Live Blog 4

Cooper gets locked in an old mansion and decides to sit in front of the fire place and read Poe, Jesus dude you’re a gamer go explore the house

Cooper falls for a jump scare and discusses jump scares the next time it looks like it happens. It was kinda dumb but I was thinking the same things he said

Sonja arrives at the door and says that she did research on the photo he sent her and that the device was refused a patent because it was too dangerous.

Also, five people have disappeared and they all signed up for the same Job as Cooper

Cooper doesn’t believe her, but she starts menacing him with a carving knife saying she hacked his bank account and led him here.

She stabs him in the back and they wrestle on the floor

Coopers taking this stab wound like a champ

Yeah he’s screaming but not enough

The skin rips off Sonja’s face as the knife is driven through Coopers back until it’s sticking out his front.

Her grabs her head and rams it into the blade (HARDCORE)

Way more screaming and crying (that’s more like it)

Sonja’s the and the wound disappears

Cooper freaks out and tries to escape the game

Bioshock Reference

Cooper can’t remember anything the game is overriding his memories

Welcome to the brain fry

Cooper wakes up turns out it was all in the game (I smell a twist ending coming)

Double twist ending Yes!

While the body of this episode wasn’t as strong as the last one the ending was way better

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Live Blog 3

Live Blog Black mirror Season 3

Episode: Play test

The Episode begins with a guy leaving a house with a backpack and refusing a call from his mother

He’s on a plane with bad turbulence, but he’s completely unafraid and reassures a little girl

Travel montages, saving time since Indiana Jones

Guys got a pretty good beard, now he’s trying to hook up with some bar chick he met online.

And he hit’s it out of the park, and he get’s breakfast out of it too (just toast)

Dude still won’t talk to his mom, Started when his dad died of Alzheimer’s

Guy’s name is Cooper and Cooper is out of cash, I think his identities been stolen

Still, doesn’t call his mom (been there dude)

Cooper signs up to do game testing, thrill seekers wanted, the add says (Red flag dude)

I wish a sinister British dude met him at the entrance.

This guy Jokes are starting to wear thin

He sneaks a photo of the equipment and sends it to hook up girl (Sonja)

Mom plays just before he starts the virtual reality trip

Cooper Plays 3-D whack a mole Looks Fun

Cooper talks to Saito the game company president

Now he’s undergoing the full experience

Live Blog 2

The trip is going terribly (something tells me that it’s going to get worse)

In this world, profanity is illegal (I wouldn’t last a day)

Lacey is getting double damage from down votes; this is the begging of the end

Now Lacy is hitchhiking

She picked up by a truck driver lady who’s low rated but says she used to be super high

The Truck Driver lady’s husband died from cancer so she just started saying whatever she wanted, now she a total pariah.

Lacey gets a ride with some Sci-fi Geeks (this is going to be awkwardness central)

Lacy’s friend tells her not to come because she too low ranked

She pisses off the sci-fi geeks and goes cross country to get to the wedding

When she gets there she looks like death warmed over

Her speech is crazy and brutal but I hoped for even more viciousness

It kind of sounds like Lacey was in love with her friend

Lacey gets arrested and gets into an insult match with the dude in the cell across from her.

She kind of looks like she’s happy

Very creepy episode but also very predictable

Live Blog 1

Live Blog: Black Mirror Season 3

Black Mirror Episode: Nosedive

Black Mirror revolves around horror story primarily based around a technological theme. The series was created by Charlie Brooker so expect dark humor, good writing and all the subtlety of a large explosion.

Each episode is about an hour long.

I enjoyed the first two seasons, so let see how this one goes

The first scene involves a woman (named Lacey) exercising while simultaneously being glued to her phone

Everyone is looking at his or her phones non-stop

First time I knew that this was set into the future was when I noticed Lacey has cyber eye implants

Lacey practices laughing in the mirror, this is fu&*ing creepy

Everyone in this episode speaks fluent passive aggressive Bi%&*

Apparently status in this world is determined by social media rankings, its official this world is my hell

Our main character needs a better rating to afford a cool apartment

Her image consultant is telling her to be more authentic; irony is not dead in this world

Lacey gets invited to a wedding by her super-rich ex-best friend

Lacey is sharing an apartment with her brother he says she’s acting like a sociopath she tells him he embarrasses her.

Everyone smiles like a freaking psycho in this world

The Uninvited

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The Dead are Not Silent

 

 

The Uninvited

Director: Lewis Allen

Stars: Ray Milland/Ruth Hussey

Year Made: 1944

Genre: Horror

Running Time: 99 Minutes

Spoilers are not silent, Even in Death

            One of the oldest types of horror stories is the story of the haunted house. Even if you go back centuries, stories of old houses and restless spirits will still be there. When it comes to movies there have been dozens made about spooky houses, but 1944’s “The Uninvited” is seen as one of the greatest ever made. The plot setup is simple but effective. A pair of English siblings Roderick “Rick” Fitzgerald (Ray Milland) and his sister Pamela (Ruth Hussey) are vacationing on the coast of Cornwall when they happen across a huge country house. They instantly fall in love with every room in the house except for an upstairs room that always seems cold and unpleasant. They decide to ask Commander Beech (Donald Crisp) the houses owner if it’s for sale and he offers it to them at an extremely low price, which they eagerly accept, at first things seem happy and peaceful with Rick even romancing the Beeches young granddaughter Stella Meredith (Gail Russell). However, once the two siblings are settled in, the Fitzgerald siblings begin to notice eerie sounds and strange smells that come from nowhere. It soon becomes clear that the two are not alone in the house and their uninvited guest has a particular interest in Stella.

I’ve never been a fan of ghosts as an antagonist. While there are many great movies revolving around ghosts or curses I’ve always preferred an antagonist that actually exists physically. Ghosts have a tendency to rob characters of their agency. While a physical threat (hopefully) has characters trying to avoid it or eliminate it, characters confronted with a ghost or other spiritual threat, seem content to wait around and let it come to them. Haunted house movies have even more problems than the regular supernatural horror film because the way to stop the haunting is simple just leave the freaking house. With all my prejudices against ghosts in mind, believe me when I say that “The Uninvited” was a surprisingly great film.

“The Uninvited” salvages a fairly predictable set up with strong characters and some clever twists at the end. While the plot was good, what really won me over was the how it was shot .Now I don’t know what it is about movies shot in the nineteen forties, but they all seems to look incredibly beautiful. This is especially surprising for me, who has always preferred color to black and white, but “The Uninvited” is gorgeous. Every scene perfectly conveys the mood and when things get supernatural, it looks like the cast has stepped into another world. While all the cast is good, the standout is definitely Gail Russell’s, Stella. When she wasn’t the victim of supernatural mischief she was a fun and likable small town girl and when the spooky stuff started she defiantly convinced me that something otherworldly was affecting her. On a side note, this film had an Ouija board scene before Ouija boards were even invented. I cannot stress this enough, a horror film lives and dies by the mood it instills and while “The Uninvited” never got all the way to terrifying, this was for the best, as it seemed reasonable that the Fitzgerald’s wouldn’t want to leave. Still “The Uninvited” was very creepy and very memorable

Sadly “The Uninvited” didn’t completely escape the flaws of a haunted house movie. While the characters were more proactive than usual, the movie did take a little time to get started. While there were no pointless scenes of the characters walking around only to run into jump scares, there was a romantic subplot. While the romance between Stella and Ricks did give Rick motivation not to leave the house, I couldn’t help but wonder if a reel from “Roman Holliday” had gotten accidentally spliced into this ghost movie. Something that was more strange than disappointing was Rick not showing much fear. Even when things got supernatural, Rick (almost) always kept his stereotypically British stiff upper lip. This might be due to it being the forties when it wasn’t appropriate to see the hero freak out and lose his cool. Despite all of this, “The Uninvited” was one of the best, haunted house movies I’ve ever seen, and as I don’t normally enjoy haunted houses of any kind you know that’s high praise.

F.A.Q’s

Did I like the movie: Yes

Would I watch it again: Yes

Would I buy it: No

Halloween Costumes for Women: Sexy Nurse, Sexy Werewolf, Sexy Cthulhu

 

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The Spirit is a Fragile Thing

 

 

Don’t Breathe Review

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They Picked the Wrong house

Don’t Breathe Review

Director: Fede Alvarez

Stars: Jane Levy/Stephen Lang

Year Released: 2016

Genre: Horror

Running Time: 88 Minutes

Spoilers are right behind you

        More than any other genre, horror films are hit and miss for me. For every great horror film, I see it seems there are half a dozen others that bore me to tears .It might be that it I’m harder to scare than then when I was a kid. Or maybe the way to make a truly great horror film is something that Hollywood has lost. Either way, there are a lot of horror movies out that just don’t interest me at all. So in order to find out what I really like in a horror film and to celebrate Halloween, October going to be all horror movies. Let’s start this month off right with a movie that was just recently in theaters and did a lot of things right.

“Don’t Breathe” is the latest film Uruguayan filmmaker Fede Alvarez who broke into the American market with his remake of the cult classic “The Evil Dead.” It follows a group of three young thieves in Detroit. There’s our heroine Rocky (Jane Levy), the obnoxious street thug Money (Daniel Zovatto) and cautious nice guy Alex (Dylan Minnette). The three doing well as Alex’s dad works for a security company and has codes to the houses alarms. However, their fence is short changing them on the stolen goods and Alex insists that they not steal cash as that comes with a higher charge. This is especially bad for Rocky as she’s only stealing to get her and her sister out of Detroit and away from their abusive mother. A sudden windfall comes, when Money learns of a house in a nearly abandoned, part of the city that may be the answer to all their problems. Even better, is that the house only occupant is an old, blind war veteran (Stephen Lang), who recently get a massive cash settlement when his daughter was killed by a rich, drunk driver. What starts out as a simple plan quickly goes to sh#$ when the blind man catches them in the act and proves to be a ruthless badass who’s more than capable of overpowering them with ease. Even worse it that their harmless looking victim has a dark secret that he’ll gladly kill to protect.

I wasn’t planning on seeing “Don’t Breathe” at first as I have been disappointed with most of the recent horror films in theaters. But, I heard good things about “Don’t Breathe” so I decided to give it a shot and I was pleasantly surprised. It’ wasn’t just the fact that “Don’t Breathe” was a good horror movie, but that it was a good slasher movie. For those of you who don’t know, the slasher was a particular brand of horror movie that used to rule the theaters back in the eighties. They were started by classics like “Friday the 13’th” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” but these days there mostly just a subject of mockery, due to how formulaic their plots became. Tell me if this sounds familiar, a bunch of sexy teens (who are mostly assho%$s) go someplace that has an evil reputation and get killed off by a huge freak until the soul surviving girl (and it’s always a girl) manages to kill the monster and get away. Slasher movies eventually became so dumb that the only reason to watch them was so you could root against the stupid teens. Fortunately, while “Don’t Breathe” has teens running from a killer, it avoids the other pitfalls of slashers.

The cast of “Don’t Breath” is what helps separate it from most horror movies. While it does have Money the token jerk, he actually contributes to the plot. More importantly, he does the audience a favor by getting killed off very early (thank God). Even better are Rocky and Alex. Both are likable characters with extremely relatable motivations that help the audience understand them. Even though their way out of poverty involves robbing a crippled veteran. Speaking of him, the blind man (that how he’s listed in the credits) is an excellent antagonist. Stephen Lang is in tremendous shape for his age and every time he and teens fight, he’s so quick and brutal that he seems unstoppable. More impressive is the blind man’s motivation. Most horror movie villains have little to no motivation but the blind man is a huge exception. Even after we learn about his horrible crimes, you can still understand why he did them. In the end, he’s just a broken man that’s trying to find something to live for in a world that’s taken everything from him.

Beyond its excellent characters “Don’t Breath” is a relentlessly tense film. Half the movie had me on the edge of my seat, ready to panic. While “Don’t Breath” has a very brief eighty-eight minute run time, this actually helps it. No scene feels overlong or pointless. While a few parts of the story were difficult to accept, none of it was so bad as to ruin the whole plot. While it’s generally accepted that horror movie sequels are the worst kinds of sequels, “Don’t Breathe” actually made me hope that we get one. The ending perfectly sets up a sequel and it would be great to see a modern movie defeat an age-old trend. If you’re looking for a recent horror movie this Halloween, I’ve got one piece of advice, check out “Don’t Breathe”

F.A.Q’s

Did I like the movie: Yes

Would I watch it again: Yes

Would I buy it: Yes

Things you don’t want to hear from your kids: I’m going to get ice cream or commit a felony. I don’t know, I’ll decide in the car

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Never mess with a desperate man

Welcome To Night Vale Review

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Mostly Paper, Partial Words

 

Welcome To Night Vale

Authors: Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

Year Published 2015

Genre: Comedy/Drama/Horror

All Hail Spoilers Worship and Submit

           

There is a town, a small town in the desert not unlike your own. It’s a town where the Sun is hot, the Moon is beautiful and strange lights pass overhead in the night as we pretend to sleep. This is the town of Night Vale, a town just like yours, or maybe just more like yours than you’d care to admit.

All right so maybe Night Vale isn’t much like your town. In our world (I’m assuming you live in the same world as me), “Welcome to Night Vale” started as Comedy/Surreal horror podcast, which was presented as the community radio show from the surreal town of Night Vale. A town where the bizarre happens so much, it’s just a part of regular life. If you’re interested in a story podcast that perfectly balances surreal horror and hilarious absurdity, you should give “Welcome to Night Vale” a listen. Chronologically the book, “Welcome To Night Vale” takes place just before episode seventy-six, so everyone who’s interested should go and get caught up. Don’t worry I’ll just wait here.

All right, now that we’re all on the same page, was that awesome or what? For those of you who didn’t take the time to listen to a mere seventy-five episodes (shame on you), “Welcome to Night Vale” can best be described as the twisted love child of “News from Lake Wobegon” and “The Twilight Zone.” Night Vale is in all respects a standard small town. Like all small towns, they’re concerned with P.T.A meetings, mayoral elections and the fear that large corporations might change their way of life. The only difference is that in Night Vale the head of the P.T.A is an ominous and mighty glow cloud (ALL HAIL THE GLOW CLOUD), the mayoral candidates are a literal five-headed dragon and the faceless old woman who secretly lives in your house (yes, your house) and the encroaching corporation isn’t Wal-Mart, but StrexCorp Synernists Inc. a sinister cult devoted to a terrifying smiling God (Believe in a Smiling God). Fortunately, most of that stuff isn’t important in the context of the book.

The book “Welcome to Night Vale” focuses on two specific citizens of Night Vale and how the comfortable routine weirdness of their lives is suddenly changed into uncomfortable new weirdness. One of our main characters is Jackie Fierro the nineteen-year-old owner and proprietor of the local Night Vale pawnshop. Jackie has been nineteen for as long as she can remember (has it been years or centuries) and she has always worked at the pawn show. This familiar routine is shattered when a mysterious man in a tan jacket (yes that man, in that tan jacket) pawns a slip of paper with the words King City written on it. Now, no matter what she does that slip of paper always ends up back in Jackie’s hand. On the other side of town, office worker and single mother Diane Crayton struggles to raise her fifteen-year-old son, Josh by herself. Josh is at that awkward time in his life when kids can be a real handful. It also doesn’t help that Josh is a shape shifter and is starting to ask questions about his father. After a series of hilarious misadventures and terrifying existential terror, both women team up to solve their small town problems.

When I was growing up my mom would always listen to the radio show “A Prairie Home Companion” as we drove home from school. I also loved watching the twilight zone on the Sci-Fi channel. So it should be no surprise that when I heard that there was a podcast that combined these two I was all over it like a five-headed dragon on five pigs. When I heard that there was going to be a Night Vale book, I did wonder if the shows creepy humor would successfully survive the journey into the realm of print. I’m happy to say that both the scares and the laughs are here. But I’m even happier to say that they weren’t even my favorite part.

While I was prepared to scream and laugh when I read “Welcome to Night Vale”, I was not prepared to care. Yes, believe it not I became sincerely invested in our two main characters. I felt Jackie’s fear over being uprooted from her comfortable routine and thrust into the unknown because I’ve felt that. I also felt Diane’s difficulty in raising a son on her own, even though I haven’t felt anything like that before because the writing was good enough for me to step into her shoes. If I can impress one thing on you, it’s that it’s very hard to have relatable, interesting and sympathetic characters in the book as f and absurd as this one.  “Welcome to Night Vale” somehow pulls it off. One of my favorite parts is when Diane is making excuses to Josh for her absence and she tells him that she was on a date with Dawn her co-worker. Josh mishears Dawn as Don and his error isn’t corrected until long after the conversation has ended. Who hasn’t seen (or participated in) a mother and son having two separate conversations without even knowing it? That one part was one of many that really hit home for me.rightening

Sadly, “Welcome to Night Vale” isn’t perfect. While I didn’t have too much trouble, the weird wordplay, and constant bizarre shifts in the story will undoubtedly leave many people lost and wondering what the heck just happened. There is also the matter of the plot, which, in short, is Jackie and Diane try to get to King City because they think the answers to their questions are there. Now it takes them awhile to get to King City, where the climax happens, and before they get there, it seems like they’re just spinning their wheels. Not only does it take a while for both Jackie and Diane to realize they’re after the same thing, but also their search mostly involves them looking for something, then running into a dead end. Now, while this is realistic it also gets a little frustrating after a while, but maybe that was the point. Fortunately, the search itself contains a ton of interesting moments. One of my favorites is when Jackie and Diane go to the offices of the local newspaper, to talk to hatchet-obsessed editor Leann Hart about articles she wrote about King City. After a strange conversation (aren’t they all) Jackie gets fed up and just asks if Leann can put them in touch with anyone who lives in King City.  Leann responds, “Oh no, I never actually went there or talked to anyone there. I’m a reporter, not a snoop.” Ladies and gentlemen, journalism in a nutshell.

“Welcome to Night Vale” is an interesting specimen. Not only is it the first book based on a podcast (that I know of), but it’s also a surreal horror comedy where the best part, at least for me, was the characters. While anyone who listens to the podcast will obviously want to pick this one up, I’m also going to recommend it to anyone who hasn’t listened to the podcast and is interested in reading a blend of scary, funny and touching. While it might confuse some, a quick visit to Wikipedia will let you know the basic outline of the show. If you’re tired of your dull lives, then why not drop everything, abandon your home and drive on over to Night Vale? After all, you’re only weird once. ( The previous statement may not be true.)

 

 

F.A.Q’s

Did I like the book: Yes

Would I read it again: Yes

Would I buy it: Yes

Tell a joke about eating people: Two cannibals are eating a clown. One looks to the other and says, “Does this taste funny to you”

 

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Now is not the time to Panic, The time to Panic was much earlier, but you can always make up for lost time.

 

 

The New Weird Review

 

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To any aspiring writers: this is how you get my attention

Book Review: The New Weird Anthology

Compilation of Many Authors

Published: 2008

Genre: Weird Fiction

Page Count: 414

You are now entering the Spoiler Zone

       The old saying “that normal is just a setting on a washing machine” has always helped guide my reading choices. So naturally when I saw a wonderful looking anthology called “The New Weird” I had to check it out. Going in I was oblivious to the fact that “The New Weird” wasn’t just the book’s title, but also the name of the literary movement that all the stories inside either belong to or helped inspire.

For those of you interested the book begins with a short essay by one of the books editors about the origins and effects of “The New Weird” along with several essays and discussions about the scene near the end of the book. While this was helpful I’m personally not very invested in any in-depth discussions about any scene or genre. This isn’t due to lack of interest but merely due to the fact that specifically detailing what a particular genre is “supposed” to be, tends to create a host of obnoxious detractors who decry anything that steps outside the borders as heresy. This, in turn, leads to everyone imitating each other and choking any creativity faster than a Lego’s choke a toddler. What were helpful, were the indexes of recommended authors and books, these are a godsend for anyone looking for more stories by the new author they found thru”The New Weird”.

With that said here are the basic facts about “The New Weird”: These are strange stories that take place in impossible places with bizarre characters, realism and normal behavior take a back seat to creativity and imagination and most finally sex, violence, and any other taboo subject aren’t simply allowed, they’re encouraged. Now let’s get to the stories themselves. Do to the large amount of stories I will cover the ones I think represent the best and worst of “The New Weird”.

The Braining of Mother Lamprey” by Simon D. Ings: If the some story’s can be expanded on then “The Braining of Mother Lamprey” should be expanded on. Ings creates a very interesting world here. A world where magic has supplanted technology and life has become more powerful than death. For example, a woman’s leg is severed late in the story and it actually comes to life soon afterward. It even grows feathers claws and a mouth, as it grows becomes a new animal. The background universe is extremely interesting (if set up a little poorly) and compliments the story. That story involves a magical apprentice getting dragged into a magical murder conspiracy while trying to get some time alone with his girlfriend. “The Braining of Mother Lamprey” is both bizarre and fun to read with characters you can relate to and an ending twist you’ll never see coming. This was one of my favorite stories in the book and I would definitely by a book in this setting.

The Neglected Garden” by Kathe Koja: This is one of the shorter and simpler stories in the book. It’s about a man who tries to breaks up with his girlfriend while she wants to keep the relationship going. In a bizarre turn, he finds her stuck in the back garden, slowly transforming into a strange plant. At first he panics and shows concern but in one of the most bizarre reactions in the book (and that’s saying a lot) he decides that this is just her way of making trouble for him, so he decides to just ignore her. This story wasn’t very interesting to me, it was short enough not to become annoying but way too short for any story to develop. “The Neglected Garden” never really gets going and you won’t miss anything by skipping it.

Jack” by China Mieville: Before I started “The New Weird” I heard That China Mieville was an author who deserved attention and after reading “Jack” I know why. “Jack” takes place in a bizarre otherworldly city (a favorite of the New Weird in general and Mieville in particular) called New Crobuzon. Our narrator tells the story of the rise and fall of Jack-half-a-prayer, who after being subjected to a bizarre surgical punishment called remaking, became a famous thief and hero to the New Crobuzons underclass. This story had me hooked from the first page, its setting was interesting, its characters were appealing and its premise was weird enough to draw me in and normal enough to be easily read. Even the ending which in hindsight, should have been totally predictable, caught me by surprise due to how engrossed I was with the story. “Jack” gets a big recommendation from me, Read it and spread the word.

Watson’s Boy” by Brian Evenson: This was definitely my least favorite of all the stories. The story revolves around a young man (the titular Watsons boy) who along with his strange father and invalid mother is trapped in a seemingly endless set of gloomy intersecting hallways. Aside from the family’s rooms and their shared kitchen, every door is locked despite the keys that are hung up on every interest. The young man spends his days trying to map the hallways and collecting keys despite knowing his task is almost certainly impossible. That’s about it for the plot, despite being one of the longer stories we never get any answers or any real insight into who these characters are or why they’re here. I certainly don’t expect all the answers from any of these stories because A, they’re short stories and B. they’re weird fiction, where strange triumphs over sense but at least give me some small view into what makes these characters tick. If “Watsons Boy” reminded me of anything it’s a half-finished Franz Kafka novel, only not as good. We have all the bleak absurdity that Kafka was famous for but none of the personal insight or deeper meaning. “Watsons Boy” is either an unfinished novel or an overlong short story. Whichever it is, I recommend you just skip it.

“The New Weird” was a bit frustrating for me. While there were some superb stories by excellent writers, there were others that just did nothing for me at all. Still, I don’t regret reading it and I would recommend it to anyone interested in weird fiction. If you find this lovely little anthology in your local library go ahead and give it a look.

 

 

F.A.Q’s

Did I like the book: Yes

Would I read it again: Yes

Would I buy it: No

Any tips for celebrating Columbus day: I always try to go to India to celebrate but for some reason, I always end up in the wrong place