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I've got some news...

It's not gonna happen. I really thought I could do it but it seems that life had other plans.

For those in the know, I've been working on the sequel to The Crimson Summer. My goal was to release the book on Halloween. Unfortunately, this isn't me going "hey, the book is here and ready to go!" I really wanted to make that happen but the more things began to pile up, the more I knew the quality would suffer if I just tried to rush it to hit a deadline. And seeing as how my goal for this book is to make it as high quality as possible, I didn't feel that was fair to the readers.

The one lesson I really learned from the first book (and as obvious as it may be) was that the book is there forever. All the dumb little mistakes will always be staring back at me. I rushed the editing on Crimson Summer in order to hit a release date and I regretted it immediately. It's still acceptable and complete strangers have failed to point it out in their reviews, so it must not be too jarring. But I hold myself to a very high standard. So I really wanted to rectify that this time around.

Because of this delay (is it a delay if no one really knew my planned release date?) I do have something special. There's been a hell of a lot that I haven't even released about this book so the least I can do is a little bit more info. So how about the plot?

Liz and Chase were key survivors from the Camp Watanka Massacre. They knew The Killer would be back. They just didn't know when. 
Returning to high school, Liz and Chase do what they can to survive, as the Killer returns and the body count rises all around them. Can they survive? Do they even want to?

Unfortunately just providing a plot blurb isn't exactly groundbreaking. I felt like I needed to do things with a little more pinache. A little more zest. A little more... I'll stop. I received so many compliments about the cover for the first book that it was a no brainer to bring back by artist for book two. He's done an absolutely fantastic job, recreating something that's been in my head since I thought of the sequel.

So here we are with the cover for my second book, Crimson High.

Oh yeah.

Title announcement.

art by Alvaro De Cossio

How fucking cool is that? I still can't get over how great it turned out. I've had this cover in my head for so long that I've day dreamed about a million and a half tweaked versions and yet somehow Alvaro was able to absolutely nail it. I can't express enough just how excited I am concerning this book and the cover kicking so much ass just makes me even more pumped!

I hope you join me for another ride into my little slasher world.


31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 31 - "Jigsaw"

Jigsaw (2017)

It's October and there's a new Saw film coming out?! Pinch me because I must be dreaming. This used to be a Halloween tradition for me through High School and College and that all came to a screeching halt with Saw: The Final Chapter. They ended the series on such a sour note that I felt there was no way the series would be coming back, unless it was through a full blown reboot. Well I guess they proved me wrong.

If you're coming into this expecting me to avoid spoilers then turn back now.

Seriously, don't read any further.

I'm about to spoil the shit out of some Jigsaw.

Okay, I warned you.

First of all, I was just happy to be in theaters watching another Saw movie. It was cool to relive that feeling. My palms were sweaty and my leg bounced with anticipation. It was finally time for another Saw. But unfortunately nothing really lived up to my sky high expectations.

I really love this series and the trailer had me pumped. I thought we were getting the kind of film that would properly reboot the series, while also paying homage to the many films that came before it. Instead we're left with a hackneyed attempted at such a thing. Fuck, that made it seem like I didn't like it. I did. I just felt it could have done better.

The writing is mostly what I have an issue with. While the twist helped to stifle some of the issues I had, that wasn't entirely the case. There was a lot that just sort of felt circumstantial and actually escapable. I liked the change of scenery to the barn but it made it so much harder to see them as being unable to escape. When there was cement and rusty old pipes, it was implied they were underground, or off in some warehouse somewhere. You're not breaking through metal and concrete. But wood? They could have 100% gotten out of there.

Then there's just a lot of silly stuff happening. Like how does Jigsaw know that Martin (I think that's the black guys name) is going to get caught in that trap and not someone else? Same with the guy that got his leg fucked up too. Everything was far too reliant on strange circumstance. I wasn't a fan. It really took me out of it, which sucked because Saw is definitely a series where you place yourself in the characters shoes. I know I wouldn't be able to get out of 95% of the traps in the series but this movie? I could escape them all. Literally every single one. It's like the writers didn't even try.

While some of the traps were cool, they mostly felt lazy. There wasn't much impact and we were mostly just left with the aftermath of them. Even the spiral saw, which seemed like it was going to be the film's coup de grace, ended up being a simple quick cut to the carnage. That's not Saw. Saw is trying to make you cringe. They didn't even create much tension with the guy hanging down. It just sort of happened.

I gotta say though, it was all worth it for that final trap. Holy shit did that look fucking crazy. Part of me wonders if they held off on showing too much in order to greaten the final blow. It's disappointing that Callum won't be back for another movie because I've loved him since Battlestar Galactica and was really hoping he'd be the new Jigsaw but that would have just been too obvious, wouldn't it? Still his death was amazing and may have been the best of the entire series.

I should say that I really think this movie is going to be better on repeat viewings. Finding out the film is half prequel is something that I think is going to greatly benefit another watch. A lot of the annoyances I had with the characters came with their ignorance to Jigsaw and how to play his games, yet it wasn't nearly as annoying once the twist happened.

And boy what a twist. Kinda.

I was pumped when John Kramer showed up in the flesh. That was my favorite moment because seeing Tobin Bell back in the role of Jigsaw is an absolute fucking treat. I liked that he could actually watch the Game happen in real time and affect the game, rather than just have everything be predetermined. But the whole "I ran this game twice" part of the twist was just fucking silly. And by silly I mean really fucking stupid. The new Jigsaw is fine but he didn't really seem to have much motivation to continue doing it. Seemed more like he was all about taking down his wife's killer and the Jigsaw things just happened to work as a means to an end.

Either way, I enjoyed what I saw and think it'll get better the next time I watch it. I think some of my character annoyances won't be nearly as prevalent and I'll enjoy it more. As of now, it's a decent entry in the series and an okay starting point for a new continuation.

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 30 - "Stranger Things 2 (part two)"

Stranger Things 2 (2017)

Here we go. I'm continuing from where I left off and attempting to finish the second season of Stranger Things. It's been absolutely incredible so far and I'm really excited about where this is gonna go.

Chapter Five: Dig Dug

The story between Nancy and Jonathan may be my favorite one going this season. I just find the entire thing to be so fascinating, especially with the addition of them going full on investigative journalist. They seem to have a lot better plans this season than their whole, Home Alone-style trap for the Demagorgan.

Is Will ever going to not be suffering in this show? I feel like he easily has the toughest role among the young cast and it doesn't seem like he's ever going to get better. In fact, it seems like he's just going to have to live with traveling to the Upside Down for the rest of the show so it's likely to remain the toughest role for the young actors.

Chapter Six: The Spy

That. Ending. Wow.

I knew when they introduced us to the idea of "Him" spying on them through Will that it'd be used and boy was it. Really seems like that tunnel system is going to lead to an IT-like finale and I'm so down for that. I love the different influences that this show takes on. Oh yeah, I guess I should talk about other parts of the episode.

I love this developing dynamic between Dustin and Steve. I can't say I was ever expecting to enjoy that pairing as much as I have. Though I'm pretty sure you could pair Dustin with just about anyone and it would work. He's just that kind of character.

Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister

Woah a whole episode devoted to Eleven? I feel like this is something that fans have been wanting since the shows inception and it came across...weird. Don't get me wrong, I really loved the look of the episode of the themes it explored but the tone shift felt very jarring. We went from a Spielberg movie to something else entirely and it really stood out amongst the other episodes this season.

This may seem like I didn't like it but believe me, I did. I really like that they're adding layers to Jane's personality (should I refer to her as that? It feels weird. I'm not sure if I'm going to. She'll always be Eleven to me. Wait. Is that the same as knowing someone by their holocaust number. It's not something she exactly chose or is a good memory for her... dammit.)


Also, tomorrow's entry won't be in right away because I'll be actually seeing the film tomorrow afternoon, so a 6am entry would be pretty impossible.

Next Up: Jigsaw

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 29 - "Jason X"

Jason X (2001)

We're taking a little bit of a detour, mainly because I moved today and it was pretty hectic. I was hoping to get this up sooner but I'm on the verge of falling asleep at my keyboard and figured I'd do one of my silly guilty pleasures, good ole Jason in Space itself, Jason X.

The main reason I chose this was because How Did This Get Made recently picked this for their Halloween film and it reminded me of just why I love all the dumb stuff that inhabits its 90 minute runtime. Is it even 90 minutes? I feel like you could say this movie was 75 minutes long and I would believe you.

As I said before, I love this movie. It's silly and doesn't ever try to be anything more than a fun time at the movies. There's a high body count and they even do their best to introduce an entirely new element to Jason: Uber Jason. I liked how ridiculous it was while somehow taking place almost entirely in space and still feeling like a Friday the 13th movie. Don't get me wrong though, it also feels like a Sy Fy Original Movie.

I love how this movie randomly shifts into Aliens partyway through. It's not surprising when you hear that Todd Farmer had that in mind when he was writing the script and had it intended it to be even closer.

Next Up: ??????

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 28 - "Tales of Halloween"

Tales of Halloween (2015)

Good anthology films can be hard to come by but dammit if this film doesn't do a great job. I had avoided it for so long because it looked like some Trick R Treat rip-off. And while it's sort of still that, it still puts forth an effort both in the writing department, when it could have easily slacked off.

The first segment was pretty by the numbers but featured a nice little twist at the end which I enjoyed. I felt like it was odd placement as I'd say its the weakest of the entire film so could easily turn off any would-be watchers.

The segment with the little Devil kid was absolutely hilarious. What a fun concept for a horror anthology. This was easily my favorite segment, if not for the childish pranks mixed with horrific ones then for the absurd comedy. Adam Green popping up at the end was surprising but, like many of the cameos, didn't really distract from anything.

While I appreciate that they used Night of the Living Dead for the through-line of the movie, it always comes across as "We don't have any money so are just using a Public Domain movie" to me. While this may not have been true and could have been used for creative purposes but it certainly didn't seem that way.

My only real issue with the film is the segment with the kid's killing the random get together of friends. It's simply poorly directed. They didn't do a good job of showing that these people were demented and were torturing some kid, instead it looked like a bunch of staged photos for Halloween. And the fact that none of the supposed torturers showed any signs of being fucked in the head made the twist even more annoying and out of left field. They didn't even show veracity once it was shown they were getting fucked.

Next Up: The Void

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 27 - "Stranger Things 2"

Stranger Things 2 (2017)

This review will be updated throughout the day as I watched the episodes. No promises that I'll finish the season all in one day but dammit, I'm pumped. This is a once in a generation show and cannot be missed.

Chapter One: Max Max

Holy shit. This fucking show. I wrote that prior part before watching this episode and I can't say enough how true that statement is. There's no show quite like this and we're blessed to be around while its on. That's how good it is. Or as I like to put it: Breaking Bad-good.

I loved the expansion of showing that there are more out there like Eleven and that not all of them are good like her. Although Eight didn't show that she was malicious, as she could have killed those cops but instead just tricked them, she was clearly still stealing and in a criminal element. So she's not exactly a saint. But I love that. It makes me very curious to see how many other numbers there are out there. My theory is that most of them are dead and we'll only be treated to a select few, rather than there being a bunch to be revealed.

How about that scene with Mike trying to contact Eleven? Talk about heartbreaking. It's moments like those that really show off these kids' talents. This isn't an easy scene to pull off and he nailed it. Just like the Duffer Brothers, who continue to understand exactly what to give the fans, while also providing so many twists and turns that it falls into the rare category of unpredictable.

And how about that Eleven reveal. I'm sure the next episode is going to show exactly how she got out of the upside down but it really made me appreciate the marketing for this show. I've figured that most of the promotional stuff was from episodes 1 and 2 as to avoid spoiling Eleven's big inclusion in the group again, since she's gone at the end of Season 1. But damn near everything has only shown Eleven with the short hair again, despite her longer locks that are already on display. I think it means we're in store for a very surprising season, unspoiled by trailers--a rarity in this day and age.

Chapter Two: Trick or Treat, Freak

I feel like I'm going to get really repetitive singing this shows praises so I guess from this point on you need to just assume the episode is phenomenal unless I say otherwise because goddamn, this show is phenomenal.

Millie Bobby Brown really gets to shine in this episode, showing more range than we got from Eleven in Season 1 (that's not a knock, more that she's developing a less stoic personality with bits of lunacy peppered in). I already can't wait for her to reunite with Mike. Their scene in the basement was heartbreaking. Made me wonder just how many times she had seen Mike, knowing he still was looking for her.

Are we getting a Gizmo style monster in the next ep? That's seems to be whats in store and, goddamn am I beyond excited for that. This show just takes every right step when it comes to story progression and including so many different elements from beloved films from the 80's while still maintaining its originality.

Side note: I had someone ask me if I thought IT was a rip-off of Stranger Things and was dumbfounded. Ohhhh my generation, everyone hates you/us.

Chapter Three: The Pollywog

So it definitely looks like we're getting a little Gremlins mini-story going on. I really like Dustin, but his odd connection with the little monster is so obviously going to turn bad that I'm surprised, given his nerd status, that he doesn't see that. I feel like writers sometimes don't give enough credit to nerds for their recognition as these types of scenarios are what these types wish would happen to them in real life. I know I did.

I also made the mistake of watching episodes three and four back to back without writing a review in between, so those two episodes have kind of blurred together a tad. So forgive me if I screw something up.

How great is it that the standard parental advice of "Stand and face your attackers" ended up completely biting Will on the ass. I mean, I'm not sure that Sean Astin's character is ever worth really taking any advice from. Speaking of which, I definitely thought Astin was going to be someone working for The Man (this is what I'll be referring to those dummies since I don't think they've been given a specific name... outside of the Department of Energy haha). He seems to be just a goofy Radioshack employee though, without even the hint of maliciousness. I hope that sticks.

Oh! I know! This didn't happen this episode but how great is the hint towards a past relationship between Hopper and Joyce. I like that it's not directly addressed but really tenses up any scene that they're in together.

Chapter Four: Will The Wise

I really wasn't expecting Eleven to get an actual name. I'm not sure why but it just never occurred to me that it was even something that would be brought up. I like the name Jane but also felt it was a little... plain (pun definitely intended). I think that scene when she goes and sees her mom through the radio for the first time may have been enough to earn her an Emmy. It was that good.

I'm glad that Nancy and Jonathan weren't actually stupid enough to get caught by The Man. It's always a pleasant surprise when character exceed my own expectations of them and, after Nancy's ridiculous proclamation that she had killed Barb (she didn't... at all. That's a dumb level of guilt. Quit being a dummy, Nancy), I wasn't sure if she'd redeem herself. Well boom, redeemed.


Next Up: Tales of Halloween

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 26 - "Residue"

Residue (2017)

Dammit. God. Dammit. Why can't I catch a break when it comes to these stupid movies? I was probably tricked by Costas Mandylor in the photo (he's Jigsaw's protege in the Saw series, which I'm a huge fan of). I thought it would at least be cool but unfortunately the film really fails in its lead and doesn't provide much of anyone to root for.

The cover really made this look like some crazy Re-Animator/Demon hybrid but it's not really that. It's more like a monster film that doesn't really know what it wants to be. Is it a crime film? Is it gross out horror? Is it demonic horror? It kind of does a mix of all of it but doesn't really commit to any of it so we're left with a rather soulless film.

There are some decent parts, I particularly liked how the environment reacted when the book was read. It was more than just the simple lights flashing and things shaking and even added a kill element that I thought made it stand out a little.

Next Up: Stranger Things 2

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 25 - "Ghost Team"

Ghost Team (2016)

Jon Heder in a ghost hunting movie with some of the best character actors under 40? If you're like me, you saw this movie pop up on Netflix and thought "How the hell did this movie get past me?" Well the answer is pretty simple: It's only kinda okay.

Boasting such a great cast meant my expectations may have been a little high, but ultimately there just weren't enough laughs going around. The film never really got going and always seemed to be servicing a plot that wasn't really important. I wish they had gone with more of a Scooby Doo angle than the angle that was used.

Justin Long steals the show every time he's on screen and this is coming from someone who isn't always his biggest fan. I think what works so well is that he plays against type and is more of a brainless military weirdo than his usual schtick. And he fucking nails it. I would watch several more movies with his character.

In the back of my head I keep hoping that this film will be better on a rewatch but I doubt it's gonna happen. Instead I'm just left with an average movie that should have been a lot more fun than it was. Damn you, Netflix!

I don't know why I'm screaming at Netflix but someone has to be blamed and I don't feel like looking up the director/writers/producers

Next Up: 1922

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 24 - "Don't Kill It"

Don't Kill It (2017)

I've had more difficulty as of late trying to keep up with the marathon but dammit if I'll miss a day! I may just have to make some detours and see watch some previously seen films since they take less effort. But you know what? That doesn't start today as I've got another new one for the pile!

I'll be perfectly honest, I chose this movie for one reason and one reason alone: Dolph Lundgren. I think that's a reasonable excuse but some of you may not understand the magnitude of this decision. It's fucking Dolph Lundgren! And I can't say I was exactly expecting Oscar worthy material from such a selection but it turned out pretty fun.

Things really ramp up to 100 right from the jump. This wasn't afraid to kill just about every character that's introduced, including a dog! I was also pleasantly surprised by the appearance from Jason X and My Bloody Valentine 3D scribe. I've always enjoyed the

Kristina Klebe looks like she could play Robin Wright's sister, which is surprising since she starred in the Halloween remake just a decade ago. The years have not been kind. That's not very nice. It just really took me off guard when she first came on screen. It's not to say she looks bad, she just looks older, and the Robin Wright comparison seems like a halfway decent option as not being too offensive. Still, it's October 2017 and this is a hot topic issue so I've pretty much written myself into a corner and should probably just end this now.


Next Up: Ghost Team

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 23 - "Let The Right One In"

Let The Right One In (2007)

Quite possibly the greatest vampire story ever told, there are so many moving parts to this film that can easily go unnoticed, it's easy to forget that it's a foreign film. The subtitles go so unnoticed because the story is so damn intriguing. I love that winter setting and how much it adds to the moments of bloodshed, with the huge contrast between the arterial red and the arctic white.

My favorite aspect has to be the idea of the vamp's old lover, implied to have met around the same age as our blonde lead, now an old man and still doing what he can for his love. It's a great look at the other side of the story that is rarely ever told in vampire lore. What happens to the human lovers of these vamps? One grows older while the vamps stays the same age. And what happens when they happen to be very young when they get together? It's the type of question that I'd only expect a non-American film to ever have the balls to ask.

Remember the remake, Let Me In? I'm glad that film has been mostly forgotten, while this seems to have persevered. It just goes to show that you need more than just visuals to really connect with the audience.

Next Up: 1922

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 22 - "Coraline"

Coraline (2009)

This one came a little later but that's mostly because I was busy seeing Mike Birbiglia last night so I couldn't prepare a review for beforehand. That show was awesome by the way but let's get to the good stuff. You know, because I'm sure so many of you have been waiting with bated breath.

I really forgot how good this movie is. I don't think I've watched it since viewing it on Netflix, way back during my Senior Year of college. I was blown away then and I was blown away now and so glad to have been able to practically see this for the first time, twice. Sometimes having crappy memory actually works out for the positive.

The subject matter is a lot darker than you'd expect a kid's film to tackle but then again, I'm not sure I'd even call this a kid's film. It's a little dark for that. I'd actually say it's more directed at teenagers, despite the stop-motion animation style. I believe this was the last practical film that Laika produced, switching over to the digital style, as present in ParaNorman. While I'm not one of those people that claim it loses its soul by going digital, I can appreciate the time put into the practical version.

If you haven't seen this movie, do yourself a favor and check it out. I've tried to avoid the plot because its just so damn good.

Next Up: Let The Right One In

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 21 - "Annabelle: Creation"

Annabelle: Creation (2017)

I was glad to see the first film even get a sequel after the seemingly "meh" reaction to it upon release. But apparently it gained enough steam in the meantime to warrant a sequel.

I've been hearing about this film for quite a while because one of the actor's is a friend of the family. I don't know her personally but apparently my mom does and has been sure to let me know everything she knew about Samara's experience on it. Despite myself having zero actual connection to the girl, it's still cool to "know" of someone that's in the film.

It's even better when the movie is actually good.

I was a little worried at first, as the film's slow pace threw me off, but ultimately the film really satisfied. It's scares, while a little repetitive, were aplenty. And it provided more than enough creepy moments to leave me happy. Lulu Wilson needs to just be cast in every horror film that requires a little girl because she always just knocks it out of the park. Talitha Bateman also gave a great performance, coming out of nowhere and providing another actress to look forward to in the coming years.

This is one of the better horror films of the year and one of the better possession films we've seen since The Exorcist, sitting comfortably alongside its cohorts, The Conjuring and Insidious. I was hoping with how it was being set up at the end that we may get some more films but it seems as though the Annabelle saga is complete. Thankfully the Ed and Lorraine Warren Files provide plenty of great material.

Can't wait to see what's next!

Next Up: Demonic

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 20 - "Halloweed"

Halloweed (2016)

This movie is so fucking silly. It's almost like a Scary Movie film in terms of going for laughs, but from a non-parody aspect so it comes off... just odd.

The movie itself is about a guy and his stepbrother moving to some ideal town that happens to have a serial killer problem. Oh and he's also the son of a serial killer but this is so irrelevant to the plot other than to serve as a way to get him out of town. It just felt pointless. I was really wanting to like this movie but, being a comedy, I wasn't laughing.

There's an amusing subplot involving Simon Rex's character being closeted that gets beaten into the ground a bit much. I felt the payoff was funny enough that they should have cut some of the earlier references to make it pack more of a punch and be less obvious. Either way, I'm surprised a juvenile film such as this even had that kind of angle.

I guess I was tricked by the cast looking pretty impressive as it included Jim O'Heir, Ray Wise, and Danny Trejo but it didn't live up. Their cameos are slightly amusing but not really much more than that. This is one of the unfortunate parts of the horror world, it can be a rough reminder of just how much shit the genre holds. This falls into said "shit" category.

Next Up: Annabelle: Creation

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 19 - "Gerald's Game"

Gerald's Game (2017)

I really love this concept. It's no surprising that something so original came from the mind of Stephen King but I can say I'm a tad surprised that King's name isn't more prominent in the advertising. I guess it's because IT hadn't been released yet. I have a feeling we'll be back to "Stephen King's..." branding.

The whole idea of having a lover die on top of you while locked up during a sex game almost sounds like a sexualized Saw. So it makes sense as to why I would enjoy this film. Plus, who doesn't love a good mindfuck? And if you haven't heard of director, Mike Flanagan, I highly suggest you check out... literally his entire filmography. He's fantastic. Unfortunately, this may have been a bit of a misstep for him...

I haven't had a movie intrigue me for so long and then completely blow it in the end. I guess I should add that you need to step away if you actually plan on watching this movie, which I highly recommend. Outside of the final five minutes, I think the movie is fantastic and one of the more interesting horror films from the year.

Okay, let's get to it.

The final few minutes are nothing but long-winded exposition. After a whole movie of pulling off making the story of a woman handcuffed to a bed and in a single room for the majority, it throws all that impressiveness out the window and gives us... a lame horror ending?

I fully acknowledge that the whole grave digger angle may actually end up being alright after a few repeat viewings, but that certainly wasn't what I wanted from a movie like this. I would have preferred the supernatural concept. Damn. I'm not sure of many instances where that would actually be the case. But here we are.

Next Up: Halloweed

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 18 - "ParaNorman"

ParaNorman (2012)

Every now and then I like to stray away from the horror to some more Halloween-y stuff like Hocus Pocus. This year I figured a prime candidate would be a Laika film that I don't really hear too much about these days. It seems to have kind of disappeared a bit and I wanted to bring a little attention to it because...well...it's damn good.

It's one of those movies that unfolds in such a clever and satisfying way that you want to watch it again the moment its over. It may just be my love for animated movies but there's a certain quality that Laika brings to the table that is really only matched by Pixar. They manage to handle the material in a way that's both adult but not too scary for the kids.

The voice cast is also really great with Kodi Smit-McPhee, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, Anna Kendrick, and Casey Affleck. Seriously, look at that cast. I'm really surprised that this movie didn't do better than it deserved. As someone that is completely obsessed with horror movies, I can only imagine how head over heels I'd be for this movie as a boy. It really hits that young horror fanatic chord.

Next Up: Gerald's Game

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 17 - "Blood Rage"

Blood Rage (1987)

The main reason I picked this movie out was because of the above picture which made the film look like an effects extravaganza. And boy was it.

I feel like saying "oh boy" just made this take a strange turn. I take it back. It just comes off as weird an unnatural. And now I'm sure you're asking why did I just delete it and not have to write all of this stupid stuff? Because then I wouldn't be me. Okay, back to some Blood Rage.

I wasn't expecting the concept to be so well done considering it just seemed like a generic slasher film but it actually managed to be a very unique. There are two brothers and one of them murders a guy having sex and frames his brother, who is catatonic from witnessing the act itself. It's really interesting and, while not perfectly executed, was a welcome addition to my slasher library.

There's a decent amount of talking and strange exposition but I think the gore effects are worth sticking it out. And the characters are all just off enough that it

Next Up: ParaNorman

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 16 - "The Babysitter"

The Babysitter (2017)

The concept of a young boy discovering his babysitter is actually a Satan worshipper trying to sacrifice him is a unique one that intrigued the hell out of me. Add Samara Weaving as the titular babysitter and I'm wayyyyy on board. Then you add McG.

And that's how you screw up a movie.

Remember how terrible Charlie's Angels looked? That Soap Opera look with awkward camera moves and even more awkward stunts? That's how this movie is. They do a continuous POV shot that is so laughable, it made me feel really bad for the production team. Usually the long shot is a source of pride as they are very hard to accomplish and dear god did this look bad. It was almost like being on a roller coaster ride rather than the POV of a child. Chucky did it better 30 years ago.

But don't get me wrong, it's not all bad. Weaving is fantastic as the babysitter, as are Robbie Amell and the other satan worshippers. The lead child also does a great job, but the entire tone of the film just feels off. Some of it lies in the script, which could have been a little more subtly clever rather than trying to beat you over the head with it. Most of it so clearly lies in the direction that it's baffling how McG continues to get work. Any movie that gives Weaving more exposure is a positive in my book though so I'd say this is just barely on the good side of mediocrity.

Next Up: Blood Rage

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 15 - "Prom Night 2: Hello, Mary Lou"

Prom Night 2: Hello, Mary Lou (1987)

The first one was pretty by the numbers but this one is where shit goes full bananas. Much like Slumber Party Massacre 2, this sequel decides to take a rather dull original and go as crazy as possible with its sequel. In fact, this movie is so much like SPM2 that it could almost serve as a visual sequel. We've got a ghost killer who is out to fuck shit up in the craziest way possible and... I'm all for it.

There's a particular scene where the first victim is crying to her friend in the shower and I was actually surprised by the acting. For a movie like this, it rarely comes across this well. Later, this girl later gets killed by getting hanged then thrown out a window but they tease cutting her head off with a paper cutter and I was really hoping it'd happen just because it seemed cool. Was this a callback to the original? It feels like something I've seen before, and I can practically see the paper mache head but can't recall if this was supposed to be a throwback or not. For the sake of the writer's, I'll say it is.

These people are crazy. They care more about prom than they do murder or people coming back from the dead. Prom is apparently the most important thing that has happened or will happen. I guess I should expect as much from a film titled "Prom Night."

Next Up: The Babysitter

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 14 - "Alice, Sweet Alice"

Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)

There are few films that are comfortable putting children in such a dark light but this movie doesn't hold back from moment one. I can't imagine this film being made today, especially with how close the setting is to the church so I revel in what this film delivers. It's so much more brutal, and in such unexpected ways, that it felt like a whole new experience.

Alice is such an interesting character. She's both extremely vulnerable while also being deceptively evil. I enjoyed the little twist that comes in about halfway through the film and honestly just expected Alice to be the killer the entire time. So it was a nice surprise, especially given how evil the revealed killer ended up being.

And how fucking cool is that mask? I've always enjoyed the raincoat/trenchcoat look for killers and this is right there at the top of the list. I especially liked how much it was able to provide red herrings by the sole fact that a bunch of kids have that yellow coat.

Next Up: Prom Night 2: Hello Mary Lou

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 13 - "Friday the 13th Part 3"

Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

Originally this post was going to be a different movie but then I realized: how could there possibly be a Friday the 13th falling in October and not be included in 31 Days of Halloween? I feel like that's about as close to heresy as I can get these days. So despite the fact that today was already planned on, let's throw out those plans and go to one of my favorites.

With the Friday the 13th franchise, I'm pretty sure I have a different favorite every year. Right now it may be Part 5 (I know, right?) but as a high schooler, Part 3 was always near the top of the list. I still remember going on message boards and telling them just how much I loved this film and reading the various theories regarding a certain character's "death."

I think one aspect that really sets this film above some of the others is just how prominent the daylight scenes are. They seem to stick around a lot more than in past films, although that could just be because more is happening in them (the barn, the confrontation at the store, etc).

I love that the main love interest at one point just goes "You know I missed out on a weekend with Mary Jo Conrad for this, right?" basically just saying "Hey, I was gonna fuck that slut this weekend but I chose you instead so you better put out." And the way he says it makes it seems like he has to make a point to show her all she's sacrificed.

Some day I will see this IN 3D IN theaters but until that day, I guess my old DVD is gonna have to do...

Next Up: Alice, Sweet Alice

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 12 - "Stagefright"

Stagefright (1987)

I love the concept of this movie. Having a theatre troupe lock themselves in the theatre to practice is the perfect way to do an Agatha Christie style story. Add to that the fact that the killer's identity is one of a deranged former actor. I just love that.

Unfortunately, the direction comes across more like a TV movie than anything that can be taken seriously. Which is too bad because the potential is certainly there. There's just a lot of nothing happening, when there could be easy suspense. I have a hard time faulting them though because its clear this film was made for peanuts. It doesn't matter though...

Because this film's third act was fucking awesome! I made sure to include a picture above of the aforementioned scene and holy hell am I impressed. I just love the creepy imagery of the killer just sitting there amongst his victims as their practically on display. Even better is the whole theatre angle, making this whole set-up even more satisfying. There were so many great visuals from this scene that it's honestly enough to make this film a "Must Watch."

I love the killer's Owl costume. I'm not sure why but goddamn is that owl head creepy. Obviously it would be silly to have just a full blown bird costume, but the owl head on top of essentially a Michael Myers costume is pretty scary. The deaths are also pretty cool, albeit a little lacking in the red stuff. Still, there are several really cool murders. Hell, one guy gets his axe-wielding arm cut off by a chainsaw, only for the chainsaw to stop working and for the killer to finish the job with the axe. Hilarious.

Next Up: Friday the 13th Part 3

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 11 - "The Witch"

The Witch (2015)

It may not be for everyone but I love this film's slow pacing. The long shots where it's mostly about setting the mood and letting the terror play out feel like a breath of fresh air amongst the quick-cut nonsense going around.

Anya Taylor Joy is a star and I'm glad that she's had the level of success she's had since this film. Every few years a young actor comes along that just "gets" the craft and Joy certainly falls into that category.

Like Get Out, I don't really have much to say about this film that hasn't already been said before. Go see it and hopefully like it. If not... uh... then... that's like... totally okay.

Next Up: Stagefright

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 10 - "Jack Frost"

Jack Frost (1997)

How was this movie made in 1997? Hell, how on earth did this movie beat the Michael Keaton starring family movie to release date? This type of thing happens a lot whenever a big studio makes a film with an easily rippable concept and some sleazebags come along to make a quick buck. I'm pretty much describing Asylum films these days. Regardless...

This movie is unbelievably stupid and I can't believe it's taken me this long to see it. Why? Because it's amazing. It's definitely more horror oriented than anything but the film goes full blown comedy throughout, especially with the villain. Hell, he spouts our more one-liners and silly jokes than I thought was even possible (and I've seen the Keaton-starring Frost).

I also had no idea that the shower scene with Shannon Elizabeth was just a rape scene. It had always been presented as "girl has sex with snowman in shower" not "girl gets raped by snowman in the shower." And did I miss out on the nudity? I thought that was the whole deal with that scene? Maybe my mind was still being blown away so I didn't process it properly. Either way, the 13-year-old in me was disapointed.

I think my biggest question is: Why the hell is the snowman from the cover not featured in the film at all! Seriously, he's just a simple, run of the mill snowman, not this crazy hook, nosed demon they show off on the cover!

I can't say enough how much I enjoyed the stupidity of this film. This is exactly the kind of craziness that I want in my "so bad it's good" movies. Despite the joke that it's become, I'm sure I'll be throwing this into my annual Christmas lineup along with Silent Night, Deadly Night and Krampus.

Next Up: The Witch

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 9 - "Infestation"

Infestation (2016)

I always love me a good horror/comedy and the zombie genre has shown just how prime it is as a vessel for horror and comedy. Too bad I was completely wrong about what this film was about and the quality of the work itself. I thought I had stumbled upon an Odd Thomas/Jack Brooks-like gem that used the zombie genre as a backdrop. I was very, very wrong.

Instead what we have is a film about giant bugs that belongs on the Sci-Fi Channel (Sorry... SyFy). Actually, this may have originally aired there. It wouldn't surprise me. Either way, I'm not sure I can fully express my utter disappointment here. And it all stemmed from my own idiocy. This film didn't promise me anything and the title itself even says "Infestation" which my brain somehow interpreted as "Infection" and was pumped for some zombies.

Despite my mistake, it was still enjoyable enough. I almost always like Chris Marquette and Ray Wise is always great, but I could have used some better side characters. Hugo is one of the funniest characters in the movie just because of how emotionless and oblivious he is. He just really just seems to be wandering through the film aimlessly and, by the end, was really the only person I was truly rooting to make it.

The CGI was pretty terrible but, seeing it was made in 2009, I was shocked. This movie looks like it was made recently, and I honestly thought it was. Given the year, I can only imagine the budget (much higher than it'd be today, as effects were a lot in 09), and it makes sense as to why the bugs have limited screentime.

After making such a silly mistake with my movie choice, I'm kind of worried about some of my future choices...

Next Up: Jack Frost

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 8 - "The Ring"

The Ring (2002)

The only other film I can think of that had the sort of notoriety of this film was The Blair Witch Project, and that's because there's this weird video element to it at the time of release. People thought Blair Witch was real and, with this film, the terror came from a video cassette at the time when VHS tapes were still rented out. It added to the horror and made it even more terrifying.

Before I get into the actual film, I should probably let everyone know that I saw this film a grand total of one time, way back in Middle School. That's right. I had an annual Halloween party and at the first one, when I was only able to show R movies that were taped off of AMC, we watched PG-13 rated, The Ring. I honestly didn't remember much of it outside of the final few minutes but dammit did I recognize nearly everything due to a childhood obsession with Scary Movie 3. I made sure to separate the two as I watched but that didn't prevent me from laughing a few times as I thought of the parodied scene.

But you know what? This movie is fucking good.

I was actually kind of shocked how enthralled I was, since the storyline had permeated pop culture so much in the 2000's but still, I loved it. Naomi Watts delivers a great, if not ridiculously written performance. Seriously, this JOURNALIST has no problem showing the father of her child, the tape that she watched that is supposed to kill you in 7 days (which happened to do just that to her niece). So she's effectively okay with orphaning her child. You do you, girl.

One thing that shocked me was just how little Samara was used. I thought for sure that she had more screentime but, hell, the younger non-demon form has triple the screentime. Scary Samara doesn't even show up until the final few minutes. But dammit does she make an impression. I bought the film in a double pack with the second (which I've never seen all of) so I may end up giving that film a shot but I fear it'll ruin my enjoyment of the first, and I think I want to bask in that a little longer.

Next Up: Infestation

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 7 - "Get Out"

Get Out (2017)

If it hadn't been for the cataclysmic success of IT, this would have easily been the success story of the year for the horror genre. But instead, this just gets to play runner-up.

After not seeing the film until the late Spring, I was worried that this movie would become overhyped for me. I knew that there was no way the extreme positive feedback could have possibly lived up but dammit... it totally did. I loved it. I loved every aspect of this crazy little movie. As I've said before, I love "journey" films where you really feel like you've been on this crazy rollercoaster with the main characters. This is 100% one of those films.

There's already been so many positives thrown out about this movie that I don't feel the need to repeat them, just know that you need to see this movie as soon as possible. Especially in today's political climate. Hey, some reviews are better than others. This is not one of those reviews.

Next Up: The Ring

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 6 - "Backcountry"

Backcountry (2014)

Bears are fucking terrifying. I'm not sure if you're aware of that fact or if you still view them as the cute and cuddley creatures that Disney has turned them into but I promise you, they are frightening. Any movie about a bear terrorizing people will immediately get my interest because of how much that scares me in real life.

After "Man Vs" I was really wanting a more grounded "survival in nature" kind of horror movie and this film did a better job delivering. I still don't understand why these films insist on adding all of these extra elements to somehow up the stakes even more. Is there any reason to have it be anything more than "backpackers get attacked by a bear and must survive in the wilderness"?

I thought it was hilarious when the lead guy got super defensive and mad when a fisherman came across their camp. He went into full blown macho mode and I couldn't believe how absurd it came across. Like...why would you be so suspicious of Eric Balfour's character when he's literally just another guy trying to get by in the woods. If anything there should be some sort of camaraderie. But no, instead it's very "Stay away from my woman!"

Next Up: Get Out

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 5 - "Man Vs"

Man vs. (2015)

The concept of this movie is absolutely fascinating: What if a Bear Grylls type was documenting an expedition when something attacks him. I've been fascinated by this ever since stumbling across it on Netflix and I can probably thank Joe Rogan for that. Nature fascinates me in a way that it never really did before. For years I was often left turned off by movies that were set in a more nature-like setting just because I viewed them as boring. Never again.

The idea of being out, alone, in nature is pants-shittingly-horrifying to me. I definitely don't think that the film fully took advantage of this idea but I also think it's a hard one to pull off. The main thing is that our lead feels so in charge of the situation from the get-go that it's hard to be worried about him. He's so confident in himself that they had to throw in some crazy supernatural/alien element to really test him.

I didn't understand this.

You have the concept of a man being alone in wilderness, being hunted and toyed with, and yet you have to go some completely unbelievable route? Seemed odd to me. The intelligence of the creature is what lost me. I would have preferred a pure force of nature that is pissed off that this guy is in his territory. I thought that was more of what we'd be getting but instead, it was more of a guy being fucked with by some mysterious, intelligent beast.

Next Up: Backcountry

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 4 - "Cult of Chucky"

Cult of Chucky (2017)

Yesterday saw the release of the latest film in one of my favorite franchises so of course that's what's on the agenda. It's a little sad that Child's Play, a series that has taken a big upturn in quality, is forced to DTV-fare. It's unfortunate given just how much the series deserves a theatrical release to fully take advantage of the horror audience that is chomping at the bit to see their favorite horror icons on the big screen again. After seeing this latest film, maybe staying out of theaters was the right idea.

Now this is going to contain some spoilers so make sure you turn back now if you want to go in fresh.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad movie, but I'm a big fan of the series and it felt like more of a spinoff than an actual entry. At least it tried to remain original, despite some of the twists being spotted from a mile away. I liked that there were multiple Chucky's, although the execution left some to be desired, especially when there were three in one scene. Came off very unnaturally in how Dourif interacts with himself. Maybe it could have been fixed in the mix.

It's crazy (no pun intended) that the entire staff fails to react with any severity to the deaths. As soon as someone dies, they just kind of get the body out of there and move on. It got to the point where I wondered if they were doing that on purpose, especially with the nurse up and quitting after one death. But that eventually led to downright nothing at all but a screwy death.

The kills were pretty great, if not a little more brutal than I expected. They really went all out and it may be the goriest yet. There was one point where the death was so outrageous that I laughed aloud. There was also a death that made my jaw drop at how beautiful it was. You'll know it when you see it but this contrast was pleasant, if not a tad out of place for a Chucky film. Which kind of sums up this movie as a whole.

While it's still a fun movie, and the Chucky bits are great, I wasn't as into the story as I was in Curse. This equated to a much less exciting movie overall but it was still fun. It was especially nice to see the Andy Barclay character back (and clearly set up for a sequel). Overall, it was a fun continuation but nowhere near most of its predecessors. 

Next Up: Man Vs

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 3 - "Stephen King's It"

IT (1990)

There are few movies that I refused to watch when growing up but the TV Movie "IT" was definitely one of them. Something about Curry's performance saw me changing the channel rapidly whenever it would come on Sci-Fi. By the time I finally watched it all the way from start to finish, I was terrified by Pennywise but unimpressed with other aspects of the film. Thankfully, that viewpoint has changed...

I'm so glad I gave this movie another rewatch because it left a much bigger impression on me than it had before, mainly because this viewing was after listening to the audiobook. I think this really helped me to appreciate just how much the TV movie deals with. And while I don't think that Curry is the same type of terrifying presence that Skarsgard's Pennywise brought to the table, he's still creepy in an interesting way.

I think one of the aspects that sells Curry's Pennywise so well is the reaction of the adults to him. They are all terrified and act like he is the most bone-chilling thing they've ever been unfortunate enough to witness. It can be a little over the top at times but having all the actors treat him as such a threat really presented him as such, even without him really doing such horrendous things on camera (most the deaths are off-screen/done by the deadlights).

The biggest issue with the film, and one that makes me a little worried about Chapter 2, is that the story drags a lot when it comes to being with the adults. That side of the story just isn't as interesting to me and the confrontation with Pennywise isn't nearly as satisfying. It just makes me even happier that they didn't try to do it for the new film.

Next Up: Cult of Chucky

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 2 - "Alien: Covenant"

Alien: Covenant (2017)

I hated this movie. I hate it with such a passion that it took me four times to finally get all the way through it. I can't stress enough how rare it is for that type of thing to happen to me. Did I mention I hated this movie?

Okay, now that we've got that out the way... I'm not sure how this movie was made. Hell, easily the worst film in the franchise, I'm not sure how this even got past the scripting stage. The film is shlock full of actors and then proceeds to not even utilize them to their full potential.

This entire crew is on a colonization mission and yet, throughout the movie, the crew that is in charge of keeping those pods of people alive constantly puts them in danger. Danny McBride, after assuming command of the ship since the Captain is below on the planets surface (with his wife) decides to go on a suicide mission to save his wife (who is actually dead so he'd be saving no one). It's asinine.

One common defense regarding the movie was that "at least they used a 'man in a suit' for the Xenomorph" and to that I say... did you even watch the movie? 100% of the time there is movement we are treated to a CGI alien. At no point does the creature look real or anything more than a really quick and physics-defying cartoon. Argh!!! This has made me so angry!

I'll end this here before I go off on a tangent about how Ridley Scott hasn't made a good movie since Gladiator... too late.

Next up: Stephen King's IT

31 Days of Halloween '17 - Day 1 - "It"

IT (2017)

What better way to start this off than by watching the biggest movie September has ever seen. I still am in a state of disbelief concerning the film's opening weekend of $123 Million as I just never thought I'd be alive to see such a thing for a horror film. As s-omeone that absolutely adores the genre, I am so happy to see such success. I can only imagine what this will spur going forward. I know my expectations are high. Speaking of high expectations...

Everything about this movie was satisfying but in order to properly give everything its fair due, I'll try and separate them into different sections. Simply makes things easier.

Most of the kids absolutely knock it out of the park. Beverly, Richie, and Bill in particular are three actors that are going to go very far. The only performance I wasn't a huge fan of was the actor playing Stanley. His squeaky voice may have just translated to an awkward performance so I'll hold out hope that it becomes less noticeable with repeat viewings.

Bill Skarsgaard's Pennywise is perfect. Everything that It was in the book comes through in Bill's performance. There have been inevitable comparisons to Curry's performance but I don't see them even in the same ballpark. Sure, Curry's is creepy and works well for the time, but its confined by the restrictions of television. Bill's version is fully realized and terrifying. It's hard to deny the presence of death that surrounds Pennywise.

One of the gripes that, while I understand it, I don't necessarily condone it, the poor use of CGI. I understood its intentions and it never really bothered me but there were a few moments I would have liked to have just had Skarsgaard's performance to inform the terror rather than shaky cam/CGI teeth. I'm sure the director's intentions were for higher budget effects, and I'm sure with the success of this one, we'll be getting that for Chapter 2.

The phenomenon of IT is alive and well. I knew when it was announced that this would be an "event" film but I had no idea it would blow up as it did. Getting to live through the release of the highest grossing horror film ever was truly something to behold and I'm still riding high off of it. Here's hoping Chapter 2 is just as satisfying.

Next Up: Alien Covenant

Random Thoughts for September 2017

I'm doing 31 Days of Halloween again! In order to make it as little extra work as possible, I have about 40 movies picked out and have their own blogger page, with picture, already set up. So that should cut down on day-to-day work and prevent marathon fatigue (which is definitely a real thing). I have a ton of first-time movies picked out so it should be a lot of fun. Hell, I think there are at least ten from 2017 alone (with two being released in October). I missed doing this last year so figured, despite how hectic my life is, that I'd like to do it regardless.

Fantasy football is in full effect and I'm 3-0. I feel like I shouldn't even be putting this in writing since that'll inevitably just jinx me but fuck it. Gotta do what I gotta do. I have a damn good team this year and therefore able to talk a bunch of shit to my cohorts and it's been a blast. Though I must admit, this is the second year without The League airing alongside and its just not quite as fun. That show always helped inspire for the season but instead we're just left with re-runs (and even those are off of Netflix now...bastards).

I've been operating camera for UNC Bear Athletics. So far I've just shot Football and Volleyball games but others should be in my future once the winter sports start. It's been a lot of fun to get back into the game and do something that actually uses my degree. Makes me feel accomplished in a time where it's not easy to find that while pursuing creative endeavors. It's also made me somewhat invested in the UNC Bear athletic teams which is a nice payoff. Well... besides the actual money.

I'll be bringing back Insomnia Theatre this winter. I'm not entirely sure what format it will run under but I know it'll be back. Could just be as a once-a-year special or it could be something bigger. I don't know. What I do know is that it'll likely just be myself this time around, with potential guests, but no set co-host anymore. I have a lot of fond memories doing it with Dom but unfortunately the quality was just never able to be what I would have liked (the literal sound quality) and our schedules just never synced up well. I hope he'll make a guest appearance eventually. Until then, rewatch some of the old ones while you can because they may be placed under a new section (to differentiate between the production quality).

I have some struggles with the Crimson Summer sequel. The writing is going great and I really like how the story is turning out, it's just taken a lot longer than I've expected to get it done. I'm still being hush-hush on the release date because I'm hoping to meet my original date so don't get your hopes up about that being announced. It'll likely just be dropped out of nowhere. Either way, the sequel will be available this Fall/Winter.

Random Thoughts For August 2017

Wonder Woman ended up being a pleasant surprise. Even with the positive reviews/word of mouth, I was very worried about whether or not it'd live up. I didn't think the previews looked very good and I've always found Gal Gadot to be a disappointing WW. While the film likely wouldn't have worked just a few years ago (it is VERY reliant on CGI that wouldn't have been impressive prior to a year ago) I enjoyed what they did with it. Gadot and Pine's relationship is probably the best part of the film (hilarious, given the feminist slant that's been surrounding the film) and the action can be cool, if not a little formulaic and music video-y.

It's okay to not like people based on their political views. There's been this weird narrative going around that we can't judge people based on their political views and that it doesn't represent them as a person. Uhh...how is that? Political motivations are almost exclusively based upon our own moral values, so if someone has different moral values then you, it's okay to not like them. Is it okay to abuse/harass them? Of course not, but I dislike this narrative that if you delete someone off Facebook based on their political beliefs, you're not tolerant. No, I just don't have people in my life that completely clash with my moral values. It doesn't matter if their family/used to be my friends, if you're an asshole, I don't need to be forced to see your nonsense. So if you're a Trump fan and have been wondering why I deleted you, the answer should be obvious: I don't need someone on my timeline who's values clash with both my own and everyone else's that I'm truly friends with.

I finally have my DVD collection back together... for the most part. Ever since leaving for New Orleans in the Summer of 2013, I've been slowly bringing it back together. I got my Blurays in February of 2014 but had still been without all of my DVDs in that time. If you know me, you know that my movie collection is very important to me. It's a comfort and can instantly make a place feel more homey for me. So finally getting most of them back together this summer has been an absolute treat. You'll notice I say MOST because there is still a box which I don't have that is full of mostly my TV shows... oh and HALF of my horror. Yeah, I didn't bother looking for the TV box because I knew that I had most of those available to me via Hulu/Netflix/HBO Go, so I was fine with leaving them behind. Then, when I got home and put out my DVDs, I realized that my horror collection stopped at the letter N. This means that O-Z are unfortunately back in Michigan and I doubt I'll be getting them anytime soon. Oh well, at least I can get lost in movies like Audition, Dead and Breakfast, and Inside until then. (But no Sleepaway Camp... boohoo).

Baby Driver sticks with you long after its over. I have this weird relationship with Edgar Wright movies where, outside of Scott Pilgrim which blew my mind from the get-go, I'm not always completely blown away at first. Don't get me wrong, I loved Baby Driver and had a blast throughout the entire thing but, like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz before it, like a fine wine it needs some aging. It gets better the more time passes and the more times its seen.

I'm attempting to get more into golf. I've always enjoyed golf but always deemed it a rich man's sport and didn't bother much with it. After receiving a set of golf clubs as a gift from my Grandpa, I decided I would dip my toes in it a little bit. I really enjoy the sport and I can see how addicting it can be but the money aspect is such a turn off for me at this point. I've gone out a few times and it just seems a little farfetched to be spending so much money for such a short amount of time. I know that people who do it often buy rounds in bulk and that helps with the cost, so maybe that's something to look to in the future, but at this point, I'll stick to Rory McIlroy PGA Tour.

I'm moving on my own soon. I've lived with my brother the past four years and am finally having to go elsewhere. It's scary. I still have no idea as to where I'm going to live. Hell, I don't even know if I have to go back to Michigan or not. Colorado is expensive and I hate living with others. So the chances of me getting into a decent situation where I get along with my roommate doesn't seem high on the surface. But I'm powering through. It doesn't help that this is happening at the same time as a million other things (essentially the worst timing possible) but I'll make it through. Always do.

Writing, Writing, Writing

Writing is really tough. I've really taken a crash course in the difficulties of trying to make a living with my writing and struggle with it often. It's been... challenging to say the least. There's a lot of factors that come into it and I'm not entirely sure which one it is that causes the most resistance. It sucks that there's not a lot of money in writing these days but being rich isn't exactly the end goal.

I worked for a pop culture website for over a year and it made me realize that, just because I'm writing, doesn't mean it's going to be good writing. The clickbait headlines, top 5/10 lists, and countless fun ideas turned down/sterilized had made me completely cynical towards writing and that kind of critique. I hated going after what was deemed popular. That was never my style. I want to write about things I'm interested in and, if those things are popular, then great. It's a big reason why I've gotten away from full fledged movie reviews. I want to write things that help me express myself, that help get me out of any box.

Fast forward to today. I'm writing my second book yet I still don't really feel like a writer. I'm getting royalties from my first book but, as anyone who's self-published will tell you, those aren't the most reliable. I work a part time job in order to make ends meet while I still try to launch my writing career fully. But it's tough. I have to keep reminding myself that 26 is young and that I have a lot of time ahead of me but that doesn't make it easier.

One of my biggest issues these days is comparing myself with others my age. I see a lot of people going to Europe, living in big cities going out every night, or the other side of the coin of getting married, making babies, and buying houses. And I'm in a similar spot to one that I've always been: barely self-sufficient, too poor to do much in the way of extracurricular activities, and writing. I don't have cool photos to post about the extravagant places I've been nor do have the money to show off my latest massive purchase.

And that's okay.

The thing with writing, even when you're making progress, it can be hard to view it as a professional living. I'm writing on the same laptop that I look at porn with, usually in my house or a nearby coffee shop (the writing, not the porn watching). I'm not going to some office somewhere where I can be cut off from the world and really feel like I'm doing something other than using the same word processor I used to write about Lemony Snicket in the Fifth Grade. There's no clear cut off to where the professional side begins so, even after thousands upon thousands of words, it can still feel like just a hobby. Which can be tough when comparing yourself to your "peers."

I would consider success for writing and that is to sustain my life with just writing. That's it. No extra jobs needed. No massive surplus that allows me a massive house and country club membership. Just a decent living. Will that even be feasible in this day and age? I'm not sure but when I accomplish it, I can guarantee it'll be the best day of my life. I don't need to compare myself to others because I'm not on the same track that they are. If I were, I'd be doing what they were. I had my chance at all of that and I chose writing. Just because it takes a little longer to get things going, doesn't mean it's not worth it. If it were easy, everyone would do it.

I just have to keep reminding myself that.

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The Crimson Summer - AVAILABLE NOW!!!

Synopsis: Summers at Camp Watanka are never easy. The buildings are dilapidated and the heat can be scorching, but for the teenage cam...