5 Visually Artistic Films to stream on Amazon Prime now.

          When I would be at home craving for a horror movie to stream, normally I would check out Netflix for their latest horror titles. However lately Amazon Prime has been coming out with massive amounts of horror films that you can’t seem to find anywhere else including Netflix.
          There are also times that I’m in the mood for a specific type of horror. The visually stunning, artistic, Avant Garde type. I have to say lately Amazon Prime has been delivering when comes to these types of films.
          Sometimes you’re not in the mood for slasher, overly gory and seemingly senseless horror films. You want to watch something that will have your senses going. So, when you get into that mood instead of mindlessly browsing the Amazon Prime Video selection just check out my recommendations below.
          Each of these films that I have recommended use an artistic approach with imagery and visual metaphors to set the tone and plot of the story.
Also, if you are not subscribed to Amazon Prime, I would highly recommend it. Not only do you get access to their vast video library but you get free and fast shipping on many items listed on their website. No, this post is not sponsored. I am no where near that level here as of yet!
1. Santa Sangre (1989)
Santa Sangre                                                                                       (Image from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098253/mediaviewer/rm2300937216)
          Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, Santa Sangre is the cautionary tale of Fenix a magician. Animals, weapons and and gratuitous sexual scenes are all used in this film to symbolize Fenix’s conscience, conflicting sexuality and his downward spiral. This film is both beautiful and devastating as you witness how personal tragedy destroys a young boy’s mentality and morality as he grows up to be a young man.
2. Suspiria (2018)
Suspiria                                                                            (Movie Still from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1034415/mediaviewer/rm1729983744)
          This remake to Dario Argento’s 1977 classic can really stand on its own feet as a wonderfully dark supernatural tale. Director Luca Guadagnino does a great job connecting violence with dance interpretation. The cinematography, choreography and soundtrack intermingle well to showcase the violence of woman towards each other, struggle for female power and abuse of authority. I will say it’s not a film meant for everyone. With the running time almost an hour longer then the original, it is definitely not a shot for shot remake. But nonetheless it’s a worthy mystical film that will entertain you.
3. Hereditary (2018)
Heriditary French Poster                                                                                            (French Theatrical Release Poster https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7784604/mediaviewer/rm346780160)
          This chilling horror film directed by Ari Astor is so chock full of metaphoric imagery and foreshadowing. You will have to watch it twice to notice it all. The performance of Toni Collette as Annie Graham, a distressed mother and artist of a family dealing with death and mental illness is amazing. From the Annie’s miniature art, to the numerous ghostly visions, to the grandmother’s secret photo album, this movie will have you thinking WTF in the most petrified way.
4. Deep Red (1975)
Deep Red                                                                    (Promotional Poster from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073582/mediaviewer/rm3050382592)
          Dario Argento in his prime was truly the king of Giallo films. These were films, mostly released in the 1970s and 1980s, that contained gratuitous violence and with thrilling plots. Most Giallo films can be considered artistic and visually intense. Argento’s film Deep Red or as it’s originally known Profondo Rosso, is no exception to the genre. Scenes of stylized gore and uncomfortable close up shots of horrifying deaths will tantalize you and have you biting your nails in anticipation of what will happen next. Music also plays a key point in the plot of the film and characterization of the film’s antagonist. Deep Red is a true Argento classic. If you haven’t dived into the world of Giallo films. I’d say Deep Red is perfect to start with.
5. A Tale of Two Sisters.
A Tale of Two Sisters                                                                                                       (South Korean Theatrical Poster)
          A Tale of Two Sisters tells the story of teenage girl Su-Mi who returns home from a stint in the mental institution. Ghostly events begin to happen upon Su-Mi’s reunion with her sister Su-yeon, father and stepmother. This movie really threw me off with its ending with a surprise that if you pay close attention, you’d be able to sense. It’s wonderfully tragic, and set in a ghostly but beautiful environment. Like Santa Sangre, A Tale of Two sisters plays off the effect personal family trauma has on a young adolescent. Plus, the poster for this movie is an illusion itself. Maximize the image of the poster on your laptop then take a couple of steps back to view it from afar, and you will get chills down your spine.

All movies mentioned are currently available to stream at no additional charge with a subscription to Amazon Prime.

Anthology Wars: Love, Death & Robots, The Kirlian Frequency and Don’t watch this. (Netflix Reviews)

Netflix has added some new Horror series to its list that appeal to the horror anthology addict in me. I grabbed some snacks a glass bottle of wine and prepared myself for a chilly night in as I explored three new horror series that seemed stylish and eerie.
I chose three series to watch. Love, Death & Robots, The Kirlian Frequency and Don’t watch this.
One of these three had me refilling my glass just to tolerate the content.
Let’s start with Love, Death & Robots.
Love,_Death_+_Robots_logo
(By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60330283)
Love, Death & Robots is partially animated anthology series created by Tim Miller. With a diverse and multitalented cast, I had high hopes for this one. The first episode “Sonnie’s Edge” in the series, I will not lie, is probably the best episode. The remaining episodes range from stories set an anime style to super realistic animation that you expect to see in a video game. There is a high amount of hyper sexuality which I don’t mind… when it has a point. A lot of the sexuality in Love, Death & Robots seems to serve no purpose other than to have the gain the label as an adult animated series.
The episodes can be quite short and their context can be a little confusing leading you to second guess what the hell you just watched.
Other episodes just seem like they came straight out of a bad trip.
Love, Death & Robots is very much an experimental series so prepare yourself to be disappointed a couple times while binge watching.
Next up The Kirlian Frequency.
TFK.png
(By Hernán Biasotti – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76657768)
The Kirlian Frequency is an animated web series from Argentina that was released to Netflix in February 2019. You may not immediately classify this as an anthology series considering that the main character (The mysterious Radio Host) is the same in all episodes. However, each episode features a new side character and tells a different story set in Kirlian, a town in Argentina with a strong supernatural influence.
I love how the character of the radio host is portrayed as the classic creepy storyteller. This is very reminiscent of past horror anthology shows such as Tales from the Crypt and mystery horror shows of yesteryear. The episodes, while short, are interesting antidotes that touch on subjects of vampires, murder plots and various supernatural beings.
I thoroughly enjoyed this series.
Finally, Don’t watch this.
Alas, I have saved the best for last……
Don't Watch This
Psych!
Don’t watch this is probably Netflix’s shortest Horror Anthology series. Better thank God for that.
The episodes are so short it feels like something is missing.
Oh yea, it’s called a substance.
The episodes are shots, the plots are lazy but the gore is gratuitous at times. It’s as if the overuse of violence and gore was just a distraction from the lack of style this anthology has.
Ironically named Don’t Watch This, won’t have you entertained for long if at all.

Character analysis: Joe Goldberg from You

You (TV series) promo poster.jpg

(Courtesy of IMDb.com https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7335184/mediaviewer/rm2051753728)
Character analysis:Joe Goldberg
Series: You (2018)
Streaming Platform: Netflix
Recently my cousin introduced me to the show You on Netflix. It is a psychological thriller centering around a stalker and his obsession.
It is captivating series and I was going to do a review on it. The reason why I decided to instead do a character analysis on the show’s main antagonist Joe Goldberg was because of all the articles I read about this character gaining a lustful fan following.
Magazine websites such as Elle.com, teenvogue.com, and Cosmopolitan.com all published online articles discussing the positive feelings people have towards Joe Goldberg as well as Penn Badgley’s, (actor who plays Joe Goldberg in You,) disdain of the love given to character.
After watching very first the episode, I could tell you there is nothing romantic about Joe. I noticed some severe red flags about this character that instantly made me dislike him. Red flags that in real life are less then attractive.

(Warning this post does contain spoilers)

Joe Goldberg is a young book store manager from New York city. He meets a young writer named Guinevere Beck and immediately is infatuated with her. He lives alone. He seems to get along with his coworker Ethan and his young neighbor Paco. He does not display any signs of anti-social behavior at first and appears charming.
His charm stops there and these are my reasons why.
  1. Joe may have a severe case of Narcissistic personality disorder.
This one should be quite obvious from the first episode opening scene.
Narcissistic personality disorder is a personality disorder with in which a person exhibits behaviors such as exaggerated feelings of self-importance, excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for other people.
During his short encounter with Beck (The young writer Joe pursues) in the book store, Joe analysis everything Beck does and takes it as her attempt to seduce him. From her clothing to her form of payment for the books she purchases. It all somehow is a way to get Joe’s attention.
The first time we see lack of empathy for others would come later on in the episode when Joe kidnaps Becks on again off again lover Benji. Joe does not emphasize at all with Benji since he believes Benji is harmful for Beck. While Benji’s character is hard for most people to emphasize with, Joe takes it a step further. This lack of empathy for Benji gives Joe the incentive to hold Benji hostage and cause harm without regret or remorse.
This is probably Joe’s most terrifying and dangerous trait as it allows him the ability to commit crimes without remorse. Which brings me to my next point.
  1. Joe is might definitely a psychopath.
Early on in my blog I did a character analysis that discussed the differences between psychopath and sociopath. I do not want to rehash that whole discussion, so I’ll summarize it shortly.
American Magazine Psychology Today features an online article titled How to Tell a Sociopath from a Psychopath written by Criminology professor Scott A. Bond. The article describes how psychopaths tended to be more intelligent, careful, less remorseful and more manipulative then sociopaths.
Intelligent, manipulative and careful does sum up Joe’s personality. How Joe obtains information about Beck’s educational background, interests and current location is not that all that exclusive. In 2019 it is very common for us to overshare personal information and whereabouts on social media.
It is how Joe uses this information to manipulate Beth into feeling a connection with Joe that is brilliant. Throughout the show Joe’s constantly displays signs of high intelligence and great analytical skills.
He would actually make a great FBI agent if he wasn’t so obsessed with Beck.
Even when faced with confrontation Joe maintains his composure and sometimes can manipulate people’s perceptions of him.
This means… It is easier for Joe to commit crimes and get away with them for long periods of time.
  1. Joe will love you, until he doesn’t.
Joe pursues Beck and creates this entire fantasy of a him being “the one” for Beck. After discovering Beck has lied to him and cheated on him, Joe forgives her and continues to hold on to their relationship. He does not place blame on Beck for most of her actions believes that he is meant to save her. However, when Beck discovers Joe’s evil deeds and how he crafted their entire relationship, Beck begins to relentlessly tear Joe apart shattering his persona as Beck’s “Knight in shining Armor”. This invalidates Joe’s importance to Beck and seals her final fate. During the ending scenes of the last episode we see Joe working in the bookstore self-reflecting on his relationship with Beck but also seeking out another admirer.
It is understandable why many of us would sympathize with Joe. His actions do seem to positively impacts Beck’s life right until she discovers them. However, Joe’s narcissistic and psychopathic traits make Joe a very dangerous lover to acquire in real life. Trust me, there is nothing romantic about this guy.
If you feel like doing more reading. I’ve linked some great articles below.
Learn more about Psychopaths Vs Sociopaths – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/wicked-deeds/201401/how-tell-sociopath-psychopath
A great description on how childhood abandonment can lead to narcissistic behavior- https://relationshipknowledge.com/rejection-in-childhood-can-lead-to-extreme-narcissistic-behaviour-2/

Resident Evil 2 (2019 reboot)

I am not about to start reviewing games on this blog solely because I just do not have the time to play a slew of horror games. Between my regular 9 to 5 job, managing (barely) two WordPress blogs, a twitter account, family, boyfriend ETC, there is just no way I can dedicated to playing lengthy horror games for review.

But… that does not mean I won’t discuss them at all.

I.E Resident Evil 2 (2019).

I am utterly excited for this reboot. Resident Evil was my first and all time favorite survival horror game series. At the tender age of 10, I experienced true horror of zombie dogs, irritating crows and grotesque bosses. I have played every single one, even the crappy survivor one where you played in first person mode.

The release of Resident Evil 6 left me aggravated. I did not expect Capcom to rip apart my favorite video game series. There was so much that could have been done to improve the characters, the game play and just the overall vibe of Resident Evil 6. The game was just a lazy non-creative entry from Capcom.

Moving on. The reboot of Resident Evil 2 is coming out and from what I have seen, it looks amazing.

Alright Capcom, you can take my money again.

 

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Fionn Whitehead in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018) Credit IMDb.com (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9495224/mediaviewer/rm27489536)
An Interactive Film Adventure that will suck you into the Black Mirror Universe
Directed by David Slade
Year released: 2018
Streaming Platform: Netflix
For those of you who have never heard of the British Sci-fi series Black Mirror, I highly encourage you to watch at least one episode before diving into this review. This way you will get a feel of the concept of Bandersnatch.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is an interactive film addition to series Black Mirror.
It is a fun, grim and sometimes uncomfortable experience. The fourth wall is broken through many times throughout the film, engulfing you into Black Mirror world.
The story itself is truly a mind bender. The characters are a good taste of 80s nostalgia. Netflix really hit the mark with this film. You can of course watch it alone, but I highly recommend watching Bandersnatch with a friend. Try experimenting with the choices presented. There are multiple endings. You also have multiple chances to go back and select different choices to view the different endings.
One thing to point out is that this interactive film concept isn’t completely new.
Since the 1960s companies have come out with interactive movies or video games. The most popular interactive movie video games I have heard of are Night Trap (released by Sega in 1992) and Phantasmagoria (released by Sierra On-Line in 1995 for P.C).
These were games involved the player making decisions that would influence the outcome of the game and also used cinematic live action scenes.
Click below to view the gameplay for Night trap and Phantasmagoria, you may find some similarities to Bandersnatch.
Gameplay for Night Trap https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia29PSVOXL4
Gameplay for Phantasmagoria https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAXC-MwfpHA&t=237s

 

 

 

Terrifier (2016)

David Howard Thornton in Terrifier (2016)   Image from IMDb.com (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4281724/mediaviewer/rm2929024000)
A killer clown that’s silent but deadly.
Directed by Damien Leone
Year released: (Initial release 2016)
Streaming Platform: Netflix
Terrifier is a brutal horror film released to Netflix in 2018. It centers around a young woman being stalked by a silent killer clown.
The director holds no punches when it comes to each character’s violent demises. The clown, who goes by Art the Clown (imagine getting killed by a clown and then you find out his name is Art) is truly ruthless and imaginative force of murder. Actor David Howard does an exceptional job in creating a disturbing antagonist.
Unfortunately for me, the clown’s charm just isn’t enough for me to be thrilled with the movie as a whole.
Terrifier focuses so much on delivering lots of blood, dismemberment and sexualized violence that is lacks substance in the plot.
This film isn’t for everyone. However, those who are hardcore fans of the classic horror exploitation films of the 70’s (think Last House on the Left) will appreciate this film’s style and might even feel a little nostalgic.
Terrifier is currently streaming on Netflix or you can rent it from Amazon Prime.
If you have never dived into the world of horror exploitation films but are interested in becoming an aficionado then click the link below to see an extensive greatest hits list of retro horror films.
https://www.imdb.com/list/ls031231405/

 

Halloween Playlist 2018

Halloween 2018 Playlist

(Image found on Pintrest https://www.pinterest.com/kimberly4510/scary-pumpkin-carving/)
Halloween this year is on a Wednesday. Not that excited about it being on a freaking weekday yet again, but this is the hand we have been dealt. (Thank you Almanac Gods). Every year my plans for Halloween or Halloween weekend (the weekend before or after Halloween) change. Sometimes I’ll go to a haunted house or a party or the famous Halloween Parade in the Village. If you haven’t guessed by now, I reside in New York.
However,…For all you introverts out there I feel you. You love to celebrate Halloween you just hate the high entry fees, overcrowded places and overpriced drinks (Especially if you live in New York, the vampires in this city love to suck your wallet dry).
But no worries if you’re a little low on the cash flow this and you really want to spend time away from the horror of the crowd, and get into the horror of All Hallows’ Eve, then I’ve got at home scary recommendations for you.
Make sure your fridge is fully stocked with snacks and drinks because with my suggestions you will not have to step a foot outside to enjoy your Halloween night.

What you should watch.

The below list includes, some horror classics, television shows, and newer films you may have slept on.
Ghoul Miniseries (Netflix)
–          3 episodes detailing a gruesome tale about fascism, betrayal, government corruption blended with Arabic lore.
The Witch (Netflix)
–          Warning this is a slow burner. If you got the patience you will be creeped out by this dark natured story about how paranoia, witchcraft and desperation begin to destroy a loving family.
Ash vs The Evil Dead (Netflix)
–          An awesomely funny, gory and slapstick continuation of the classic 80s horror film starring the O.G Bruce Campbell. Netflix only has the first two seasons but that’s enough to keep you satisfied.
Return of the Living Dead (Amazon Prime Video)
–          If you’re feeling nostalgic and are into zombie film I highly recommend Return Of the Living Dead. This 80s classic is filled with hilarious one liners and gory zombie sequences. Plus, this film contains the oddest clique of friends, you’ll ever see in a horror film. (You may even recognize one of the actors from another 80s horror classic with an undead villain)
Demoni (YouTube)
–          This is another 80s classic film mostly recognizable by fans of the Italian Giallo genre. When the Zombie genre was really taking off many Italian Filmmakers did not hesitate to jump of the success train. Though Lamberto Bava was the director of Demoni, Dario Argento had a heavy influence on the film, assisting in writing the script, adding to the soundtrack and producing the film. Demoni is probably one of my most favorite foreign horror films that is filled with action packed scenes set in a claustrophobic setting. If you haven’t seen this film already, it’s definitely worth discovering.
Lore (Amazon Prime Video)
–          This horror anthology series takes real life events and retells them in a cinematic fashion. Stories form this series includes murder mysteries, ghost stories and infamous crimes.

What you should play

Ouija, It Glows in the Dark
–          I know playing the Ouija Board sounds cliché but have your ever played it in the dark? This 1998 edition of the spirit game glows in the dark and can be found on websites such as Amazon or Ebay (see links at the end of the post)
Spirit Radar App Pro
–          If the Ouija board is just too intense for you, may I recommend something a little bit lighter hearted. The Spirit Radar App is an app you can download for free to your cell phone. The app uses your camera and has you scanning the area trying to detect ghost, once detected it allows you to communicate with these “Ghosts”. I know it may be fake but on a Halloween night your superstitions will get to you. If any “ghost” appear a default image will pop up on your camera. Trust me you will not lose any sleep from the images.
Serena (Free P.C Game)
–          Okay so not everyone is a gamer, and I know many of you do not own a major gaming console, BUT I can get bet 99% of you own a laptop, desktop computer or tablet. Luckily for you there are tons of free horror games you can download onto your mobile device or P.C.  One that I recommended is Serena which can be downloaded from Steam.com (a website where you can install P.C games. Please note not all games are free). This very dark tale of a man waking up in a cabin and searching for his wife is perfect for providing a frightening experience on Halloween. This is not the scariest free game you can find on Steam.com, just one that I have personally played. You may want to create a Steam account and browse the free game section, I have no doubt you’ll find more awesome horror games to play this Halloween.
Hopefully this list will make your Halloween at home a spooky one!
Until next time!
Links to buy glow in the dark Ouija Board:
https://www.amazon.com/Hasbro-00600-Ouija-Glows-Dark/dp/B0000524NG/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
https://www.ebay.com/p/Glow-in-The-Dark-Ouija-Board-Game-Haunted-Mystical-Magic-Spirit/1724529921?iid=302867360337&chn=ps
YouTube links to watch Perfect Blue and Demoni.(Note that for Perfect Blue I cannot guarantee the movie will still be uploaded. The link that I used to initially watch the movie was taken down the next day.)
Demoni- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxHtz7-Rhdk
Perfect Blue- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24XkPGGJKeY