Tuesday, July 21, 2015

'It Follows' (Movie Review)

Every once in a while a horror movie comes along that receives high accolades from both fans and critics alike. It Follows is one such film, garnering the “must see” tag and building up a lot of steam from the internet hype train. After finally getting a chance to watch it, I’d say some of that praise is well deserved. Click the jump to see why.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

'All Good Things' (Book Review)

All Good Things is the third and final installment in author Stevie Kopas Breadwinner trilogy of zombie horror novels and it sends the series out on a high note, if those can exist in a brutal undead apocalypse.

Picking up immediately where the prior book Haven left off, All Good Things wastes no time in throwing the reader right back into the action. After a few short chapters of exposition and developing some key plot points that flesh out the motivations of central characters (I’m being intentionally vague to avoid spoilers) the group determines their days in the Tower are numbered and it’s inevitable they’ll need to seek supplies or possibly uproot and move on.

From that point it’s more of what we’ve come to expect from the Breadwinner trilogy, and that’s not a bad thing. Plenty of gory action, unexpected plot twists, and characters who you shouldn’t grow attached to. Similar in tone to The Walking Dead, no one is safe, and Kopas is willing to sacrifice any of the players to the uncaring universe she has designed.

Far more action-oriented than previous installments, All Good Things is a fast read thanks to the non-stop battles raging through the Florida streets. As the group moves towards what should be their final destination, the atmosphere is downright oppressive and it never lets up.

Both the quality of writing and editing is top notch. Kopas has a talent for evocative and visual descriptions, creating unsettling scenes of visceral horror without dragging on in too much detail. Character development is as concise as it needs to be for this genre; you care what happens to these people without knowing their life story. Besides, you don’t want to get too attached to this doomed group of folks anyway!

All Good Things is an intense and satisfying ending to a well-written horror trilogy. It finishes up the story without any egregious loose ends, and doesn’t rely on worn out tropes or ham-fisted coincidences (“there happens to be a helicopter on the roof!”) to put a bloody bow on the final package.

If you’re a zombie horror fan, you owe it to yourself to check out the entire trilogy. They’re all fast-paced books, and having completed All Good Things I can say the entire series is strong throughout.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Terrortorial Expansion: 'Geekly Essentials: Horror Edition'

Hey gang,

I've got a new gig over on GeeklyInc as part of their "Horror Team" (trademark pending) and we put up this lovely personal list of our top choices essential to the genre. If you're looking for a way to get started in horror films, or just want to see the ones we feel are great, check it out!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Our Eulogy for Silent Hills

Remember that Childish Gambino video Sweatpants where he was wandering through the same restaurant over and over but it kept getting more surreal?  Well Konami released that in video game form, only instead of dope lyrics from La Biblioteca it was filled with demon fetuses and effective zombie-lady jump scares.  It was called PT and we wrote about it here (with just as many annoying hipstery music references).

That Playable Teaser ended with a trailer for a new Silent Hill game; the sort of cocktail of internet culture that could only have been dreamed up in some magical subReddit.  Hideo Kojima (of Metal Gear Solid fame) would make the game with Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labrynth), and it would star Norman Reedus (Walking Dead).

Unfortunately our revelry was cut short and the actors, spirits, melted into air.  Kojima gave Konami the middle finger (as far as I can tell reading through the corporate doublespeak) starting a domino effect rendering Silent Hills a no more, and Konami, the once great console video game company something that now will focus solely on mobile games.

Nobody knows if Silent Hills would have been incredible, but in the nature of all cancelled projects that look excellent on paper, it was clearly going to be the best, most amazing game that ever existed or ever would.  For fans of a little PS1 game about a dad looking for his daughter that made them jump in the middle of night, what is lost is a chance that a once great series could return to the top.

But maybe this is better.  Maybe in a world where we are getting another Jurassic Park and Star Wars, where Evil Dead, Poltergeist, and Halloween need to be remade, it's better that Silent Hills can live on in our memories as this great perfect thing that almost was, rather than see the light of day as a mediocre cash grab.

That's either "too-cool-for-school" snobbery, or I've moved from denial and anger onto bargaining.

PT is no longer downloadable.  As this was probably the best horror video game experience in the past handful of years, it's the most tangible tragedy out of this entire mess.  There's an online petition to get it back, to rekindle the Silent Hills game, and to solve the Israel/Palestine conflict. For now those of us who experienced PT will have to wither, making sure we don't delete it and simply cling to memories of being terrified.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Summer Vacation 2015

It's that time of year again.

Jeff and I will be taking our (now) annual summer break to enjoy sun, fun, and all the non-horror summer popcorn blockbusters that none of you really care about. Speaking of, HOLY CRAP is Mad Max:Fury Road incredible. Go see it!

We'll probably cheat this year and post a bit here and there, but you can expect us to really ramp back up come September when the leaves start to turn, and we head into October. I'd like to think that if this blog was a corporate boardroom, someone would forecast that "the 2nd quarter has our best conversion rate."

In the meantime, why don't you follow us on Twitter or just... wait here for a little while... see what happens?