Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The NYE Incidents

I went to the Taking Flight Comic Book Show in North Charleston a few weeks ago and came across a graphic novel with an extraterrestrial face on the cover; the comic was called The NYE Incidents, and of course I had to buy it.  The NYE Incidents was created by Whitley Strieber and written by Craig Spector, and it was published in 2008.  Medical Examiner Lynn Devlin is having a hard time figuring out what caused an alien abductee's mysterious death.  After attending a UFO convention, Lynn suspects that a UFO cult may have killed the woman and tried to make it look like aliens were responsible.

Though I mostly read Archie comics, I enjoyed The NYE Incidents and would love to find more graphic novels in this vein.  I'm used to reading graphic novels in color, but black and white illustrations are appropriate for The NYE Incidents and give the story a serious, creepy feel.  A movie version is in the works (it was announced in 2009, so hopefully it's still happening) , and I definitely want to see it!

My rating: 8/10

Friday, March 27, 2015

Movie Spotlight: Ouija

Ouija is a 2014 movie starring Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Douglas Smith, Bianca A. Santos, Matthew Settle, Lin Shaye, and Shelley Hennig.  The movie begins with two young girls (Debbie and Laine) playing with a Ouija board; Debbie tells Laine the three rules of using a Ouija board:

1. Never play alone.
2. Never play in a graveyard.
3. Always say goodbye.

(I'll add a fourth rule: Don't use a Ouija board.)  Ouija then moves to present day, where teenage Debbie (Shelley Hennig) is playing with a Ouija board...alone. (It's the first rule, Debbie!) She says goodbye and throws the board in the fireplace. Her friend Laine (Olivia Cooke) stops by, and Debbie tells her that weird things have been happening since she started playing with the Ouija board again.  Debbie sits down to eat dinner, and a door opens behind her, followed by the stove turning on by itself.  She goes upstairs and finds the Ouija board on her bed and is shocked to see that it's in pristine condition.  When she looks through the planchette, a change comes over her eyes, then she hangs herself with a string of Christmas lights.  (That's why you never play with Ouija boards.) Laine later finds the Ouija board in Debbie's closet and decides to try to contact her...which, of course, is a bad idea.

Ouija wasn't very scary, but I liked it anyway, and it was definitely much better than The Ouija Experiment (which I reviewed for the blog a few weeks ago).  The acting was better than what you usually see in horror movies about high school students, and Olivia Cooke (who is wonderful on Bates Motel) was great as the movie's lead. The moral of this story: Don't use a Ouija board...ever!

My rating: 7/10

To find out more about Ouija boards, check out this blog post I wrote about creepy real-life experiences people have had with Ouija boards:


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Movie Spotlight: What We Do in the Shadows

What We Do in the Shadows is a 2014 mockumentary about vampires living together in New Zealand, and it stars Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh, Ben Fransham, Jackie Van Beek, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Stu Rutherford, and Rhys Darby.  I've been a huge fan of Jemaine Clement ever since I saw Flight of the Conchords on HBO's One Night Stand ten years ago (so if anyone's ever wondered why I've had hamsters named Bret, Jemaine, and Murray, now you know why), so I've been excited to see this movie for awhile and was thrilled to find out that it was finally playing in Charleston.  Jemaine co-wrote and co-directed What We Do in the Shadows with Taika Waititi, and what a wonderful movie they've made!  What We Do in the Shadows is, without a doubt, the best vampire movie I've ever seen...every actor was perfect in his or her role, and the movie was hilarious. The scene involving 317-year-old Viago (Waititi) and his female victim is one of the funniest things I've ever seen, and I laugh just thinking about it.  I loved every second of the movie and would've been perfectly happy to stay in the theater and watch it again immediately (my theater didn't have this option though since they're only showing it once a day), so of course I'll be buying What We Do in the Shadows the day it comes out on DVD.

If you live in any of the cities where What We Do in the Shadows is playing, go see it as soon as you can (and take all of your friends with you)...it's a great movie, and I feel bad for anyone who hasn't seen it. : )


My rating: 9/10

Friday, March 20, 2015

Thursday, March 19, 2015

New Paranormal Show: iZombie

On March 17th, the CW began airing iZombie, a new show from Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright; Rob created Veronica Mars and co-created Party Down, and Diane was a writer on Veronica Mars, so of course I had to check out their new project.  Liv Moore is an ordinary medical resident with a devoted fiancé; against her better judgment, she goes to a party, and the unthinkable happens: she wakes up in a body bag the next day and realizes that she has been turned into a zombie. (Worst. Party. Ever.) She breaks up with her fiancé and gets a job at the morgue, where she can eat brains without hurting anyone, but the brains affect her in a strange way...they cause her to see flashes of the former owner's life. 

 The Cast

Olivia "Liv" Moore: Rose McIver
Clive Babinaux:  Malcolm Goodwin
Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti: Rahul Kohli
Major Lilywhite: Robert Buckley
Blaine DeBeers: David Anders 
Peyton Charles: Aly Michalka
Eva Moore: Molly Hagen
Evan Moore: Nick Purcha
Lowell Casey: Bradley James 

I'm normally not that into zombies, but I thought iZombie was great and very different from the other zombie stuff I've seen.  All of the acting and writing was fantastic, and I'm definitely going to keep watching. Also, I was happy to see Daran Norris, a familiar face from Veronica Mars, show up in the pilot, and I hope to see some more Veronica Mars alums on the show. : )  iZombie airs on Tuesday nights at 9/8c, but if you missed the pilot, you can watch it here:


My rating: 8/10 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Movie Spotlight: The Taking of Deborah Logan

The Taking of Deborah Logan is a 2014 movie starring Jill Larson, Anne Ramsey, Michelle Ang, Ryan Cutrona, and Jeremy DeCarlos.  A film crew is making a documentary about people with Alzheimer's, and Deborah Logan (Jill Larson) is their subject.  She doesn't want to be involved, but she needs the money so she won't lose her house.  When Deborah begins exhibiting some pretty bizarre behavior, her daughter (Anne Ramsey) and the film crew fear that there may be something supernatural at work.

Of all the random paranormal movies I've found on Netflix, The Taking of Deborah Logan was one of the best.  All of the actors were great, and though the movie wasn't really scary, the plot and characters were interesting, and I enjoyed watching it.

My rating: 7/10

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Movie Spotlight: Jessabelle

Jessabelle is a 2014 movie starring Sarah Snook, Mark Webber, Joelle Carter, David Andrews, Amber Stevens, and Ana de la Reguera.  Ben Garant wrote the movie, which surprised me since he's known for writing comedy (such as Reno 911, Hell Baby, and Let's Go to Prison).  Pregnant Jessie Laurent (Sarah Snook) and her fiancé are on their way to move Jessie's things into his house when they are hit by a car; Jessie loses the baby, and her fiancé is killed.  Two months later, it's time for Jessie to be released from the hospital, so she calls her dad, who she hasn't seen in a very long time (after her mother died of cancer, Jessie's dad sent her to live with her aunt, who is now deceased); he drives her to her childhood home and sets her up in her mother's room, where she finds a box of videotapes labeled "Jessabelle."  She watches one in which her mother says that there is a female presence in the house who does not want Jessie there. When Jessie's father discovers her watching the video, he flips out and throws her wheelchair in the bayou after telling her not to snoop around anymore.  Jessie sees a female figure in her room that night, but it disappears.  The next day, her father brings her another wheelchair and apologizes for acting like a psycho; Jessie watches the next video, in which her mother says that the presence is demonic and that Jessie shouldn't blame herself for an accident that occurred.

I wouldn't call Jessabelle a great movie, but the acting was better than most horror movies, and I liked the ending.  Most of the scares came from the volume getting really loud all of a sudden though, and it annoys me when movies do that.

My rating: 6.5/10

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Saucer Country: Run

For Valentine's Day, my husband gave me a graphic novel called Saucer Country: Run, and it was right up my alley.  I mostly read Archie Comics, but Saucer Country is about aliens, so of course I was excited to read it.  Saucer Country: Run was published in 2012 and was created by Paul Cornell and Ryan Kelly.  The graphic novel is about Arcadia Alvarado, the Governor of New Mexico/presidential hopeful, who believes she was abducted by aliens.  She enlists the help of Joshua Kidd, a Harvard professor who was suspended for publishing a book called Flying Objects: Folklore and Fact, and Arcadia is very determined to become President and prevent an alien invasion.

Saucer County: Run was really interesting, and I can't wait to see what happens next! I will definitely be buying volume 2 of the series (Saucer Country: The Reticulan Candidate) very soon.

My rating:  8/10

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Movie Spotlight: The House of the Devil

The House of the Devil is a 2009 movie starring Jocelin Donahue, Greta Gerwig, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov, Dee Wallace, A.J. Bowen, and Danielle Noe.  College student Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) takes a job as a babysitter for the Ullman family, who live in a creepy mansion in the middle of nowhere (no good can come of this).  When she arrives at the house, Mr. Ullman (Tom Noonan), who is way too excited about that night's lunar eclipse, tells Samantha that he doesn't actually have any children and that he really needs her to take care of his sick mother-in-law (Danielle Noe).  When Samantha later realizes the family's real reason for luring her to the house, she really wishes she hadn't taken the job.

I thought I would really like The House of the Devil since I write plays about Satan and tend to like movies that are related to the devil, but this one was really slow, and I was bored during most of it. The acting was pretty good though, and that's often not the case with horror movies.

My rating: 6/10