Archive for Horror Series

Review: Stranger Things Season 2 (TV Show)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2018 by Lilliandra Winters

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If you haven’t watched the first season of Stranger Things, then I suggest you check out that review and then decide if you want to watch it. This review is only for the second season. Also, THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!

Before I go spoiler bound, should you watch it? YES! Why should you watch it! BECAUSE IT’S AWESOME! Now, spoiler away.

I binged watched the hell out of season 2. However, I wasn’t patiently waiting for it to come out. I didn’t start watching it day one. I didn’t pour over internet theories before it came out. I loved season 1, don’t get me wrong, but I was worried about season 2.

Let’s get the hate out of the way.

Season 2 felt just a tad off to me and I will explain why. The end of season 1 could have easily been the end. We didn’t know what was coming next. It was tied up in the neatest little bow possible with two exceptions. We were lead to ponder if Eleven was still alive. Also, what the fuck did Will cough up in the sink?

Season 2 didn’t wrap up in that same bow. There are a lot of unanswered questions and if you ask me, everything with her sister felt… disconnected? Maybe that isn’t the proper word, but work with me. Of course, I can understand everything that lead up to her going to Mama. Mama wants me to go see this girl… Okay, that isn’t what I got from the vision, but I’m not you. So, she ventures off to find her sister and the feeling of these scenes were so far removed from what was happening that I had a hard time smoothly going back to Hawkins.

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BEFORE YOU HATE ME… I understand that it was character development. I am sure that this plot will be revisited in season 3. In fact, it felt more like a setup for season 3 than it actually belonging in season 2. Again, this is my opinion and I didn’t love it any less. I just felt uncomfortable. I Love Kali by the way. Love love love. PS, where the fuck are the rest of the numbers?

So, besides that, I don’t recall any other issues I had. Well, I did want that bitch Billy to be eaten by a Demidog, but that didn’t fucking happen. HE DIDN’T EVEN SEE ONE. I mean, I straight up hate that motherfucker (not as much as his father) but damn did that bring up some left over high school rage that I will never address. That seething hatred can stay there. That might have been my only other issue, but that’s more of a personal preference.

Now, let’s talk about the awesome. Eleven/Jane is developing, learning, understanding, feeling and we are along for the ride. This poor girl was not only put through hell, but she also got worse, kicked it’s ass and got more hell for it! CAN SHE CATCH A FUCKING BREAK!

However, watching this journey just bonds us to her even more. I assume that most of us want to pick her up, hug her, put her in our pocket and feed her all the Eggo’s she wants. However, I found Will to be an adored pocket dweller, also. Again, this poor kid went through hell BY ACCIDENT and the hits just keep on coming.

He tries to be so brave and stand up to it, only to really get screwed over something fierce. I just remembered thinking, “holy shit that poor kid,” every 5 seconds. For seeing so little of him in the first season, he did so well in season 2 with not only that troubled weight on his shoulders, but also literally fighting to gain some normalcy.

ebf13f1a5114687e50e98ebabf162c25AND BOB! OMG don’t get me started on Bob… I saw a lot of #justiceforbarb #justiceforbob before I even started watching. Thanks for ruining that, internet. However the question that came up was who do you want justice for, Barb or Bob.

FIRST OF ALL, not the same situation. Barb got dead and knew nothing about what was happening. Of course, she deserves justice. BOB IS A MOTHER FUCKING HERO. Holy shit! Bob the Brain deserved better.

He may have been nerdy and weird, but who isn’t? He found a woman he loved, accepted her two kids, loved them and tried to bond with that. He had a good job and loved to help. HE CAME OVER WHEN HE THOUGHT WILL WAS SICK, found out Will was in the Upside Down, not the woods, and he didn’t nope the fuck out. Then, he didn’t even ask Hopper to come guard him (which I would have) and went out to do what he did best. Salute Superhero Bob because not all heroes wear capes.

I think I just started ranting about characters and never spoke of the actual story. I’ll throw out that Dustin is an adorable dumbass and say that the story was great. I felt awful for everyone stuck in the situation and wondered how the rest of the town seemed to notice 100% of NOTHING this whole time. Sheep.

I wasn’t a fan of all the Nancy boy drama. I can always do without extra romance issues. I do say “extra” because we can’t forget about the Max love triangle in all of this. That lead to interesting drama, but little character development for Lucas, or at least I think it could have been done a little better. Show of hands on how many people think Billy is a racist? If he is, I do appreciate them removing derogatory words from the script. I know that people will throw words around trying to be authentic, but there is a line and the actor is a kid. It wouldn’t have sat well with me at all.

Season 2 is good but sitting here, reflecting upon it, I feel some of the Sequel Blues. The first is always better, because we aren’t shocked by what is being presented to us. As much as they brought to the table this time, the newness of it, I felt a couple of characters lacked much needed development. I had issues with the Jane/Kali story line ( I was really hoping Kali would have shown up at the end to help) and there was to much left unresolved, to me at least. I also found that investigator to be creepy in a special way.

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That being said, loved the Demidogs, loved the Shadow Monster, loved thinking outside the box, the map, the heaters. POOR BARB’S PARENTS! Mad Max stood up for herself and poor Mamabear Steve! Which honestly, I’d never thought I’d say that about a popular kid, like ever. He stuck by those kids, but I guarantee he’s never having any. Hey Steve, sweetie, let’s have a baby! NO! NO! HELLS NO! They grow up to be little shits that jump into tunnels and set demons on fire. HELL NO! And Steve is carted off to the insane asylum and never heard from again.

I digress. Season 2 was wonderful, but definitely lacking in a few areas for me. Let’s hope for a strong season 3 and cross our fingers that Billy gets bit in the nuts by a demidog.

Do you agree? What did you love or hate about season 2?

WintersOver4

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American Horror Story (Part 1) Murder House, Asylum & Coven

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2015 by Lilliandra Winters

Review of American Horror Story (Contains spoilers)

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Murder House:
‘Murder House’ was by far one of my favorite shows. I loved nearly every moment of it. It’s very rare for me to love every moment of anything, to be honest. I thought it was well written and the actors did an amazing job. It was amazingly unpredictable with beautiful scenery and an unending cast of characters.

Now, usually this many characters can be extremely overwhelming for the viewer, but they handled it perfectly. Each character’s story was explained, At first it was all very confusing, but that was the sly beauty of it. Just as you thought you had an idea about what was going on, the rules changed and you had no idea all along. I love telling people to watch ‘Murder House’. It left me with so many questions, but in a wonderful way. It was gross, it was scary, it was emotional. It was everything it needed to be, even touching on historical murders. A great mix of psychological fear and what goes bump in the night.

Of course, the first season was only dubbed ‘Murder House’ (mostly by fans) after they continued the series with no intention of revisiting the first season. You could no longer just call it AHS because the others had a name, so ‘Murder House’ is accurate.

Love the house? It’s a real place and you can purchase it for a simple $4.5 Million.

tumblr_ns9mt4fcff1si8ep5o3_500Now, is the actual house haunted? According to TVGuide, “The house
could actually be haunted. Even the real-life owners think so. They’ve certainly decorated Los Angeles’ Rosenheim Mansion, a massive 15,000-square foot, six-bedroom home built in 1908, to accommodate souls (or ghouls?) of differing tastes. Alongside the original Tiffany stained glass, the house’s bizarre art collection also includes statues of a goat wielding a shield, a monkey with a banana and a knight with a sword, pencil sketches of Japanese children, Italian paintings, a tiger clock…” But there doesn’t seem to be evidence otherwise.

The inspiration for ‘Murder House’ apparently came from the Bailey Mansion in Hartford, CT. However, everything that I research is just telling me that “This Haunted House was the inspiration for the ‘Murder House”’ (Yeah, no shit! That’s why I’m looking at it). All the sites show the same picture of the house and I’ve only seen two (shotty) explanations. The first explained that a woman killed her husband and children before hanging herself; the second that a witch lived there and buried bodies on the property (I did find an account of a haunting, but I couldn’t prove that it was the same house). I’m not satisfied with either. If you dig something up, let me know in the comments.

So, what was ‘Murder House’ actually about? A family with some serious issues move into a new house to start their new life, but people don’t change and things get fucked fast. Trust no one.

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Asylum:
I was thrilled to see that they were going to be doing a second season and even more excited that they planned on doing a new story with some of the same actors (ok, a lot of them) from the first season. I found this to be not only an interesting concept but also a clever way to keep the audience interested in the show. With that said, I was a bit disappointed with this season. It was good, it still held its twists, but it was more psychological and less physical. What physical they did felt… like an afterthought. Now that doesn’t mean it wasn’t wonderful in its own right, but it wasn’t for me. I enjoyed how much they tried to stay true to the times (there is a scene about ‘correcting’ homosexual behavior) and even incorporated things I’ve personally researched.

Pennhurst State School and Hospital in East Vincent, Pennsylvania was a hospital for the mentally and physically disabled. An expose by Bill Baldini and a lawsuit aided in shutting the place down. It was understaffed and underfunded, but that is no reason for the mistreatment that occurred there. Now it serves as a haunted attraction, Halloween Haunted House, and Army Reserve Base. I’ve been there several times and it’s the one place that I hate going. I don’t plan to go back. There is something wrong with that place. However, I did have the pleasure of meeting Mikey several times in Phoenixville (I would assume this is the same Mikey. I never got his last name). He was one of the patients that was released into the world with nothing and no help. He got through and is amazingly positive, but they could have done so much better.

8fdd5e26-27bb-4ed5-8411-88efeb1e064fThe similarities between the two (‘Asylum’ and Pennhurst) were eerie, to say the least. There were definite chills down my spine. However, they made aliens weird, not terrifying, and it seemed so very out of place for me.

I did enjoy Bloody Face, though. That felt like a toss back to the first season. It was about the creepiest part of the whole season.

Again, not my favorite, had to push myself through some of the episodes, but I finished it.

So what was ‘Asylum’ actually about? A reporter gets locked up for snooping around where she doesn’t belong. Nothing is as it seems, your past will come back to haunt you and they really are out to get you.

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Coven:
‘Coven’ did a much better job. It wasn’t as amazing as ‘Murder House,’ but it was a lot better than ‘Asylum.’ ‘Coven’ also incorporated two of my interests: Marie Laveau and New Orleans.

‘Coven’ is about Witches. The season takes place in a boarding school for witches in New Orleans that is charged with the training of new witches to help them come into their power and stop accidentally killing people. I use the word ‘accidentally’ loosely. They encounter many a horrible thing in the awakened war with the Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau. During all of this they encounter a woman, Madame LaLaurie, who is holy fucking horrible, Jesus Christ.

tumblr_mvc012zrrh1rr9hnvo1_250For those of you who don’t know, Marie Laveau, the famous Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, is currently buried in New Orleans St. Louis Cemetery #1. She had a large following and people would swarm to watch her rites. A lot of mystery shrouds her life, but in death people will go to her tomb, drawn an X, spin three times and shout their wish to her. If it’s granted, they are to return and circle their X before leaving an offering. This practice is still held today.

The LaLaurie house is considered to be one of the most haunted places in America and there is no mystery as to why. Delphine LaLaurie was a prominent member of white Creole society. Oh, and she was a psychopath. In public, she seemed to amicable to black people. Even after several accusations of mistreatment bore no fruit, the rumors still spread. It wasn’t until her cook started a fire (she was chained to the stove and trying to kill herself) that they discovered 7 mutilated slaves in the slaves’ quarters and dug up two bodies in her backyard, one of which belonged to a child. Her cruelty is infamous.

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New Orleans Cemetery Courtesy of Joyce Rossback

So what was ‘Coven’ actually about? ‘Coven’ is about a group of witches who keep screwing up, coming into power, changing how the world works, and poor, poor Evan Peters kind of being thrown into a role because he is the wonderful Evan Peters and they didn’t know where to put him. I applaud what he did with such an awkward character.

I want to take a moment to applaud AHS on their research. It would have been so much easier for them to just make up horrific characters, but they really dug deep and did their best to incorporate the history of the location into this season.

*Side Note* I am very curious as to who on the show has an obsession with Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac. Not that I have a problem with Stevie, but one episode really looks like they were making her a music video. Watch and you’ll understand.

WintersOver4

References: 
Murder House:
http://www.tvguide.com/news/american-horror-story-murder-house-1040779/
http://hookedonhouses.net/2011/10/31/the-real-american-horror-story-house-in-l-a/
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/american-horror-story-mansion-sale-272875

Asylum:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennhurst_State_School_and_Hospital
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG33HvIKOgQ
http://weirdnj.com/stories/pennhurst-asylum/

Coven:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Laveau
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphine_LaLaurie
http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/ghosthunting/hauntedcities/NewOrleans.php

Black Butler (Anime Series) (2008-2009)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2015 by Lilliandra Winters

Black Butler (Anime Series) (2008-2009)

Based on the Kuroshitsuji Manga

Oh, Black Butler, my beloved Black Butler. This was one of the first animes I watched that got me absolutely hooked.

Just one name, Sebastian, voiced by the oh, so pleasant J. Michael Tatum, whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several times and acquiring his autograph.

Black Butler is much darker than it seems. The main character is Ciel Phantomhive (Brina Palencia is also lovely in person), a young boy (12, I think) who is now Lord of his manor with Sebastian as, simply, one hell of a butler. Ciel has sold his soul to a demon for some very specific revenge that he doesn’t know the half of. It is set in Victorian England, surrounding the life of our young Lord and his odd, yet loveable servants.

If you like dark, morbid stories with odd twists and the supernatural woven in, then you will love Black Butler. It broke my heart on more than one occasion and kept proving wrong what my very heart wanted to happen. Every time I thought I had it figured out, I was sadly mistaken.

Now, as much as I love the series and am even reading the manga, I am not a huge fan of the second season and I feel it might very well have been just the introduction of our new characters and where they lead us. That doesn’t mean it was bad and I enjoyed the extreme twist ending, but did not love the entire Season 2 story. Claude is a motherfucker.

This is another short anime that is great for a binge watch… or several.

So tell me, what would you sell your soul for?

WintersOver4