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Friday, June 15, 2018

HEREDITY Movie Review




Hereditary: 2018's Scariest Horror Film Finally Receives A ...


HEREDITY: Movie review 

Heredity starts out with a family in turmoil. Their grandmother just died and each family member is dealing with the fact that they don't feel that bad. They weren't close with the eccentric woman. But then another unexpected tragedy takes place. This one more profound than the last. The family falls apart, especially the mother, who seeks out grief counseling. But the troubled mom meets a strange woman, who offers to help her deal with her grief and leads her into a way to connect with the deceased.  Excited, the mother engages her remaining family members into a ritual.

Then the movie falls apart. 

HEREDITY did a find job of setting the scene for this tale. I was pulled in. At least till about the half way point. 

As the family comes under the threat of evil influences, one hoped that the family would rise up and fight. Instead we deal with a father, who is quiet and unassuming. A son who is the target of unexplained phenomena. A mother, now overprotective and yet excited to be able to connect with the dead.  Things get weird. Then weirder. There is no real battle between good and evil. Just a decay (literally) of the characters. 

The last part of the movie leaves more questions, little answers.

 I left the theater saying, "What the heck was that?

Wish I could say better things about this tale. I like a good scare. But I'd wait to see this flick on cable. Not worth the dough.

Reviewed by Author Tamera Lawrence 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR Book Review

                                                       





Did you ever lose sight of your child? I did at my local mall. I was in the women’s clothing aisle, shifting through the assorted items. Bored, my four-year-old hovered around my legs, chattering away. Suddenly I noticed the silence.  I pivoted around. My son was gone. Panicked, I yelled his name. I moved around the racks, searching the aisles. My son was nowhere in sight. I asked a woman walking by if she had seen a red headed boy. No, she hadn’t. I was sure someone abducted him. I watched Unsolved Mysteries. America’s Most Wanted. The news. Rapid scenarios rushed through my mind. I panicked, yelling his name. Then a voice called, “Mom.” The voice sounded far away and yet so near. I moved towards a clothes rack, shoved the dresses aside and there he was, staring up at me with enormous eyes. He giggled, delighted by his prank. I was furious but relieved. I wanted to choke him (not really) but you get the idea. It took a while for my heart to return to its normal beat.

Such is life with a small child. By nature, they can be pranksters. Some more than others.

But what if your child was missing from his or her bedroom, an infant who couldn’t possibly get out of their crib? And, it’s your fault because you did something dumb. You left your baby home alone. And now the police think you might’ve killed your own child.

Marco and Anne Conti try to have the perfect life, the perfect home. Married, the couple have a beautiful baby, who they both adore. But Anne is suffering from the baby blues. Her hormones are a mess and she is emotional. Marco on the other hand is trying to hold their life together. His business has issues and it doesn’t help that his wealthy in-laws despise him. The childless couple next door offers the struggling couple a night out. So, the Conti’s leave their daughter home alone and bring along the baby monitor, taking turns checking on the sleeping baby. But then the baby disappears, and the parents become the prime suspects. Everyone is hiding secrets and the lies begin to unravel in a twisted display of self-servitude. 

And the search for the baby begins…

Want a terrific book for that summer read? THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR by Shari Lapena does not disappoint. I eagerly devoured this book looking for the end in sight. I was not disappointed by the climax. Great read for those who seek suspense and mystery.

Reviewed by Author Tamera Lawrence 



Friday, May 4, 2018

COLEBROOKDALE RAILROAD: EERIE TOUR REVIEW







In the bustle of our everyday lives, Boyertown residents might not realize the treasure we have right in the midst of our town – The Colebrookdale Railroad: Secret Valley Line 

COLEBROOKDALE RAILROAD: DINING CAR
Riding the Colebrookdale Railroad during the Eerie Limited tour was a special treat indeed. The dining car was beautifully decorated with the added touch of table lit lamps and floral d├ęcor. Overhead, the speakers came alive with the tale of the 1908 Rhodes Opera House Fire. This story touched upon the tragic night of January 13th when 171 men, women and children were horrifically killed in an accidental fire during the 2nd floor stage play of The Scottish Reformation. A kerosene lamp had lit upon a stage curtain, spreading like wildfire. Exits weren’t properly marked. People panicked. Doors were blocked by the throng of people seeking escape, tragically trapping those inside. Approximately 400 people had attended the play. Also, in the realm of this vicious night, fireman John Graver was killed in another freak accident. 

Cozy tables with large viewing windows 

In 1908 Boyertown was a small town and in one sweeping moment, 10% of the town was tragically lost. The aftermath was hard to bear. Most of the victims had been burned above the waist, fused in one torrent moment. Families suffered as they laid their love ones to rest. The abundance of bodies had to be gingerly handled, identified and then laid to rest, a grim prospect indeed. 
Rolling down the Tracks


Today superstition still holds true with some residents of Boyertown. Apartments located at the old Rhode’s site are said to be haunted. Numerous sightings have been claimed over the years. Durangos is another hot spot for ghost enthusiasts.

The Eerie Limited trip lasted approximately two hours. Surprisingly the train for the most part was a smooth ride considering its age. The food was delicious. Equally fantastic was the serving crew, who did their best to accommodate the slightest need. The evening was topped off with a slice of cake and a few more ghostly tales from local residents. All in all, it was a pleasant change from a normal Friday night. 
Tickets Please!
I’d highly recommend taking a trip on the rails. If ghosts aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other up and coming themes to choose from. So, support the Colebrookdale Railroad.

 It is well worth helping save a piece of history and add to the pride of Boyertown. 

Reviewed by: 


Author Tamera Lawrence

Books: 

GHOSTS OF MAYFLOWER
Amazon.com







Sunday, August 27, 2017

HIDE YOUR FEAR: Book Review



Hide Your Fear by Kevin O'Brien


When a mother of two moves into a new house, she has no idea that she just stepped into her worst nightmare. Besieged by a cunning stalker, she begins to tap into the house’s tainted past. And worse yet, her daughter, an avid swimming competitor is being difficult – a bit of a brat. The teenager is angry with her mother for separating from her father, demanding they reunite.  But despite all the turmoil, local teens are disappearing at an alarming rate – their connection –swimming competitors with promising futures. But someone else is watching, deciding just who will step into his own brutal forum.  


Hide Your Fear will leave you feeling breathless as you anticipate the next move of a deranged killer. Well written, page turner. 

Held my attention to the very end.  

Author Tamera Lawrence 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

THE SHINING


OVER the past weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to explore Ocean City, Maryland. I visited the Princess Royale - an elegant hotel with an ocean view. 

But I couldn't help but think of the movie The Shining as I walked the elaborate, carpeted hallways. Everyone familiar with the movie can recall the moment when the boy - riding a big wheel- comes upon a set of twins at the end of the hallway - twins with a message. Throughout my tour of the hotel, this scene stood out in my mind.  



THE SHINING


And then I came upon a set of twins at the end of one of the halls. 
Sure enough, the twins had a special message for just me.
5th Floor hallway 
Message - Your vacation is ending. Chores await you at home. 


Longer view of hallway

In any event, being in this hotel made me recall one of my all time favorite movies.
 THE SHINING made its debut May 23, 1980 - how fitting.

Author Tamera Lawrence 




Friday, January 27, 2017

SPLIT: Movie Review by Tamera Lawrence

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SPLIT

Movie Review: by Tamera Lawrence

Survival. There are those of us who will never encounter a terrifying life and death situation. But for those that do, one can only imagine the impact on those people’s lives. But to really understand the struggle to survive, one would have to take part in that reality. A grim perspective – indeed.
Have you ever come upon someone talking to his or herself? Then they see you and freeze. Embarrassment slips over their features. Perhaps they flush.  Or maybe they don’t care. It’s not a big deal, like singing in the shower. I have been guilty of taking to myself on occasion. I suppose there’s no shame in it. I think we’ve all done it.  

But what if you came upon someone who was not only talking to themselves but having an actual disagreement? It would be even more troubling if this person’s voice altered between identities. Then you discover there’s more than one personality lurking inside.  Maybe more. I’m sure you wouldn’t stick around to see the outcome. But what if you didn’t have a choice.

Three young women are abducted by a stranger. Terrified, they try to find a way to escape or at least survive. But to outmaneuver their capture, they must first understand what he wants from them. But how does one do that when your captor holds multiple personalities, each unique in his or her own way. But there is another personality about to reveal himself – the beast. And he is very, very, hungry.

Want to be immersed in dread? Split will leave you panting. This intense flick keeps you guessing on the outcome. It does not disappoint.

Nerve Wracking.  Those two words sum up the feeling pretty nicely. Go see it!


Reviewed by:  Author Tamera Lawrence




Monday, January 2, 2017

PASSENGERS: MOVIE REVIEW

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We as human beings need companionship. We need to matter. That is life. 

What if you had a chance to live on another planet. Would you do it? Even if it meant leaving your family and friends behind and then being put to sleep for many years? Would you step into the future? Charter a new course? Sacrifice ever being again with the people you once loved? 

Sure it sounds exciting. Tempting. But what if something goes wrong on the ship? And you - you alone were woken up 90 years too early?

When Jim's capsule opens, he wakes to find himself surrounded by 5000 sleeping passengers. He is horrified to find out he is alone. Sure the ship is made for comfort. Food is plentiful. Swimming and recreation are ample. There is even a feisty bartender to chat with - only he's a robot. 

Jim toughs it out for a year.  He wanders around the passenger pods, trying to figure out a way to put himself back to sleep. But to no avail. That's when he notices the beautiful, Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence). With loneliness eating him alive, he beings to think of the unthinkable. Wake her up. For days he struggles with the idea. And then he does it. He wakes her.  Then tells her a lie. Her pod has malfunctioned. 


With her emotions in turmoil, Aurora follows Jim's (Chris Pratt) earlier path - trying to find a way to put herself back to sleep. Finally, she resigns herself to fate. As she and Jim draw closer, the truth is revealed. Everything turns sour. 

As things get dicey between the couple, they discover a problem with the ship. Lives are at stake and it's up to them to find a solution.

PASSENGERS explores basic human needs - not only to survive but to love. It makes one wonder what they would do in a similar situation. This movie was enjoyable from start to finish. It was entertaining and thought, provoking. 

I highly recommend it.

Author Tamera Lawrence