Tag Archives: Horror

The Moral of This Story: Research Before You Move

I don’t think that I’ve ever timed anything so well in my life.  I managed to see two movies today, Ex Machine and Poltergeist 3D and the overlap was nonexistent.  I finished movie one and stepped into the theater of movie two as the previews started to roll; win, massive win.  Usually on two movie days, I find myself with some arbitrary amount of time to kill between films and therefore out of boredom eating double the amount of popcorn that I should.  As is, I sit here with uncomfortable popcorn-belly.  I’m having a popcorn baby, you guys!

So, I was impressed by both movies, but I think I’m going to write on Ex Machina later, as I think that requires a little more chewing in my brain before I can really digest it properly.  So I guess that makes this post about Poltergeist 3D.

Let’s start with this detail: I’ve never seen the original Poltergeist, and honestly, even as a horror fan, I know nothing about it.  I recognized some nods to iconic scenes, but I feel like those scenes I’ve only seen as nods in other movies.

It starts as every haunting story that I’ve ever seen starts, a family moves into a new house for whatever reason they had to leave their last home and are forced to move somewhere new.  The children immediately find something wrong with the house, whatever that may be.  One child is terrified, one embraces, and one is apathetic.  Something happens to convince the parents that the children are not making this up.  They call in experts.

Of course the idea that the child is sucked into the Poltergeists’ dimension is not something I’ve ever seen and that’s where it started to feel different, special.  Because someone has to go in after her.

I’m not sure how necessary the 3D was to the effects, but the effects were pretty good.  There wasn’t anything so overblown that it took me out of the moment.  There was a lot more creepy made up hands and flickering lights than over the top effects.  Of course the portal is a little strange and that’s where most of the overblown unbelievable effects happened.  But really, the only thing that took me out of the moment was the horrible girl sitting behind me who kept gorram kicking my seat.  And I cannot blame the film for that.

I actually found myself emotionally invested in the characters, as well as jumping out of my skin – both hallmarks of a very good horror movie.

I now have every intention in the world of seeing the original.  I really can’t believe that I have made it to 28 and never seen it.

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Vampires Don’t Need to Sparkle, People

4.5 out of 5 stars.  A bloody good read.

For the past … some number of years I’ve been avoiding the vampire young adult novels and movies.  I figure the reason for this can go pretty much unspoken.  I blame the book-series-that-shall-not-be-named.  Twilight.  cough.  hack.  Even saying the name after reading the first two books in the series makes me cringe.  Vampires have been completely tamed, turned into creatures that can be domesticated as long as you love them enough.  What nonsense is that?  Part of what makes them romantic is that they are monstrous.  Dracula was romantic, but damn, he didn’t sparkle.  Gavriel was romantic in The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, he didn’t sparkle either, he bled.  Thank you, Holly Black, for restoring my faith in vampires.

Tana is an average human teenage girl.  She likes to party, has a douchebag ex-boyfriend who she can’t seem to shake, a best friend away at drama camp, and a tag-along little sister.  One night while she’s at a sundown party, all of that changes.  She wakes up, after passing out in a shower, to carnage beyond what she can believe.  The description of the dried blood in the carpet crunching between her bare toes – definitely a winner and when I knew that this had some real potential.  Someone had cracked a window to let a breeze into the locked down farm house and everyone had died for it.  She finds herself on a roadtrip to Coldtown, with her vampire bitten ex-boyfriend and a slightly crazy vampire, Gavriel.

Coldtown is basically a quarantine for vampires. I adored the way that Holly Black approached vampirism.  She approaches it with a combination of a disease, an addiction, and an unlocking of the inner self.  In this world, when you’ve been bitten by a vamp, you are considered Cold.  This is when the craving for human blood kicks in.  Once someone who is Cold drinks human blood, they die and wake up a full fledged vampire.  However, there is a catch.  If a person manages to go eighty eight days Cold, without drinking human blood, they beat the disease.  Of course, these 88 days are basically like detoxing from drugs, except you have superhuman strength and senses.  Usually, once someone goes Cold, they bring themselves to Coldtown, or their families turn them in, because beating being Cold is so rare and difficult that it is basically considered impossible.  Once you’re in Coldtown, you never never ever get back out.

Truly, the only reason that this wasn’t a five star book was something I couldn’t quite put my finger on.  The gore was delicious, the people were real, the background was fascinating, the vampires were tackled beautifully.  However, for some reason that I can’t put my finger on it felt like the writing lacked passion.  It lacked some sort of spark that I kept hoping to find.  It just wasn’t there.

Overall, an amazing book that speaks volumes for the classically gory blood-soaked vampires, even in young adult.  Vampires don’t need to sparkle, people.

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