watch Trailer

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The Uninvited (1944)

Watch Trailer

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The Changeling (1980)

Watch Trailer


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