Category Archives: Drama

Secrets in the Attic (1992)

Starring: Amy Rowse, Lindsay Jackson, Rebekah Baker

Directed by Dianne Haak

Format: VHS

Tagline: “A mysterious dollhouse comes alive when two sisters discover its startling secrets!”

“With a mom who doesn’t ‘understand’ her, and a kid sister to cramp her style, 12-year-old Amy Treloar is looking for some independence.  Spending the summer with her quirky aunt Clare seems to be just what the doctor ordered…until Amy discovers a secret attic and a magical dollhouse with a bizarre secret, turning everyone’s life upside down!  When Amy finds out her grandparents died in Aunt Clare’s house under mysterious circumstances–some thirty years ago, she starts investigating.  Amy’s convinced the dolls are trying to tell her something, but no one will believe her.  Only when her pesky sister LuAnn joins her, is Amy able to summon up the courage to go back up in the attic one more time.  Together, the sleuthing sisters decipher the dollhouse’s message, solve a 30-year old mystery and learn a valuable lesson about the importance of family.”

The Story:

This TV movie is based off of the book The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright. In fifth grade, we read the book and then watched the movie. Never before have I remembered so vividly anything we watched in school (except maybe Voyage of the Mimi). It was actually scary to us youngins. The idea of these grandparents being murder and there being a haunted dollhouse in the attic. And then the grandmother’s CRY. Oh my god. I’ll post the clip after my thoughts, but holy shit it was scary. And it stuck with me ever since. A few years ago, that cry rang in my brain, and I needed to find this movie. I contacted my elementary school and asked if they still had the movie. They did. Then I didn’t watch it after I borrowed it and had to return it. So then I tried to find it on my own, and ended up buying the cheapest VHS copy of it I could…for $40. Yes, I know, it’s ridiculous to spend that much money on a VHS movie of something I saw in fifth grade. It’s cool though, my mom got it for me. Anyway, here’s what I thought.

My Thoughts:

  • Vidmark Entertainment?…more like SKIDMARK. lololololol sorry.
  • Actually, the slow-motion sequence in the beginning is GREAT. Not too slow, and works well as a flashback.
  • However, every lamp in their house is knocked over.
  • This florist is being a complete asshole to a mentally challenged girl. And I remember that sequence almost EXACTLY from fifth grade.
  • I wish Wes Craven directed this.
  • Why does Aunt Clare live in a house where all the furniture is covered in sheets?
  • That is a large dollhouse.
  • Aunt Clare was spoiled rotten at 15 if she didn’t like this dollhouse. But, you know, her grandparents also got MURDERED, so.
  • Clare ain’t got no fraaaaaaaands.
  • Pre-teen angst.
  • Amy’s mom is a bitch.
  • “Poor stupid LuAnn, she doesn’t know about diddlysquat.”
  • Everybody has stupid pants in this movie.
  • “Wait til you see what’s up in the attic.” WHAT IS IT? SECRETS?!?!?!
  • “You know, this is a great house.” Yeah, all except for the murderous past.
  • Yo, Aunt Clare’s fudge is probably dope.
  • This is the prequel to Amityville Dollhouse.
  • Serious library snooping.
  • Oh man, Amy just found out about the grandparents.
  • Clare’s BOYFRIEND got killed on the same night? Oh man 😦
  • Any back story on why Clare cooks so often?
  • Oh my god, Amy is picking up tapes for the party. Like cassette tapes. Early-90s birthdays were the best.
  • “I know how to read. I made a potholder.” Oh LuAnn. You simple, simple girl.
  • The police questioned a cleaning lady and handyman. Any more leads?
  • Aunt Clare is PISSED at Amy. And now she thinks that Amy put the dolls in the murder positions. Oh man.
  • Nothing scarier than a grandfather clock at a dutch tilt. 15 year-old looks like she’s dating a 30 year-old man.
  • Almost none of these actors did anything other than this TV movie.
  •  LuAnn is cuddling with her sock puppet.
  • Amy just said “no” to having eggrolls at her birthday party. What an idiot.
  • “She’s never been challenged.” Bad choice of words when talking about LuAnn.
  • Nobody remembers their previous emotions about an
  • Oh my god, they are not singing “The Ghost Of John” at the birthday party. Who does this?
  • The song is summoning the attic dollhouse spirits. I think.
  • LuAnn has escaped!
  • Family turmoil.
  • My favorite part is when they repeat back what JUST happened in the film, like, five minutes earlier.
  • The way the film treats a mentally challenged character is offensive. I understand that there is supposed to be “trouble” with her, but it’s unacceptable the way she’s portrayed.
  • Stop-motion murder reenactments with dolls are scary.
  • Some weird morals going on at the end, here. What the hell?
  • Parts of this were still scary. I hate myself.

The Verdict:

It’s a long, drawn out, repetitive mystery that could easily be told in 60 minutes. The acting is rough, and the storyline with the mentally challenged sister doesn’t translate well into early-90s TV. But the “scary” parts were still well worth it to see again. When you’re younger, you can easily forgive the mood swings and emotional shifts in characters, but now it’s just difficult to understand why any character is feeling the way that they do. But like, just watch this clip and you’ll understand why I needed this.


Father of Lies (2007)

Starring: DMX, Vivica A. Fox, Clifton Powell

Directed by Phenomenon

Format: DVD

Tagline: “Hell hath no fury like evil scorned!”

Father of Lies is a supernatural thriller about the Bishop Calvin Jacobs (Clifton Powell).  As a child, Calvin hustled onlookers as a street preacher, but after the mysterious death of his father, he reported and pursued a legitimate vocation.  His natural charisma rocketed him to the status of Bishop of Living Waters Ministry, and an international, multi-million-dollar phenomenon, with television shows, CDs, magazines, and books to his name.  However, when a crooked accountant causes a $30 million debt and Calvin finds himself on the brink of disaster, he reluctantly accepts a deal proposed by his childhood friend to lose the debt via a shady business,am named Luther Heir.  Unbeknownst to Calvin, Heir is the head of a supernatural cult looking to take control of Living Waters and amass an army of followers.  Meanwhile, two FBI agents are hot on Luther’s trail.  As the annual revival approaches, havoc ensues as Calvin tries to break off ties with Luther, endangering the lives of his friends and family-and leading to an unforgettable climax.”

My Story:

This was featured in The Loot from yesterday, and we couldn’t hold off too much longer.  So, not necessarily in Leftovers fashion, we will watch this movie immediately.  It may be for the better to get it out of the way.

Our Thoughts (Kyle, Carly):

  • boy starts reading them psalms…thousands show up in seconds.
  • And by thousands, it’s like, 20. way more than should be there though.
  • “keep up the good work?” he read a psalm for money on the street corner.
  • you cant hear the dialogue.
  • OH MY GOD LOOK AT THAT AFRO. Is that Ol’ Dirty Bastard?
  • nice tube socks
  • …Are snake bites common in New Orleans? Did they cause a lot of deaths in ’71?
  • i dont understand what just happened. it was awful acting. heart attack? snake bite? a lot of screaming? oh good he’s in the church praying to god. good. great.
  • terrible choice of montage
  • hello stereotypical black baptist church oh em gee
  • that’s a fake microphone.
  • I’ve lost track of all this pastor was talking about.  Carly was right, the audio is mixed poorly.
  • Pastor to Bishop story of glory.
  • that is NOT how you become a bishop.
  • who was that lady? how was she mic’ed?
  • is that their house?! good LORD!
  • This is looking like Shelf of Shame material.
  • Learn to use a camera please, auto-focus on someone’s face isn’t appealing.
  • The Deacon is keeping some secrets…I bet he is.
  • Was Calvin Jacobs the young guy in the beginning?
  • Keep moving your hands up and down while apologizing to God, it’s fine.
  • love that fake accent
  • pastors wives unite! drinking out of tea cups that have no tea in them!
  • ew stop listening outside the door.
  • does tammy miller know shes not really crying? shes really really really not.
  • “I’m interested in your soul, not your body.” BAAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
  • The non-believing white people staking out the black baptist ministry…
  • Luther Heir’s Satanic church?! Is that what this is?!
  • What. Is. Happening?
  • …okay, so evil spirits literally just attacked someone…
  • This is so anti-Muslim, it’s not even funny.
  • Father of Lies, I get it now! Because he is lying to everyone about where the money to save his church is coming from.
  • that explosion was beautiful. blow up a car and just WALK AWAY. walk away, don’t look back.
  • Suspicious white bags…cocaine or money?
  • They seriously need to stop switching stories every minute.
  • I’m tempted to put subtitles on, the background noise is completely overwhelming all dialogue,
  • Stop fading in and out. Please.
  • “His business is bloodshed.”
  • Why would Calvin lie to the police…WHEN HE HAS NO IDEA WHAT’S GOING ON?
  • DMX showed up for like, three minutes.
  • What, is Tammy a vampire?
  • Was this edited on iMovie?
  • Thank GOD DMX is back.
  • I love out-of-focus shotsssss.
  • DMX, don’t you show no love to homo thugs? Real spiritual.
  • Why is there a screensaver behind Luther?
  • 3rd snake is a charm.
  • I wish I could hear what Luther is saying over Barbra’s crying.
  • The audio is peaking. Really? REALLY?
  • Luther, who are you Dr. Evil?
  • Yeah, Calvin really talked down a child soldier with the words of God.
  • DMX, are you stuck to that pew? In the same position?
  • Wow, that church isn’t very energetic anymore.
  • Let’s arrest some people in the middle of church service.

Our Verdicts:

Unfortunately, Carly left before we got her verdict down.  But I can assure you, that by the last half hour of the movie, we really didn’t care what was happening because it was SO god awful.  The audio mix was probably one of the worst things I have ever heard.  I think the movie may have been edited on iMovie.  The director has ONE name, Phenomenon.  And I feel as if you have such a name, you should be making great films.  This has been put on the Shelf of Shame.  Officially. I don’t know what else to say.