Scream: The TV Series Review

In 1996 horror guru Wes Craven introduced a horror movie that called all other horror movies out on their cliche b.s. This movie was called Scream, which has since become a horror classic over the years. Scream transcended the stereotypical slasher fair, bringing a new fresh spin on horror movies. The original film series starred Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott, the badass final girl, who broke many rules of being a final girl like constantly screaming and being a virgin. Scream was all about subverting the tired out slasher fare. Flash forward fifteen years from 1996 where MTV has decided to make a TV spinoff of the film, Scream: The TV Series, an attempt of bringing Scream  to a fresh audience.

      Set in the town of Lakewood a new killer has emerged paying homage to another Lakewood killer, Brandon James . Instead of Ghostface, we now have the Brandon James killer who wears a similar mask to Ghostface.  The first episode opens with a scene very similar to the iconic Drew Barrymore scene in the first movie, with Bella Thorne as Nina, a spoiled rich girl getting chased down by the BJK. That’s all Scream: The TV Series is, superficial teens with superficial problems. The only difference between this show and other MTV shows is that the teenagers actually get murdered.

      Many fans of the franchise were happy to have a new installment to the series, however, many fans were also dismayed to learn that Wes Craven would not be involved and that this series would be entirely disconnected from the Scream movies. The show may not have characters like Ghostface or Sidney Prescott, but it still contains the spirit of Scream (not literally). This show sets out to tackle the horror genre again but instead of tackling movies, television shows are the target . Shows like American Horror Story, Bates Motel and Hannibal are all referenced in this horror tribute. What are the rules of a horror tv show? These questions are asked in the show, but have yet to be answered.

      Scream: The TV Series tries to make a statement about horror tv shows but falls short. Instead of exposing cliches, it just tells you about them with characters who give lengthy monologues boasting about how they are not cliches and then becomes one. The characters are one dimensional ,until later episodes, nothing deep or transcendental happens. The lead heroine Emma (Willa Fitzgerald) remains bland throughout the entire season, a weak protagonist indeed. However, the only characters that do manage to be remotely interesting are Brooke (Carlson Young) an eris who has her entire life fall apart and Noah (John Karna) the geeky guy obsessed with serial killers. Both these characters add life to show, whether it’s Brooke’s ferocity or Noah’s awkward antics, viewers will get some enjoyment out of this show.

Regardless of what Brooke and Noah bring to the table, Scream: The TV Series is lackluster. Most episodes drag on forever with meaningless subplots and bad acting. There is hope, for an ounce of what made Scream so good does begin to show in season finale, maybe this show can become good with a little more action and more wit.

Mother Knows Worst: The Top 10 Killer Horror Moms

Mother knows best…unless someone ends up with a knife in their back. Not all moms can be as perfectly peachy as Carol Brady or as tolerant as Marge Simpson. Some mothers are actually quite terrifying. To celebrate Mother’s Day, here’s a list of the Top 10 Horror Mothers.


10.Mrs.Loomis (Scream 2)

Some mothers will do almost anything for their children, however, this mother goes even further. After her son, Billy Loomis, is killed by Sidney Prescott in the first Scream movie, Mrs. Loomis concocts an elaborate scheme to avenge her son’s death by posing as a news reporter and murdering everyone of Sidney friends. She even pays one of Sidney’s classmates tuition, so he can help murder her, that’s some serious dedication.

 

9.Amelia (The Babadook)

Let’s face it, some kids can be annoying little pricks especially when they start screaming their heads off about imaginary monsters that seek to kill their parents. Amelia is not the greatest mother in the world especially when she reads her son a terrifying book about monsters who cause parents to murder their children and then tries to murder him. All her son wants is a birthday party and to be protected from the evil Babadook, is that too much to ask for?

 

8.Bathsheba Sherman (The Conjuring)

Here’s a mother that should have had social services call on her a long time ago. Bathsheba is a real witch, so much in fact that she drives a needle into her baby’s skull and proclaims her love for Satan.Wouldn’t a goat be more efficient? But that’s not enough for Bathsheba because she has to keep coming back from the dead to terrorize other families too. Jerry Springer would have a field day with this one.

 

7.Chris MacNeil (The Exorcist)

Chris MacNeil deserves a trophy for staying home in order to care for her sick daughter, Reagan.Some children get chicken poxs, some get the flu, but Reagan gets possessed by Satan. It takes a lot of guts to battle the dark forces of evil. Chris MacNeil continues to fight for her daughter despite everyone else’s insistence that Regan be institutionalized. She could have just made chicken soup for her daughter, but instead she calls an exorcist.

exorcist

 

6.Rosemary Woodhouse (Rosemary’s Baby)

Pregnancy can either be the happiest or most painful time of woman’s life, for Rosemary Woodhouse, it’s the latter. Rosemary experiences all the usual symptoms of pregnancy nausea, weird cravings, demonic hallucinations. Unlike most mothers, Rosemary is forced by a cult of kooks into giving birth to the anti-christ. What is it with horror moms and Satan?

 

  1. Martha Thomas (Sleepaway Camp)

Martha Thomas is one of the most bizarre mothers out of the bunch, she’s also a terrific humanitarian. Out of the goodness of her heart, she adopts her nephew, Peter Baker after his dad and sister are killed in a horrific boating accident. Martha takes Peter in an forcibly dresses him up to be the daughter she’s always wanted, how sweet. Of course Martha’s actions cause Peter to grow up to be the murderous camp counselor killer, Angela Baker. Years of psycho-sexual trauma had turned Angela/Peter into a very happy camper. Martha Thomas gives all pageant mom’s a run for their money, sorry Momma June.Think her parenting skills are wrong? Well that “simply will not do”!

 

4.Margaret White (Carrie)

Most mothers just want their daughters to be happy, but all Margaret White wants is to prevent her daughter Carrie from unleashing hell on earth with her telekinetic powers. Margaret is an old fashioned psycho that makes all stereotypical Catholic nuns look like Maria Von Trapp from The Sound of Music. Her philosophy is use the rod, beat the child and she does just that. If Carrie had just heeded her mother’s advice, the entire town of Chamberlain, Maine might not have been burned down.

 

3.The Other Mother (Coraline)

All she wanted was a sweet, innocent daughter whom she could give the world to and eventually devour. The Other Mother just wants to do what she thinks is best for her “daughter” Coraline, even if that means violently sewing buttons into her eyes. How many mothers out there would build an entire dream world for their daughter to live in? Actually, the Other Mother is quite creepy and no one should trust any of the food that she cooks, however, gorgeous her cooking might be.

 

2.Pamela Voorhees (Friday the 13th- 1980)

Mrs.Voorhees takes the phrase “overprotective mother” to an entirely new level. After horny camp counselors let her deformed son Jason drown, Mrs.Voorhees leads a crusade to destroy Camp Crystal Lake. Some people might have just petitioned to have Camp Crystal Lake shut down, but Mrs.Voorhees takes matters into her own hands by murdering every camp counselor at Camp Crystal Lake. She’s a mother that would do anything for her son, including murdering horny teenagers. Jason makes her proud by following in her footsteps.

 

1.Norma Bates (Psycho/ Bates Motel)

And the winner of the Smother of the Year award goes to… Norma Bates! The ultimate helicopter mom who follows her son wherever he goes. Let’s face it, kids screw up sometimes and Norman Bates is the biggest screwup of them all. Not many mothers would passionately love their sons to the point where they would help them get away with murder Despite Norman’s objections, Norma’s killer instincts know what’s best for him even if that means keeping Norman locked up in a creepy motel for eternity.


Honorable Mentions: Fiona Goode (American Horror Story: Coven), Mama (Mama), Wendy Torrance (The Shining) and  Marge Thompson (A Nightmare on Elm Street- 1984)

Hooky: Excerpt #1

hooky1

SCENE 1
EXT-LOVER’S LANE,TERRIDALE,ARKANSAS-1959
[FADE IN]

Lover’s Lane, an eerie desolate patch of woods that overlooks a large cliff. The moon shines over like a dimly lit beacon.
ALAN, an African-American teen, about 16 years old, is fleeing from an unknown force. He looks like a deer staring into headlights; blood is dripping from his chin. The sound of footsteps is coming from behind him, but his loud breathing overpowers the sound.

ALAN:
Please, please don’t hurt me.

No response. A shadow of a hook appears on the side of a tree.

ALAN:
I can you give you
whatever you want.

He sees the light of a parking lot and runs towards it.

EXT:THE TERRIDALE DRIVE-IN
A hand reaches in front and grabs Alan. BOBBY, a teenage football player, is standing in front of him, snarling like a bull.

BOBBY:
I got him guys, you can come out
now.

Several other football players emerge from the woods, LIAM, JACK,GERALD,DONALD And DAVID. Liam grabs Alan and throws him to the ground. The other guys form a circle around him. Donald has an umbrella in his hand. “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” is playing on the movie screen.

LIAM:
Now I thought this was supposed to
be a white’s only theater?

He kicks Alan in the chest.

ALAN:
I’m sorry, please, I just wanted to
see the movie.

LIAM:
You just wanted to to see the movie?
This isn’t New York boy. Just because
they’re letting your kind into school’s
now, does not give you the right to walk
wherever you please.

Alan tries to look away, Gerald brutally smacks the back of his head

GERALD:
Now you listen to him boy! Listen good!

LIAM:
There are rules to help separate us lions
from the other zoo animals and you broke
them. You know what they do to people
like you in Missouri? There was a boy
just like you.Now he talked funny to
a white woman and guess what they
did to him?
ALAN: (BEGGING)
No, please!
LIAM:
They took ‘im and dragged his body
from the back of a pickup truck.

ALAN:
Somebody, help me!

Alan gets up, he takes a swing at Liam, hitting him square in the forehead. Donald throws Alan down again and gives him a solid smack in the ribs with the umbrella.

LIAM:
Now that’s not very nice,
you got blood on my varsity
letter.Momma ain’t gonna
like that.

He punches Alan several times. Then he spits on him.
GERALD:
Jack, why don’t you take
a kick?
JACK: (ANXIOUS)
I don’t want to scuff
up my shoes.

ALAN:
Help! Someone please
help me!

LIAM:
I’m not gonna kill you boy,
that goes against the good book.
Besides I don’t wanna see
your momma blubbering on
my television set.

A beautiful girl, MARY, emerges from behind the crowd.

MARY:
Hey, you boys leave him alone!
Do you want to go to prison?

LIAM:
No mam.

JACK:
Mary, stay out of this.

MARY:
No Jack, I won’t and if
you want a ride home,
you best stop picking on him.

The other guys laugh, Jack is extremely embarrassed.

MARY:
You,(points to Alan) go home.
Go home and don’t look back.

Alan gets up and runs away, the other guys leave as well. The movie ends, all the cars in the lot begin to drive away, leaving Jack and Mary alone.

EXT-FRONT OF DRIVE-IN
Gerald stands in front of the drive-in smoking a cigarette. A darkened car pulls up to him. The window rolls down, a figure waves to him. Gerald walks slowly to the car.

MAN:
Excuse me sir, do you know how
to get to Maple street from here?

GERALD:
Yeah, just keep goin’ straight
down this road and take a left
on Bowdoin street. You’ll see
another sign on your right.

MAN:
Thank-you sir.

Gerald is left alone in the parking lot. Another shadowed figure emerges from behind him, and plunges a hook straight through Gerald’s stomach. The killer eyes an old tow truck sitting at the corner of the parking lot.

[PAN ON TOW TRUCK BACK]
[CUT TO OPENING CREDITS]

What to Expect From a Season of American Horror Story

Every year Ryan Murphy releases a new installment of the hit horror anthology, American Horror Story. Each season is set in a new time, with a new story and a new set of characters with settings ranging from a spooky “Murder House” to a 1960’s “Insane Asylum” to a “Coven” in New Orleans and recently a freakshow in Florida, each season has it’s own jenesaisquoi.  Recently there has been much talk over possible connections between seasons of Ryan Murphy’s hit horror anthology, American Horror Story.  Fans are now eagerly anticipating the return of a certain Nun who got possessed by Satan in season. While each season is entirely different, there are many similarities between them as well. Here’s a list of What to Expect From a Season of American Horror Story:

1.Music.

2.Butts.

Evan-Peters-Butt2

Dandya

3.Non-sexy nurses.

 

 

4.Weird sex scenes.

5.Dismemberment.

download (1)

6.Disgusting Food.

7.Out of place guest stars.

 

8.Jessica Lange being bitchy.

9.Serial Killers with Mommy Issues

dandy-mott-blood-body

10. Some freaky mascot.

Gotta love AHS!

nigel

Eight More Days Til Halloween: Revisiting Halloween 3: Season of the Witch

“It’s time, It’s time, gather around your tv sets, put on your masks and watch the magic pumpkin” Too much tv can rot your brain, John Carpenter and Tommy Lee Wallace prove that point in their third installment to the Halloween franchise.  When Halloween III: Season of the Witch was released, fans went into a murderous rage over the loss of their beloved horror icon Michael Myers. John Carpenter wanted to take the film series in a new direction by having each Halloween movie tell a different story, but fans were about as ecstatic as Annie Wilkes was when Paul Sheldon killed off her literary idol in Misery. Since it’s release in 1982,  Halloween III has been criticized by horror fans  for being too boring and too meek. Over the years this film has been overlooked because it deters so heavily from typical slasher conventions, rendering it weak in the eyes of horror fans alike. If John Carpenter had released this film under a different title, it may have been regarded as a decent film. 32 years have passed since its release,  the time has finally come for Halloween III to get the respect it deserves.

Halloween III tells a new story about a doctor (played by Tom Atkins) investigating the murder of one his patients. His investigation eventually leads him to Santa Mira, a quaint village dominated by a large toy company called Silver Shamrock. Doctor Challis’s investigation leads him into unnerving discovery more horrifying than anything he could imagine. With a very shocking twist ending,  Halloween III has more a Twilight Zone vibe to it, which is why fans were so angry about it. These types of horror stories require an appreciation for classic macabre story telling. This movie relies more on narrative than it does on stabbings and jump scares.

Sure Halloween III is not as psychologically jarring when compared to its predecessors, but its plot is still creepy and dare I say more sophisticated than Halloween? You will not see a continuous chain of horny teenagers being murdered, nor will you see an overabundance of jump scares and gore.  Halloween III isn’t about psychopaths killing off morally corrupt teenagers, its about the evils of capitalism, It’s what happens when a society becomes too materialistic and forgets to look around at its surroundings. What  makes Halloween III so unique is its central theme of capitalism and its effect on society. Tommy Lee Wallace depicts business men as cold robots who go around murdering the less fortunate, if that’s not enough, Halloween III has enough Halloween imagery in it to make you puke, which is kind of the point. Many scenes are saturated with Halloween masks, candy, decorations and a very annoying in your face Silver Shamrock commercial, all this to emphasize how materialistic society has become societies need to have to newest thing is what leads to it’s horrific undoing in Halloween III. This is what horror movies are really about: Exposing the flaws in society that people are just too damn afraid to talk about.

Halloween III does have some very edgy scenes in it. In the opening scene, Doctor Challis’s patient has his eyes gouged out by one of the robot businessmen in a very Oedipus style, the business man then douses himself in gasoline and sets himself on fire. The businessmen later return in another scene where they rip of the head of a homeless bum who threatened  to burn their factory down. Robot businessmen are not the only scary additions to this film. The ending of the film (featuring a brief cameo appearance of Jamie Lee Curtis) is very similar and just as horrifying as the ending of Invasion of the Pod People. It’s ending is so shocking, so unexpected and very Hitchcockian.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Halloween III is the connection to Michael Myers that is later made in Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers. Halloween 6 is regarded as being the worst movie in the franchise due to it’s stock characters and ridiculous narrative, but it’s connection to Halloween 3 makes it also worth a watch, that is if you have a stomach for shitty horror movies. In Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers it is revealed that an evil Celtic curse was placed on Michael Myers, causing him to resurrect each Halloween and attack people to fulfill a ritual sacrifice, sound familiar? This is the same type of sacrificial ritual that is performed in Halloween 3, just in a different way. Both films are influenced by the same Celtic folklore.

Unfortunately Halloween 3’s biggest fault is it’s inclusion of Irish culture because it does so in a way that comes off as racist against Irish people . Anyone who is Irish, might find this film’s portrayal of Irish people to be highly offensive. The filmmakers decisions to depict the main antagonist, Conal Cochran, as an evil,corrupt, kid killer makes Halloween come off as Anti-Irish. There are many other scenes that depict negative stereotypes.  The citizens of Santa Mira are  poor, overly pious, violent drunks, all of the most offensive Irish stereotypes imaginable. But Halloween III isn’t as offensive as say Leprechaun.

If you like horror movies that rely on plot, and can overlook it’s racism, Halloween III is definitely worth checking out. What it lacks in jump scares, it makes up with a creepy plot.  Halloween III: Season of the Witch is more than the typical horror fare, making for a rather enjoyable watching experience, especially around the Halloween season. Halloween III has its own je ne sais quoi and if it had been released under a different title, it probably would have received more praise than it did.        

Just so you know:

     

DISCLAIMER: I am not a communist!                                                                        

The Conjuring Spin-off As Wooden As It’s Doll

 

Annabelle-movie-poster (1)

WARNING, POSITIVELY DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE.

Annabelle the Doll’s new movie, Annabelle, is as transparent as the glass case in which she currently resides. Annabelle was first introduced in The Conjuring as a possessed doll who terrorizes two nurses, an actual case investigated  by the famous demon hunting couple Ed and Lorraine Warren. With the success of The Conjuring, a spin-off/sequel was inevitable. Annabelle is an origin story depicting all the events leading up to her big appearance in The Conjuring.

The film begins with the same two nurses from The Conjuring describing their experience with Annabell to Ed and Lorraine Warren, the only scene the demon hunters are featured in. The film then jumps back to the life of a married couple in 1970’s suburbia. Mia (Annabelle Wallis) and her husband John (Ward Horton) are expecting a baby, they live a devout Christian life in a quaint Levittown like neighborhood, all is perfect until Annabelle arrives. To celebrate Mia’s pregnancy, John gives her yet another creepy wooden doll, Annabelle, to add to her unhealthy collection of dolls. Later that night, two Manson Family wannabes go on a killing spree around Mia’s neighborhood which ends with both killers being shot to death in Mia’s bedroom and Annabelle getting possessed by Satan. There is pretty much no reason to continue watching this film after this point. The rest of the film is just loaded with unintentionally funny dialogue, tiresome jump scares and cliches, without a good plot to justify them.  Annabelle Wallis is decent enough in her role as Mia, the supporting cast is adequate as well but somehow their characters always seem to fall flat, lacking conviction.

Both Annabelle and The Conjuring borrow heavily from other horror movies, the only difference is that The Conjuring actually used its material effectively. Annabelle borrows from movies such as Scream, Paranormal Activity, Rosemary’s Baby, Child’s Play and even Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers. Annabelle throws its plot devices around all helter skelter without giving them any purpose.

What made The Conjuring so enjoyable was its use of a technique called “the anti-jump scare”. The Conjuring was loaded with scenes that seemed like they were building up to a jump scare, but didn’t. An example of this technique is in a scene with Mr. Perron, the patriarch of the Perron Family, investigating a noise he hears late at night. He wakes up in his office after hearing a door slam, he slowly makes his way to the kitchen, only to realize that it was only the wind blowing the door open, nothing harmful. These scenes help to conceal the actual jump scares in the film, making them less predictable. Annabelle uses no such technique and instead favors more traditional jump scares. Mia goes down into a basement to put away a decoration, a baby carriage appears out of nowhere, a scary demon jumps out at her, this is pretty much how all scare scenes are carried out.

With so much material to work with Annabelle butchers every opportunity it has to be a creative film. The 1970’s setting already provides a lot of historical content to work with but Annabelle fails to take advantage of the nostalgia, it only skims the surface of its potential. This is the era of The Brady Bunch, 8-tracks, Bell Bottoms, ABBA and Richard Nixon, how could the directors ignore these horrors? Maybe because James Wan wasn’t directing the film. Once again Annabelle chucks in a few 1970’s nods but not with purpose. A few 70’s outfits here, a few songs there, throw in a reference to Charles Manson and boom, there is still nothing to distinguish this film from any other. Annabelle lacks the believability and imagination  required to tell a good ghost story.

Although this film is not based on a true story like The Conjuring was, the writers of the Annabelle should have still consulted with Lorraine Warren, like James Wan did, to get more information about demons and the occult. The fun of The Conjuring was knowing that it was based on something real. There is very little connection to The Conjuring in this film, Annabelle forgets its roots. The demons shown in Annabelle look exactly like Lipstick-Face from Insidious, it may as

However bad the movie may be Annabelle proves superior to The Conjuring in only one category: Cinematography. James Kniest skillfully establishes the perfect scene composition in all his shots. He uses the space effectively, placing certain portions of background out of focus, this helps to displace the viewers attention away from where the actual jump scares are going to occur. The only enjoyable aspect of the film is a really nice touch added by Kniest, the inclusion of a Raggedy Ann doll in the final scene of the film, a wise nod to the real life Annabelle doll who is a Raggedy Ann doll.

Even good camera shots are not enough to save Annabelle from the bowels of Hell. Annabelle is a victim of plot holes, cliches, unintentional humor, flat acting and horrible animation. Annabelle should stay on the shelf where she belongs.


The Final Verdict: If you have to watch Annabelle, wait until you find her in the $3.99 discount bin at Walmart.

20 Signs That You Are a True Horror Fan

  1. You have seen your favorite slasher films at least a hundred times each.
  2. Some of your favorite authors include Stephen King, H.P Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe.
  3. You enjoy watching other people get scared by horror films.
  4. October is just an ordinary month for you.
  5. You have at least one horror movie ringtone on your phone
  6. You know who the real killer was in Friday the 13th (1980)
  7. Your friends think that you are psychic because you always know when a kill is coming.
  8. You are knowledgeable on the subject of “Zombie Apocalypse Survival”.
  9. You know who these people are:                                                                                                                                        nancy                                                                                                                        bruce                                                                                                                                                   Tony-Todd                                                                                                                                       americanhorror
  10. The topic of Serial Killers does not bother you.                                                                                                                  gacy
  11. You know the words to the Freddy Krueger Rope Song by heart.
  12. You own different versions of the same film.                                                                                                                      michael
  13. You were always that one kid who dressed as something scary for Halloween.                                                                  haunted-mask
  14. Growing up you loved shows like Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark and Courage the Cowardly Dog.              slappycourage                                                                                                               tumblr_mcf8eilYom1qfzgyio1_500                                                                             
  15. Don’t Fear the Reaper is in on your music playlist                                                                                                              
  16. You know to avoid areas with bad cell phone service, not to trust strange voices coming from the woods and to never lose the map.
  17. You frequently debate over which slasher icons would win in a fight.                                                                                  freddy
  18. Pea soup always reminds you of something entirely different…                                                                                          pea-soup
  19. Campfire stories are your thing.                                                                                                                                         
  20. You celebrate holidays differently than other people:                                                                                                                              What Normal People Watch on Saint Patrick’s Day:                                                                                                                           st_patricks_day_parade_2011_sebastien_leprachaun                                                                                                                          What Horror Movie Fans Watch on Saint Patrick’s Day:                                                                                                                     leprechaun                                                                                                                                          What Normal People Watch on Christmas:                                                                                                                                        220px-YWOASCDVD                                                                                                                                                 What Horror Movie Fans Watch on Christmas:                                                                                                                                  215px-Silentnightdeadlynight                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  WARNING: IF YOU ARE NOT EXPERIENCING ANY OF THE SYMPTOMS OF BEING A TRUE HORROR MOVIE FAN PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT STORE, LIBRARY OR VIDEO STREAMING SERVICE.                                              SIDE EFFECTS OF HORROR MOVIE FREE LIFE MAY INCLUDE: GETTING STRANDED IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, BEING EATEN BY ZOMBIES AND LEADING A POTENTIALLY BORING LIFE.