Media Update 12/26/19

Anna and the Apocalypse

I had heard about this movie last year and I finally get a chance to watch it. It’s worth the wait. This movie is a Christmas horror musical which is a very rare combination (but I would love to see more). The movie is set in the senior year at a high school and the title character is heading toward leaving her small town in Scotland. The cast is full of characters from the high school and, although there are different settings, it does not stray far from the school. It is interesting to see high school drama and Christmas cheer devolve into absolute chaos. Ella Hunt plays the lead role and she is definitely somebody I wanted to see succeed. Malcolm Cumming, Marli Siu, and Christopher Leveaux are all great supporting characters with their own little stories and throughlines. Sarah Swire is a definite standout as a driven high schooler who wants to head places. Similarly, Ben Wiggins and Paul Kaye stand out as the movie’s villains and they are both engaging. The songs are definitely a lot of fun. I definitely recommend this movie.

A Christmas Carol (2019)

At this point, I have seen so many versions of a Christmas Carol but this one promised to lean into the horror aspects. I was not disappointed. The movie is a darker, expanded version of the familiar story. It spends more time with the Cratchits and Marley so that we really get a feel for the damage that Scrooge has caused. We also get even more backstory for Scrooge that makes things clearer and makes the inevitable redemption all the more impressive. Guy Pearce is such a dynamic, mischievous Scrooge. He is amazing at twisting his cruel knife over and over until you both hate and sympathize with him. Andy Serkis plays a perfectly gruff and frightening Ghost of Christmas Past, a right bastard who is out to break Scrooge down to rebuild him. I also really loved Stephen Graham as Marley, the repentant spirit who is now saddled with a mission from Purgatory. Joe Alywyn is so, so good as Bob Cratchit. Vinette Robinson was a real standout as Mary Cratchit, a character who is usually incredibly two dimensional. The movie/miniseries is a dive into dark, traditional horror with some brilliant effects. I definitely recommend it.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

This movie is almost impossible to explain. It is a take on the Finnish folk tradition which is their version of Santa Claus. Santa is more of the stick than the carrot in those stories. The movie is entirely in Finnish and tells stories from the frozen North, up near the actual North Pole. The movie is almost like a mix between eldritch horror and alien horror. Everything is done with practical effects and, although the tone is often dismal, there is some strange offbeat humor. I have tried to explain the movie to others and it really does not translate. I definitely recommend it as it is so strange that it has to be seen.

Music of the Week:
Sabrina Carpenter – Almost Love

DEVILDRIVER – Copperhead Road

BODY COUNT – All Love Is Lost feat Max Cavalera

Lindsey Stirling – Underground

Beach Bunny – Prom Queen

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Christmas Horror 2019”
– I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 7
– I watched more Runaways Season 1
– I watched more Elementary Season 1
– I watched more Prodigal Son Season 1
– I watched more Scream Season 1
– I watched more Penn and Teller’s Bullshit Season 3
– I watched more Brooklyn 99 Season 3

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