Thursday, October 19, 2017

TV Movie Review: Lizzie Borden Took an Ax

Lifetime TV Movie (available on Netflix)
**1/2

Lizzie Borden took an ax,and gave her mother forty wacks/then gave her father forty-one, and left a tragic puzzle... - Amanda Palmer, Ukelele Anthem


I feel like this should've been a movie before this, or if it was, that maybe it should be better known. While the cast in it seems to be carried mostly by Christina Ricci as Lizzie. While it starts with the murders, and goes back to show the tension in the house before the murders...Buzzfeed Unsolved really ruined it for me.

It's still interesting to see her and the dramatization of her life at this point, showing Lizzie to be opportunistic and deceitful when it comes to her family, and especially with some of the things she wants versus what her family has or what others have in their town. Though it might be seen as someone wanting more, the hints of penny-pinching to an extreme, as well as her father and stepmother's actions, also can be seen in a slightly dark light as well. Still, Ricci does a great job of portraying a woman trapped who has either cracked from the pressure or will crack, and showing the way things played out that lead to the disturbing murders double-homicide in the house, as well as the oddness of the accounts and what could have happened.

While there are some discrepancies to the accounts, (again, see the Buzzfeed Unsolved thing), I always like a good period piece and MURDER story, and the build-up to the actual murders is done very well, as is the aftermath and the bloody images, recreated from the crime-scene photos (go look those up, if you dare). The drama beyond it is well done for a made-for-tv movie and how do I always end up with these? Well, at least it's not Syfy movie.
I mean, it's a Lifetime Movie, those have their own issues...

Either way, an interesting thing to watch if you enjoy murder mysteries or period pieces, but overall you're not missing much by avoiding it.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Void

****1/2



Just wow! Lovecraft meets Hellraiser meets The Thing, meets The Crazies, meets zombies! Blood, guts and scares all rolled up into one!
I was really tired while watching this and it kept me awake until the end, and that says a lot.

Members of  small town get trapped into their local hospital when a local cop finds a bloody man who stumbled out of the forest and transports him there. A father and son show up armed looking for this man, a woman is having birthing issues and a med undergrad is annoyingly dumb-all under the same roof. After trying to unarm the father and son duo, the cop runs into these people that are surrounding the hospital and realize they won't be allowed to leave.
A nurse goes crazy, killing the guy that ran out the woods and she turns into a monster that resembles The Thing. Cop has hallucinations after shooting the nurse thing and tries for back up. Everything goes downhill for the small towns people after this! Definitely worth the watch!



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Video Game Review: Corpse Party

Corpse Party (Nintendo 3DS/PC Version) - Team GrisGris, XSeed, Others
****1/2

After a school festival, a class decides to do a simple charm to promise they will remember each other forever, to help a friend who is moving away the next day. The charm is called "Sachiko Ever After", which is basically a Creepypasta Ritual, only without the warnings that tend to come with those.

Created originally with an RPG maker back in 1998, Corpse Party underwent a few changed until it reached the current version I'm playing, that of the PC version, which follows similar rules to the PSP and Nintendo 3DS version. I originally played this game on 3DS, after my boyfriend offered up a choice between the third game in a trilogy I liked, or Corpse Party, stating that if I was to play it, it should be at night and with headphones in.
The game did NOT disappoint, and though I wanted to play the 3DS version again, it was on Steam so...PC version it is!

Please note that with a few exceptions, there are minimal changes to the general story, with much of it being to the artstyle added in - for the characters 'puppets' as they talk, or for any scenes. In the 3DS and some of the mobile versions, there are images that come up, while with the PC, you rely more on the descriptions and sounds. Which makes some of the changes in sound all the more jarring when you get there. If you want one good game to play with headphones in the night, and have a few hours, I suggest playing it.



So, for the purposes of not spoiling anything, this is the Sachiko Ever After Game. Play at your own risk:
This is a ritual centered around a folk legend from Tenjin, in Japan. There, a young girl named Sachiko disappeared. It is said that her spirit still wanders the Earth, having been given powers to grant wishes and ease the worries of others.
This ritual is intended to induce communion with Sachiko's spirit and, if performed correctly, Sachiko will pass through and grant the chanters her blessing, and bind everyone involved in the spell together as true friends for all eternity. 
A note of warning: do NOT perform this ritual incorrectly, no matter what your thoughts on rituals. Performing it incorrectly will only anger Sachiko, and trouble will find you quickly.
Requirements: Between two (2) to ten (10) participants
A Sachiko Paper Doll (as seen above) - printed on white paper and completely blank
Instructions: Gather everyone in a circle around the paper Sachiko doll, and everyone must grip the doll firmly, similar to as seen above. Once this is done, invoke Sachiko by chanting in your mind, "Sachiko, we beg of you" in Japanese (Sachiko-san onegaishimasu), one for each participant present. After chanting, everyone holding the doll pulls it apart, leaving each person with a paper doll scrap. Keep the paper on your person at all times, such as in your wallet, an ID holder, or similar.
Succeeding in this ritual will cause nothing to happen, save for the aforementioned linking of everyone as friends forever. However, perform the ritual incorrectly, and you will be dragged down to the cursed Heavenly Host Elementary School.
If you find yourself there, do not despair, and keep your scrap of paper with you. It is your only way out. You must appease specific ghosts within the School, and perform the ritual correctly, in order to escape the School. If you lose your piece of paper, you cannot leave, and if you perform it incorrectly in the School, you will find yourself in a far worse place than before...


An added warning: make sure you include everyone participating. Each one, and ensure the number is right. Don't forget...Sachiko is there too, waiting...


Sunday, October 08, 2017

A Dark Song

***



A dark mind-melting movie that stays with you days after, but starts off slow. It is worth the watch even though some parts seem confusing at times.

Sophia has lost her son Jack and will do anything to speak to him, even though he was killed by teenagers practicing black magic. She hires Solomon to perform a month long ritual that requires limited eating and sleeping. Things take a turn for the worse, which leaves them in a tough situation.

A Dark Song Trailer

Friday, October 06, 2017

Miniseries Review: Stephen King's Rose Red

Rose Red (2002)
**
"Some houses are born bad"

So I got this miniseries before I even knew about the Stephen King Drinking Game. I also needed stupid things between "I am so angry at this I want to rage-quit" and "I forgot about the soundtrack and how HORRIFIC IT WAS" that will be the video game review. So...for now...
....THE MOVIE!


A psychology professor interested in the paranormal manages to get together a 'team of psychics' and yet somehow after a LITERAL RAIN OF STONES on a family's neighbor's home, parapsychology isn't studied because we have to have some sort of artificial tension. When you can get a team of ACTUAL PSYCHICS, one of whom HAS CAUSED STONES TO RAIN DOWN UPON HER NEIGHBORS AND WHO HURT A DOG SO BAD IT HAD TO BE PUT DOWN, you are officially in a world securely believing There Is No War in Ba-Sing-Se.

No, wait, this is Stephen King, I have to reference 'It' somehow, but I'm taking a shot for having to mention Maine in a review.
So the team of SEVEN PSYCHICS OF VARYING PSYCHIC ABILITIES, ALL OF WHOM CAN PSYCHIC AND IT SHOWS THEY CAN PSYCHIC UP ANY PSYCHIC THING, all go into the OBVIOUSLY EVIL HOUSE OF HAUNTINGS AND MURDER. The only thing to be the cherry on top of this King Sundae is that the house was also designed by the guy who did the Overlook Hotel.
Also, I don't care how rich you are, 40 acre mansion in the middle of turn-of-the-century Seattle isn't gonna fly.

My main issue is some of the storytelling with the professor and with Annie's (the main psychic) family, who are more non-entities and cardboard cutouts with one setting, all of which makes me upset because it's set in 2002, even then you don't treat autistic kids like this you asshats. Your daughter is AUTISTIC and PSYCHIC, not EVIL, and dogs don't bite without provocation or showing off multiple 'no touchie' signs. You also live in a world where you can get FIVE PSYCHICS into a room and at least TWO strong psychics in the SAME GENERAL AREA. It's great that you have bitter!Shining child and remade!Carrie as our focus but do we have to undermine the others because of that, to the point where they go into the house and everyone starts dying but it's ok, it's a 'dead cell' that I want to restart it because SCIENCE'? The house takes NORMAL PEOPLE in that history lesson the professor gives us to require multiple flashbacks...maybe it doesn't need psychic kids, but people who have no inherent ability to realize they're walking into death-trap? That would make it far more interesting, that in this case it's the ones that the professor thinks will be her 'bait' become the ones who can see the house as it really is, and who work to save the others trapped recently in the mansion before it's destruction.

Except for the professor, she can stay there. Also the 'happy ending' is bullshit. The Syfy Shining miniseries had a better 'happy ending'.

The Steven King Drinking Game: The Movie or Rose Red shows a lot of the issues with some of King's writing, or at least why there is a drinking game that is known for causing death. I also have issue with how they describe Seattle in the early 20th century (this is not a small town or a scenic overlook hotel, this is a city with a good harbor and a famous market. Even before the coffee) and with the way the antagonists to our main antagonist (who are, oddly, not protagonists but straw men of 'let's fire her because reasons'). That the house has only four construction deaths is not that odd (construction back then was deadly) and if you want to do something like the Winchester Mystery House, just do that house. It's story is freaky enough!

Final Drinking Game Score - 20/37 SHOTS.
Which is only so low because there are no bullies, unless you count the bad journalist who probably is only doing the dick!professor's work because his editor hates him, and the dick!professor who is, as his name suggests, a dick.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Happy Hunting

(2017)***1/2

A badass alcoholic drifter stumbles into a weird remote dessert town while on the run from murderous colleagues. He finds himself smack in the middle of their annual hunting festival where, I know you saw this coming, he is one of the prey. The victims are released in the salt flats while a band of hunters vie for the honor of top hunter. 

As man hunt films go this one is pretty top notch. It has all the elements that make for an entertaining 90 minutes. Our guy is a resourceful dude with MacGyver like skills but the catch is he's detoxing cold turkey so he's not so right on his game. The townsfolk are not over the top hillbilly but each brings their own unique character into the game. Their are definite shades of light humor but more for entertainment value and certainly not near enough to make the film campy. The setting is tense as the open salt flats leave very little place for a person to hide. 

On a side note:
Horrorthon is something I look forward to every year. In some past years I've had oodles of time on my hands which enabled me in crunching in as many horror flicks as were humanly possible. I believe I still hold the record at 110 film watched & reviewed in a single season back in 2008 (I had no life). As the years have progressed I've become more selective in my film, far less in quantity but far better in quality. I have no plans, no themes this year and hope to put my best foot forward in adding to the monster list. Glad to see reviews popping up, let's make it a good year!
Horrorthon!

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Please stand by!


Yo yo yo! Happy October!  Mad props to the Horrorthonners who are throwing down already.

I'm gonna do H-thon stuff, but not until next week.  I've been in a deep dive Lego building frenzy to make cool shit for BrickCon in Seattle, which I'm leaving for in six and a half hours.  Woo!

Stay scary, folks!  See you here next week!

American Horror Story: Season One

Hello everyone!
So, I jumped into this not realizing that there are many episodes in this series. I will review them per season to give myself a break-after all, I can't go to sleep at midnight, every night!

American Horror Story:Season One
****



In my opinion, I was very confused if certain people were real or imaginary. It wasn't until the last two episodes that I understood much better.
The Harmons move into a "murder house", thinking that they can move on from the husbands infidelity. They have uninvited guests that just show up and a maid that has always worked there. Things seem to be getting better for Dr. Ben and Vivian Harmon until their daughter, Violet has issues being the new girl at school. Ben sees their new maid as a hot piece of candy even though she's just an old maid...
Their neighbor Constance has a daughter Adelaide, who keeps breaking into the Harmon's house because she wants to visit her "friends". A man with half a burnt face keeps showing up demanding money from Ben. A teenager named Tate keeps breaking into the house and falls in love with Violet.
Dr. Ben is a psychiatrist who treats Tate in the house among a few other clients. He comes to realize Tate has too many issues for him to treat and recommends another doctor. Tate refuses, but keeps dating Violet.
Rant- I'm not a fan of Dylan McDermott even though we see his naked buns. Later in the season we see Mena Suvari play as The Black Dahlia, but I can't stop staring at her huge forehead!
After 12 episodes I understand the desire to see more, as the house has many unanswered questions.
I definitely recommend watching this series if you have a lot of time.

Death Note (Netflix Original) - The Sober Review

Crystal, you are far too lenient on this movie.

............Also I see why I ranted about this movie to my D&D friends for three hours at only 20 minutes in. My old review rating still stands, this gets no stars. I would rather watch a Syfy Saturday movie made for drunk and stoned people.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Death Note (2006) vs Death Note (Netflix Original - 2017) - The DRUNK REVIEWS

Death Note (2006) - Nippon Television Network (NTV), Warner Brothers
**** 
 AKA, the one I WANTED instead of getting L:Change the World, but that I had to go through all my other stuff to...not find and so I have to go online to find it. *cries*

Anyway...

The first of two movies based on the anime and manga sensation, Death Note (2006) does a wonderful job of setting things up, showing you all that is going on and giving you a fairly good retelling. Light and L are aged up - mostly noticeably Light, who is now a college student - due to casting, and the tone of mystery, wonder over what's really going on, and the tense atmosphere (only partly failing because acting out death-by-heat attack is VERY SILLY) and actually does a good job of showing both the good and bad of Kira and his motivations. The changes to the original story work as far as how some adaptations should be - they can't give you everything, and the small changes only add to this Light's actions, motivations, and how he acts and reacts. I love both L and Light in this, and the movie does a good job of setting up the cat-and-mouse game that will be a major part of the second movie. It also does a great job of characterizing Light and L, and the main connection the two have - Light's father, who is not only tasked with finding Kira and thus helps L in his search, but also works to try to keep his family, specifically Light, safe as evidence mounts that he cannot ignore which ties his son to the killings.
I do like that early on, there is a bit of the moral, given by the movie-only addition of Shiroi, Light's girlfriend - "There's a limit to everything." Even Kira will one day reach his limit - how far he'll go while being 'good', how far he'll take his choice to become the God of Justice, or even just the God, of the world he creates. The limit of what the Japanese system could do (and this is a system that has a 99% conviction rate, as this video on the tv-series kill-rate will show) is what drives this Light, and what I honestly like how things are laid out. It sets up the universe that this new Light will inhabit, where he becomes disillusioned with the law enough to pick up the Death Note after throwing away his contrasting white-colored "Compendium of the Law". His choice for the first death is also different, but as I said, the changes for the movie, especially due to the limits of budget and because this is a movie made pretty much solely in Japan, with only a small budget in comparison, and with a primarily all-Japanese cast. Though it takes away from the worldwide impact of it that is seen in the original series and manga, it still works at giving us Light's reactions, at Light realizing the power and what he can use the Death Note for, and at creating a fake but still-intimidating Ryuk.
Seriously, I like the reaction they pulled out of the main actor, Tatsuya Fujiwara, acting against possibly a random actor or even just a tennis ball for "this is where his face is". There's some bit of overacting at the beginning, sure (ok, if you were faced with Death Incarnate, you might laugh a bit too at seeing it......but you might not suddenly quiz it on what happens if you give the book back and get it's NAME) but overall the buildup in the beginning, showing Light's early time as Kira, and even how he starts down that road, and leading up to the cliffhanger ending, of Light and L beginning their chessmatch completely, is wonderful.
...and because I had to mention it...
Light, reading Nietzsche, you obviously deep fellow...also please don't say that you'd kill a woman's fiancee immediately after meeting him, you ass. Your pure-as-fresh-snow-girlfriend is...you know what, never mind, you only turn decent in the second movie, I can't say anything right now.
Now, go eat potato chips in your room.
Also - RHCP "Dany California" is a great ending song.


Now -

Ok, let's see how good this Netflix one is...Because that last one was fun! I mean, they couldn't mess it up THAT BAD COULD THEY?

Death Note (2017) - Netflix Original

1/1000
(this is lower than Stonehenge Apocalypse, I'll explain)

For a funnier review, see CrystalMath's review. But for mine....
--
ok, to be fair, the first beer would be from just the intro and music. and I was half-invested and playing D&D while I watched this.
My actual talk while playing D&D-
me: I am legit more invested in what you're saying in D&D then this, I'm 2 minutes in, and I'm DRUNK
friends: *laugh*
(keep in mind I don't listen to this friend in ANYTHING D&D related)
--
I have yet to watch something that makes me say to people that I want to "legit stab" someone, but this movie makes me want to stab someone.
Seriously, I was playing D&D with friends, we stopped because I was like "I will take anything over this movie." That included: Stabbing someone, stabbing her teammates, stabbing anyone.
I've gotten to where the GM and one other person in the group is just listening to me rant. I'm at the 4 minute mark.
Oh goddess, I only find the principal believable because of the news about the girls who got put out for random clothing, but I want Light to die. horribly. in a ditch. why does he have an apple? Why are the rules written like this? your laws suck. what the hell? you have the 40-second rule and suck at it. I like that there are more names in the first but at the same time stop trying to scare me with marbles. I watch youtubers fight Mickey-Mouse versions of Evil, this is not scary.
friend: *posts pictures of corgis*
me: it is the 8-minute mark and I want to kill EVERYONE. I am only ranting while the DM changes our map
DM: don't bring me into this
me: THEN CHANGE IT SO I CAN STOP WATCHING THIS!!
a minute later
me: I wanna kill ryuk
DM: That's a litch so...
me: I'm not gonna kill a litch just because I hate this movie.
DM: Well, I mean...
me: FINE, sure, let's gain XP from my character STABBING A LICTH IN THE EYE BECAUSE OF HOW MUCH I HATE THIS MOVIE.
DM:..................................
Other player:.......................
me: I'm a bit upset.
DM & other Player: NOOOOOOO, really?
me: I am 9 and half minute in.
DM&friend: YOU'VE BEEN RANTING FOR 3 HOURS. Your mike now wants to you stop.
Me: -_- you're not the boss of me.
Mike: *dies*
Me: *curses, continues to watch*

I don't like this movie, and I manged to make it through Stonehenge Apocalypse. I agree with Crystal, the music isn't great and if I wanted random Final Destination deaths, I'd watch Final Destination.
Also, you know what would've made this awesome? If Light had done a Sailor-Moon Style attack. Like, Exploding chest-bursting Heart Attack!

I made it twenty minutes in and failed to continue. I called out "RED" and just ended my pain. At RYUK'S design when I saw him sitting on the bed.
*sigh*
ok, I will try for a sober review. later. but I doubt it'll be much better. on the plus side I managed to entertain my two d&d buddies for three hours so points.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Death Note (Netflix Original)

(2017)
*** 1/2

There once was a kid named Light
Who wrote a bully’s name in his Death Note for spite
L, Ryuk et al are in tact
Doesn’t make up for the fact
The 80’s song choices don't make this remake right.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Horrorthon!

Hello, I'm back!

Warmed up last night, rewatching Babadook..dook..dook. Only passed out 3 times so far!
Lets see if I can make it through one movie a few nights a week. So, does American Horror Story count? I'm thinking of starting the month off with that series. I'm not picking a theme this year, but I hope to find a gem. I recently saw the remake of IT twice last month, maybe again this month to write a review on it. I highly suggest going to see it-I would love to read everyone's opinions on it!