A lifelong Stephen King devotee, my fantasy has been to wander the dark, blighted, possessed corridors of his fecund imagination, just for a palpable hour, touching, feeling, experiencing the wizardry pulsating beneath his unorthodox artistry; “Lisey’s Story” might not share the hierarchy of “The Stand”, “The Shining”, “Misery” or one of my favorites “Thinner” but is hefty, semi-autobiographical and sensationally scary enough to harness one’s attention; starring Julianne Moore as “Lisey Landon” and Clive Owen as deceased author “Scott Landon” imbue their characterizations with enough muscularity to justify King’s magisterial, imposing manipulation. Commencing with Lisey’s refusal to turn over Scott’s unpublished work (deceased two years), flashbacks are the windows to their marriage, familial relationships, and ethereal Boo’ya, a landscape of aching beauty, harboring in tandem the wondrous and the petrifying; a superior cast: Joan Allen, a quirky, catatonic “Amanda”, Lisey’s sister, Jennifer Jason Leigh, “Darla” a more decipherable sibling; it is Ron Cephas Jones, as the stalking “Professor Roger Dashmiel” and Dane DeHaan, “Jim Dooley” his psychotic sidekick that propels the “fear factor” to its perfect pitch. At seventy-three King is still masterfully comfortable at his zenith.
THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT.
The third film in the trilogy franchise focusing on the true tales of paranormal investigators Ed (1926-2006) and Lorraine (1927-2019) Warren; it is the reality of the occurrences that make the films more horrifying; they are not imposters, as devout Catholics and deeply indoctrinated in church teachings including a firm belief in the existence of evil: a Devil pledged to seduce mankind into a sinful, destructive entity. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, seasoned in the roles of Lorraine and Ed, are stunningly authentic, nothing of the fake or faux in their interpretations. The Devil is at his most elusive, inhabiting at whim, his tortured, innocent subjects; defying predetermined parameters, this film challenges viewers, as none of the others; cemented attention to closeted clues will keep you guessing until the twisted, terrifying conclusion.
THREE & ½ STARS!!!