When it comes to popular culture, perhaps the most notorious incident Sinéad O’Connor is known for is tearing up a picture of Pope John Paul II on live national television during a musical performance. Yet, in taking a deeper look at her early days, her rise to stardom, and her turbulent journey in the public eye, you realize her influence and artistry goes far beyond that moment.

O’Connor is a woman that dared to define herself in a system that often aims to take away a woman’s autonomy. She dared to grapple with uncomfortable societal truths, make mistakes, and simply be human. The new documentary Nothing Compares invites the audience to take a closer look at O’Connor’s life through the lens of the times she lived in and the movements that defined her. The film boldly puts heartbreak, triumph, and politics on full display in a way that is unflinching and eerily relevant today.


UNSOLVED MYSTERIES, Robert Stack, 1987-

I remember staying up late night watching reruns of Unsolved Mysteries, as host Robert Stack helped tell the stories of, well, REAL mysteries. As they say, truth is much stranger than fiction. And NOW a new generation will get to experience the show, as mega streaming giant Netflix has confirmed that they are indeed looking at a reboot.

But is this a good thing or a bad thing?

There are SO many reboots and relaunches of beloved franchises and content that one could (rightly) assess that maybe Hollywood just doesn’t like to try NEW things. Netflix started streaming the old Unsolved Mysteries back in 2017, and it was clear that there was a great interest in the classic show- so why not just keep showing the classic show?

According to Entertainment Weekly co- creators Terry Dunn Meurer and John Cosgrove, are back for the reboot, so that gives some hope that it will be in the same spirit as the original. YET, the description for the reboot says that Netflix will be developing 12 new episodes that “will focus on one mystery and will look to viewers to help aid investigators in closing the book on long outstanding cases.”


Does that mean this will be interactive?

I don’t need them to BANDERSNATCH Unsolved Mysteries. For the uninitiated, Bandersnatch is a new interactive film on Netflix that allows the viewers to do a ‘choose your own adventure’ throughout the narrative. It’s fun to a degree, but in my opinion interaction on that level takes away from being able to just sit back and enjoy the story.

Yes, I’m aware the original show’s website allowed viewers to write in with tips, but I don’t think we need it on the actual episodes themselves.

There’s a reason why the classic is doing so well on the platform- because it’s GREAT as is. The old saying goes, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ and I think that holds true for this show.

I am curious who will be the new host. Stack, may he rest in peace, will be a hard act to follow.

I’m not always for reboots but, if done right, they can breathe new air into a great piece of work. Fingers crossed this reboot does exactly that.


A group of young orphan girls move into a home of a couple that lost their daughter years ago. Throughout the film we see the development of their bonds and relationships, as the couple and the girls, learn to love again and find out true family can come in many forms… That is the heart of Annabelle: Creation.

OK, no, I’m lying.

Aside from the initial exposition, of a married couple opening up their home to a group of young orphan girls, the similarities to what could have been a modern day Annie ends there. There’s no musical numbers, but there is vintage music playing on old record players in the background, as a demonic doll attempts to steal the souls of the young orphan girls. This brings a whole lot of classic horror fun for viewers who enjoy good quality scares.

Annabelle Creation is a prequel to 2014’s Annabelle, and the fourth film in The Conjuring film series. For fans of The Conjuring you’ll recognize the creepy doll Annabelle from those films. Annabelle Creation shows us how Annabelle came to be. The story begins as town dollmaker Samuel Mullins and his wife Esther open their home to Sister Charlotte, a nun, and a small group of girls from an orphanage that has been closed. What seems like a blessing to Sister Charlotte, turns into a nightmare, as the dark secret of the Mullins’ comes to light in the form of a demonic doll living in the house.

Some may call the film formalistic and predictable. They may say that the scares are seen a mile away, and the characters all fit the similar horror tropes.

My question to those critics is: So what?

I don’t know about anyone else, but ever since the days of Scream and all it’s copycats, the so-called horror genre had become more of a slasher and gore genre. Nothing wrong with quality slasher films like Scream, and gore like the first SAW, but despite those innovative ways to tell the story of dreadful humans preying on other humans- NOTHING beats a good ghost story or monster flick. In a time when social media and technology has desensitized, or oversensitized, many to everyday tragedies, it’s nice to see films that still play into the mystery of the unknown, the great beyond, and what goes bump in the night.

It’s nice to watch a film that I’m pretty certain won’t find me in a similar situation as the characters in it (I say as I clutch my bible and say my prayers at night). Being able to watch a movie and get lost in the plot, and for a time, distracted from the real world, can be a nice mental vacation- even if I find myself screaming at the screen in momentary fear.

Annabelle: Creation starts off laying the groundwork for the scares, but wastes no more than 20 minutes before the horror gets underway. As I screamed and hollered with each moment in the theater, and the rest of the audience did as well, I was reminded of feeling like I was on a rollercoaster ride. It doesn’t last long, but it doesn’t need to, because the short thrill is well worth it.

The cast of characters are quality as well. The young orphan girls all had believable portrayals, while Talitha Bateman shines through as the one girl who Annabelle has taken a special interest in. There’s some moments of sisterhood and solidarity among the girls, that gives the film a bit of heart that can sometimes be missing in horror films. You actually come to care for some of them, which raises the stakes in wanting them to make it out of the house alive.

I give the film bonus points also for having the stellar actor Anthony LaPaglia, of Without a Trace fame, playing the tragic doll maker. I also give the film additional bonus points for having a slightly diverse cast, including Mexican American actress Stephanie Sigman as Sister Charlotte, and the young Black actress, Tayler Buck, as the orphan girl Kate. Annabelle: Creation takes place in the 1950s/1960s, but the filmmakers don’t use that as some sort of misplaced cop out in order to make the film completely devoid of people of color.

The special effects are subtle, as they should be. The CGI isn’t overdone. The scare factor in Annabelle: Creation is owed a large chunk to what the audience can’t see, but only anticipate appearing. It’s a return to fearing what’s in the dark, as oppose to having it all laid out in front of us. Annabelle is no Chucky. You may find that to be a good or bad thing depending on how you like your killer dolls, but I thought the understated, and silent, presence of the creepy looking doll was enough for me.

What New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures has been able to do with The Conjuring film series is bring back good classic horror and monster tale fun. With future spinoff films, The Nun and The Crooked Man, set to come out soon, it’s clear the producers know they’ve got a good thing going.

Is Annabelle: Creation on the level of Shakespeare in writing and character development?

Perhaps not.

Yet, it doesn’t need to be. it is still unique, even if it’s a return to formalistic scary fun. It’s something perhaps we didn’t know we needed in this day and age, until it was presented to us, and I for one, can’t get enough.

Annabelle: Creation opens nationwide August 11.