Scene 28: Dean finds her in the kitchen and points out her nose is bleeding. He also points out the marks on her face, but she brushes him off and mentions her passing out.
He’s mildly concerned, but then he’s shocked at seeing the bottle of booze in their room. It was a full bottle, now it’s three quarters-ish empty. He questions whether she went on a bender while he was sleeping. She’s moody about it and about how he’s apparently a teetotaler.
Dean offers he’s going to go to his apartment for a shower after her indication that she’s spent the last hour cleaning hers… apparently from a vomit fest. He also reminds her it’s Sunday and he’s heading out to church. He invites her, she scoffs at the suggestion.
Next Dean asks her to get rid of the Ouija board that she’s still carrying around in its box but she scoffs at his belief that it’s not just a game and can let “things” in. He tells her that their evil, like witchcraft. She tells him he’s being such a Christian, and he tells her he’s got to go but will be back in a few hours. He shakes his head at her at he leaves, while her focus goes to the board.
Commentary: I like this scene too for giving some insight into her and Dean’s relationship and domestic situation. Despite being engaged, it’s obvious pretty quickly that they have very differing opinions on their lifestyles and with Dean still maintaining his own place… well… I started to wonder just how they ended up considering marriage when she seems pretty contemptuous of his Christian beliefs. It’s also hard to see how he’s managing her drinking issues when he doesn’t imbibe at all.
Clearly the domestic front isn’t going to be a solid rock for Grace to cling to as she’s pulled deeper into the supernatural world of the hotel.
I like that these scenes are here to give us a more complete picture of Grace, because we really didn’t know anything about her before this. But it is really still bugging me that the script completely forgets Grace’s reports of a real person attacking her in the hotel five minutes after it happened.
This would’ve been a place for the aborted argument [because Dean has to get to church and it’s a good excuse to cut off the unproductive argument after it starts] that these two will need to have about Grace continuing to work alone in an abandoned room and how obviously having a bar downstairs wasn’t providing enough safety for her.
Scene 29: Later that day, Father Pat is meeting again with Grace where he’s feeling her nose for any break that might’ve happened when she passed out at home. He jokes that he thinks she might just be telling crazy tales, but still… he’s shown up and is dressed in his vestments for the blessing that didn’t take place the evening before [probably because he was too in his drink glass to make it].
She’s not amused by his banter at her expense. In explanation to her vivid tale and her spontaneous nose bleed, he suggests a brain tumor… still half-joking. She thanks him sarcastically for listening.
Pat sends Grace down to the bar while he gets to his Priestly duty.
Father Pat barely gets started when the little ghost girl runs down the end of the hall with her little pitter-patter shoes.
He’s a bit confused and unnerved but continues. But when she runs past again, his prayer is interrupted and he wanders down at the end of the hallway to find out what she’s doing there and who she is.
Father Pat, now scared, drops his Holy water and as he bends to pick it up, we see the Large Bearded Attacker in a doorway behind him. He’s ordered to leave.
Scene 31: It’s sometime later when Grace returns upstairs after having not been contacted by the Father in what seemed to her has been too long. She wanders through one of the rooms, which she has to budge open with a sense of foreboding.
When she gets inside, a soft tapping draws her to a small closet door. Standing inside is Father Pat, frozen in a startled rictus with his Bible grasped tightly in his hands.
He appears dead for several moments with his mouth hanging open, when he suddenly starts with a yell. His first words are he either needs a drink, or needs to stop drinking.
To Grace’s questioning, he brushes past her to reach the bar without answering.
Commentary: This scene was going so well, too. For a few moments, I didn’t find Father Pat to be an annoyance and then they ruined it. Pat should’ve really died right here of a coronary, keeping intact everyone’s concern for Grace’s stability, while also adding some horror to this horror tale.
Thus far, the ghosts seems pretty relaxed and come across as jokesters rather than menacing.
It’s really disappointing that Pat returns to the comedy relief after what must’ve been a harrowing encounter with the spirits of the hotel. This isn’t a Three Stooges or Jerry Lewis film, after all.
Scene 32: A bit later and Grace hangs up her cell phone, annoyed that Father Pat hung up on her call. She finds a strange girl sitting and waiting for her. This isn’t another ghost girl, though, it’s Mattie’s daughter, Katy -- the special needs girl, who informs Grace that she’s pretty like herself before getting to her name.
Grace is relieved that this isn’t another strange encounter with a prostitute.
Katy sees the Ouija Board and wants to play the game with Grace immediately, while Grace stutters out that she doesn’t think they should do that, before just as quickly changing her mind.
Commentary: Okay, first of all what person would actually say, “Katy! Yeah, your Mattie’s daughter - the limited needs girl!”
What a tacky bitch.
Plus, Mr. Director - we really didn’t need to be reminded that our new character is special needs, Catrina Rogers does a wonderful job of making that clear without being OTT about it. We really only, maybe, needed to remember how she’s connected to the place through her mother since it’s been a while since she was mentioned. Having Grace blurt out her “limited” status was really too blunt just to remind us of that fact, unnecessarily.
Scene 33: So, Grace [against any sort of sense] chooses to engage Katy to try to contact the spirits that she’s now sure is haunting the place, just as the local tales say.
In the hallway, Grace walks Katy through getting into contact with the planchette though Katy doesn’t see this as having much potential to be fun. Plus, she wanted to be blue.
To the first question about anyone being there, Katy answers she’s there but Grace shooshes her with an amused smile. The Ouija then strongly jerks to “YES”, freaking out Katy because it moved on its own. Grace is excited.
She asks for a name and gets the answer, “LIZ”… but Katy tells her that this is bad. Meanwhile, Father Pat has wandered up to talk to her and he’s not pleased to see her and Mattie’s daughter playing with the spirit board.
He calls Grace out on making “the limited girl” work the Ouija board and warns her she’ll be paying for that somehow. Grace tries to insist it’s just a board game, but the Father escorts Katy away with a huff of derision.
Scene 34: Again, sometime later, Grace is taking a very quick shower… or more like just a quick rinse. Presumably at home.
When she’s got the towel wrapped around her, she finds blood running down the inside of her leg. As she’s freaking out over the blood now on her hands from wiping at her leg, a shadow hand is on the shower curtain behind her; It’s Large Bearded Attacker who steps into the shower with her. He orders her to be very quiet.
As Grace cowers, he runs his very dirty hand over her face while the other is pressing against her towel covered bosom. This leads to some off-screen towel-less groping of her breasts by our gross Attacker.
After several moment, Grace risks looking at him only to find that nobody is there any longer. What’s more, her towel is in place and her hands are entirely blood free.
Scene 35: Grace joins Dean in the kitchen, startling him with the ol’ hand-on-shoulder-not-saying-hi gag. He tells her that he checked the bathroom and found nothing there, but Grace tells him to forget about that and tell her about the Ouija Board.
Dean is, naturally, very disturbed that Grace would play with the thing. She tells him about the name on the board saying “LIZ”, which was the night worker who lured men to her room and killed them but Dean is pretty adamant that he doesn’t want to hear about ghosts or murders or Ouija Board playing.
Grace senses that Dean doesn’t believe her about the man in the shower… which is true. He points out that when she was writing about Bigfoot, she claimed that she saw him and there was another instance when she saw “evidence” of another story she was writing being true. So, they’ve been through Grace getting way too involved in her own stories before… and finally, there is the small fact that when she’s engrossed in a project, her drinking always escalates only adding to her own suggestibility.
He calls Grace’s experiences “fantasy” and she’s irritated that he thinks she’d fantasize about being molested in her shower but he tells her to do what she does best: Just drink and write, so she can get finished and return to normal.
This does nothing to tamp down her anger.
Commentary: I really liked this insight into Grace, too. First, I like this location: It looks like the sort of home that a struggling writer would actually live in -- It’s nice, but it’s obvious that it’s an older home with old appliances and outdated home décor. I also really liked Alan Quinn, Jr. in this scene and how their interaction again makes us doubt this relationship. It nicely encapsulates how Grace isn’t going to find any support at home for what she’s going through, but it does it in a way that is entirely understandable by mentioning how they’ve gone through this several times with Bigfoot, UFOs and even Grace thinking she had the Bubonic Plague during one of her writing assignments. Dean comes across as wholly tolerant, if really annoyed about it instead of just coming across as an asshole when he ignores her experiences. And the acting between he and Natalie feels natural and they play off one another well.
Scene 36: That night, a half-inebriated Grace is typing away at the hotel, where she’s been joined by Dean. He’s on his cell. His call is from work and they’re having a computer issue that they haven’t been able to solve. He has to go in and take care of it.
She’s pissy and snappy [and channeling Jack Nicholson getting angry at Shelley Duval for interrupting him in The Shining -- and if you haven’t seen that film yet, you really-really need to].
[Also bonus point to either Bruce Koehler or assistant director John W. Iwanonkiw, whichever one was responsible for the sudden, slightly off-kilter close up on Natalie’s face when she’s berating Alan for interrupting her; That was a nice choice.]
Grace is a mean drunk when she drinks. She tells Dean that if he ever interrupts her again, she’ll find the nearest pointed instrument and stab him in the throat with it. Somehow, Dean doesn’t immediately call off the wedding LIKE, RIGHT NOW. He just disgustedly tells her he’ll be back later, probably late. Her answer is a glare and another swig from her bottle-friend.
Commentary: I really loved this entire scene between these two actors; In fact, I really just like the chemistry between Dean and Natalie in general. I’m not exactly buying their relationship, but that could be deliberate by making her and him so opposite that the fracture lines are there even before the hotel starts playing on Grace’s nerves.
This is even better if you’ll notice Grace in the background while Dean is on the phone. Natalie makes sure to look at Alan while he’s talking on the cell, so Grace knows exactly what is happening at Dean’s work and that he’s going to have to go. You can see she’s already drunk-pissed at him before he even explains the issue and is deliberately ignoring him because of that. Her sudden anger isn’t because he interrupted her -- she clearly wasn’t that engrossed in her typing to begin with; She’s just looking for an excuse to lash out with her resentments and Dean just provided it by “interrupting” her work.
It’s a great scene to really kick off Grace’s final unraveling [oh… spoiler].
Scene 37: A bit later, Grace stumbles over to the room’s sink, looking about to hurl. Which she does… a really gross, green oatmeal vomit.
When she stands up to look in the mirror, she suddenly gets a weird look on her face and strokes her cheek. She smiles to herself in a way suggesting that Grace has been pushed aside by Liz… or that Grace is cracking up.
Scene 38: Grace-Liz ends up down at the bar, where she is hitting on an attractive guy in her cleavage-bearing shift. We don’t hear their conversation, but it’s obvious she’s inviting him back up to the hotel room for a quick bang.
He’s all “hell, yeah” obviously.
Scene 39: Later, Grace is lying in bed in heavy makeup. We see the bottom of a foot of her playdate. As she wakes and starts rubbing at her eyes to wake up, we see her hand caked with sticky blood.
As she pulls herself together, she’s shocked to find herself covered in blood. We see why a moment later, as Grace-Liz’s John is lying on the bed with a knife in his throat [huh… did he interrupt Drunk Grace’s typing, too? Oh, and good-bye Attractive Guy -- I woulda made you my movie lust object, but I kinda saw you were well-doomed].
Grace reacts to a dead guy in her bed as you’d expect a no-longer-possessed person would.
Scene 40: Grace suddenly snaps awake at her typewriter.
She hears the sounds of a woman sobbing coming from nearby. When Grace enters her hotel bedroom, she finds Liz sitting on the floor and sobbing hysterically while Attractive Guy is still in her bed with a knife wound to the jugular.
Liz insists to Grace that she didn’t do it, that someone named Jason killed Attractive Guy. Liz reaches out a bloody hand for Grace insisting over and over that Jason did it, but Grace backs away and then dashes from the room with a horrified yell.
Scene 41: The following day, Grace is sitting with her daughter and Bob at a place away from the bar/hotel. He mentions that she’s looking rough. Bob asks if she’s talked to Pat yet about what happened to him in the hotel, but he’s avoiding her. She guesses that it’s because he’s mad about her having “the limited girl” work the Ouija board, which her daughter thinks was really tacky.
Bob is appallingly stunned that Grace had Katy work the board, but Grace counters, as if self-evident, “Better her than me…”.
Bob and [Eva?] make snide comments about how much Grace drinks when she’s writing as she eye-rolls. Bob wants to get back to the scene where Grace’s character Vanessa picks up some guy in a bar and stabs him in the throat, but Grace clarifies that she did it… only in a dream or a vision or something. She’s confused by exactly what happened to her.
She tells Bob and [Eva?] that she saw the body in the bed after she woke up, but when she had Dean go back with her later, the room was spotless. Bob tells her it’s a great scene and she insists again that it wasn’t what she was writing, although she will now be including it somewhere. [Eva?] teases her mother that she could’ve returned to the wrong room with Dean and the body is still there, while Bob suggests she had a psychic dream… or her imagination… or the alcohol… or some combination thereof.
Bob suggests maybe it’s time for Grace to leave the hotel, but she wants to finish the book. She’s just upset about Jim, the guy she thought she had sex with and stabbed to death. [Eva?] says she should just go back to the bar and look for him.
Scene 42: When she returns to the bar, she finds Father Pat sitting in his usual spot. They clear the air. Grace turns attention to finding out if Jim is a real person.
The bartender tells her that it describes about three Jimmys that come in there regularly and Grace suggests that maybe the barkeep from last night would know who she was talking about. But Barkeep tells her that they were closed the other night due to a water problem. Grace starts to insist that they were open as she was there, but her attention is taken by something or someone across the room.
The object of Grace’s sudden attention is an old photograph. Therein is ‘her’ Jim, but barkeeper tells her that the photograph is about 50 years old and that Jim died shortly after the photograph was taken.
Barkeep and Father Pat share glances over Grace’s weird behavior as she abruptly excuses herself.
Scene 43: Grace [being a repulsive woman, apparently which is only now coming to light] finds Katy to convince her to “play the game” again. Katy tries to tell Grace that Father Pat said it was bad to play, but Grace lies to her and tells her that Pat meant it’s bad to play alone.
She tells her that they’ll both put their fingers on the planchette and thereby share, which is good. The board is immediately responsive before they even ask a question, marking out “19 Doors”.
Katy links the response with the doors in the hotel, but before Grace can work out what it could specifically mean, Mattie comes looking for her daughter. Grace expects Mattie to be angry, but she brushes playing with the board off, as she doesn’t believe in those things anyway and it’s nice that she’s “playing” with Katy.
As Mattie is retrieving Katy for some help downstairs, a new woman comes in asking for Grace Mitchel by name. This is psychic, Helga Reynolds who tells Grace that she got a message that she may need her help.
After clarifying her profession, as Grace questions if one of her friends or family called in a psychiatrist on her, Helga asks to be taken to the room she’s had the most intense experiences in.
Scene 44: Grace and Helga visit the room with the child’s doll, but Helga doesn’t sense anything. As she tries to focus in after Grace relates finding the Board in this room and the phone incident, the door knocks violently.
Both women startle and then turn toward it with dread.
When Grace pushes the door open, they see the Hanging Man standing there. Both women are seeing him waiting. They share glances and when they look again, he’s gone.
Grace facetiously asks Helga if she’s feeling anything now.
Scene 45: A bit later and Helga and Grace meet privately with Father Pat. At first Helga puts down Pat’s reluctance to talk about things to his not believing in psychic phenomena, but he tells her that isn’t it at all - he just feels like things have been stirred up that should’ve been left lying and pins the blame on Grace messing around with the spirit board.
Helga though believes the Board, though agreeing that nobody should play around with them, wasn’t the cause of the experiences. She suggests that a door has been opened… a physical door that had been sealed perhaps. Grace tells her that the floors above hers were supposedly sealed off after the murders so long ago and Pat tells them that he was around back then… a young man, obviously. He tells them that there is a story that the original manager of the place found a couple playing fortune teller and was morally against that sort of thing, so he threw them out. The story goes that they put a curse on the place before making their exit from town.
Grace scoffs, but Helga tells her that a gypsy’s curse is powerful and she shouldn’t be quick to dismiss it. But she also says she doesn’t feel such an energy present. Pat says that after things started happening that couldn’t be explained, the manager found the gypsy couple and convinced them to come back and remove the curse they’d planted.
He tells them that the gypsies believed too much malevolence had come through in the meantime, and so the owner’s simply sealed up the floors and reduced their available rooms for rent. Of course, Pat didn’t believe it and didn’t pay much attention to those stories. But after his experience while trying to bless the place, he now believes there is something active in the hotel above them.
Helga and Pat wonder if they can remove whatever is hanging over the upstairs and Pat also suggests to Grace that it’s time she moved out.
Scene 46: Upstairs, Grace gathers up what she’s got typed thus far. In the hallway, she’s confronted again by the giggling ghost girl, and more disturbingly by Large Bearded Attacker, again shushing her to remain quiet.
This time though, he pulls out a pair of wire cutting shears. He jabs these viciously into Ghost Girl’s side and lifts her up off the floor. He laughs while Ghost Girl drips blood onto the floor, while Grace breaks down into sobbing.
Scene 47: Sometime shortly later, Grace has had enough and Father Pat brings her empty boxes to pack up the stuff she brought. He reminds her he’ll be just downstairs if she needs help.
Scene 48: Grace is in Liz’s room again when she knocks a book off of the table. When she retrieves it, her attention is grabbed by the baby doll sitting there. For some reason, she can’t pull her attention away from it, and she hears a short amused giggle from Ghost Girl again.
She senses something behind her and finds Ghost Girl waiting, who tells her that the doll is hers and hauls off and slaps Grace across the head. She retrieves the doll and we see that her Ghost Girl Power knocked Grace out cold.
Ghost Girl looks down at the unconscious Grace and then runs out of the room, having retrieved her doll.
Commentary: As we’re making our way toward completion of our story, I’m going to say that I didn’t find this movie as poor as IMDB suggests [this seems to be a common occurrence]. Right now, it’s at 2.8, which is far too drastic.
But I do think there has been problems. For a horror tale, there hasn’t been enough real horror going on. We’ve thus far had two deaths on screen and one was a fake out with Father Pat while the other is a past-murder vision.
Everything else has been about startling Grace, but nobody in the here and now has actually been hurt by our ghosts. It’s not really convincing that Grace just hasn’t packed up and left long before now, what with Large Bearded Attacker threatening and then actually molesting her already and we’re not given enough to presume that the hotel spirits are holding her captive. The possession-vision with the murdered Jim was interesting, but it was an isolated incident.
It’s also mildly bothersome that we haven’t had any indication of Grace doing intense research on the place and people at the library or old newspapers that would give us a sense that she’s becoming personally involved in the hotel and can’t tear herself away.
Some of the individual scenes are nicely filmed and could be leading into a spiraling sense of dread, but they’re constantly interrupted by Grace having sit down conversations with various people that breaks up the tension before it can solidify for us. It’s also continually problematic that Grace isn’t isolated more, or that she’s not shown outside still being haunted by the spirits [suggesting Liz is connecting with her on a deeper level so that Grace’s leaving isn’t enough to break the hotel’s hold on her].
We did get the scene where Grace was still attacked in her shower at home, but it seemed random. Another scene that doesn’t tie into what comes after to convince us that Grace is in a no-escape situation, which is what we should have a solid feel for by this time in the film. The narrative makes sense for what it is, but it feels less about a horror than a mystery that isn’t being addressed adequately. There are two competing story ideas in here and the director/writer hasn’t made a choice about which story type their going with, nor are they really fleshing out either one of them: A Haunted Horror or a Ghostly Mystery? We’ve gotten Grace trying to understand what happened to Liz, Jason and Jim but it’s never fleshed out, nor is Liz’ continued presence, The Hanging Man, Large Bearded Attacker or Ghost Girl ever provided an adequate explanation.
Everything feels like ideas that weren’t fleshed out completely because the director/writer hadn’t settled into which story type they wanted to tell and didn’t flesh out both enough to combine the two elements into a comprehensive tale.
Scene 49: With Grace unconscious, she has another vision in which she’s sitting while Liz glares down at her [And Liz manages to wear modern clothing despite having lived and died in the 40’s, which obviously isn’t working for me].
Grace addresses Liz who tells her she’s been waiting for her. Liz also suggests that she sees Grace as both her vessel and an extension of herself while Grace tries to tell her that she’s trying to help her. Liz wants her to complete some task of which she doesn’t clarify.
Scene 50: We next see Grace in a trance typing at her old typewriter. She’s reviewing her typed story treatment [It’s nowhere near long enough to be an actual script or book or whatever she’s actually supposed to be working on] when she’s interrupted by the visiting Katy.
Katy accuses her of hiding from her and Grace agrees that she’s been very busy with writing. She tells her though that she’s ready to mail what she has to her producer [Bob, presumably, though he seemed more like an agent… but whatever at this point…].
Katy asks if she’s finished, but Grace says ‘not quite’. Katy next asks her to play the game again. Grace replies that maybe in a bit, before turning suddenly on Katy. She tells her not to wait for her there because the Shadow Man is coming.
Father Pat startles them both out of their intense moment by calling Grace’s name and asking what she’s still doing up there, as she was supposed to have already left. Grace responds that she was writing and got caught up, but she’s acting only somewhat in the here and now.
This causes Helga [who is very badly suddenly inserted into this scene where she clearly wasn’t before] to ask her what is happening to her. Father Pat again tells her she was supposed to have left and Grace responds that she can’t leave yet, that things happen when she tries [which is coming out of left field, we’ve never seen her try to leave the property permanently until now and the only thing to have happened was the one instance when she had her molestation vision in her shower at home].
Scene 51: Grace and Father Pat are suddenly downstairs with Helga. Grace shares that she feels compelled to stay at the hotel now. Helga tries to give advice, but Pat interrupts to tell her to hold off on her psychic talk for a moment. It’s not that he doesn’t believe that Grace is going through something supernatural, but he wants to hear Grace’s actual facts of what she’s experienced before Helga starts with what she thinks she “feels” or “senses” from the air.
Father Pat convinces Grace to talk to Detective Patrone to find out what exactly the police have in regards to what happened in the hotel from a strictly factual basis.
Commentary: And I won’t lie, I kinda groaned a little. This is something that should’ve been dealt with before now. Right now, we don’t need more dialog scenes of Normal-Grace gathering more opinions and stories. We need to feel like Grace is in danger of something that nobody can understand and to have some idea of what it is that Liz wants her to do. In other words --- Get On With It.
And for Grace suddenly feeling compelled to not leave the hotel, she’s having no problems with leaving the hotel. Right now, Mattie could be helping Father Pat by bolting the hotel doors closed so that Grace can’t just come back in the guise of helping her with her growing obsession issue.
Scene 52: So, at the police station, Tony Patrone has a very thin folder for Grace. He admits that it isn’t much, before completely changing subjects to the friendship she seems to have struck up with Father Pat.
Details are sparse after 50 years, but Liz was killed in some way before she reached trial after her arrest and her suspected accomplice was never located. He asks her why she’s asking so many questions about a cold case and she tells him if she said it, he’d think she was whacked.
To prodding, Grace shares what she’s been seeing around the hotel. She goes on to tell him about the advice of Helga and Pat to deal with something supernatural happening with her and the hotel’s past. [I woulda just gone with “I’m writing a book about the hotel’s history”, but that’s just me.]
Tony tells her that he doesn’t think he can help with metaphysical stuff and when she wishes aloud that there was someone from back then who could give her more details, the detective is able to point her toward somebody that was at least close enough to know the story first hand of what happened there.
Commentary: I thought that this was going to be a very clever allusion to the random homeless guy from the very beginning, giving us a reason he was included giving the stink eye at Grace’s entering the hotel. It would also explain why he chooses to squat on the steps of said building if he ended up having some personal tie to somebody who was killed there, or to Liz herself… but no. No, they weren’t that clever: disappointing. Instead we’re about to get a whole new character.
Scene 53: The detective sets Grace up with a meeting to help her gather some details.
He’s able to clarify Liz’ story, where she and her daughter lived at the hotel with her husband, who worked for the Mills… the original owners. One day the daughter and husband were killed by a teenaged drunk driver. The driver grew up to become a priest, apparently. He tells her that people who knew Liz said that she changed that day and something just snapped inside of her.
There are rumors, but only rumors, that Jason Howard - one of the locals and possibly the missing accomplice murdered her to protect his son, who was the drunken driver. Grace suggests that maybe they weren’t accomplices at all, but that Liz had been a suspect for things that Jason did and that is why he killed her before she could tell her side of things and bring his serial killing to light.
[It doesn’t exactly exonerate Liz though… we’re talking perhaps 50 victims here and we saw earlier Liz acting evil!ghostly. This tale doesn’t seem exactly accurate either.]
Our font-of-information opines that they’ll never really know the whole story or whether Jason was involved at all. He also offers that rumor suggests that Liz might have had a diary where she kept the entire sordid business documented and that may even be why Jason sealed up the hotel, rather than the gypsy curse story.
Commentary: I wish we’d gotten this story out a lot sooner in this film. Right now, it’s just muddling up the history we thought we knew [what very little we actually got] but not in a way that clarifies anything. It feels rather late to scrap what we’ve been told and start over as far as the Lyndora’s sordid history. And again, right now we should be seeing much more of Grace suffering this compulsion that she says she’s feeling but that we’ve seen little actual sign of.
Scene 54: Grace returns to the Lyndora… again… where she calls Bob to leave a voice mail that she’s mailed him 75% of her script and wants feedback when he glances over it.
[This makes zero sense. She sees Bob regularly apparently, so why have the delay to mail in the script. They needed to make it clear at the beginning that Bob travels some inconvenient distance to see Grace in person, and then provide the reasoning behind it in order to make her mailing things to him, rather than meeting for coffee again and handing it to him to make any sense to me.]
After she hangs up she finds Hanging Man standing in the room. We see that he’s holding a knife close to his chest. He tells Grace that she’s going to die… for real this time.
Grace sasses back and swings her heavy manuscript at him, but he vanishes from sight and she’s left to fall on her ass.
Scene 55: Sometime later, Grace is still sitting on the floor rocking back and forth. Father Pat comes in worried, stating that he got her call and asking if she’s alright.
She replies that she is, but she’s sounds spaced out and is still rocking to herself until he helps her to her feet. When he asks what is going on, she tells him they need a drink while handing him a piece of paper.
Scene 56: At the bar, we find out unsurprisingly that the drunk teen was Father Pat. He tells her that he carries that guilt with him every single day, but warns her not to try to blame the ghost hijinks on him as they could’ve come for him long before now if they had wanted to target him for vengeance.
Pat tells her that he’s right with God and the law and had both paid his time and then devoted his life to helping others in atonement. Grace wonders why he didn’t tell her once things started happening and he replies “shame, maybe” but he feels his conscious is clear. She wonders at why things are happening and seem to be escalating if the ghosts aren’t looking for vengeance toward him and he offers that maybe there isn’t any explanation except that it’s simply happening.
He tells her to for-reals-this-time, pack up & go home and finish her story there.
Commentary: I liked this scene and I found myself sympathetic to Father Pat now that he’s dropped his irritating comedy reliefdom. I’m a bit conflicted on of these details coming out now, though. On the one hand, it’s creating some reasons for the ghostly activity, but on the other we’ve got extra ghosts that I don’t understand. One of them must be Liz, of course -- but what she wants with Grace is still a mystery. One of them has to be Jason, the probable serial killer who apparently would be Pat’s father though this isn’t made explicit by anyone, another would be - presumably - Liz’s husband and the little girl, her daughter. But that still leaves the one-off teenage girl ghost that Grace gave a mention to and it doesn’t explain the Hanging Man. Now, he’d - I’d think - would be either Jason [though I tend to think that must be Large Bearded Attacker] or Liz’s husband. But if that’s the case, why would he have been hanging when he was killed by Father Pat with his car… that renders that haunting nonsensible. And why would he threaten to kill Grace “for real this time”? And if he’s somebody else entirely… like maybe one of Liz’s and/or Jason’s victims then why have we not heard specifically about his case to give us some idea of that.
We are over 63 minutes into this and instead of starting to reach some clarity over what is happening, the reasons and why Grace is being impacted so, we’re just left with a really muddled history that isn’t really hanging together well with what we’ve seen for ourselves through the ghost’s actions and the tidbits we’ve heard that could be accurate… or completely not.
Scene 57: Later still, Grace and Katy return upstairs… possibly looking for the board again, I’m not sure. But they find the Ouija left where Grace didn’t put it. She asks if Katy had been playing with it by herself, but currently the more curious thing is how the planchette is moving back and forth with nobody touching it.
Katy doesn’t answer and Grace snaps for her to tell her. The pointer stops its random movements, as Katy points out that its stopped on “U”, stating that it’s Grace whose been using it.
The board then flies at both of them, scaring the crapola outta them.
Grace again seems to get a dazed look on her face after her fright and gets the beginnings of a slight smile suddenly.
Commentary: Arggh. Okay, okay, can we please get the ghost’s story and then wrap this up with however it’s going to end? Now. Please.
Oh, man. This film is 93 minutes… I was hoping for 75.
Scene 58: Sometime later, Katy has run to fetch Father Pat and dragged him upstairs. Camera-Canted tells us that something is about to be goin’ on of the ghostly nature.
He’s a tad put out by Katy interrupting Confessions-Night, barging into his confession with Mrs. Pearson who apparently needs to do so regularly. But Katy just points into one of the open doors.
They find Grace sitting on the floor and rocking to herself, again. Whatever he sees shocks him, though we don’t see anything outwardly strange about her. She does end up hissing at him though, which admittedly is a bit odd. He crosses himself.
Pat sends Katy downstairs for her own safety while he pulls out his cell phone to call for help [I was, uh, expecting holy water or a Crucifix]. He’s called Helga for some emergency psychic back up. Alas, she doesn’t seem to be answering.
Scene 59: In the café which is Bob and Grace’s usual meeting place, Dean comes in worried at Bob’s call. Bob’s first question is whether Dean has heard from Grace recently but he’s been out of town and hasn’t. Bob shares that she’s not picking up her cell and he hasn’t heard from her in days [But he doesn’t think to drive over to the hotel? Or bother to call his friend Mattie to see if Grace is still there after he suggested strongly that she leave? Or called her home and spoken to her daughter? What the fuck, Bob?]
Dean suggests that Bob knows how Grace gets when she’s writing, but this doesn’t put Bob’s mind at ease. Dean calls Eva’s cell phone [and we FINALLY get confirmation that this is her daughter’s name!] but she tells him that she hasn’t seen her mother either.
While Bob is staying at the café in case Grace is running late, Dean says he’s heading over to the hotel as that was the last place that Grace talked to her daughter from. Before he goes, Bob suggests that when he has a chance, he should read the latest that Grace wrote but doesn’t go into detail. His manner suggests that something she’s sent him has him spooked and worried about her state of mind, though he doesn’t specify this for Dean either.
Commentary: Okay, in addition to the “sometime later” problems that is making a timeline difficult to keep track of and the muddled hotel/Liz/Jason history, it’s also starting to annoy me that we’re getting shoutouts to things that happened off screen that is just being randomly thrown out there. Why was Dean out of town? Was it his work problem… because we received zero indication that Dean’s job required him to be gone for days at a time and you’d think that during one of Grace’s bitchiness phases, she’d mention that as irksome. Or you’d think Dean would have mentioned how he worries about her when she’s getting obsessed with her writing and he can’t be with her because he’s out of the city for his job… something before the fact that he’s out of town a lot gets dumped on us as a throwaway.
Scene 60: Downstairs at the hotel, Katy has done as Father Pat asked… but she’s got a grip on the Ouija box, too. I’m sure he’d not be comfortable with that.
Katy walks down the hallway, now looking as dazed as Grace. When she stops for a moment we see that she’s no longer displaying her usual behavioral quirks. And in fact, she’s got on heavy makeup and loses her glasses. She stares at herself in a mirror, appearing much more adult in mannerisms than she had been.
She gives her own face intense scrutiny.