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In ‘The Manor,’ Barbara Hershey finds terror in the nursing home

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In ‘The Manor,’ Barbara Hershey finds terror in the nursing home

MOVIE REVIEW

“THE MANOR”

Not rated. On Amazon Prime.

Grade: B

“The Manor” from former horror film reporter Axelle Carolyn, who wrote and directed, is “Suspiria” for geriatrics and a piece of horror movie fluff. But it is also entertaining and a bit scary, with a strong cast headed by the still beautiful Barbara Hershey.

Hershey, who made baby boomer male pulses race, plays an old woman and former ballet dancer (the “Suspiria” link) named Judith Albright, a sweet and loving human being who after swooning at her birthday party decides to move into a large, old care home for seniors.

Judith is showing signs of Parkinson’s and had a small stroke. Ugh, old age.

Almost two decades earlier, Judith came to the rescue of her single-mother daughter Barbara (Katie A. Keane) and helped raise Barbara’s fatherless son Josh (Nicholas Alexander), who is now 17 years old.

Judith and Josh have a strong bond. Judith does not seem as fierce as her Biblical namesake, who famously beheaded the Assyrian general Holofernes.

At the manor house, where our Judith moves, she has trouble fitting in. She has obviously not read the rules of the place (a weird omission). She has to share a room with a semi-comatose woman named Annette (Nancy Linehan Charles), who is terrified by a black cat. A staff member takes Judith for a walk in the adjacent woods and shows her the spooky, big, old oak tree that the kids in the neighborhood gather round at night.

Judith’s social status improves after she is befriended by the courtly Roland (Bruce Davison, “X-Men”) and his two bridge-playing women buddies. Roland even makes a sexual pass at Judith, perhaps hoping to add her to his bridge-playing harem.

One night a lightning storm moves in and during the flashes of light Judith sees a creature — holy “Green Night” — made out of wood and bark standing beside Annette’s bed and then perching on the end of Judith’s bed, before alighting upon Judith’s body like the demonic creature in the famous Henry Fuseli painting “The Nightmare.”

Judith is tested by the staff “charlatan” doctor (Andrew Tinpo Lee) for dementia. Is Judith having delusions brought on by that condition? Or is some supernatural force at work, murdering the patients one by one and sacrificing them to the devil himself?

“The Manor” brings a lot of films to mind, the first being the Roman Polanski genre classic “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968). Josh himself brings up “The Wicker Man,” the 1973 cult film remade — terribly — in 2006 with Nicolas Cage. In “The Manor,” someone prays to the Lord of the Forest and tosses tied strands of someone’s hair into a fire.

Writer-director Carolyn, who was born in Brussels, Belgium, knows what she is doing, even if she is a bit loose with the details.

Hershey is fun as Judith, especially when she gets angry enough to fight back.

“The Manor” is not as great as last year’s “Relic” from Japanese-Australian writer-director Natalie Erika James, another horror film about dementia. But “The Manor” has its moments.

(“The Manor” contains harsh language, frightening scenes and extreme emotional distress.)

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‘They’re basically stealing from kids’ – Thieves steal Boy Scout troop’s trailer

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‘They’re basically stealing from kids’ – Thieves steal Boy Scout troop’s trailer

ST. LOUIS – A local Boy Scout troop is heartbroken after a trailer carrying all their camping equipment was stolen over the weekend in the Holly Hills neighborhood. Now, the troop is asking for the public’s help to either find the trailer or help replace the items lost.

Troop 104’s bright red trailer was stolen Friday morning around 5 a.m. Scoutmaster Michael Lohff said the truck and all the equipment inside totaled more than $15,000, including tents, cookware, and tarps. He said all the items were acquired from years of donations and fundraising. 

“It has a big impact on the fact that we’re going to have to look up replacing everything as we go along, or definitely before we hit the road again, and we want to be able to do that very soon,” Lohff said.  

He said he brought a bright red trailer when he first started with the troop so he could carry all the troop’s equipment for camping and other activities.  

“They’re basically stealing from kids; that’s what they’re doing,” he said. “Whoever did take the trailer and all that equipment from the boys. They stole from the boys that are members of the troop and have been members of the troop for all these years.”

Lohff said all the items were acquired through donations and fundraising by his scout members.

The trailer was parked in a private lot in the Holly Hills neighborhood in south St. Louis. Lohff said he has parked the trailer there for nearly two decades without any incident. He was heartbroken to find the trailer had been stolen.

“That raises very personal concerns of who’s right behind my backyard,” neighbor Chuck Smith said.

Smith lives a couple of doors down from the lot. He said the trailer has become a neighborhood staple over the years.

“To do it at this time of year before Christmas, it just seems like a very insensitive thing to do,” he said.  

Lohff said the trailer also got broken into last year, but only a few items were stolen after that incident. But after this recent theft, he’s going to upgrade his security. He said police do not have any security footage. 

Anyone with information on the person or persons responsible for the theft is asked to call the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department at 314-444-0100 or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

There is a GoFundMe page to help the troop replace the stolen trailer and gear.

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Saint Louis Zoo wants gun activist who fought its ban to pay legal bills

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Saint Louis Zoo wants gun activist who fought its ban to pay legal bills

ST. LOUIS (AP) — After successfully defending its weapons ban in court, the Saint Louis Zoo is now trying to force the gun-rights activist who challenged the ban to pay part of its $150,000 in legal bills.

The zoo filed a request for its request for legal fees in August, but a judge has yet to rule on the motion.

A lawyer for Jeffry Smith of Cincinnati, Ohio, who challenged the ban on guns called the motion unfair.

A St. Louis judge ruled last year that the zoo could ban guns on its property because it qualifies as a school and a gated amusement park under state law.

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61-year-old found dead in burning St. Louis County home

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61-year-old found dead in burning St. Louis County home

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – St. Louis Regional Bomb and Arson detectives are investigating an overnight house fire in south St. Louis County that claimed the life of a 61-year-old man.

According to Officer Adrian Washington, a spokesperson for the St. Louis County Police Department, officers responded to a call for a house fire in the 3500 block of Eileen Ann Drive around 1:35 a.m. Sunday.

Police arrived and saw heavy smoke coming from the home. Firefighters searched the residence and found a man’s body in the basement.

Anyone with information on the investigation can contact the St. Louis County Police Department 636-529-8210 or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

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