It was a nice, relaxing weekend.  And with any relaxing weekend, there is a laundry list of things I did not get around to doing, namely I didn’t do a James Wan marathon in prep to seeing The Conjuring 2.  I did, however, see about a third of the first movie.  So I make a pledge to do that next weekend.  The wine choice was a combination of craving and inspiration.  I went to Walmart to grab some garlic bread, etc, and found the protest du jour to be the proposed banning of co-ed bathrooms.  Honestly, I don’t remember the Bible saying anything about which bathroom to use, but the guy telling me to sign his petition was convinced it was in there.  I didn’t sign the petition, by the way, citing the sin of Pride (# 7 on the deadly sins list) for thinking that his beliefs gave him permission to force said beliefs on others through legislation and taking the Lord’s name in vain (# 3 on the 10 commandments list) for trying to tell me it’s in the Bible.  I walked out of Walmart with a bottle of The Seven Deadly Zins… which is delicious.

THE MOVIE:  The Boy (2016)

Since I hardly got off of the couch this weekend, I surfed the new releases on Amazon and found The Boy.

The premise:  An elderly British couple (the Heelshires) intends to go on their first holiday in many years, but have to hire a nanny to watch their son, Brahms.  Enter the young American (from Montana) nanny named Greta, who is running away from an abusive relationship.  I’m going to assume the elderly shut-ins didn’t find Greta on Craig’s List, but it’s never explained how she got a job with no experience watching over a mysterious child in a foreign country.  To Greta’s surprise, Brahms is a porcelain doll (honestly, you would think that would have been in the Craig’s List add), is shown a grave, and told the real Brahms died in a fire 20 years ago.  After a day of adjustment, the Heelshires take off on holiday for the next couple of months (the mother says “I’m sorry” before walking out), leaving Greta with the doll, a creepy mansion to care for, and a list of rules to follow as if the doll were alive.  Shockingly, Greta does NOT abide by the rules and that’s when things start going downhill.  Stupid American.

I won’t spoil the ending, but Cindy did say, “Oh God, that’s even creepier than the doll.” The Boy has some things I like as a storyteller.  Like The Haunting, we have misdirection – always a good thing.  It’s a little predictable if you look for the signs like I do, but it won’t kill the movie.  The director, William Brent Bell – the guy who brought us 2012’s The Devil Inside, knows how to build tension out of what seems obvious, giving us just enough to question what we are seeing.  The movie sets up a dreary atmosphere that will have you leaning in as you look for ghosts.  The plot, despite the obvious holes, has not really been seen in about the last 20 years, so it will surprise most viewers. This movie is worth a rental, or a buy if creepy dolls are your thing.  If you like movies like Halloween (the Carpenter version, and yes, I said it), this one is for you.

THE WINE:  The Seven Deadly Zins

Zinfandel 2013 (California)

About $11 a bottle.

Like I said, I had been craving a spicy Zin for weeks, and Cindy’s pasta dish – rigatoni pasta, tomatoes, garlic, onions, mozzarella, red pepper flakes, and olive oil – and garlic bread gave me a great excuse.  I’m telling you right now that there are few things more I like than a spicy dish with plenty of garlic and a good Zin.  A Zin will actually mellow into a sweeter taste and mouth feel, making the pipe tobacco flavor pop, when paired with garlic.  The Seven Deadly Zins is a wonderful example of a full body Zin with its notes of raspberry jam, molasses, cinnamon, pipe tobacco, oak, and its soft tannins (making it dry but not harsh) that will not break the bank by any means.

This is a great bottle of wine if you are in the mood for something spicy.