Tag Archives: horror

Goosebumps 2: Not Too Goosebumps?

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Just in time for the Halloween season, R.L. Stine’s most famous (infamous?) creation is back for another go around. ‘Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween’ is for sure a follow up to the 2015 movie.

Or is it?

Having no returning stars beyond the sparsely used Jack Black, who voices Slappy and portrays the on-screen version of Stine, ‘Haunted Halloween’ has some similar beats without most of the rhythm.

Best friends, Sonny and Sam, are out for one think this Fall season: Junk. Seeking to pick up some extra money, they tout themselves as ‘Junk Bros’ a rudimentary trash collection service for neighbors around town. After posting flyers all over the town, they receive one mysterious, un-traced phone call for a junking job. They are told there is no cash for them, but they are welcome to take anything they find interesting.

Arriving at what appears to be an abandoned house, they ultimately find a miasma of random junk, but something does indeed catch their attention: an almost pristine ventriloquist dummy (Guess who?)

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“Karru Marri Odonna Loma Molonu Karrano”

Reading the magic words, like so many before, brings Slappy to life, and he’s out for…family?

While the character is charismatic as ever, there is something absent. Where before he pined for freedom and slaves, of course, he now seeks out a family to call his own. So much so that we see Slappy doing laundry and even bringing a video game to life (what?).

While his powers seem to have expanded, the story here leaves something to be desired.

Fantastic performances all around, the kids and smattering of familiar adults (Ken Jeong as a wacky neighbor, Chris Parnell as a desperate department store employee) are adept at making the best of the content give for some truly amusing, and chilling moments.

While the tone is consistent and the monsters make a much welcomed return, there is a sense that this time around,  the script seems muddled and warped which loses some of the emotional weight and familiarity. Many of the plot points feel mashed together and watered down perhaps through a mill of writers unable to nail the magic of the first.

Kids will be engaged, old fans will surely find some moments to grasp onto, but the bumps don’t quite goose the way they did.

 

Channel Zero Has Opened ‘The Dream Door’

 

 

Nick Antosca is tuning us into Channel Zero a little earlier than expected. The fourth season of this under-current SyFy hit is opening ‘The Dream Door’ with its first episode premiering online ahead of the full October 26th release.

Based again on a well known Creepypasta, this time it’s “I found a hidden door…” by Charlotte Bywater. The story as written details the strange discovery of a previously unnoticed door in the basement of a house where a married couple had been living for the last 5 years.

Upon further investigation, they release someone, something, into the world and are left with the notion that it was a grave mistake.

Evidence of strange symbols and dried blood only reinforce the unease the door has brought.

In his usual fashion, Antosca has taken the germ of the story and bred it out into what is sure to be a beautifully horrifying experience.

Tom and Jillian, newly married life long friends, move into Tom’s childhood home after many years of being away.

Renovations, new house sex, a new dog, and friendly gatherings are frozen at the appearance of a door in their basement, seemingly from nowhere.

Tensions rise as secrets are uncovered.

Jillian feels the pressure of Tom’s strange behavior and odd phone calls to a mysterious woman.

Tom reassures his wife, with a certain edge, that nothing is amiss and she is simply projecting unrequited anger she holds for her similarly unfaithful father.

The “Dream Door”, once opened, lets loose a strange entity, taken the form of “Pretzel Jack”, an imaginary friend Jillian birthed as a child through drawings.

Pretzel Jack is not imaginary. Pretzel Jack is no friend.

The first episode,  “Ashes On My Pillow”, available now on Syfy.com, unpacks a lot into the old house and leaves much room for even more to be discovered.

Though we will have to wait a little while longer to see what else lurks in the basement of suspicious minds, I for one cannot wait to open the door just a little further.

Channel Zero: The Dream Door, releases all six installments on October 26th through SyFy.com.

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House of Leaves Pilot Script Teases New Ways to Warp Storytelling

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Having as high a regard and reverence as the novel, House of Leaves has, it would seem eminent that television would try and swallow it whole, regurgitating some vague semblance of the experience so many of us have, and still are going on.

Mark Z. Danielewski is having none of that.

A short month ago, first in a Facebook discussion group, then to the wider world, Danielewski revealed a pilot script for a recently defunct attempt at bringing House of Leaves to the small streaming screen. Disagreement abound, the project (for now?) has come to a halt, but the germ of the idea has been planted.

Fans and critics alike have been swept up in the unsurprisingly ambitious turn that the pilot script has taken. Much like current “peak” television, Danielewski has crafted a pilot that is beyond description. Distilling the tones contained in which is sure to go down as his Magnum Opus, MZD shows a deft hand at mediums beyond literature ad photography.

For those familiar, MZD has been hard and fast on “if you want to see the movie, read the book.”

Continue reading House of Leaves Pilot Script Teases New Ways to Warp Storytelling

St. Vincent Album Speculation – Fan Frothing – Etc.

With her debut, Marry Me, Annie Clark (St. Vincent) painted a pastel picture rife with an inky-black rage, though perhaps suburban frustration. Her second album, Actor, saw a release in tension, but a tight focus on the blaring ennui that is life, a fairy tale with bloody consequences. Strange Mercy, I would argue her most personal record to date wound through glimmering tales of shadowy triumph and rebellion. Her latest, St. Vincent (self-titled), paints a picture of Ms. Clark we were not previously privy to, that of her as a Future Queen, mining a realm of diamond-encrusted microchips and leaving few standing in her wake.

The tremors of a new album coming out, rumored collaboration with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, among others, along with the release of her directorial debut on the upcoming all female horror anthology film ’XX’, Annie has been busy. A snippet of a new song, which I will call, for lack of title “New York is New York”, gives us a taste of what she may have in store, a sweet, yet chilling tune with lyrics that are as likely to embrace you as break your neck. There is promise for bigger and brighter darkness to come from the established guitar virtuoso. It is unclear which direction she will take this new album in. Having always made the guitar scream, weep or laugh at her whim, she has let the synthetic seep in, adding yet another layer to her very varied discography. We may see a further merging of the two in new and exciting ways, and perhaps a sprinkling of horns found both on Actor and her joint project Love This Giant with David Byrne of the Talking Heads. Whatever it is Clark has cooking up for us, it is sure to please the ear, put a lurch in your stomach and tug at your heart strings in one fell swoop.

More information coming as we get it. Stick to Nerd Hall for more music news.

Fiction Crosses Over

A new documentary detailing the events in the case of the Slenderman Stabbing is set to premiere on HBO on the 23rd January of next year.

For those unfamiliar, in 2014, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, both age 12 were accused for stabbing Peyton Leutner a total of nineteen times in sacrifice to now iconic e-myth Slenderman.

 Slenderman, a long tall man-like being, often depicted in a suit believed to steal children, or more modernly; to methodically harass and confuse ad-infinitum. A creature born from a creative writing exercise, developed into creepy pastas, YouTube series, and even a semi-professional movie. 

Slenderman is enchantingly mysterious and fierce, with the added bonus of being able to scramble camera footage, a true modern horror. This is why Geyser and Weier were so enthralled and dangerously obsessive. 

While we wait for January 23rd, you can take a look at the trailer below and delve into the numerous articles available about the case. 

Stick to Nerd Hall for more movie, video game and pop culture news!