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Monthly Archives: October 2015

I sat at a desk in a small instructional resource room at the end of a long school basement hallway, gutted from construction. I was subbing for a math teacher who oversaw students with individualized education plans. So, of course, we were hidden in the back of the building, underneath the ground, in a hallway with bare drywall and netting while there existed a beautiful commons with decorations made of stained glass over on the brighter end of the hall. Where I was with the kids, the students who had already decided for themselves (or maybe someone told them?) that they can’t learn, the panels were missing from the ceiling, thick pipes showing through. Construction had been delayed. The floors and walls were stripped.

The students preoccupied themselves with their own devices. They didn’t want my help, so I had nothing to do really but occasionally speak with them and stare around the room. They tested their abilities to be cruel, as the moment was opportune, and took subtle jabs at me. I didn’t respond, continued to sit at my desk, asking if they needed help. They dropped the game when they realized I wasn’t a willing participant.

One student disagreed with everything that I said, or asked, but this wasn’t new so I didn’t pursue those derailments either. He fell into silence in the corner on his tablet. At the same table, a sixteen year old girl silently colored a picture that another teacher had given her. This was a block schedule, so she worked on this for an hour and a half.

At the other table was a rowdier crew. There was a senior wearing a black hoodie, showing off pictures of his truck while another abrasive, mean-spirited student randomly parroted in a cartoon voice, “My truck, my truck!” Beside them was a student wearing a gold chain, obsessing over the new Snap Chat features—he told me people knew his name, he had a following on YouTube, he was somebody and I didn’t know—but if I did know. If I did know, I wouldn’t question how long it took him to walk to his locker and back. While he told me this, the other two at the table pounded their fists down, “Yeah man, he’s known, he’s got a business.” 

I didn’t say anything to this. This was a suburb, surrounded by beautiful trees with bright red and orange leaves and a sparkling creek running by parallel to the school. There was nothing but suburbs for miles and miles. I could see them trying, hard. There was something they wanted to be, and I certainly had nothing to say about it—not today. After all, there were things I wanted to be, and here I was sitting uselessly, a placeholder in a strange environment. I let them lose interest in me, I diffused any arguments, as I had only slept a few hours and there was no Dead Poets Society moment ready to happen. There was just reality, drywall, this kid’s YouTube channel, and busy work the actual teacher assigned. And the measly paycheck come Friday.

After an hour of listening to them bicker about Snap Chat and girls doing too much, I found myself staring at some wall decal across from the desk. It was most likely purchased at Target, deemed perfect for this instructional resource room:

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Noise droned around me and I read this over and over and over again. Dream. Believe. Discover. Each time getting more pissed. What bullshit is this, on this classroom wall? In this setting? As if three words could truly inspire someone, or illustrate the struggle—or what it means to discover. The delirium from lack of sleep and tedium of the job made my head reel and emotions, thoughts and connections came tumbling out. Dream, dream big, follow your dreams. I had done this, and here I was sitting with these children who were bigger defeatists than I was and scowled at anyone who told them to do anything, who had more than I ever had back then. I was told what I could be, once upon a time, and I had nodded eagerly and walked myself into debt and into these classrooms that were already set up poorly by someone else before me, my brief presence having zero effect on the effectiveness of the neglected book shelf and the laptop cart the students used to do math problem after math problem after math problem on a website.

Multiple choice. Click a button. Next question.

Was this what I dreamed about?

Believe. Believe in what? Myself? Jesus, that was difficult. I told the kids I believed in them, but they looked at me and clearly didn’t believe me. I never believed anyone when I was a teenager, unless they were that right, special person that had passed through my filters and defenses. And I had just now shown up. I had the credibility of anybody with a GUEST badge, and I was so tired from work and doing work and seeking work and worrying about work that all I had left was the truth, which isn’t very inspirational sounding without the time to spruce up the language to get rid of the cynicism.

And discover. Oh, discovery! All the things I’ve discovered. And what have these students discovered so far? I discovered a lot after each brick wall I hit. I discovered after climbing so many steps that there are an infinite number of steps and I’m not sure if they lead anywhere. I’ve discovered how fucking hard everything is, and how much everyone around me is hurting. And these kids sat at their tables, pretending to do geometry multiple choice problems on a laptop and dropping drug references they thought I was oblivious to, certainly aware of some horrifying truth they had discovered in the past year but not quite developmentally ready to acknowledge the harsh discoveries happening behind the eyes of every other teenager in the room.

And then that moment when you discover that you were wrong, for a very long time. And you still have a lot to learn. But you had no idea. And now you’ve wasted some years of your life or scarred yourself in some way.

The reality compared to these three big stupid decal words was a joke. The wall would have been better off blank. I didn’t want to sling these cheesy words at kids, drape them over this lame, ineffective, time-wasting and exclusionary education system. I didn’t want them to think that discovery was some corny cursive word slapped onto a textbook over a picture of a galleon, but that it was something a lot more brutal, and deeper, and that there was something to the experience of discovering that tied us all together in this horrible but awesome way. That everything was actually horrible and awesome, and swearing and being a rebel wasn’t really that atrocious, and hating every inspirational poster in a room was okay, and normal.

As if I was that articulate then—or ever.

So the students left after an hour and a half, I wrote a referral for Kevin, and shut off the lights and left. Possibly to never even see any of these people ever again.

I’ve reached this point where I’ve seen enough music videos from the French electro-rock band The Shoes that I want to take some time to showcase them, as well as talk about the videos a little bit. I’m not exceptionally interested in their actual music—I find their songs hit or miss, some pretty boring and unspectacular—but their music videos are almost always interesting. Not to totally bash their music, as they have some really great songs. Apparently they’ve been relatively popular in France for a while, and I’m probably late to the scene in talking about them (with my silly American ignorance), but here I am. They have this great chaotic sound at times while also being capable of this dreamy ethereal vibe. Maybe they’re trying to do too much, but their music does have some potential. I believe in the quality of their future albums.

But then when I see they have a new music video out—I’m far more interested. They always have some sick, bizarre narrative going on. This never seems to fail. So here are some of their music videos, with some commentary and background (you know, to entice you).


‘Time to Dance’

I’ve brought this music video up before on this blog, and I really don’t ever get sick of it. Or the song. The sound here is everything I wish The Shoes could consistently be. It’s catchy and gets your heart-racing, and goes incredibly well with the actual video. This video was directed by Daniel Wolfe, who also directed another one of their music videos, as well as some videos for Duffy and Paolo Nutini. The story here stars Jake Gyllenhaal in a role that might as well have been practice for the feverish madness displayed in Nightcrawler. We start with some young people dancing (and end with some young people dancing) and Jake coming out as a total killing machine. When I first saw this video I was shocked with the sudden violent twist. And the way Gyllenhaal looks, his eyes ringed with purple, the intense focused expression as he trains and goes about mundane activities in between the killings—it’s really disturbing, and just a great music video in general.

‘Drifted’

Another one of their better songs, with a lively beat and occasional spastic sound. This video is a mash-up, starting off with that amazing clip of James Van Der Beek crying about some Dawson’s Creek-related thing and then developing from there. The video clips go extremely well with the catchy sounds of the song, and in the end this music video is pretty funny to watch. The clips are a collection of internet memes and general pop culture fads (Chuck Norris, Nicholas Cage, Bill Nye) and there’s some amusing photoshopping involved as well. That clapping sound just goes so well with Van Der Beek’s face as it crumbles into tears. I love it. The video is directed by Dent de Cuir, who also directed a DyE music video (which is ALSO awesome, I love DyE), as well as videos for Darwin Deez and Modeselektor. Good stuff.

‘Submarine’

With a bluish, underwater tint and occasional black and white scenes, we start with a romantic tale that gets very symbolic and features some creepy imagery. I’m going to spoil the plot of this narrative, so if you don’t want that skip this, though to be honest it’s bizarre enough that knowing ahead of time instead of puzzling over it afterward might make the initial viewing better. We have a loving couple, but then of course things go wrong. The man, it seems, has discovered he has some terminal illness (or so I interpret from the bleeding nose), and when this information comes out everyone around him reacts (symbolically). His illness affects everyone around him. His lover is devastated and her body contorts in agony with the fact of his illness. The man faces his illness—literally—and seems to contemplate suicide before touching the illness and perhaps, maybe, coming to terms with it. The video is directed by Karim Huu Do, who has directed a few other music videos from bands I’ve never heard of. The song itself is okay—dreamy, full of ennui—I’d listen to it while laying in bed, I guess.

‘Stay the Same’

This is definitely not one of the better songs. I like the lyrics, but the sound is just so dull to me. The video involves a man marching very frantically, in total exasperation, through a city. He encounters a man in a subway at some point—I swear it’s the same guy from the end of the ‘Time to Dance’ music video. Lead character/marching guy yells at a chameleon at one point, and generally remains frustrated for the rest of the video, and his nervous breakdown eventually becomes a dance. Hey! I wish my nervous breakdowns evolved into dance sequences. I feel as if any of us could relate to the character in this video, though not much really happens and this isn’t one of their better ones. This video was also directed by Daniel Wolfe, whom I mentioned previously.


There you have it, a few The Shoes music videos to watch. I’ve pretty much ranked them in order of how much I like them, and I left off some all together because I didn’t like them. But I definitely like this collection, and I’ll be looking out for more music video releases from them in the future.

Research Inquiry: Can I love through this viscous sea, this blackness,
where I float underneath, peering through gray clouds toward the sky?
I can see you on the dock, looking down into the oil; I’m here beneath,
and your hand skirts the surface, my hand follows, movements in sync,
but can you love an inky unclear face, floating forever out of reach?
Can you hear what I’ve been screaming, bubbles rising in a blur,
obscuring myself further in this murky natural world I call my own?

I remember somewhat how I got here; I can trace the steps I took
before I fell in, before I knew how to swim, crystal black ice still thin,
I followed the voices of family out here, saw them crawling to the shore,
I ran and once my feet breached the brackish soup I tumbled forward,
family watching but knowing it was over, themselves drenched and sore.
Down into the shadows, I went spinning and silent, the ice freezing over.

You’ve fallen in before, somewhere else, the quicksand sucked you in.
You know the darkness of a cavern, the exit maybe around the next bend,
and so you watch me from the dock, knelt down, reaching out your hand,
knowing I can make it out, breach the surface, struggle dripping onto land,
but when? But when? When I can see the drowned, what chance do I have?
Can you love me still, until then? Can you love my distant face, extended hand?

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Photo: Reese Herrington

Alright, yes, here I am, still watching horror movies. I had some intense horror movie conversation at a bar last night and I feel invigorated and ready to keep this going. So, after viewing nine horror movies for Part One, here is my second installment of these Rapidfire Reviews.


October 10th: Funny Games

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This is the first movie I’ve watched this month that I had already seen before. But it was a Friday night, you see, and we had a friend over who loved horror movies but had never seen it. In my personal opinion, this is a must-see when it comes to horror. The movie makes a point to show that the two villains in the plot are very aware of exactly what they are doing—that being tormenting a poor family in order to exact fear, tension and anguish for a viewing audience. Yes, it’s really meta-horror. However, it doesn’t beat you over the head with this. For the most part the film is nerve-wracking and disturbing, and then sometimes that cavalier evil lead with his chicken legs will wink at the camera, or make a comment that reminds you that he is aware that you want to see a show of this nice family unit’s demise—which I assume is meant to make the viewer feel uncomfortable and even a bit guilty. This is driven home even further when very little gore or brutality is even shown on camera, most deaths happening off camera, while what is shown is the abject grief, tormenting question of why this is happening plastered over the faces of the victims. The most effective scene in the movie spans for about ten minutes and mostly involves two of the characters sitting on the floor, one of them off-screen for a while, just absorbing their escalating anguish and despair and putting all of their strength in still trying to escape despite what’s happened to them, one of them eventually breaking out into uncontrollable, animalistic sobs and noises. Not much happens as we view this, but it allows you to absorb what the characters must be feeling, gives you time for your brain to try to wonder how you would react in such a situation.  This movie really succeeds on a psychological level.

October 11th: Final Girl (2015)

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Well, things have been going fairly well, but then here we have this—I watched the wrong movie. I was intending to watch The Final Girls (2015)which I had heard was a quality spoof, but in my attempts to quickly find the movie free online I ended up watching Final Girl (2015)Which ended up being… not so great… at all. The movie sort of has a horror vibe to it, though I suppose it’s more of a thriller, and overall it’s just bad, bad, bad. Abigail Breslin is in it, which is strange, since she’s randomly being raised to be an assassin so this stoic guy can get revenge for his wife and daughter who were murdered. But—the people Breslin is playing victim for so she can kill…. they’re teenagers. There’s no way they were involved in the murder of his wife. Yes, they are murdering women—or at least one woman—but the motivation for training her for years to target this one specific group just goes unexplained. Are they going to… keep doing that? Killing men who kill women? The majority of the movie takes place in the woods, which is in the “middle of nowhere,” but has stadium lighting throughout. The list of nonsense goes on. I wonder if The Final Girls is any good. I bet it will be better than this crap, if I ever get around to finding it and watching it.

October 12th: The Fly (1958)

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I guess growing up having seen The Simpsons version of The Fly ruined the creepy vibe the film really ought to give going in, but don’t worry—my expectations were corrected. Despite how used to the concept I was, the whole film was still very disturbing. Vincent Price was, well, Vincent Price, so incredibly entertaining and sharp. I enjoyed that there was a mystery aspect to the storyline, as I hadn’t been expecting that. The dehumanization of Andre is disturbing to see, and I feel for him as he desires to end his hopeless life post-abomination, as well as his wife who covers for him faithfully. The part that bothered me the most (which I imagine can also be seen as humorous) is the disappearance of the cat. Where does that cat go?! The meows sound distressed, so I immediately imagined horrible things, like it was fused into a wall to die or something. That fate sounds even worse than that of Andre. Should I watch the Jeff Goldblum version at any point? Well, that’s for you to tell me. But this version is definitely a must-see classic.

October 13th: Dark Skies (2013)

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I’m wary toward alien movies because for the most part they really suck. So I assumed this movie was going to suck, but not only was it okay, it was even pretty good. The movie does suffer horribly from Dumb Dad Syndrome, which is severe enough that it prevents this movie from being great in any way. The dad spends almost the entire movie just being so stupid, completely dense and angry at the wrong times, argumentative and illogical and asinine. It’s incredibly frustrating. For crying out loud, I even like the kids in this movie, and that almost never happens. The older brother looks out for the little brother from the very beginning and it’s really touching and relieving. The arguing, however, ends up being between the parents, which would have been more bearable if the dad didn’t take the angry stupid up to 11 every single time. He does eventually get his shit together, but by that point it’s too late and I’ve spent too long hating him to feel impressed. The ending has a twist, which is very small but still interesting as it makes you realize there are things you should have paid more attention to throughout the movie. The movie is a bit predictable, but still sad—and the aliens do look fucking creepy.

October 14th: The Conspiracy (2012)

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This found footage movie was about, shockingly, conspiracy theories. I was expecting alien conspiracy theories or something, but the movie focuses a lot in the beginning on 9/11 and powerful groups. If you believe that conspiracy theories are cool, and that there is a remote chance in hell that anyone would ever be organized enough for an ancient evil omniscient criminal group, then sure, this may be your thing. I think conspiracy theories are boring however, because we’ve all heard the speculations and it’s reached the point where it just doesn’t sound creative or interesting. And the whole first 45 minutes is straight up documentary footage about a guy going on about conspiracy theories, and then he disappears, and a crew member continues to research conspiracy theories to try to find out why. It is just not interesting to watch, unless like I said before you get titillated by Ancient Aliens or the new crap that’s on the History channel. When the movie finally does begin to approach its climax it does get good. There were a good ten to fifteen minutes where I felt the tension and was intrigued by what was going on. Then the ending came along and ruined everything. That ending was just garbage. It was so unrealistic, and made the whole reason that there was documentary footage being put together for the whole event and people being interviewed just senseless.

October 15th: Below (2002)

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Apparently this movie isn’t exceptionally well-liked, and many think it’s a bit silly. I can see that some may find it lame, but I must admit I was incredibly into this movie the whole time. It was like Poseidon Adventure meets every ghost movie ever. When I was a little kid, Poseidon Adventure was one of my favorite movies, thus, I’m assuming, sparking a love of submerged ships for me… forever. I also had the opportunity once to take students on a tour of a WWII submarine and I thought it was just the coolest thing ever. We walked through each room and were shown the compartments. This film apparently is partially filmed on a real submarine, so a lot of it looked pretty cool. Well, the submarine itself. The graphics, on the other hand, are laughably bad. You can tell they spent the whole budget renting the submarine. The movie is also co-written by Darren Aranofsky, and directed by David Twohy, the same guy who did Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick. I like those movies as well, and they are often thought of as silly, so I guess I just enjoy the silly grim suspense of this director. The plot of Below is incredibly simple, but it doesn’t beat you over the head with the reveals and I found it very enjoyable. Zach Galifianakis is in it as well, and although he regrets his earlier film work, I enjoyed him in this. He plays that needed kooky guy who turns out to be surprisingly reliable (think: the stoner in Cabin in the Woods). I recommend this movie, and I say haters go to hell.

October 16th: The Awakening (2011)

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This movie was about a young woman dissatisfied with her marriage until she goes and drowns herself. Wait, that’s not it. No, this one is a ghost story, and there’s a boarding school and a lady (Rebecca Hall) who is probably going hysterical from being too clever of a woman. Educated women, you know, they go crazy. There’s a mystery, a twist, a woman unraveled and creepy little boys galore. And it’s all just so strange and silly. There’s a doll house and little yarn people and everything. Throw in some extraneous attempted rape and a big woman named Maud, and you have this movie. Apparently there are people that like this movie, but it’s actually really not good unless you like to see Rebecca Hall being cross with people. Oh, and her boobs.

October 17th: Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) (Live Screening with Actors)

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Okay, so I did technically watch a movie today, and one with horror in the title. I just did it in a theater—there was a live performance—and this doesn’t exactly count as a horror movie. But it does sort of still, actually, because it’s a musical horror comedy. There is a castle where a mad scientist creates a monster, there are aliens, there is someone stabbed to death with a pick-axe. Definitely counts. Anyway, like many people I have seen this movie dozens and dozens of times. I’ve even seen live screenings before, but this was the first time with actors. These people, playing Brad, Janet (pictured above), Dr. Scott, Rocky, Frankenfurter, Colombia, Magenta, Riff Raff, that doctor dude with no neck, were running around in between the aisles and interacting with people. During the sex scene, Frankenfurter was on top of Janet in the seats behind us. People were shouting at the screen non-stop, toilet paper and toast were thrown—the usual live stuff.  My partner and I were identified as virgins to a live performance and had lipstick “V”s drawn on our faces. This resulted in us later getting spanked with the other virgins on stage. As for the movie itself, I just love this movie. Tim Curry’s performance is just wonderful, and the whole thing is so silly and and so rock-and-roll that I’m entertained every time I see it. This is a must-see, and worth seeing live as well. Bring your friends! Get spanked.

October 18th: Re-Animator (1985)

Another horror classic, and what a classic! This is really a fun, well-done, gory movie. There are many characters who are fun and memorable (the conniving Dr. Hill whose teeth jut out like a cow’s, the innocent dummy Cain, the cool, evil genius West, the nosy Megan love interest, Mr. Halsey himself, looking disgustingly wonderful in his post-death phase). This is worth mentioning, because not many horror movies can be said to have a big cast of interesting characters. The gore level is high, but it’s not cringe-worthy torture gore like you may find in more modern movies, but dripping artful gore that I can just imagine an artist pouring over to make it as shocking and realistic looking as possible. The film does get disgusting, crossing some lines perhaps, but the overall entertainment value is incredibly high. I feel as if this is a must-watch for horror fans, and I’m glad I finally watched it. The whole thing is really just funny and even slapstick. There’s a lot of action at the end as well, and I even wanted more after the film finally finished.

October 19th: The Nightmare (2015)

This is a documentary about victims of sleep paralysis (victims? sufferers?). I had heard of sleep paralysis many times before, largely from AskReddit threads, and just sort of accepted that this existed without finding it terrifying in anyway. But, that’s probably easy for me to say, having never experienced it. Apparently everybody and their mother experiences sleep paralysis from time to time, and apparently a lot of the time it’s pretty terrifying. While watching this movie I looked up why people see scary things while experiencing sleep paralysis, and it has something to do with once realizing one can’t move the amygdala scans the territory for enemies and the brain, freshly in or out of dream state, provides basic images such as: shadowy man, figure on top of chest. Okay that does sound pretty terrifying. The movie itself is okay at best, and often cheesy and silly with its reenactments, but I must admit some of the sequences of what horrors people did perceive scared me, mainly because I couldn’t help but imagine, what if I saw or heard that while lying in bed? So this documentary did help improve my attitude toward sleep paralysis as something more credible that many people experience. I asked people on Twitter about their own experiences with sleep paralysis, and received a variety of responses, ranging from mildly startling to personally terrifying.

October 20th: John Dies at the End (2012)

I’ve seen this movie labeled as a horror movie—or maybe it was the novel that was labeled as such—so I decided to give this one a go. I remember back when the book came out in 2007, when I read Cracked.com avidly (and, like everyone, as I gradually stopped when the quality went down). I recall reading an article by Cracked writer David Wong where he dropped the fact that he had published a book recently. The book is labeled as “comic horror,” but the movie adaptation is more “comic action” and the horror vibes aren’t very strong with this one. There certainly is a lot of gore and monstery goodness, so I believe it can count as a horror movie in some respects. The movie is actually funny, but it took awhile to build up to this for me. The beginning came across as cocky and the characters were all over the place acting pretentious, so I found myself disliking it from the get go. However, the movie does improve as it goes along, and by the end I would say the whole thing was rather enjoyable, the plot more complicated and interesting than I initially assumed. I was never 100% won over by the characters, but their savvy provides for a lot of amusement, so it’s an entertaining movie either way.


Boom! There you have it Part Two of my Rapidfire Horror Movie Reviews for October. Twenty movies! I’m pretty impressed with myself so far, there have been years I didn’t make it this far—and those years were going even better than this one. So, with that said, do you believe I can make it to watching THIRTY ONE horror movies this October? I don’t know… I have some personal doubts. That would be a third installment of eleven horror movies. Holy shit! Maybe I can split this up into a four parter…. I don’t know. Keep routing for me though, send me movie suggestions, and await my Part Three!

I picked up poems at a used book store, specifically women’s,
(I wanted to feed on that energy, bitter as my own), reading lines,
looking to be touched so profoundly I would stumble back into a bookshelf,
feel my stars align. But my stars remained where they’ve always been.

So I slept poemless, without lyrics.

I glide through blackness in the morning drive,
city lights floating above and far from me,
sound pulsing inside my vehicle, up into my head.

Pass under a bridge, a necklace of lights strung out above me,
nerves burning and heart thrown into the trunk, cutting through a home
that isn’t mine to fill a block of time to survive. My roots drip, limp,
I’m a weed pulled from the bed, a UFO skirting the black surface.

Space, time, asphalt and driving to work five feet away from others
seeking sounds to push the stars into the right place, to make something
truly reflective of their boiling spirit. All of us turned up too high, the music
can’t drown out that empty wordless interior hum, we go without words.

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Every October, I try to watch a horror movie every single day, like many people seem to be doing nowadays. I really like spooky, creepy, disturbing things (if you’ve been reading this blog a while, then yeah, well, that’s obvious). This makes October the perfect month for my obsession, as I can justify watching endless horror movies for no other reason than to make my life creepier. 

To be honest, after years of doing this I don’t think I’ve ever actually managed to watch thirty one movies during this month before—I think the best I’ve managed is perhaps 20, or 21. Which is still impressive! The thing is, I usually end up just going out to events like Prom of the Dead and getting sickeningly shit-faced while covered in fake blood, thus failing to watch horror movies near the end of the month. So this is my first installment of quick reviews of these movies, with a total of nine reviews on this list. I probably should have made it to ten for this, but I doubt I’ll make it to thirty one reviews, so I’ll just post what I have now and you can cross your fingers and cheer me on to waste my life some more.

October 1st: I’m Not Scared (2003) 

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Uh, so, I thought this was a horror movie because it has the word “scared” in the title. This turned out to be faulty reasoning. This is not a horror film. It turns out there was some time in Italy called the “Years of Lead,” in the 1970s, when terrorism and kidnapping were fairly common. This movie is set during that time, and deals with a young boy’s handling of a crime that he stumbles upon. Michele finds a boy chained in a hole in his village, and it turns out there’s nothing spooky forthcoming, just lots of disturbing plot, concepts, acting and history. The whole thing is actually pretty touching near the end. Even though this ended up not being a scary movie, it is disturbing so I’m going to let it count because I don’t want to have lost a day. My psyche was scarred. It counts.

October 2nd: Entity (2012)

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Although this was a horror movie this time, once again I was wrong with my assumptions. I guess I didn’t look closely at the cover and what I thought were grey-ish aliens were just Russian ghosts in potato sacks. Entity sounds like it might be referring to something science fiction, right? Eh, whatever. If you like ghosts…. you probably still wouldn’t like this movie. This was an awkward combination of found footage and actual 3rd person omniscient footage, which didn’t really make sense, and there were just endless scenes of the characters staring in abject horror at—something. I don’t know what really. The cameras never turned around to show what they were gaping at. At one point in the movie I finally concluded they were just gaping at scary sounds. This movie just made me angry most of time. And the guy who played Yuri, I guess he won some British award for Best International Actor—for this movie! Between him staring in horror and stuttering in fear/grief, I really don’t see it. The ending was okay…. I guess.

October 3rd: Inner Demons (2014)

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Okay. Okay, we’re getting better here. This movie was very entertaining—not a good movie per se, but definitely fun and amusing. I enjoy the Intervention style to the found footage, and it was fun to see the lead girl be possessed. Not entirely scary, unless you have a low threshold, but entertaining. The knight in shining armor character is a little annoying, but the ending definitely took me by surprise. I thought for a moment things were going to be romantic or something—yeesh—but then out of nowhere disturbing violence came and saved the day. Some of the characters are stupid and annoying enough to be highly entertaining, and it feels like this is done purposefully. So I recommend this movie as a lighter horror film.

October 4th: We Are Still Here (2015)

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This is a brand new horror movie, and I’ve been hearing the title alongside other 2015 horror names like It Follows and The Babadook. It’s an interesting film, with a rustic, cold setting and 70s vibe (I believe it is set in 1979). I wasn’t expecting the movie to have as much humor as it did—there were moments that were very amusing. Some of the acting of the townspeople is so typical of B-movie villagers giving exposition that I feel it must have been purposeful, thus making it funny. The movie is also surprisingly, and satisfyingly, gory. Not in a realistic way, but a fun Evil Dead bright red splatter-fest where you get to see some… interesting explosions. The plot has some confusing muddled parts however, and the ending left with me a lot of questions that I don’t think there are answers for. If you like a solid conclusion, which sometimes I want, then that can be annoying. However, an amusing, bloody horror film. Good for October!

October 5th: Spring (2014)

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This one was surprisingly different. Out of the five I’ve seen, I would say this has been the best thus far. I don’t want to say too much about the actual plot, because I went in knowing nothing and ended up being pleasantly shocked about what was going on. I think knowing little about this movie does help the viewing experience. I will say the whole movie has a dream-like atmosphere that’s actually touching, with appealing hazy, dream visuals. It’s written and directed by the same two that did Resolution (2012), a movie which I also enjoyed and had a similar different, grainy vibe to it. Ultimately, this film reminded me of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Midnight (2014) except a lot gorier with ten times the dialogue. Not a traditional horror movie by any means, but an actual good solid movie.

October 6th: Digging Up the Marrow (2014)

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This film seems to get a lot more flack than I think it deserves. When reading about it online, a lot of people expressed that they didn’t like it. I was intrigued by the concept (a man who insists there’s a world of monsters living under ours) so I planned to watch it anyway. The film is mostly made by the presence of the wonderful Ray Wise (of Twin Peaks fame) who plays the man who claims the monsters live under us. His insistent insanity and straight-facedness through it is humorous and off-putting. The interplay between him and the main douche is entertaining, and I enjoy that while it’s a bit cheesy, the scares do come as a surprise and get the heart racing. I saw comparisons of this movie to Creep, and I assume this is because they both are found footage horror movies that take a different approach with the genre. Of the two, I enjoyed Digging Up the Marrow much more. Also, the look of the monsters makes for a very Halloween vibe, making this a great movie to watch this month.

October 7th: Possession (1981)

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Well, I certainly didn’t mean to emotionally scar myself this month any more than I do normally, but turning on this movie today has forever ruined my psyche just a little bit. Especially for every time in the future when I reflect on it. This film really warrants an actual full review, but I’ll stick with brevity anyway, as this was viewed as part of my October horror movie marathon, and maybe I’ll touch on it again in the future. The reason I chose to watch this one today is because I’ve heard it spoken about as a horror movie classic, and up to this point I’ve viewed exclusively newer horror movies. This 1981 flick filmed in Berlin was a needed mix. This movie is on a whole other level compared to the movies viewed thus far, however. In Possession, Sam Niell hires the worst private detective ever to track his constantly screaming wife who wants to divorce him, while a coked out Slavoj Zizek stumbles around him and Niell’s poor son plays victim in the middle. There are scenes in this movie that made me cringe and plead for reason and sanity. My stomach sank. My brain recoiled. Actress Isabelle Adjani screamed her soul out, and then when her soul was gone she still somehow kept screaming. The scene with her in the subway, screaming and just…. whatever that was… truly horrifying stuff. Easily one of the most disturbing movies I’ve seen yet, especially since the allegory is clear and something that affects many people.

Also, I messaged my favorite horror movie reviewer (HorribleReviews) about this movie, and he replied with some comments on it and a link to a segment of his Video Nasties series that reviews this movie.

October 8th: Mercy (2014)

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And things just go down the shitter after that last one. I really did not like this movie at all. It’s based off a Stephen King short story, Gramma, not saying that’s why it sucked because I actually really do like Stephen King, but that’s where the story came from. The plot is corny, as King is want to do, and I just couldn’t stand either of the kid actors. The main kid’s attachment to his grandma didn’t make sense to me, as it only showed her protecting him from a rattlesnake—barely—at the beginning to establish their closeness, and then for the rest of the movie all he does is freak out about his grandmother and snap at his own family for not caring enough about his mean, crazy, evil grandma. I could barely even pay attention to the ending of this one.

October 9th: Kairo (Pulse) (2001)

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After yesterday, I wanted to watch a quality horror movie. I recalled this movie, having seen it countless times on lists of must-see Japanese horror films, alongside movies like Ju-OnRingu, Noroi: the Curse, and Shutter (which I’ve reviewed on here before). Having loved those movies, I was excited to watch this one. Getting into it, I was a little bored, but I tried to keep an open mind and wait for everything to hit me. But… that just never happened. There are hundreds of raving reviews from huge horror fans about this movie, so this left me puzzled. What the hell? Many claim this movie has one of the most well-executed scary ghost scenes of all time (the “wobbly ghost”), but even that barely caught my attention. This movie is a slow-burn, but unlike movies such as Noroi: the Curse, that burn never actually ignites into anything creepy or horrifying. The movie is very metaphorical, yes, and the metaphor is easy to understand, but the profundity of it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. Back in 2001? Maybe. Perhaps. But the ghosts look cheesy, the leads act incredibly stupid and slow-witted, and the post-apocalyptic twist has poor build up and makes the movie strange, not creepy. This movie was a huge disappointment for me, and I enjoyed Shutter much, much more, and found that ghost movie to be far scarier. The concept behind this movie is somewhat interesting, but with the strange lead with his unbuttoned shirt covered in marijuana-looking plants, and the multiple bland characters who fade away, the whole thing falls flat. And never fails to be incredibly boring.


Well, that’s what I’ve watched so far. Only 22 more to go! Typing that out makes me realize that this is far too many movies. Jesus Christ. Stay tuned for Part Two.

There are exactly 3.5 hours until I need to wake.
There is wind beating on the side of the house, there is
the shhhhh of a tire on asphalt somewhere, I need 2 tokens
to move 1 space and take your kingdom, I need 2 tokens 2 sleep.
There are exactly 3.1 hours until I need to wake.
Roll limbs to the left, cram pillow under the neck, roll to the right
on my back, on my stomach, general buzzing sound, of which
I determine to be harmless. Am I asleep? I need 3 tokens to
gain a power chip. That protagonist was hurt deeply last episode.
There are exactly 2.5 hours until I need to wake.
I stand up like I was bit, I need to collect belief from my followers,
sleep, calm, slow breathing, I have a flush. I have a straight.
Shit, he had a flush. Maybe I can’t sleep because I have a slight need
to pee, 2 pee, 2 tokens, 2 sleep, pair of 2s, burn one play one, 3 of a kind.
There are exactly 1 hour(s) until… I earn my chips back.
Shaking hands are in this season, this season on… Netflix exclusive…
There is, I need, to sleep, 2 chips, a token, belief, explosions,
heart-wrenching scene on the TV screen.

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Deborah Stevenson

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