Netflix

13 Reasons Why (2017)

It’s been a while since I’ve written about a whole season of a show rather than a movie, and funnily enough, the last one I wrote about was also a Netflix series. Sure, I’ve written about John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper‘s episodes of Masters of Horror, but those are pretty much short films independent of each other rather than one cohesive story told though multiple episodes. What am I saying, you know what a TV show is, you’re not an idiot (I hope).

mv5bytfmnzrlnwytmmfmni00ztfilwjhodgtogm5odq5ntgxzwuwl2ltywdlxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymtexndq2mti-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_This show has stirred up a lot of controversy with people jumping on either side of the fence and naturally so, being a show that tackles subjects like depression, suicide, and sexual assault. Some people are adamant that the show inaccurately portrays these things and their consequences and that the show is doing more harm than good, while some others feel like this show is taking a brave stance to bring these subjects to light in a time when they’re the most relevant to our current youth culture. I’m not here to tell one side or another which is right or wrong. I’m here to just, like, give my opinion, man.

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past month and a half, 13 Reasons Why is the newest Netflix series to take the world by storm. In small town USA, Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), a girl who has just moved to town and started in Liberty High School has killed herself. Slit wrists in a bathtub. After her death, her classmates find a box of cassette tapes, each side dedicated to a person or an event that she believes led her to take her own life. The tapes make their way to Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette), a quiet, smart kid who was a friend of Hannah’s. Through his eyes we get to see Hannah’s story and everything that culminated in her taking her own life.

This show is based on the book of the same name, written by Jay Asher. I haven’t read the book and I don’t intend to. I don’t care how faithful or unfaithful it is to the source material, I just care how well it holds up on its own.

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Sinister (2012) & The Witch (2016)

Sometimes I don’t want to write 1000 words on one movie, so I’m going to start a new series of posts called Rapid Rambles where I’ll rattle off about a couple movies just to get my thoughts on intangible internet paper. Since it’s October it’s time for spooky movies. Now, because my friends and I are nerds we’ve been having horror movie dates every weekend for a few weeks now, but now that Halloween season is officially upon us it’s time to ramp up the scares and dive head first into the macabre. Today, I’ll be babbling about a movie I really liked, and a movie I really didn’t. (more…)

Stranger Things (2016)

I know I set out with the intent of writing about the movies I cross off my to-watch list, but considering I rewatched Mad Max: Fury Road twice this past week, I haven’t been cracking down on that list as hard as I’d like. Also, the last two days of my life have been whisked away into the ether by the first season of Stranger Things.

mv5bmjezmdaxotuymv5bml5banbnxkftztgwnzaxmzyzote-_v1_Stranger Things is a Netflix original series that came out just over a week ago, with the entire first season up for streaming. If you can’t tell by the killer artwork and font that looks like it’s ripped straight off of a Stephen King or Sutter Cane novel, Stranger Things is riding aboard the ’80s horror/mystery throwback train. Stranger Things takes place in the sleepy, fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana in 1984. A young boy by the name of Will disappears one night without a trace and soon after, Eleven, a girl with telekinetic and telepathic powers shows up in town. It follows a cast of interesting and dynamic characters including Will’s three best friends, Will’s mother and brother, and the Hawkins chief of police as they all try to get to the bottom of the disappearance in their own ways. As they dig deeper and follow the clues down a rabbit hole, they learn that there’s a much darker and more sinister plot going on in Hawkins than just a lost child. (more…)

Ava’s Possessions (2015)

Remember that last post I made, where I briefly wrote about horror comedies? Well, I found one that actually kinda worked. I said that you need to strike a balance between horror and comedy not swaying too far to either side, and what I didn’t realize is that you can also let both those aspects fall to the background and let the story shine through. The reason I didn’t really consider that a horror comedy with very little horror or comedy would work is because I thought it would get too cluttered and water down both the scares and the laughs, making it a homogeneous blend of boring. Today, I managed to find a movie that plays down the horror and the comedy, and doesn’t really suffer from it.

mv5bmji3ndiznza1nl5bml5banbnxkftztgwodaxmte5nze-_v1_sy1000_cr006921000_al_Ava’s Possessions is a dark comedy/ drama that also happens to involve Exorcist style demonic possession. It’s written and directed by Jordan Galland who has a whole slew of credits on IMDb, but hasn’t worked on anything that I’ve ever heard of before. I honestly only checked this movie out because of a recommendation from the YouTube channel Good Bad Flicks. Netflix’s weird rating algorithm listed it as one star for me so I was never really possessed (ha!) to check it out but then again, Netflix told me I would love Tammy, so I don’t know what I was expecting.

The movie starts up as Ava (Louisa Krause), a young New York woman striking out on her own, is exorcised of a demon possessing her body. Once she’s back to normal she sees the chaos and destruction she caused while possessed, and needs to put her life back together. While trying to get back into the swing of things, she finds some clues that lead her to believe something happened one of the nights she was possessed that nobody told her about. She goes off to try and get to the bottom of it all while trying her best to rehabilitate and reintegrate into society. (more…)

Witching & Bitching (2013)

Horror comedy is a tough genre of movie to pull off correctly. You can’t sway two heavily to either horror or comedy sides, and you need to make sure that whatever horror tropes you’re lampooning doesn’t come across as patronizing to horror fans. You also need to make sure that you aren’t spoofing the subject-du-jour, and if you are, make sure you do it well lest you get your movie lumped in with money grubbing satirists or become a parody of yourself. Most meta-slasher or slasher parody films nowadays are just rehashes of Wes Craven’s 1996 masterpiece, Scream. A couple movies put fun little spins on the formula, but for the most part, they’re becoming as repetitive as slasher flicks did back in the ’80s and ’90s.

mv5bndmzmty2nzgzof5bml5banbnxkftztgwotk4nju4mte-_v1_sy1000_sx675_al_Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi or, it’s catchier English title, Witching & Bitching, is a comedy(?) horror(?) action adventure film from Spanish director Álex de la Iglesia. This movie seems to spoof old occult and witch movies from the ’70s, but it definitely takes some pages from Robert Rodriguez and Sam Raimi’s books as well. The movie is about a couple of guys, José (Hugo Silva) and Tony (Mario Casas) who stick up a gold buying store with José’s elementary school aged kid, Sergio (Gabriel Delgado). In their getaway they team up with Manuel, a down on his luck taxi driver who decides he’d much prefer to be a gold thief than a cabbie. Police and José’s wife are in pursuit, but before they can catch them, José and his crew run into a coven of witches. Things get out of hand incredibly quickly, and hilarity(?) ensues. (more…)