Ten Scary Short Horror Movies

Well, it’s almost Halloween and so naturally, as it does every other day of the year, my mind turns toward scary movies. I can’t out a whole movie on here but I can share with you some of my favorite short films. I like monsters, so most of these have monsters. I like comedies, so some of them are funny and there’s a couple of these that scared the living shit outta m
This movie infuriated me, especially after I realized what was actually happening:

Don’t Move

 

 

You guys know I’m not a  fan of spiders, so I was reluctant to watch this one, but it just so happens it has a surprisingly funny ending:

Itsy Bitsy Spiders

 

 

I saw this one last year, and it stuck in my mind for a whole year, but I’d forgotten where I’d seen it, and the title. It took me some time to find it again, and it’s still scary:

Ghost Story

 

 

Yeah, this one is very, very, creepy:

Mimic

 

 

Yeah, this one is creepy but hilarious, and I think I remember this song from my childhood.

The Cat Came Back

 

 

This is a little longer than the others but it’s worth the wait and it’s  funny.

Waiting

 

 

This one isn’t particularly scary but it has zombies in it and I thought it was deeply cute:

Less Than Human

 

 

Here’s a slightly different haunted house story:

Vienna Waits For You

 

 

This isn’t what it seems:

Midnight Snack

 

 

Okay, this is the one that made me actually scream  out loud:

The Thing In The Apartment

 

Hope you enjoyed these. I’ll have some more on Halloween!

 

 

 

 

Stuff I’ve Been Watching

 

Midnight Texas (NBC)

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So, I’ve watched maybe two episodes of this show and I’m really liking it so far. I’m willing to date this show for a while, because it’s good fun and makes me laugh. Midnight Texas isn’t a deep show. It’s not a Bryan Fuller Joint, or Westworld, but it’s a fun little interlude before going to bed, since it airs at ten, Monday nights, and I gotta go to work in the morning.

The main character, Manfred Bernardo, can see ghosts. His Auntie comes from the town of Midnight, and after she dies suddenly, leaving him in debt to some type of criminal, her ghost tells him the town can be a safe place for him, where his skills will be appreciated.

Midnight Texas happens to be the home of various supernatural beings, and Manfred fits right in. Upon his  arrival, Manfred meets a local girl named Creek, and while her father is deeply suspicious of him, the young lady is intrigued, and the two of them develop a relationship very quickly. A lot of things happen quickly in the show, and many of the plot points happen in a kind of throwaway manner that takes some getting used to. I understand the idea is to keep it light, and not get too bogged down in philosophy, meta- physics, and whatnot. The show is supposed to just be fun, and I’ll watch it in that spirit.

I have a lot of favorite characters on the show, most of which are supers. There’s some good representation on the show, and I’m looking forward to learning more about the various characters. I missed the second episode, but managed to watch the third. The creators are trying to keep things light without being ha-ha funny, which is a fine line. It doesn’t look like they’re trying so much to reproduce True Blood, as reproduce the mood of True Blood. Some of these characters are mentioned in the True Blood books though.

Manfred, for example, is the psychic that Sookie met when she visited Dallas.  Midnight Texas is based on source material from the same writer, Charlaine Harris. I have not read the books. I opted not to, because I didn’t want my brain focusing on the side issues of the books, while watching the show. I may read them at some point in the future, because they seem like fun, but not right now.

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We have a full complement of creatures on the show, so you’d think my favorite would be the Reverend Emilio Sheehan, who happens to be a Were-Tiger, which is kinda awesome. He seems rather morose, which is appropriate as I consider actual tigers to be the “crabby old men” of the giant cat world. There are WoC in the cast. One of them owns the local bar/diner, and I don’t think she has any superpowers, but I could be wrong, and it’s something that could be revealed later. The other is the local witch. The town does have some mundane people inhabiting it, and some of them are aware of the supernatural qualities of the others.

You’d think my next favorite would be the Angel, Joe because he’s really, really hot. I’m not into blondes, as a rule, but I’m willing to acknowledge the occasional hotness of some of them. He happens to be living with a Hispanic man named Chuy, who also happens to be an Angel, and I wonder if the two of them being a couple is the reason they’ve been exiled to Earth.

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Lemuel

Well, you know who my favorite is. Lemuel, the rather unique vampire who feeds off human energy, and eats other vampires. We get to see his backstory in the third episode. He used to be a slave and there’s a scene of Lemuel being whipped for trying to escape, which I didn’t appreciate having to look at. That scene is pretty graphic and you may want to skip it if watching Black people being tortured is not your thing. The point of all that is to show how far Lemuel will go to be free, I guess.  After a couple of escape attempts, Lem encounters a Native American vampire, who transforms him. Lem’s immediate course of action is to avenge himself on the slave owner, who had him beaten, and that guy’s entire family. That’s pretty graphic too.

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Olivia

 

Later, Lem and the other vampires in his clan, have a falling out, because Lem thinks he’s become just another slave to his thirst. In the third episode, Len’s Maker returns looking to take over Midnight for himself. The townspeople rally together to kill the vampires.

This seems to be the main theme this season, as we’ve  had three/four episodes, in which the townspeople need to band together to defeat some outside force. In the middle of all this plot, we learn that Lem started off as an ordinary vampire, but after encountering Manfred’s aunt when she was a child, she transformed him into something else, a vampire that can feed on other vampires.

The characters often have some deep philosophical insights, but like I said, it’s in a blink and you’ll miss it manner. (Joe and the Reverend do this too.) Lem is played by Peter Mensah, who is extremely handsome, in his bold blue contacts. You may remember him as a gladiator from the show Spartacus.

I  like Lem’s girlfriend, Olivia, who is some type of international assassin. She’s a total badass, and she and Lem are the town’s heavy hitters, when it comes to defense. I don’t normally pay a whole lot of attention to White television actresses, unless they’ve firmly established themselves with a good track record, but I like this actress. She’s blunt spoken, clear-headed, and pragmatic, all qualities I admire, and I see why Lem likes her. She has some secrets from her past, that she’s trying to bury, while dealing with  anger issues.  I could do with a lot fewer scenes of Olivia and Lem gettin’ it on, though. It doesnt need to be shown in every episode.

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Fiji

Fiji is another one of my favorites, and I like her, not because she’s the town witch, although that’s kinda cool, but because she has a talking cat. I don’t know much about the cat’s backstory but he’s snarky, and dismissive, just the way you’d think a cat would be. How it happened that her cat talks, we don’t know yet. Fiji is very young, but she’s also extremely powerful, and well-respected in the town. Most of the mundanes know what she is, and rely on her to protect them.

Fiji is also really cute, and kind of adorkably nerdy. She has a mad crush on one of the townies, a guy with the unfortunate name of Bobo, and her feelings seems to be reciprocated. One of the more powerful images I have of her, is from the first episode, where she crushes a police vehicle, with little more than her bare hands, and a strong will. Fiji looks sweet and vulnerable, but she ain’t the one to mess with. She’s  refreshingly different, as Black women rarely get to be emotionally fragile, but powerful love interests, and/or witches either.

I’m going to try to enjoy this show while it lasts. It’s on network television, which has a nasty habit of cancelling the shows I like, so I don’t hold out much hope that Midnight Texas. will be around next year. This is the same station that just canceled Still Star Crossed. But then I was trying really hard not to get attached to that show. (That didn’t work). I’m not gonna try that with this show and it still might get canceled. I might as well get attached. There’s always the books, which I’m told, Charlaine intends to keep writing.

 

Mr. Mercedes (Audience Network)

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I liked this show, too. I was expecting it to be a deeply serious dramatic type  show, but it turned out to have a quirky sense of humor, not because the writing is funny, or people are telling jokes, but because certain characters and situations are just odd. It’s not like the show Psych, which was a deliberate comedy. This is not a comedy. It’s just some of the characters are weird.

The show is based on a trilogy of books by Stephen King, the first title of which is Mr. Mercedes, named after the killer in the book. Brendan Gleason plays Bill Hodges, a retired cop who is trying to figure out what to do with himself, now that he’s no longer working. until he is taunted out of retirement by Mr. Mercedes, so-named after he drove a Mercedes into a crowd of job seekers outside a job fair, killing several. I like Gleason’s character. One of the funniest recurring issues is when he can’t believe various women find him attractive. (It’s definitely the beard.)

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The show begins with  a very graphic scene, and I was heavily reminded of the events in Charlottesville Virginia. There’s no mystery about the killer for the audience, just as in the book. We’re introduced to Brady Hartsfield early in the story. The book remains very faithful to the books, except in tiny details like the wacky neighbor lady who lives next door, and Bill feeding a massive tortoise passing through his yard one morning. I’m not sure if this is a pet or what.

Bill is assisted in his sleuthing, by the kid he hired to mow his lawn, and who happens to be a computer wiz. Jerome is played by Jharrel Jerome, and I like him already. His character is a refreshing change from the Black Male Sportsplayer/Jock, we see so often on TV. Black men are rarely cast as hardware nerds. Brady is also a tech-nerd, and works at one of those big box technical stores, which is something like Best Buy, and I like that Jerome seems to be every bit his equal when it comes to the esoteric workings of computers.

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I think Bill’s quirky neighbor is meant to represent a woman with which Bill has a brief, but satisfying relationship, in the books. Or at least I hope so. I don’t know if this will happen on the show, but in the book, Janey is murdered by Brady. This is not a catalyst to make Bill chase after him, because Bill was already unofficially working the Mr. Mercedes case. This is Brady’s attmept to make Bill commit suicide. The neighbor, Ida Silver, is played by Holland Taylor, and if she looks familiar, that you may have seen her in every funny show of the 90s.

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The villain is played by one of the alumni of the cable show, Penny Dreadful . Harry Treadaway, who played Victor Frankenstein, is as disgusting character here, as he was on the other show. Apparently, this is how he’s going to make his career, playing unlikable people in perfectly good shows. The show remains very faithful to the books with him too. He has an incestuous relationship with his mother, whom he later poisons, and it looks like the writers are sticking to this plot, although in the book, the mother  initiates sexual activity. In the show, it appears she doesn’t know that her son regularly masturbates with her as his subject. (I know! Ewww!)

Their relationship does have a very Bates Motel feel. Brady works at a Big Box store, with other quirky characters, and a deeply stupid boss, who is constantly shit-talking Brady’s dreams of life beyond the store. This goes a long way towards humanizing this incredibly shitty character, who mowed down dozens of people with his car, just for shits and giggles. This is not something that happens  in the books, so I wasn’t expecting that.

I’m going to keep watching this because the pilot certainly captured me. The show airs on the Audience Network which may be difficult for some of you to access. I have access to it through DirectTV, and its possible you may need that, to watch this show.

 

 

The Void (Netflix)

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I love a good creature feature, and I was attracted to this movie because of its use of tentacles in its promotional material. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot when I sat down to watch it. I was sort of expecting a little Cthulhu type stuff, and there’s certainly a little of that in it, but there was also a lot of it I couldn’t make hide, nor hair, of.

It seems to be about a group of cultists attempting to call some dark being to Earth, to inhabit the bodies of humans, and the cultists are partially successful. They’re doing this in collusion with a doctor at the local hospital, where they’ve trapped several people.  Daniel Carter, Maggie, James, and inexplicably, an Asian woman, named Kim, who I lost track of by the end of the movie.

These people have to fight off monsters inhabiting the bodies of their friends, and a couple of trigger happy locals, while working their way through the maze of the hospital, to find and stop the doctor from unleashing Hell on Earth, through the body of his pregnant daughter.

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I have to give fair warning. The movie is very gory, with lots of blood and other fluids gushing all over the place. People get skewered with knives and/or shot, and sometimes they get torn apart by creatures. The cult members wear white hooded cloaks and look a little like KKK members, but there is no equivocating in this case. They are definitely villains ,whose job it is to keep the hapless victims trapped in the hospital to be fodder for the monsters. There’s also an element of the movie The Thing, as the monster is a conglomeration of various body parts and live people.

The movie doesn’t have the happiest ending either. At the end Daniel, and I guess her name is Maggie, get trapped in an alternate universe featuring a giant black pyramid. It’s not a bad movie, but it’s not an A+ movie either. A lot of the plot seems to have been borrowed from  other Lovecraftian pastiche movies, like Hellraiser, and Re-animator ,and the acting is sometimes a bit dodgy. But I think the key words here are “not bad”. It’s a good workmanlike plot where bad things happen to bad, and sometimes not so bad,people, who sometimes act like cowards, and occasionally act like heroes.

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Daniel isn’t the most charismatic guy in the film, although he is set up as our hero, who has the most sense,  and who  is gonna save the world. None of the other characters stand out as especially interesting either, really. Basically, if you’re watching this movie, it’s just  for the monsters, and gore.

Tumblr Funnies

*Tumblr is great for story prompts about alien contact, and hair dye:

lady-of-greenwood:

patternofdefiance:

just-a-kind-of-magic:

Imagine being a human in an alien crew in space and leaving with bright blue or pink hair and the color fades and everybody on board wonders WHY you are losing your colors??? Is it the lack of greens? Are you sad? Angry? They just don’t know??

“Human-Kelly may we have a moment of your time?”

Kelly pauses in her inventorying of the photo-synth plates she’ll be installing after today’s cycle ends. “It’s just Kelly, hellot-Halzar, you don’t have to acknowledge my species every time we talk.” She smiles. “That’s not considered rude for us.”

“Very well hu—Kelly. Erm. May we have a moment of your time?” Many eyes blink earnestly at her.

“Sure. What’s up?”

hellot-Halzar considers. “May we discuss the structural nature of the ship interior and gravity-derived reference values at a later date? At this moment we would like to inquire as to the nature of your corporeal change.”

“Yeah sure—wait my what?”

“There is a mess hall wager.”

“About my –?”

“Concerning your strands,” hellot-Halzar says, gesturing.

“My….hair.” Kelly runs a hand through it. It’s purple as of two ship days ago. “Ok?”

“We wish to know whether the colour change signifies mood, nutritional intake variance, or ….erm….whether your mating season status has changed.”

“My mating season status, huh?” Kelly lifts an eyebrow.

“Yes.”

“Did Jerry put you up to this?”

“Human-Jerry refused to answer our questions about your strands, citing some phenomenon known to your homeworld as ‘famine in missed eek’.”

Kelly snorted. “Tell Jerry he can shove his archaic ideas about ‘feminine mystique’ where M-series stars don’t shine. As for your bet: sorry, it’s none of the above. I changed my hair because my last box of dye was about to expire and because I felt like it.”

hellot-Halzar considers. “chinret-Zer wins then, by technicality: that reason falls within acceptable parameters for ‘mood’.”

“I suppose it does.” Kelly pauses. “Who bet on the ‘mating season’ one?”

“Hmm?” hellot-Halzar had already turned to go and deliver the verdict. They turn one set of eyes back. “Oh that would be Drannuc. He said he smelled a difference in you.”

“Delightful,” Kelly says, instead of explaining menstruation and how that can affect mood, diet, and that technically it correlates to what most of the species on the ship would consider a mating season.
“Next time, instead of betting, maybe just ask questions? And not Jerry. He’s a jerk.”

“Reclassifying human-Jerry as jerk-Jerry. We will approach you with all human queries from now on,” hellot-Halzar says and then continues on their way.

Probably for the best, she thinks with a lopsided grin, and then continues sorting the photo-synth plates to install on her space walk tomorrow.

“Reclassifying human-Jerry as jerk-Jerry”

Pure. There is no other word.

Source: just-a-kind-of-magic

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*Tumblr is great for story prompts about ghostly roommates:

tygermama:

agwitow:

just-shower-thoughts:

If a ghost can open cupboards and break things, why not just take a pencil, find paper, write exactly why it’s unhappy, and tape the message on the fridge.

It just became second nature to close all the cupboards first thing in the morning (even though they’d been closed the night before). Which was when things escalated from banging cupboard doors to actually breaking things.

Faucets, door handles, curtain rods ripped from the wall… all the repairs started to add up.

“Look, I didn’t mind having an ethereal roommate, but I can’t afford to keep fixing all this shit. Here’s a pencil and some paper. Just write what’s bothering you–I doubt you could put anything that would be more expensive than having a plumber come out to replace all the faucets again.”

The next morning there’s a scrawl line at the top of the page that devolved into an angry scribbling mess that tore through the page. Two cupboard doors were entirely ripped off.

“I don’t want to get someone in to banish you, but this is ridiculous. Just tell me what you want.”

The second piece of paper is ripped into shreds and several knives are embedded in the wall.

A careful examination of the paper scraps show that it had the same scribbles as the first piece.

A quick trip to the library and a stop at a store later, there are kindergarten workbooks on learning to write spread across the counter.

“Look, I don’t know if you’re just being difficult, but I hope not. So I got an audiobook on learning to read and write, and here are some workbooks for kids–don’t get mad–to teach them their letters. Just press play on the stereo, and work through the books at your own pace. I’ll get more when you finish.”

The first workbook is half-completed before being ripped to pieces, but at least there was no other damage. Replacing it is significantly cheaper than replacing cupboard doors.

It takes awhile, but eventually the workbooks progress to a fifth grade level. These ones are starting to be more costly (they’re bigger, for one thing), but it’s not even the money anymore. Little notes scrawled in a shaky hand appear on the steamy bathroom mirror

Have A gooD dy

Or written in ketchup on the counter (that was a frightening sight the first time)

You R out of MLK

And then one day there’s a message taped to the fridge. The spelling and penmanship isn’t the best, but it’s legible and even signed.

Dear Occupente,

I have haunted this spot for ovr three huner hudre 300 years. My bones are dust and I am fergotN. I do not have wants to trap me. I am here 4 ever.

I am bord. Lonly.

I am sorrY 4 breaking things.

We be frends?

Syncerly Eloise

I love you, Eloise

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*I feel like this may be  Paul Ryan’s life goal:

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*Dog refuses to stay on pillow, is about how I’d describe the people in my life right now. Annoying but lovable inconveniences:

IF YOUR DOG SLEEPS WITH YOU THEN YOU UNDERSTAND THE STRUGGLE

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*Someone needs to invent this:

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*This pretty much sums up America’s politics at this time, yeah:

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*Other than just a general reason to be happy, I’m posting this here, because some troll in the comments, got his ass handed to him, when he stated that these weren’t the best actors.

wisdomandlogicareking:

Angela Basset: Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner, with enough award nominations/wins to necessitate her own wikipedia page for awards alone.
Lupita Nyong’o: Academy Award winner.
Chadwick Boseman: Joseph Jefferson Award nominee; already showed his stripes as Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War.
Sterling K. Brown: Emmy Award Winner for The People Vs. OJ Simpson and actor in the Golden Globe nominated television show This Is Us
Florence Kasumba: Already had a bit part in Captain America: Civil War; was praised by many critics for her one scene being a scene-stealer
Forest Whitaker:  Academy Award for Best Actor
African-American Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
BET Award for Best Actor
Black Reel Award for Best Actor
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Hollywood Film Award for Actor of the Year
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
London Film Critics’ Circle Award for Actor of the Year
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
National Board of Review Award for Best Actor
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association for Best Actor
Nominated – BIFA Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a British Independent Film
Nominated – Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
2nd Place – Awards Circuit Community Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role

^ that’s all from a single movie.
Danai Gurira: Tony-award winning writer, plays Michonne on The Walking Dead, one of the most popular series out there today
Michael J. Jordan: Featured actor in popular shows like Friday Night Lights, The Wire, and Parenthood in addition to frequent appearances on film.
Daniel Kaluuya: The star of Get Out, which currently boasts a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and has been in the press pretty much constantly upon release.  He was also featured in an episode of the acclaimed series Black Mirror.
John Kani: An actor, playwright and director; while he hasn’t had as much work in America, he’s prolific enough to have a theatre in Newtown Johannesberg named after him.

Winston Duke and Letitia Wright have fewer credits to their names (the former has a consistent role in the well-received Person of Interest; the latter has been cast in Black Panther and Ready Player One in what is hopefully the beginnings of a bright career), but I don’t mean to belittle their successes by leaving them out, and those who aren’t as well known SHOULD be given a chance by big franchises.  Lesser known names tend to get big after starring in Marvel movies.  I sure as hell didn’t know who Chris Evans or Chris Hemsworth were prior to their flagship titles.

But even putting aside how important it is that this film is led by black creators, just because you don’t know these people doesn’t mean that they’re not critically acclaimed in their field, who haven’t put in the work.  They have, and they’ve been recognized for it.  Consider checking out some of their work before you decide whether or not only two of them are great actors.

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blckrapunzel

I sure your feelings are hurt and you’re a little confused by a movie that’s not made with several boxes of assorted crackers and a token black guy 😂😂😂😂😂

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cloama

1. I love this post and seeing this person get flamed and have their activity page all fucked up because of it makes me so happy. 2. This is where non-black people misunderstand anti-black microagression. This person was willing to trade their sense of logic just to shit on Black people because to them, it’s worth it. That’s a big part of how y’all talk about us. Watch yourself.3. That person forgot that every black actor in Hollywood has to have twice as much classical training and work…

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problematticusfinch

Hm, gee, I wonder which 2 are meant as the great actors. Which two…. which two stand out for the person hung up on the small number of white people… hmmm…..

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Imagine being that racist that you think only white actors can be awesome…Imagine being that racist that you look at the black ones and just go “who?” despite their loooooong list of accomplishments and popularity…

Imagine being so racist, that people are excited for a cast of actors, and you are just itching to tell them not to be excited because the cast happens to be black (and you dont like that)….but a white cast, sure you can be excited.

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@wisdomandlogicareking

I never heard of Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, or Chris Evans before their debut in a Marvel film…But unlike some cocks on here, I am not so self centered as to believe that MY personal history of viewing an actor dictates whom is good or not….I also bet similar racists (ppl like wisdomandlogicareking) never said shit about the announced cast of relatively unknown actors of Thor or Cap America, or future films like wtf is the new guy playing young Han Solo?…but just gotta put their two cents in on Black Panther…..because “reason

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*Oh, and introducing the Land of Introverts!

 

American Horror Story Season 6: Finale

Well, that was pretty confusing, but I actually liked it. It was entirely in keeping with the generally snarky attitude of the entire season’s meta approach to televisual media.

We start off the episode with the courtroom proceedings at Lee’s trial and some shameless overacting from the lawyers, as they plead their case. Lee is pronounced “Not Gulity”. Flora, who testified that she witnessed her mother kill her father, was not a believable witness, because she believed in ghosts.

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We get more backstory on Lee,  but this time told from the point of view of a cheesy MTV: Behind the Music style show called Crack’d, (which was hilarious) and a parody of some type of ConFest, thrown to celebrate the original Roanoke Nightmare, which totally captures the self serving bullshit of the celebrities featured at such events. Each one of the stars of My Roanoke Nightmare are at their obnoxious best, as they showboat to  try to garner as much attention from the audience as possible.  My eyeball rolling didn’t even reach maximum levels during this stage of the proceedings. Clearly the show runners were just getting started.

The episode itself is total crack-meta as it switches from one television genre to another, as shows within shows. From those opening scenes, we move on to a Barbara Walters type of show, with its overwrought and ponderous interviewing style, with Sarah Paulson reprising her role as Lana Winters, the newswoman from Asylum. She is interviewing Lee about  having been found not guilty of killing Mason, and hilariously has  the tables turned on her by Lee. That interview itself turns truly batshit insane when the last of the Polks,  Lot, shows up with a machine gun, and tries to assassinate Lee in the middle of the interview.

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From there, we get a callback to the last episode with some intrepid spiritchasers, called appropriately enough, Spirit Chasers, visiting the Roanoke House during the Blood Moon. I had as little empathy for these obnoxious twits, as I had sympathy for the ones who died in the last episode. That last group didn’t deserve the horrible things that happened to them, but these guys were warned frequently, they watched the second season of Roanoke, so knew what to expect, and the house itself is cordoned off against trespassers with barbed wire. These assholes chose not to believe any of it, and got themselves (and some hapless policemen) murdered by the Butcher’s followers.

Although, when you think about it, the most common trope of all horror movies is people making stupid decisions, so  the show simply ends as it began. Matt and Shelby find a ramshackle old house in the middle of fucking nowhere and decide that would be a good place to live. The Spirit Chasers make the boneheaded decision to trespass on haunted land, where at least a dozen or more people have died. I don’t even believe in ghosts but, just like in that Stephen King story 1408, I don’t have to believe in ghosts to know that staying overnight, in a place where dozens of people have died horribly, is a good idea.

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The spirit chasers meet Lee in the house. She is there hunting Flora. This is the part I find confusing because how did Lee know that’s where Flora would be, and how did Flora get there?  Uber? How did she get inside the house? She’s, like, twelve years old! and the place is surrounded by a  barbed wire fence!  In fact, this moment is so confusing, that when Lee showed up, I thought she and Flora were dead and being reunited as ghosts. I  was disabused of that idea because they showed up on the thermal sensors the spirit chasers were using.

It turns out that Flora came back to the house after her mother’s acquittal, to stay with Priscilla. One of the few truly emotional moments is Lee’s reunion with her daughter, and her utter dedication in protecting her daughter, no matter what. Lee, the ultimate survivor, sacrifices her life to keep her daughter from killing herself, so she can stay behind and protect Priscilla, in Flora’s stead, from The Butcher.

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As the house finally burns to the ground, Flora sees the ghosts of her mother, and Priscilla, waving goodbye to her. Lee, as she has stated so many times this season, would indeed do anything for her daughter.

Now, I have read a rather shitty review which focused the episode on Sarah Paulson’s character and I was greatly offended by the writer’s complete inability to give Lee her due as the actual star of this season, instead of focusing their review on a White character from a previous season, who only shows up in the last episode of this one. This season wasn’t about Lana Winters, as her story has already been told, and I didn’t appreciate seeing Lee being reasoned out of her own story. I can see the parallels from Lana’s story to Lee’s, but that’s no excuse to remove Lee’s adaptability, determination, fortitude, and search for love and redemption, via her daughter, as the primary focus of this season.

 

I’m not saying Lee wasn’t a problematic character, but that’s why I liked her. One of my biggest complaints about TV and movies (among many, many, many, complaints) is the lack of unlikable women. She’s the kind of woman who is hard to like, because she’s complicated, and I like  that her complications make sense, and are consistent. She’s not just given random unlikable character traits to make you hate her.  Quite frankly, none of the white people on the show came across as people I would like to get to know. But I’d be friends with Lee, if I could. She seems like the kind of person that, once she lets you in that zone, you’re in there forever. When Lee loves people, she loves them wholly and completely, the way she does Flora. But if you wrong her, or betray her trust, you will soon be experiencing fine dining in Hell.

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The final scenes of the actual show (and not a show within a show) is a shot of The Butcher, the Blood Moon, and all the police, and emergency service personnel, gathered in the valley below, and completely at The Butcher’s mercy.

Yeah, that’s not gonna end well.

But we knew that when the season began.

Overall, I really liked this season. This is coming from someone who generally hates the overwrought dramedy of Reality TV. I think the seasons have gotten  better and better over time. I enjoyed Freaks and Hotel, but those seasons suffered from a great deal of incoherence, and lack of focus, towards the end, with subplots being introduced that never got follow through. This season remained taut, focused, and nuanced, with a clear thematic goal of parodying Reality TV. I haven’t had this much fun with that sort of mockery since that Cops parody of the X-Files, titled appropriately enough, X-Cops.

And before I go, I have to give a shout out to Adina Porter. The first time I saw her she was playing a witch-con-woman on True Blood, as Tara’s broken, abusive mother. I loved her acting then, and she brings that same sense  of steely fragility to her role as Lee,  although I didn’t immediately make the connection when I saw her. Its funny how she keeps playing these broken widows, desperately  trying to win back their daughter’s love, and she has mastered it. She is an incredible actress that I hope to see even more of after this.

Well, ta-ta til next season, people! I hope you enjoyed this one. Let me know in the comments.

American Horror Story Chapter Six

So yeah, the twist is indeed in, as well as the shift in focus of the show. Everything has been shifted about. In the interests of openness I have to admit it o a hatred of most of reality TV. I’ll watch travel and eatery shows, or shows about wilderness survival, with experts in them, and  I’ve even seen a couple of episodes of Naked and Afraid, but that got boring pretty fast. I am however really liking this season of AHS, mostly because it’s not focused so much  on the inane dramas between the characters, but on the actual horror of the situation they’re all in.

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The idea that we, and the cast, would be revisiting the Roanoke Nightmare House isn’t the twist though. Sydney, played by my precious cinnamon roll, Cheyenne Jackson, is the creator of the show we just watched in the first five episodes, and his proposal to his television backers is that he should gather together the entire cast, go back to the house, and film the results during the Blood Moon. It turns out that what we were watching for five episodes was a huge hit for Sydney and he wants  to cash in on that, despite what has happened to the cast since then. So ,in chapter six, the show goes completely, full-on meta, and I don’t think what we saw tonight is the last of this season’s surprises.

Now, the show has a tendency to go off focus during the season, as the writers get carried away with their storytelling ideas, and start throwing everything into the plot, just to see if it will stick,or just because they like it. This season, with the exception of a few scenes thrown in just to have some action, or a jump scare, has been kept pretty tightly reined in, so I’ve enjoyed it a lot more than previous ones. Tonight’s episode was kept ion point, as well, making it easy to understand, despite how complicated the plot has actually become.

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Since their time at Roanoke, Matt and Shelby have divorced. Matt didn’t care for the fame that came to him because of what happened there, that Shelby called the police on his sister, and accused her of killing her husband, Mason. Yes indeed. That was a dick move on Shelby’s part. Yeah, I don’t like Shelby either. The final straw was when Shelby had an affair with the man who played her husband in the reenactments. His name is Dominic. The actress who played Shelby on the show is actually British, and we get to hear Paulson’s accent, as Audrey, which sounds a bit dodgy. She got married to the actor who played Mott in the last episode, and his name is Monohan. And since he’s so much younger than her ,she’s really super-sensitive about that. I thought it was a scam, on his part, but he seems to genuinely be in love with her.

The actress who played Lee became an alcoholic,  just like the original Lee because she was having trouble dealing with being the public face of the real Lee, who has been accused of killing her husband for the insurance money, and custody of her daughter.  (Angela Bassett’s character is named Monet.) Fans of the show started a petition to have Lee charged with murder, her mother in law is suing for custody of Flora, and everyone treats her with nothing but contempt, including Monet.

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But the worst result of the show is Kathy Bates character, Agnes, who played Thomasina The Butcher, in the reenactments. That actress had a complete mental breakdown and started believed herself  to actually be The Butcher, running through  he streets of downtown Hollywood with an ax, before she was captured and hospitalized. Sydney serves her with a restraining order after a ring of animal organs are found on the new set of the show. He is hoping she will show up on set anyway becasue that will make for great drama. My precious baby is a complete asshole in this role.

When one of the crew gets killed on set with a chainsaw, Sydney’s assistant quits and drives off in an angry huff. She encounters what appears to be a The Butcher by the side of  the road, but is attacked by someone in her car, too, and she crashes. The notecard for her states that she was missing for six months before they found her car, and her body was never found.

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The sixth episode is mostly about the setup, as Sydney lies, cajoles, and coerces all the actual people, and the actors who played ,them into staying at the Roanoke house for several weeks, while they film the entire thing with hidden cameras. And you know it’s going to be explosive because while all the characters have their reason for joining the new cast, they all hate each other.

Matt wants nothing to do with Shelby, who thinks that they might be able to reconcile, during the show. He would love nothing more than to beat the snot out ofDominic, because he slept with his wife. The Shelby actress,Audrey,  is deeply insecure about her marriage, and has nothing but contempt for the real Shelby, as being weak and pathetic. The real Lee  hates the real Shelby. The actress who played Lee, Monet,  hates the actual Lee, and the all actors  have contempt for the actual people they portrayed on the show, laughing and joking about them, whenever they leave the room. Also none of the actors believe in any of the stuff that they say happened to them.

I don’t think this bodes well for non-believers because non-belief won’t save them from what’s happening at Roanoke House.  Like Stephen King’s 1408, what’s happening there isn’t dependent on whether you believe it or not. One of the reasons Shelby, Matt, and Lee survived is because they  simply believed what was happening to them.

Things get off to a rousing start when Lee attacks Shelby, calling her weak and pathetic, just as Audrey does later. Here’s where I have to admit to a certain amount of prejudice towards Shelby myself. As soon as I heard what she did for a living my first thought was that she was a  useless woman, and not someone you want to have in a crisis, but she proved to be okay in that regard. I still don’t like her though.

Later, Matt attacks Dominic and they have a knockdown, drag-out fight, as soon as Dominic steps through the front door. This certainly makes for exciting television for the viewers, but that’s not the point of this episode, because this  isn’t the twist.

It turns out we’re all looking at whatever footage was leftover from a show which never got a chance to air because ,with exception of only one person, the entire cast died.

So we’re really watching final days of everyone involved with the making of My Roanoke Nightmare. And they’re might even be additional twists as the season moves forward.

So yeah,I’m really getting into this. When that note-card appeared onscreen, I got chills. This is awesome!

Dead of Summer Episode One :Patience

Dead of Summer Episode One :Patience

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I know what I was expecting when I heard about Dead of Summer, so I wasn’t going to watch this show. But now I’m intrigued. I don’t, as a rule, watch movies, or shows, involving serial killers, unless there’s a very unique take on the subject. It turns out that Dead of Summer, no matter how much it may look like a retread of Friday the 13th, may not actually be about serial killing, which is what…

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Dead of Summer Episode One :Patience

I know what I was expecting when I heard about Dead of Summer, so I wasn’t going to watch this show. But now I’m intrigued. I don’t, as a rule, watch movies, or shows, involving serial killers, unless there’s a very unique take on the subject. It turns out that Dead of Summer, no matter how much it may look like a retread of Friday the 13th, may not actually be about serial killing, which is what I  found so refreshing.

In the first episode, we get our usual cast of characters, who show up at a re-opened summer camp, that had been closed after a horrible tragedy. Actually that’s not our opening scene. The opening scene involves Tony Todd, as the last surviving member of a suicide cult, of some kind, who drowned themselves in the nearby river.He is subsequently killed by some angry townspeople.

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So whatever tragedy befell the camp, before our new crop of teenagers showed up, is not the only tragedy in that area. Our  second clue, that this show might not be what it seems, is the teens who are there for the summer are reunited from one of the years before the camp closed, and they all know each other, except for the virginal looking new girl, who turns out to be not quite as innocent as she seems either.

There are the usual cliches like the shady locals warning people to stay away, the nosy sheriff, who looks like he may be hiding something too, the cranky groundskeeper, and the camp director, who seems oblivious, but is more than a little sketchy herself.

The cast is the usual grab bag of cliches as well, or so it seems. There’s the hot, sexy skank, the pre-occupied, brainy black guy, the rebel who barely speaks, and the usual J.Crew catalog models, along with the gay best friend, but these people aren’t exactly as they seem either.

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Everyone has secrets and some of them are both literally, and figuratively, haunted by their pasts. The new girl has been seeing the ghost of a little girl at the camp, while suffering from some dark regrets, from her own past, involving a former friend.

The black guy starts seeing images of Tony Todd in his videos (he’s the group’s video chronicler), which is pretty frightening, if you’ve ever seen Tony Todd. He has also been getting some significant eyeballing from the camp director. I don’t yet know what any of her eyeballing means but she’s either totally cougaring him or hates his guts. I’m not sure.

So far, no one has been serial killed yet, and this may or may not occur, what with ghosts running all over the place, the groundskeeper knocking off deer and leaving them laying around to fertilize the lawn, and the sheriff investigating the groundskeeper, for being an ass, as far as I can tell.

 

I found the show really interesting. It started off doing some expected things but then introduced a few ideas I wasn’t looking for, like ghosts, so now I’m asking questions, and that’s always a good first step to loving a show.

Its not a particularly heavy show, but its definitely not a comedy either. Everything is played for straight and the actors are acceptable. Actually, what surprised me was that the characters were likable. I usually end up hating the characters so much that I root for the killer to get them. But I genuinely like these people. There are a couple of bland ones, and they all do the usual cliched activities, like telling scary stories to each other around the campfire, but they’re not ugly to each other just for fun, or obnoxious, or anything. They’re not mean to the new girl for funsies, and they take the gay character in stride without a blink, and don’t try to haze, or shame, the truculent, quiet, rebel. Even the ones you think are just there to be pretty act relatively intelligent.

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The show’s atmosphere is just a tiny bit of camp (no pun meant). Just enough to let you know its okay to laugh at some things but mostly its a drama.

So, I will be checking out a few more episodes, although most of my reviewing for the Summer is done. (I will continue with my regularly scheduled programming in the Fall, though.) This looks much more interesting than Outcast, which is totally not capturing me.

For those of you who are still not sure, Dead of Summer is from the creators of Once Upon a Time and airs on The Family Channel, which is now called Freeform

 

 

American Horror Story: Hotel – Be Our Guest

I’m only a tiny, little bit disappointed at the season finale of American Horror Story: Hotel, for going out with a whimper instead of a bang. It’s like the writers chickened out and decided that everybody deserved happy endings, even though a lot of them had been acting like total shits all season.

Don’t get me wrong. I had feels, everybody’s stories got wrapped up nice and neat and Denis O’Hare gets to steal the show as always, but I really did want the hotel to be burned down so all the ghosts could be free. The writers decided that’s not a good idea, though.

So, the Queen is dead! Long live The Countess! In the aftermath of The Countess death, she’s a ghost who can no longer leave the hotel and a more fitting end, I wouldn’t have written myself. The hotel has now been taken over by Iris and Liz, who sell off the Countess’ art, to fund their redecorations and grand reopening.

The reopening attracts travel critics, who quickly get offed by the hotel’s ghosts. Namely Sally, who is  bitter and unhappy and Will Drake, who is bored because he’s dead and trapped in the hotel.

This is too much for Liz and Iris, who decide to hold an intervention to beseech the ghosts to stop killing the guests. If they keep killing the guests, the hotel will go out of business and the building could be destroyed. James March comes down on Liz and Iris’ side in the debate because if the building isn’t condemned by 2026, then it will be declared an historical landmark, which can’t. After which the ghosts can kill all they want, I guess. This meeting is also notable because you get  to see that they have become a kind of community, who care about each other.

Drake and Sally refuse to cooperate and Iris and Liz decide they need some one on one attention to get them on their side. Iris introduces Sally to Twitter and Snapchat, after which she blossoms, realizing she need never be alone again because of social media. Perfect! That is not a solution I foresaw, but it makes perfect sense. After all, Iris found a new life that way, too. It’s hilarious as Sally really gets into it. She takes pictures of everything but herself, she writes a blog, she cries with happiness, rather than pain now, and even throws away her junk.

Good job, Iris!

Liz makes the point that the ghosts need the living because the living are their bridge to the outside world and relevance. So maybe let them live, and stop killing them for shits and giggles.

Liz agrees to help Will Drake rebuild his fashion empire, which has been languishing since his disappearance, by becoming it’s figurehead. This is a success and Liz makes arrangements for Will’s son to be housed at the Thatcher Boarding school, although Drake doesn’t believe he should ever see him again.

But Liz isn’t quite as happy as you’d think. She still misses Tristan, and Iris, concerned for her happiness, hires a psychic (Sarah Paulson in a dual role) to talk to him in the afterlife, but Tristan refuses and won’t say why. On the other hand, Donovan, who managed to escape being trapped in the hotel, is in a happy place and wants Iris to know he loves her.

Liz, disappointed with Tristan’s cold shoulder, gets on with her life, witnessing the birth of her grandadaughter and being a part of her daughter-in-law’s life, until she discovers she is the only woman in LA who is in the late stages of prostate cancer. She tries to make the best of things, by asking the community of hotel ghosts to kill her, so she can spend eternity with them because they’re her friends, and Denis O’Hare is so good at this, that I almost teared  up.

Almost.

His friends are about to get started brutally killing him but the Countess shows up to deliver the coup de grace. She and Liz reconcile  before the deed, as they damn well better, because they’ve got to spend all of eternity together now. Staring down at her dead body, Liz is surprised by the appearance of Tristan, who says he didn’t want to contact her because he wanted her to have a full life and not live in the past with his memory.

Hold on! I’m a little verklempt! Talk amongst yourselves! Query: Where the Hell is the Countess’ mutant baby? And who is taking care of it? Discuss!

Many years pass. The psychic comes to the hotel again. This  time she wants to contact John Lowe, The Ten Commandments Killer. John shows up and we learn that he is dead, but can only come to the hotel once a year along with all the other killers, Aileen Wuornos, Richard Ramirez, Gacy and Dahmer. It’s also the only time he can see his vampire family, except for Scarlett, who has grown into a remarkably well adjusted young lady, after being shipped off to the Thatcher School, too. Scarlett can visit her little brother and never aging Mom anytime, but Dad can only be seen on Halloween night. It’s a bittersweet reunion.

Having gotten her wish and interviewed the TCK, the psychic gets drugged and accosted by the other serial killers. They agree to let her live if she never tells anyone about them, and Ramona, who can leave the hotel and terrorize her anytime she wants, is there to let her know she’ll be watching her. She runs out of the hotel and doesn’t darken its doors again.

Overall, I liked this season. It was uneven, and more concerned with spectacle than plot, but then AHS is always like that. I really wish there had been more depth and more artistry. The show really needs to play up the unreality and dreamlike state, the way it did in the first season. I enjoyed this season more than the last one, which was kind of depressing. This was a  more joyful season, even if  was full of pretty people being stupid and doing awful things, and I was kind of disappointed that many of them did not get their comeuppance, but I can live with happy endings, too.

Angela Bassett was hilariously bad as Ramona. She was the worse actor and obviously having waaay too much fun with that character. The scenery is just totally shredded by the time she’s finished talking. I think she needs to stick with movies, if possible because television is just too small for her. Denis O’Hare was awesome as Liz. I didn’t even know who Denis was before this, having paid no attention to his career. As for Liz’ wardrobe! Dayyum! She was totally rockin’ those frocks, the bald head and the high heels! She was the epitome of style and grace, holding her own in every scene against Ramona  and Iris. I have to give a shoutout to Kathy Bates too. Every season she brings her A game, and so she did here. It was a quieter role than Liz and the Countess, much less glamorous, but that’s why her character arc was so lovely.

I’m given to understand that Lady Gaga won an award for this show. I don’t begrudge her that. I was very happy for her, as she did some great amateur work, and this is a good beginning and  good encouragement if she wants to keep acting. She shows some promise, but Denis deserved “all teh awards”. Denis O’Hare and Kathy Bates had the two most touching character arcs and the finest performances of the season.

And that was worth watching, if no other reason.

So long American Horror Story, until next season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Horror Story: Room 33

Okay, tonight’s episode, I’m firmly convinced, was entirely pulled out of the writer’s butt. There’s all manner of things going on this particular episode that weren’t hinted at in any of the previous episodes.

Let’s start with:

We are dimly aware that something lived in room 33 of the hotel, so I’m not too put out at the idea that the creature living in that room turns out to be The Countess deformed vampire baby. At least we got a tiny heads- up with hints that something might be in that room. The Countess is shown giving birth to the baby, which like in the movie Its Alive, immediately kills and eats the nurse. Okay, that part was kind of gory, awesome.

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Later, the baby, Bartholomew, escapes from its room, when Ramona, intent on revenge by killing all of The Countess offspring, (in collusion with Iris), breaks in, and sets it free. Bart gets out of the hotel by stowing away in John’s suitcase, when John decides he can no longer stay at the hotel after nearing a nervous breakdown.

Okay, the reason John has a nervous breakdown is because  of the first two tourist girls, we saw in the pilot episode, who  are now ghosts roaming around the hotel. Donovan has told them that they can’t leave and that they now have to find a purpose. The two of them try murdering the hotel guests but that doesn’t seem to satisfy them. Alex, John’s wife, is very helpful. She tells them that gas-lighting the hotel guests is probably a lot more fun and that they should start with John. I’m guessing there’s definitely some divorce papers in their future. Well, anyway, John and the girls have a threesome during which they  cover him in blood of  their  murder victim. John, totally freaked out, runs naked out of his hotel room and encounters Liz Taylor in the lobby. Liz, more than used to the various shenanigans at the hotel, is completely unfazed at the sight of this naked man, covered in blood and  streaking through the halls, and she escorts him back to his room.

I’m not sure if that was meant to be funny but I laughed my ass off at that scene.

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Well, Bart gets out of the hotel, via John’s suitcase,  and makes his way to John’s home, where Scarlett chastises her Dad for being absent. When Bart gets loose in the house, John fires his gun at him, scaring the shit out of Scarlett, who then decides she needs to be somewhere her Dad is not. Bart escapes to the outdoors where Alex finds him, in the bushes,  and takes him back to the hotel. I forget why Alex was lurking outside her own home.

The Countess, still trying to get into Will Drake’s pants, had gone with him to Paris. She returns to find Alex cuddling the baby in room 33. Earlier, The Countess tried to get Tristan to help her have sex with Will, who is insistent that he is very gay, too gay to sleep with her. Tristan, of course, says he is not gay and won’t touch him, which is a surprise to me, because in an earlier episode he was all up in Will’s bidness, and we got some hot, man on man, action before The Countess interrupted. On the other hand, thiis the first backbone I’ve seen Tristan display.

The other thing that came out of left field was Liz Taylor’s relationship with The Countess’  Tristan. I guess none of us were paying attention because I totally did not see any of this coming. Liz tells Tristan they need to confess their great love (the greatest love ever), to the Countess, an idea I knew was a mistake the moment I heard it,  so yeah, the stupidity of the characters continues, unabated. Liz makes a very eloquent plea to be allowed to have Tristan because neither of them are in love with each other and this is LIz’ big chance to have a grand love of her own. But The Countess does not share, (she doesn’t do love either, or so she says), and she kills Tristan in front of Liz by cutting his throat. Yep! Saw it coming!

This is the same mistake The Countess made with Ramona, that has Ramona coming up in her rearview, right now. I wouldn’t be surprised, if at some point, Iris, Donovan, Ramona and Liz,  team up to take her ass out. Although, knowing how this show works, the writer will probably forget all about this angle, the same way the writer has forgotten about the Child-Vampire plague he just released into the NY suburbs. Will we see a resolution to that, I wonder?

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Tristan is gone, more or less. He will probably become a ghost in the hotel too, unable to leave and trying to find a purpose. How much do you wanna bet he’ll fall into March’s murderous intentions? Or not. He could just haunt Liz, which would be awesomely tragic for her.

So this episode was all about everyone’s great love and the things they’ll do to keep it. Alex is willing to drive her husband insane, so he won’t find out about Holden and her. The Countess seems to very much love Bartholomew, and is willing to hitch her wagon to a man who is not attracted to her and who she doesn’t love, which is bad enough, but she also makes a habit of depriving other people of their great love. Iris, Ramona and Donovan are all about the revenge, having lost their great loves to The Countess’ complete lack of empathy. Except in the case of Alex. Alex is about the only person she seems to sympathize with, and not just because she stole Alex’s child.

There were a lot of great lines and scenes in this episode. Liz offering Oscar Wilde books to Tristan. The admonishment to never drink the water on the fifth floor, by Donovan, because one of the hotel guests haunts that floor, after she slit her wrists  in a bathtub, and the bonding scene between Ramona and Liz.

I like how the show gives its female characters plenty of background and time to talk among themselves and not always about men. In fact, the cast is almost entirely women  and I like that they  are shown supporting each other and having each other’s back. Liz and Iris, Ramona and Iris, and even Alex and The Countess. Liz Taylor is still my all-time favorite . She gets all the best lines and some of the best scenes, too.

I think my greatest hope for Liz, is for her to be killed in the hotel, so she can spend eternity with Tristan.

American Horror Story : Devil’s Night

This episode revolves around the separate adventures of John Lowe and his estranged wife, Alex. There’s a dinner party, some dancing, child ‘napping, and a couple of other interesting developments. There’s  a Butchers Ball,  and Holden’s mother makes a firm decision about her future.

At the end of last weeks episode, Alex came face to face with the love of her life, Holden. Now I get why we were told that gob-awful backstory about her character.This week, Alex decides to take Holden home with her, find out exactly what is wrong with him, and why he hasn’t aged since she lost him. The Countess continues to assert that what she has is a blood disease,  so Alex, as a pediatrician, thinks she can cure him. She  tests Holden but can find nothing. Angry at what was done to her child, especially after he kills and drinks the family dog, she takes him back to the hotel, where he climbs into the glass coffin provided for him. She  confronts the Countess, who is all smiles and sympathy, offering to turn her, so she can be with her son, if Alex will work for her. Alex refuses her offer and barely makes it out of the room with her life, when she threatens to tell the police about the Countess.

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The next day ,Alex changes her mind, goes to the Countess, and takes her up on her offer. I’m not actually surprised by this. I kept expecting Alex to be bitten by somebody, from the moment she found Holden.

John, unaware that any of this is going on, wanders around the hotel, looking for the room that had blood seeping through his ceiling. He comes across The Laundress Hazel, played by Mare Winningham, who gives him some backstory about why she is working for James March. I had the impression that she was just another homicidal psycho like March, but her story is slightly more complicated. Her child was also stolen, over forty years ago, by the Countess. Like Alex, she came to the hotel to rescue her child. I’m going to make a wild guess that the Countess turned her too, and probably did the same to March, which is the reason neither of them have aged. I’m still not sure what the Hell Sally is, though. It is telling that Hazel gives no explanation for why the room is full of blood, nor does John ask her about it. But we know that earlier that evening, Richard Ramirez killed two hotel guests, in that room.

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John listens to Hazel’s story and because he was so sympathetic to her, out of gratitude, she offers him an invitation to a special dinner that her employer, James March has every Halloween. What she does not tell him is that all of the invited guests are serial killers  and that he may not make it out of the dinner alive. (I have noticed that all of the worst guests of the hotel, are just full of information you don’t actually need, or didn’t ask for.) The invitees include, John Wayne Gacy, Richard Ramirez, Jeffrey Dahmer and Aileen, Wuornos. Later, John finds out, from a news article, that Hazel hasn’t aged since the abduction of her child.

John goes  to the hotel bar and meets a woman who claims to be Aileen Wuornos. Thinking its just a costume, he takes her back to his room, where she hits him over the head, and ties him up. He escapes by kicking her ass. He angrily confronts Liz Taylor, who dismisses his worries, but tells him he’s been invited to a very special dinner party. Sally lures him to the party and ties him up, again.

During the party, John begins to understand what’s happening.That these are the real killers, alive and dangerous.. He is forced to watch while the killers commiserate with March about how difficult their crimes were, how they could have done better, and to laud March for being such a wonderful influence on their lives. Sally  brings in a young male victim for Dahmer. I think some of this was supposed to be funny because the killers kept making jokes.

It wasn’t.

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It  was especially difficult for me to watch because, having studied True Crime, I know far too much about the crimes of these particular individuals, to find their presence in a television show, funny. It’s one thing to make up an unlikely serial killer like Hannibal, its another thing to use, as inspiration, real life serial killers in your show, just for the spectacle. The only kind of people who would find these scenes funny, are people who know nothing about the real life people, on which these characters were  based. Kind of the same problem I had with Sons of Anarchy, in that I know far too much about actual Bikers, to be able to enjoy that show.

But, because I do know so much about serial killers, I did find it pretty scary.

The killers decide they want to kill John too, but March stops them. John wakes up to see Sally, who tells him that it was all an hallucination because he drank absinthe with alcohol.

Its not that I disliked this episode. I thought it was scary, mostly because of the knowledge in my head about serial killers. I thought they might actually kill John, who  would then be trapped in the hotel, like all the other ghosts. I like john even though he’s a deeply oblivious detective, and I don’t want to see him killed.

This is only part one of a two episode arc, so things are going to reach a head this week, I hope. I’m also wondering when we’ll get to see Angela Bassett’s character again. She was all kinds of bad ass.

Supernatural: Halt and Catch Fire

It’s been a while since we had a ghost episode. And tonight’s episode is supposed to be funny so…

In Spencer, Iowa, a young man and woman, are driving the noisiest truck on television, when their online navigator starts telling them the wrong directions and acting bitchy. It tells the girl to get out of the truck, takes over the vehicle and drives it over an embankment, killing the young man.

Dean is eating a croiss-ookie. At least I think that’s how you spell it. Now, I want one. Sam thinks Cas may have information about where Cain might be, but Dean is not optimistic about it. This time, it’s Dean who presents them with a case.

To the Batcave!

imagePosing as Federal Agents, they confront a young woman named Janet, she repeats her story of the night before. The brothers do their usual ghost investigating techniques of asking weird questions of the victims and then head off to the car lot. They find ectoplasm on the truck and think they have the solution. I don’t think so, or this will be the shortest episode  of Supernatural, ever. They burn the truck. It’s a beautiful moment.

A young woman Julie, gets strangled by her computer’s electrical cord after receiving the message 810.

Sam and Dean show up, find ghost radiation, and question the dead girl’s roommate, Delilah. More ghost questions, without actually mentioning ghosts.

Dean has procured a massive amount of food in the school’s self-serving cafeteria. He is definitely giving in to  his appetites.  Sam searches through the victim’s social media accounts. They figure that  810 is an address. Staking out that address, they find a young woman clearing a roadside memorial. Corey says her husband died nine months ago and someone keeps leaving flowers at that site. She describes Delilah.

Now, they have to figure out what connects the victims with the dead man. While they do this, Dean is eating, yet another, massive meal. No. Really, it’s huge. I can’t even guess what’s going on in  his head.

Delilah and her friend Kyle, are arguing about what they should tell people. Kyle tells her to keep her mouth shut. What do you want to bet Kyle will be next? Kyle’s stereo goes haywire and explodes his head. Dying, to such a crappy soundtrack, is a truly horrific experience, for all of us, too.

imageSam and Dean confront Delilah about the 810 reference, and she spills the beans on the not so accidental accident, that killed Andrew, the Angry Ghost.  The four of them didn’t call for help and fled the scene, leaving their victim to burn to death, when power lines landed on the vehicle. Then they all tried to cover it up, because Billy was driving on a suspended license.

The brothers have to figure out how to get rid of the ghost, as it’s not tied to anything. Delilah talks with Dean about what happened, telling him that she has nightmares. Dean can surely understand regrettables.He says whiskey, denial, and trying to make things right, is  his way of coping, but he tells her she needs to confess and deal, not bury her troubles, the way he does. If only he’d take his own advice. But then Dean has always been great at giving it. Not so much, the following it.

imageSam goes to the site of the accident and figures out that Andrew is using WiFi, to do his travelling. Dean says they need to kill the Internet, but how? Sam has an idea. Dean breaks all the wireless electronics in the room, while Sam speaks to Corey. Dean and Delilah run to the basement because there’s shitty reception there.  Corey says Andrew  started contacting her online, after the accident. It was nice at first, then he became vengeful, but she didn’t want to lose him, so she said nothing. She refused to let him go, so his attachment is to her.

Andrew shows up to kill Delilah because someone has hidden a phone, in the couch, in the basement.

Dean tries to talk Andrew down, by appealing to his humanity, while calling Sam, and the ghost attacks Dean instead. Sam puts Corey on FaceTime and she manages to reach him. He disperses when she lets him go.

The brothers drop Delilah off at Corey’s  home. She wants to confess.

image

Dean says he plans to take his own advice. He’s finished with trying to find a cure for the Mark. Sam disagrees. He thinks Dean is just going to give up. Dean says he’s  going to fight it’s influence by being as good a man as he can, and that he chooses to be at peace about it.

Finally! WooHoo!

Okay, not a great episode because I found the plot kind of boring and it wasn’t really all that funny. Just the usual quiet chuckles at Dean’s  behavior and the two brothers teasing each other about tech stuff. But I liked the ending. What Dean said sounded really positive. He talked a lot about making peace with the past and letting stuff go, this evening.  Unfortunately, Cain shows up next week and completely undoes all of Dean’s emotional progress.

It’s gonna be wild. So, stay tuned, people.

ETA: What Dean is eating, at the top of the episode, is called a Crookie. A croissant with cookies in it or so it appears. Okay, that’s going on my Bucket List. Judging by the looks of it, that will probably be the last thing I do.

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