If You Love Anything About Anything.
Come have a sip of tea with me. I will kick off the week with a blog about getting back to the simple pleasures of Halloween. I have been feeling and seeing the pressure, stress and mayhem within the SoCal Halloween and Horror community. I hope this blog helps you take a step back and see what's going on for yourself. Because if you genuinely love Halloween and Horror, you may find that passion life saving while other find it as a means to stuff their pockets, while taking a shit on what you love.
What Did You Watch?
It's been a fangastic few weeks for Horror lovers!
Fear Street 1978 & 1666
This series, especially Part 2, excited me, thrilled me, as much as watching Stranger Things. Remember how fucking good that feeling was? Spooky season kicked right the fuck off July 2016! This is how Fear Street feels. It's even bloodier, more brutal but, it's the nostalgia that 1994 and 1978 brought that gave it the excitement that had me squealing. That nostalgia is paid homage with nods to classic horror like The Shining, Friday the 13th and Sleepaway Camp. Part 2 was excellent! My favorite out of the three. I absolutely love Sadie Sink as Ziggy Berman. She is a natural at playing a bad-ass under shitty circumstances.
The writing is classic R.L.Stine. It's lovely because you know there is always some twisted ending. The Fear Street trilogy doesn't leave it out except this time, it's heart pounding. By the middle of Part 3, you know no one is fucking safe from getting butchered by one of Sarah Fier's minions. I was on the edge of my couch the entirety of Part 2.
Part 3 offers a bit of a break with the actual story of how Sarah Fier came to terrorize Shadyside for 300 years. Her story is like the many you hear coming out of the year 1692 and movies like The VVitch (which I gathered was paid homage to in Part 3) So, while its sad, scary and infuriating, theres a lull before the carnage, and the truth comes out. And Ghouls, it fucking comes out!
The Fear Street Trilogy is inclusive and truthful to real world situations and I appreciate that. R.L. Stine was wise in allowing others to build upon his stories. I hope that all white creators offer the same with theirs as it's white people who need the inclusion and perspective. Look what colorful entertainment comes out!
You can watch the Fear Street Trilogy on Netflix.
American Horror Stories
AHS is one of my all time favorite horror series. I used to indulge with AHS late every Wednesday. It was a show I was able to enjoy on my own. In more than one way. I miss the days being terrified and tantalized by Jessica Lange. All of my favorite seasons were the ones with her in it - with the exception of Hotel. But, it was Murder House, Asylum, Freak Show and Hotel that always delivered the darkness, the sex, the sounds and pure terror that can only come from the Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck. I've been a fan of these two since Nip/Tuck. They push censorship boundaries in all they create. I was hoping American Horror Stories would be a delight because I was struggling with the series after Roanoke. Instead of going on with another actual American Horror Story, the two clever masochists have produced an anthology for each of our favorite seasons. You know I love me some horror anthology. It keeps things fresh and spicy while the two conjure up new Horrors for AHS. If that's the direction they go in. Regardless, I heard about this and didn't hesitate to dive in. So far, I hate it. Though it was nice crossing the threshold of Murder House once again. As usual, I will endure the weekly episodes with hopes that it will improve and get back to what I loved about Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show and Hotel.
A Quiet Place 2 - A Quieter Place?
I didn't care for A Quiet Place. I appreciated the clever and quiet storyline and the alien creature was cool. But, it didn't thrill me. Meh is how I described it. So, I wasn't shitting my pants when I saw the previews for A Quiet Place Part II. I heard the beginning is sick. We get an origin story and a look how the Abbots fare without their Patriarch. I will say, it made my night knowing Paramount + was showing the film. This was a good sequel. I even jumped at one point. We get more creature action and more anxiety inducing scenarios. My biggest problem with the film is obvious though. Did they really just use the "the black man is the the first to die" trope again? Yes, they did - more than once.
Joe vs. The Volcano
As usual, I was stoned one weekday evening and, in good spirits. I wanted to watch something visually entertaining -something with a large moon rising above the ocean...
It was Joe vs. The Volcano! My Grandmother took me to see this movie in the theater. I remember not quite comprehending the deeper meanings of life Joe teaches in the film. I didn't put much stock int he characters that came into Joe's, seemingly ending life and left just as quickly. It stuck with me though. I haven't revisited this film much since 1990's HBO. So, it blew my mind watching high on a Tuesday night. I love Tom Hanks in these quirky roles. This is an excellent film to watch, or revisit, if you need a mental pick me up or if you need to dive into some shadow work. Sadly, there are notes of cultural appropriation that I didn't pick up on as a kid. Otherwise, this movie is early 90's gold
What Did You Read...
Take Your Turn Teddy
By Haley Newlin
This terrifying book wasn't easy to acquire. After reading the sample on kindle, I scoured independent book stores, and even Amazon, for it. I resorted to Barnes & Nobel, and they didn't have it in stock. I had to wait a few days but, when it was delivered, I spent the entire day diving in. It's not a comfortable read, even by horror standards. It reminds me of the movie Hereditary. I thought I knew what I was getting into, until a child's head flew off. Then I was pushed back into my seat to endure disturbing human behaviors motivated by a dark supernatural presence. Poor Teddy takes his turn alright. And how a child can endure what Teddy did truly captures what children are capable of when faced with trauma. What I didn't expect, was to feel empathy for the law enforcement characters within the book. Sure none faced anyone of color during their mission but, it did bother me that I felt such empathy if this were a non-fiction read. Hauntings, vivid-delusions derived from PTSD, massacre's and even a deranged and mangled clown and gallons of blood fit into this 378 page story about the horrors of loneliness. If you can find Take Your Turn Teddy, I highly recommend this gem. But, only if you read it with the lights and, in good company.
Fairy Herds and Mythscapes
By Kerry E.B. Black
Sweet and oh so dark Kerry E.B. Black sent Fairy Herds and Mythscapes to me as a housewarming gift. I picked it up to shake off the discomfort from Take Your Turn Teddy thinking it will transport me into a fantastical mythscape as the title suggested. I forget that Kerry is a dark writer and her spin on fairy tales doesn't spare any scary elements. Still, it was a delight to visit a new dark spin on favorites. Fairy Herds and Mythscapes is full of Kerry's brilliant short stories about the fae, dragons, Baby Yaga and some special kids lost in a forest who happened upon a witch that disturbed even me! I am about half-way through the book, I am about to begin Mother of Faerie Tales. This is set to become a staple read for the upcoming cold winter days and when I need an escape from reality. Thank you, Kerry!
Stay tuned for excerpts from my own writing later this week. If you like what your eyes read, I invite you to join my Patreon to get the full experience.
As always, thank you for reading.