Category Archives: Just Fun
Annabelle: Creation is a vast improvement over Annabelle. There’s actual action, suspense and a few scares that aren’t spoiled by the trailers. The acting is solid thoughout – even if the script requires the characters to walk into harms way. I didn’t realize the movie was rated R, so I was surprised when the movie “went there” so to speak. This movie is “haunted house” style fun.
It’s best to see the movie without viewing the trailers first. Beyond jump scares, the big “reveal” as to the how/why of Annabelle is basically explained in the trailer. I was waiting for there to be another big secret in the third act. There is a reveal that cements Annabelle: Creation to the first movie, but it didn’t feel like a big enough revelation to me. My reaction to it was “oh, okay” not “wow”.
I’m interested in finding out how the character of Mrs. Mullins, the woman of the house, evolved through the finalizing of the script. In a scene that takes place before tragedy befalls her family, a man asks Mr. Mullins a question but it’s Mrs. Mullins who gives him the answer. I don’t think Mr. Mullins even attempts to give a response. I get that feeling that she is the one who made the decisions while he went along for the ride. My guess, and this is just a theory with no foundation, is that Mrs. Mullins had a bigger role that was reduced and visual references to the demonic nun were shoe-horned in.
Any way, some other observations:
*If Samara had come up out of that well…
*Did no one vet the Mullins before allowing kids to live there? The Church doesn’t keep records?
*Creepiest house decorations ever – hanging dolls, outfits just hanging on doors for no good reason.
*Nothing against Sister Charlotte, she is a faithful protector of all in her care – but the Catholic Church has lost it’s banishing evil mojo.
*Is that Annabelle? Nope, just my knees and ankles cracking.
Kanopy is a streaming service that gives patrons of participating public libraries or colleges free access to a boatload of films. To see if your library or educational institution offers Kanopy, click here. (If your local public library does participate — you will need a library card…but you already have that, right?)
They offer a wide range of film – documentaries, instructional, drama, comedy, horror movies…etc. I recently received access to Kanopy thanks to the New York Public Library; there are 80 movies on my watchlist. Here’s just a few:
This isn’t Netflix; your local library does set limits. I can only watch 10 movies a month. But these are great films. Okay, maybe not the vampire motorcycle one… 😉
The Evil (1978) is a horror movie about a creepy house with a secret in the basement. A fellow (Richard Crenna) has bought a mansion that has been abandoned for several years; he plans to turn it into a rehab clinic. He invites a group of friends down to help get the place habitable.
Our hero ignores all of the signs that this is a very bad idea:
*the caretaker has disappeared.
*Native Americans avoided the land the house was built on
*neighbors think the house should be torn down
*there’s a stature with a cryptic warning about not letting “it” out
*the dog is acting funny
*parts of the ceiling falls on C.J.’s head when he is touring the property
The dude’s wife is seeing weird things but she’s a woman so…
Since the gang ignores the not-so-subtle hints to leave, the mansion says, “Screw it. I’m not letting you go.” The shutters close, the doors lock, the bodies start to drop—suddenly, everyone wants to go.
If you’ve watched a lot of TV in the 70s/80s/90s, you will visually recognize a lot of the actors here: Andrew Prine, Lynne Moody, Cassie Yates, etc.
It’s not a great movie or a bad movie, it’s just okay. The ending is a bit of a letdown. If it’s on and you’ve never seen it before, give it a go.
TIP: Listen to your wife.
You wake up in a small town with no memory of who you are or how you got there. Everyone knows you though! The neighbors are too friendly – especially the school principal who would love to get you alone for some “quality time”. Your parents are loving if not a little eccentric. To talk to your dad, you’ll have to break into the bedroom where mom keeps him tied down…
Everyone is looking forward to you taking that leap into manhood by joining the lodge. How far would you go to join the brotherhood? Not interested in signing up? You don’t really have a choice.
This game is broken into two parts. During the 1st half, you are meeting your neighbors and fulling small quests/favors. The goal is to learn what the heck is going on and securing an invitation to lodge membership. The 2nd half starts when you get into the lodge and are faced with other challenges. A shotgun is handy here.
This is one of my favorite horror games. The small town was fully of quirky people; I enjoyed uncovering new levels of weirdness. However, it is also pretty graphic in it’s depiction of violence – we’re talking rated R. There is blood everywhere and scenes that most people would find genuinely disturbing.
Tip: Watch out for the paperboy.
When I was a kid, I had a daydream that one day someone would show up with a letter declaring that I was the long lost relative of an insanely rich person who lived overseas. It would be the start of a great adventure that would end in me swimming through gold a la Scrooge McDuck.
Lucky for me, that did not happen. Horror movies prove that being called off to foreign lands to claim your rightful inheritance can be deadly.
In the Legacy, Maggie Walsh (Katharine Ross) is an architect hired to work on a castle/mansion in the countryside. When she arrives with boyfriend Pete (Sam Elliot) in tow, she discovers there is no job—just a weekend gathering of some of the wealthiest people in the world. Her would-be boss is on the brink of death.Those gathered are waiting to see which one of them will inherit his vast fortune.
When the assembled start to die off under strange circumstances, one has to wonder if there is a killer among them or if a supernatural hand is pulling the strings.
This is a fun movie. All of the prospective heirs have committed evil acts in the past. What’s (another) murder or two if it means coming into the ultimate fortune? Maggie and Pete are the only innocent guests in the batch but innocence is no protection against fate.
Pete is a very interesting character. He wants to take care of and protect Maggie; the “we need to get out of here” instinct kicks in pretty quickly. Yet, he can’t make a great escape happen. He’s worried but manly. Circumstances that would scare others don’t bother Maggie too much.
The staff of the castle isn’t put off by the deaths at all. They’ve seen the process so many times before…
1) Be careful when you make a deal. The devil is in the details.
2) When you inherit something, you get the history/horror/baggage that comes along with it.
The Death Bed is about a demon possessed bed that kills people in dramatic, long drawn-out fashion. This is such a bad movie. I watched in disbelief. When you think the movie has hit rock bottom, lo and behold, there is another layer of schlock.
I imagine that it was a fun concept on paper that the filmmaker didn’t have the coins to pull off. And the story is just…
There are so many other angles the writer could have explored. For example: Laying all night in a nest of evil, what would that do to a person’s mind? But no, our bed has to physically demolish people with bad effects.
If you are looking for a so bad it’s good experience, this isn’t it. In the words of Queen Bey, don’t hurt yourself. You need a nap? Watch this snippet.
Tip: Set your alarm before watching.
This is my first birthday without Tamara, so I’ve been a little bleh. We always did something to celebrate our day. Nothing big-dinner, exchanging gifts-just happy that we made it another year.
I think about what we would have been doing now. I would have convinced her to see Get Out; we’d talk about all of the Rose types that we’ve met (and whisper about people we think are in the sunken place). And, she’d be laughing at me because-just this week-I fully got a trick that she played on me last year.
Let me explain. I tend to carry a small notepad to jot down ideas. Tamara has given me some very nice ones as gifts – metallic ones, art deco ones, etc. Last year, she got me two Dora the Explorer notebooks as a joke. At least, I thought it was just two. When I fully opened the package a few days ago, I discovered that it was actually ten notebooks with just a few sheets in each one.
I definitely needed the laugh that day.
Like I said in Part 1, I listen to a lot of podcasts during the week. As you may have gleaned from the title, this batch is mostly about movies.
Why I Listen: Two black women talking about various aspects of the horror genre, what’s not to love? Movie reviews get 2 ratings – 1 for the overall movie; 1 for character diversity.
Fav Episodes: Any of Them
The Scream Squad is a bi-weekly horror podcast hosted by Jamie Righetti and Chico Leo which digs into the deeper issues at play in our favorite scary movies.
Why I Listen: Because I sometimes wonder how gentrification impacts the plot of a haunted house movie.
Len Webb and Vince Williams are on The Micheaux Mission – to watch and review every Black feature film ever released.Frequently include guests.
Why I Listen: Because I like black movies. (Be warned – one of these fellas does not acknowledge the glory of The Last Dragon.)
Fav Episodes: Definition of A Black Film | Love Jones | Eve’s Bayou
Cinemosity – Sharon, Kamille and Martin bring you a potent blend of celebrity gossip and rumor and reviews of b-movies, bad movies, and genre film. Your weekly dose of Starlets, Slashers and Cyborgs!
Why I Listen: To keep up with movie news and lively discussion of (mostly bad) movies.
Fav Episodes: The Fog (horrible remake)
More podcasts to come…
Update – Even though it’s not a podcast, one of my favorite weekly sources for horror/sci fi entertainment news is Collider Nightmares:
Once upon a time (about a decade or so ago), I used to listen to radio while in the office. Online streaming meant I could slip on my headphones and have NPR in the background all day. Over time, I got tired of listening to the same voices and, when I finally got an iPhone, found myself navigating to podcasts.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my favorites. (In no particular order.)
Helga Davis is a probing conversation podcast which explores the provocative issues surrounding what it means to be an artist and a citizen in the 21st Century.
Why I Listen: The conversations are insightful and Helga’s voice is a relaxing combo of warmth, comfort and love.
Girl On Guy with Aisha Tyler is a show about art, culture, booze, comedy, family, physical injuries, psychological bruises, action movies, rock music, ninjas, zombies, failure, success, sacrifice, video games, and blowing shit up.
Why I Listen: Great conversations, get to know the “person” behind the star/persona
Hosted by award winning international journalist Esther Armah, The Spin is a weekly hour long podcast featuring women of color talking policy, social justice, race, sex, power.
Why I Listen: activists, artists, journalist and organizers talking about problems and solutions.
Fav Episodes: The Consent Convo series
Hosted by Jamie Broadnax, the founder of Black Girl Nerds, Get It Right analyzes pop culture through the lenses of justice, and particularly reproductive justice.
Why I Listen: Thought provoking discussions of pop culture. I hope they do a season 2.
Fav Episodes: Hip Hop’s History of Reproductive Justice
Misty Knight’s Uninformed Afro is a brand new podcast series that will explore the origin stories, character development, and story arcs of our favorite Black superheroines in comics.
Why I Listen: This is a brand new podcast, I’m looking forward to learning more about these characters.
Done with these? Move on to Pod Party 2.