Rental Central

Tom Doty Times Columnist

October 25, 2013

Three horror flicks and a goofy comedy welcomed Halloween renters this week.

“The Conjuring” — James Wan made his bones with “Saw,” but has been quick to show he can make any kind of horror flick. Here, he turns his eye to the haunted house story and delivers a winner. The story is based on a real case and follows a stressed-out married couple who investigate paranormal events. They find themselves in deep trouble when they check out the titular event at a remote Connecticut farm house. Spooky stuff with a fine performance by Lily Taylor (“The Haunting”).

“The Return of the Killer Shrews” — James Best returns for this follow up to the low-budget 1959 horror flick about mutated rats on a remote island. Turns out, they are still around 54 years later. Now they are CGI but they looked better when they were dogs in shrew suits. That said, this has a low-budget charm, so bad CGI works. Bruce Davison (“Willard”) and John Schneider (“Smallville”) also turn up.

“The Internship” —Lots of laughs ensue when two middle-aged salesman join Google as interns in search of a full-time job. Vince Vaughan and Owen Wilson prove they still have chemistry and the movie does an admirable job of mixing low brow humor with a dramatic take on how the new economy has left many men adrift.

“Dead in Tombstone” — Danny Trejo (“Machete”) stars as the leader of an outlaw band who is killed by his own guys. He meets the devil and it turns out to be Mickey Rourke (no surprise there). He is offered a chance to come back and kill his own gang so Satan can have their wretched souls. Good stuff with scares, gunfights and a nice turn by Anthony Michael Hall as a nasty guy.