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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Review of Hereditary - Disturbing!

SEMI-SPOILERS - Don't read if you really want to be super surprised!

So, I finally got a chance to watch a full length horror feature I had a true desire to watch amid my obsession with the The Handsmaid's Tale each Wednesday.  As you may know, The Handsmaid's Tale is in its second season and is quite tittilating in addition to being super disturbing.  Anyway, I'll blog about my new fascination with the dystopian theocracy Hulu series later and I will get on to the terrifying new film I watched last night, Hereditary.  You can check out the trailer below!



Hereditary is Ari Aster's directorial debut.  According to Wikipedia, "During pre-production, writer-director Ari Aster often referred to Hereditary as not a horror film but rather 'a tragedy that curdles into a nightmare."  The reference website continues to state that, "Films that influenced Aster in the making of Hereditary include Rosemary's BabyCries & WhispersDon't Look NowCarrieOrdinary People, and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife &  Her Lover."  There are many genre words to discribe this film, so here goes!  


This gritty, art-house, super-natural horror-thriller, which was also written by Ari stars Toni Collette (Annie Graham) alongside her "movie" husband (Steve Graham), who is portrayed by Gabriel Byrne.  Gabriel, you're old enough to be my father, but I'd still hit it!  Yes, Gabriel Byrne, you...I have a bit of a thing for Irishmen.  The accent is a plus, but he doesn't have much of one in this film.  Anyway, enough about my hormones.  The film's family, the Grahams includes two children, little 13-year old creepy girl Charlie, (Milly Sharpiro) and Peter, her typically unremarkable older pothead brother, (Alex Wolff).  Creepy Charlie, Creepy Charlie, reeeh reeeh, reeeh.  

Psssst....Fans of the Handmaid's Tale...

Ann Dowd, who portrays Aunt Lydia on the Handmaid's Tale, has a vital role in this production as Joan (Joanie).  Joan befriends Annie through a grief support group and since Annie doesn't seem to have any friends outside of her husband, even though Annie is reluctant, she slowly begins to embrace Joan's warmth and accepts her support, companionship, and advice.  Ann Dowd is a phenomenal actress.  I love her!  Tony Collette is underrated, though.  She had me crying 15 minutes into this film.  Yeah, it began the summer solstice and we're heading to a full moon, but crying during a horror film is an almost never occurrence for me.  I'm a "crier", though.  It usually means I'm feeling murderous rage, but not always :).  Some things just lighten the color of my blackened heart for a moment.  You'll see why.  


This horror masterpiece (If you don't agree, I don't care.)  kicks off with the death of Ellen, Annie's mommy, who has a strangely strained realtionship with her only daughter.  However, Creepy Charlie is her favorite grandchild, so Charlie is probably the only person in the whole Graham family, who actually feels a "loss" when Grandma Ellen dies.  Annie feels more guilt than grief over the death of her mother.  Her euology at the funeral of her mother, Ellen is the most awkward thing I've heard even amongst some in my own experiences that have been similar.  She has a weird relationship with her son and the two seem to have a moderately strained relationship just kept at bey below the surface.  (They are cordial to one another in a way.)


The relationship between Steve and Annie is strange, too.  They are so distant with each other like they are just trying to be polite and that's about it.  The other members of the family have lukewarm relations with one another, but they are slightly warmer towards Annie, the little sketching loaner, who often snacks randomly on chocolate bars at inappropriate times.  She reminded me a little of Milo, if you've seen that film with the creepy little boy.  Well done Milly Shapiro!  We don't see as much of Charlie as the trailers might suggest that I viewed of this film before watching it myself.


You can watch the Milo trailer below.  In no way am I comparing the two films, because they don't compare!!!



If the family isn't strange enough, Annie, who is an artist by trade lives in a house with her family that always seems totally absent of light.  The blinds seem to always be drawn closed and the house almost seems windowless in an ongoing, permanent night.  It seems that wherever the family goes when they leave the house, it's always a bright, sunshiny day.  For the home of an artist, the Graham house is totally devoid of cheer or any character.  The wood is dark, the blue paint in the bedrooms is bland, and it's just a strange place for an artist to live, especially since her daugher, too, is artistically inclined.

This film moves at a snailpace for about forty-five minutes, but if you can get through the joyless, strained, miserable back-story, you'll understand exactly why this oppressive atmosphere exists and why the characters are the way they are towards one another and towards outsiders.  The gory ending is so worth it!  If you invest forty-five minutes, you'll get it all back in dividends.  The ending of Hereditary is the most disturbing thing I've seen in a long time.  I felt like I was on a bad trip from which I'd never wake and I mean this in the best sense.  If you liked the Babadook and the Wicker Man, think of this film as a modern mash-up of the two with a side-helping of Kubric-style darkness.  Creepy Charlie's little tree-house will never be the same!

FINAL COMMENTS...

Why didn't someone call the cops sooner?  Why didn't someone call the cops?  Is there a reason why nobody was smart enough to call the cops?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Onine Free Horror Movies - January 2018

I've found it increasingly difficult lately to find good, quality horror classics and contemporary films online lately.  I haven't been online or blogging much lately, but I'm BAAAACK!  I miss blogging, but I havne't been as engaged on social media due to responsibilities and a lack of time!  I still love all of you, though.  Well, I love most of you.  Some of you just suck!  But most of you, I love!  Anyway, I figured what better way to come back into your loving arms than to provide you with a new and improved list of horror movies for the new year, 2013.  



Needless to say, I'm at work and this is an autopost, so when it automatically posts to all the social media sites, I'm not ignoring you guys, I'm just not actually really on.  Autopost and auto tweet and auto facebook and auto tumblr and auto-everything is mega and super and a wicked killa time savah!  



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Authentic History of Halloween




Halloween is a holiday steeped in rich tradition throughout the world.   The word Halloween comes from an Old English form of All Hallow's Eve, known as All Hallow's Ev'en (Evening). This night has long ushered in the dark half of the year in many regions of the world.  Halloween was once a night that caused anxiety and dread among those terrified their souls may be taken by evil beings from beyond the veil between the world of the living and the dead!  Its said the veil between the world of the living and the dead is most thin on All Hallow's Eve! 



Halloween began with the Celtic autumn (fall) celebration, known as Samhain, which was the celebration that ushered in "the dying of the light" (summer's end).  On this dark and spooky evening on which the spectres and spirits of the dead of both the good and the evil were given free reign between the veils of the world of the living and the dead by The Lord of The Dark, Samhain.  Furthermore, these spirits are allowed on this night to interact with the living.  Among these spirits are human "ghosts" and other inhuman creatures that occupy the underworld and the "land of the dead".  The Cutty Black Sow is one such "spirit", actually a demon, an inhuman spirit in Welsh folklore believed to steal souls on Halloween.

The Celts celebarted their new year November 1, which was later replaced by most cultures with "All Soul's Day", a primarily Roman Catholic "holiday".  Ancient Celts built bonfires on Samhain night to keep evil spirits at bey.
  • Halloween is the eve prior to, "All Soul's Day", on which Catholics venerate canonized saints.
  • All Soul's Day was created to integrate Celtic Druid into Christian traditions as converts.
  • Kids once went door to door offering prayers in exchange for soul cakes on Halloween.
  • Masks were worn as disguises to confuse and ward off evil spirits on All Hallow's Eve.
  • Masks were also worn to honor ancestors who passed away.
  • Jack-o-Lanterns were originally made out of turnips.
  • Large Potatoes and rutabagas were also utilized in Europe for carving.
  • Pumpkins are native to North America, not Europe.
  • Seeds were brought back to Europe from America and Europe was introduced to the pumpkin!
  • Bobbing for apples was a form of divining that foretold the type of man a woman would marry.
  • Most kids who have been poisoned with candy were victims of family members, not strangers.
Have a pleasant evening and hopefully the Cutty Black Sow doesn't steal your soul for a snack. Maybe you should bake that bitch a soul cake!  Happy All Hallow's Ev'n!

    Saturday, October 15, 2016

    Make a Halloween Diorama

    When I was little, my brother and I, who I always referred to as Sibling 2 (and I, sibling 1), used to enjoy building "towns" with Fisher Price, Lincoln Logs, and Lego parts.  We used to use G.I. Joe dolls and other "guys" to be residents of the town.  With this in mind, Halloween is right around the corner.  It'd be fancy as fawk to create a mini Halloweentown diorama to help you Goth as fawk fawkers celebrate the Samhain Season.

    Here are some container ideas.  Depending on what size you want to make your "town", fishtanks, display cases, and glass jars are great ideas to contain your diorama.  You may even have some of these kicking around your house that are unused or someone you know might.  If you don't have access to these items, they can easily be found for uber cheap at a second-hand store, or even Walmart or the slightly higher priced dollar stores.




    You then will have to decide whether you want to mix figurine and model types to introduce into your town or if you want to house a specific type of town pieces by a specific artist, in a specific genre, and other considerations.  I would opt to create diversity in my mini city with mixed types of figurines and model characters.  I'd use pieces similar to "Christmas" city decorations, but with a Halloween theme.  These exist both online and in retail stores and especially at second-hand stores. Wherever you see a cool piece, if you can fit it into your budget and it's worth it to you, by all means, holmes, pick it up and add it!



    Anyway, above is just an example of some cool shyte to use for your fancy schmancy Halloweentown diorama.  Happy Halloween, fawkers!  <3 p="">

    Tuesday, September 20, 2016

    5 Fancy Budget Halloween Costumes

    It goes without saying that one can shop at Salvie and Goodwill among other thrift store delights to get Halloween bargains, but let's explore some of the cheapest, most creative, and fanciest budget Halloween costume ideas.



    1.  Mrs. Swan - If you've got a short blunt cut and dark hair, you're all set, but if not, consider a cheap wig at any big box or Halloween costume haunt or even on eBay, which hosts a fine selection of authentic hair wigs for sale for under $20 and sometimes for even less.  I wonder if any of them come from cadavers?  You'll never know!  In addition, those fancy Mumu vests that Mrs. Swan wears...Goodwill just got in a whole bunch of them and they're typically between $3-$6.


    2.  Carrie & Mrs. White - Carrie and her mom are cheap and easy Halloween costume ideas.  All you need to be Carrie is a tiara and a pink chemise gown or nightgown.  You can get a brand new tiara for as low as $5 and I'm talking one that's not plastic, but one that's made out of metal.  A long, straight strawberry blonde wig is a plug, too.


    Mrs. White also requires only a long, white fluffy nightgown and some blood in addition to a horrible curly red ginger wig.  And remember, we can all see your dirty pillows!  Making fake blood on the cheap is easy, which involves red food coloring and no more.  Well, except water...



    3.  Poison Ivy - This one is not too difficult to keep under $15 or $20 if you shop at Salvy, Savers, or Goodwill and perhaps the dollar store and maybe even pick up a few inexpensive items at Spirit Halloween or Party City or even Target or Walmart.

    Poison Ivy requires tights, a green dress or leotard, but a dress is probably way easier to find and much cheaper.  Goodwill, Savers, and Salvy tend to have tons of dresses left over from summer and prom towards the end of the year.  It's a good idea to check out what you can get.  Poison Ivy also has a cape, but even a large infinity scarf can be used as a half wrap around the shoulders and the idea will come across nicely.  Tights are pretty much a necessity along with some type of ivy crown or wrap.  Simple craft flowers are less than a dollar typically.  Poison Ivy tights can specifically be found at Hot Topic if you want the real thing!

    Opera gloves are super easy to find at Halloween for under $5.  Even a corset can be found at thrift shops for under $10 if you look really thoroughly, but a dress or a tutu might be the easiest route.  A masquerade mask can be substituted for those who aren't super crafty with make-up, but if you are crafty and don't mind using spirit gum or eyelash glue, to affix ivy leaves to your eyebrows, you're golden, because all you need to use are pieces of your ivy garland that can be acquired for under $1, especially at thrift shops.  A red wig, of course, is super easy to find!




    4.  Rosemary Woodhouse - Rosemary is soooooo easy to pull off!  You only need a blonde, cropped wig, a blue ruffled housecoat (robe), or nightgown, a knife, and if you're feeling fancy, a black cloth with either a baby doll or just a baby mask hanging out to replicate your Antichrist spawn, Adrian, who has his father's eyes!  A nice touch is a round ball filigree necklace, which is intended to hold incense.  You can find them on Amazon in either genuine precious metals or in costume jewelry selections to hold your tannis root.




    5.  Nosferatu - Nosferatu is the scariest vampire other than the 30 Days of Night vamps, so it's a good idea to be him if you really want to be scary for Halloween.  You need spooky hands, a long overcoat, and some vamp fangs.  You also need to be bald.  If you wanna do the ears, you can get some elf ears, but I don't believe it's necessary and neither are the contact lenses.  You could always do red eyeliner to make your eyes appear scary.  I do it most years.  Red lipliner is about a buck at any drugstore or the dollar store.  Plum works, too, a deep reddish plum.  The overcoat, hands, and bald head makes the costume, so yeah, easy peasy!


    You're welcome!

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016

    Free Autumn (Fall) Horror Movies


    In New England, we call it fall!!!  Why don't all of us call it fall?  We rarely ever use the word Autumn unless we are referring to a person or are trying to be poetic, as in "Autumn leaves".   So, I've entitled this post, "Free Autumn (Fall) Horror Movies", so that everyone can find it on the inter-webs!

    Happy Birthday to Lucas Marlone in late October, myself in late November, and Happy Birthday to my friend across the water, M, and I have another friend who is my birthday twin.  I'm not sure who's the evil one, though.  It's probably me!


    In addition, October 31 is the anniversary of my first menstrual period.  Aren't you guys all delighted to know that I became menstruating and essentially became a woman at the age of 11 on Halloween.  It didn't mess with my program, though.  I snagged a pad from my friend, who was 3 years older and had already had her "little friend" for a while now.  Thanks Cherie, LOL!


    I'll be posting The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as a Halloween film, because I was watching it in 5th grade with Mackie and my other classmates.  I just remember Mackie, because she was the first one I told prior to telling Cherie.  I went to the bathroom and low and behold, I was a big girl now!  So, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Halloween remind me of my menarche.  I don't know where "L" was that day or my very best friend Sara.  Wait, Sara was in the other 5th grade class that year.  Maybe "L" was, too.


    This was the first year I got to bring my little brother, Joe, trick or treating, who just passed last December, which has been weighing on my mind today, yuck.  I hate those days.  He was a little vampire that year.  We were vampires quite a few years.  We used to love to strut around in vampire teeth.

    In fact, my Dad told us that someday he'd let us in on the "Family Secret".  That, of course, was followed by resistance from my Dad, who'd tell us, "You'll find out soon enough.".  Apparently, when you turn twelve in my family, you become a vampire like the rest of them.  I'm still waiting, Dad!!!


    Tis the season for my birthday, and the birthdays of a few of my cohorts.  My most notable cohorts, who's names begin with the letter "C" and "J"...there birthdays have already past, in the summer and spring, respectively.  And, many of my other friends have birthdays near Christmas and New Year's, so not happy birthday to you guys yet!

    Number one has nothing to do with fall, but it's Clive Barker, and I just discovered a movie was made out of this and haven't even watched it myself, so this is for you, people who bother to read my blog, so thanks!  It's still spooky and deals with a haunted house!  Furthermore, even though it has nothing to do with menstrual-flow, it's Clive Barker's Book of Blood biznatch!


    1.  Clive Barker's Book of Blood (2008) -  The assistance of  2 supernatural experts are requested to investigate odd events at a family's dwelling. A young medium, who can speak with the spirit world joins them. Subsequent to spending the night in the unsettling domicile, the team of investigators discovers foreign writing on the home's walls. Simon, the medium, wakes to mysterious scars that cover his body. The nightmare begins when they discover that this home is a portal between this life and the great beyond.


    2.    Murder Party (2007) - An unexpected invitation to a Halloween party delivers a man into a death trap among random participant, who intend to murder him for the sake of art.  This included some horror comedy, so it's not as grim as it seems!


    3.  Satan's Little Helper (2004) - This flick is so cute!  You guys all know what it's about, a crazy murderer, who may or not be Satan, who befriends a little boy on Halloween to help him carry out grizzly deeds unbeknownst to the little guy, who kinda looks like a Baby McLovin'.


    4.  The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1999) - Do I need to explain this classic Washington Irving tale?  It was, of course, adapted into quite a few films and even a TV show, which is based on the tale.  This is the 1999 version.  I can't remember which version we watch at school, but it was really old, and very school appropriate, since it was the 80's and I was in the 5th grade.

    The one I've posted isn't the Tim Burton version, which is pretty different from the other versions, where Ichabod Crane is a teacher, and usually not an "outsider".

    The original tale, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", was a short story that was contained in his anthology of of 34 essays and short stories, "The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.", which he wrote while he resided in England.  The story was initially published in 1820.  Ever since, it's been a Halloween favorite.


    5.  The Fall of the House of Usher (1928) - The House of Usher is a spooky, lonely mansion with a swamp surrounding it.  The Usher Family, who owns the house believes their bloodline is cursed, as they have all been driven crazy by this curse.  He discourages his sister's fiancee from marrying the girl to prevent him and any of his descendants created from this union from falling victim to the curse.  The plot thickens, of course.

    So, this spooky Edgar Allan Poe adaptation classic has to fit into the list somewhere, since it's the ultimate fall haunted house flick.  This film happened before the 1960 Roger Corman classic, starring Vincent Price, of the same title and subject matter.  In essence, the 1960 version is a remake of this early 20's horror genre classic.

    Ok, so prior to the Autumn (Fall) Season, let's thank Frightpix, Popcornflix, B&W Movies, and those who have been oppressed and brutally slaughtered.  Hail thee!  There, we've already given thanks!

    Monday, August 29, 2016

    Free & Inexpensive New England Fall Sites & Events!

    Connecticut



    Spirits Alive Cemetery Lantern Tours

    Hillside Cemetery
    44 Wallingford Road 
    Cheshire, CT

    Friday, Saturday & Sunday - October 14, 15 & 16, 2016 - 5 - 8:30 pm

    Travel along a guided path illuminated by 600 tea lights as you listen to spooky tales.  Snake along the cemetery's tombstones as true tales of the deceased throughout Cheshire's history are recounted by actors.  These stories include a mysterious ship, a murder, a mine disaster, and a riot among other delightfully creepy stories.

    This tour is sponsored by the Cheshire Historical Society and is a titillating way to learn about Cheshire's history.

    Tickets for this guided lantern tour are just $12.  
     
    More details are available by calling (203) 272-2574 or by visiting the event's Facebook page by clicking here!


    The Cushing Brain Collection



    Yale University
    Whitney Medical Library
      333 Cedar St.
    New Haven, CT


    Hours

    Sunday: 9:30 am – 8 pm 
    Monday - Friday: 8 am - 8 pm
    Saturday: 10 am - 7 pm

    This fantastic collection for public exhibition is located in the Yale University's Whitney Medical Library. This collection was compiled by Dr. Harvey Cushing during 1902-1932.

    Visitors without an active Yale Proximity ID Card, may register as visitors at the Medical Library’s Circulation Desk. Library staff will provide a Cushing Center Proxy Card to allow guests to check out the collection.

    The Cushing Center is situated in the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library. From the library entrance,
    continue down the hallway to the Information Room.  Use the stairway to your right and continue down two flights. The entrance will be to your right.

    Tours

    Each week, Yale provides three guided tours at the facility.

    Hours

    Thursday: 2 pm
    Friday: 11 am & 2 pm

    If you prefer to schedule a tour at an alternative time, e-mail Yale terry.dagradi@yale.edu.

    Be sure to put Cushing Center Tour in the subject line to get a faster answer.

    Maine

    The Strand Cinema
    19 Court Street 
    Skowhegan, ME
    (207) 474-3451

    Hours

    Monday -Sunday: 12:15 pm - 7:30 pm

    Prices

    Adults (13-59): $6
    Kids  (4-12): $4
    Seniors (60+): $4
    Kids Under 3: FREE
    Mondays & Matinees: $4

    The Strand Theater initially opened on November 18, 1929.  The Strand Theater, which is now known as The Strand Cinema was restored in 2005 and expanded.  The venue currently holds 3 theaters that feature new movies in addition to a lobby, vintage ticket booth, and a concession stand.  

    The Strand Cinema is listed among the top 50 most haunted American sites.  Apparently, a female tenant, who resided in an apartment over the theater died, while at home, and she now occupies and haunts the historic theater.  

    She is rumored to appear as an apparition that shows itself and quickly dissipates.  Unexplained sounds are also purported to emanate throughout the theater.  Reports also include unexplained moving objects and even unpleasant spirit possession by a very unhappy entity.  

    Massachusetts


    Witch Stories by Candlelight at the John Cabot House

    John Cabot House
    117 Cabot St. 
    Beverly, MA


    September 16, 2016 - 6-8 pm

    Listen to the odd tales regarding strange historical characters while exploring a candlelight guided tour one of the oldest houses in Beverly. The Hale House, which was erected in 1694 has sinister connections to the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria.

    This event is FREE and people of all ages are welcome. However, registration is required and limited to 12 people per tour. To make reservations, simply call (978) 922-1186, ext. 0. Further details can be obtained by clicking here!

    New Hampshire



    Monson Ghost Town

    Federal Hill Road
    Hollis/Mildford Town Line, NH

    Settled in 1730, Monson was quickly abandoned by 1770. The colonial settlement extended for 17,000 acres. This ghost town is protected by NH Forests, as it was the first European settlement in New Hampshire and among a few in New England to hold any true archaeological value. It's now a large state park, where one can currently see the foundations of long-abandoned homes. The town's ruins have been virtually undisturbed for more than two centuries. Apparently, this is a good spot to see animals in nature, too!

    The entrance to the "Hollis Parcel-age" is located on Adams Road in Milford. There isn't a sign to get to the Monson Ghost Town, but it's on the Hollis-Milford line. The closest GPS coordinate is the latter 400's of Federal Hill Road.

    Dover Asylum Fire Monument (Dover, NH)


    Behind Riverside Retirement Home
    Strafford County Complex
    County Farm Road
    Dover, NH

    Behind the Riverside Retirement Home in the Strafford County Complex, where the prison and animals shelter are located, there is a pillar monument that can be easily missed that recounts the tale of a fire that burned the Dover Asylum to ashes in 1893. The first killed 41 of the 44 patients that were being treated there at the time of the fire. Word is 'round the campfire that this site is haunted.


    Rhode Island


    Books Bound in Human Skin

    John Hay Library 
    Brown University 
    20 Prospect Street 
    Providence, RI

    The John Hay Library at Brown University has three anthropodermic (binding books in human skin) examples. Two of the three books are 19th-century stories, entitled, "The Dance of Death". The other book is a 16th-century book of anatomy book. How appropriate!

    Special Collection Hours

    Monday - Thursday: 10 am - 6 pm
    Friday: 10 am – 5 pm

    Vermont

    Ax Wound Film Festival (AWFF)
    139 Main Street 
    Brattleboro, VT

    Saturday, November 5, 2016

    Women in Horror Month will be hosting their second annual Ax Wound Film Festival on November 5, 2016.  This is a day long event! For more details, click here!