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Fangoria 343 Love

3 Sep

343

Check out this month’s issue of Fangoria Magazine!  I got to visit the set of NBCs Hannibal and interview the cast and crew to write two articles for this amazing issue, guest edited by showrunner Bryan Fuller.

This is an amazing issue, and the cover is freaking frame-worthy alone so pick this up ASAP!!!

xoxo

Jessie

Nostalgia – Or – Why I Love Horror

16 Sep

I apologize in advance.

With my new-found commitment to write a little each and every day, you are going to see more of me popping up in your news feed, as I can’t just keep all of my genius to myself…  And hopefully that’s actually a good thing, because if not, why do you even HAVE me in your news feed?!

Also before we get started, go check out issue #335 of Fangoria Magazine where I was lucky enough to interview my idol Katharine Isabelle about GINGER SNAPS, Hannibal, the Soska’s SEE NO EVIL 2 and everything inbetween!!!

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*ahem*

Anyone with a taste for horror and a Netflix subscription can tell you that there are pretty significant sub-genres involved in my beloved pastime.  “Zombies”, “Supernatural Horror”, and “Teen Screams” are just some of the titles you come across when browsing around on your device of choice.  I would like to put out there that a very valid sub-genre (including the works of Stephen King, James Wan, and others) could be introduced under the name “Childhood Fears”.  On the most recent episode of Land of the Creeps we talked about Stephen King’s books and films (20 films were covered over the course of three hours, booze WAS involved) and I came to a realization.  A lot of horror, and especially Mr. King’s works, deals with those horrors that we dwelled on as children, clowns, child vampires who were once our friends scratching on our windows late at night, mechanics coming to life and killing people, are just some examples.

Well today, I was scrolling through the Fangoria website, and found a nice little flashback review (written by Ken W. Hanley) about one of my guilty pleasure films, DEAD SILENCE (read it here).  Yeah surprise, surprise, we all know I’m a Wan/Whannell fangirl.  The article basically outlined my exact feelings toward this underrated film, and although even Whannell himself has gone on record saying that he wishes it could have been better, I still go back to it time and time again, each time forgetting just how creepy and unsettling it really is, going in a little under prepared, pressing pause only a few minutes in to grab a blanket, a stuffed animal, to set my drink somewhere stable…  Finally I decided that I had some things to say about the topic of childhood memories, horror and how I was created.

Frankenstein3

“IT’S ALLIIIIIVE!”

When I was six years old (going on seven, thank you) I begged and begged my mom to let me watch Goosebumps, a show based on the children’s horror books by R. L. Stine, featuring such horrors as Slappy the killer ventriloquist dummy, a sponge monster that lives under the sink and brings you bad luck (this episode starring a tiny Katharine Isabelle), and ghosts and ghouls that would make any child hide under the blankets at any bump in the night, any whistle through the window, or any neighbour belting out show tunes at 3 in the morning (I lived in a weird neighbourhood)…  I digress.  I begged to watch the show, but when I put it on one day, mom saw this little “GB-7” in the middle of the screen and was like, “You kidding girl?  You ain’t watching this show til you seven.”  (My mom has never ever spoken to me like that).

gb-7

Buzz-killers.

On my seventh birthday, I awoke with a dizzy sense of excitement, not because I just KNEW that I got something Sailor Moon themed, but because I was seven, and that meant that that purple slimy rating on the TV couldn’t bring me down any longer.  I leapt from my bed and snapped the television on and I watched my first episode of Goosebumps.  I don’t even remember which one it was (*nostalgia*) but I was hooked.  From there my parents got me the books from the Scholastic Book Fair (greatest day of the year, am I right?  I feel the fever now and I’m 25-years-old…  I can go to Chapters any time I please for Pete’s sake…).

The horror craze didn’t stop there.  My favourite time of year became Fall, Halloween was a drug to me, even when the fog rolled in on the early morning in the playground at school, I felt at home.  For an entire year, I ONLY watched the Treehouse of Horror episodes of The Simpsons, I became fascinated with witchcraft and my friends and I practiced “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” at every opportunity.  I searched for ghost stories and horrific tales from my public school library (one of which I try to find online from time to time, but I just don’t know enough about it now to do so, breaks my heart a little).  Horror stuck.  It was the constant in my life, and I, the weirdo in everyone else’s…

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I mentioned in an earlier post that when I was eight my mom read me The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King.  With my love for horror already blossoming, and finally the introduction to my mom’s favourite author (who I had always been interested in, seeing her read these books, laughing, crying, and I recognizing that slight change in her expression that said “fear”) my path was written in stone.

I think that as a child, being thrown into this world of “children’s horror” has shaped the kind of tastes that I have in the genre.  Instead of blood, guts and gore, I prefer a slow-burn film that packs a mean punch.  I prefer supernatural stories about ghosts and demons over slasher flicks (but don’t get me wrong, I am a Freddy fiend).  I prefer watching films about things that go bump in the night, what happens when you turn off the lights, and cautionary tales to films about serial sadists and over-exploitative rape revenge.  (BTW go watch TRICK R’ TREAT (2007), or CREEPSHOW (1982) for a prime example of the style I love)

What I love most about this “sub-genre” is that no matter how old you are, no matter how many times people have told us that there are no such things as ghosts or monsters these films still succeed in scaring the crap out of us.  That scared child at the back of our minds (after years of common sense, “real world” issues and countless nights shrouded in safety) tells us to turn the lights on, grab a teddy, grab a blanket, and set our drinks down somewhere stable.

As always, thank you for getting through this post,

I love you all,
Stay scared

Jessie
xoxo

Saturday Night Movie of the Week! – THE SHINING (1997)

18 May

This week a couple of friends and I decided to have an impromptu movie night.  Having just been to our local Chumleigh’s I’d picked up a couple of gems, one of which was Stephen King’s The Shining, and not the one you’re thinking of.

Heeeere's someone else!

Steven Weber as Jack Torrance

This adaptation of King’s (arguably best) novel (in my opinion) stars Steven Weber as Jack and Rebecca De Mornay as Wendy and being produced in part by King himself follows the book a lot more closely than Kubrick’s.

This (like many of King’s adaptations) was presented as a miniseries on television but can now also be purchased on DVD.

Being a huge fan of Stephen King I went into this with an open mind, and came out quite pleased.  The acting was decent (even from that random band conductor… whoever THAT guy was…) and like I said, it stays very true to the book.  That being said, Scatman Crothers will ALWAYS be Dick Halloran…

Spanning around four hours, this may not seem like typical “movie night” fodder, however, we freaking did it anyway.  Starting at around 11pm (and adding in pauses for bathroom breaks, midnight phone calls and such) we ended at around 4am.

4am.

So if I could wish anything for you guys on this long weekend, it would be that somewhere you have time to sit down with your early summer beers and short shorts to watch this film.

Also there’s a cameo from my future husband Sam Raimi.

4AM.

xx J

Tweet Tweet Horror

8 Jan

With everyone joining Twitter nowadays (even my mom has a Twitter account now) I got to thinking about all of the amazing celebrities that have verified accounts and even better, all of the HORROR celebrities that have verified accounts and thought, hey… there are probably like a bajillion fans out there who have no idea about half of these people.

So… today (or should I say this year…) I decided to make a list of awesome Horror people that are on Twitter.  From actors to directors to parody accounts of your favourite movie slashers, I’ve compiled a gigantic list that I will be adding to periodically.

I’ve also categorized them… So you don’t get all confused… Here goes.

~~~

The Classics – These are the people we know and love from classic horror films

  • @GroovyBruce – Bruce Campbell or Ash from the Evil Dead series…  Need I say more?  Oh, yeah, HAIL TO THE KING BABY!
  • @RobertBEnglund – The Freddy Kreuger.  The.
  • @CurtisLeeJamie – For all of you Halloween fans out there, or Prom Night fans… or Terror Train fans.  Just think eighties slasher flick.  Jamie Lee Curtis probably rocked the hell out of it.  The original Scream Queen.

CABIN IN THE WOODS – Ok, ok I’m obsessed.  But if you loved CABIN as much as I do, here are a couple for you.

  • @iJesseWilliams – regular on Grey’s Anatomy also happens to be Holden in CABIN.  And he like… totally retweeted me.  Like for realz.  I’m serial.

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  • @FranKranz – MARTY!!! “Poptarts? Did you say you have Poptarts?”
  • @actorbrianwhite – Truman!  The new guy.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES – I like sexy vampires.  Do you like sexy vampires?  Here’s some sexy vampires…

  • @iansomerhalder – Yeah.  Ian Somerhalder.  A.K.A Damon Salvatore.  You’re welcome.
  • @JosephMorgan – Or if you’re like me, Team Klaus and all, you’ll looove this account.  And every time he refers to his followers as “sweethearts”. *swoon*
  • @PaulWesley – This is for the Stefan fans.  Because apparently there are some out there somewhere…

SUPERNATURAL – Oh those brothers…

  • @jarpad – Jared Padalecki, A.K.A Sam Winchester
  • @MishaCollins – The adorable angel Castiel (LOML…(love of my life))
  • @jumblejim – Jim Beaver!  Bobby!  Ok so he’s not on anymore.  But he was such a big part I had to include him.
  • @Mark_Sheppard – Crowley!  Love him.
  • @OsricChau – Our prophet Kevin Tran.
  • @TyOlsson – The lovable teddy bear/vampire Benny
  • @LaurenTom9000 – Mama Tran!
  • For more Supernatural Tweeters, past and present check out the freaking awesome SuperWiki page.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY – My new favourite show.  I am fully addicted.  And I keep getting my friends and family addicted.  I’m like a pusher.

  • @adamlevine – Ok so he was only on for five minutes or whatever.  He did a great job!  Props. (S2)
  • @t_farmiga – Taissa Farmiga, or, Violet Harmon.  (S1)
  • @MsSarahPaulson – She’s been in both seasons, playing the strong-willed Lana Winters this season (S2).
  • @DylanMcDermott – Both seasons, Doctor Harmon in season 1.
  • @Zachary Quinto – Both seasons as well.  Doctor Oliver Thredson this season (S2).

HALLOWEEN (2007)

  • @RWZombie – Mr. Rob Zombie himself.
  • @PoutyScouty – Scout Taylor Compton or Laurie Strode

Industry Folk – A couple of people working in the idustry

  • @JustinBeahm – Justin is with Trancas Films (HALLOWEEN franchise) and senior writer for Fangoria Magazine… But we’ll find out all about him soon! (Muah-ah-ah!!!)
  • @DrewDaywalt – Director of some of my favourite shorts, and a couple awesome features too!  Read the interview!
  • @Ti_West – beautiful man, makes beautiful movies.  THE INNKEEPERS, THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, and most recently the V/H/S segment “Second Honeymoon”.

Parody Accounts – Random people taking on murderous monsters and slashers personas for fun… Seems legit.

  • @ElmStreetWired – Freddy Kreuger
  • @JasonLVoorhees – That’s kinda straight forward who he is…
  • @OfficSlenderman – There’s even a Slenderman!  A little spooky when he starts following you…

There you have it.  And yes… This DID take me a long time.  Have fun being scared through social media.

Thanks for coming out – ♥

Jessie

Bag of Bones (Miniseries) Review

19 Dec

Oh Pierce Brosnan.  I had so many reservations when I first heard that you would be playing Michael Noonan in the made for TV spectacle of Bag of Bones.  Unfortunately, you didn’t turn out to be the only problem…

How excited was I, to know that one of my favourite books by my favourite author was going to be made into a made for TV movie(?) (miniseries?).  When the first rumours started circulating,  I had originally heard that John Cusack was going to be playing the star role, and my heart skipped a beat.  I absolutely love that man.  How absolutely mortified was I after finding out that no, one of my least favourite actors was playing him instead?  I think I actually cried a little bit.

The first episode didn’t stray too far from the book (how do I do this without spoilers?) they left out a pivotal dream sequence that made me sleep with the lights on however, which made me a little more than upset.  I mean, if you’re going to go for scares, go for the gold.  Pull one of the scariest things out of the book and bring it to life.  Don’t water it down it and throw in three more scenes of Pierce Brosnan crying that aren’t necessary.

Another thing that they could have maybe thought of introducing was the whole back story of Mattie (Melissa George) and Mike’s budding relationship!  We get a little taste of it near the end (don’t even get me STARTED on that scene (rushed, inaccurate, not enjoyable, unemotional, a cop-out)) but the book has three main lines of plot: Mike dealing with the loss of his wife, Mike trying to figure out the town secrets/ghost in the cottage and Mike and Mattie’s relationship (including Mattie’s daughter Kyra).

The thing that made me the most upset about the whole ordeal was that they completely changed the feel of the story, whereas in the book it was cold, dark and lonely, in the movie it was kind of uplifting, investigative and focussed more on the town politics than the actual ghost story.

Honestly, I could sit here all night and nitpick at the inaccuracies of the story-line but I’d be ruining the plot of the book AND the shoddy Reader’s Digest version of an adaptation in my bitterness.

The good thing about the adaptation (yes, there is one) is what you get from every adaptation, a chance to see something you put so much time and effort into reading and enjoying come to life.  (We girls get that same feeling from Twilight… Except instead of Pierce Brosnan, its Robert Pattinson.  Thank God.)

…Even though in this case, half of it doesn’t come to life and instead it just sits there cold and alone in its brilliant book.

Don’t watch it!  (Well, unless you already don’t want to read the book.  Because guaranteed this will ruin it for you.)

Ok I’m done complaining.  For now…

Bag of Bones

7 Dec

Recently I had the absolute privilege to read Stephen King’s bestseller “Bag of Bones”. A book surrounding Mike Noonan, following the events after his wife’s death he returns back to their summer home Sara Laughs to try and piece together the last few months of her life, while a strange force pulls him deeper into the history of the nearby town.

It was both gripping and terrifying (I will never hear the word “shroud” the same way again *shudders*) and it left me on an insatiable Stephen King kick (what followed was Dreamcatcher and Just After Sunset… and counting).

What has also sated my appetite for the time being is the fact that starting December 11th is a two part mini-series based on the novel Bag of Bones. Starring Pierce Brosnan (unfortunately) and Melissa George (…Decent), judging by the trailers and the review of the characters on the series’ website (here) I am anxious to see how close to the book the series actually is.

Either way, I am delightfully excited to see this series unfold and will be there with Bunter’s bell on, and hands firmly clasped over my mouth in fear (hopefully)

😉

You can check out Bag of Bones on A&E, Sunday December 11th and Monday December 12th.

Don’t be alarmed, its just your TV.

23 Jun

I’m sorry A&R, I’ve been a bad, BAD girl!
What once was a little writer’s block turned into a week which turned into a full fledged HIATUS! I have pained you, many, many readers of mine, and not only have I pained you, I have pained the wonderful WordPress Gods. The word “Pained” has now lost all meaning.

In any case my dears, I come to you today with a query, a quibble? A thingamajig.
How many of you, alone, in the dark, wondering, have ever felt so afraid that instead of turning on more lights, instead of calling a loved one, put aside those comforting notions and instead, reach for the TV remote? You think, as long as I have that television ah-blaring yet another episode of Love It or List It (Which come on, you’ve already seen…) instead of picking up a book? Going for a walk to friends house? Text someone even? Nothing.Can.Get.Me.
Well, let me tell you. I do it too. In fact, I bet everyone reading this right now is nodding their heads in agreement, “Oh yes Jessie, testify.” Because I’ll let you in on a little secret… Its not you… Its your TV.
“But Jessie!” You scoff, “How in hell’s name do you think my TELEVISION is causing this?”
I’ll tell you why. That doll is haunted, no its not, you have no proof, its just sketchy. That bell is haunted, no its not, its fallen from that wobbly shelf from time to time but its not HAUNTED. If anything in your house is to be haunted, its the one thing you turn to when you’re bored, the thing you turn to when you have nothing better to do, the thing you RELY ON when that book gets a little too… Booky. Its the thing that those nasty little ghosties know will get your attention, they will shine upon you a false sense of security and draw your attention to that dull flashing of colour and sound while they tug and tug at your energy enough to actually haunt the OTHER things in your house, to drive you a little batty.

AHH!

IT is watching YOU.

These spirits pull at your emotions and energies until finally, you are a glubby mass of fat, wasting away, while unbeknownst to you, the spirits take full claim of your house, they read your diaries, they play with your cats, they rustle your curtains when the wind is low, and you don’t even notice.
After a while, the spirits cease, they’ve had their fun, they’ve used you up and they move on for a while. You pick your ass up, and get that drive back, you start working out again, hell, you start WORKING again. And eventually you learn to fear again. Eventually, the spirits see you’ve regained your energy, and as well with that, you haven’t had a fear in the world for quite some time. But THAT you see, is when you are the most vulnerable, THAT is when you least expect to have anything to fear.
And alone, in your spotless apartment that you’ve worked so hard for for the past few weeks, you sense a little something extra.  “Susan,” it calls, “Michael.  Its me, that nagging fear inside your mind, its ok.  I won’t hurt you, but I think you need some distraction, maybe I’m just a figment of your imagination.  And we all know how imaginations can be dangerous, why don’t you let the big guns handle this?  Why don’t you turn.on.your.tv.”

Because no, its not your imagination… No. Its just your TV.