Category Archives: Movies & TV

Tuesday Terror: No End House (Ep 4)

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Channel Zero: No End House
The Exit (Episode 4)

Interesting episode, yes?

No End House
-It can’t stop people from leaving, so it “hides”. The longer people are inside, the easier it is to convince them to stay. This makes me think that the house is really a conduit for someone or something else.
-The cornfield of abandoned/desperate creatures was an unexpected nice touch.
-With all of these starving things plenty of people have left or died on the house.
-The other creatures know who is human and who is not.
-All the guys in No End House were horrible this week – except Not The Father (for about 10 seconds)

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Seth
-I knew it! Didn’t I tell you he was dirty?
-He is proof people can slip and out of the house. He could have helped them early on.
-How many people has he lured into NEH?
-The people in the cage are “related” to him somehow.

Dylan
-He had no qualms about kidnapping and traumatizing a person he claimed to love.
-In his need to be in control, tying her down that ultimately led to her death.
-What would he have done to Lacey if they had gone back through the house and she still didn’t remember him? Keep her prisoner? Punishing her for not remembering him?
-And for all of his bravado, he was very easily taken out by Not The Father.
-More than his treatment of Lacey, I hate that the others never had a talk about what Dylan was doing. Even if they ultimately decided to go along with his POV, they should have at least considered the situation – especially after the poor woman desperately tried to escape.

Fake JD
-Proved himself utterly useless.
-When Real JD was around, he didn’t have to “do” anything. It’s easy to be a smooth talking, confident guy when you aren’t the one making decisions/facing consequences.
-He even suffered a similar fate as the Real JD.

Jules
-We only have 2 episodes left, can we get a clue to what’s up with Jules? We got a glowing ball and a bathtub…  (Oh and her room 3 was about a teacher.)
-If any passing creature can’t snack on them, who/what is eating Jules’ memories? Does the glowing ball roll on top of the memories and consume them?
-Good on her for saving Margot from the “teacher”.
-She’s so drained and confused that Jules gets to drive when they get out of the house this time.

Margot
-Needs a new boyfriend.
-Good on her for saving Jules from whatever that thing is.
-Leaving the house doesn’t mean leaving daddy issues behind.

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Tuesday Terror: No End House (Ep 3)

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Channel Zero: No End House
Beware the Cannibals (Episode 3)

I think the house gives you what you want – and steals your memories to feed itself/the creatures it manifests.
Margot wants her father. She gets the father duplicate.
J.D. wants to be an Alpha male – he meets his Alpha self…who kills and replaces him. (He didn’t even resist.)
Who knows what Seth or Jules wants….

No End House
-Good to know that the house has physical limits.
-Can I lay out the theory that’s it’s an alien creature that understand human psychology. Maybe it doesn’t need the memories so much but it eats them so that people will be complacent and happy in its world.

Margot
-Finally got with the “This isn’t my dad, what the f*ck is going on” program.
-So, that story about her dad’s suicide may be legit. That just seems like the strangest, hardest way to go. And to do it knowing she would find him? Is it weird that she doesn’t seem angry at him or the situation?
-Unfortunately, it took Not The Father revealing his true self for her to snap out of it. If he hadn’t allowed himself to be caught, how long would she have been willing to ignore his smaller (less dangerous) quirks.

Not The Father
-First, he gave us Little Shop of Horrors. “Feed Me!” Then, he gave us Jack Torrance (The Shining).
-I wonder if the man he killed was a hollow human.
-Allowing himself to be caught. I think No End House would prefer that you willfully enter into the arrangement – you can have what you want, if you feed me – but has no problem forcing the issue.
-Since we didn’t see him die, I wonder if that hole just transports him to another location.

Fake J.D.
-He may be Alpha in attitude but is he any smarter the original? Burning a body in broad daylight?
-Is he acting like original J.D. or, without the original’s imagination, is he devolving into a Beta boy?
-He’s deteriorating physically, that we know for sure…

Jules
-Jules sees the danger with Margot but not herself. Say what you want about dead fathers showing up, giant orbs that call your name and react to your touch aren’t normal either. Focusing on others to avoid our own issues never works out well.
-Oh Jules. It looks like that ball thingy with the people inside is giving you the thrill that you want. So much so that it’s taking your memories. Why have you been lying about the things you see?
-Saying that Margot was the closest thing she had to a sister means that someone or something has eating sis.
-Here’s to hoping you tell the truth before it’s too late.

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Seth
-Knowing that No End House can make a great carbon copy of a person from memory, it’s possible that the Seth who met up with Jules is a fake. The real one could be off someone staring at a family in a cage.
-He was at the house with Jules; perhaps he ate her sister. Also, there’s the convo he had with fake J.D. “You’re falling apart already?” Seth knows something’s not right with JD but hasn’t blown his cover.
-Do people have condoms in alternative horror-house universes? Do they even work?
-Seth being able to ignore memories may be his superpower.

Dylan / Lacey
-Still don’t trust him. He’s willing to terrify and abuse Lacey “for her own good.” Trash.
-He was mad that an ideal husband had thoroughly replaced him. Even if they do escape and her memories of him do come back, I think he will still be resentful.
-Ideal husband went down so easy – this appears to be a flimsy world.
-I’m irritated that Margot, Jules and the gang just accept Dylan’s word

Tuesday Terror: No End House (Ep 2)

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Channel Zero: No End House (Syfy)
Episode 2: Nice Neighborhood
*Spoilers ahead if you don’t watch the show.

This felt slow. As my grandmother would say, “like watching molasses going uphill in the winter time.”

I think the death of JD was supposed to be a big, shocking deal. However, because the character was a selfish, coward – the death was a surprise but it didn’t have the impact that I think the writers wanted.

The weird thing at the very end – that was a shock but then episode was over. Is it strong enough to carry an audience into a third week?

I almost wish this were a two-hour movie – it would tighten up the story.

Then again, it’s only the 2nd episode; maybe I’ll feel differently next week.

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No End House
-So, if each person must traverse the hell of their own creating and “hell” looks just like the suburbs…weren’t they already in a type of hell to begin with?
-How is there a house “for sale” here? Whose memory is this?

Margot
-She had been waiting to use that “You don’t have a Dad” line on Jules – holding it in her back pocket for the right argument. Jules slipped right back in with an uppercut: “You don’t either.” Best exchange of the night. (TeamJules!)
-Grief can definitely lead people to do foolish things but ignoring that you’re in trouble to pretend with Not The Father is a bit much.
-I knew her story about her dad dying accidentally wasn’t the whole story. However, I don’t think this suicide revelation is the complete truth either. -What was the medication even for?

Not The Father
-If one of the NEH creations touches your head, it can bring forth a physical manifestation of someone you remember—and eat it. Okay…
-So, are the neighbors who are “taking out trash” – just getting rid of the corpses of the “people” they’ve eaten.
-Do you erase the person from the memory – will Margot no longer remember her mother? Will she just not remember her mother at the pool? Or will it have no bearing on her memories at all?
-I’m sure that song he played was a dig at Jules.

JD (note imdb calls this character JD, Syfy recaps call him JT.)
*Poor JD – when you are the thing that you regret most… How could he not know that the Alpha version of himself would despise him? This takes self-hate to a different level.
-If I’m reading imdb correctly, the girl with Alpha JD was hollow girl #6. I suppose this is what happens to you after you succumb to the charms of your personal Room 6.

Jules
-I’m betting that Jules was crying over her own problem – not weeping because of her distance from Margot. Not wanting to be around other people’s pain when you are going through your own isn’t the worst sin in the world.
-At least our girl knows better than to eat food prepared by a dead man.
-Wonder how her family will figure into her story…whenever we get around to more than teases.

Backpack Dude/Dylan
-I don’t trust him. If Lacey, the girl at the very beginning of episode 1 was running from the No End House version of him (her memory of him?)—who knocked her to the ground, etc… What does that say about the “real” him?

Seth
-Maybe week 3 he’ll get some shine. For now, we know he won’t abandon the girls. Cool.
-His outfit matches the house though. It would be interesting if he were working with NEH house – showing up the same day it does and slyly getting targeted people to talk about their fears and nightmares. We shall see.

Tuesday Terror: No End House (Ep 1)

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Channel Zero: No End House (Syfy)
Episode 1: This Isn’t Real

Full of guilt and grief after the death of her father, Margot has withdrawn from the world. Her friend Jules stops by to break her out of this funk. Both get a weird video announcing the arrival of No End House.

Jules convinces Margot to go to a bar where they meet J.D. (a childhood friend) and Seth (handsome stranger). J.D. knows all about No End House and fills them in on the lore. Basically, it’s a highbrow pop-up haunted house that is the stuff of legends. There are six rooms. Each successive room gets weirder, more frightening. People who are brave enough to make it into the sixth room are never seen again.

The gang goes back to Margot’s house and end up discussing their nightmares and fears around the pool. Margot sees a commercial for No End House that finally reveals its location. The group ventures to NEH and despite seeing people leaving the house sick/vomiting, they go in…and life will never be the same.

My Thoughts:
Overall, it wasn’t a bad first episode. It left me with a lot of questions and I’m willing to stick around for the answers. I don’t think the following is spoilery, but if you haven’t seen the 1st episode this probably won’t make much sense. 🙂

How is No End House related to Candle Cove?
The series have at least two things in common right off the bat:
#1 words carved on flesh.  (Mike from Candle Cove had carved “Come Home Mike” into his arm. Lacey, the very first person we see in No End House, has “This Isn’t Real” carved into her arm.)
hallw#2 the long hallway of dread/
Will all of the stories in the Channel Zero series have a big, overarching story attached to them? Could No End House be a manifestation of Eddie and/or Mike from Candle Cove?

No End House
-I like that they turned the haunted house into and art installation. It gives the event an air of pretentiousness and explains why no one is disturbed about this structure appearing out of the blue.
-The house generously gives you an exit door for the first three or four rooms. There is more than enough warning, it essentially says to them, “I know what you are afraid of and you will meet your nightmares here.” The gloves come off when you miss your last chance to leave.
-I do wonder if people who take the exit really do get to leave, but I like to think the house plays fair.

Can We Trust The Narrative? (Or the incredible moving car)
I have a strong suspicion that we aren’t watching a linear narrative.

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Quick Character Notes
J.D. – I think his bust did not change because, while others hide their fears inside, he wears his on his skin (tattoos). [Funny how he is the most enthusiastic about NEH but, per Jules, is the only oen of the group who hasn’t received an invitation.]
Jules – I hope her fears don’t have anything to do with succubi/sexuality.
Margot – I wonder if she has other reasons to feel guilty.
Seth – Um, he’s cute I guess. In a puppy dog way.

Sherlock Holmes Vs The Cenobites

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Sherlock Holmes And The Servants of Hell by Paul Kane

It’s 1895. Sherlock Holmes’ has returned to his home in Baker Street after being presumed dead. Having defeated Moriarity at Reichenbach Falls, he is a changed man – bored with life. With no arch enemy, life holds little to no meaning for him. He disappears for days at a time— indulging in drugs, exposing himself to deadly disease and other activities not suited to a man of his esteem. Easily solved cases do nothing to stir Holmes imagination.

Watson cares for his friend the best that he can. A doctor, he felt helpless when his beloved wife suddenly fell ill and died. Fighting his own guilt, he is determined to do whatever he can to keep Holmes on this side of human existence.

Then, a couple with a curious missing person’s case comes to Holmes for help. A man has disappeared from a locked room. Police aren’t interested because there hasn’t actually been a crime. Then, there’s another missing person and another. With each new case, it becomes clear that something very strange and dangerous is afoot.

There are whispers of a secret cult and a box that open unseen doors. Eventually, Holmes and Watson realize what they are up against. To these logical men, it is a revelation that Hell exists and has been waiting for them.

—-

Paul Kane has created a fun story the weaves together Sherlock Holmes’ canon and elements of the Hellraiser universe. I recognized elements from several of the films/books: the vagrant, the pillar with “something” missing from, Lemarchand etc. This story takes place before Pinhead, but (if you pay attention) you may recognize him in a brief, pre-Cenobite cameo.

In fact, there are lots of cameo appearances that span Clive Barker’s literary universe. This can be a little distracting at times. It is a bit like watching a movie and recognizing all the celebrities playing minor characters; for a moment, you are taken out of the present story.

Even though it draws heavily from the movies, don’t be fooled. You may think you know where the story is going but it goes in another direction.

I recommend this book. 🙂

 

What’s IT To You?

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I probably won’t get around to seeing the new IT for a while.

I was resistant to a not-Tim-Curry Pennywise from the start. Yes, I know the miniseries has issues, but it was regular television, not cable. The writers and director were only going to get a fraction of the novel to the screen. Did it have a lot of gore? No, but – at the time – the show hit all of the creepy, scary, never-trust-a-clown buttons.

The early trailer for the new movie made me put my reservations aside. Pennywise in the slide projector was clever and the movie, in general, looked good.

Then, I saw a clip where the clown spoke….and the spell was broken. Pennywise sounded like a cartoon chipmunk (think Alvin’s uncle). IT went back to “meh”.

showerit

It also doesn’t help that I’ve been listening to the Castle Rock TV Podcast. They are doing a review/retrospective of the books and characters that will probably show up in Hulu’s Castle Rock, a new series based on the works of Stephen King. The first story they tackle is IT. Over several podcast they have explored the book and the miniseries.

 

So, in a sense, I’m full of IT. 🙂

I’ll get around to the new movie eventually; that opening weekend box office means IT will be haunting theatres for a while. The reviews and audience reaction suggest that I probably will like IT–when I give it a chance. For now, I’ve had my fair share of clowns.

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Tuesday Terror: Black Mirror (2017)

orig_Black_Mirror

It’s coming back! It’s coming back! As you can tell from the box above, I’m talking about Black Mirror, the horror/adventure game – not the tv show.

The original Black Mirror (2003) was about a man (Samuel Gordon) returning to his ancestral home to explore his family’s past and the evil that has plagued them for generations. It spawned 2 sequels and then the castle lights dimmed…

black-mirror-castle

Until now.

This November, Black Mirror is getting the re-imagination/reboot treatment. It works for movies, why not games? This time around, it’s David Gordon whose going back home to figure out what happened to his father. This trailer looks really good.

I hope this is the start of a new trilogy.

blackmirror_letgo2

 

 

Tuesday Terror: Mother Recommends…

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My mom visited recently and took over the remote. She loves horror movies but between cable, Netflix and Hulu she kept getting “duds” – poorly acted films that had decent cover art. Even the movies that were good quality-wise bored her because the plots ran out of gas.

When the conversation turned to our faves, I asked what horror films she would recommend to folks. Here is her list:

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1) The Hellraiser Series
Mom: The first three movies are the strongest; the rest of them are okay. Everything but the last one. That was trash.

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2) The Woman In Black
Mom: This had it all: story, atmosphere, that harry potter boy. It’s not just a haunted house; it’s haunted people.

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3) The Abominable Dr. Phibes & Dr. Phibes Rises Again
Mom: This is how you do “horror” comedy right. It’s a simple premise, a bad guy motivated by his undying love. Dr. Phibes is a sympathetic character-even when he does really nasty things. It feels good to root for him. Plus, it’s not the same type of murder over and over again.

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Everyone needs an assistant like Vulnavia

Tuesday Terror: The Fog (1980)

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One hundred years ago, the founders of Antonio Bay did a horrible thing. On a foggy night, they purposely guided a ship, the Elizabeth Dane, into rocks. As the crew perished, they looted the wreck and used the gold to establish the town. Now, just as the town is gearing up to celebrate, the fog is back…and so is the crew of the Elizabeth Dane.

This movie is one of my faves. Let me tell you why.

The typical horror revenge flick has one killer who is targeting a group that has done him wrong. The targeted group almost always includes an “innocent” – usually a young woman who is nicer than the others. Maybe her heart wasn’t in the prank or she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Perhaps she tried to convince the others not to go through with it. Whatever the case, she agreed to keep silent after the deed was done. While the audience gets a thrill out of watching the obnoxious bad guys get haunted and hunted down, the killer going after the innocent is supposed to feel as if vengeance is going a step too far.

The Fog doesn’t really do this. The killers – the ghost of a captain and his crew – are looking to take six lives. Because anyone in Antonio Bay can get it, the movie doesn’t ask us to be overly invested in the wellbeing of anyone in particular. No one wants the fog to snatch up little Andy…but you understand why the ghosts don’t care.

At the same time, no individuals stand out as being extraordinarily bad or evil. They are normal people going about their everyday lives.

The townspeople know the story of the shipwreck but they don’t believe it. There’s even a sanitized version that suggests the tragedy was an accident; it’s a local legend to scare children around the campfire. Because the town has worked so hard to whitewash the tale, the argument for innocent/ignorance really isn’t here.

On top of everything else – it’s good, creepy fun.

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Goodnight, Father.

*Ghosts shattering car windows? The fog does not care about your property. What a riot!
*In an alternate universe, Laurie Strode escaped from Haddonfield, changed her name and hitched her way to Antonio Bay…and more trouble.
*Hard to find sanctuary in a church built with blood money.

Tuesday Terror – Annabelle: Creation (2017)

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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.

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This could be an 80s sitcom.

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.

toolate

It’s a bit late for that…

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.

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