Posts Tagged ‘horror’

When I read today’s topic from The Daily Post, countless ideas flooded my mind. If I could be any celebrity for one day, who would it be?

My first thought was whatever supermodel was fortunate enough to be currently dating Leonardo DiCaprio. No, that would be a waste of the day. (I’ll come back for you, Leo.)

After that notion faded, my mind came to a few of my favorite directors. Frank Darabont (The Mist, The Green Mile), Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight), or Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist). I can’t imagine what fifteen minutes inside the mind of any one of these men would be like. Maybe it would inspire a new way of thinking that would skyrocket me to fame, my name mentioned with the likes of Alfred Hitchcock and Quentin Tarantino. I kind of envision me just walking around in their minds as if they were museums. I would see all the fantastic ideas they had already claimed as their own, without thinking of any for myself.

Okay, maybe I’ll be an actress. Working under the direction of one of the greatest directors to ever life has to be inspiring, right? My favorite actress is definitely Kathy Bates. If you haven’t seen the movie Misery, watch it and tell me she isn’t the most incredible actress to ever walk the earth. Or maybe I could play a Victorian era goddess compliments of Keira Knightley. Can I go back in time to be Christian Bale in American Psycho? I have the Huey Lewis & The News scene memorized, I would blow everyone away. Then again, I feel like there is never a day that being Bruce Willis is a bad idea. That could work. I can do Die Hard. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Will Smith, Sandra Bullock and Emma Watson are also among my favorites. Or I could be Bethenny Frankel from The Real Housewives of New York. (The last one is a joke.)

Then the answer came to me.

The most brilliant writer to ever put pen to paper (or fingers to keys). Horror maven, Mr. Stephen King. The man responsible for The Shining, It, Carrie, The Mist, Misery, The Green Mile.. Shall I continue? Clearly this man’s imagination is a gold mine. If I could think like Stephen King, there was nothing I couldn’t do. Although, I wouldn’t just want to inhabit his body and live as him for a day. Can I just sit in a dark corner of his flourishing mind and see how his imagination works?

Come to think of it, Stephen King’s mind is a celebrity in itself. That is who I would be. A fly on the wall in the mind of the Master of the Macabre, himself.

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Let The Right One In, released in 2008, is a Swedish horror film starring Kare Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson. You can watch the trailer for the film here, or watch it in its entirety on Netflix. The film is based off of a novel of the same name by John Adjvide Lindqvist. If there’s one thing about Let The Right One In, it’s that it cannot be easily categorized. While it is considered both a horror film, and a vampire film, it really doesn’t seem right to categorize it as either.

Kare Hedebrant plays 12-year-old Oskar. He is the quiet, socially awkward target of school bullies. He notices a girl around his age and her father moving into the apartment next to his family’s. He later finds out that the girl’s name is Eli, and the man with her is not, in fact, her father. His job is to get blood for Eli. If you haven’t figured it out yet, Eli is a vampire. After letting her borrow his Rubik’s cube, which she returns solved, she and Oskar begin to form a friendship.

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I had heard countless rave reviews about this film, claiming that it was much better than the U.S. version, Let Me In (starring Chloe Grace Moretz, also available to stream on Netflix). Reviews said not to be put off by the fact that this is a “vampire movie.” It’s more of just a movie, that happens to have a vampire in it. That’s mostly true; it’s unlike any other vampire film I’ve ever seen. There are definitely no sparkling Edward Cullens in this film. While there are still age old vampire tropes included (aversion to sunlight, being unable to cross a threshold without being invited in) it is still quite unique. It sounds pretty generic in the summary I provided above, but I kept it short to avoid major spoilers.

Here’s where I’m probably going to upset some fans. I didn’t think this movie was all it’s cracked up to be. After reading 100 positive reviews for every 1 negative review, I was convinced I was about to see something profound. I enjoyed watching this movie, but I was quite disappointed. The story didn’t waste time getting started, but nothing exceptionally eventful really happened until the first hour had passed. Going in to the film, I was thinking that I would like Eli because she was a “good” vampire; a misunderstood, tortured soul. I found myself pretty indifferent to her. Oskar elicited more emotion from me. I was rooting for him to fight back and stop letting the bullies get the better of him. I think the only reason I really like Eli at all was because she seemed to be the only thing that made Oskar happy.

To be completely honest, and this is just my opinion that 99% of people will disagree with: I found Twilight more entertaining than Let The Right One In. I’m not saying that Twilight has a better story, but I didn’t find myself bored at times, like I did while watching Let The Right One In. (Yes, I enjoyed watching Twilight. Judge me.)

The story, as I said, is very unique. I can appreciate that. It’s not at all a bad film, in fact, it’s a pretty good one as far as story quality goes. I just didn’t enjoy watching it as much as I had anticipated. It’s possible I would have felt different if I had watched the film without hearing all the hype, but as it stands, it was really just okay for me.

If any have you have seen this film (or the American version, which I haven’t seen) let me know what you thought! I would love to hear your opinions (aside from bashing me for saying I liked Twilight.) Thanks for reading!

What is the greatest movie ever made?

It’s a loaded question. There’s no possible way to ever get a definitive answer, unfortunately. How would you even go about deciding? You could look to box office success and decide that way (accounting for only theatrical revenue, that would be James Cameron‘s Avatar). You could poll movie critics, movie-goers, filmmakers… But it’s unlikely that you would get more than 3 people to provide the same answer.

As for the top ten highest grossing films, the list is as follows:

1. Avatar (2009)
2. Titanic (1997)
3. Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)
5. Frozen (2013)
6. Iron Man 3 (2013)
7. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
8. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)
9. Skyfall (2012)
10. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

My personal favorite of the films listed above is Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises, and it is likely that there are plenty of people who don’t think Avatar is worthy of the title of “Greatest Movie Ever Made.” Great? Sure. The greatest ever? That’s debatable.

Most of these films have not won any Oscars (Avatar, Titanic, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, and Skyfall were the only ones to snag an Oscar, [or 2, or 11 in the case of Titanic] but a few of the others were nominated.)

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There are plenty of factors a movie can be judged on. I prefer the story in The Avengers to that in Avatar, but there’s no question that Avatar was deserving of its Oscar wins in the categories of Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, and Best Visual Effects. You could also base your decision off the performance of the actors. I prefer Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic to Sam Worthington in Avatar, even though Avatar is higher on the list. You could also merit the films based on the quality of the plot, the overall look of the film, and many more factors.


 

After scouring the Internet for “The Greatest Movie Ever Made,” I found about a dozen different lists from different contributors. You can check out IMdB’s list of the 250 greatest films here – this list seems to encompass most of the films listed by other contributors. There were many lists that covered just the greats of one genre, but I omitted those, and only counted the ones that looked at movies overall. A lot films were on nearly every list. Francis Ford Coppola‘s 1972 film, The Godfather, was the most common film listed, taking the top spot on quite a few of the countdowns. Other films that appeared on numerous lists include Citizen Kane (1941), Vertigo (1958), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Casablanca (1942), and Psycho (1960). There is no doubt that all of these films are considered great by many people, and I think it’s safe to say a lot of them could be considered classics. (Notice that though Avatar was the highest grossing film ever, it didn’t top any of the lists I encountered.)

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I found myself pondering this question, “what is the greatest movie ever made?” and I have come to the conclusion that there isn’t, nor can there ever be, one definitive answer.

So now I am posing this question to you: In your opinion, what is the greatest movie ever made and why?

 

Leave a comment below and let me know! Thanks for reading!

So this will be my first post after my unannounced (and unintentional) hiatus. Fortunately for you all, my hiatus was filled with tons of movies to review, after binge watching for the better part of a week.

Directed by Frank Darabont, based off the novella by Stephen King, The Mist was my favorite of the horror films I gorged on this week. You can read the NY Times review here.

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To be completely honest, the premise of this film may sound kind of stupid. A small town is plagued by a mysterious mist that holds a horrible, tentacled monster that preys on townsfolk. The majority of the film is set in the supermarket, where many people are scurrying to stock up on groceries before a storm arrives. Not surprisingly, the mist arrives, leaving them trapped in the store. The movie examines the interactions between the people in the supermarket as their situation grows exponentially bleak. The group is divided and turned against one another as the story progresses.

There is quite an interesting cast chosen in this movie. The hero of the story is David Drayton, played by Thomas Jane. David is accompanied by Amanda (Laurie Holden), his son Billy (Nathan Gamble), Dan (Jeffrey DeMunn), Irene (Frances Sternhagen), Private Jessup (Sam Witwer), Ollie (Toby Jones), and a few other less notable followers.

The loathsome Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) goes head to head against David and his “team.” Mrs. Carmody believes that the mist is God’s wrath against the less wholesome people in the store, claiming that they deserve it. (“Those of you who aren’t local should know that Mrs. Carmody is known in town for being unstable.” “No shit. What was your first clue?”) Mrs. Carmody drones on and on about the second coming and tries to stage a coup d’état against David, and the more likable characters. Due to the obnoxious nature of Harden’s character, a shining moment of the film was when Irene, a badass grandma, throws a can of peas at Mrs. Carmody (“Shut up you miserable buzzard! Stoning people who piss you off is perfectly okay. They do it in the bible, don’t they? And I’ve got lots of peas!”)

For those of you who didn’t notice above, this film features Laurie Holden and Jeffrey DeMunn, both of which starred in AMC’s The Walking Dead, as Andrea and Dale, respectively. Though she doesn’t have a large role in this film, Melissa McBride, known to TWD fans as Carol, also appears in The Mist.

This could just be me reading too far into what is meant to only be 2 hours of mindless entertainment, but I think there’s more to this movie than the characters trying to defeat a giant tentacled monster. It is always interesting to me to see the way different movies portray characters when they are thrown into a dangerous fight for survival. Each instance spurs a different reaction from the characters. You get to see who is loyal to the group, who would betray the group for their own benefit, the relationships that form, and who will emerge as a leader. It seems like this movie does a pretty good job depicting a group of people put into a dangerous situation and seeing how they react. As their fear becomes more intense, their relationships are strained and they begin to make more questionable decisions.

I’m not sure how many of you have seen, or are even familiar with this movie, but I recommend it. If you are a Stephen King fan like me, you should definitely see it. Any of you who have already seen this film, leave a comment and let me know what you thought. Thanks for reading.

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“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” -Thomas Mann

To anyone reading this blog who is a writer (more than college essays, less than Ernest Hemingway) I know you’ve been in the same boat. Sure, it’s comforting to know that even the most renowned authors like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling struggle with writer’s block, but that doesn’t make it any more pleasant as you sit in front of a blank page waiting anxiously for something to happen. All the how-to articles tell you to “just write.” They claim that all writing is good writing (*scoffs*) and that it doesn’t matter what you write. Just begin to get the ball rolling. It’s not always that easy when you absolutely can’t think of anything. Every writer has their own technique for writing; some are highly ritualized – same time, same place on the third Wednesday of every month, while some write best in a spontaneous decision to jot down some ideas while you’re drinking a macchiato at Starbucks. Once I get going, I will be glued to my laptop for (literally) hours on end. Other days, when I just can’t muster up anything interesting, I give up after about 30 minutes (if we’re being honest, the last 20 minutes were probably spent browsing Pinterest).

It’s hard, for me anyway, to create a fool-proof formula for success with writing. I would venture to call it impossible, in fact. There isn’t a technique that will magically turn me into Charles Dickens every time I sit down at my computer. So, I come to you all for advice. What is your technique? What is the process that you go through when you have a successful (or unsuccessful) writing session? Do you have any tips that you find helpful in either busting writer’s block, or keeping you focused on your writing.

One technique that I really think helps break writer’s block is to go online and find “story starters.” You can Google it, and find them for any and all genres. They are either prompts for you to write about, or a basic thought for you to elaborate on and build your story from. (Like I said, you can find them for any genre, but here are some horror story starters.) Even if these prompts don’t serve as the premise for your next New York Times best seller, they can help you brainstorm. The prompt will inspire a new thought, and you can build and build, and before you know it you will have the premise for your next New York Times best seller.

Please don’t hesitate to post a comment telling me about your writing techniques, and tips on how you overcome the dreaded writer’s block. I’d love to hear it, so let me know! Thanks everyone!

“You just have to trust your own madness.” – Clive Barker

What makes a horror movie? Is it a charismatic protagonist that everyone is rooting for? Is it an iconic villain like Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger or Michael Myers? Is it the suspenseful music that floods the speakers as the villain approaches? (I know you’re humming the theme for Jaws as you read this.) Are the reality based horror films that are the most frightening? Or are the supernatural monster movies the most horrifying? Is it the film’s ability to produce genuine fear in the audience? (Do you guys agree with this list? Top 50 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time.)

In my opinion, horror movies are typically a hit or miss. I usually don’t feel neutral toward horror films; I either really enjoy them or really hate them. I have a hard time identifying what it is that makes a horror movie worth watching. Obviously an interesting, well-executed plot is important. Horror movies have a reputation for being predictable and repetitive. There are only so many times we can watch a group of obnoxious teenagers get hacked up one by one, while on an overnight camping trip. However, when you get a horror movie with a never-before-seen storyline and an exciting ending, it really works. Acting is important in all films, but I think it’s somewhat difficult to give a convincing performance in a horror movie. Conveying genuine fear in a staged situation often comes off as fake and off-putting. Playing a deranged, psychotic killer can either come off as unconvincing or too exaggerated.

As horror films developed throughout the 20th century, viewers were given a bounty of horror films that have achieved status as cult classics. Films like Tod Browning‘s Dracula (1931), Alfred Hitchcock‘s Psycho (1960), Tobe Hooper‘s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), and George A. Romero‘s Night of the Living Dead (1964) are all milestones in the evolution of the the horror film.

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Most often, it takes time before movies are considered classics. Looking back, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, at the time of its release, was probably not iconic. However, after countless remakes and global recognition of the film’s antagonist, Leatherface (a name given to the character by fans of the franchise), I think it’s safe to say that this film is a classic. While we’re only in 2014, it seems like 21st century horror does not provide us with as many films that have the potential to be, one day, considered classics. It sincerely saddens me that Sharknado (2013) is as widely recognized as it is, however I find solace in the fact that its claim to fame is just how truly terrible the film is.

There have been a few films released this century that are either well on their way to reaching the status of cult classic, or have the potential to do so. The Paranormal Activity film series has been wildly popular since its release, prompting 4 sequels (most recently Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones). From filmmaker Oren Peli, the first film in the series was made on a budget of next to nothing. Filmed with handheld cameras giving the appearance of home footage, the film was released into select theaters after generating some buzz at film festivals. Having five films with a continuing storyline in the horror genre is fairly uncommon. These films are also pretty exceptional with the fact that none of these sequels have been largely disappointing for fans.

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Another horror film that I am particularly fond of is Insidious. Starring Patrick Wilson (I am mildly obsessed with him) and Rose Byrne, Insidious was released in 2010, and the second installment of the series, Insidious: Chapter 2, was released in 2013. The expected release of the 3rd film is April 2015. This film definitely had an original storyline (you can watch the trailer here) . There were just enough moments of comic relief, and I have nothing but positive things to say about the actors. The convincing performances of the actors in Insidious were precisely why I was very excited to see that Patrick Wilson had signed on to play Ed Warren, alongside Vera Farmiga (another one of my favorite actresses) in The Conjuring. This film is also one of the best that I’ve seen in a while. Here’s the trailer for it. Anyone else who also enjoyed The Conjuring will be happy to know that Wilson and Farmiga have signed on for a second installment of the film.

So I have, in this post and a few others, told you guys a few of the horror films that I really enjoy. My point for this post is that I really want to know what you all think makes a horror movie? What is it about the film that makes people want to watch it? What makes a horror cult classic? Please leave some of your insight in a comment below!

I added a poll with just a couple answers, but feel free to add your own. I want to know what you think!

On my last post, I reviewed the film, Nothing Left To Fear, a film by ex Guns n Roses guitarist, Slash. I mentioned that I believed the king of rock n roll horror was Rob Zombie, and this movie is why.

Lords of Salem was released in 2013 by writer/director Rob Zombie. The movie stars his wife, Sherri Moon Zombie as Heidi, a local radio personality. Things get weird when the radio station receives an anonymously submitted track. When they play this song on the air, many women in the area, including Heidi, fall into a trance upon hearing the song. You can read a review of the movie here. As the reviewer says, “public burnings and satanic births have never been so visual.”

Meg Foster as Margaret Morgan is one of the highlights of the film. Her acting is superb. You might have the idea that Sherri Moon Zombie isn’t going to deliver a great performance, but in my opinion, she did. This movie is pretty unique, so you’ll just have to watch it for yourself, and I recommend that you do so. The overall feel of the movie was really interesting. If you enjoy horror, this film is definitely worth the watch.

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If any of you have already seen Lords of Salem, please comment and let me know what you thought!

Nothing Left To Fear is the first movie we’ve seen from Slasher Films – the cleverly named production studio of former Guns n Roses guitarist, Slash. I am an avid horror fan, and an avid rock n roll fan, so needless to say I was pretty excited to see this. I will say that I believe reviews were too tough on this movie. I will also say there was much room for improvement. Before I go any further, one shining element of this film was its fantastic score, composed by Slash himself. (Here is one of the kinder reviews with a synopsis of the plot if you’d like to read it. To be fair, here is a not so kind review of the film as well.)
This film really wasn’t scary in the least, but that’s not to say that I didn’t find it interesting. The film starts out with a pastor and his family relocating to Stull, Kansas (I’ll come back to why this is important). One of the daughters gets a feeling early on that something is strange in this town, a well-kept, dark secret among its inhabitants. Cliche, right? However, this film proved to be fairly unique, in my opinion, as the story continues. I think this film really had some potential with the plot, however I think with a bit more elaboration, they could’ve improved the plot significantly. A pivotal scene near the very end of the movie reveals the dark secret of the town… But you’re left with more questions than answers. The perfect opportunity is presented for the explanation of the strange happenings in the film to be made a bit more clear, but the filmmakers waved as the opportunity passed them by. I suppose it’s still worth the watch. I sort of enjoyed it aside from the negative points I mentioned. Sorry Slash, Rob Zombie is still the king of rock n roll horror.

 

Alone, I wouldn’t have felt this film worthwhile to review. However, I have come across some information that made it a bit more interesting to me. It turns out that the claims of dark secrets in the real town of Stull, Kansas may have some merit. Now I don’t know how many of you guys believe in any sort of paranormal/supernatural happenings, and to what degree, but I find this kind of interesting (does that make me weird?) This rural town in Kansas, according to many legends, is home to one of the gates to Hell. There are many versions of the legend of Stull, as well as countless different stories about passages to Hell, accessible on Earth, and what the repercussions would be to opening these gates. There are claims of portals to Hell in hundreds of locations from Turkmenistan to Belize and back to New Jersey. Some of them have more reputable claims than others. Stull, Kansas is one of the most widely accepted locations. You can read a few accounts about it here. The website itself has urban legends from all over the United States. It’s pretty interesting if you take some time to browse the site. Another gate is allegedly located in Pennsylvania; it is also featured on the website here. I’ve always wanted to travel around the US and see some of the famous haunted locations (if finding a portal to hell interesting didn’t make me weird, I’m sure that wanting to go look for it makes me weird). I don’t want to dabble in the occult, because I personally don’t want to star in my own real-life horror film, but I would (in the interest of science, of course) like to go check out some of these supernatural locales. Many people who have visited haunted sites have reported an overwhelming sense of a dark presence. It seems like an experience you just have to feel for yourself. I’d just like to experience it in some shape or form.

Here in North Carolina, we have our fair share of local legends as well. One of the more well-known legends is the Devil’s Tramping Ground, which is located near Bennett, NC (I’ve never heard of this town and have no idea where its general vicinity is). One extremely close to my hometown is the Hunt House. Everyone around here knows there’s something weird about it (it gives me the creeps every time I ride by it), and everyone has heard a different version of the story. I’m sure that’s how it is with most, if not all, urban legends.
So I’m curious. I’d like to know if any of you have any urban legends from your hometown or state? Or even just a story that you find interesting that’s from a different location. If you feel comfortable, please don’t hesitate to post a comment and share it with me! I’d love to hear about it! Also feel free to share your opinion about the film, or give me some other movie recommendations. Thanks!

Okay, so my first movie post is going to be about a few horror films that I really enjoy.. and also one that I really didn’t enjoy.

I realize not everyone is going to agree with me and that’s cool. The point of this is to turn anyone reading this page on to awesome new movies. Also, this is my page so that gives me the right to complain about movies I hate. Let’s be real, when we spend ten bucks to go to the theater, we earn the right to complain if the movie in question is a disappointment.

It would make sense that since I love film, I am currently taking a film class. My teacher is one of about 10 who teach this class at this university. All the teachers collaborate and come up with a list of the films that will be studied that semester. My teacher is way into horror, so he opted to show us 1 Wes Anderson film (Rushmore), instead of two (buh-bye The Royal Tenenbaums!) In place of the 2nd Anderson film, he decided that he would give the class a taste of the horror genre. I admit, I took this teacher last semester for a class completely focused on horror media and the reason I selected him this semester was in hopes that he would once again grace his students with some of his extensive horror knowledge. You did not disappoint, Mr. Frazier. I saw this film in my horror media class, and had absolutely zero objections to watching it a second (or third, or fourth..) time. I had never heard of this film until my teacher showed it in class. My first reaction to this film was to finally breathe a sigh of relief at the end, after holding my breath through the majority of the film. Then I had to do some stretches to relieve the tension that had been coursing through my body for the duration of the film. Here it is, guys:

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The Loved Ones. This film, released in Australia in 2010, is the writer/director Sean Byrne‘s first feature-length film. It made its way to the United States in 2012 after generating some buzz at some of the film festivals where it was shown. I’ll begin with a disclaimer: there have been multiple reviews to classify this film as “torture porn,” and their claims are not without merit. I personally disagree, only because I believe this film is carried by its plot more so than its masochistic appeal. It stars Robin McLeavy (you may also know her from AMC’s Hell on Wheels) as Lola Stone. She gives one of the most convincing horror villain performances ever. Seriously. Ah, and Lola’s super creepy prom song. You’ll feel so demented as you sing it for the 24 hours following watching the film, while everyone who hasn’t seen it will think you’re singing an obscure Cyndi Lauper song (Am I not pretty enough? Is my heart too broken?) Even though this movie isn’t extremely well known, it has received rave reviews – it has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes! You can read a review and summary of the plot here and this is a link to the trailer: don’t let the first 50 seconds fool you! It is definitely not for the faint of heart, I’m not kidding about the violence, but who wouldn’t want to watch a “psychotic re-imagining of Pretty in Pink”? Sean Byrne has so much potential, and I can’t wait for him to give us something new. Check this one out guys!

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If any of you are familiar with Rob Reiner‘s 1990 film, Misery, it is somewhat similar to The Loved Ones. If you are not familiar with Misery (based on a Stephen King Novel) then you should be. It stars the fabulous Kathy Bates (above) as Annie Wilkes, who “rescues” her favorite author Paul Sheldon (James Caan). I know this movie isn’t new, but it’s seriously underrated. Kathy Bates is one of the best actresses out there, and her performance in this movie is phenomenal. It is so over the top, you can’t help but laugh, but she delivers it in such a way that it never loses your interest. You can read a review of the film on this site and watch the trailer here. The story is nothing too extravagant, but I promise you will be on the edge of your seat the entire time. The film is named for Misery Chastain, a character in one of Paul Sheldon’s book series, who Annie basically worships. This movie is pretty violent, but nothing like The Loved Ones. If you like any kind of horror or thriller movies, definitely give this one a try.

I’ve given you two wonderfully demented films to enjoy. Now I’m going to give you one that was just kind of tragically stupid and only a little demented – not even the good kind of demented. Yes, there is a good kind of demented. Anyway, here it is:

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I will first address the reviews plastered on this misleading movie poster. Savage slasher? Okay, sure. Unpredictable? Yes. Fresh, terrifying, wickedly savvy and most entertaining? Not even. Here is the trailer if you’re so inclined to watch it.

There are really no notable cast members (no big names anyway) in this film. I’ll start with the positive, because there’s not much of it. Actress Sharni Vinson, who plays Erin, does a pretty good job, considering the garbage plot and script she has to work with. Even from the trailer, if you have any kind of respect for the horror genre, you can see that there is little promise for a quality film. One mistake horror filmmakers make so many times, is they don’t make their characters likable or relatable. It makes it much less intense watching characters get picked off one by one, if the duration is spent wishing they would die faster. This film is no exception. Aside from Vinson’s character, the rest of the victims are just irritating. It covers a choppy plot with unnecessary violence. I am not against movie violence at all, but when it’s just thrown in to make up for a crap story and bad acting, then it just becomes annoying. I will admit, there were a few aspects of the plot that surprised me, which is uncommon with a run-of-the-mill slasher movie. With the tagline “Don’t bother locking the doors. Animals don’t use doors.” what could go wrong, right? I’ll leave it up to your discretion if you want to take a chance and see You’re Next for yourself, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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So, I recently had a pretty bizarre experience with what I believed to be lucid dreaming. I’ve done some research on lucid dreaming, and I think it’s pretty sweet. I’ve tried it on quite a few occasions (to no avail). I have weird dreams very frequently, usually 3-5 times a week. I’m totally okay with having weird, freaky, even frightening dreams. Dreams can provide some of the best creative sparks. However, I’ve never experienced anything like this – that’s not to say that I am deeming this a negative experience.

My roommate was asleep, so all the lights in my room were off. I wasn’t really tired, so I listened to some music for a while and finally I decided I would try to sleep. I laid there for a while, and I’m not sure how much time elapsed. At this point I was sort of between sleep and wakefulness. I remember thinking that I wanted to reach for my phone or grab something off my desk (I really don’t remember what, this was over a month ago), but I was just too tired and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make my body move.

The next phase was something similar to what one experiences when they look at a bright light in a dark room. Once you look at the light and then close your eyes, you continue to see the flashes of light with your eyes closed. This was a very similar sensation, only it had no known origin. It looked like a kaleidoscope. It just kept moving. My eyes were closed but I remember seeing, in the midst of this black kaleidoscope, one area of light. It was almost as if my eyelids had a hole in them, and I could see my room, just through that small area. I tried to reach for that area (not literally, at this point I am “dreaming”) and when I did, the area of light relocated. This happened a couple of times, the light moving out of my grasp each time. Then the kaleidoscope faded out and I was thrust into a new scene all together.

I was running from some kind of creature in what appeared to be an area, sort of between a dockside town and a forest. The creature was gaining on me and I was trying as hard as I could to get away. The distance between the creature and myself was closing more and more, no matter how fast I ran. Finally, it got so close, I could feel it breathing on me. At that moment, the creature collapsed on top of me, seemingly lifeless. I tried to move out from under it, its weight was crushing me. I saw an arrow sticking out of its chest. I was confused as to where it had come from. How did it miss me? I continued to struggle, working to push the creature off of me. All of the sudden, the weight was lifted off, but by another set of hands than my own. I looked up to see another version of myself, carrying a cross bow, presumably the one that had directed the arrow to the creature. I looked up in shock as the crossbow wielding version of myself reached out a hand. “Get up,” she said. I sat unmoving, dumbfounded. “Come on,” she repeated and I took her hand and pulled myself off the ground.

I was aware that I was somewhat awake when the kaleidoscope was still happening, but once this sequence began, I was not. It, however, did feel somewhat different than dreaming normally does.

The scene above faded away and I fell back into the partially awake kaleidoscope phase and felt very relaxed, not asleep, and yet not awake either. You can’t really experience the relaxation you feel while you are asleep (because you’re asleep, duh), but this felt like the most extreme form of relaxation I had ever felt. And then I was ripped from my state of relaxation. I swear I heard someone say, in a harsh, strained whisper: “FIRE!” I could almost feel their breath as the word flooded my ears. My eyes immediately opened, and obviously there was nothing there. It felt so beyond real.

I am a huge fan of horror movies, and have seen plenty of them in my day. I am not easily scared. I had read about the parts of lucid dreaming where people are attacked by demons and everything else while they’re dreaming. I wouldn’t say I necessarily welcome a demonic attack, but I am not really scared of the possibility of this sensation. While I am not easily scared, I do believe in some supernatural forces. I do not think what I experienced was anything like that. It was just remarkable how real it all felt.

I’m just curious if any of you guys have had any experiences with lucid dreaming that you’d be wiling to share. I love hearing other people’s stories with dreaming, so comment if you feel so inclined. I’d love to read it!