Some Scary Characters

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With it being Halloween, AKA the end of the Month of Spooks, I felt that I had to something special for the blog. Sure, I could’ve done a review of John Carpenter’s “Halloween”, but that would have been a bit of a cliché move on my part. So I started thinking… how about a list? I mean, I haven’t done a list in a while, so now is a good a time as any. Some of you might be asking “BUT MARKUUUUUS… Why not make it a list about your favorite horror movies?”. Honestly… I feel like I haven’t seen enough horror movies to really be able to make a list like that any feel good about it. So instead I opted to do something that I’ve been thinking a little bit about for a while… how about a list of characters/creatures from fiction that I find scary? And then I decided to actually do it. So let’s do it… after the rules.

Rule #1: This is my list, so no bitching allowed. These are things I find scary in some way. If you don’t find any of these scary… then that’s your thing. These are just my opinions in here, not what I think everyone should think. So no bitching… got it!?

Rule #2: This list is not really ranked, so don’t take it as me thinking one of the things on this list is scarier than the other… they all creep me out in some way, so I will not really rank ’em. I also don’t rank them because I might make another list like this in the future with even more shit that scares me.

Rule #3: I will only include one thing from each intellectual property. So if a piece of fiction mentioned in this thing has more than one scary creature, I will only mention one of them.

So that’s about it for the rules. And while bitching isn’t allowed here, I do encourage discussion. Maybe share some characters you think are scary in the comments. With that said, let’s get into it.
Ladies and gentlemen… Some Scary Characters.

Freddy Krueger – Nightmare on Elm Street
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Let’s get one of the most popular ones out of the way first. Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) was a child killer who got burned alive by a mob of angry parents, and now he kills people in their dreams. Firstly, child killer… that shit is just awful and terrifying. Secondly, he kills you when you’re sleeping, he’ll make sure you’ll never wake. Sadistic christmas songs aside, the fact that he kills you in your dreams, where anything can happen, that is a very creative and scary thing. And Freddy is a very scary character… at least in the original movie, in the sequels he became more of a joke. But a lot of why he was so great was because of Robert Englund’s pitch-perfect performance, he was a perfect choice for Freddy. And to give credit where credit is due, even though the remake was really bad, I thought the casting of Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy was a really good one. What am I trying to say with all this? Freddy is an awesome and scary villain.

Frank – Donnie Darko
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Next up is the creepy fucking giant man-bun from the 2001 mindfucker “Donnie Darko”. Basic plot is that Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a really weird teenager and he starts seeing a giant bunny named Frank that makes Donnie do some shady shit. Let’s put it like this, the movie is awesome and you should see it if you haven’t. And now we get to Frank, a fucking weird giant bunny (or rabbit) that has a scary design and a creepy voice. Yeah that’s about it… that’s why I think he’s scary.

Ruvik – The Evil Within
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Hey look, it’s Jackie Earle Haley again! From critically acclaimed video game director Shinji Mikami comes “The Evil Within”, a survival horror game where you as Detective Sebastian Castellanos (Anson Mount) investigates a gruesome mass murder and then gets dragged into some mind-bending bullshit. As you go through the game you encounter various creepy and disgusting creatues. But none of them had as much of an effect as Ruvik. And my comment earlier about it being Jackie Earle Haley was serious, he really voiced the character. So why did I pick Ruvik to put on this list? Well, he is basically the main reason as to why the plot happens. And honestly, that’s not exactly why I chose him for this list. Mild spoilers coming for the game. In chapter 9 (titled “The Cruelest Intentions”) you enter a creepy mansion. In front of you there is a big and weird door that you need to get open. If you look closely you will see that there are cables going from the door to various doors in the foyer. So of course you follow these cables into the rooms. Now the scary stuff comes. As you enter any of these rooms (timing varies), Ruvik will appear. First instinct, shoot the fucker… doesn’t work. He walks towards you, and if he cathes you he will kill you. All you can do is run away from him (always keep your eyes on him), until he disappears after about 30 seconds. And that’s the scary thing, an unstoppable thing that just walks after you. I find that scary. Seriously, whenever I get to that part of the game I lock up because I don’t want Ruvik to appear. But sometimes you have to bite the bullet to progress. And he will appear 3 times throughout… which is terrifying. So yeah… that’s why Ruvik is on the list. And on a quick sidenote: If you want a pretty cool game to play, I do recommend “The Evil Within”.

The Thing – The Thing
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The titular thing from John Carpenter’s sci-fi/horror masterpiece is fucking terrifying. It’s also one of the most clever plot devices ever. The creature can take the shape of anyone, so there’s constant mistrust and tension between the characters, which makes for a very suspenseful and awesome movie. But when the creature decides to finally show itself as a monstrous being, it is disgusting and creepy and Rob Bottin’s effects are some of the best ever put to film. I don’t think I need to say much here since it’s such a well known and beloved film.

John Doe – Se7en
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Okay, I’m not even gonna show a picture of this one in case someone reading this haven’t seen “Se7en” yet… which you should, damn it. David Fincher’s “Se7en” is honestly one of my personal favorites… definitely one of my top ten. For those that don’t know, detectives Mills (Brad Pitt) and Somerset (Morgan Freeman) investigates a series of gruesome murders that all seem to be related to the seven deadly sins in some way. And the reasons as to why I picked John Doe for this list is because he is a highly skilled killer who works in secret, and isn’t even seen until the last third of the movie. The stuff he does to his victims… horrifying. And when you do see him later on, he’s still scary, with a calm and menacing demeanor and a perfectly calculated plan. Really, a killer who’s got every step of his plan worked out is just scary to me, especially when their plans involve some truly horrifying and awful stuff.

Dementors – Harry Potter
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The Dementors are something I talked about fairly recently in my review of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (#ShamelessPlug). They are dark creatures with a scary design and with no real sympathy for anyone or anything. Seeing one in the movie? Scary. Being chased by one in the video game while trying to solve a puzzle… fucking terrifying. Really, these things are just horrible. I’m just gonna leave you with a quote from the “Prisoner of Azkaban” novel. “Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them. Even Muggles feel their presence, though they can’t see them. Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself — soul-less and evil. You’ll be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.”

Regenerator – Resident Evil 4
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I know, the graphics on that thing don’t look too scary from where you’re sitting right now… but trust me, these fuckers are the stuff of nightmares! Agent Leon Kennedy (Paul Mercier) gets sent to Spain to find the President’s kidnapped daughter. While there he encounters some dark and disturbing stuff. At first, “Resident Evil 4” only feels like a very tense action-thriller, at least for me. I understand if someone might find most of it scary, but I didn’t exactly feel those spooks myself. Then we get a part pretty late in the game. You walk around some strange lab underground, and what do you find there? Infected people… and motherfucking Regenerators. These things… god. When you first encounter them, you think that it’s just as simple as shooting them… like pretty much all other enemies… but that is not the case here. Sure, you can blow off it’s limbs, but that shit will just grow back (hence the name). The only ways you can kill them is with either the help of a special scope you find later, or with a rocket launcher (very rare and kind of expensive). So all you can do really is run. Maybe blow off the legs to slow them down, but you can’t beat them. And the sounds they make, good fucking grief. It’s a weird breathing noise that scares me every time I hear it. And if a Regenerator gets hold of you, it will take away your health faster than you can say “Oklahoma”. Another thing about them is that there are two versions of them; the “normal” one (not normal in the eyes of me or god or anyone), and the “Iron Maiden” version. And no, that version doesn’t have excellent taste in music… that version has huge spikes coming out of it to stab the ever-living shit out of you. I hate these guys… they are terrifying. Sidenote: “Resident Evil 4” is an amazing game, go play it.

Xenomorph – Alien
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This is the final one that I will put on the list. Can’t be here too long with the listing. But I think you all can agree that the Xenomorph from Ridley Scott’s “Alien” is really scary. A big, phallic, alien that sneaks on board a ship and then proceeds to stalk the crew and kill everyone… seriously, that is scary. The design of it (done by the brilliant H.R. Giger) is like something you’d see in your nightmares. And many people agree that it is horrifying, evidenced by it’s long-running popularity. From the OG movies, to the “AvP” bullshit, to the critically acclaimed game “Alien: Isolation”. This thing has gotten stuck in people’s minds, and I don’t think it will get out anytime soon.

So what do you think? Do you find any of these scary? And what are some scary characters/creatures that you get spooked by that I didn’t include? Seriously, I’d really love to hear from you guys!
Have a good one and Happy fuckin’ Halloween!

 

My Top 10 Favorite Movies of all time

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The other day I talked about how it was my 1 year anniversary on wordpress and that I wanted to celebrate that with a very special “Top 10 list”. And that is a promise I intended to keep… so here we go. The reason why I chose this topic for my celebratory “Top 10” is because I wanted to give you something special and the fact that these are my favorite movies of all time makes it special to me because like I said, they are my favorites so I can pretty much gush about them all I want (and then some). Now for some ground rules.

#1: Like any other list you can not start bitching about stuff if a movie YOU don’t like is on this list. It’s my personal opinion and that is how it goes. I respect your opinion and I hope you’ll do the same for me.

#2: These movies are not the theoretically best. They don’t always have the best performances, they don’t have the most Oscar wins, these are simply movies that I personally love. They are near and dear to my heart. All of these are on here for different reasons.

Now since all of that is settled… let’s begin counting down… “My Top 10 Favorite Movies of all time”!

Number 10: 25th Hour (2002)
10. 25th Hour

Starting off the list is the Spike Lee directed drama about drug dealer Monty Brogan (Edward Norton) who only has 24 hours left of freedom before he has to go to jail. The plot is simple but is filled with so many layers that it almost kinda baffles me. It’s a deep look into Monty’s life as to how he reacts to the world and his loved ones in his last day of freedom. The performances in this movie are truly great. I think Edward Norton got snubbed for an Oscar nomination in this movie, you’ll know what I am talking about if you have seen hiw little *ahem* “monologue”. This movie is truly great and should be watched by all.

Number 9: Catch Me if You Can (2002)
9. Catch Me if you Can

You start seeing a pattern here? Don’t worry, 2002 is over after this entry on the list. “Catch Me if You Can” is a well-executed, well-acted movie about one of the greatest scams in all of history. Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) has been going around as a plane captain, a doctor and more… before even turning 21! The movie got both really good drama and really good comedy. The acting is really great as well with Christopher Walken stealing the show every time he is in a scene. I can already say that this is my favorite Steven Spielberg movie. Sure, I love “E.T.”, “Jaws” and “Jurassic Park”, but when I think of my favorite Spielberg movie… it’s this.

Number 8: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
8. One Flew Over...

Going a bit old school here with this Jack Nicholson classic. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is about criminal R.P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) who gets sent to a mental institution and starts to kind of rebel against… everything, particularly the head of it all, Nurse Ratched (Lousie Fletcher). This is a movie that got a great story, fantastic acting and some great direction by Milos Forman. This movie is pretty much everything you could want it to be. Critical against society, dramatic, funny, heartfelt and so much more. And that fishing scene… my god, the fishing scene, I love it so much! This is really the movie that sot of solidified Jack Nicholson as an A-list actor. Sure, he had a few Oscar nods under his belt, but this is really what made people go “We need this man in more movies, NOW!”. And I agree with them, this is a fantastic movie with a fantastic performance by Nicholson. And the ending of the movie serisously got me bawling my eyes out, it was so great yet so depressing. This is a fantastic movie.

Number 7: Se7en (1995)
7. Se7en

Yes I do see the irony of this one. And to be honest with you, it came on there by pure accident. I watched it, I loved it and it ended up at number 7. So “Se7en” (Se-Seven-En) is about two detectives (Brad Pitt & Morgan Freeman) investigating a series of murders who all seem to have some kind of relation to one of the seven deadly sins… hence the title “Se7en” (Se-Sev, oh fuck it!). To start it off… this is a disturbing movie. Here is a tip to you if you haven’t seen it yet… don’t eat anything while watching this, it is too disturbing/disgusting. The performances are really good and the score by Howard Shore was great. And yes I will gush over the direction in 3, 2, 7… It is directed by David Fincher… David Fucking Fincher. The guy is a masterclass director and he showed it early on here… “Ali3n” (Ali-Three-En) does not count. This movie is great on so many aspects. And whatever anyone else says, the ending is one of the best there ever was. I have to commend the movie for how much balls it got for doing some of the things it did. “Se7en” is a great crime-thriller that should not be missed (Don’t eat during it!).

Number 6: American History X (1998)
6. American History X

I am not a nazi. I just couldn’t find a better wallpaper. But to the movie itself! If you thought “Se7en” was ballsy, then you have not seen anything yet. “American History X” is about neo nazi Derek (Edward Norton) who gets out of prison and then tries to get his little brother (Edward Furlong) out of it. This movie is one of the most powerful I have ever seen. So many scenes in this movie stick in my mind to this very day and I have not seen the movie since last year. I think the one that stuck the hardest though is the one that is portayed in the picture above. Derek kills two black guys who were part of a group that ruined his truck. The first one dies from a gunshot… quick and easy. The other one however gets a more brutal way to go. He gets his mouth put to the curb and *boom* smashed. This movie is brutal, it is violent but it is also a truly gripping movie about family(ish). I love this movie so much. And the ending is a real shocker in my opinion. For one I did not see it coming and secondly it just came out like *BAM!* and suddenly I was like “Holy shit, what the fuck!?”. But this movie is really fantastic and should be watched.

Number 5: The Matrix (1999)
5. Matrix

Going from an incredibly serious and realistic drama to a kinda serious yet campy and not very realistic action movie. It is the late 90’s action movie that put the Wachowskis on our radar and gave us some amazing action scenes to marvel at. “The Matrix” is about hacker Thomas “Neo” Anderson (Keanu “Woaw” Reeves) who discovers “The Matix” and becomes an ultra badass. I think it is obvious why I love this. It got some of the greatest action ever put to film but at the same time poses some pretty good philosophical questions. I also love seeing Keanu Reeves xo stuff. He could sit and read the menu for a chinese restaurant and it would still be entertaining. But “The Matrix” is overall a great movie.

Number 4: Inception (2010)
4. Inception

Staying on the theme of mindfuck we got the 2010 Best Picture nominee “Inception”. The directing is fantastic, the acting is great, the score by Hans Zimmer is perfect and it got some really good action in there as well. I also love all the dream-related things in this movie with like how they twist and turn the world around them and how all that works… that shit is cool. I also love the directions they take the story in. I think it really works. And to be completely honest I absolutely adore the ending because of how ambiguous it is. It has sparked endless discussion and I absolutely love when that stuff happens. Oh right, story. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio, returning on the list) is a theif who infiltrates people’s dreams. He gets tasked with planting an idea in the head of a rich guy who is about to inherit his father’s company. What idea? Taking the company down. And complex ideas commence in an awesome way. This movie is fantastic, just watch it.

Number 3: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)
3. The Good The Bad and The Ugly

You knew I would put at least one western on this list. Question was though “Which one would it be?”. It was really no competition about it. The ultimate Clint Eastwood classic about some bounty hunters who are looking for a treasure. HUGE in scope, well-acted, badass and containing one of my favorite soundtracks of all time. And as you guys know, I love me a good western… and this was more than good… this was FANTASTIC! I also love Clint Eastwood, he is THE man. That scene at the graveyard is also one of the best ever created, you know which one I am talking about (if you have seen the movie). I highly recommend watching this movie because it is so badass and awesome.

Number 2: Drive (2011)
2. Drive

“Drive” is one of those movies that is so stylishly directed that it should be a flaw but it only becomes a strength. Story is about a mysterious stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) who doubles as a getaway driver. But he gets involved in some mobster stuff and shit hits the fan. To be honest when I first heard about this movie was through a poster I saw once and thought it would be like “Fast & Furious 92” or “Transporter 4”. So then I saw it and it was a drama with some action in it. People got disappointed at that. I on the other hand loved it so much. I thought it was better than what I expected it to be. The story is great, the acting is tremendous, the music is euphoric and the directing is fantastic. “Drive” is one of those movies that I can watch several times every year and never get bored with it… and it is a slow drama (with a 1 hour 40 minute time frame). I adore this movie so much that I try to push it on people who hasn’t seen it yet. I’ve managed on two people so far and I am working on more.

NUMBER 1: FIGHT CLUB (1999)
1. Fight Club

You should have seen this coming… you really should have seen this coming. I gush over it all the time and have gone as far as to have done TWO reviews of it. Okay, less gushing, more story. A nameless insomniac (Edward Norton, returning on the list) meets a cool and maybe batshit crazy soap maker named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt, returning on the list) and they start a “Fight Club”. And then said Fight Club escalates to so much more than possible. That is really all I can say without giving away too much. But I would be surprised if you have not seen this movie yet. It is one of the most popular movies ever. This movie is weird, twisty-turny, hilarious and awesome. And by hilarious I really mean hilarious, I love the type of dark comedy they have in the movie. The movie is also pitch-perfectly directed… know why? Two words: David (fucking) Fincher. That’s kinda fun. Second Fincher/Pitt team-up on the list… and it features my favorite actor of all time (Edward Norton) as a main character… it was really made for me. To me this movie is perfect, I love this so much that I quote it at least a few times every week… and I watched it six times last year alone. I might have a slight obsession with this movie, but I don’t care because I adore it so much. “Fight Club” is my favorite movie of all time and it will stay that forever.

So those were my Top 10 Movies of all Time. I hope you enjoyed reading that because it was a lot of hard work making it. It was also really fun making it. Here’s to many more good years on here with more fun stuff like this!

So here is my question to you; What is YOUR favorite movie of all time? Comment below, let me know!

I’ll see you later!

My Favorite Scenes: Se7en Opening Credits

My dear friends of the internet, welcome back to another installment of “My Favorite Scenes”! Ya know, the “series” where I kind of talk about my favorite scenes. And this time we once again talk about the opening credits to a movie. It also happens to be the second time I talk about the opening credits from a movie directed by David Fincher (First time was “Fight Club”). And this time it is for the movie “Se7en” (Se-Seven-en). If you didn’t already know, Se7en is a 1995 crime-thriller starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as two detectives trying to find a murderer who kills people in ways kind of based on the seven deadly sins (hence the title “Seven”, stylized as “Se7en”). I did a review for the movie a few weeks back and I can tel you right now that I love the movie. It is fantastic! But back to the opening credits… which I also happen to love. These opening credits are as dark and disturbing as the rest of the movie and really works setting the tone for the entire thing. So, please enjoy the opening credits for the fantastic crime-thriller “Se7en”.

Se7en opening credits

Movie Review: Se7en (1995)

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Okay, how many here love murder mystery movies? Raise your hands! Come on now, don’t be shy! There we go, I see a few hands now! Anyway, as you may have guessed, I love myself a good murder mystery. Not always the “Whodunnit?” kinda way, but a mystery involving murder… especially a suspenseful one. Okay, not only murder mysteries, but thrillers in general. A good example of a great thriller is 2013’s “Prisoners”. So yeah… I love myself a good crime-thriller. They make you get a warm beverage, snuggle up in a cover/blanket/thing and just have a good time with it. Well, today we are talking about one such movie… a movie that was a bit of a box office success. And it is directed by one of my favorite directors.

Detectives and criminals… “Se7en” (Se-Seven-en).

The story of “Se7en” is set in a dark, depressing New York-y city and follows homicide detectives William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and David Mills (Brad Pitt). Somerset is this veteran cop who is gonna retire soon and Mills is this sort of rookie guy. One day they get to a crime scene… but not jsut any old crime scene, oh no. Here they find an overly obese man tied up (and dead). And this murder leads to similar(ish) murders that are about as brutal, disgusting and horrible as this one, all having one thing in common… they all revolve around the seven deadly sins (Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Pride, Wrath, Envy, Sloth). And they find out a lot more, equally disturbing things. And based on those facts, this movie got one of the most intriguing stories in any movie ever. While some call the story “cliché”, I call it interesting and well done. I also want to add that the elements of the murders based around the seven deadly sins are both creepy and a little disturbing. So yeah, this movie was very interesting.

The characters are incredibly well-written and well-acted. They are portrayed in a realistic way. And like I said, the actors do an amazing job in this movie. There is especially one performance (not gonna mention which) that both made me go “That is how you act!” and “This is a little disturbing”… and I loved that. I am going to admit that one of the actors (again, not mentioning which) who in one scene drops a little bit in the acting quality. Not saying it becomes horrible, just not as good as the rest of the movie.

The music… holy fucking shit, the music! There are some orchestral tracks for the more dramatic and action-y bits. And sometimes the music can be cold, creepy and just make me feel generally creeped out. I honestly never knew Howard Shore (Most known for the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” movies) could write such a cold score. And like I said, there are a few fairly bombastic bits every now and then… but nothing too “epic”.

Once again, David Fincher directed an incredibly good looking movie. The visuals and camera angles in this movie are fantastic! Sure, he is no stranger to that kind of stuff, but here he really shows what he is made of! Also, this is one of the few movies that properly disturb me in a fashion that doesn’t actually involve any gross-out methods… and that is not easy with me. Also, this movie is unforgiving in the way how it doesn’t care, it just does it’s thing. Also, this movie went by pretty fast, it didn’t feel like two hours at all. In other words, it was very well-paced and never got boring.

Reception for “Se7en” was overall good. This was a commercial success after all. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 79% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a 65/100 score. Roger Ebert orginally gave this movie 3,5/4 stars but it has been updated to 4/4 stars and is on his “Great Movies” list. On imdb.com this movie has a score of 8,7/10 and is ranked #22 on the “Top 250” list. “Se7en” was also nominated for an Oscar, and that was for Best Film Editing.

“Se7en” is a dark, creepy, disturbing, great, suspenseful and very well-acted crime thriller. And now I am ready to hand out my final score if I can find the god damn thing! Ah, there it is! My final score for “Se7en” is a 9,74/10 which grants it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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“Se7en” is now reviewed.

Se-Seven-en…