Posted in Uncategorized

The Quiet Boy (Short Story) Review

 

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My Inktober wendigo art from this year.

Who loves wendigo stories? Why, yours truly, of course! 😉 To be honest, I love legendary and mythical creatures of all sorts, but wendigos are always a special sort of treat in my book.  Needless to say, I am really excited to see the upcoming horror film Antlers, produced by Guillermo del Toro.

For those of you wondering to yourself, WTF a wendigo is, here is your quick Wendigo 101 lesson for the day: A Wendigo is an evil spirit from Native American Algonquian legend that will corrupts anyone who has committed the unforgivable crime of cannibalism. The evil spirit twists the human it is influencing into a monstrous version of themselves with a horrible, never-ending hunger, and a murderous cruelty that knows no bounds. Since these legends originate in Canada and the Great Lakes regions of the United States, it is no surprise that winters were hard where these tales originated. People didn’t always make it through the winter, and hunger can make people desperate enough that they’d do anything to survive, even taking part in an act as taboo as cannibalism. In a lot of ways the legend of the wendigo can be seen as a cautionary tale.

Last week I found out that this movie is actually based off the plot of a short story called The Quiet Boy, written by Nick Antosca, creator of Channel Zero. Always a fan of reading the source material before I watch a movie or show its based on, I tried to look up the story on GoodReads but couldn’t find it. Then I saw over on the Bloody Disgusting website that you could read the entire short story HERE on the Guernica site. So, if you’re interested, check it out.

Anyway, let’s get onto my review for The Quiet Boy, shall we? 🙂

Julia is just starting her teaching career when Teach For America lands her in a small town in the middle of nowhere, where the unofficial town motto is “Hills, Whores, and Liquor Stores.” Definitely not was she was hoping for when she dreamed of being a teacher. Still, our protagonist wants to do right by her fourth graders.

While teaching her kids about storytelling, specifically of the fairy tale and tall tale variety, one of her young students named Lucas catches her attention with the story he is working on. What she initially assumes is going to be another cookie cutter take on Goldilocks and the Three Bears, turns out to be something much different altogether, and something far more sinister.

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Drawing from Lucas’ story in the Antlers movie trailer.

Worried for Lucas, she wants to help the boy, and learn more about what his home life might be like. Between the underlying themes in the boy’s story he is writing and the fact that Lucas always comes to school in old clothes, always smells like damp leaves and damp animal fur, and looks to be very underfed, Julia assumes things aren’t great at home. She also worries that Lucas’ father might be a drunk and not taking proper care of him or his younger brother. Her fellow teachers view Lucas as one of those lost cause kids,  but Julia wants to help him, and to learn more about what his life at home might be like. Due to how private and protective Lucas is any time she brings up home or his family, Julia decides to pay his home a surprise visit when she is sure he won’t be there. What she discovers is nothing she could have imagined. Things get dark pretty quickly from this point on in the story, but I won’t spoil the fun. 😉 It’s a quick read and I provided the link so you can read it if you’re interested in seeing what Julia finds. The story does its own thing with the wendigo legend, and I thought it was interesting the direction it went in.

I’d rate it 4 out of 5 stars, and reading it made me excited to see how it will be adapted into a movie when it hits theaters in April 2020. 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized

Hell Fest (2018) No-Spoiler Review

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It’s October, boys and ghouls, so that means things are about to get pretty spooky around here! Halloween is fast-approaching, so what better time to sink your teeth into a bunch of horror movies, new and old? My first horror movie review for the month is for a film that just hit theaters September 28th called Hell Fest.

I’d seen the trailers and felt pretty indifferent to going to see it or not, but Mr. Moth was just curious enough about it to want to check it out, so I agreed. ‘Tis the season, right? 😉 Plus, he’s going to see the new Halloween movie with me when it comes out, so I kind of had to be a good sport. 😛

Unfortunately, it didn’t take very long into the movie for even him to say, “I think this may be one of those bad horror movies that’s just actually bad.” Not to say that it was a total disaster of a movie, but it was pretty middle of the road in my opinion. I’ve seen worse, but I have definitely seen far better and more memorable. I will say, though, that Hell Fest does a good job of making you excited for Halloween and haunted attractions. If Hell Fest itself was a legit thing I would want to go and experience it for myself (minus the stabby stabby parts, of course!)

The movie also (briefly) has horror icon Tony Todd in it, so that was cool. 🙂

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Hell Fest is your basic sort of slasher film, set in a massive horror themed amusement park. If you’ve seen your fair share of slasher flicks, I think it’s safe to say you probably know the drill by now: masked killer picks group of young adults to terrorize, lots of stabbing, making out, and questionable decisions ensue. I think the main thing Hell Fest does have that sets it apart is the cool setting it takes place in. If you love Halloween and haunted attractions you’ll probably be able to appreciate how much effort must have gone into all the different sets, mazes, costumes, props, etc.

Aaaaand, in case you missed it, here’s the trailer:

So, that pretty much sums up my review for Hell Fest. I’m looking forward to feeding into my horror cravings more throughout the rest of October. How about you?? Watched any good horror movies recently? Planning on binge-watching a bunch before Halloween? Let’s talk about it! 😀

Posted in Uncategorized, Viewing Pleasures

Rev Your Engines for the Blood Drive!

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Is anyone else watching the amazingly chaotic gore-fest that is Syfy’s Blood Drive? I’ve been tuning in since it premiered in June and I’m absolutely loving it! Granted, I do love me some B-Horror goodness, so I may be biased. 😉 (This show certainly isn’t for the faint of heart, so you’ve been warned). Blood Drive knows its audience, and it caters to them with all the classic horror tropes (as well as plenty of new messed up antics all their own)  and all the buckets of fake blood one could ask for.

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The show mainly follows Arthur Bailey (a good cop in a bad situation) and Grace d’Argento (a ruthless racer who will do whatever it takes to save her sister). The world is a dystopian cesspool of homicidal maniacs, cars that fuel up on human blood, diabolical corporations, and countless horrors around each and every corner. Don’t believe me? Check the trailer out for yourself! 😀

Blood Drive is just so damn fun. Even the “bad guys” are highly entertaining. I use quotes for the bad guys part because in this show, just about everyone is forced to push the limits into “bad guy” territory from time to time. The theatrical ringleader of the mayhem going on in the Blood Drive races, Julian Slink is just the kind of villain I love to watch. He’s a wicked bastard through and through, but he’s so over the top and twisted that it’s just really, really fun to watch.

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You can tell when you watch this show that it must really be a labor of love. The creators of the series go the extra mile with fake commercials within the show, old school horror style promos for each week’s coming episode, and they even have a complaint hotline for those who are offended by all the gore/language/sexual content/etc. within the series. With the phone number including “D.G.A.F.” as part of its number, one has to commend them on their massive levels of sass. 😛

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All in all, Blood Drive should prove a great time for horror fans. I know I certainly enjoy it. Season 1 is set to air 13 episodes in total, with episode 6 airing later this week. It’s a great blend of inappropriate humor and horror, so be sure to check it out if those things are what you’re into! 😛

Posted in Uncategorized, Whatcha Reading??

What Time Is It? UPDATE TIME!

Hey, guys! Just popping in for some quick updates!

As last month came to an end I posted about some of the book options I had proposed for June’s book club meeting I’ll be hosting. Things got nuts after that. lol A tie breaker vote had to be done and it was so close even then that we nearly wound up split right down the middle for a second time! There was joking about bribery with cupcakes and cookies among the book club ladies because they were so adamant that their book choice won. All the chaos eventually settled and we finally had a winner . . . The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu!

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Ooh, and some exciting news . . . I recently won my first ever book giveaway!! 😀 And it was even right here on WordPress! If you haven’t ventured on over to The Book-Filled Day yet, I’d say you should rectify that and check it out. 😉 It’s all books all the time over there so what’s not to love? I entered their giveaway for the Glimmers series and was so pleasantly surprised to discover that I’d actually won it! From what I’ve read about the series it’s a witty and fun series full of magic about a young fairy godmother in training.

glimmers trilogy.png I’m so very excited to have won, and to get to read this series soon, so a massive thank you to The Book-Filled Day and to the author of the series, Emma Savant! ❤ Seriously, I never win anything, so this was really exciting! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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In other reading news, I just finished the second volume of DC Bombshells, so I’ll be posting a proper review of that soon. 🙂 I’ve got a couple canvas prints from this series on my wall, but I want to hunt down more of them the more I read this series. The ones I have are of Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn, but I’d love to find some of the other ladies as well, especially Batwoman! 😀

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Oh, and I started watching the new American Gods TV series based off the Neil Gaiman novel. I’m only two episodes in, but I’m liking it so far. There’s still a lot of questions at this point, but that’s just fine by me. 🙂 It’s weird as hell so far too, and that is also just fine by me.

So, yeah, those were my quick updates. Feel free to share any of your own recent updates if you’d like. I’d love to hear about them! Are you watching any new shows or reading anything new at the moment?

Posted in Art Appreciation

Review- The Art of Alice: Madness Returns

It’s no secret if you’ve been following my blog that I have a passion for art and books. Because of this, I’ve always enjoyed books featuring art collections that range from rough concept sketches to beautifully detailed prints. My mom shares this interest and so we’ve collected many art books throughout the years. I figured I’d make a new category in my blog specifically for art appreciation where I can do artist spotlights and review some of the amazing art books in our collections. 🙂

To kick things off we’ll start with one of mine, a hardcover video game concept art book for American McGee’s Alice: Madness Returns.

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Just look at this creepy, gorgeous cover!

This book takes us down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass so that we can get a good peek at the creative process behind American McGee’s haunting version of Wonderland. With an introduction by McGee himself, we really get to see the long and creative journey that went into making this game. Different chapters cover subjects like pre-production, creating the final look for Alice and her costumes, the separate world building that went into London and Wonderland, cinematics and more!

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Whether you’ve played the game or not, this book is enjoyable for fans of all things Alice (assuming they don’t mind a good measure of horror thrown in the mix), as well as just art lovers in general. The images presented in the book are gorgeous and it’s definitely one of my favorite art books I’ve ever purchased. I’d highly recommend it! If you’re not already acquainted with this game, check out this old trailer for it. As I’m sure you can tell from the concept art seen above, it’s quite the surreal, nightmarish version of Wonderland.

Do you enjoy art books as well? What sorts do you prefer or collect? I’d love to hear about it! 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized, Viewing Pleasures

No Spoiler Movie Review: The Girl With All the Gifts (2016)

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This past September I read M.R. Carey’s The Girl With All the Gifts and was pleasantly surprised. Not only did I wind up enjoying the book, but I also respected the author’s desire to take some artistic liberties with one of the most common horror themes in this day and age: the zombie apocalypse.

As I mentioned when I reviewed the book, I don’t really want to give a ton of details away concerning the actual plot to the story. Some things are best left unsaid, and I certainly wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise. 😉

What I will tell you, is that the film follows a group of survivors in a world ravaged by “hungries”. Yep, it’s another movie where we don’t dare to utter “the Z word”, but that’s okay since these zombies aren’t exactly what you’re used to seeing anyway.

The remaining humans are from various walks of life with different experiences that make them who they are today, though I’ll admit that the film doesn’t go into this as much as it does in the book. I think this is the sort of movie that perhaps benefits from its viewers having read the book beforehand when it comes to character backstories.

Overall, I enjoyed the film. It stuck pretty well to the events of the novel, but opted to cut out some of the parts that made the book drag at times which was nice. As much as I, along with a few of my friends, liked the book we all agreed that there were a few parts that seemed to just take too long. It was nice that the movie did not suffer the same fate. One thing that some viewers might not like is that most of the characters did not match the book’s descriptions of them in the slightest. It didn’t bother me though since I liked all of the performances, especially that of young actress, Sennia Nanua as Melanie. Glenn Close also did a great job as the complex character of a doctor who is willing to do whatever it takes to save humanity, even things that make her peers question how humane she really is.

Have any of you read the book or seen the movie yet? If so, what were your thoughts?