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Friday, January 27, 2017

SPLIT: Movie Review by Tamera Lawrence

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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


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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 

Saturday, November 5, 2016


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The name of the movie speaks for itself – Hacksaw Ridge. For within its domain, a slaughter of epic proportions takes place.  During World War II, Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield) is a medic in the army. With a seemingly heart of gold, Desmond is driven to take part in the war, though not to kill or for revenge but to be a part of something good – saving lives.  But Desmond’s faith affords him no yield when it comes to weapons and the killing of fellow human beings. This causes problems within the army’s ranks as they seek to rid themselves of this strange, young man. But seemingly sound of mind and finding his constitution rights upheld, Desmond gets what he desires and is sent into battle, weaponless with only his bible and prayer for solace.  And he will need it for the bloodshed that takes place.

Faith can move mountains or so the bible says. But it’s not a mountain that needs to be moved, but rather 75 wounded soldiers left for dead on Hacksaw Ridge.  After a hasty retreat, the army is unaware that Desmond is still on top of the ridge, picking through bodies and finding comrades still alive. With peril, all around him, Desmond manages to drag or carry these men to the cliff’s edge and lower them down into the arms of astonished soldiers.

Stunned by their early assessment of this would-be-coward, Desmond’s peers and ranking officers are shocked by his bravery and selfless acts. Desmond T. Doss received the Congressional Medal of Honor and rightly so. 

This gripping, yet embracing story unfolds in a profound and effective manner. It reminds us of how special our veterans are and how they should be thanked for the sacrifices they have given for our freedoms. May God bless each one of them.  

Awesome movie of courage and faith!


Monday, October 10, 2016



Originally known as the Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic, or more commonly known - Pennhurst - is still an icon today.

 Opening in 1908, the institute was originally created to separate physically and handicapped individuals, mostly children, from “normal” society.  This included epileptics and orphans. Parents were encouraged to place their children into the state’s hands. And so they did, thinking their child would have a better life, perhaps even be cured. Pennhurst housed, schooled and taught its residents a vocation or trade - or for at least those who were thought capable. But if your condition was dire, you were mostly ignored and confined to your bed. Limited funding, overcrowded conditions and lack of staff took its toll on Pennhurst residents. It took a bold news reporter (1968's SUFFER THE CHILDREN) and a prying eye to shed a spotlight on Pennhurst’s plight. Lawsuits followed. Changes. In 1986-1987 Pennhurst State School and Hospital was closed.

With its own haunted past, Pennhurst Asylum doesn’t need much enhancement this 2016 Halloween season. The huge desolate buildings and eerie roadways leading into the complex set the stage. The bleak, tree-lined landscape appears shadowy and dismal. But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Pennhurst is the underground tunnels, which connects most of the buildings. Curiosity and dread accompany new visitors. Fear and excitement. And so it begins.

Boasting four main attractions, Pennhurst Asylum is worth the visit for those seeking a scare. Pennhurst Asylum prides itself on its great staff and visual enterprise. Customers drive from all over to tour this fascinating haunt. And most leave a bit spooked and pleased by their visit.

But if you’re seeking a less intimidating scare, check out Ghost Hunt in the Mayflower Hall Building. This once-upon-a-time male dormitory is mostly intact and still holds its historical significance. Guests can tour the first and second floors in a dimly lit setting. Mayflower is truly haunted. Perhaps you will discover that for yourself. But if ghosts don’t strike your fancy, added to this attraction is a museum, complete with artifacts from Pennhurst’s former reign.

The best part of the haunt – bringing renewed interest in Pennhurst – be it good or bad.
Pennhurst Asylum is located in Spring City Pa. Pennhurst will be opened Thursday through Sunday until October 30, 2016.

Tamera Lawrence: (
Author of Ghosts of Mayflower & Pennhurst Ghosts of Mayflower II

Saturday, July 16, 2016


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Ghosts. There are skeptics and believers.  And those who don’t want to know. The scientific research of ghostly phenomenon has become a trademark in today’s modern world as people want to know more about life after death or prove beyond a shadow of doubt its existence. Most take this research as a serious, almost reverent task, documenting their findings to those who will listen. Documentaries, books, and the internet are flooded with claims of ghostly connections. But skeptics will remain true to disbelief. That is until someone can prove it otherwise.

So who’s afraid of those ghosts? Apparently not the four ladies that make up the newest version of the Ghostbusters movie. These fun and sometime silly women are aspiring to prove that they have truly mastered the art of ghost busting, aiming to be taken seriously as scientists. However, their goals are short lived as the New York City Mayor is bent on casting them as frauds, even while giving them silent approval on the sidelines.

Abby, Erin, Jillian and Patty are rambunctious women with their own set of quirks and misgivings. With limited fear, nothing can stop these women bent on ridding the city of ghosts. Mix in the lovable Chris Hemsworth as the goofy receptionist, some crazy ghost gadgets, a variety of ghostly mayhem and you got hilarity.

Ghostbusters delivers on fun and silliness with a trace of fear in the opening scene. Although nothing can place the original Ghostbusters this take on the series will reacquaint the 1980’s crowd with a jolt of gigantic balloons and familiar faces from the original cast (minus Harold Ramis as Egon). But for newcomers, such as my 12-year-old son, he enjoyed this movie. Take it for what it is. A bit of fun at the movies on a hot summer night - it will not sway a ghostly skeptic into believing.

Award winning: Author Tamera Lawrence 






Monday, June 13, 2016

THE CONJURING 2: Movie Review

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            Children have great imaginations. There is a natural fear of monsters and what’s lurking in the dark. But what if something really is lurking in the shadows. Something terrifying.
 In 1977, Enfield, North London, Janet Hodgson has an interest in the occult, creating her own Ouija board. Although a direct link isn’t placed upon this practice during the film, many people will agree that this can be a dangerous pastime, especially for a child. Opening these channels to suppressed evil can only lead to chaos and spiritual discord.
Young Janet is plagued with sleepwalking, shaking beds, missing objects, levitation and the ability to bring forth a gravelly male voice that is truly terrifying to hear. The other family members, mostly her younger brother all begin to have unexplained occurrences. The family is desperate for help, leading to the renown Warrens.
            Documenting their investigations, paranormal experts, Lorraine and Ed Warren have written books, lectured and made television appearances about the occult. One of their most famous cases was the Amityville Horror. Many are skeptically of the Warrens, calling them frauds. The Warrens are sent to Enfield to investigate if young Janet and her family are truly besieged by spirits or by the fanciful imagination of a teenage girl. Their main objective is to find out if the Catholic church needs to get involved. After that things go haywire.
The Warrens get more than they bargained for as they are drawn into the desperate plight of a child, who has no hope for a resolution. Ed and Lorraine will come face to face with the demon that haunts their own nightmares.  Winner takes all in this deadly cat and mouse game.  
            If you are seeking a scare, THE CONJURING 2 delivers on all accords. And with the added footage of the actual event, you might not sleep a wink.
This sequel is better than its predecessor.
            But whether you believe or not in the paranormal, The Conjuring 2 will give you food for thought. So feed your spirit and go see it for yourself.
            Perhaps you’ll find your way back to church.

Author Tamera Lawrence 

             THE POND (AWARD WINNING) 
              THE WRECKER 
              THE SERPENT'S MARK
* All books are available on 

Sunday, May 1, 2016


MOTHER’S DAY Movie Review

Mother’s day is a time to honor that special person who we pay tribute to as "mother." It doesn’t necessarily have to be a birth mother. But the distinctive women in our lives who we want to honor on that one special day or perhaps in memory only for those who’ve passed on.

In the movie Mother’s Day, several stories are outlined. Two sisters are estranged from their mother due to their differences, one racial and the other a same-sex union.  A man has to deal with the loss of his wife and raising two daughters. Another woman struggles with allowing her children to spend more time with their younger, attractive stepmother. Then there is the story of a conflicted woman, who was adopted, seeking resolution about her existence even while her birth mother is seeking her own. The blending storylines flow between the various characters with a few funny moments, a few profound and yet others a bit stale. The good outweighs the bad. The cast is a lively crew. Julie Roberts scarcely looks like anyone’s grandmother and Jennifer Aniston hardly needs to compete with anyone in looks.

 I would say the bloopers exposed at the end of the movie evoked the most laughter from the audience.

Overall not a bad way to spend a couple of hours.

Movie reviewed: Tamera Lawrence