The Happening

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The Happening staring Mark Wahlberg is a rather interesting movie. Mark plays a science teacher in a world where a weird phenomenon involving mass suicide on the east cost of the United States.  The movie waste no time at all getting into the meat of the story, the first scene shows two women on a park bench reading when one notices some weird shit going on and the other eventually stabbing herself in the neck with a knitting needle he for whatever reason has in her hair.

That being said with such a starting point as you can imagine there is no real high point or low point to the movie. Now I never really came to a point I wasn’t  interested but I can see why others would. The movie is also pretty graphic which is part of kept me interested. I would avoid this movie tho if you have any issue with dead bodies or suicide in general. However if you don’t the movie is worth watching. Thanks for your time and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Alice, sweet Alice

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I heard a few years back that this strange ass movie was getting a remake and felt saddened; is nothing sacred anymore? I originally saw this listed towards the bottom of Bravo’s 100 scariest movie moments and like everything on that list, I wanted to see for myself to better myself at the craft that is horror.

Alice, sweet Alice (or Communion as it is sometimes referred to) is a 70’s mystery slasher set around Catherine Spages and her two young daughters Karen (Brooke Shields film debut) and Alice. Alice is jealous of her beautiful, sweet sister that everyone adores. Alice is a weird duck, always wearing hearing her strange translucent drag queen mask and going off by herself. Catherine and there church’s priest Father Tom are fussing over Karen’s debut at there big Communion ceremony; Alice is fed up with it all. Moments before the ceremony is about to begin, Karen is killed by a figure in a yellow raincoat, drag queen mask, and white gloves; her body dropped into a hamper and burned which brings the ceremony to a screeching halt. Annie,  Catherine’s sister, suspects Alice was responsible for her sister’s demise on the merits of jealous rage but Catherine won’t believe her. The girl’s estranged father returns for the funeral. We’re introduced to the perverted, obese landlord of there apartment who tries to get fresh with Alice. Soon Annie is attacked by the same figure that killed Karen, screaming in the rain it was Alice. Alice is taken away to a home but the deaths continue by the same figure, making us ask whether it was her until the very end…

So I have to say, I really enjoy this movie. It’s filmed to have a dreamy quality made vintage by the film and clothes, while the music is a creepy, childish singing. The acting is on the verge of over the top but it works given everything else. There isn’t much gore but the figure is damn unsettling enough to carry the movie. The killer’s identity is clever but somethings when thought about at great length don’t make a lot of sense but it ain’t overwhelming. If you can find it, it’s worth a watch and may the gaming gods never give us a remake.

It trailer review

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We got our third trailer for the much anticipated It remake coming September 8th. So far a lot of the reaction has been all over the place, ranging from it looks scary as hell to Pennywise looks like a Hot Topic Ronald McDonald. I personally was on the fence myself. I like the cinematography and the darker, polished atmosphere the trailers create (mostly); the actors all around have potential. Many of the visuals are frightening like Pennywise hiding under the water like a crocodile, to lunge out, eyes black and teeth monstrous teeth extended or his first reveal from the rain gutter. In this third trailer we finally get to here him speak which disappointed me a little bit. It was fine but intentionally menacing, which a problem I personally have with this iteration of Pennywise the dancing clown. He is meant to look unsettling and creepy, whereas part of Tim Curry’s look and performance (which was close to the source material by the way) was that of a normal clown. Curry came off as a party clown that accidentally found his way down the sewer and could be in any kids birthday party without raising an eyebrow, Bill Skarsgard comes off as something no kid in his right mind would go anywhere near, although I can see that approach being effective in it’s own right. Besides the voice reveal we got more complete setups instead of little bites and the scares look promising. I will say two things for Skarsgard, he is a menacing presence and his appearance films much better than in stills which is rare but happens.  All the same, I’m looking foreward to It, I’m not expecting greatness but I’m expecting it to be a solid horror flick.

Goosebumps PS4 Review

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As a kid I grew up reading these books. Not just one or two, me and my brother bought them by the set. Then the choose your own scare books came out and we bought even more. Now I wasn’t expecting a lot from this outside of some cheap nostalgia. This point and click adventure was short, to the point and loaded with nostalgic charm by the truck load. From seeing an actual truck load of Goosebumps paraphernalia at the beginning to a haunted house you can find killer sponges, huge green blobs and many other things I won’t spoil. That being said I do very much mean this game is short. Could probably do it in an hour or two with a decent guide and not much longer without.

The real question for this point and click adventure is not was it good. The question is are you a goosebumps fan? The answer to that question is the answer to whether or not you should buy this game. I for one, was not disappointed. Thanks for your time, and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Resident Evil (movie 2002)

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So I’m going to piss a lot of people off possibly because as a Resident Evil fan, I actually enjoyed the movie. It’s not a masterpiece and yes, it’s not really a faithful adaptation but its got spirit. Paul W.S. Anderson gave us this first installment to the movie series with an intention of sort of a prequel to the game, using stylistic directions from the classic game and familiar locales from the game. In interviews he discussed how he knew of all of the dedicated fans of Resident Evil 1 and 2 their were and how he didn’t want to retell a half ass version of either game on screen. That I can believe and respect.

The film starts with an outbreak of the T-Virus in the underground laboratory facility called the Hive, miles under a remote mansion miles from Raccoon City. Once loose, the Hive’s security A.I, the Red Queen, acts and kills everyone in the Hive to stop any chance of a containment breach. Inside the mansion, a woman we only know as Alice wakes up foggy and disoriented with no memory why she’s there. Suddenly she’s found by commandos who crash through the windows, apprehending another man in the mansion. The mystery unfolds as the head commando reveals to Alice the Red Queen released a gas above that caused her memory loss. They venture into the depths of the Hive to reprogram the Red Queen, finding the poor corpses, until soon they come to life and a dire experiment is on the loose…

So this movie is not perfect by any means but it ain’t garbage like the other films would become. The acting is so so but the creature and zombie effects are sweet for the time. The Red Queen is creepy and kind of a dick but delivers a truly great “your fucked” speech. The score is a cool fusion of Marco Beltrami and Marilyn Manson which comes off as unique, eerie, or just plain bad ass. The ending is bleak but satisfying. There are some hoky moments and the characters can be kind of wooden but has the texture of a decent horror movie in it. Definitely check it out for cheap and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Resident Evil (remake)

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Resident Evil changed the world of horror gaming back in the 90’s when it came out for PlayStation with it’s tight, eerie corridors, creative monsters and brilliant sound designs just to name a few reasons this game kicked ass. But it did not age well. So in 2002 we got one hell of a upgrade for the Nintendo GameCube. Better graphics, hugely improved voice acting, new story pieces that include Lisa Trevors (creepy ass poor thing) and better handling. So for those of us that are new to the series, Resident Evil is the story of the unfortunate S.T.A.R.S team who were investigating a string of murders in the Arklay Mountains. There is a ambush and the remaining members fall back to a mansion hidden in the woods. Albert Wesker, Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, and Barry Burton are all that seem to be left. You play as either Chris or Jill, each character has there own unique advantages; Chris can take more damage and does more damage with the combat knife while Jill is quicker and has a lock pick which helps get through the mansion faster. As they venture through the mansion, they discover the horrible experiments being done inside its walls through letters and files and the Umbrella Corporation’s dastardly underground facility where the T-virus has been let loose.

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My favorite addition to the game was the story of Lisa Trevor, as seen above, the unkillable giant who had been taken from her parents and experimented on by Umbrella. She slumps after you, moaning for her dead mother. If you come across her, run like hell and don’t look back. Also, another addition is the new variation of zombies called Crimson Heads- twice as fast, three times stronger, and armed with giant claws that come from zombies you didn’t either decapitate or burn, which adds to the survival aspect of the game. And of course what bad ass horror game wouldn’t be complete without a giant zombie shark boss! The game is still effective and even made me jump a few times. Some of the puzzles are convoluted as hell but thank god for YouTube.  Seriously pick this game up because word is Resident Evil 2 is being remade so may the gaming gods bring you glory and stay away from windows.

Salem’s Lot

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Ah welcome to best and worst of Vampires part 2 (see my Dracula and Twilight reviews for part 1.) So as I said in my Cujo review, I was going to be covering a little more Stephen King and since the Dark Tower movie approaches, I thought this would be a great time to hit up Salem’s Lot, which comes into play towards the end of the series with Don Callahan, one of our main characters.

Salem’s Lot was Stephen King’s second novel after his huge success with Carrie, about how the quiet town of Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine is quietly taken over by a Vampire named Kurt Barlow and his assistant Straker who move into the “haunted” Marsten House. You notice how I kind of emphasized the word quiet? Well, Salem’s Lot is a quiet book. Do not read this if you are expecting a bloodbath, rich emo kids that sparkle, or vampires that turn into giant bat creatures and fight werewolves for the fate of the universe or some shit like that. Hell, King’s vampires in this are pretty typical. Pale, fangs, lure you to let them in, crosses, holy water, sunlight, and only come out at night- the classic vampire mold. And that’s not a bad thing, because we are given relatable characters and a simple setting many of us either live in or can picture and how it can be creepy or unsettling.

The story centers around Ben Mears, a famous writer who grew up in the lot and returned to it after twenty five years to write about the Marsten House that scared him as a kid. He becomes friends with old Matt Burke, a teacher, and gets the hots for Susan Norton, a young college grad who’s a fan of his. Ben finds out a man named Barlow bought the old Marsten house for his antique furniture business but no one has seen him, just his partner Richard Straker. Not soon after, people start disappearing and others start dying but don’t stay that way. Soon it’s up to Ben, Matt, Sue, young Mark Petrie, Dr. Jim Cody, and struggling father Don Callahan to ban together and finish the undead crisis weeping through quiet little Jerusalem’s Lot before they become next in Barlow’s horde.

Movies have been made about this book and/ or mini series but you’re better off just reading it. It’s a decent vampire story that’s well written, has some genuine chills in it. If you want a decent adaptation that frankly ain’t a adaptation, I recommend checking out the anime Shiki. Both are pretty damn similar but Shiki gives you some darker pathos and a six episode slaughter-fest at the end, but as one of my favorite high school teachers used to say, I digress. Definately check out Salem’s Lot if you’re a Stephen King fan or want a good classic vampire story without the goth romance tropes that have become commonplace in vampire fiction (and anime fans, check out Shiki).