Tuesday, 31 October 2017

31 MORE Days, 31 MORE Screams: Day 31 (Halloween H20)

Happy Halloween! Was it a productive day? Did you get any Halloween treats? I have a bunch left over so I'm currently snacking on shit intended to be given to nine year-olds in masks. We gave out Reese's cups. Y'know. The good shit. Of course, as a grown-ass adult I can't go out and get candy from strangers... so instead I watched movies with the horrifying death of human beings as spooky entertainment. John Carpenter's Halloween has become a tradition for me since 2013, and rewatching it today it's just as great. I wrote about it last year as the capstone for this, and yeah. Still good! I hold a fair bit of disdain for Halloween 2, and it doesn't really do much for me beyond being Halloween Part 2: This Time With MORE Grisly Kills! Beyond Halloween 3 I don't really care to go after any of the sequels... save this one. The idea of this one sounded neat enough that I figured I'd give it a spin. A Godzilla 1984 sort of situation that ignores all of that other stuff I don't care about to be a years-later sequel to the original... and I guess by extension Halloween 2 has to be there because it also continues the Laurie Strode plotline. Fine, okay, it's canon. What does the world of Halloween look like 20 years later, its own future update now almost as old as the original was at the time? Join me for one last haunt and we'll find out.

Monday, 30 October 2017

31 MORE Days, 31 MORE Screams: Day 30 (Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei)

One last song and dance before the finale, kids! We've got a doozy of a secret origin here, as these are the roots of a long-running series. Shin Megami Tensei and its various branches are a hell of a thing, and this year I completed two of them. The first, Persona 4 Golden, was a complete masterpiece and I wrote 5000 words about it. It is almost assuredly the second-best, if not best, video computer game I played this year. The second game, on the other hand, was the original. Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei. Well, the Super Famicom remake, but who's counting? I didn't really write about it, though I likely could have. Good thing I didn't, because now I can do this. That first game was actually a loose adaptation of a series of horror novels... and the first of those novels was actually turned into a Japanese OVA. It was watching that which got me to play Megami Tensei the first, and now I've returned to waffle about it for a few hundred words as one of the closers of our marathon. Dig in, kids. We're going into one hell of a world here.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

31 MORE Days, 31 MORE Screams: Day 29 (Black Mirror)

Finally, something that's a little more straightforward. It still manages to be fucked up in a lot of ways, but in that good late October way where we indulge the darker side of things. Black Mirror is kind of what the name says; a twisted and weird reflection of our world and how certain elements of it can lead to nightmare dystopia scenarios. I guess it's kind of like The Twilight Zone for the modern age, being an anthology show... but there's no weird supernatural bullshit like aliens in the two episodes I watched. The ideas presented in these episodes probably won't happen in our world, but they're natural outcroppings of current themes in our culture. Or something. Black Mirror has something to say about the human condition, and it manages to do that with weird and wild fucked up scenarios. I should get into those episodes, huh? Only two this time, unlike the three I gave Star Trek... but the latter was a 90-minute one so it ends up being the same amount of time spent on it. I trusted Twitter pals to tell me which ones to go for, and ended up with these two. If there are better spooky-themed ones in the show, then my apologies. This is what I picked, and they were fucked enough to warrant inclusion on the blog. Without ado, let's pop on in.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

31 MORE Days, 31 MORE Screams: Day 28 (Doctor Who: Ghost Light)

I like this image 'cause it makes the mansion look like
I really don't make things easy for myself, even near the end, do I? Granted, I have picked a pet era of mine to play with. We're in the wild and wonderful word of Sylvester McCoy-era Doctor Who, the last dying embers of the classic series. This is where I first got my feet wet in the history of Doctor Who as a thing other than that new and flashy show I'd been watching for a few years, and everything here is basically genius in some way. I already covered one of its twelve stories this year when I made a passionate defense of Paradise Towers, but this is equally as tricky. It's not that Ghost Light is a bad story. It's the 80th best story ever, according to fan poll malarkey. It's... a bit of a heavy one, though. More than that, I have to tie it into the spooky season somehow. That shouldn't be too hard, as it has a spooky Gothic Victorian atmosphere and deals with a muted version of what was going on in Event Horizon, with the idea of a place itself being bad. Let's try and dive into this as best we can.

Friday, 27 October 2017

31 MORE Days, 31 MORE Screams: Day 27 (Event Horizon)

Sorry not sorry. 
Well now, that was... interesting, to say the least. Thank goodness I'm back in my usual spot of talking about movies and TV shows and stuff. Sure, I do it just as surface level as the other things, but it's like a comfort food at this point and I'm used to how it works and how to talk about it. To that end, here's a 20 year old space horror movie. Event Horizon is a strange beast, at once feeling like it's plucking elements from other popular horror films and, at the same time, being its own wholly original and unique-ish thing. Some of the concepts it works with really resonate well with me, especially the reveals late in the movie. I admit though, that as soon as I saw Paul Anderson's name on this I was expecting a goofy trash-fest akin to his Resident Evil movies (next year maybe?). To my surprise, this plays it fairly straight. It's a pretty decent little spooky space film, so let's do the usual thing and delve into it for like a couple hundred words or whatever. Boy howdy am I going to appreciate only having to do that much when November hits and I'm doing 1700 fiction words a day. Anyway. Event Horizon!

Thursday, 26 October 2017

31 MORE Days, 31 MORE Screams: Day 26 (Kraven's Last Hunt)

(Hey kids, just wanted to pre-empt this one with a respectable plug since it's basically the reason I'm doing this. Pal of the blog, Sean Dillon, requested this one. He's also doing a great big longform psychochronography project on it, and God help him with that quest. Go check out his blog, Fearful Symmetry , for that. Now for my far less thorough and surface level take...)

Another day, another medium I've never really tried to write critical about, and another subject that makes you go "what the fuck does this have to do with Halloween?" at first glance. I wondered much the same when I looked into what this was. A 6-part Spider-Man comic? With Kraven? Fucking KRAVEN? I admit my only real Spider-Man knowledge comes from the 90's cartoon series, so I immediately recognize Kraven as "that jungle hunter fucker". Someone like the Green Goblin or Venom seems like a bigger spooky threat to Spider-Man, based on their importance to that mythos in general. That this works at all may be a minor miracle, but I'm here to tell you that it does indeed pull it off. Even better, it manages to have some gnarly and wild shit in it that makes it a good choice indeed for a spooky marathon. Let's go through it, then. Kraven's Last Hunt.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

31 MORE Days, 31 MORE Screams: Day 25 (Haunting Kate Bush Songs)

Oh, for the love of God. What the hell am I doing here? Here, with a week to go until the end of the spooky marathon, trying some totally unknown writing avenues to me. Lord knows I have enough spooky media around that I can view, but instead? Here I am. Trying out musical analysis. I don't know much about music other than what I like, which is going to make all of this frightfully amateur in its deep diving. Thankfully, since I'm not really a professional writer or anything, everything I do on here is frightfully amateur. That's enough bitching about it, so let's get into it. Kate Bush. By god, I love Kate Bush. She's in my top three of songstresses who have changed my life for the better with their music. Her songs can get weird, wild... and yes, spooky at times. I'm going to look at three Kate Bush songs with spooky undertones to them, and waffle about 'em a bit and do my usual thing. Or try to. Crank up those speakers and get ready for a big mood, 'cause it's time to listen to some Kate Bush, and we start with...