Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Mad God (2021)

October 3, 2022

Being lost is scary. I remember a very specific incident, in fact. Growing up in Baltimore City, there were not a ton of green spaces for kids to run around in. There were local parks with playgrounds but they were almost always crowded. When my parents wanted to breathe in slightly better air surrounded by trees and water, they chose the unfortunately named Robert E. Lee Park (now called Lake Roland Park after the lake it surrounds). I must have been about seven but I am not a hundred percent sure about that. I don’t even remember how it happened but somehow my family was nowhere in sight. I was terrified. I started tearing around the trails in a panic. I had not yet learned that when you are lost, you are supposed to stay put until somebody finds you. I instead engaged in blind panic which is probably an early indicator of my anxiety problems in retrospect. It turned out alright for me. I was found. Getting lost is becoming less likely these days but it can still happen.

Strange unknown worlds are also scary. I have experienced it several times in my life. The first big shock to my system was the difference between how I was taught the world is and how it actually is. When you are really young, you are shielded from a lot of the world’s ugliness. Everything is sunshine and smiles and everybody is nice and gets along while working together. The cracks slowly form in that and then there is a realization of the evil and ignorance in the world. This is when a kid has to start forming defenses to cope with the tough parts of life. I also remember moving to northwest New Jersey after being cradled in the college atmosphere. Being in a new place and trying to use maps and intuition to find my way was difficult. I never knew who to ask for directions but that was mostly my anxiety. I never wanted to bother anybody because I did not want to be bothered. I always imagined the worst-case scenario.

The first thing I noticed was the wonderful animation. It should be wonderful, it has the masterful Phil Tippett behind the wheel who worked on the visual effects of so many movies. This is his personal project that took 30 years to make meticulously. It is stop motion animation so it has the creepy jerky quality a little bit but there is so much that astonished me that it was animation. The art form has really improved over the last few decades (see Laika Studios) but this is something entirely different. It is beautifully shot with such an old-school cinematic flair. Every detail is crafted expertly and nothing is half-assed. Every single frame is a painting I would hang on my wall. There is some puppetry but I feel that is in line with animation.The designs are like a bizarre mix of Cronenberg, Lovecraft, and HR Giger. They are truly horrible to behold.

The tone of the movie is bleak and mysterious. Since there is no dialogue, we do not get a lot of solid answers as to what exactly is going on. There is a definite narrative but it also feels like a safari through a strange, alien world. Nothing looks human but some of it feels vaguely similar to our culture or at least the brutality at the center of human culture. The viewer is left the guess at what exactly is happening while following the central character who is the audience’s point of view. In each scene, you can definitely tell what is happening physically but the why is left to interpretation. Its a very different film in this way. Actually, what I would compare it to somewhat are the video games Inside and Little Nightmares. The viewer is taken on a journey through a disgusting and disturbing journey through a dark landscape.

Overall, I liked this movie. It was esoteric and hard to parse but the visuals never stopped being amazing. It is very clear that this was a passion project as I cannot see any studio agreeing to fund it. Tippet worked on it when he had time or had film interns who wanted to get some hands-on animation experience. The movie was terrifying in a lot of ways but one of the major ones is that I did not know what was going on. The movie seems to delight in giving the viewer that feeling. Would I recommend it? That is a more difficult question than usual. I think a lot of horror fans would love it but I can also see a lot of people turning it off after thirty minutes because of the lack of narrative. I recommend it as a spectacle and a reminder of what animation can do when pushed to its limits.

Willy’s Wonderland (2021)

October 1, 2022

Clearly, somebody in pop culture finally got the message that animatronics are creepy. I think my first real experience with animatronics was the famed Munch’s Make Believe Band at the famous pizza establishment run by Charles Entertainment Cheese. I was also familiar with the less famous Rock-afire Explosion of Showbiz Pizza. The limited motion and mouth flaps of the animatronics were at once creepy and exciting for me. Here were things that were both alive and yet not alive. Of course, I had been to Disney before that but it was not until my second visit that the memory really stuck with me. Of course, I have talked about one of my life’s defining points, Snow White’s Adventures, and how it influenced my affinity for horror. So, Five Nights at Freddy’s helped bring animatronics back to the horror world, but they have always been there. In fact, I wrote about a similar movie over two years ago.

What makes animatronics creepy? I have spoken before about why I think clowns and mascots are creepy and part of that is true for animatronics. Even if they are fashioned as humans, they wear inhuman faces. You hear them talk and you see them move and you expect to see a human face but it just isn’t there. With animatronics, there is an additional layer. They are not really there. One of the things that can be creepy is that they are not delivering their voice lines or their songs to you. They do not notice you. They can’t notice you. They do their schpiel whether you are there or not. Of course, that is what makes animatronics so effective in horror. What would happen if they do notice you? What would happen if they really do see you?

The first thing I noticed was how much you can tell that they focused on getting the nostalgia feeling correct. It is strange to have nostalgia for something that did not happen but this definitely captures the feeling of all of those animatronic birthday pizza party locations. The color palette of the movie feels otherworldly at times. The camera work is often beautiful and the shots are carefully arranged for maximum effect. One thing the movie does is a lot of quick cuts in a row that never failed to make me laugh but also felt a little unnerving. The animatronics are so goofy which also makes them more terrifying when, well, you know. Their movement was done very well to the point where I could not tell what was CGI and what was practical. The kills are absolutely brutal and definitely exciting.

I really love the acting in this one. Nobody in this movie acts like a normal human being. Every single person is strange and it often feels like their part of different conversations. While this would usually be a sign of a bad movie, it was obviously intentionally weird for comedic effect and to keep the viewer off their guard. Also, the movie has a simple premise so they do not waste time getting to the fun stuff. Nicholas Cage is always on point, of course, and he is great at acting alternatively pissed off and crazy all without uttering a single word. Emily Tosta is great as possibly the only sane character in the movie, a small-town girl with ambition. The rest of the cast is made up of goofy character actors who add to the strange ambiance. The voice acting from the animatronics is spot on for a cartoon and exactly what you would get at Chuck E. Cheese. Their music is really well done as well.

Overall, I really loved this movie. It was a great movie to pick to start the month off as it has a mix of horror and humor. This is not just a cheap, quickly made horror movie to cash in on the resurgence of animatronic horror. This had some thought behind it and it showed. Now it is not a complex movie but the worldbuilding is on point. Apparently, Nic Cage produced the film as he was very protective of the script. It shows. There are a lot of things they could have done to cop out on and make it more ordinary but they stuck to their guns and made something that felt strange and new. I recommend this movie.

Media Update 9/29/22

September 29, 2022

Madhouse (1981)

A friend of mine suggested this movie to me because they found it to be extraordinary and strange. This has not been officially declared a Giallo movie but I certainly believe it qualifies. A young woman is summoned to visit her estranged twin sister who has been hospitalized with a terminal, disfiguring sickness. As their birthday approaches, the woman is haunted by a familiar beast. Trish Everly plays the main character and is great at being innocent and despairing. Allison Biggers is great at playing a twisted, bitter version as the sickly twin. Dennis Robertson is absolutely strange as the uncle who grew up to be a Catholic priest. Finally, Michael McCrae is a nice presence as a sane and competent psychologist boyfriend. The rest are colorful characters performed by comedic actors. The movie has a great dreamy atmosphere and a mystery that had a lot of surprises. There were also some very gory deaths. I recommend this movie.

Deep Red (Rosso Profondo) (1975)

This one is often listed in the top five of all Giallo movies. A young pianist happens to witness the murder of a young psychic woman and finds himself caught up in finding the killer along with a plucky, young reporter. David Hemmings is great as the lead, showing real concern and curiosity but also having some real human moments. Darla Nicolodi plays the reporter and provides more humor and a legitimate reason to investigate murders. Gabriel Lava plays the perpetually intoxicated playboy best friend who is also comic relief. The movie has some very beautiful visuals, often with the titular color. There are some creepy images, some with dolls and artwork. The mystery was fun to follow and the deaths were appropriately bloody. I recommend this movie.

Blood and Black Lace (6 Donne Per L’assassino) (1964)

A much earlier Giallo film that shows the roots of the subgenre. In an Italian fashion house, the murder of several models exposes the cracks and flaws in the relationships surrounding the fashion world. This is more of an ensemble piece so we do not get an actual main character. Instead, we jump from model to model as the story evolves. The cast is very stylish and great at weaving a web of mystery with tons of red herrings. The mystery is central to the movie, interrupted by lurid violence against women. One thing I noticed that amused me is all the smoking which is kind of a relic of days gone by in film. I also love the look of the killer whose likeness may have inspired the character Rohrschach from the Watchmen comics though I can’t prove it. I recommend this movie.


Music of the Week:

The Royal Foundry – Listen To The Beat

Avril Lavigne – Bois Lie (feat. Machine Gun Kelly)

GloRilla – Blessed

Ayra Starr – Rush

Mashup of the Week:

Jt brooks – Zombie on the Otherside


Weekly Update:

  • This week’s theme is “Giallo Week”
  • I watched a ton of YouTube and Twitch: Barry Kramer, Attorney Tom, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling, Emily D. Baker, Wendigoon, Tamara Chambers, LegalEagle, NWA, Dead Meat, Quinton Reviews, Drew Gamblord, Onsta, Savy Writes Books, Gabi Belle
  • I watched more Naomi Season 1
  • I watched more Batwoman Season 3
  • I watched more The Strain Season 1
  • I watched more She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
  • I watched more The Sandman Season 1
  • I watched more Riverdale Season 5
  • I watched more Legends of Tomorrow Season
  • I watched more The Flash Season 
  • I watched Evil Bong 888
  • I watched Blade: The Iron Cross
  • I watched Puppetmaster: Axis Rising
  • I watched Sons of Hercules: In the Lands of Darkness (Rifftrax Version)
  • I watched Cyber Tracker (Rifftrax version)
  • I watched The Million Eyes of Sumuru (Rifftrax Version)

Dead Ringers (1988)

October 31, 2021

When I was very young, I once heard the story of the doppelganger. I remember it clearly because it was on one of several trips my family made to Busch Gardens Williamsburg which was one of my favorite places. Areas of the park were themed to different European nations. One of the rides was a ferry boat that you could peacefully ride on the river that ran through the park. It must have taken off from the German part of the park because I remember getting on a boat called “Doppelganger”. I am not a ride person so I was happy to be on a peaceful little trip with the mist of the river cooling me down. Then the ship’s driver started to explain the name of the boat. He told of the doppelganger, a mysterious ghostly mirror image each person has that is somewhere out in the world. That doppelganger has many different purposes in folklore but none of it is good. When I met my first pair of identical twins, it was much less scary.

I have always been creeped out by medical stuff. I have been scared of doctors since I can remember and have only been able to contain that terror rather than make that fear go away. A lot of it comes from being a sickly child and dealing with all of the tests that came with a mysterious respiratory problem. I also quickly developed an intense fear of needles which was probably related to all of the tests as well. Looking back, I think I still got off light. When I think about having to deal with a gynecologist, I cringe a bit. I have heard so many horror stories from friends, acquaintances, and strangers about that particular corner of the medical profession. I can imagine why. That branch is so invasive in a very intimate location on and in the body that is not quite built to be exposed to cold, clinical treatment. I can see why there is so much horror involved in that part of a woman’s body.

The first thing I noticed was the offbeat, creepy tone that the movie has from the start. We meet our main characters and they are immediately strange and offputting. This comes from the acting skill of Jeremy Irons who has a lot of chemistry with himself. He is both an asshole and a kind man, both archetypes of doctors. He does such a good job of playing two different characters while at the same time making it hard to figure out which is which until they open their mouth. His acting in this is absolutely superb. Geneviève Bujold is great as the woman who comes between them, a clever and tough actress. The three of them weave together a very intricate psychological story.

This being a David Cronenberg film, one would expect tons of gross body horror and gore. This movie is a bit tamer compared to some of Cronenberg’s more intense pieces. Still, there are definitely moments of that terrifying mind at work. For example, the surgery scenes are not gory but are definitely unsettling and alien. Part of that comes from custom-made medical tools that are made to look scary. I was not sure how many of the tools were real and how many were fictional. There were also a few moments of traditional Cronenbergian visual horror that were definitely startling. The costume design in the medical office looks alien as well. It carries on this whole idea of two people far smarter than the rest of the human race.

Overall, I really liked this movie. It was deeply unsettling without being gory which felt fresh. The psychological horror having to do with one’s identity was so deep and horrible that it was hard to bear at certain times. Jeremy Irons did so well in this role that I am surprised there was not an Oscar nomination for him. I recommend this movie.

The Rules of the Spell in Child’s Play

October 31, 2021

I thought I would lay out the rules of the first 3 Child’s Play movies for Chucky’s magic spell that started off the whole franchise. The rules continually change and evolve as the franchise continues but I thought I would start with the first three.

The magic used is specifically stated to be Voodoo. Charles Lee Ray was a disciple of John Bishop, a voodoo priest once known as “Doctor Death”. The chant used specifically invokes the loa of Damballa. It is viewed as an abomination of the faith and an unacceptable act in voodoo.

The text of the chant is specifically “Ade due damballa. Give me the power I beg of you. Secoise entienne mais pois de morte. Morteisma lieu de vocuier de mieu vochette. Endonline pour de boisette damballa! Secoise entienne mais pois de morte. Endelieu pour de boisette damballa!!! (x4)”

For the purposes of this article:
“Lost Soul” refers to the soul of the person who casts the spell to transfer their soul.
“Form” refers to the inanimate object the Lost Soul is possessing

Unspoken Rule 1: The Lost Soul can manipulate the shape and properties of the Form to some degree.

Source: All three movies. Chucky can move his face and speak in a manner unintended by Good Guy Dolls. He is somehow able to project his voice from life from his doll body. He is also able to utilize the doll’s original voice chip technology to trigger the original voice lines for camouflage purposes. He also has the proportionate strength of an adult human man in doll form. He can also still operate parts of his body when separated.

Spoken Rule 1: The Lost Soul that possesesses the Form must transfer his soul into a human body or risk getting trapped in the Form forever.

Source: In Child’s Play, Chucky’s voodoo teacher John tells him this directly.

Reiterated by Andy as he talks to his therapist in Child’s Play 2. He tells his therapist that Chucky told him there was a time limit and if he did not succeed, he would be trapped in the doll forever. Also reiterated by Chucky to Kyle later in Child’s Play 2.

Spoken Rule 2: The Form that the Lost Soul possesses slowly turns “human” and the Lost Soul can no longer transfer into another form.

Source: In Child’s Play, Chucky’s voodoo teacher John tells him this directly.

Reiterated by Chucky near the end of Child’s Play 2 when the transfer fails, causing him to realize the time limit has passed. This sends Chucky into a berzerker rage. During the franchise we see Chucky bleed seemingly human blood and his insides are replaced with realistic gore.

Reiterated again in the third movie when Chucky once again bleeds when injured.

Spoken Rule 2a: The time limit for the Form turning human starts over if the Form is “killed” and rebuilt.

Source: Chucky in Child’s Play 2 when he gets a nosebleed after being thrown down the stairs by Andy’s foster father. He says “I’m turning human again!”

Spoken Rule 3: The Lost Soul can be only be transferred to the first human that learns the identity of the Lost Soul.

Reiterated by Andy as he talks to his therapist in Child’s Play 2. He tells his therapist that he was the first person to learn that Chucky was actually Charles Lee Ray. That marked him for soul transferrence.

Reiterated again by Chucky when he meets Ronald in Child’s Play 3 and is talking to himself. He chooses to tell Ronald his identity and make him the new target.

Unspoken Rule #2: If the form that one is inhabiting is destroyed, pieces can be replaced. If these new pieces are attached to a possessed piece, the new pieces are possessed.

Shown at the beginning of Child’s Play 2. We witness in detail the toy factory laboratory technicians rebuilding the burned husk of Chucky after he was shot and burned at the end of Child’s Play. We see him being stripped down to a metal exoskeleton before all external parts are replaced as good as new. He then takes control of the whole of the doll again.

This is reiterated at the beginning of Child’s Play 3 when Chucky’s blood (from his messy death at the end of 2) is mixed in with melted plastic to make a new doll.

So, we see that the way that Chucky is beaten in each movie makes sense. Wait until he becomes “human” and vulnerable and then kill him.

Chastity Bites (2013)

October 29, 2021

Elizabeth Bathory has long been associated with vampires. She was a Hungarian noblewoman alive in the fifteen hundreds. We already know how eastern Europe is already heavily associated with vampire legends. She grew up in a castle and lived in comparative luxury as she was the niece of the King of Poland (who was also a prince of Transylvania of all places). One of the first tales that seems to connect her with vampirism came when she was a child. Apparently, she suffered from seizures as a child which was known as “falling sickness” and the folk remedy was to smear blood of the unaflicted on the victim’s mouth. Therefore, she actually did taste human blood if that story is to be believed. Perhaps tales like these are what expanded into vampires who need human blood to survive.

There are a lot of legends that surround Bathory when she got older. She was apparently particularly brutal, torturing and killing many of her fellow Hungarians. It is hard to differentiate from rumor and actual history as history is written with a particular slant. What is known is that a Lutheran minister complained to the crown and the King was eventually forced to investigate one of the nobles of his land. Investigators took testimony from over 300 sources. Testimony stated that Elizabeth Bathory had started her reign of terror by torturing young preteen girls who had been sent to her to learn courtly etiquette. Needles, hot tongs, ice water, honey and ants, and other methods. People said she bathed in the blood of virgin girls. Investigation later revealed that the testimonies may have been false and obtained through coercion and/or torture. It may have been a plan to divest her of her Estate and divide it up.

The first thing I noticed was the fun and campy acting. The movie immediately strikes a particular tone somewhere between DEBS and Heathers. The protagonist of the movie is played by the brilliant Allison Scagliotti. She plays a spunky young feminist high schooler with aspirations of being a reporter. Louise Griffiths is wicked as the abstinence counselor “Liz Batho”. She is so delightful, akin to Chris Sarandon in Fright Night. Amy Okuda, Sarah Stouffer, Lindsey Morgan, and Chloe Crampton are so good as the popular girls. Francia Racia is fun as the best friend who gets in way over her head. The rest of the cast does a great job of being so sunny and perky that it is creepy.

I really like the cinematography. Most of it reads as a good television show, everything is shot tight and clear but with just a hint of shadow in a lot of scenes. The kill sequences are done largely through POV or are shot in a manic fashion that made me a bit anxious as I watched but they kept it light as a horror comedy. The gore is actually fairly light but it is a vampire movie so of course there is dark crimson, beautiful blood. There are some really interesting special effects at points in the story that definitely caught me off guard. There are some interesting camera tricks to ratchet up the weird vibe of the movie. I really liked the settings. Many did not seem like traditional horror like sterile high school hallways and normal suburban homes. Some of them are way more traditional like a spooky manor.

Overall, I really liked this movie. It was a clever modern adaptation of the Bathory legends with a really fun cast. Scagliotti and Griffiths are particularly electric on screen and have a really good dynamic. I was not sold on the sex comedy part of it but it did not go too far and was played completely for laughs. It was a pretty tight little horror comedy movie. I recommend this movie.

Media Update 10/28/21

October 28, 2021

Frogs

I had heard about this movie but I had never gotten around to watching it. It could have been an absolute sensation in the horror community if they had played it silly but instead it is funny because of how straight they play it. This is the story of a high society family that gets attacked by nature itself, out for revenge. A young Sam Elliott plays an average joe freelance photographer who gets caught up in the chaos. Ray Milland plays the self-centered patriarch of the family. Joan Van Ark plays the only family member with any common sense or kindness. The movie is absolutely ridiculous and funny but I am not sure whether that was actually intended. It is a long and poorly paced movie but I still liked it because it was so silly. I am not sure they were making such an “eat the rich” kind of movie at the time but that is how it comes off now. I recommend this movie.

Black Sheep

I had heard of this movie through a bunch of streamers that I watch. I like New Zealand horror a lot so I was excited for a good Kiwi horror comedy. It helps that the goofy special effects are done by Peter Jackson’s buddies over at Weta Workshop. This is the story of when the sheep at a farm start going after the humans for food. A lot of the horror and comedy comes from those effects but a lot of it also comes from stars Nick Fenton and Danielle Mason. They have such good chemistry together. Tammy Davis plays a lovably loutish farmhand and provides plenty of comic relief. The movie is crazy, chaotic, and funny but also pretty creepy with all of the body horror. I recommend this movie.

Tammy and the T-Rex

I had heard of this movie previously as an exceptionally gory but fun movie. The story here is a young teen is killed but his brain is put in a robot body which he uses to take revenge on his bullies. Denise Richards plays the titular Tammy, a soft-hearted girl mixed up with a bad guy while wanting the good boy. Paul Walker plays the guy who gets turned into the T-Rex. Theo Forsett plays the lovably flamboyant black friend who was all over the place around the eighties and nineties. The rest of the cast plays it perfectly campy. All of the campy humor does a lot to lighten all of the brutal gore that fills the movie. I mean, there is a lot of gory blood and guts but it is kept relatively cartoony. I recommend this movie.

Music of the Week:

Halestorm – Back From The Dead

Siouxsie The Banshees – Halloween

FAUN – Halloween

Nick Lutsko – Spirit Halloween Planet

Mashup of the Day:

Titus Jones – Inferno of Scary Skeletons & Bad Rats

Weekly Update:
This week’s theme is “When Animals Attack”
I watched Blood Theater (RiffTrax version)

Dave Made a Maze (2017)

October 27, 2021

When my brothers and I were kids, we definitely built a lot of pillow and blanket forts. When you are small enough to do so (and I was tiny) it feels so good to climb into a cozy little makeshift world of your own. A fort was always a great place for great bursts of imagination. My brothers and I often had different interests but sometimes we united in this one thing. Of course, this was not solely for pillow forts. Any playground equipment became a centralized place for imaginary adventures. We could also roughouse more on the playground. Pillow forts were cozier. It was always easy for my friends and I to create our own worlds out of very little physical matter. One person would declare something to be real and everybody else would have to “yes and” it and continue. This is something that I have carried forward into my adult life. First with theater, then with writing, and again with tabletop gaming. Worldbuilding is so much fun but it can get out of control quickly.

Just now, I remembered a fundraiser that my school held when I was a tiny tot. The day was called the Quaker Quick Quint. I am not sure whether “quint” is actually the word to use but it was a day of foot races for kids and adults. However, one year somebody built a huge maze out of cardboard boxes. I vividly remember crawling in that maze on my hands and knees. Mazes can be great fun and are good tools to teach kids perserverance and navigation skills. The problem with a maze is that once you start and keep exploring, you have to finish one way or another. I have heard countless stories of people in seasonal corn mazes who are just completely physically and emotionally exhausted after a period of time in the maze. That is one of the elements in probably the most well-known maze movie, Labyrinth. When you have no idea where you are going, it is hard to know when and where the end is.

The first thing I noticed was the animation in the opening sequence was interesting and immediately set the movie apart from other fantasy horror movies. That animation carries forward in a way as the actors basically walk around a practical animated set. The whole thing feels very surreal as we see everyday materials become insane creations. The special effects are not realistic looking but that does not make them less terrifying. In fact, they feel even more terrifying. The maze is a character in itself as it constantly moves and reacts to everything. Sometimes it even taunts the characters. The set design really plays with perspective and the camera actively messes with you. There are some really fun sequences done with puppets, what looks like stop motion, and other forms of animation.

The actors are so good at portraying the perfect mix of quirky comedy coupled with astonished horror. The star of the movie is undoubtedly Meera Rohit Kumbhani who does a really great job of being the terrified but determined girlfriend while still keeping an air of humor. Nick Thune plays the titular character, a loveable goofball and daydreamer. Adam Busch plays the quirky comic relief sidekick character. The funny thing about the cast is that I felt in my bones that I had seen them before but I have not watched any of thier previous projects. They all need to be going places and soon. The acting was part of what made this movie great and they all deserve credit.

Overall, I really loved this movie. It was seriously one of the best movies I have seen all year. It is not your traditional horror movie but it definitely has a lot of horror elements mixed in with the fantasy and comedy. Kudos to Bill Watterson and Steven Sears for creating a hugely imaginative movie. I hope they all do well in the future. Bonus: all of the cardboard was fished out of recycling dumpsters and was returned back to those dumpsters. I recommend this movie.

The Cleansing Hour (2019)

October 25, 2021

The Horror genre has a long and storied history. It was probably born from telling scary stories around the fire which graduated to acting them out. Most likely just as old is the practice of faking the supernatural for profit. While other kids listened with rapt attention to ghost stories and believed them true, I was also reading some different stories. From a young age I idolized Houdini because he fought these frauds at every turn. Those who would profit from gullibility and vulnerability irked him and they have always irked me. He battled mediums, psychics, fairies, and so much more. Many took up his standard when he died (95 years ago this Sunday). People like the Amazing Randi, Penn and Teller, and other skeptics have kept the torch burning. Still, the practice continues. Tape traders mistook badly recorded horror movies as real. Fake psychics continue to litter television and the publishing world. It is good to be skeptical of what you see. I still enjoy the stories but know that it is not real.

While I am not religious, I will rarely pass up on a good possession story. One of the horror tropes that scares me the most is the loss of self. I am not talking loss of identity which is a common psychological problem and also a financial one. I am talking about an outside force driving out or taking over your consciousness. Our bodies are definitely part of our sense of self but, as most of us learned in kindergarten, that is only the cover of our book. Our mind is what really makes us who we are. It is the seat of our intellect, imagination, memory, aspirations, and awareness. When a demon moves in, they often either erase their host’s consciousness or lock it away. Both are scary but the latter involves having to witness somebody else using your body and identity as you watch helpless. It makes me shudder.

The first thing I noticed were the great production values. There is an immediate feast for the senses when it comes to special effects. Blood, flame, and such good makeup effects. The makeup effects are particularly awesome. I absolutely loved how gross yet interesting it all was. There were moments that I could not have imagined that happened. The lighting effects are great which, as long time readers know, is very important to me. The light and shadow they play with is especially interesting because a lot of the movie deals with film sets. Film sets are inherently kind of creepy because they are points of light surrounded by darkness. A horror set is like a professional haunt in miniature, rigged with dark lighting and special effects.

Ryan Guzman is really great as the arrogant actor who is always chasing the next high, the next social media buzz. He is incredibly charismatic but also really east to hate. Kyle Gallner is perfect as the happy go lucky best friend, the backstage gopher who offers a lot of the comic relief but also heart. Alex Angelis is so damned good at playing a possessed person and it looks like she had a lot of fun doing it. The physical acting is really awesome and terrifying. It is always interesting to me to watch human bodies in horror act in unnatural ways. The actors are really good at acting animalistic, like an insect, like things we could only imagine. Similar to the spider walk in the Exorcist, where a human becomes unpredictable and thus terrifying. The rest of the ensemble is really good at portraying a fly by night Internet film crew, a family that obviously formed over time.

Overall, I loved this movie. It moved at a breakneck pace from the start and never let up. Their was a lot of great tension and legitimate scares. The movie took no prisoners and definitely surprised me with some twists, turns, and shocking moments. It also had a sense of humor about itself without being a real comedy.

The Horror Movie Poster Project Pt. 4

October 23, 2021

This week’s theme is “Horror Adaptations of Children’s Books”


Scary Studies

Horror is fascinating.

The Hidden Message

klaatu barada nikto

Growing a family

Im just trying to evolve

Panorama of the Mountains

Liam Sullivan's Ideas and Reflections

Boccob's Blessed Blog

A gaming blog with an emphasis on D&D 5e

wolfenoot.wordpress.com/

No Hate Only Snootboops

As Told By Carly

The Ramblings of a Geek Girl

Beyond the Flow

A Survivor's Philosophy of Life

Silvia Writes

Life is a story. Might as well write it.

An Artist’s Path

Art, Poetry, Prose, Spirituality & Whimsy

The Bloggess

Like Mother Teresa, only better.

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