review

TRAILER THOUGHTS: THE REASON I [YOU] ARE AFRAID OF CLOWNS: CLOWNTERGEIST [2017]

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As I have said countless times in the past, I have coulrophobia – AKA a fear of clowns – and with the reboot of It coming out this year, it is safe to say that I am going to be terrified in the theater. Hell, these past 12 months have given us films like 31, Clowntown and Circus Of The Dead showing us that the genre of the clown[s] is definitely coming! Don’t get me wrong though, there actually have been clown themed movies that I actually enjoyed like Killer Klowns From Outer Space, and even the original TV movie of It, but this is because films like Killer Klowns are extremely cheesy, and have that “fun and quirky quality” to them. [Though, if I am being honest, “It” did scar me as a young child]

Enter Clowntergeist – and yes, that is the film’s actual title – 2017’s first horror film featuring a killer clown. More specifically, this is a horror movie about a clown that is possessed by a demon and stalks around a small town; leaving messages [dates and times] on balloons in order to tell his victims exactly the moment when he will kill them. Watching the trailer, Clowntergeist seems to be a mix of The Ring, It, and even a shade of Poltergeist! It looks, as far as  design, completely ridiculous and possibly terrible. But with the right friends, it also looks like it could be fun; being a film that is not meant to be taken overly seriously.

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[the villain of CLOWNTERGEIST]

Clowntergeist follows Emma, a college student who, like me, has a crippling fear of clowns. She is forced to come face to face with her worst fear when an evil spirit in the body of a clown is summoned and is terrorizing the town she calls home. One by one Emma and her friends receive a balloon with the exact time and date of when this clown will appear to kill them written on it. After receiving her balloon, Emma comes to realize that she has only two days left to live, and must fight against the clock to find a way to survive..and stop the Clowntergeist [who, according to IMDb, is named “Ribcage The Clown“] once and for all! Does this sound like something you would be interested in watching? While there may not be an official release date yet, you should still check out the trailer below!

Between the gore and the greasepaint, Clowntergeist looks like a terrible, yet fun horror film. I find myself genuinely curious to find out how Emma kills this haunted circus freak! Does this look like Your kind of film? Or are you, like me, afraid of clowns and will be watching through your fingers in the theater? Let me know your thoughts in a comment or two! Be sure to also follow me over on my Facebook page! [we’re at over 180+ likes – let’s get to 200!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. So go follow over there too! Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends!

I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review [usually] posted the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

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[whoops! wrong killer klown!]

THANKS FOR READING.

STRANGER THINGS Season 01: REVIEW and REFERENCES

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I have a confession: I loved season one of Stranger Things. It’s a show I had been putting off watching since it’s original release, mainly because I had class Monday to Friday for three weeks, and I felt that if I get caught up in a TV show; [albeit, only eight episodes] I’d fall behind. Now, with class being done since July 27th, I finally watched this show in it’s entirety.. and holy fuck, this show was fantastic!

Let’s get one thing straight first though, Stranger Things isn’t the first TV show/movie to try and recapture the feeling of the 80s horror/adventure films. Think of  J.J. AbramsSuper 8 – the difference here is that you’ve never seen anything quite like this series. The show is essentially genre-less too, with numerous references and allusions to the 80s, allowing itself to become a mysterious sci-fi horror complex story that ends up being something extremely unique and individual. Some of the things that happen are Weird, others are Strange. It’s a really refreshing feeling to see story telling like this. We see many throwbacks to the 80’s Sci-Fi and Horror genres respectively, with heavy influences from John Carpenter and Stephen King. It doesn’t only look like an 80s time capsule, but feels like one too! I have to hand it to the Duffer brothers, they really captured the essence of the 80’s – and I wasn’t even born yet!

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“there’s how many references in STRANGER THINGS?”

As I said above, there are a lot of references in Stranger Things, some obvious; but some are more cleverly hidden. Most notably, Stranger Things gives a ton of nods to films that I grew up with – films like E.T. and The Goonies: the bikes, the dark backyards, the group of kids, and the flashlights. But if you were to look at the lighting and sets, you’ll notice there’s so much that feels like Alien, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and Firestarter. Other homages include Poltergeist, Explorers, The Shining, Stand by Me, and Carrie. Of course, this is only some of the “Easter eggs.” There are still so many more, although you will just have to re-watch Stranger Things to see them all! Below, I’ve included some of the ones that I noticed. [Did you notice other ones? Let me know in the comments!] As expected, these references include major spoilers for Stranger Things: Season one so make sure you watch all eight episodes first.


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UNDER THE SKIN:

Whenever Eleven uses her powers to read other people’s minds, she seems to enter a dark, featureless world that is gives off the same eerie feeling that the “black room” in Jonathan Glazer‘s artsy film Under the Skin had. In both cases, the enigmatic female character is seen to walk across a mirrored black surface that behaves like both a solid and as a liquid.

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STAR WARS:

This one is fairly easy to notice, but there are plenty of Star Wars references in Stranger Things – and I’m not just talking about the poster. Mike owns a Yoda action figure, and is in awe at Eleven‘s “Jedi powers”. When Lucas thinks Eleven is lying to the gang, he calls her “Lando” – after Lando Calrissian. [For those unaware, Lando is the character who betrays Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back]

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ALIEN:

Eager to investigate the gooey [and gross looking] inter-dimensional portal in their basement, the team at Hawkins Laboratory send in a disposable technician [Right] to check it out, with only a flashlight. The whole sequence is a call back to the first act of Alien, when the similarly-outfitted Kane [Left] explores the surface of the planet with his crew. Both characters are attached to a safety-cable which, in the end, does absolutely nothing for their safety.

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E.T.

E.T. is probably the most important reference in Stranger Things because there are just so many of them! From the moody flashlight search sequences, to the general logic of kids on bikes outrunning a shady government organization who are after them. When she is left to her own devices at Mike‘s house, Eleven is often seen exploring the world with the same child-like fascination as E.T. Even during the scene where Mike and his friends “disguise” Eleven in a dress and wig to help her blend in at school is a clear call to a scene in E.T. in which Gertie gives the alien a “makeover.” [The only real question here is: who wore it better?]

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A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET:

The final episode of Stranger Things, which sees Jonathan and Nancy try to kill the “demogorgon”, matches up exactly with the climax of the original 1984 A Nightmare On Elm Street film: in both films, the teenage heroes trick a dimension-shifting monster into going into a house filled with traps, before setting it on fire. Meanwhile, in episode two [titled “The Weirdo On Maple Street”] sees the the “demogorgon” stretch the wall of Will Byers‘ room, which was also recalling a similar scene in Nightmare.

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THE GOONIES:

The tone that Stranger Things sets owes a lot to Steven Spielberg‘s adventure story, The Goonies which sees a group of misfit friends discover a long-lost treasure map. As one could easily see, there are similarities between The GooniesChunk [top, right] and Stranger ThingsDustin. [below, centre]

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STAND BY ME:

 The sequence in which Mike, ElevenLucas, and Dustin walk along an old railway track is a reference to the 1986 coming-of-age film, Stand By Me – which is based on a Stephen King short story called The Body. [Oddly enough, this was also the title of the episode when this happened..] In both, a group of friends work together to track down a missing child.


AND FINALLY..


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ALTERED STATES:

If you look carefully enough, The Sensory Deprivation Chamber Eleven uses in Hawkins Laboratory [left] closely resembles the isolation tank William Hurt‘s character enters in Altered States. [right] Both Altered States and Stranger Things play with the idea that sensory deprivation can awaken dormant parts of the brain.



Again, these are just some of the references/call backs to various science fiction and horror films from the 80s. As expected, I wouldn’t be able to write all of them here, because I would never leave my chair. [I didn’t even talk about the Movie Posters on the kids’ bedroom walls, or the movies playing on TVs in the background!] The question is though, which references did You see? Which ones stood out the most for You? Let me know in a comment or two below! [if you haven’t seen Stranger Things yet, I strongly recommend it!]

As always, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [we’re at over 150+ likes – let’s get to 200!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog.

Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review coming the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

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THANKS FOR READING.

horror gaming: FRAN BOW

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Here’s something exciting: a new horror gaming segment. It’s something I haven’t done in a while, and after watching a few videos online about it, I decided I wanted to talk about a very specific game: Fran Bow. Developed by Killmonday – an indie studio  founded/comprised of “two Swedish game developers of madness” [their words, not mine] who created this extremely well crafted game that is scary not once, but also the second time you play it. The game isn’t strictly horror either, it delves into subgenres – such as sadness, depression, and even other mental illnesses.. and they’re done perfectly. Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we? If you upset by mental illnesses, or anything relating to the nature of these topics; consider this your forewarning. From here on out we’re going to be relating to and talking about our “hero” Fran Bow. [be sure to visit the official website for the game]

In the game, Fran Bow is the young girl who serves as the main character. She is described as struggling with “a mental disorder and an unfair destiny.” which I’m sure many of us can relate to. She also has a black cat named Mr. Midnight, who she refers to as her closest and only friend. As an individual, Fran is described as a curious 11 year old with bobbed brown hair and blue eyes. She usually seen wearing a yellow dress with a small blue bow tie and brown boots with black-and-white striped stockings. [see below]

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[and the award for the creepiest 11 year old goes to…!]

When we first meet our “hero”, we see Fran Bow living a happy life with her mother and father just like any ordinary kid. [though Fran is no “ordinary kid”] They give her Mr. Midnight and shortly after her Aunt Grace arrives for dinner. After a few days, she is disturbed by an dark and ominous figure in her window, only then does she hear a scream from her parents’ room and goes to investigate..When she enters her parent’s room she faces what no kid should have to face – her parents. Killed and dismembered, with their bodies [and various lying about the bedroom. [Naturally] Terrified, Fran runs into the nearby forest with Mr. Midnight and blacks out. Though her cat seems to want to stay and comfort her, we see a dark figure [who we later learn is named Remor] approach. Fran is then picked up by a hooded figure. After this Dr. Deern wakes Fran up, which reveals this to all to have been memory. Fran and Dr. Deern talk for a bit, leading to Fran demanding to be released from the mental institute that Fran has been in the whole time. As one would expect, Dr. Deern sternly refuses her request.

Being as her parents are gone, Fran is given her mother’s old purse – which she finds a note from Aunt Grace inside. As soon as she reads the note though, a nurse was called in to the room in order to give Fran her “new medicine” called Duotine. Fran is told that she is not allowed to leave the room until she takes it, because it’ll “help her relax.” Of course, considering she has no other option, Fran takes the medicine, stating that she is not feeling well; and immediately has visions of blood, gore, and decapitated heads raining in the room. While unconscious, she dreams of Mr. Midnight, who encourages her to come find him, saying the pills will help her do so. He says he is waiting for her in the forest and tells her he loves her. It’s with these final words we start the game’s First Chapter.

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Even though it’s not a long game, it is divided into Five Chapters with each one being even more depressing as the chapters go on:

  • Chapter One: Sober Day
  • Chapter Two, Part 1: Curiosity symptoms
  • Chapter Two, Part 2: Double Personality
  • Chapter Three: Vegetative State
  • Chapter Four, Part 1: My Imaginary Friend
  • Chapter Four, Part 2: Doctor’s Prescription
  • Chapter Five: The House of Madness

The one thing that I will always think is cool about Fran Bow from a game play point of view is that Fran is able to pass into this “other” hell world and alter her surroundings so that she can escape.. through the use of her pills. [Which can be used at any time during the game] The entire point of her “adventure” is to try and discover who is responsible for her parents’ tragedy and ultimately – find her way home. Along the way, Fran discovers a strange land named Ithersta: a magical fantasy-like land where vegetables and roots live together in harmony. After she leaving Ithersta she runs into a skeletal creature named Itward. Itward is the being that ends up helping Fran get back to her only friend: Mr. Midnight. On a depressing note, throughout the game we see that Fran‘s reality seems to be breaking down, making it difficult to tell what the difference is between what she sees when she’s using the pills or what she sees when she’s off them. Fran is ultimately faced with the reality that her parents have actually died and that the person responsible might be someone very close to her.

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Itward [and his “flying machine”] and Fran

I’m not going to spoil the ending for the game, and as expected, I did miss a lot of points. I didn’t even explain where Remor came from or what he/it is. If you are interested in a more in-depth explanation, check out this video on it – it’s actually where I heard about the game. Just know this: as Jordan points out in the video I linked, it’s not a “scary” game, it’s more a game about “hope”. Seriously – Watch it.

If one thing is for sure, it’s that we desperately need more games like this. Games with zombies, aliens, vampires, ghosts, demons, serial killers or animatronic abominations [if you didn’t get that reference…where have you been? Living under a rock?!] will always have a place within our favorite genre. But it’s so important that games developers don’t rely exclusively on these familiar “monsters” when there are real monsters that live inside our heads.

As someone who studied it a bit in my first year at college, Mental illness is a different kind of scary: it’s a real thing. Even though you might not understand it as intimately as someone who lives with it, you probably know someone who does. Somewhat ridiculously, it’s still somewhat looked down on in our society, and I hate that. It’s insane to know people see depression as something other people “choose” to feel. Mental Illness has, and often continues to, claim too many lives. I’m not just talking literally, but also in the passion for life it often pulls away from its unsuspecting host like an never satisfied insect. But we’ll talk about that another time. That’s enough sad-talk for one day.

As always, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [we’re at over 150+ likes – let’s get to 200!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog.

Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review coming the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

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who’s the creepy thing on the right? Play FRAN BOW to find out!

THANKS FOR READING.

RETURN TO SILENT HILL [Silent Hill Revelation 3D Review]

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RETURN TO SILENT HILL! Remember a few days ago when I wrote about Silent Hill and how it was a fantastic video game to film adaptation? While I still stand by that statement, the same can’t be said about it’s sequel: Silent Hill: Revelation 3D.  I knew regardless if anyone asked for this, I’d end up writing it. Mainly because I needed to write my indefinite hatred for it. It was boring, it was bland, and it really hurt the ego of the first film. Believe it or not, this sequel jumped and is actually based on Silent Hill 3 [the game] and unfortunately for fans – like myself – it did everything wrong; both in story and “scares.” Now remember: I’m going to come off as bias because I’m talking as a fan of the first film, and this “sequel” [with the most original sequel name ever] has very little to do with the first. I mean, okay, it is set in the same place and some situations are the same but it doesn’t continue the flow that the first film had. Not to mention, it doesn’t follow any of the momentum. The first ended in a kind of bitter way that made it feel like there was no real place for a sequel – which I liked – so this whole film just comes off as a cash grab. Be warned: this review is going to widely be negative, because it’s how I felt – and if you liked this movie, then I’m sorry..but not really.

Silent Hill: Revelations 3D takes place six years after the events of the first film. Between the first and second films, Sharon‘s mother has found a way to get her out of Silent Hill because of the danger, but now Sharon and her father find themselves on the run. She also changed her name to Heather, and her father, played once again by Sean Bean, has moved her from location to location, always struggling to keep his daughter away from the Silent Hill cult. Turns out, they want Heather [or Sharon.. or whatever her name is] to complete a ritual that will set them free from the evil, and now they’ve taken Heather‘s father to ensure the girl’s return.

Does this sound flimsy? Good. Because it is flimsy. Unlike Ganz, Bassett‘s screenplay for this “sequel” takes its sweet time picking up any momentum. When it does, it relies on quick flashes of creepy imagery or large pieces of exposition. As it turns out, everyone – and I mean everyone – Heather comes in contact with; seems to has a vital piece of information for her. Whether it’s about the town or its residents, all this [useless] information breaks the overall pacing of the film. The first Silent Hill was over two hours long, but it was much simpler and smoother than this 95 minute “movie.” As proven in Revelations, Bassett doesn’t seem to understand the concept of explaining things, so while the story is trying to move along, the film feels the need to grind to a shrieking halt every time it decides it wants to explain something. It makes the viewer feel stupid, like every detail needs to be explained in simple terms.

[the only interesting monster in the film]

As our “story” progresses, it becomes more and more weighed down by ridiculous twists and confusing “revelations” [oh, I get it now!] About half way through the film, all hell tries to break loose, and that’s when things just start happening for no reason. But don’t worry! Bassett, always ready with his exposition, handles the confusion we just felt by having a character explain out exactly what’s going on and why. Good thing, because it’s not like I just watched the movie or anything.. ugh.

What makes the Silent Hill video games so scary is that it always seems vague enough that dropping random characters into the game’s atmosphere could always be the starting point of an interesting mystery, but in the case of a movie, it seems to be next to impossible to translate onto the screen. The one thing it should be able to do is show us how creepy, intense, and effective the first Silent Hill movie was..or at the very least, build on it!

hey, Bassett! Clive Barker wants his monster designs back!

love the Silent Hill world: the [first three] games are masterpieces in their own right, and the first movie was fantastic. This sequel on the other hand, really hurt to watch. Remember, this is just my opinion. Although I didn’t enjoy it, there are people who preferred this film over the first. I think at the rate we are going with these films, a third one would be pushing our luck.

The question remains though: what did You think of Silent Hill: Revelations? Was it a worthwhile sequel? Or an unnecessary money grab? Let me know in the comments! Also, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 149+ likes – only a few more and we’ll have reached over 150!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog! Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review coming the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

did I mention that the CGI is terrible? cause the CGI is terrible..

THANKS FOR READING.

Film Study: It’s been TEN YEARS since we visited SILENT HILL

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I’ve always been a fan of Silent Hill. The games are eerie enough, with the rusty and dark settings always feel unsettling, and the atmosphere is brimming with personality. With creepy monsters around one corner, and an almost empty void of a town around the other, Silent Hill is pretty damn scary. I love these games, but I can’t play them in the dark. Not because I’m scared, but I start..hearing things. Naturally though, this would imply that the game series would make for an excellent horror film, right? Technically, there were two films: Silent Hill and Silent Hill: Revelations 3D. We’re going to look at the first film today, mainly because the sequel was a piece of hot garbage – which I’ll save to talk about another day if the interest is there. [LET ME KNOW IF YOU WANT IT REVIEWED]

So why are we talking about Silent Hill? If you follow warrenisweird on Facebook, you would have noticed that yesterday I mentioned that it’s been ten years since we got Director Christophe Gans’ vision of Silent Hill came to theaters and presented us with what might very well be the most faithful video game-to-film adaptation ever. [take that comment with a grain of salt..] While the film didn’t do insanely well, only earning $100 million against a $50 million budget, it was still praised for its atmosphere, set design, and visuals; which are pretty important in a Silent Hill title. I remember enjoying it when it came out, it was scary, it looked great, and it was generally entertaining. As a fan of the games, I was impressed..but that was ten years ago.. and the real question is: does it hold up? Only one way to find out, so strap yourself in – we’re going on a road trip. Destination: Silent Hill. Population: Spoilers.

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this scene feels like it’s lifted straight from the game!

The movie follows Sharon, the young daughter of Rose Da Silva[oh yeah – Harry isn’t in the movie – just so you know] who has been dreaming of a town – Silent Hill. In an attempt to show her that it’s just a dream. Rose makes the decision to take her to this town. However, the road to Silent Hill is anything but easy to reach, and Rose finds herself in a high speed chase between herself and a police officer only to end in a crash for them both! When she wakes up, Sharon has disappeared and Rose is at the entrance to the deserted, dream-like town of Silent Hill. As Rose begins the endless search for her daughter, she does not realize the terror and mystery surrounding her, finding herself getting more and more entwined into the disturbing past of a little town known as Silent Hill.

Right off the bat, the movie opens with music lifted straight from the game itself – in fact, the entire movie contains original tracks from the game as well as some being a remixed score. Just as it was a fantastic and brooding background when playing the game, it works very well on the big screen. The plot describes the town of Silent Hill that Rose finds herself trapped in as a “nightmare world”, and thankfully, that is exactly what Christophe Gans does with the film: we see buildings transform into a caged inferno when “the darkness” comes, we actually see the creatures that come with this darkness: the patient demons, “the nurses”, and..even Pyramid Head? Yes. Pyramid Head makes an appearance..even though he wasn’t in the first game. [which this movie is based on] But who cares? He’s still really pretty to look at – he’s no doubt here for the fans, not for the original story arc.

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But perhaps my favorite part of the film was knowing that almost none of the evil “creatures” are overused, and thankfully – that is what truly stops this separates this film from a zombie movie. The demons, with the exception of the Pyramid Head, aren’t the true evil of the film, but rather work together to give us a sense of fear while they are on screen. Gans was not afraid to get gory, having several scenes with deformed and tortured bodies – as seen above – even as far as to where we see Pyramid Head skin a human being.. with his bare hands[find warrenisweird on Facebook to see the GIF!] These scenes are extremely effective, and almost always adds to the intensity of the movie.

Finally, we have the best part of the movie: the fact that you don’t need any significant knowledge of the games to be familiar with Silent Hill‘s atmosphere – specifically within the town itself – It feels like the world is cloudy and dreamlike, like a living thing. Silent Hill is scary not because of it’s monsters and dark areas, but because it changes based on your darkest fears, secrets and sins.. Making this fear a very personal nightmare.

I mean, sure, the game was scarier. Way scarier. There was something appealing about the vagueness of the story here though – the fact that it was never fully explained. Some parts [specifically in the final act] could have been edited down and made more intense, but this is just nitpicks.. overall, the movie is really well done – especially being a video game adaptation – which don’t usually go over well. This goes above and beyond your standard fare horror flick. It’s made for horror fans, but feels like a love letter to the fans of the game as well!

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did I mention I love The Nurse demons?

I’m not saying this movie is flawless, it definitely has it’s positives and negatives, but for a video game adaptation – it’s pretty damn good. Again, I won’t be mentioning the sequel, Silent Hill: Revelations 3D, unless someone requests it – but being such a terrible sequel/adaptation, I might have to talk about it..for the sake of how bad it is. [if you want me to review it, let me know in the comments!] So does Silent Hill hold up after ten years? I’m going to say that I, personally, believe the only answer here is: Yes. I loved it then, I love it now, and I really want to [re]play through the games.

As always, now I turn to You. What are Your thoughts on an Silent Hill? Is it something you enjoyed? Or were you more a fan of the games? Let me know your thoughts on the matter in the comments! If you haven’t played the Silent Hill games – I strongly recommend sitting through and playing the series, or at the very least, watch a play through on Youtube! As reiterated [about 3 times] above, if you want me to review Silent Hill: Revelations 3D, let me know that in the comments as well! Also, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 149+ likes – only a few more and we’ll have reached over 150!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog.

Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review coming the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

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[I was legitimately shocked at the visual quality of this “monster!”]

THANKS FOR READING.

April Fool’s Day: a little horror film from 1986

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[NOTE: this is the font I’ll most likely use from now on when posting a picture]

Do you know what day it is? okay yes, it’s Friday, but what I mean is that today is none other than April Fool’s Day! It’s a special, one day event where you’re supposed to play a trick on someone – or a group of people – just because someone a long time ago thought of it as harmless fun. Maybe it is, I’ve never been one to take part in it, at least – not to the point of driving someone over the edge..like some people. Today though, being April 1st, I’m taking a different approach to April Fool’s Day, I’m not going to talk pranks and tricks, but I’m going to talk about a little cult classic horror movie with the same title: April Fool’s Day. As with many, if not all, expect spoilers in this review. I’m going to cover the entire movie. I mean, I have to, if I’m going to explain why I didn’t like it the first time around. [Since my reasoning is “the twist at the end” and who the killer turns out to be]

Directed by Fred Walton, April Fool’s Day is a 1986 American mystery/horror film that follows a group of college students and their weekend getaway to an island estate [belonging to another, but wealthy classmate] which seems to be infiltrated by a killer on the loose. It’s not necessarily a “scary” movie, when I first watched this movie – I didn’t enjoy it. Actually, I was quite upset with it; I couldn’t believe the ending. I took it as a cheap way to write everything off.. but watching it again, I came to understand: it does take place over April Fool’s Day and the weekend following. [oddly enough, this movie’s “April Fool’s” takes place on a Friday, kind of like today!]

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Our movie revolves around eight people: Harvey, Nikki, Rob, Skip, Nan, Chaz, Kit, Arch and the rich Muffy St. John. Almost immediately, The tone is set, with Muffy preparing little details around the house, and finds an old jack-in-the-box. Her friends, meanwhile, are joking around on a pier, waiting on a ferry. But while on their way to the island, Buck, a deckhand on said ferry, is seriously injured in a gruesome accident.

Once the friends arrive on the island [and into the mansion], it turns out what Muffy was doing earlier was setting up a variety of little jokes, from simple whoopee cushions,and  “dribble glasses”, to the more complex and somewhat disturbing “pranks”. [We see her put an audiotape of a baby crying in someone’s room and even heroin paraphernalia in another person’s wardrobe! She sees this as “just for fun!”] Though somewhat harmless, the friends – over all – try to relax..It’s just April Fool’s Day, right? Except then, Skip goes missing.. and Kit catches a glimpse of what looks like his dead body! Next, Arch and Nan go missing. [wait, what?] During the search for Arch/Nan, Nikki falls into the island’s well – only to find the severed heads of Skip and Arch and the dead body of Nan[what the hell is going on?] Trying to escape the killer, the remaining group learn that the phones are dead, and there is no way to get off the island until Monday..

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With already half of the group of friends left, something need, or someone, needs to explain themselves. People keep dying. One after another, people keep vanishing, only to end up being killed with their bodies being found. Finally, we get some answers. It turns out that Kit and Rob put together some of the clues in front of them, learning that everyone’s earlier assumption is wrong. It turns out the deckhand who got injured earlier, is nothing but a red herring and it turns out that Muffy, has a violent [and insane] sister: Buffy, who has escaped! That’s right: the “Muffy” they have been around since the first night on the island was actually Buffy pretending to be Muffy.. This causes them to discover Muffy‘s severed head in the basement. [did you catch that? I got confused just typing it out] So there’s your twist: Muffy is actually Buffy, and is killing everyone..or is she? By this point, Buffy‘s true identity is discovered, so she chases them around the mansion with a butcher’s knife separating the remaining people. While Kit flees from Buffy into the living room, she finds everyone else [who previously died] there, fully alive and calmly waiting for her..REWIND a second, WHAT THE HELL?

Think about it for a second. What weekend was it? April Fool’s Day. It was all a joke, or more accurately, a dress rehearsal. It is becomes clear to the audience that the whole movie that we just experienced was never meant to be a slasher film, but rather pretending to be one. Muffy actually has hopes to turn her mansion into a horror themed resort. She even had a friend who does special effects and make-up for Hollywood to help out with everything. As for the victims? They all agreed to take part as things were [slowly] explained to them..

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Now that that’s all done and over with, everyone has a laugh and break out the bottles of champagne. Later that night, while talking about their “experience”, a half-drunk Muffy goes to her room. She finds a wrapped present on her bed. Smiling, she opens the gift. Turns out, it’s the jack-in-the-Box we saw at the beginning of the movie. Savoring her new found surprise, she turns the handle slowly. When “Jack” finally pops out, Nan appears behind Muffy and slits her throat with a razor! [there’s our killer, right?] Naturally, Muffy screams, but then realizes she isn’t really bleeding. She “got” her with a trick razor and stage blood.. The film ends with the Jack-in-the-box winking at the audience.


Arguably, I think it’s pretty obvious why I didn’t like this movie the first time around: I just didn’t enjoy the concept of a movie that turns out to be “fake” all along. As I said at the beginning of this review, I thought it was a cheap way out of explaining everything  at first. I understand that it was April Fool’s Day during the weekend at the mansion, but it feels “too easy.” It must have been though, because in 2008, they remade the film [as a straight to DVD release] with the same title: April Fool’s Daythough the story and characters in this version are radically different. I enjoy the movie now, but it wouldn’t make it into my top five slasher films of the 80s, if such a list existed. For now, here’s a trailer for the more tolerable [but questionable] original 1986 film.

As always, now I turn to You. What are Your thoughts on a movie such as April Fool’s Day? Is it an interesting concept, or is that ending just too cliche? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! If you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 145+ likes – only a few more and we’ll have reached over 150!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog.

Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every movie I watch  – with my most recent reviews including newer films such as  Deadpool and The Revenant and older films, such as Revenge Of The Sith and The Empire Strikes Back. Interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button, I’m bound to follow you back because I like other people’s movie reviews, as well as writing them myself!

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[here’s that really cheesy wink at the end of the film for your entertainment!]

THANKS FOR READING.

horror gaming: MARYSE

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A few days ago, I was going through my email, unsubscribing to newsletters and websites I no longer use when I came across an email about an account I hadn’t thought of – let alone remembered – in a while: Newgrounds. If you’ve ever been on the site, you’ll quickly notice that it still looks the same, almost like a relic frozen in time. Naturally, I looked around the website, checked out a few flash animations, and ended up where I used to always end up: the flash games. Like the site itself, the games portal seems very much the same as it always was: minimalist formatting and categories on the left in a row.I went through a few games, but decided instead to see if I had any games “saved to my profile”. Sure enough, I had a few – six to be exact. One game, really stuck out to me: almost like it was familiar, but I couldn’t figure out why. This game was none other than Maryse. It’s a simple click-and-point game, and it’s also very short; but holy crap does it ever deliver in the scare factor. It’s atmosphere and dark colors make it feel kind of like a Silent Hill game.. if Silent Hill was in 16bit.

In the game, you play as Maryse Who is woken up on a stormy night by her a light on computer. [which she seems to have left on overnight] When you go over to it, she explains that she doesn’t remember leaving it on, but she quickly dismisses this notion when she notices she has a new message; from someone she doesn’t know. [the sender didn’t leave a name]

This message is somewhat bleak, only saying “They Are Coming For You.” Quickly dismissing it as a prank, Maryse decides to get a drink from her kitchen, probably to relax and go back to sleep, when she hears something – or someone – from behind her door. She calls out, but after getting no reply, she decides the best course of action is to hide in her closet. Good thing too, because this thing suddenly appears:

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that’s…gross looking.

By this point in the game, I assumed that Maryse can see through the cracks in her closet, because after seeing…that, she decides she needs to leave her apartment.  She gets dressed and leaves through the door. [which looks a lot like Super Meat Boy] However, almost immediately after leaving, a note is seen pinned to the door, asking how she is. Also, it looks like it’s inked in blood! More scared than she already was, she heads for the elevator, when the monster [from the picture above] appears again, screeching at her. [headphones on full is probably a bad idea] She dashes into the elevator, if only to catch her breath. I swear her luck isn’t that great, because the elevator then breaks: causing her to hurt her head and end up in the basement of her building.

It’s from here you have to escape the basement, and ultimately: the building. I won’t describe how/what to do any further [I have to leave you some surprises afterall] in Maryse. Like I said above, it’s fairly short but but it’s definitely worth your time if you’re looking for a quick scare. The best part is that it’s a free-to-play game! If you’re a fan of horror and you grew up playing Super Nintendo, you’ll love the play style and the art design of Maryse. Does this game sound like something you’d like to try? CLICK HERE to play it and tell me in the comments what You thought of it. Also, one quick thing: I’m planning something new for this website. I’ve said it before and never ended up doing it but starting on Sunday, I am officially beginning this new segment – when it will reach the actual blog, I’m not sure yet. [time to edit, etc] I’ll explain more as it comes closer!

But as always, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 130+ likes – only a few more and we’ll have reached over 150!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends!

THANKS FOR READING.

SPOILERS* | Ash VS Evil Dead: Season 01 REVIEW [PART 2]

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After re-reading and noticing just how long PART 01 of this review was, it’s refreshing to know that we only have a few more episodes to talk about before the finale of Season 01If you’re only joining us now, [and have seen the entire first season of Ash VS Evil Dead] you should probably turn around and read the first part of this two part-er review. [which you can do here] Like part 1 though, there’s some crazy spoilers coming your way if you’re planning on reading this, so take that as a warning – because I’m not taking the blame for you spoiling this for yourself! If you’re ready, let’s begin talking about the end after the jump!

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Starting from where we left yesterday, Ash and company [as well as being joined by Amanda, the cop] begin a search for a guy that Ash knows named Lem, in order to get some fire power to use against the Evil.. except Lem is having some kind of self-discovery as a Deadite. When they finally arrive at Lem‘s place – which is more of a military camp – all the other men who Lem was with are not happy to see them..at all. It becomes obvious that Lem has been slowly killing off everyone. These militia men decide that Ash and his team are the ones behind Lem‘s new found state and that they work for someone known as Big Brother. [it doesn’t helped by one of them remembering that Amanda is a cop] Essentially the whole episode gives us Kelly and Pablo on the run [and getting to know one another a little better] and Ash/Amanda getting to know each other more intimately. While I’m glad Ash has a female that he seems to be getting close to, I can’t help think of Linda from the original films and what happened with her when Ash and her got close. And then..and then it finally happened!

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In the next episode, which is titled: Ashes To Ashes, we finally return to the cabin. We see Ash look at it saying “Honey, I’m Home!” and it gave me chills; it looks the same, it feels the same, there’s even references to what happened in the original films! The only thing that could be said negatively about this episode is that Ash‘s loneliness when he thinks about the past inside that cabin, I expected to be a bit longer and to bring us to a showdown with his hand..which it does [don’t get me wrong!] it’s just ended quite soon. Amanda, in good timing, arrives just seconds after he does. Which is short lived, because unfortunately, like all Ash‘s love interests, Amanda dies! The worst part? It’s technically Ash‘s fault..well, his hand that he chopped off 30 years ago ‘s fault. We learn that even something as small as a hand, when possessed, can spawn an entire body. It just happened to spawn another Ash. [and then, the episode ends..again..] I remember first seeing her death and thinking, “maybe Ruby – who seems to know a lot about the Deadites – can save her?” Sadly, I couldn’t be any more mistaken.

Taking place right after the end of the last episode, we see that [although she died] Amanda is still around.. and yes, she’s a Deadite. [no surprise there, am I right?] A pretty extreme Deadite too, there’s one scene before Pablo and Kelly reach the cabin, [they’re still on the run from the militia by this point] where Amanda attacks the duo along with a group of three campers, two of which she kills off easily [even going as far as reaching into their heads and using their mouths as puppets – no wonder Ash like[d] her! She’s funny!] Not long after, the suspicious Ruby [who we still don’t know anything about..yet] makes an appearance and fights off Amanda. After some talking, Pablo and Kelly take her to the cabin where she [somehow] convinces Ash to give her the Necronomicon [if you listen carefully, the book has some verbal input in the debate] by ‘passing it along to her’ and defacing [quite literally] the book. The “defaced” part of the book then attaches itself to Pablo, making him [involuntarily] go “half-Deadite”? I guess? Either way, Ruby claims this is in order to finish the fight once and for all. Except she doesn’t intend to ‘finish it’, but rather start it. Ruby claims she plans on summoning, not one – but all the demons from the book and destroy all life because, as Ruby explains, leaving us on another cliffhanger scene, she wrote the book. Yes. Ruby is exactly what I didn’t expect! Even though I’m not a huge fan of cliffhangers, It’s a great setup for the final episode!

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you feeling okay there, Ruby?

The finale begins with the now known evil Ruby taking Pablo, who still has the Necronomicon attached to his face, to the basement of the cabin. Ash takes off after them while Kelly is left upstairs. This episode was arguably my favorite, being as it’s not only is it fun, it’s actually enough to keep you ready for more. [and then it makes you sad when you realize we have to wait for Season 02] The direction it goes in is sharp in execution and it’s clear that Rick Jacobson – who directed this episode – does an excellent job keeping it going at a fast and frantic pace. Like I said, The show is also, for the first time, genuinely scary. There are some good jump scares in the basement and thanks to a “particular book” attached to his face, Pablo pukes up a hideous child-like demon [probably the scariest creature in the series so far], all hell breaks loose as Ash is constantly forced to watch in fear, as his friend is slowly dying from a book he swore to destroy! [Pablo even asks him to end his life on a few occasions!] But the best part of this finale is subtle. During a scene in the basement – keep your eyes open for a Nightmare of a cameo..that’s right, Freddy Kruger is referenced for a split second! [or you can just click here, I found it for you!]

Speaking of genuinely creepy, there’s a particular creepy scene where Ash‘s flashlight is moving in the dark and Kelly calls out to it. As it moves closer and closer, it abruptly turns off.. only for the child-like Deadite to scream right up in Kelly‘s face! [I can’t lie – I jumped!] If I had to pick a downside to this episode though, it’s the somewhat strange conclusion. For some reason, we see Ash [apparently] agreeing to let Ruby have control over the book and unleash all evil upon the world..in exchange for a trip to Jacksonville, some gas money and Pablo / Kelly to be perfectly fine. Something about “all for the same of bringing balance.” It was strange and not fully explained, especially seeing Ash being so easily seduced when he was able to resist the temptations of the book before. Granted, it is an Ash like thing to do: give up everything for a small break back to the simple life. This is what he wanted..right? The season ends with the trio driving toward Jacksonville, only to have a sinkhole appear behind their car, showing us that they can’t turn back.

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If I’ve learned anything from Evil Dead, it’s that girls covered in blood [in the rain] is something I find very attractive.

So there you have it: an entire review of the first season of Ash VS Evil Dead. It was a long type [especially being a two part-er]  and even though I enjoyed writing them, I don’t see myself writing a review on an entire season again for a while. [unless it becomes a thing people want, that’s another story] Overall, Ash VS Evil Dead blew my expectations out of the water with the atmosphere, the characters, and the similarities that made it feel like an Evil Dead film. I also really appreciated the fact that with new ‘versions’ of Deadites, and new revelations about the Necronomicon, it tells me that we know nothing. I can only imagine how Season 02 is going to start!

So as per usual, I’m going to turn to You: the reader. What did You think about the first season of Ash VS Evil Dead? Did you enjoy it as much as I, as well as critics, did? Or was it something that wasn’t your cup of tea? Why or Why Not? Let’s talk about it in the comments! Also, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 130+ likes – only a few more and we’ll have reached over 150!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends!

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THANKS FOR READING.

SPOILERS* | Ash VS Evil Dead: Season 01 REVIEW [PART 1]

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I believe I have made a significant find in the Kandarian ruins, a volume of ancient Sumarian burial practices. Sound familiar? If you’re a fan of a certain cult horror film, you’d know exactly where you’ve heard that before. Flash forward 30 odd years and today, we’re going full out spoiler mode with a post I’ve been wanting [but literally couldn’t right away] to write since Episode 03: a review on all 10 episodes from the first season of Ash VS Evil Dead. Technically, I already wrote a few reviews on the show [here’s my review of episode 01, and here’s another on episode 03] I’m expecting this post is going to be a long one, so long in fact; that this is going to be a two part post. This one is already really long, and tomorrow will be the FINAL few episodes – beginning where this posts ends. Also, if you haven’t already been able to tell, this post will explain everything that happened in season 01 plot wise, so if you haven’t seen the show, and plan on watching it.. don’t read this. At all. Because there will be spoilers everywhere. Ready to read a lot of words? Let’s go! 

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Still here? Okay, good – let’s begin.


We start off 30 years after the original Evil Dead films, where we learn that a now constantly drunk Ash has accidentally read from the Book Of The Dead [all while getting high] and unleashed the Deadites..again. It’s pretty interesting actually, cause when we see him open the book, you can see sticky notes inside – presumably where he’s tried, and successfully begun translating the book on his own time! However, he’s working as a stock boy at another small town store, and has been living in a trailer park; constantly on the run from what happened all those years ago. When he does unleash the evil, we see the famous Evil Dead tracking shots as a result. [which is fucking awesome to see] With the help of a trusty and enthusiastic new sidekick Pablo and another store worker – the very attractive Kelly – this newly founded trio decides that it’s up to them to stop The Evil Dead. There’s also a cop, Amanda, who happens to blame Ash for all the Evil that’s happening. She’s important as well, as she shows up continuously throughout the season. [more on her later!]

This pilot was pretty damn impressive, giving hints to the original films, talking about previous characters, and even adding new ones. It shows us that Ash may have become a guy who keeps to himself and gets drunk all the time, but he’s still a fallible character; he does it because he’s been through so much that he doesn’t want to deal with it anymore; but does he really have a choice? Not really. This fantastic pilot episode ends with us seeing that Ash has a business card for a book store, which he calls the number on and mentions that they’ve spoken before about “a particular book.” This brings me to an important point in the season..

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left to right: Pablo, Ash, Kelly

After seeing Lucy Lawless show up for a brief moment, with little to no explanation of who she is, we visit the episode titled Books From Beyond: where Ash and his new found gang decide to travel to a bookstore. [which shares the same name as the episode] Their game plan is to try to ‘unsummon’ the Evil through a passage inside the Book Of The Dead by the store owner, Lionel Hawkins, whom we’re left to assume Ash knows from calling a few times before. According to Hawkins, who translates the Book Of The Dead, it was written by an ancient group of evildoers called The Dark Ones[okay, that could have been a little more creative..] These not quite human, not quite demon entities wrote some spells that supposedly have the ability to open portals into Hell, and unleash their demons into our world. As Hawkins puts it, “The book itself is harmless unless wielded by someone very evil.. or very stupid.” I’ll give you three guesses which category our supposed “hero” falls into..

Almost proving Hawkins‘ point, Ash‘s new great plan to figure out why the Deadites are coming back is to release another one from inside the book, if only to ask it questions. After looking through the book for a bit, they ultimately decide on a “minor, wimpy Deadite” [as Ash calls it] named Eligos who, as the Necronomicon claims,  is a “demon of the mind.” Which is proven when he can seemingly invade his enemies’ brain! [see this ‘new’ Deadite Eligos here] We also see very little explanation of who Lucy Lawless‘ character is. Every time we see her, She seems to know a lot about Ash, the Necronomicon, and the Deadites themselves.. She’s shown to have a Kandarian Dagger from Evil Dead II as well. By the end of the episode, Pablo suggests that his Brujo could help – but they haven’t spoken in a while.. Together; Ash, Pablo, and Kelly decide that they’ll head towards Pablo‘s old place and visit his Brujo.

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Ash and Brujo

After setting more Evil loose from the book; Ash, Pablo and Kelly head to Pablo‘s uncle’s house for some answers.. After all, Pablo claimed he was even a shaman! While this episode was important, it also felt like the weakest episode. The majority of it has Ash sent out on an amusing [but long] acid trip throughout the rest of the episode. Kelly is shown to be having some after-effects from the fight with Eligos in the previous episode, almost like she is possessed by the demon. and in his mind, Ash, attempts to take down Eligos. Unfortunately, he is attacking Kelly[which was probably what Elgios wanted] Pablo and his Uncle restrain Ash by knocking him out cold, and the episode ends abruptly there, on what could be considered something of a cliff-hanger.

Continuing where the cliffhanger ended, Ash and Pablo must fight to save Kelly from being taken over by Eligos, who seems to want to take her over. With time running out, the duo must defy all odds if they want to keep trio. Fighting Deadites was hard enough, but becoming one could spell murder for everyone.  While some of the interactions between the team and possessed Kelly were interesting [and actually felt like real Demon-extracting processes], this episode felt like Bruce Campbell was also required to give off a sense of helplessness as Ash, who seems to feel like he’s unable to help his friend for most of the runtime. It worked really well, and seeing a hard-ass like Ash feel helpless was heartbreaking.  Unfortunately, this episode also has Brujo‘s death, but it was good to see they didn’t just treat his death as an inconvenience – as a large portion of the episode was dedicated to his death therefore further building of Pablo‘s overall character as a result. This leads us to episode 06: The Killer Of Killers.

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Now knowing what to do with the Necronomicon – thanks to that acid trip – Ash realizes what we’ve all been guessing all along. Ash [along with Kelly and Pablo] must return to where it all started: The Cabin from the original films. We also see our team stop at a bar for a little piece of cake, [y’know..to celebrate] while Amanda and Ruby arrive at Brujo‘s house, with his pyre still blazing, in search of Ash. [it’s a common thing that Amanda and Ruby show up one minute too late] Unfortunately, this episode ends with us hoping for The Cabin to show up..but doesn’t..for another few episodes. It’s not a bad episode, I just kept waiting for it to show.


And for now, that’s where I’m going to leave you. Like I said at the very beginning, this post was expected to be long. If you’re enjoying this, even with the spoilers, then please – come back around tomorrow [sometime in the afternoon] when I finish talking about the fantastic series/ first season that I’m already a huge fan of: Ash VS Evil Dead. STAY GROOVY!

[and] THANKS FOR READING.

I’m still DWELLING on “Dwelling”: A REVIEW!

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[Note: This was supposed to be posted yesterday but being exhausted from a week of work plus seeing family, it’s a day late. Sorry friends!]

A little while ago, a friend of mine [whom I met through the blogging community] had told me he was releasing a book called Dwelling. I was curious, and after a bit of talking, he sent me a copy to read. It’s not terribly long, sitting at just over 300 pages, but it’s a wild ride from start to finish. So without further ado, let’s change it up today and go from reviewing movies to books!

Our story today follows a group of childhood friends [now adults], who are physically and psychologically devastated by war… As we learn, a horrifying creature emerged from a sandstorm just before Ricky Smith died in battle. Forced to leave, his widow Maggie buys a home on Oak Lee Road in the lonely town of Jotham. Maggie is isolated in the historic house…and is unsettled by strange clicking-like sounds coming from the walls. Jonathan Steele attempts to drink the painful past away: he was wounded in battle and now suffers from PTSD. He wants [and even starts] to put the nightmare behind him, but when Ricky’s ghost comes to him with warnings about Maggie’s new house, he begins to question his sanity, and everything around him. Bobby Weeks is a now homeless veteran struggling with a werewolf-like curse. Afraid of bringing danger to those around him, he stays far away from those he loves. But after a full moon, a mysterious woman approaches him and reveals a vision about a house with a sinister presence, and he quickly realizes staying away might no longer be an option he has. Lastly, we have Minister Jake Williams, who has lost his faith on the battlefield, and will do anything to reconnect with God. He turns to vices to fill the religious void, but a church elder insists he take a sabbatical, and a ghost tells him to quit the ministry! When Maggie wakes in a strange subterranean cavern, she can’t deny that her house has dark secrets. Desperate for help, she sends letters to her old friends to reunite in Jotham, unaware of the danger awaiting them. The friends have already been through hell once, but can any of them survive the evil dwelling beneath the House on Oak Lee?


Dwelling, overall is a pretty heavy story; it deals with the death of a ‘brother’, it has a lot of fear involved, and it reminds you that not all demons are in your head. With something like the topic of War, this is something like that would literally haunt your every move. What makes Dwelling work so effectively is that it shows us what soldiers go through as individuals, such as: heartache, guilt and painful flashbacks…it’s heartbreaking to read about, but it makes sense – especially to those, like me, who haven’t been in such a situation before. It’s dark and twisted, but for a story that follows War veterans, it has to be – Because it wouldn’t make sense otherwise.

Through this book, [which is only part one!] Author Thomas S. Flowers [who writes his own blog here!] has created an cast of characters and a world that feels super related-able: We all know people that have been in the War, or have been through traumatic situations, just like the characters in Dwelling. These groups of friends that every one of us have – regardless of how different they may be – have gone off in different directions, but the small things, and details that we experienced as children has created a permanent bond between you. It quickly shows where we would always be if they needed us. Hell, I can think of a couple friends now that are like ‘brothers’ to me – they know who they are. This makes the damaged characters found inside the novel as something we can hold on to; Something real. These five friends of mine have all been damaged, either emotionally, physically or even both. Because of this, they not only have to overcome the villain, but also their own personal ghosts and demons, either current or from the past!

Either way, I won’t go on too heavily about the book: it’s definitely something you need to experience [not read: experience] for yourself to fully understand. [buy a copy of Dwelling over here!] As I said above, it’s a heavy read, and at times – not for the faint of heart – but it’s great for horror fans, and veterans who understand the pain of War. If you found yourself to enjoy Dwelling, be sure to prepare for the sequel, Emerging, which is stated to be released on December 15th!

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THANKS FOR READING.