Watching: Hell Fest

Part of me not being able to fully get in the Spirit of Christmas this year was the fact that I Still was in a very halloween mood. So upon the end of the Christmas season I immediately felt myself shift back into the spooky spirit and found myself watching one of this years spooky features, Hell Fest.

This film was fun to watch. I liked the concept of it and even as some parts made me want to scream “Why-though?” I enjoyed my time watching this.

Hell Fest follows a group of teens having a night out at a horror nights in a theme park. The idea of real deaths happening in front of you and you not realizing it because in that situation your already meant to suspend your disbelief is terrifying. It made me question if I’d be able to tell a real death vs. a fake one should I go out to a horror nights for halloween in the future. It’s not something I had previously thought of.

Overall, what I really enjoyed the most was the visuals the movie had. It felt realistic to what a horror nights would look like. Although, there were times where I wondered how the cast kept getting into parts of the park where no one was around so often. Usually a place like that is packed everywhere. I don’t see how there wasn’t a ton of people around on a constant basis, but that’s me being a bit picky.

Of the deaths only one way overtly gore heavy and that death will be stuck in my brain permanently. I can still see it perfectly in my mind and it’s something I’d like to erase. Most of the horror I watch doesn’t typically have all that much gore. So for that one part this movie was not my cup of tea. It’s weird because most of the rest of the movie isn’t that overtly gore filled. There is Death sure, but it wasn’t the worst as far as horror deaths go. Then all of a sudden I was scared for life.

What I found to be really cool was that the situation didn’t come off as too far-fetched. In reality, a killer like that could exist and it could be really hard to catch him right away once he was set loose inside the park. Once the friends realized what was happening and got to talk with security about what was happening and security couldn’t and wouldn’t do anything to help especially because all the actors in the park are masked and they had no way of knowing who to take down felt pretty realistic to me. Even them downplaying the situation and saying that the missing friends were drunk or passed out somewhere made sense to me. At the end of the day no one wants the worst case scenario to be the true one.

I also liked that in between the moments of death there was some comedy. Maybe, a bit crude with the humor, but really it wasn’t in bad taste.

All in all, I enjoyed Hell Fest. I loved the visuals. I liked its darkness. I liked the realistic nature of the fear. If you like spooky cinema with flecks of comedic flavor you’ll enjoy this movie. It’s not perfect, but it was a fun time.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

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Check out my weird poetry on wattpad.

-Till next time!

Watching: Bird Box

It’s New Year’s Eve and I want to talk about the movie that has been a very hot topic lately: Bird Box.

Bird Box is an intense and emotional thriller that brings you on the edge of your seat. However, I found it to feel like a metaphor for life. I know in my life in a much smaller way I’m just focused on survival first. Doing what I need to do so my family and I have food on the table and that the bills are paid.

Bird Box is very different from that or course. It’s far more sinister. The forces at play are much more malicious and the end result is something more then terrifying. But the characters essentially do as we all do when we as human beings are threatened: Anything and everything that can be done to ensure survival. They forget warmth. They forget truly living. They adapt to the difficult new reality and live on.

Sometimes, I think in all our lives we forget to enjoy life. We get lost in doing task after task and make our lives into one great big to-do list and suddenly we look back and realize we didn’t let ourselves enjoy what the world has to offer. I want to live my life in such a way that should I pass on tomorrow that I have no regrets. That I at least can say I lived my life the way I wanted to an lived it well. I hadn’t been doing that for a long time in 2018, but I’m remedying that now and will continue that into the future.

Either way, watching Bird Box made me feel very intensely. Watching people make sacrifices for each other and loose loved ones and live in a world of pure chaos all trying to find at least something or someone to hold on to was terribly beautiful. The deaths were terrible. Watching people kill themselves in such horrible ways broke my heart. Yet this story really isn’t about the death. It’s about those who live on. About finding meaning in what is now. That’s an incredible message.

I’m not going to talk about the ending or even the blind aspect of the movie. Which visually put me on edge the entire movie. Because even if those things are important and have technical affect on making the person watching feel a certain way it’s not what I got out of this movie.

I gained a new perspective. A reaffirmation to move forward in life full force. To take chances and not give up. Maybe, this isn’t the typical thing that is received from watching this movie. I’m not sure how much this aspect is talked about. Either way, this is movie that is a fantastic watch. It’s definitely my brand of Sci-fi.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

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-Till next time!

Writing Horror in December

There was a poem I wrote for Halloween that inspired a brand new book idea that I immediately fell in love with. I shared it with my closest friend at the time and they told me that I should definitely write it. I immediately wrote the first chapter and then life happened. I felt no longer motivated to continue the story and it was at a standstill. My life was at a standstill.

However, now more then ever I look back at that story and I’m still in love with it. So yesterday I wrote 1,000 words towards it and I now can’t wait to keep the story moving! This story has the snarkiest Mc I’ve ever written, a mom battling anger and depression, and a house that may or may not be driving one of the two into insanity.

This book is fun because it writes so easily. There is no outline necessary and I can just go for it! I’m letting this story take me wherever it wants to go and so far I’m really enjoying where it’s gone!

I know I can write this book to completion decently quickly. Which is odd and unusual for me. But it’s one of those books that is calling my name and I have a feeling that to deny that call would be a mistake.

Maybe it’s weird to write horror during the Christmas season, but I’m so happy with this story that I don’t really mind it. I can’t wait to see how the first draft turns out!

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Watching The Nun: My Thoughts

Of all the movies coming out in recent times this was the movie I was most looking forward to watching. The prequel to The Conjuring movies. I now see it more as a movie within the pocket of The Conjuring that just happened to occur before the events of The Conjuring.

Of all the movies in the conjuring universe this one felt the most different. It wasn’t quite in the same vein of House hauntings and demonic possession, but I enjoyed it anyway. I liked the Monastery setting. I liked the creepiness of it. I just wish the inside shots weren’t shot so dark. It’s hard to be scared when you can’t see much at all.

What I wished was different was the character development. I didn’t really care about anyone. I wasn’t invested in if anyone lived or died. It was of little consequence to me. In the conjuring movies it is much the opposite, I cared about everyone and what happened to them. There were these beautiful relationships that formed and you felt like you were watching a good family undergo something awful.

In The Nun, there is a little characterization, but not much. Basically you have an idea about the people based solely on their job. Sister Irene who is not quite a nun yet as she hasn’t taken her vows. Father Burke who is a pastor. Frenchie whom I don’t know what he does, but sort of provides comic relief. Other then that most everyone is two demential. Which sucks after the previous movies in this universe having some amazing characters that are so enjoyable to watch.

What also threw me for a loop was that some of the shots were so disorienting that they didn’t make sense. A character who was once above ground would be below and then one that was inside would find their way outside. Then the way it would all happen was just in general very confusing for me. Although, I did like the idea of someone being stuck in a coffin alive having been dragged under by a ghost. Plus, the bells above that could be rung should you find yourself buried alive was a nice touch. That made for one of my favorite scenes of the movie.

There wasn’t as much story as I would have liked at the beginning. A lot of the actual story line was revealed later. It was more like these two people were there investigating mostly just because they were told to. Which is fine I guess, but it was not as good of a reason as I would have liked. I mean yeah they are testing to see if the grounds are still Holy, but why those two in particular? I don’t really know.

Maybe, I’m being a little harsh on this movie. I did enjoy it. Some of the scenes were really cool. Yeah, I wish things were different, but overall I did like watching. It’s fun to watch. It was spooky. It had spooky paranormal demon vibes. I do recommend giving this movie a shot.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

The Ballad of Black Tom: A Review

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

My Rating: 4/5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 9/10 Stars! I love this cover! I love the nods to Cthulhu in the tentacles. I love the contrast of the art piece. It’s just Tom holding his guitar looking like he’s about to go do something intense. The only word to describe this cover properly is badass.

Publisher: Tor

Publish Date: February 16th, 2016

Number of Pages: 149

Received: Through the Tor monthly sci-fi/fantasy book club

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

“People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn’t there.

Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.

A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?”

Opening Sentence: “People who move to New York always make the same mistake.”

Musings:

The Ballad of Black Tom is a wonderful nod to one of the greatest horror writers of all time H.P. Lovecraft. I haven’t read much of Lovecraft’s work, only The Call of Cthulhu, but I really enjoyed reading that story. It’s a good one. Lovecraft had a talent and passion for horror like no other. Even so, I could recognize the nods to Lovecraft’s style in the way the story was approached. Something not quite fantasy or sci-fi, but could only be explained as otherworldly. Even as it is very much set within the world we live in.

What I Loved:

The writing. Victor created atmosphere with the way he choose his details. He brought you into New York of the time period and it felt like you could smell the smoke. You could imagine the stares. The many white folk growing uncomfortable in the presence of a black man.

The places. I could imagine each place things occurred in my head. It wasn’t too much description, but just enough. When places were revisited more then once you could imagine that place again and it felt like the same place. The description was very well handled.

The story took after Lovecraft in a great way. This story was all it’s own, however it felt like a Lovecraft story. The way the horror was woven in. The way things go from kinda off to very wrong. It felt very much within the brand of Lovecraft and I really enjoyed that.

It kept me in the halloween mood. Even if this story didn’t creep me out. It did feel very horror-esque. It reminded me of what I love most about the season. What horror does. Tom is a man fighting to stay a good man. Just trying to survive, but when someone gets pushed too far you have to wonder what they’ll do when they just don’t care anymore.

Grey morality. I love books where morality isn’t black and white. In life morality isn’t black and white. Humans are the most terrifying of creatures. That is something I will always keep in mind. It isn’t just the actions Tom takes. It’s the actions of others that lead him to make the choices he did. We all like to think we are completely independent, but how you are treated in life is often majorly impactful on how you choose to act. Even that thought can be terrifying.

The guitar case. For some reason the simplicity of Tom carrying this guitar, the mystery of it made me more and more intrigued by the story. It’s not anything grand and yet the connection between it, Tom, his father, and magic is undeniable. I really loved that about this book.

Final Thoughts:

The Ballad of Black Tom is well worth the read. It’s perfect to put you in the mood for this dark holiday season. It’s fantasy, sci-fi, and horror all rolled into one. I think Lovecraft is smiling in his grave with the thought of inspiring such a atmospheric horror novel written in his honor.

About the Author:

Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus, four novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, The Devil in Silver, and The Changeling and two novellas, Lucretia and the Kroons and The Ballad of Black Tom. He is also the creator and writer of a comic book Victor LaValle’s DESTROYER.

He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Whiting Writers’ Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Shirley Jackson Award, an American Book Award, and the key to Southeast Queens.

He was raised in Queens, New York. He now lives in Washington Heights with his wife and kids. He teaches at Columbia University.

He can be kind of hard to reach, but he still loves you.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments. Let me know any horror recommendations you may have for me. I’d love to put together a list.

-Till next time!

Murder House

Enticed by a price

Cheaper then any other

For a house of grandeur

Whose outside was beautiful

The inside hid great and dreadful horrors

Horrors that make your insides twist

Make what you’ve eaten want to come out

Yet, you didn’t know so you bought

You bought and for a while All was fine

Till you heard scratches in the walls

Screams you’d thought were nightmares

Crumbs appear where you’d thought you’d cleaned up

Things disappearing and reappearing where you didn’t have them placed

You convince yourself

I’m paranoid

Everything is fine

Yet the subtle insanity creeps into you

Until things escalate in slow calculation

The smallest drop of blood on the carpet

A scratch on the wall your sure wasn’t there before

Loud breathing above you as you sleep alone

Yet you still think it was a dream

Then suddenly it grows bolder

You have scratches on your body

Bruises you don’t remember receiving

You step on a piece of shattered glass

Yet you hadn’t dropped anything since you arrived

You start your bath and leave to get something to eat and you come back to scalding water

You run through your mind every small event

They twist into each other and your mind starts to crack

Broken lights that shouldn’t be broken

That one drop of blood to that stench of urine

The stench you’d smell sitting in the living room

Your hand holding the remote searching for just the right thing to watch

the crack becomes a fracture and you put your head in your hands

You scream and scream and you hear laughter and you scream and scream and tears fall as you scream

When it comes for you from behind you had finally gone quiet, but it whispers in your ear

And then it leaves you alone

Because it is not done playing

You’ve had enough you try to leave

You make it outside

Spend a week away with a friend

Then you come back

Because it sounds like a nightmare and you’ve never before been afraid of the dark

That was the last time you’d ever leave that house

And the monster laughs and laughs and laughs

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this little poem. It was fun to write. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Featuring October’s Ya Releases

I need to preface this by saying.. this is and isn’t an anticipated reads post. Last month I didn’t have the time to come up with an Anticipated reads post like I usually come up with one. Things have been crazy, and maybe I admit to a little indulgence when it comes to sleep. When I say this I mean sometimes past 8 hours. It actually has a tendency to make me more tired instead of less or just as tired if I have less sleep. Anyway, I didn’t get it done, but I did make a list of the books I wanted to read. Sadly, I don’t have time to talk about them. For that I apologize.

Here they all are, enjoy all the gorgeous covers! There are quite a few this month!

Looking at all these books, all 49 of them, I can’t help but feel guilty. I have so much to say about them. Just no time to say it. I have to move on to next months releases. It’s been hard recently and I’ve been re-configuring how to be productive to the best of my abilities. It isn’t really an excuse. I don’t know how many of you look forward to these posts, but they mean a lot to me. Anyway I promise I’ll have a November post up. I’ll do my best to keep up with these as well as I can.

Thanks for reading! What book are you looking forward to most this month? Which cover above caught your eye?

-Till next time!

Watching Jeepers Creepers 1 & 2 : A New Halloween Favorite!

Jeepers Creepers. A name that doesn’t take itself seriously. Fitting for a monster that doesn’t take itself seriously. Yet, somehow, it was incredibly terrifying.

Jeepers Creepers:

The first movie was AMAZING! I loved it. It was funny. It was terrifying. Yet I found myself laughing at the most inappropriate of times. The monster is unlike any other I’ve ever seen created and he disturbed me. At first, I thought it was just this crazy car coming after this idiot of a brother and his sister who had a much better head on her shoulders. God, the decisions they made.. especially the brother.. made me roll my eyes. I was yelling at the tv and it was so much fun to talk with my sister watching and pick apart the things that they were doing. I don’t know what to call the monster in this film, but my God did it twist at my insides.

Just look how they designed this guy! Super creepy. I loved how he starts off looking like a man and slowly devolves to look more and more gross. The idea of him this creature that comes to feed for 23 days every 23rd spring. In some ways he’s part scarecrow part Dracula part demon. The way he picks his victims is the most spin-chilling of all. Sniffing them out to see if he wants to eat and have their parts for his own.

I loved the way they used the song in the first film. It is such a fun and cute song. Yet, I will never be able to hear that song the same again. It is now the definition of what halloween is to me. Deception, horror, fear, glamour, and the seduction to do the things that live in your darkest nightmares.

The first movie really pulls you in. It takes a while for things to fall into place and yet the pacing of it and how it makes you feel afraid is very simple. That’s something I really appreciate.

Jeepers Creepers 2:

The sequel was not as good as the first one, but it still had some of the elements that made the first movie great. The sequel tried to get more exciting about the way it showcased the horror elements. I still really enjoyed it.

This time it follows this huge group of high school kids on their way somewhere on the bus. They undergo the terror that is the Jeepers Creepers monster and things do not go well for them. There was still the funny elements. This monster plays with his food. He is one of the most sadistic and sick monsters I’ve ever seen on screen.

The one thing I enjoy about both movies is that the girls always have a much better handle on the situation then the boys. Honestly, my favorite scenes are the ones where a girl attacks that monster and it is so badass. In a world where girls are just beauty props in horror movies in this movie they are heroes and I really adore it.

I think the few things that were missing in the second movie that the first had really well was first of all the song, the second movie doesn’t play the song, the second thing being a story arc that isn’t just one main story, the third the sense of mystery that the first movie has.

However, there were some really great one-liners and enjoyable scenes in the second movie that made it stand on its own. It was fun to watch and I think that’s the most important thing.

In General:

The Jeepers Creepers movies are now a new horror favorite for me. They aren’t the poster child’s of amazing film, but they are really fun and genuinely scary to watch. There is a third movie that came out in 2017 that I hope to watch at some point. The original’s came out in 2001 and 2003. I expect that the way they decide to tell the third installment will have evolved quite a bit so I’m excited to see what they do with it. I love it when horror can make me equally afraid and grossed out, but also makes me laugh. These films are really fantastic to watch for general horror lovers and Halloween film searchers alike. This was an overall great experience.

I can’t end this with out leaving you all with the song that made the first film great:

https://youtu.be/1Obv-a0M7F4

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments! Are you watching any films to put you in the horror mood this halloween?

-Till next time!

Watching Visage: Jackspeticeye Playthrough

disclaimer *Jack is playing an early access version so some of my criticism might be things that are fixed for the full game*

As a horror junkie, I try every year to watch the play throughs of the years most anticipated horror games. Jack’s thumbnail describes Visage as one of the most terrifying games in years, but sadly, I didn’t get scared once. Honestly, I think I’m immune to horror that is too complacent.. with little story. Basically, a spooky house with the rare ghostly appearance doesn’t do it for me. Plus, hearing jack struggle with controls and the weird storage system brought me out of it. For the first time, a game gave me a headache with all the camera flashing. I had to stop watching after a while.

I was thrown off a lot because while there is a small bit of story the nuggets were too small and while I get that they were trying not to overdo things I honestly think that it made it feel underdeveloped. It felt like the player had to do too much tedious things with very little direction and in the end there didn’t feel like a real point to it.

I don’t know maybe I’m a little spoiled when it comes to horror. I’m really passionate about the horror games I’ve watched in the past that I think were so well done. Games like Until Dawn, doki doki literature club, Resident evil 7, outlast, and the amnesia games. In light of those.. each with moments that terrified me to the point of me jumping and throwing my phone.. except doki doki.. that’s more psychological horror. Visage didn’t scare me at any point. I feel bad. I really wanted it to be good, but I could not get into it. Sadly this game is not my cup of tea.

I would go on, but the thing is I’ve pretty much covered everything. That makes me really sad to say. Watching this is watching a lot of opening drawers and a lot of picking up items and a lot of imagining things happening and little small cheap horror cliches that are freaky in real life, but I’m tired of seeing them in so many movies and horror games. I appreciate what they were trying to do I really do, but for me it didn’t work. I’m sadly pretty disappointed.

Thanks for reading! What are some of your favorite horror games? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

-Till next time!

Things I Want to Do: Next Halloween

This goes for next Halloween and all future Halloween’s. There are so many things I’ve dreamt of doing and I’m excited to one day fulfill all of my Halloween bucket list items!

1. Work as a monster at six flags/knotts

Look at how cool these monsters look! To embody someone no something else for a whole month.. terrifying people.. having a blast. I’d LOVE to have this job. I’m not the type of person to pull pranks on people (mostly because that’s an easy way to get punched in my family.. it’s a knee jerk reaction..) but having someone put gore all over my face and get all dressed up and being able to get reactions out of people in the name of a good time sounds fantastic to me.

2. Knott’s scary farm.. the all access way

This is an expensive endeavor, but not as expensive as say.. wanting to go to Coachella.. which is only a few days. All I want is to have an entire October where I can go every single night to Knott’s Scary Farm and enjoy every single ride and every maze and experience they have to offer. It’s more ambitious then wanting to work as a monster, but I want to experience both sides fully. I haven’t been to Knott’s scary farm since I was little and I think my mom has some video from the experience, but now that I’m older.. I want to go in the mazes and see all the shows and just experience everything. Actually, at $150 bucks if I went every single night that would be like paying $6 bucks per night for an all access experience which is actually really affordable if you think about it. I pay more just to eat out. Anyway, one year that’s what I want to do.

3. Visit the Queen Mary

This is a more manageable goal. The Queen Mary is known for being actually haunted, but the fact that they do mazes on a ship environment adds some extra fun. They usually do a circus maze which is the one I want to see. One year I saw on CNN the monsters they have doing these really cool acrobatics and I don’t know how scared I’d get I’d just be so fascinated by everything.

4. Universal Horror Nights

I want to do this for American Horror Story and that’s just about it. Horror nights is notorious for a TON of chain saws.. I HATE chainsaws.. that is the one thing that scares me when I go to any sort of freight night. They have them all over especially because of The Purge stuff and I can’t deal with that, but I will in the name of AHS. I can rationalize everything else.. I can’t rationalize chain saws for some reason.

5. Creep LA

This is an experience. Part show.. mostly walkthrough.. it’s intimate and 75 minutes long. This is the kind of experience that I know can actually freak me out. More then a maze where I’m with several people and feel a little bit more protected. Only 25 people can experience it at a time. It’s one of those once in a lifetime type things.

6. An escape room

Ever since I’ve heard of escape rooms I’ve wanted to try one, but a spooky escape room sounds like extra fun! Puzzles with an added pressure mixed in sound like a really good time.

7. Visiting an Actual Haunted place overnight

I really want to visit a place known for actually being haunted and stay overnight. Just for the sake of experiencing the feel of a place like that. I don’t know if I would actually experience anything actually, but being in the environment.. walking hallways where some really messed up things happened sounds like a unique experience. Even just for the history. It would be really cool to write about. Who knows? It could inspire a really great book!

8. Halloween Pumpkin Festival

This is one of the most wholesome things I want to do for Halloween. There are some nice little pumpkin festivals that go on and picking out a pumpkin to maybe carve later sounds like a simple and enjoyable experience.

9. Wicked Lit

Located in a cemetery where you walk through and watch different theatre productions from horror literature. It’s a really well produced and sounds like an awesome experience.

10. Watching a scary film at the movies on October 31st

This year the horror films to choose from are The Nun (which I STILL need to see) and Hell Fest (which I know NOTHING about). Well technically you might be able to add Venom to this because if you’ve seen how they decided to design Venom.. you’d see that he is more then a little horrifying. Anyway, one year I really want to watch a horror film or two at the movies on October 31st. It really doesn’t matter to me what movie (I’m a horror film junkie). Making my top 10 favorite horror movies post I realized I watch WAY more horror movies then I thought. Anyway, I think this would be a lot of fun.

Thanks for reading! To those who have been with me for a long while.. the sheer amount I adore Halloween might come as a surprise. I just hadn’t shared that part of me on here yet. I’m honestly down for pretty much anything halloween related if I’m asked to go do something. Halloween is pretty much on equal footing with Christmas in my mind. I think I might actually have more enjoyable memories of Halloween then Christmas.

Leave your thoughts down in the comments below! What experiences do you want to have on Halloween?

-Till next time!