Announcing The Month of Spooks 2019

Hello there, ghouls and bones, and welcome to a very special post. For years I have run this thing called The Month of Spooks, which is just a fancy way of saying “Let’s talk about horror movies throughout October, AKA the month where Halloween happens”.

The first year was some half-assed thing I came up with in the middle of the month. Then during the following three years it got more organized, gaining more collaborators, giving some more perspectives on the various corners of the world of spooks. And now it is time for the fifth iteration of this silly little thing of mine. God damn, fifth, time flies. So once again I am looking for a collaborator or two or more. Easiest way of reaching me is by contacting me on twitter, and we’ll work some stuff out. But you can also comment on this post, and I’ll fetch the email attached to it and try to then reach out to you. Officially speaking, The Month of Spooks starts on October 1st, so I thought I’d throw out this announcement today so people can get good time to consider whether they wanna participate, and maybe also give them time to figure out what they want to write about.
There’s no need to even write every day of October. Hell, I’d probably discourage you from doing it, as there’s a good chance it could burn you out, and I don’t want you to do that. I just think it could be fun to see who we could get involved.

So if you’re interested in participating, just write to me either on twitter or in the comments. And also, extra special thanks to my buddy The Craggus for those really cool graphics at the top of the post, I love them.
Have a good one.

Movie Review: E.T. (1982)

I can already hear some people mumbling “This isn’t horror, why the hell are you putting it in the Month of Spooks?”. And here’s my reasoning: It’s set during Halloween, which technically makes it a Halloween movie, which means that it works for Month of Spooks. Loophole, motherfuckers. So let’s talk about an alien non-invasion.

Ladies and gentlemen… “E.T.”!

The story follows a boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas) as he one day finds and befriend and alien that he goes on to call E.T. And so we follow Elliott as he tries to keep his new alien friend hidden while trying to find away to contact E.T’s species. So now we have our family friendly alien non-invasion plot. And even when I put my nostalgia aside, I fucking love this plot. It’s a fun twist on an alien coming down to earth, usually we get aliens coming down to murder all of us, but this is about a friendly little guy. And the people behind the scenes of this manage to make it endlessly engaging, fun, charming, and just plain entertaining. It’s perfectly paced while still telling an emotionally investing story.

The characters in this are fun, interesting, and overall entertaining. First up we have young Henry Thomas as Elliott, the child at the center of the story. He has a bit of a troubled life, with his parents getting separated, among other things. But he’s still a good kid, and it’s fun to see his evolution after he meets E.T. And Thomas is great in the role. Next we have Robert MacNaughton as Michael, Elliott’s older brother. He’s kind of a jerk, but he does get some decent development throughout the movie. And MacNaughton is really good in the role. Next we have a very young Drew Barrymore as Gertie, Elliott’s young sister. Not only is she absolutely adorable, but she’s also a fun character that adds a little extra charm to it all. And Barrymore is really good in the role. We also have Dee Wallace as Elliott’s mother. She’s under a lot of stress, and Elliott’s misadventures certainly isn’t helping things out. But she’s still a loving and caring mother. And Wallace is great in the role. Yeah, ’tis a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was of course composed by the one and only John Williams. And as one would expect from that legend, the score here is fucking fantastic. The theme is as memorable as all his other ones, and the rest of the score of course has that magical, whimsical, and emotional quality that Mr. Williams is so damn good at. I don’t need to say more, you know how good this score is.

Written by Melissa Mathison (R.I.P), this movie was directed by Steven Spielberg, and of course he did an excellent job with the direction. He has a way of creating magic and excitement from the smallest of scenes. It also helps that the writing here too is absolutely delightful. But seriously, Spielberg could direct a movie of someone reading the phone book and it would be charming. Probably starring Tom Hanks. Anyway, not only does he capture the childlike wonder of Elliott discovering this alien, he also manages to create some eerie and outright disturbing moments throughout. And the cinematography by Allen Daviau is absolutely breathtaking.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 98% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 91/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars and put it on his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10. The movie won 4 Oscars in the categories of Best sound, Best visual effects, Best sound editing, and Best original score. IT was also nominated for an additional 5 Oscars in the categories of Best picture, Best director, Best original screenplay, Best cinematography, and Best film editing.

So yeah, “E.T.” is considered a classic for a reason. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and fantastic directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “E.T.” is a 9,88/10. Which means that if (of course) gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “E.T.” is now completed.

My blog, my Month of Spooks, my rules.

Announcing The Month of Spooks 2018!!!

What is up, ladies and gentlemen? It is once again time that time of year when I get to announce one of my favorite things to do within the blogosphere. I am super excited to announce that for the fourth year in a row, I am hosting what I refer to as The Month of Spooks! For those who are relatively new to my blog, every year since 2015 I spend the month of October reviewing a ton of horror things, usually with some people tagging along on their own blogs. Like I said, it’s been a yearly tradition for me to do this, and I do not intend on skipping out on it this year. So what’s gonna happen exactly?

Well to be honest, I have no fucking clue. I have some general ideas of horror-related things I might wanna review, but nothing is set in stone right now. But I know we’ll find some cool stuff to cover. And I will hopefully get some badass bloggers with me this year as well.

The Month of Spooks 2018, are you guys excited? Because I sure as hell am!
Have a good one.

The Month of Spooks 2017 Roundup

Hello there, ladies and gentlemen of the internets. Another Month of Spooks has come to an end, and it’s been a good one. There’s been spookums, there’s been hookums, and we’ve had a solid mix of horror stuff. So here’s a post to round up all the posts that have been done in the name of the Spook, both from me and from my guest reviewers (lovingly called my little Spookers).

Let’s just start with my stuff, since that’s the least interesting.
Insidious Movie Review
Wolf Creek Movie Review
The Lost Boys Movie Review
We Are What We Are Movie Review
Sinister Movie Review
Van Helsing Movie Review
Mindhunter Season 1 Review
Daybreakers Movie Review
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil Movie Review
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Movie Review
The Conjuring Movie Review
What We Do in the Shadows Movie Review
Stranger Things Season 2 Review
Get Out Movie Review
30 Days of Night Movie Review

Let’s see, that is… 15 posts from me… that’s not bad. But enough of me… time for my little spookers!

Sasha AKA. Chewbasha AKA. Binge Watch Bash

The first one to sign on for this silly thing was Sasha, one of my friends from twitter. She was intrigued about writing about horror stuff, especially since she seemingly wanted to do more things for her blog. I happily had her on board, and soon she started delivering quality posts. Now, she intended to write more posts than she did, but things got in the way for her. But what she did give us… was pretty fucking awesome.

Raw 
Pet Sematary
The Love Witch
The Invitation
The Voices

Those were Sasha’s awesome posts. NEXT PERSON.

Gavin AKA. MiniMediaRvwr AKA. Mini Media Reviews

The second person to sign on was Mr. Gavin. We’d had interaction on twitter and such several times before, but I was a little surprised when he seemed genuinely enthusiastic about joining in on my silly little thing. That said, I was also really happy because Gavin’s a cool dude and a good writer, so getting him on board was just awesome. He was also incredibly generous, giving us a metric buttload of posts. So let’s get into it.

Saw
Nosferatu
Audition
You’re Next
In The Mouth of Madness
Night of the Living Dead
A Tale of Two Sisters
The Purge: Anarchy
The Purge: Election Year
Angel Heart
The Wicker Man
Pulse
Baskin
The Fog
Haute Tension
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Raw
Gerald’s Game
The Borderlands
Final Destination
Ouija: Origin of Evil
Hounds of Love
Dracula Untold
Inside
House on Haunted Hill
Creep
Happy Death Day

Thank you for that, Gavin… that was quite a lot. Anyhow… NEXT.

Craggy AKA. The Craggus AKA. What The Craggus Saw

For the second year in a row we have The Craggus tagging along for the Month of Spooks. Not only is he a good writer and a cool dude, but he is also the one putting together the logo for this whole thing. So once again, thank you sir. Now, let’s get into his posts.

Dracula
Frankenstein
The Mummy
The Invisible Man
Bride of Frankenstein
The Wolf Man
Abbott ant Costello Meet Frankenstein
The Ritual
Creature From The Black Lagoon
The Monster Squad
To The Devil A Daughter
Monster House
The Witches
I Am Alone
Happy Death Day

Thank you for all that, Craggus. Appreciate it.

Now, just as a general shoutout: Jia Wei AKA. JW AKA. Film and Nuance

Now, what I mean with the “Shoutout” thing in his introduction is because he had actually signed on to take part in this, however he never actually got around to making any posts for us. But since he was signed up I thought I’d at least give him a shoutout. He’s an incredibly talented writer and overall really nice guy, so he deserves all the visits he can get (same with all of these people). So click the “Film and Nuance” link in his intro to go there and give him some love.

Well, that’s about it for this. Huge thanks to my little spookers for delivering great stuff. And of course, a huge thanks to any and all people who popped in to read my stuff this month… I appreciate so god damn much. That’s it for the Month of Spooks 2017!
Have a good one!

 

Announcing The Month of Spooks 2017!!!

Ladies, gentlemen, and others… I am very proud to announce, for the third year in a row… THE MONTH OF SPOOKS!

For those of you who are new/not aware, The Month of Spooks is my special little “series” that I do every October since 2015. And since October will be here pretty soon, I thought it was time to finally make an official announcement about it… and here it is. So what exactly will happen during the Month of Spooks? Well, I don’t have any set-in-stone plans, but I have some vague ideas, mainly about a couple of horror movies that I want to review. Other than that, I have no specific plans for it (Lucky for me that there’s time left for me to think about it). Last year I was lucky to have a couple of people join in on it, with them making posts on their blogs in the name of the Spooks. And I’m hoping to get some people along for the ride this year as well. Now, I don’t have anywhere that people can sign up for it as of writing this, but I might be able to fix something for that. In the meantime, if you are interested in signing up for The Month of Spooks, you could always send a DM my way on twitter (@TheMarckoguy), if you have a twitter account. If you don’t… then maybe have some patience.

Well, that’s really all I had to say. Not a lot of things I could say in this announcement. So… prepare your butts for The Month of Spooks!
Have a good one.

The Month of Spooks 2016 roundup

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Hello and greetings, you guys. Well, it’s finally over. It is now November and the Month of Spooks has come to an end. I had a lot of fun doing it, and I am so grateful for all the love and support you all showed me during those 31 days. From likes, to nice comments… it has just been great. Now, since it’s all done I have decided to do a little roundup of everything Month of Spooks. I’m gonna start by listing everything I did, and then… I will share with you the stuff that some other awesome people did for me during it. So here we go!

My posts (only briefly listed, since I made quite a few). 

Movie Review: Resident Evil: Degeneration
My Favorite Scenes: Nightmare Before Christmas – This is Halloween
Series Review: Harper’s Island
Movie Review: Crimson Peak
Movie Review: Late Phases
Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Movie Review: It Follows
Great Music #20
Movie Review: Resident Evil Damnation
Movie Review: The Crow
Some Scary Characters

So those were the posts that I myself did for the Month of Spooks. 11… which I’m pretty sure is more than I did last year when I truly half-assed it. But enough of that. Let’s talk about the posts done over on some other blogs by some cool people who aren’t me.

Zoë (The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger)
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First up we have Zoë, who also happens to be the first out of anyone to sign up/volunteer for this. She runs the badass blog which you see the title for at the top of this slot (linked in said title). And I was of course happy that she wanted to join because she’s awesome. So I was of course highly anticipating her post… so let’s talk about it.

Month of Spooks 2016: Top Ten Scream Deaths

Since I gave Zoë (and my other spookers) free reign with what they could do for Month of Spooks, as long as it was within the horror genre, I was genuinely interested in what would get cooked up. So Zoë made a list of the ten best deaths from the “Scream” movies, which means that if you haven’t seen the movies but want to… this list spoils pretty much all of them (duh). But I’m just gonna say that it was an entertaining read and I was not disappointed. It’s a great post… awesome job, Zoë!

Keith (Keithlovesmovies)
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Keith, a person who loves movies, was another person who was kind enough to join in on the “fun”. His blog (linked in the title of this slot) is another one that I really like. It’s fun, it has great reviews, and features a lot of guest posts on there. It’s always fun to see what comes out from his site. Now his approach to the Month of Spooks was a little different from Zoë… mainly in that he gave us two posts instead of one. Also he did reviews instead of lists. So let’s talk a little about them.

New Game (Ouija: Origin of Evil Review)

So for the first of his two posts he gave us a review of “Ouija: Origin of Evil”, the recently released movie directed by Mike Flanagan. Firstly, if it’s pronouneed “Ouijee”, don’t spell it “Ouija”. Secondly, Keith didn’t disappoint. I always enjoy reading his reviews, and this one was no different. It’s a solid review that also happen to fly under the Month of Spooks banner. And apparently, the movie was good… despite it being a prequel(?) to a fucking awful movie that came out two years ago.

Madea vs. Halloween (Boo! A Madea Halloween Review)

So in his second review, Keith decided to tackle another recently released movie… that is part of a clichéd and unfunny franchise directed by and starring Tyler Perry. And Keith once again gave us a solid review where he in the end said he liked the movie… Yeah, I’ll take the last few words of that sentence makes no damn sense for 200, Alex.

The Craggus (What the Craggus Saw)
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So for the third and final contestant(?) we have the Craggus, AKA… The Craggus. Since this individual’s true identity isn’t as well known as with the previous two people, this person will simply be known as the Craggus, or Craggy as I sometimes call him. Fun fact: He was actually the one that created that logo you see at the top of this post, so I am very grateful to him for being kind enough to do that. So thank you, Craggy. And just like Keith, he gave us two posts.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Timewarp Again (2016) #MonthOfSpooks review

So here we have a review of the TV remake of “Rocky Horror PIcture Show”. And with this we get a very solid post from Craggy where he baisclaly tells is that it’s not that great. Kind of meh… really meh. 5 of 10 levels of meh. That’s not me being funny, that’s what the post says. Don’t trust me? Read it!

Halloween (1979) #MonthOfSpooks Review

So for his second (and final) post, Craggy decided to review the horror classic that inspired so many people… John Carpenter’s “Halloween”. Aparently he hadn’t seen the movie before, which is a little bit of a shame, but I’m happy that he finally saw it and even gave us the review… on Halloween. It’s another great post from a great writer.

So that’s it, those were all the posts that were related to the Month of Spooks… except for my announcement post, but that doesn’t count. And once again I would like to thank Zoë, Keith, and the Craggus for joining in on my dumb shenanigans… you three are awesome! And of course, thank you to anyone who has continued reading my shit throughout the month… you are all awesome!
Have a good one!

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!

 

Great Music #20

Hello guys, I hope you’re all doing well. So I haven’t done a post like this since mid-September, so I felt like I had to done one now. So let’s talk about music.

I hear you asking “BUT MARKUS… How can you make a post about music during the Month of Spooks?”. Well, it’s simple. Take a song (or at least music video) that have something related to spooky stuff. And what I have picked today is pretty much that. Now, I have made my love of Metallica very clear on this blog… and my twitter (#ShamelessPlug) feed… and my instagram (#ShamelessPlug) feed… and in real life.  So don’t be surprised that I picked a song by them to put here. Now, most Metallica fans might assume that I’d go with “Enter Sandman”, which is a fantastic song with a really creepy video… but that’s not what I’m going with today, though I do still highly recommend it. No, the song we’re going with “Until it Sleeps”, a song about dark themes. But the main reason why I chose it was because of the music video. It features dark, surreal, and downright creepy imagery. From religious stuff, to snakes, to death… it’s some creepy shit. And the song in itself is pretty great, I’d even say that it’s one of the band’s most underappreciated songs. So that is why I chose it. A great song for Month of Spooks.
Have a good one and enjoy!

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

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So now we’re moving forward in my series of reviews leading up to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. So let’s stop with this intro and just get into it!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”!

After having blown his horrible uncle’s horrible sister into a human balloon, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) goes back to Hogwarts. But everyone in the wizarding world is a bit on edge at the moment, because convicted killer Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) has somehow escaped from Azkaban prison and is presumably out and about to find Harry and do somethign terrible. And this of course also brings out the Dementors, the guardians of Azkaban. And from that we get a plot that further develops this world that’s been built up over the previous two movies, and gives us even more knowledge on the pasts of everyone. There are some truly interesting developments going on here that truly adds layers of the already established world, while also giving us a compelling stand-alone mystery. And I absolutely loved it. It was invested the whole way through thanks to those great developments and the overall great pacing of the movie.

The characters in the movie are just as great as in the previous movies, if maybe even better. With all the revelations happening we see Harry developing even more as a character, as he no longer takes any shit from anyone. And Daniel Radcliffe’s performance in the movie is truly great, with him having to show a lot of different emotions throughout the story. Rupert Grint is great, Emma Watson’s great, Alan Rickman (R.I.P) is great. Basically, any returning cast member is great. So let’s talk about some new additions, such as Michael Gambon now playing Dumbledore instead of Richard Harris (R.I.P). And I honestly think he does a really good job here, probably even surpassing Harris. Then we also have David Thewlis as Remus Lupin, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. And he does a great job too. Gary Oldman as Sirius… fantastic, but there could never be any doubt about that. It’s Gary fucking Oldman. Every actor in this movie does a great job!

The one and only John WIlliams once again provided the score, and it might the best so far. Some of the tracks create the same level of inspiring awe that could be gathered from the scores of the previous two movies, but then we also have some tracks that are outright chilling and haunting. Don’t believe me? Listen to the track “Apparition on the Train” and tell that it’s not a chilling piece of music. Yeah, the music in this one is fucking fantastic.

This is the first “Harry Potter” movie not directed by Chris Columbus (still not trying to rediscover America), instead the reins were handed over to Alfonso Cuarón. And while I thought Columbus did a really good job, Cuarón knocked it out of the god damn park! This is a magnificently directed movie, giving us some real eye candy. For example: Throughout the movie we get some of Cuarón’s signature single-take shots, which look great. Combining his direction with the editing of hte movie also makes it really suspenseful, and even a bit scary. Not only are the designs of the Dementors scary, but the way that some scenes play out/are directed actually kind of scared me. The imagery presented combined with editing, sound effects, and music made for a tense and kind of scary watch. So this can technically be put in the Month of Spooks. Two birds, one stone. And of course, the visual effects in the movie are absolutely terrific, perfectly holding up 12 years later… holy shit, this movie is 12 years old!

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 91% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 82/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10. The movie was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best Original Score and Best Visual Effects. 

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” is one of those rare cases where the third movie in a series happens to be better than the first two. It has a fantastic story, great characters, great acting, fantastic music, fantastic directing, and great visual effects. Time for my final score. *EXPECTO PATRONUM!*. My final score for “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” is a 9,90/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” is now completed.

It’s a shame Cuarón didn’t diect any more HP movies…

Movie Review: Late Phases (2014)

phase

We have covered a few different horror topics here with the Month of Spooks. We have covered zombies, spooky animation, murders on an island, slashers(Thank Zoë!), and haunted houses. So I guess it’s time to move on to something different… like werewolves.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Late Phases”.

Ambrose McKinley (Nick Damici) is an old, blind, war veteran who just moved into a retirement community. But the peace is very suddenly broken when his neighbor gets killed by a werewolf. So now Ambrose has one month to prepare for the next attack from the beast. I know… this sounds really dumb. But trust me, the plot here is surprisingly well handled. What we have here is a very unusual horror movie. It’s a slow-burning drama about this lonely man, who happens to inhabit the same world as a werewolf. I was genuinely surprised at how invested I was in the plot, I really wanted to see what happened next and how this bitter, blind, man was handling everything in his life. It really is a compelling plot.

The characters in the movie are all pretty interesting. Sure, some get less time than others when it comes to screen time, but they all have some kind of purpose in the grand scheme of things. Nick Damici is pretty damn great as Ambrose, playing him as this bitter, broken, man who has a bit of a rough relationship with his son. Speaking of which, his son is played by Ethan Embry who does a really good job in the movie too. You can tell that the relationship between Damici’s and Embry’s characters isn’t the best, which adds a lot to the drama. Really helps make these characters more compelling and interesting. Then we also get some really good supporting performances from people like Lance Guest, Tom Noonan, and Tina Louise (to only mention a few).

The original score was composed by Wojciech Golczewski and I think that it was really good. It really worked in the movie, somehow enhancing a lot of the scenes it was used in. Either helping to add emotion or tension to the scene. The score is haunting and definitely helped increase the quality of the movie.

This movie was directed by Spanish director Adrián García Bogliano, and I think he did a great job directing this, making a very tightly directed movie that both builds tension and drama throughout it’s 95 minute runtime. And when shit goes down it’s fucking glorious. Brutal, tense, and badass without being overly cheesy. And the visual effects in this are really good. Sure, there are parts where the werewolf looks pretty bad. As in, distractingly bad. But then there are also bits where the werewolf looks pretty damn great. I’m at least glad that they decided to do this with mostly practical stuff. Not sure if there is any CGI in the movie, but if there is then I couldn’t really notice it. But yeah, tight direction, good effects, some shitty werewolf stuff.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 69% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 51/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,9/10.

“Late Phases” is one of the most unexpectedly good movies that I’ve ever seen. A character-driven horror-drama with a good plot, good characters, great acting, great music, great directing, mostly good effects, and a badass final act. Though as I said, there are some times where the werewolves look like shit to a distracting degree. Time for my final score. *HOWLING NOISE!*. My final score for “Late Phases” is a 9,01/10. While not perfect, it’s most definitely worth buying!
Worth buying

My review of “Late Phases” is now completed.

Big thanks to youtube channel GoodBadFlicks for introducing this movie to me. If you’re not subscribed to him already, I suggest you go do it.