In Theaters Now: Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark

In Theaters Now entries give insight on films currently in theaters. There is a brief review, followed by a deeper dive WITH SPOILERS behind the cut. 

SSTTITD_poster
Pictured: The leading face of my nightmares from 1992-1993. What up, Harold? 

Overall

As an experience, Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark is a delightfully creepy tale.  Based on the legendary book series illustrated by someone who very probably hated children and wanted them to lose sleep, the film creates a narrative out of the otherwise disparate and well-loved stories. The Wendigo (my fave!), The Big Toe, and a few others I’ll refrain from mentioning are present.  The story structure is simple: taking place in Halloween 1968, some kids who trespass into a local haunted house and steal a book of ghost stories that belonged to the local crazy lady must deal with the aftermath. The book’s stories, written in blood, almost always kill the protagonist, and there are both old stories and new ones that appear as events unfold. There are haunted houses, creepy music boxes, mental hospitals, a jerk bully, and all the classic fare.

I would recommend the film for fans of horror, the original book series, and people looking for a thrill. But I stress: just because it’s rated PG-13 doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for children. One family had a 4-year-old present, and while he was chattering away before the movie, I hope his lapse into silence was because he fell asleep and not into a state of paralytic horror. Bad Parenting Decision, Random Family.

Although the movie is a delightful and terrifying romp, it didn’t have the emotional depth I was hoping for. I mention this because when Guillermo Del Toro’s name is attached to something, I expect an emotional payoff.  André Øvredal directed the film and I know he knows how to tell an emotional story because he made The Trollhunter. That isn’t to say the movie isn’t worth seeing, but if you’re looking for Deep Meaning Subtext as I did, you’ll leaving feeling a bit let down.

For more in-depth discussion involving spoilers, dive below the cut!

Continue reading “In Theaters Now: Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark”

Game of Thoughts: Back Wednesday!

Hello and welcome back to Game of Thoughts, our sweaty, breathless recaps and discussion of everyone’s favorite fantasy TV Show, Game of Thrones! 

Alas, I am too emotionally compromised between Game of Thrones and Endgame to be of any use to you today.

Please check back Wednesday for a recap of The Battle of Winterfell. 

In the meantime, I just need some time to … to just…

…WELL, I NEED A MINUTE.

Game of Thoughts: S8.E2 – A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

Hello and welcome back to Game of Thoughts, our sweaty, breathless recaps and discussion of everyone’s favorite fantasy TV Show, Game of Thrones! Now we’re down in it, the end is in sight, so grab your House Banner and hold you smallfolk tight, it’s gonna be a long night!  As always, spoilers will appear behind the cut, because I WILL NOT be that person. 

Are you sitting comfortably? Are your neighborhood dogs barking because of all the yelling coming from your house like mine are? Then let’s begin.

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms was a character and story-driven episode with no action to speak of, and yet it was one of the strongest episodes because of all the fantastic performances. Functioning as a ‘calm before the storm’ installment, it gave several characters time to bond, to smooth over rough history, and to have poignant and important meetings. There were also several salient book references: Jenny of Oldstones is sung, and Brienne of Tarth’s lineage is reference right there in the title.

There were a few small surprises but mostly a lot of big, emotional payoffs that have been years in the making.

Interestingly, all the action centered in Winterfell and we saw no other locations. Fitting, and reminiscent of Season 4’s “The Watchers On the Wall,” which was also centered completely at Castle Black.

Now, let’s dive in!  Spoilers below the cut!

Continue reading “Game of Thoughts: S8.E2 – A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”

Game of Thoughts – Winterfell (S8E1)

Hello and welcome back to Game of Thoughts, our sweaty, breathless recaps and discussion of everyone’s favorite fantasy TV Show, Game of Thrones! Whew, it’s been a rough 18 months but finally we’re getting some answers after the ending of season 7.  As always, spoilers are below the cut because I can’t do that to people, I just can’t. Most of these recaps are just excited gabbling, so for real critical discourse, please find some adults. 

Folks.

FOLKS.

FOOOOOOLKS, 

Do I have your attention? And also the attention of my poor neighbor who is probably wondering why his single female neighbor sounds like an entire sportsball bar on Super-sportsball Sunday?

Then let’s begin!

Continue reading “Game of Thoughts – Winterfell (S8E1)”

People Eating Together: AMC’s The Terror (Season 1)

the_terror_titlecard
Great Caesar’s Ghost! 

People Eating Together entries discuss that age-old tradition of people coming together to tear each other apart — Cannibalism! So settle in, maybe grab some coffee or a snack(!), and let’s explore this last social taboo together – because you can’t practice cannibalism alone. 

Sometime in about the year 2007, while bored at my job at a children’s textbook publisher, I fell down a Wikihole about cannibalism.  In between reading about Sawney Beane and Jeffrey Dahmer, I ran across the Franklin Expedition, which is to Canadian history what the Donner Party is to American. The article was fascinating enough, so imagine my excitement bordering on hysteria when I reread the article in 2017 to find that AMC was making a TV show about it. I loved the show, and immediately listened to the novel on which it’s based. There are significant differences which I’ll go into in the spoilers section of the review, but for now let’s focus on reviewing the show.

the_terror_Goodsir
“Say ‘cheese’ everyone! Ha Ha, just kidding, we haven’t eaten cheese since 1846 and have forgotten what it tastes like.”

(Note: The Terror is planned as a historical horror anthology. Season 1 deals with the lost Franklin expedition (with supernatural elements) and is based on Dan Simmons book of the same name, but season 2 will be about life in a Japanese interment camp in the US during the Korean war, and stars George Takei at the head of a predominantly Japanese-American cast. After the high bar set with season 1, I’m eagerly looking forward to season 2.)

Continue reading “People Eating Together: AMC’s The Terror (Season 1)”