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Icy Watches Horror To Manage Her Anxiety


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#1
Iceheart

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And she wants a place to talk about it. I don't have a blog, so you all get a thread.

 

For the record, not just any horror will cut it for this purpose for me. I'm looking for some real good vs. evil ****. And by evil I mean demonic entities. The Conjuring movies were where I realized these movies actually had a utility for me. The evil has to be supernatural, it has to be evil, and it has to eventually be defeated.

 

First up (not really, I've been doing this a while now, I'm just in a place right now, you know?)

 

Curon on Netflix.

 

What a weird show! For one, I binged it. I never binge anything. Even when I'm laid up. I can manage maybe three episodes at a time, if they're short. For two, it scratched my demon fighting itch.

 

The show is about evil doppelgangers, which I will always hear in this guy's voice.

 

giphy.gif

 

It looks like it'll be a YA show because the protags are teens, but it's YA the way Grisham's The Client is YA because the protag is 13. There are various ways you can tell they don't expect actual teenagers to watch this show, such as the parents all having more sex on camera than the teens.

 

Anyway, it's about a family of three - a single mother and her fraternal twin 17yos - who moves from Milan to mom's hometown of Curon, which is on the Italy/Austria border. It's remote enough to be fairy-tale creepy anyway, but the town also has a doppelganger curse problem. Mom goes missing, the plucky kids discover why.

 

This show also happened to find Italian doppelgangers of a bunch of English-speaking actors. Daria, the daughter, is a young Hailee Steinfeld. MIcki, the local girl who pairs up with the twins, is Emma Watson's double. MIcki's brother Giulio looks like King Joffrey on steroids, which is unfortunate, because Giulio is a sweet kid and it makes you not like him at first. Lukas is a baby Ian Sommerhalder. Anna, the mom, is a pale Michelle Wolf. Albert, MIcki and Giulio's dad, is an Italian Skeet Ulrich. And I'm pretty sure Micki and Giulio's mom is the blonde from Abba.

 

There's some serious suspension of disbelief, as the whole curse thing was not clearly explained in detail, so, for instance,

Spoiler
But if you want to kill a few hours looking at pretty scenery and being entertained by a capably creepy show, it's there.



#2
Iceheart

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I went on Netflix and double-featured whatever looked interesting in the horror tag. I ended up with Malevolent, and I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House.

 

Malevolent was not nearly malevolent enough. It moved slow. Even when they got to the action. And then, the villain's death was way too fast.

Spoiler

 

In case you were wondering what double shotting atmospheric horror right before bed will do to my dreams tonight, my dreams lately have all been about navigating labyrinthine and slightly sinister houses, and this movie nailed that atmosphere. It was weird, especially since I watched it high, and you know how weed can make you remember dreams so vividly that they seem more like memories? Yeah.

 

Also, this is the first Florence Pugh movie I've seen and... she's American? I thought she was English? Or assumed she was English.

 

I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House is not a Shirley Jackson story, despite absolutely every attempt to pass it off as one. Remind me to never stay at an AirB&B Artists Retreat Space at the end of Teacup Lane just outside of Braintree, MA - it's a cool old house, but you'd be staying with all the prior occupants. There's the thoroughly reclusive horror novelist (who apparently aged 60-70 years in 20 year's time), she might be entertaining for a minute, but the other two... there's the house's original ghost,

Spoiler
so yeah, she's a real hoot, and Lily, our narrator. She talks to herself and inanimate objects constantly, and she internally monologues like a Shirley Jackson character. That would be the single most boring, infuriating haunted house ever.

 

Whoever designed the ghosts has seen at least one. That's the best I've ever seen what a ghost looks like represented on film. And Polly is a pretty standard Grey Lady. I've seen plenty - they're not really women in grey gowns, that's just how how your brain tries to make sense of what you're seeing, and there is not much detail at all. Which is why

Spoiler

 

Oh, yeah, there's a sloppiness with the storytelling - like, Lily starts the beginning of August, and 11 months later, the estate executor is closing up his summer rental properties? In July?

 

But it's pretty and atmospheric and you're not supposed to notice that stuff. It is a convincing enough Jackson ripoff, and I really like Jackson. Lily reminds me of Eleanor from Hill House, and I always hated her, too, but that doesn't mean I didn't love the story. But this was like a close study of Eleanor without any other richly fleshed out characters or stories, and that is grating.

 

If this were in a short story anthology I picked up from the library, I would have liked it. As a movie, eh.

 

Neither really scratched the itch that well, but it wasn't an unpleasant evening.



#3
Tank

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Curon and Malevolent are on my lists. My friend Erin plays the girl in the past in the Pretty Little Thing. We made a short together and won a bunch of awards.

Have you considered getting Shudder?

#4
Iceheart

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Not yet... I already pay for sooooo many streaming services that I need a really fantastic reason to sign up for another one. So far, Netflix, Hulu, Prime, and YouTubeTV have enough of a selection to keep me happy. If I really dig into this, though, itll probably happen.

#5
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Shudder's monthly rate is pretty cheap and if you're dedicated you could binge through all the good stuff in a month, two tops, then cancel.



#6
Iceheart

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Ooh, good point. I'm sure there's a free trial period, too. Something to keep in mind. Anything you'd recommend on there?



#7
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I just found The Alchemist's Cookbook on Hulu, and went into it knowing nothing beyond the synopsis.

 

The first time Sean leaves his trailer, I was like "wow, that really looks like Michigan in April." Then Sean pounds Rock & Rye, gets his meds from Meijer, eats Spartan brand peanut butter and bread, and Cortez spends a whole scene with a bag of Better Made chips in his lap. So, I looked it up. Filmed in the county just south of mine, where I do a fair amount of hiking. By a local director that I don't personally know, but we definitely have mutual friends. How weird.

 

Said county happens to have the worst meth problem of the state. No one is surprised about trailers in the woods loaded with science equipment and a get rich quick scheme in that county.

 

I liked the modern take on the old medieval tale of the alchemist summoning the devil. This was slow, but you don't expect a movie with a human cast of two to be fast paced. The acting and atmosphere were both great, and those are really what this movie needed. Other than the cat food scene, and the demon talking like a hustler, I'm not sure why this is billed as a comedy, though.



#8
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I didn't love that one.

 

If you like mumblecore horror though, check out They Look Like People.

 

I'm assuming you've sen It Follows, right? It sort of kicked off three different trends in horror all at once.


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#9
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I can understand that. It was barely horror, and very slow.

 

I have not seen It Follows yet. I'm new to this - horror movies gave me nightmares when I was a kid. I've always been very picky about what I watch because my tolerance was middling at best, and I didn't want to get into something that wouldn't leave my head (I still have the occasional Thirteen Ghosts nightmare, some 20 years later). My tolerance is far higher now that I'm older, so I have lots to catch up on.

 

For instance, I couldn't sleep last night, so I put on Veronica around midnight. Another movie that I had heard about in passing, but didn't really know much more than the blurb going into it. Yes, that's right, I walked into the "scariest movie ever" during a bout of insomnia.

 

To quote Stefon, it has everything. Demons as a metaphor for puberty! A creepy nun who smokes cigarettes in the church basement! A solar eclipse! An evil ouija board! A preschooler accidentally invoking a demon! A neglectful mother who has no idea there's a demon in her home terrorizing her kids!

 

The only thing I didn't like was Sister Death. You know a kid in your parish is possessed, and you don't tell the priest? They're trained to handle that, dumbass.

 

Overall, almost exactly what I'm looking for. And definitely not the scariest movie I've seen.



#10
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I didnt think it was scary at all. Totally bummed. I think It follows would be your jam. Also, The Perfection.

#11
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Im glad I went into it not knowing that its supposed to be the gold standard of scary, I wouldnt have liked it as much if it had been hyped like that.

Is The Perfection the one about the cellists? I heard that one is more body horror, is that true? Body horror is my last no-go. Ive hesitated to watch either Suspiria for that reason, too, even though it sounds like otherwise it would be what Im looking for.

#12
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Perfection, yes. Original Suspiria-- maybe a bit?
I love Body horror, it's the only thing that squicks me out anymore.

#13
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Ha, yeah, its too squicky for me still. Honestly, hardening myself off to body horror is probably a good idea, given my illness is progressing.

I watched XX last night, because I cant not support the ladies. All four shorts were great. The last one solidified my plan that if I find myself mothering the Antichrist, I will definitely homeschool him. And the interstitials were like a Rasputina album cover come to life, so whats not to love?
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#14
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The first two VHS movies are great anthologies too-- kinda dark and not a tun of clever subtext, but cool ideas.

Probably dumb question-- but you saw The Witch, Eyes of my Mother, and Darling right?

#15
Iceheart

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The Witch, yes. The others, no.

 

The Others, partially, on cable (you know how that goes) ;)



#16
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Next up, Spectros on Netflix.

 

I didn't watch this one to be scared, tbh. I watched it because it was the kind of story that was up my alley (watching Japanese horror movies and tv shows in college is what started the Horror Desensitization to begin with, so this is nostalgic), and also because I knew exactly four things about Brazil before going in - beaches, bikinis, plastic surgery, and the Amazon. So watching a tv show set in, and focused on the history of, a neighborhood in Sao Paulo that's written for Brazilians felt like anthropological research and a history lesson all in one. Yes, that is something I consider fun. And yes, I said that Japanese horror was my thing about a Brazilian show. I learned things I did not know at all going in.

 

Story-wise, it's Scooby Doo. Van and all. But the ghosts are real. And they're up front about Shaggy's drug use. Fred and Daphne have a Han and Leia in ANH relationship thing going on, complete with a contested "Princess" nickname. I'm pretty sure the opening scene of the series depicts the recruitment process for BABYMETAL. The karaoke scene around the midway point did nothing to dissuade me of this. And, they managed to write and perform a smart child character who isn't sickeningly precocious, so that's a feat. It seems at the last minute that they're angling for a season 2, and I'll watch it.

 

Funny thing - last September, I went to Niagara Falls with some friends for a 24 hour total roadtrip. It was insane. Anyway, a little known fact about Harriet Tubman is that the US wouldn't offer the protections she demanded for the people she rescued, so she bypassed them altogether and settled in St. Catherine's, Ontario as New Canaan, because Canada would. The area today is rough. I mean, it's Canada rough, I never felt truly unsafe, but there's some obvious poverty and drug use there. Only Harriet's church was designated as a landmark - the other buildings are still there, but they're in various states (one even recently burned. They just boarded it up.) There are pictures on my instagram if you want to see. Anyway, super lesser known fact - there's a Voodoo Witchdoctor working with the preservation society. He knows the neighborhood well. And he's the friend of a friend. He took us to the cemetery of the Baptist church - aka not Harriet's church (although they're building a police station over Harriet's church's cemetery. Yeah.). It's a gravel lot now, where people go to get high. No one can know what it's original intended use was without being told today. It's also very haunted. They worked very hard to build that town, and they're Not Happy that it's being slept on by the government. But they're not vengeful or anything like that, don't get me wrong. The Witchdoctor told us that they stay with the junkies while they're high, keep an eye on them. They're good people. I saw a bunch of them while I was there.

 

So, the climax scene in the final episode hit me, because I've felt how disrespectful it is to just forget a cemetery like that, especially a cemetery of people who should be remembered and society is trying their best to forget them. I looked Liberdade up on Wikipedia, btw, the show's history is good. And sad, woosh.

 

And then I remembered that despite the first one featuring a prominent American hero, neither of these stories are about America. Just in case you were wondering why BLM has (finally) gone worldwide. We're just a tiny bit of the whole story.

 

Also, I may have to see if my travel partner wants to go to Brazil, that looks like a fun place to visit. Although, I shouldn't say that too loudly, every time I want to plan a trip, the place gets hit with a hurricane. The first joke about my name, I swear to God...



#17
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Tonight's double feature: original Candyman and nu-Suspiria. They had two things in common - meat hooks, and the damsel just going all the way in at the end.

If you're wondering how I would die in a horror movie, when Candyman first dropped that "be my victim" line, I was like "BEE your victim? Aw, you're so sweet for asking!" And you know he'd kill me on principal for such terrible puns.

As for Suspiria, on the one hand this falls under my I don't support stories about all witches being evil, but on the other I appreciate the little Mennonite girl going in there and ****ing it all the way up. And while That Scene went on for-ev-er and was not fun to watch, I'm not sure why people were supposedly running out of screenings puking. It was certainly a visceral movie, but above all its an Artsy Movie.



#18
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Candyman is one of my all time favorites and I can't wait for the remake.

 

Nu-Speria... was ... I didn't hate it... but I was bitter about it. I did an adaption of a Korean horror film called Wishing Stairs that also takes place at a dance academy, and we went out with it right after Nu-speria dropped... and killed all our chances of finding a studio that wantd to come aboard.



#19
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wtf? Because we dont have a million superhero movies all out at the same time, or stories about teenagers saving society from a dystopian regime, but there cant be two horror movies set in dance academies?

#20
Darth Krawlie

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I'm watching Penny Dreadful and Ash vs Evil Dead. That's all I have to contribute.



#21
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Last night's offerings: The Blackcoat's Daughter and the first two episodes of Penny Dreadful.

 

The Blackcoat's Daughter was more enjoyable in retrospect than it was to actually watch. Also, I interviewed today to work at a place that does school pictures, and the first part was getting my picture taken as an example of what the company does, so that was a little eerie seeing as how I watched a movie that prominently features a school photo being taken the night before as a way to distract myself from the impending interview.

 

Penny Dreadful came recommended by Jacob, because I am basically Vanessa Ives.

 

This is true, with two differences:

 

One, Dorian Grey would just make me laugh. Although I'd definitely talk to him for awhile so I can laugh about the conversation with Reese and Jacob later.

 

Two, if I knew I was a medium, and I was invited to a seance table in the middle of a party with all of London's finest company present, I would leave that party posthaste because that would be a lot easier than moving to America and settling somewhere in the middle of Wyoming after going on a possessed rampage in front of London's finest company. Because that is the intensity of my social anxiety and the way that party turned out would have pretty much destroyed me.



#22
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I know exactly what you mean about Blackcoat's Daughter. The whole time watching it I was grumbling about how full of itself it was, but as soon as it was a day old in my brain I really liked it.



#23
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It didn't even take a day for me. I liked it like a half hour later.

 

I watched Sinister last night, because I was talking to myself out loud a lot. That's when I know I have far too much anxious energy. And Sinister looked like the scariest thing I haven't watched yet on Netflix.

 

Another one I like a lot better in retrospect. The Boogieman never really scared me as a kid because he was too undefined. Not a single adult could tell me what he looked like or what he was supposed to do to be scary other than "he looks really scary, and does scary stuff to children." Meanwhile, Bloody Mary was terrifying, because she was well-defined. So it was nice to see some actual mythology and methodology presented, and they did a good job with both of those things.

 

But it was a 1.5 hour move that felt like it took 5 hours to watch. I almost bailed twice, because it was so boring, but just as I was grabbing for the remote something would happen that piqued my interest. And the jump scares were lame, especially the one at the end. I'm not sure if I'll watch the sequel or not. I decided the first was so slow a double feature would be agonizing, so I didn't last night.

 

Also, while it made for some great visuals, why tf did the former owners leave a dead tree in their yard? You'd think if nothing else the home inspectors would have ordered its removal before it sold. Even if you don't know it's a hanging tree, it's an eyesore and an insurance hazard.



#24
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The Conjuring series is better than Sinister I think.

#25
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Definitely better, yes.



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