spoilers

SPOILER TALK: Who DID Negan Kill During The Season 07 Premiere?

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NOTE: Major spoilers below for anyone who hasn’t watched The Walking Dead season 7 premiere yet, but you probably knew that already..

 

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Still here? Okay, if you are; that implies you’ve watched the premiere or you’re okay with [massive] spoilers. Ready? Here goes – Well, Walking Dead fans, we made it through the long and annoying wait from the Season 6 finale to the Season 7 premiere, and while the Negan cliffhanger of the previous season received its fair share of fan backlash, everyone involved with the show kept promising [continuously] that it would all be worth it when the premiere for Season 7 came around.. and indeed, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” lived up to a lot of the hype, dropping the [now dead] bodies of not just one major [and loved] character, but two. As revealed during Rick‘s mental torture session, Negan used his beloved Lucille to kill both Abraham Ford and Glenn Rhee, and although I would usually say I saw this coming.. I didn’t! So let’s talk about it – with spoilers of course – So, just what in the hell happened on the premiere?

While The Walking Dead TV show will be giving us a toned down Negan in the sense of  how over the top he is/can be, this scaled back version obviously doesn’t affect the brutality of his actions. We had to wait a while to actually get an answer to one of the biggest TV questions of the summer, and Negan got to show off some of his vicious savagery before “the big scene” by testing Rick‘s abilities by sticking him out in the walker filled wild. [Seriously, what a badass] But no amount of physical abuse to Rick could prepare us for how heavy the impact of the big moment, and the episode overall, drew out the appropriate amount of heart pounding pain we [probably] all felt on the way to Abraham dying through getting his skull busted..

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As you no doubt felt too, seeing the result was an absolutely chilling scene to behold, almost more so than in the source material, and when Abraham‘s face was shown to be “the death,” I can only imagine so many viewers’ hearts were on the way to leaping out of their chests. But, because of course it did, it only got worse – way worse. In the moments afterward, as Negan completely destroyed all that was recognizable about everything above Abraham‘s neck, Daryl felt the need to be the big man by rising up to deck Negan square in the face. This led to a small speech [from Negan] about the group’s behavior, followed by an abrupt and sudden swing of Lucille down onto Glenn‘s unfortunately unprepared head.. Glenn‘s death was a much more heartbreaking one, as it followed pretty close to the comics, where he got to [at least] call for Maggie before he succumbed to his death. Plus, his eye did that popping out thing which is what happened in the comics, which looked absolutely sickening.

Based on what happened last night, we now have to get used to watching The Walking Dead without the macho and hardcore survivor skills of Abraham, as well as the gentle and moral couth of Glenn. There’s a ton of repercussions to this last episode: Maggie has to give birth to a child who will never know his or her father, and Eugene will be without Abraham and won’t be able to talk about stuff. Unfortunately – or fortunately, depending on how you look at it – the future does not look bright for everyone on this show – besides Negan, I guess. He seems to be okay – but it will all hopefully be extremely exciting either way. It is only just starting, and it started off strong. For the next seven weeks, you can expect The Walking Dead to air on Sunday nights on AMC, and then we’ll have to get used to waiting for more all over again during the typical mid-season halt. To see what else is hitting your TVs but without all of the bulging eyeballs and brain matter, you can always turn to the new season of Gotham or finally start Luke Cage – Hell, I have do continue/start both of those shows too..dammit. I haven’t really been all over watching THE WALKING DEAD lately, but after this premiere, I kind of want to go back and marathon the first six seasons and get a feel for the buildup – or maybe I just miss Glenn..

As always, now I turn to you – the reader, how did YOU feel about last night’s premiere of The Walking Dead? Did it live up to the hype? Or did you see the deaths happening from a mile away? Let me know in a comment below, and if you enjoyed this post; go 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. 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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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.

film study: is The Conjuring 2 FACT [or] FICTION?

Earlier this week – Monday the 13th – a friend and I went and saw The Conjuring 2. I enjoyed it, surprisingly a lot more than I expected; and definitely better than the first Conjuring film. [read my full review on The Conjuring 2 hereHowever, on the way back from the movie, I had an epiphany: if the “haunting” shown in the film is based on actual events, and Ed and Lorraine Warren were concerned about the whole thing being a hoax, just how much of is actual truth? That’s where we are today: I’m going to be looking into the true story behind the infamous “Enfield Poltergeist” and separate the facts from the fiction. As expected, this post does involve the plot and important details involving The Conjuring 2. Being as it’s a newer release, spoilers will be everywhere within this post. So if you haven’t seen the movie yet, or you’re okay with spoilers – let’s begin.

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Before we officially begin though, it’s important to note that Director James Wan didn’t take many shortcuts when translating the infamous Enfield Haunting onto the big screen – this is proved when he went so far as to display real-life photographs and locations against the ones shown in the movie during the end credits. I mean, that’s impressive and it really adds to the tone of the film. Even hearing the actual tapes during the credits reminded viewers that this was an actual event..or was it?

At the beginning of the movie, we start with the infamous Amityville case and its aftermath, because most of Conjuring 2 has to keep going back to the Warrens‘ story across the Atlantic as they deal with how traumatizing the event was for Lorraine. The case in this movie was often called the “English Amityville,” or “the Enfield Case” because [unlike what was shown in the movie] there was many paranormal investigators swooping in from all over the globe. So yes, the Warrens did drop by at one point in 1978 according to one of the investigators, Guy Lyon Playfair. But according to him, during an interview on Darkness Radio, the Warrens showed up “uninvited and only stayed for a day.” Even worse, Playfair claimed: “All I can remember is Ed Warren telling me that he could make a lot of money for me out of it.” Playfair isn’t the first to say something like this – over the course of their cases, the Warrens were constantly called out for “helping families for the money and fame” rather than their hearts of gold – which the movies show them to have. [listen to the entire interview with Playfair here]

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though I gotta say, the chemistry between these two is perfect.

It’s important to note that a lot of the details in the movie, like how the supernatural problems occur after the girls play with a Ouija board, are fact though – and are straight from the accounts of the Hodgson family. [especially Janet and Peggy] They did flee to the neighbor’s house like they did in the film, with witnesses claimed they could hear  “whistling” and “knocking on the walls” just as it happens in the film.

But note that I said “a lot” of the details..not all. Some of the more extravagant occurrences, such as the scene [that’s also seen in the trailer] where we see all the crosses on the wall turning upside down, has absolutely no basis in what the girls say happened: You read that right, this never happened. [though the girls claim that the room really did have crosses on the wall in the first place] Janet was also actually recorded having a deep-throated, evil voice when in interviews and throughout the investigations. You can also see in the interview below that the movie actually followed Janet‘s mannerisms and claims quite faithfully.

Another important tidbit, which comes from the movie and the actual case, was that an older man by the name of Bill Wilkins actually died in their home. According to Terry: Bill Wilkins‘ son, the man actually did die in that bloody chair of a brain hemorrhage. As you no doubt heard in the interview video above, Janet claims to have been possessed by Wilkins, leading many to believe this gives a large credibility to the case. But does it? Hold on. In the movie, one of the skeptics points out that Janet could have very easily have heard about Wilkins from a neighbor, and it would have been very easy for her to fake the voice in order to keep the whole charade going. Still, the movie pays close attention to Janet‘s specific recollections, even adding her [actual] claims that when the “voice” came over her, she felt like something was behind her.. But this is all nothing compared to what comes next:

Janet was caught faking the haunting: and more than once!

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[the longer I look at this, the more it really does look like she’s just jumping]

Near the end of the movie, the investigators catch Janet bending spoons and flipping tables on video, making it clear to them that she was faking the activity – but would you believe me if I said that this also happened in reality, with Janet and her sister faking it more than once in the exact same manner? It’s true as even Janet herself has admitted that “some” of the events were faked, even though she adamantly remains convinced that most of it was real, including her possession. At least the haunting[s] stopped, right? By the end of The Conjuring 2, we earn something of a conclusion, that the demonic spirit is destroyed by the Warrens and everyone is happy. However, it also points out at the very end that Peggy Hodgson continued to live in the home until her last days of life [which is fact] and ultimately – died in the same chair as Bill Wilkins. This follows the truth of it [for the most part], as the Hodgsons have claimed over the years that while most of the haunting stopped after a priest visited them in 1978, activity still occurred in the home for the following decades to a smaller and lesser degree. Of course, like any other “true story”, the movie also left out a few important parts: such as Janet being sent to a psychiatric hospital where they “stuck electrodes” on her head for tests. Though, the tests turned out normal. The movie also leaves out that Janet‘s sister Margaret had “the voice” speak through her as well!

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Left to right: Margaret, Johnny, Janet

The question I’ll leave you with today is Is it all a hoax?” Unfortunately, It’s hard to claim that the entire case was just faked by this family considering all evidence to the contrary. But you have to admit: it’s even more impressive how well-documented this case was, which resulted in a movie that manages to capture much of the story’s compelling moments and arguments without drifting too far from the truth. You know, except for the part where Ed and Lorraine Warren are not just “in it for the money.” If you’re still aching for more on this “case”, click here for a hour long documentary on the Enfield Poltergeist and be sure to leave your thoughts on this whole “scenario” in the comments below!

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.

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.

WEIRDO’WEEN #06: MAY [2002]

weirdoween2015

If there’s one thing I learned in Psychology class, it’s that one of the most important and yet least understood areas of our lives concerns the role of friends, and ultimately, love; in our lives. Friends are what people believe keep them socially “alive”. Without them, people get lonely and want someone to talk to, and do things with. Usually, people have a natural instinct to try and be social, which makes them to want to meet someone and become close with them.

and then there’s May..

The movie for today’s edition of weird’oweenwe follow a young – yet eccentric – woman named May, who has been traumatized by a difficult childhood, which leads into her increasingly desperate attempts to connect with the people around her. Stephanie and I watched this movie last night [first time she’s ever seen it, even if I’ve seen it a dozen times!] and our living room was filled with comments like “she’s so fucking weird!” and “what is she doing?!” [usually coming from Stephanie] But I digress. I like to believe May was just misunderstood, who was brought up to believe that people are meant to be perfect. [thanks, Mom!] But as we learn, people aren’t perfect – only parts of them are..

weirdo'ween-#6Like I said, May is weird; like, really weird. It all started when May was a child: a lonely girl with a lazy eye and without any friends. except a weird and ugly doll kept in a glass case given by her seemingly perfectionist mother on her birthday when she was only a kid. Naturally because of this, May becomes a lonely young woman, working in an animal hospital, assisting the Veterinarian in surgeries and sewing operated animals most of the time. If that’s not enough, her lesbian co-worker Polly has a sort of attraction for her.. It’s only when the shy May meets mechanic Adam Stubbs, she almost immediately “loves his hands” and develops a crush on him. They date, if only for a little bit, but the strange and bizarre behavior of May makes Adam push away. Alone and scared, May has a [very] brief affair with Polly, but she feels rejected [again] when her colleague meets a typical looking blonde named Ambrosia, someone who Polly swears is just “a thing she has to hit up”. When her precious doll is accidentally broken free of it’s glass cage, the deranged May comes to the conclusion that she has no choice but to build a friend – using the best parts that only the people she’s become so estranged to can offer her!

Although the reviews I write on here are [generally] strictly horror, May is different than that. Sure, it’s labelled as a horror film, but is it really? At first, it’s a romance, but then again; maybe it’s a thriller. Sometimes, it has comedic elements, so making it feel like it’s some kind of comedy, but light-hearted jokes or is there a darker undertone? The truth is, May doesn’t aspire to fit into one label, it lives in a world that’s beyond them and that’s just what makes a film like this work so well.

The other interesting thing about the movie is that, the Director, Lucky McKee makes it look easy.. He has crafted a fascinating look into the eyes of a crazy person, by doing something that sounds like it should be difficult: allowing us to see that small part of ourselves that is hidden within May. Let’s be honest for a second, we’ve all at one time or another been treated like complete trash, whether it’s being made fun of, being laughed at, and maybe some of us have gone over the deep end. McKee makes us, as viewers, feel pity for May even if we really shouldn’t have. [Did I mention that this is his first feature film?] She’s weird, she’s prone to violent tendencies, but yet – we feel bad when Adam tells her that they can’t be together.. that it “isn’t right.May is a powerful movie, and easily one of the best horror films I’ve seen, but by the films end; it’s also fairly depressing: the only way May can find a friend is by killing those around her, to “create” her own version of a person. It’s the kind of movie that makes you realize how painfully alone people can actually be, and you know what? I like that fact. I like it a lot. It shows us that even the most deranged of person can have feelings too; even if they doesn’t know how to show them.

To put it simply, this is a film that starts out a little slow; but May, both as a movie and a character, will manage to get under your skin and leave a little cold shiver behind. If only to remind you that, sometimes, it’s hard to trust a girl with a doll collection and a history of being awkward. If there’s anything to take from this movie, remember what May‘s mother told her:

“if you can’t find a friend; make one!”

Even if May is from 2002, [making this movie over 13 years old!] this film is easily one of those movies that you either love, or hate. What are your thoughts on the movie? Did you enjoy Bettis‘ acting in it? Or was May just too weird for you? Let me know in a comment or two! I for one, love her in this film – and she deserves to be recognized for it! Also, if you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review please let me know which movie[s] you want to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as 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! Join me tomorrow when I talk about weirdo’ween #07STAY TUNED!

[contrary to what it looks like, she didn’t rub her eyes after cutting onions..]

THANKS FOR READING.

warrenisweird’s TOP 05 DECAPITATIONS IN HORROR

top05decapitationsBelieve it or not, this post is actually inspired by a friend of mine who once said to me “you can appreciate a good decapitation in a horror film.. I can respect that.” After careful consideration, and looking back on some of my older TOP 05 posts, I realized – I never did a list based on some of my favorite decapitations in horror movies. according to Urban Dictionary, a decapitation is described as “the removal of the head which normally consists of some idiot hacking off the head with an axe directed at the neck area.” So, here is the part where I list some of my personal favorites. these are the ones that have stuck in my mind the most over the years, so although these may not be your favorites, they’re some of the ones that have had the most impact on me. So here we go – warrenisweird‘s top 05 decapitations in horror – in no particular order, of course!

SPOILER-ALERT


The Omen:

Starting off with a classic, The Omen somehow made this shot look graceful, with knocking someone’s head off with a bit of building material look majestic, what with the disembodied head performing 360 spins and turns. I remember seeing this for first time when I was younger and being surprised that a scene could even be filmed that way.

High Tension:

Coming from a movie I’ve watched more times than I can count, [that’s not a bad thing..] High Tension is a film that wins for having such a fun feeling to it’s filming style. The story follows a serial killer who breaks into the home where Marie [and her friend/her family] is staying, only to start killing everyone. At least he was polite enough to ring the doorbell. In the above scene, Father has his head jammed between two staircase rails – unable to move – and our killer decides on smashing his head with a dresser. I mean, really?!

Cigarette Burns:

Coming from the first season of The Masters Of Horror TV series, and directed by Master John Carpenter, This one hour movie [“episode”] follows a guy who is looking for a rare print of a movie so evil that anyone who watches it supposedly descends into a uncontrollable psychotic frenzy.  During his search, he meets many terrible people, including someone who ties him to a chair and forces him to watch someone get decapitated. It’s not exactly a quick/clean cut either, there’s quite a bit of hacking involved.

“C Is For Capital Punishment”ABCs Of Death 2:

Unlike the first ABCs Of Death film, I actually enjoyed the sequel. For what it is, this sequel actually had decent shorts, with nothing too extreme or strange. Being a short that was hinted at in the trailer, I had high hopes for this part of the film. Thankfully, I felt that it paid off – giving a darker feel to a not so gruesome story. [I mean, it is gruesome, but compared to some of the other shorts in the movie – this one isn’t too bad] Just watching the axe get caught in the guy’s neck, only to be jerked out looks extremely painful..

Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan:

Although I’m not the biggest Friday The 13th fan, I feel that this particular scene never ceases to make me laugh. It doesn’t help that with a title like Jason Takes Manhattan, you’d expect to Jason running around New York kill a ton of people – not spend the entire film on a boat, only to arrive in Manhattan in the last few minutes.. anyway. This scene follows Julius, a boxer who thinks he can stand up to our masked killer, but when he tires himself out from flailing for an extended period of time; Jason takes his turn and…this happens. Sure, it’s cheesy as hell; but I love it. It’s something that needed to happen to make this terrible film bearable.


Now obviously, decapitations are a dime a dozen, especially when horror films feel that they need a quick kill to keep the audience entertained. These are just a few of the many I could have mentioned so here are some honorable mentions, even though I never really do this sort of thing..

30 Days Of NightBilly‘s death

Deadly Friendthe basketball scene

Hobo With A Shotgun Ricky as not Ricky


So now I turn to you, the reader of this article. What’s your favorite horror movie decapitation? Was it on this list? If not, let me know in the comments below! I would love to know which ones are your favorites, especially if you can think of one that I wouldn’t have considered! Also, if you found yourself to enjoy this film review, please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 100+ likes – only 15 more and we’ll have reached 130!] 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.

because NOTHING is scarier than the loss of innocence: “WELP” / “CUB” [2014]

If you’ve been following warrenisweird for a while now, you should probably know that I receive “screener” copies of movies in the mail. One such screener I received recently was Welp – or in English – Cub: a movie I had been looking forward to since it was first announced through a crowd-funding campaign. Now, after finally getting a chance [after my first day at my new job, today] to sit down and watch this, I feel the need to talk about it – because this film is different than most foreign films I’ve watched lately; and I mean that in the best way possible!

Cub revolves around a 12 year old cub scout named Sam, a very over-imaginative child who has a ‘violent history’, and tends to get bullied by his fellow cub scouts. [and even the cub leaders!] The film revolves around Sam and his fellow scouts who are all out on a camping trip [during what seems to be the summer] when He decides to head off into the back woods to find something – or someone – he’s fairly convinced he will find in the wilderness: a monster- like boy that the scout leaders describe as “Kai“…and he does.

SPOILER-ALERT

[NOTE: just a little ‘badge’ that I will be posting in my reviews starting now – this way, people won’t complain when spoilers come up!]

The thing is, even the locals know to avoid the remote part of the woods where the Cubs set up camp, which the group is forced stay at after finding their [original] booked campsite occupied by some dirt bikers. Unbeknownst to them, they’ve landed in an area filled with sensors and booby traps operated from an underground lair by a sinister man known only as “The Poacher“, and watched under the watchful eye of the feral boy known as Kai.

The film does a great job of showing an effective build up that nicely gives us suspense, humor and sometimes; even homage to other horror films. It’s only after the build up that all hell breaks loose. Even though the film is a now-gory action flick and is well handled, it feels like everything we’ve come to learn about Kai, and his Poacher-like father figure, just get tossed out the window.. We never really find out what the deal is with the Poacher or his young protege, and even though we get a hint at Sam‘s troubled psychology, it isn’t developed enough to make much sense to us as a viewer..

Arguably my favorite thing about this movie though, is it’s lack of innocence. The film itself proves that it’s not all happy camping for the kids whatsoever, as proven by the kids fighting amongst themselves, the adult guardians flat out swear and even threaten the kids at times, and worst of all; one of the Scout Leaders beats one of the other kids! It’s a dark, moody atmosphere that truly makes you feel like the woods are dangerous, and I’m not just talking about Kai.

While it isn’t a perfect film, it’s still an enjoyable experience that every horror fan should at least look into – if only to say that they did. It’s a thrill ride that has decently made effects, and some surprises that will impress the average viewer – that ending may come as no surprise, but I finished the film with a sense of wonder. So watch Cub, it’s definitely something that has enough horror elements to keep even a seasoned horror fan satisfied! If this movie sounds like your kind of thing, check out the trailer for the movie at the end of this post, and a quick fun fact: in the movie, one of the Scout leader’s cellphone rings, when it does; it plays the theme from Suspiria as the ringtone!

if you found yourself to enjoy this film review, please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 100+ likes – only 15 more and we’ll have reached 130!] 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.

Whether It’s A Word, Or A Look: Let’s Talk About “THE BABADOOK”

After waiting forever for it to hit Netflix, I finally committed myself to seeing The Babadook: an Australian film that doesn’t skip out on the scares. With it’s hauntingly beautiful cinematography, it’s really good acting, and even it’s ever depressing tone, [which I’ll get to later] I was begging for this movie to be as good as it was living it up to be – and it certainly was! The fact that, being a foreign film, there were actors that I didn’t recognize – It’s made it something I found myself to really enjoy. Overall, the film was atmospheric, it was extremely suspenseful at times- without relying on jump scares- and best of all: it felt real. As with most of my reviews, there are spoilers ahead, so read on with that warning fresh in your mind..

The Babadook follows Amelia – a single mother plagued by thoughts of of her [dead] husband and her struggles to raise her troubled [and often times, even angry] son, Samuel. Regardless of these hardships though, Amelia still somehow manages to find the patience to read a book to her son every night. One specific night though, Samuel finds a book sitting on the top shelf, titled “Mister Babadook”, which he doesn’t seem to recognize.. [STEP ONE, KID: IF YOU DON’T RECOGNIZE SOMETHING, DON’T TOUCH IT; LEAVE IT ALONE!!] After more or less guilting his Mother to read this dark, unfamiliar book to him, Samuel starts making weapons out of wooden planks, tennis balls, and even dart guns[pretty smart for a 7 year old..] Naturally, this ultimately end up with him being expelled from school – as we are told that he was telling people about the “Babadook“, and even firing his “toys” at the other kids!! But like any good horror story, strange things begin to happen at home – and they all seem to follow what we saw in the book, making Amelia [and Samuel] start to “see”, and feel the presence of the Babadook in their dreams, see it manifest itself onto TV [or at least, creatures that look close to] and – as they, and we – as the audience, fears most in every day real life.

what a fucked up book..

BUT, There are exceptions to things I’ve said above though, such as one of the more important things people should know about the film, especially before diving in thinking it’s a monster movie – is that it’s not entirely about The Babadook as a monster. [wait, what?] Let me explain that: even though our “villain” has a fantastic [albeit, somewhat campy] design and his story is told extremely by a twisted storybook with violent, but great illustrations , the movie still stands taller with it’s take on the more human side of the tale – which is the seeing the struggle of Amelia as a mother who is clearly unable to live normally.

Sometimes, just watching the pacing of her life may feel like it’s moving too fast for the film, but if you include all the sadness and deprivation beneath her regular troubling days, you can tell that underneath all Amelia‘s strength, and her pains as a single mother, she’s hurting. badly. The film chooses to deliberately takes their personal grief, and then make sure that we, as the viewers, know that deep down – they aren’t actually insane: but that they’re hurting inside and that nobody else could ever understand what they’re going through. Therefore, although the movie talks about a “monster under the bed”, the plot is mainly concerned about Amelia finding a way to overcome Samuel‘s behavioral issues and her plaguing memories of the loss of her husband, rather than dealing with a supernatural threat calling itself “Babadook.”

Unless you count It Followswhich I talked about in great detail over here, It’s been a very long time since I have seen a horror film this effective. The Babadook is a film that is interested in engaging the audience with its characters, relying on it’s subtly and clever imagery to legitimately scare its audience – rather than go cheap, and use ineffective jump scares. If you haven’t seen it yet – take advantage of it being on Netflix; because every positive review you’ve read is true, just take one word of advice: if you have a book calling itself Mister Babadook on your shelf, and you don’t recognize it – don’t fucking touch it..

THANKS FOR READING.

‘IT FOLLOWS’ is the most UNSETTLING film I’ve seen in a long time

I didn’t know anything about this film when it was first announced – I knew it by title, and I had even seen the first trailer.. But ultimately, it told me nothing, and raised a few questions: what was It? why was It Follow-ing that girl? It told me zero about the film; which got my attention more. After working every time I planned to see it, to not being able to find it in a theater nearby [had to take a bus 45 minutes, nearing the highway exit to Montreal]a friend and I finally went and saw the suspenseful masterpiece known as It Follows.

It Follows comes off as an obvious nod to late 70s to early 80s movies, and it is insanely well done. It’s cinematography could be considered masterful, the plot is brilliant, the FANTASTIC music that sounds like it’s out of Suspiria , [oh god, that music though: it’s perfect] and even the fact that it’s actors were people that I didn’t recognize – It’s all something I really enjoyed.. as in it really well thought out before bringing the film to the screens! The film was eerie, suspenseful, and best of all – real.

Our story begins with a [fairly attractive] girl by the name of Jay. It’s the beginning of fall; [early October, I’d say] so you’d think life should be about going school, meeting boys and weekends out with friends.. But, after a somewhat innocent sexual encounter with her older boyfriend, she finds herself haunted by strange visions and the dreadful sense that someone, or possibly something, [it] follows her everywhere she goes: and follows her it does..

While it felt somewhat obvious that the “big bad” in this film was an STD, [STI ?] and David Robert Mitchell, the director/writer, did an amazing job at keeping this “villain” hidden in plain sight. At times, the camera wouldn’t even be focused on two characters talking, but to an unknown individual in the background – it’s subtlety, and it’s key in this film. It’s like Hugh [the asshole boyfriend who “passes” the evil along to Jay in the movie] said: “It could look like someone you know or it could be a stranger in a crowd. Whatever helps it get close to you.” We’re quite literally told what “it” is, but through common knowledge, not through the movie: and I like that; subtlety. I could have gone into how she tries to pass it on to others [who end up dead afterwards] and how her sister and her friends try to help her come to terms with everything by “fighting the villain” but that’s something you’d have to see the movie for; it’s important, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not really the point I wanted to bring across in this post..

The other cool thing about It Follows is that for a film that was done so well,  it surprisingly it only had a two million dollar budget, which for films these days, that’s nothing. It Follows is absolutely nuts and deserves the praise I read all over the internet beforehand. It’s not so much horror – since I wouldn’t say it’s scary – but it’s more more suspense, and unsettling very unsettling: with every camera shot, every view from Jay, watching this film makes you feel involved – like no matter what you do, no matter what happens: you’re trapped in this world of evil. It ends on kind of  a cliffhanger; showing that for all we know – the evil hasn’t left. and that realistically- knowing what the evil is- it never really will.. Of course, this helps make it feel depressingly real. But you know what? I liked that fact. I like that it may be “okay” for Jay, coming to terms with it by the end of the film- but that doesn’t mean that this “villain” doesn’t exist elsewhere.. It Follows is getting a sequel, I know that much for sure: whether or not it’ll play out the same, or if it’s following someone new; is left to the writer. In short, watch this movie – watch it and feel unsettled..feel what Jay felt – and be in agony afterwards. Be advised though, this is not a feel good movie.

This is what a suspense film should feel like.

if you found yourself to enjoy this piece, please take a minute and follow me over on Facebook where you can click the “like” button on my Facebook page. By clicking “like”, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted. I also share things that will not be featured here on the blog.  So be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share the page with family and friends!

THANKS FOR READING.