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Showing posts from June, 2020

Happy Pride 2020!

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The image above is made fabulous by freelance designer  Sean Sinclair , courtesy of Unsplash.com

Can Home Haunters Save Halloween?

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As more states move towards opening businesses and get some semblance of normality during this pandemic, I wonder about the lingering effects to our collective psyche. There’s a looming threat of a covid-19 resurgence in the fall or winter, and Halloween is smack down in the center of that time period. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to foretell that our spooky traditions will be altered this fall. For starters, I can’t imagine that parents will encourage their trick ‘r treaters to go door-to-door this year. Haunted attractions may be a little less spooky six-feet apart. And parties may not feature extensive guests lists or allow for much nibbling, with masks likely being required for the foreseeable future. We must remain committed to safety for the sake of our most vulnerable populations.  So where does that leave the home haunter, like myself, that decks out the lawn with sinister sights?  In one regard, creating these displays may draw crowds, which is normally a good t

Quick Takes: Gretel & Hansel, The Boy II, This is Our Home, Housewife

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GRETEL & HANSEL is a dark reimagining of the classic fairy tale told visually with sumptuous production design and theatrical imagery. Dread seeps from the screen like an icy mist and the wicked shenanigans reveal the stories of a girl becoming a woman, and a monster wanting to be a mother. We know the original story so the director instead focuses on the sinister, evocative ride. This is an art film with anachronistic dialogue, adept performers, and quiet slow burn that won’t appeal to the broad audience it aimed for in theaters. But those who can appreciate the stylized witchery and subtle wickedness will find a feast in the details. BRAHMS: THE BOY II doesn’t undo the first film's nutty twist so much as broadens the mythology with a heavy injection of the supernatural. Katie Holmes is good as the bad parent who lets her child keep a doll buried in the woods. It's a sinister but common approach to put the child at the center of the danger. It's a

Quick Takes: Shirley, Blood Machines, House In Between, Defending Jacob

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Shirley is an atmospheric & engrossing study of the creative process & the monsters created in its wake. Moss is brilliantly unhinged as the pioneering #horror writer, Shirley Jackson who wrote The Haunting of Hill House and The Lottery . Her provocative, seething resentment is palpable, and she is often shot in extreme close-ups with handheld cameras that add a shaky, restless energy. The film distills the dizzying madness to a singular, urgent message: "The world is too cruel to girls." Blood Machines roars to life in a visionary spectacle that defies sci-fi & horror conventions & boldly goes forward. At a scant 40-45 minutes (& inexplicably split into three episodes by Shudder?), the pulsing synth leaves you breathless & yearning for more despite the frayed optical nerves & itchy brain stem. The perfunctory performances are almost nonessential given the conceptual nature but still its weakest link. More importantly, the ge

Black Lives Matter

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There are no words more important than these: BLACK LIVES MATTER . The horrors of America are all too real to ignore and silence is complicity. I stand with you. Learn more and donate at blacklivesmatter.com .