DOCUMENTARIES TO FRIGHTEN AND INSPIRE – At The Movies With Kasey
After I reviewed The Conjuring III earlier this summer, I started to get suggested articles about the Warrens and their cases. Considering that there’s a little part of my brain constantly mulling over whether or not they were charlatans, it was not an unwelcome trend. Served up by the algorithm was an article about a new documentary called The Sleepless Unrest: The Real Conjuring Home that discussed how a team of documentarians who stayed in the house for two weeks would never be the same. Marketing gimmick, right? Had to be. But still, I wanted to watch the movie.
The Sleepless Unrest is a terrible title. It is both vague and redundant, but that makes it fitting for a film in this ghosthunting genre. In the movie, homeowners Cory and Jennifer Heinzen allow documentarians Kenall and Vera Whelpton, Richel Stratton, and Brian Murray into their home, a 400-year-old house made famous as the setting of the real-life events that inspired The Conjuring. Not a lot happens, but there is suspenseful music.
The opening sequence of The Sleepless Unrest sets the stage for a lot of tension. Kendall is in a room full of computers and equipment and someone or something is lurking outside a closed door. The tension builds. There is a loud bang, and then a jumpcut to the film crew at the beginning of the project. The strong opening had me prepared for something scary to actually happen in this movie. What followed was some doors opening or closing on their own and not much else besides flashing lights in the woods.
That is the biggest criticism I can think of for this movie—despite the big claims that the filmmakers still feel disturbed by their time there, they do not show much cause for those feelings. That said, I enjoyed watching this movie. If you are one to watch paranormal shows, it does not diverge from the standards of the genre, but it does create suspense, and seeing the crew explore the actual house from The Conjuring story was interesting. I do not think that this documentary is particularly good, but what it does it does well, and I was not mad that I rented it. If you are anxious for the spooky season to begin, this might be a good pick for you, so long as you temper your expectations.
The Sleepless Unrest: The Real Conjuring Home was directed by Kendall and Vera Whelpton. It runs 1 hour 20 minutes.
Do you know what’s really scary? Harassment. 9to5: The Story of a Movement focuses on the women who pushed for changes to protect the wages, opportunities, and safety of the millions of women who worked in office jobs in the 1970s and beyond, told by the women themselves, including Rose Aguirra, Verna Barksdale, Laurie Brown, and others. Although women in office jobs made up the largest group in the labor market at the time, they were often treated as though they were invisible, subject to discrimination and sexual harassment. The documentary follows the 9to5 movement from its early organizers, and through the production of the hit comedy and Dolly Parton song based on their work.
I learned a lot by watching this film and it was as fun as it was educational. The story moves along at a steady clip, energized by pop culture examples and bright music. The stories of the women are sure to frustrate and inspire, but the tone of the storytelling largely celebrates the women and how they banded together. Overall, the documentary dives into a complicated far-reaching story without getting in the weeds. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
9to5: The Story of a Movement was directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert. It runs 1 hour 29 minutes and is rated TV-MA for language and smoking. It is streaming on Netflix.
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