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Showing posts from September, 2020

The Depot Brings Halloween Home in a Big Way

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HomeDepot.com has unearthed another fantastic line of products this year. I've already posted about their massive 12-foot skeleton which is quite impressive. A limited selection of products makes their way to the brick-and-mortar stores but most of the goodies are online only (but they ship to your home or local store for pick up). Here are some of my favorite items from Home Depot's 2020 Halloween Collection include a giant jack in the box, a headless horseman, a hearse and skeleton horse, and a ground-breaking anaconda. The crouching grave digger was also has a sinister, detailed face, hair and perfect for a tombstone cemetery scene. In the airblown category, I loved the sand snake from Beetlejuice , Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors and a fuzzy orange spider with speckled eyes. Finally in the home decor aisle I loved this rotten pumpkin that has a flame light effect inside, and a really ornate (too ornate?) snow globe with a weird, sparkly mist continually swirling insi

12-Foot Skeleton Wins Halloween 2020

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Several years ago HomeDepot.com  burst onto the Halloween scene with the most unusual collection of decor. And lately, they have been offering some of the  largest  and most awe-inspiring props I've ever seen. Sorry everybody else, you are a very distant second.  This year we got the most impressive, consumer-level prop I've ever seen: a  12-foot Giant Skeleton . This thing is HUGE and heavy (in the box it weighs 93 lbs.). With a metal frame and plastic bone overlay, it's quite solid and must be tied down securely with the included braided wire and supports. Added sandbags are recommended. I can already see the lawsuits from wind pushing this thing over onto windows, cars, pedestrians, etc. It will take two people to assemble this monster and there's even an app to guide you through the process. It's not posable, but the arms do rotate up and down. The head features animated LED eyes that blink, close, look around, and add a lot of life.  I was able to assemble it r

Going to Hellier and Back

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I have been cosmically disquieted by HELLIER, a reality tv documentary following Greg and Dana Newkirk to a small town plagued with strange occurrences. The second season premiered this year and both seasons are now streaming on Amazon Prime or on the Hellier website .  I am a paranormal geek but wouldn't categorize myself as a ghost hunter. I like to visit eerie places reported to be haunted, and anytime I travel, a detour to a mysterious place somehow ends up on the itinerary. I've been around the world to Iceland, Ireland, Italy, China, Mexico, Canada, and all over the United States in search of something scary. I didn't come face to face, literally, with the unexplained until I lived in San Francisco. (I wrote an article about that experience for  Gayly Dreadful  this past June.) I've also watched a lot of the ghost hunter tv shows, read a library of spooky books, and studied the paranormal. The Hellier series however introduced me to concepts I've never come a

Quick Takes: The Babysitter 2, The Owners, Sputnik, The Soul Collector

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The Babysitter: Killer Queen is an insanely gory, ridiculous & highly stylized sequel that recaptures the lunacy of the first one. The returning cast of bewitching satanic cult idiots vs. the amiable nerdy kid makes it quite watchable horror but the syrupy ending needed a major rewrite. The Owners is a well-polished U.K. home invasion horror movie with several expected twists. Outlandish performances hold the film together but after a few gory moments, it sort of stalls & takes on a mean-spirited vibe. It ends illogically & confused with a sort of whimper.  Sputnik takes a familiar #scifi story & keeps the focus intimate. At its core it’s an exploration on the cost ambition, the search for knowledge, heroism & also a vicious alien. It’s a solid debut with a brisk pace that keeps the plot moving toward the expected conclusion.  8: A South African Horror Story (a.k.a. The Soul Collector) has an old-school horror vibe, teeming with slow burn dread, gorgeous atmospher

Can Drive-Thru Terror Become a True Horror?

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Not even a pandemic will stop Halloween and after months of the unrelenting doldrums, folks are looking towards holidays to have some fun. Haunted attractions have mostly been shut down across the country so the clever and creative haunt industry has conceived of the drive-thru horror experience. ( The Haunted Road  in Central Florida is one such attraction.) The concept sounds fantastic and will keep even the most timid safely within the metal frame of a car. I'm excited to see how these are done but do have to wonder about expected and unexpected safety issues.  I have a friend who is an intelligent, college-educated individual but put him in a horror maze and his adrenalin-fueled imagination causes the otherwise composed person to push and shove children and older adults out of the way. I've seen it and it's terrifyingly hilarious to watch. Now put a highly suggestible person like this in a car and that behavior might be cause for alarm. Also, at every haunt I've eve