Syndicated from the Web

Quick Takes: Z, Porno, Why Don’t You Just Die, The Droving

by on May.17, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post

When this works it has some great tension, well-staged scares and overall eeriness. Eyes staring back from the darkness of a child’s bedroom is particularly effective, as is one vicious moment that I had to rewind to accept. The third act completely drops the ball, becomes repetitive, and it’s clear they didn’t know where to go from the premature climax. Just for once I’d like to see both parents on the same side. The level-headed, doubting man, hysterical woman routine is such a tired, insulting trope. As Shudder originals go, this is above average.

Admittedly, there is some juvenile fun to be had in the tawdry PORNO, but it’s just not a grower. The pace is clunky and the action spurts out in fits and drabs. Thankfully, the likable ensemble cast holds the film firmly together, and they help us through an intolerably gratuitous scene that would burst any man’s bubble. But things wither the moment you realize the big bad is nothing more than boobs and a mask. It’s supposed to be a sleaze-fest and it’s more of an uninspired snooze-fest.

WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE! is a gleefully vicious little film that is so damn bloody, implausible and action-filled. I loved every minute of it! It’s dark humor coupled with brutish performances and even a little bit of heart make it all work, even though the majority of the film takes place in one room. There’s some very vibrant artistry on display with impeccable production design, colorful lighting, and fun, energetic camerawork. You can clearly see the Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and Park Chan-wook influences. I’m very excited to see what director Kirill Sokolo has coming next!

THE DROVING upholds its bargain, promising a woeful tale of loss & revenge entwined with a regional folktale. Beautifully shot against stunning U.K. vistas with dynamic sound, wind practically whips around you. Adept performances with surprising character developments & a chilling ending land the devilry of this indie horror.

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Quick Takes: Z, Porno, Why Don’t You Just Die, The Droving

by on May.17, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post

When this works it has some great tension, well-staged scares and overall eeriness. Eyes staring back from the darkness of a child’s bedroom is particularly effective, as is one vicious moment that I had to rewind to accept. The third act completely drops the ball, becomes repetitive, and it’s clear they didn’t know where to go from the premature climax. Just for once I’d like to see both parents on the same side. The level-headed, doubting man, hysterical woman routine is such a tired, insulting trope. As Shudder originals go, this is above average.

Admittedly, there is some juvenile fun to be had in the tawdry PORNO, but it’s just not a grower. The pace is clunky and the action spurts out in fits and drabs. Thankfully, the likable ensemble cast holds the film firmly together, and they help us through an intolerably gratuitous scene that would burst any man’s bubble. But things wither the moment you realize the big bad is nothing more than boobs and a mask. It’s supposed to be a sleaze-fest and it’s more of an uninspired snooze-fest.

WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE! is a gleefully vicious little film that is so damn bloody, implausible and action-filled. I loved every minute of it! It’s dark humor coupled with brutish performances and even a little bit of heart make it all work, even though the majority of the film takes place in one room. There’s some very vibrant artistry on display with impeccable production design, colorful lighting, and fun, energetic camerawork. You can clearly see the Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and Park Chan-wook influences. I’m very excited to see what director Kirill Sokolo has coming next!

THE DROVING upholds its bargain, promising a woeful tale of loss & revenge entwined with a regional folktale. Beautifully shot against stunning U.K. vistas with dynamic sound, wind practically whips around you. Adept performances with surprising character developments & a chilling ending land the devilry of this indie horror.

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Quick Takes: Extra Ordinary, Sea Fever, The Wretched, The Turning

by on May.03, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post

Extra Ordinary blends rom-com with the paranormal to produce a snort out-loud giddy #horror comedy. Between the ectoplasm collection, satanic absurdity & lampooned tropes lie great performances that ground the shenanigans. It’s the best time I’ve had “at the movies” this year.

Sea Fever is a grim nautical horror thriller that draws heavily from The Thing, The Descent, and Alien. With themes of isolation and infection, it’s resonates but it quickly loses momentum in the second half. The characters are well-rounded but all fairly unlikeable keeping you detached. And the ambiguous creature design seems interesting but leaves you wanting much more. It’s harrowing and frustrating at the same time.

The Wretched is old-school #horror with a Fright Night template (a teen knows there’s an evil witch next door but no one believes him!). It’s a witch instead of a vampire & not the pretty, pouty lipstick kind. This is a more terrifying, volatile creature. Sadly, the lore is not explored & it moves along predictably but solidly enough to entertain.

The Turning starts well-enough with a rich, gothic atmosphere, some ghostly scares & great performances. But the it rambles towards an abrupt and maddening non-ending. This was so off putting it ruined everything that came before it. The problem lies in how the director attempted to pay homage to the original novella’s debated ambiguity. Here it’s confused, clumsy, unsupported, and a serious embarrassment.

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Quick Takes: Extra Ordinary, Sea Fever, The Wretched, The Turning

by on May.03, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post

Extra Ordinary blends rom-com with the paranormal to produce a snort out-loud giddy #horror comedy. Between the ectoplasm collection, satanic absurdity & lampooned tropes lie great performances that ground the shenanigans. It’s the best time I’ve had “at the movies” this year.

Sea Fever is a grim nautical horror thriller that draws heavily from The Thing, The Descent, and Alien. With themes of isolation and infection, it’s resonates but it quickly loses momentum in the second half. The characters are well-rounded but all fairly unlikeable keeping you detached. And the ambiguous creature design seems interesting but leaves you wanting much more. It’s harrowing and frustrating at the same time.

The Wretched is old-school #horror with a Fright Night template (a teen knows there’s an evil witch next door but no one believes him!). It’s a witch instead of a vampire & not the pretty, pouty lipstick kind. This is a more terrifying, volatile creature. Sadly, the lore is not explored & it moves along predictably but solidly enough to entertain.

The Turning starts well-enough with a rich, gothic atmosphere, some ghostly scares & great performances. But the it rambles towards an abrupt and maddening non-ending. This was so off putting it ruined everything that came before it. The problem lies in how the director attempted to pay homage to the original novella’s debated ambiguity. Here it’s confused, clumsy, unsupported, and a serious embarrassment.

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Delve Into the Dystopian Ceramics of Laura C. Hewitt

by on Apr.13, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post

The work of Alaskan artist Laura C. Hewitt is strikingly beautiful and startling dark and whimsical. It immediately evokes the work of H.R. Giger but upon further inspection, there’s an aesthetic that’s so completely unique and ethereal. She earned her MFA in 1998 at the Vermont College of Norwich, and her work has been exhibited from Alaska to Seattle to New York. Her Etsy shop, INAEENT or It’s Not Anything Exactly Enterprises, is now the prime location for acquiring one of her mysterious and otherworldly pieces, which include decorative vases, plates, cups and saucers, jars, and ornaments. The work must be seen to be believed. Ms. Hewitt writes,

“I’m particularly interested in exploring the intersections between technology and nature, art and craft, destruction and creation. As inspiration, I look for the magical within the mundane, provoke thoughtfulness with the practical and animate the pragmatic with mischievousness.”

For my birthday, I purchased the piece called a “Hybrid Dystopia Cappuccino Mug. On Wheels” and  it is detailed exquisitely in 22k gold. It’s heavy, solid and even a little sharp is spots.

Holding it for the first time was it’s own ephemeral experience. I felt the true artist’s energy and passion coming through, and it evoked a strange feeling like she has somehow tapped into a different consciousness and that realm was being channeled directly into her work.

Upon studying the piece, the mind reels out of time, looking for mooring, as faces, hands, teeth, tails emerge and recede. There’s a story going on from all sides, underneath, and inside. Its energy transports the imagination to the far reaches of the cosmos.

I reached out to Ms. Hewitt with a few questions, which she graciously answered.


What drew you to this kind of expression and medium? 

Pottery was the only medium I’ve worked in where I could actually make money from home. 18-hour exhibition related flights + teaching job got really old, really fast. 

Who are some of the artists that inspire you? 

Anything edgy, contemporary, trope defying, a bit of danger and a dash of science helps, too.  Currently: Cai Guo Qiang, Adrian Piper, Roberto Lugo, Tsutomu Nihei, William Gibson, Megan Thee Stallion, Carmen Maria Muchado, Augusten Burroughs, Dark Souls video game, Handmaid’s Tale (series) and those animated engineering videos on Instagram of concrete being poured underwater or bridges getting built or whatever.   

Your work evokes an otherworldliness. What is your sense on the secrets of the cosmos?  

Well, that’s certainly not a question I’ve been asked hundreds of times!  I really haven’t a clue.  Probably it’s a huge joke we’re just not getting.   

Your work feels deeply spiritual and meaningful. What is your message?

Think Dangerously.  Embrace everything, even the icky stuff. Take care of yourself because no one else can do that for you. When life feels pointless and meaningless, we can create meaning for ourselves, we’re responsible for creating meaning for ourselves (those of us who have the privilege, of course, the time and resources) and it can start with small personal rituals, as simple as using a thoughtfully chosen cup for the day’s first coffee.

How do your family and friends perceive the work?

Not much different to what you, and others, have written about it, but they’ve always seen sardonic humor as well.  It’s been said to me, and they’ve heard many times, “It looks like it was created by several different people.” And they’re like “Oh no.  That’s all her alright.”

Follow CyborgWidow on Instagram to keep up with her latest works. They truly are one-of-a-kind artwork that you can own!

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Quick Takes: The Platform, Zombieland: Double Tap, Child’s Play

by on Mar.21, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post


The Platform bristles with a vexing, timely message & social commentary on class, resources & the penal system. Exquisite direction & a fascinating dystopian/alternate reality plot thrills, but leaves you hungry for more exposition, resolution & character development.

Zombieland: Double Tap sadly proves again that lighting doesn’t strike twice. It’s great to see this cast again but unfortunately the paper-thin plot doesn’t add much to the original. There are some great moments & a few chuckles but there’s just no reason for this sequel, released 10 years after the original, to exist.

Child’s Play is a smart remake that lives in a mighty big shadow. This film was created for a new generation that depends on tech to live & the horror lies in grounded fears of runaway A.I. Some of  it is beyond the limits of plausibility and I didn’t buy Aubrey Plaza as a mom, but still a dumb, fun popcorn movie.

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Quick Takes: The Platform, Zombieland: Double Tap, Child’s Play

by on Mar.21, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post


The Platform bristles with a vexing, timely message & social commentary on class, resources & the penal system. Exquisite direction & a fascinating dystopian/alternate reality plot thrills, but leaves you hungry for more exposition, resolution & character development.

Zombieland: Double Tap sadly proves again that lighting doesn’t strike twice. It’s great to see this cast again but unfortunately the paper-thin plot doesn’t add much to the original. There are some great moments & a few chuckles but there’s just no reason for this sequel, released 10 years after the original, to exist.

Child’s Play is a smart remake that lives in a mighty big shadow. This film was created for a new generation that depends on tech to live & the horror lies in grounded fears of runaway A.I. Some of  it is beyond the limits of plausibility and I didn’t buy Aubrey Plaza as a mom, but still a dumb, fun popcorn movie.

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Quick Takes: Invisible Man, Color Out of Space, The Lodge, Come to Daddy

by on Mar.03, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from Wicked October | Go to Original Post

The Invisible Man updates the classic mad scientist story with a domestic violence angle. Elizabeth Moss commands our empathy & anchors a slapdash & often surprising plot. It’s effective, thrilling horror with stellar effects but its final reveal is problematic. If you make a message film, be sure its a good message through to the end. Clearly they were trying to set up a sequel regardless of the cost.

Color Out of Space attempts the unimaginable task of adapting H.P. Lovecraft & succeeds with a new familial narrative. The dreadful tone & creeping mayhem explode into colorful cosmic horror that evokes absolute hopelessness. Nicholas Cage is presumably loony but the rest of cast grounds the madness. This is one stellar movie.

The Lodge is unrepented, psychological torment about the inner devil within that awakens to wreck havoc. This cerebral, gloomy & exceptionally tragic horror drama gives up the ghost midway through to agonize us with the weight of choices made by those with deep grief & anger. It’s a pleasant watch but it’s an essential film.

Come To Daddy puts a Beverly Hills poser with daddy issues in the middle of an oddly amusing feud. It’s nutty, tonally loopy, and carving forks will be forever tainted. Elijah Wood is made for straight-faced dark comedy but this is not quite the horror as the marketing implies. It’s still highly recommended.

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