My October Adventures

In a blink of eye between 31 Days of Halloween and festival coverage, October wrapped up. Our partial lockdown has been extended for another potentially 28 days as Montreal hopes for the new cases/deaths number to decrease in the next month instead of the current constant. I’ve reverted in the middle of October to a partial work at home status which is kind of the best scenario that I could hope for. With that said, its been a fairly calm month as we kept to regional protocol and stayed home other than to pick-up the occasional food pick-up or grocery runs and mostly for work purposes. After a little glimpse at what’s going on personally, let’s see what I managed to muster up for this month’s adventures…its mostly recaps at this point. Let’s check it out!

Festival Du Nouveau Cinema 2020

Festival du Nouveau Cinema ran for the majority of the month. It was a wild ride as this festival always has deeper movies and takes a little more time to process which makes the writing process in a tad of a delay since I’m not going to lie that the movie choices started a little rocky. Still, I wanted to do a little something for it and here’s the rankings from best to worst (obviously in my opinion) of the 19 films that I watched based on my current feelings and memories of them:

  1. Topside
  2. My Salinger Year
  3. Red Post on Escher Street
  4. Caught in the Net
  5. Moving On
  6. La Hija de un Ladron
  7. Violation
  8. Undine
  9. Poissonsexe
  10. Wisdom Tooth
  11. Mum, Mum, Mum
  12. Cocoon
  13. The Book of Vision
  14. Drowsy City
  15. The Tremor
  16. The Cloud In Her Room
  17. Sin La Habana
  18. Kill It and Leave This Town
  19. Siberia

That’s the rankings. Half of the movies have been reviewed at this point and there will be the rest of the reviews going up in the coming week.

Halloween Marathon

This year was a little different as I aimed to do 31 Days of Halloween/Horror which overall worked out as I did mostly double features and then wrapped up the last few days with Blood in the Snow Festival coverage. There were some off days and I had fallen behind by one day with a week left and pulled it together to wrap up on October 31st. I consider that a win even though I didn’t count the TV Binge of The Haunting of Bly Manor as one of the days, which I probably should have. Out of all the movies, here’s the top picks that I saw in no specific order:

  • A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
  • Raw
  • Unfriended: Dark Web
  • #Alive
  • Trick ‘r Treat
  • Happy Death Day
  • For The Sake Of Vicious

You can find all the reviews and full list of this year’s and previous year’s Halloween marathon HERE!

Blood in the Snow Festival 2020

Blood in the Snow Festival 2020 started up at the end of October and is going on until November 7th. Different from Fantasia Festival and Festival du Nouveau Cinema, its showing on Super Channel and has a specific schedule for the different features and programs airing. You can find all the info for how to sign up for Super Channel and schedule on the festival’s site.

I’ll be covering everything here: shorts programs, features, pre-feature shorts and perhaps the Web Bites if I figure out a good way to do it.

Trying New Restaurants

1930 Shanghai

1930 Shanghai is a restaurant that specializes in Xiao Long Bao which is the Shanghai soup-filled dumplings. They are one of my favorite foods. This place makes decent ones. While they look the same here, I had one order of the normal pork -filled flavor and then had one where it was chicken and mushroom. Both were really good.

Comon Restaurant

I’m usually not a huge fan of Fried Chicken nor do I tend to eat it a lot but my friend told me about this place and picked up some chicken. . Their take-out boxes for the chicken are in pizza boxes which is pretty creative. I ordered a Bibimbap which was pretty good but felt was a little overpriced for the size and the taste wasn’t anything too different from other places. The fried chicken is also pricier but it does taste really good. I ordered the Fried Chicken with Green Onions (pretty obvious) but unlike some other restaurants in Montreal, their chickens are all bone-in, which isn’t a huge problem since I like bone-in meats but definitely something that others might want to keep in mind if you want to try it out.

Cute Kitty Pic

That’s it for this weekly adventures!
What have you been up to? Any Halloween celebrations – simple or not?

My Weekly Adventures: Another NaNoWriMo Begins!

Welcome back to another My Weekly Adventures! It feels like forever that I’ve done an actual post on this and not just a random vacation or announcement post. It feels good to be back with this.

Lets get going!

Halloween month!

scream Evil Dead

Halloween is finally over! It was a fun run learning all about Scream and Evil Dead franchises. It also had a few rough moments but it was great to finally see what this is all about. I didn’t get as much as I had wanted to do especially in the reading part or even TV part but work and real life kind of took over and they usually take priority. Still, a ton of you dropped by to comment and like and show your love for both the franchises. Thank you so very very much! I appreciate it. I actually just wrapped up Scream Season 2 so a TV Binge should be coming up fairly soon. I did try my absolutely best to keep a little fall themes going to not just be all horror.

I have already started brainstorming new franchise (s) to cover next year. My awesome Game Warp co-host Elwood suggested Candyman trilogy. I didn’t know that there were three movies so I will have to try to figure that out. Definitely a good choice. I am also looking at Final Destination or Joy Ride. Or maybe totally just changing it up and going back to random horrors. Any suggestions?

NaNoWriMo month!

Nanowrimo

I can’t believe that it is already November. This year went by so fast. November also means that its time for a month to construct another novel that I won’t get around to edit. I really should. This year, I have two ideas floating about. Something of a thriller. I never wrote one of those and I am not sure if I am up for it. The ideas are more drafts and to write 50000 words feels like a stretch for either of the plots. I always make it work. NaNoWriMo is the time I use to try out writing and formulating different genres so it could be a nice challenge. I will keep you all filled in. If any of you are also part of NaNoWriMo and want to be writing buddies, we definitely should to keep each other accountable.  Talking about that, in the hour before NaNoWriMo took off in the Eastern time zone at midnight, I went hunting down to see if Word Nerds was doing some more word sprints. They helped me out so much last year. In fact, it got me into a habit of even doing word sprints on my own when I couldn’t make it. And they did have one with Write All Year as a Twitter word sprint and I joined in for a 15 minutes then 30 minutes word sprint and hit my word count for day one and a little over.

As I got ready for bed, I have a good idea of even how to possibly mesh the two plots I was thinking about together. Just change the setting and voila! Lets hope that it all works out! Let the writing begin. I’m embracing what they call “Plantser. I got a vague outline/idea and basically winging most of it.

November Plans

With all that said, my life will mostly be consumed with work and home stuff and preparing for winter and Christmas. I can’t believe I am already talking about that. I do have lots of material all ready to be written and as usual some festivals to visit. It might not all be exciting but I am trying out something a little different on this month. It isn’t a far stretch from anything I have done just getting up to date with times and what I have time to do. This month primarily will be jumping back in time to review some 90s teen comedies and the likes. Not sure why. Perhaps all the stress at work made me more inclined to do so and it works well with a stressful November with a genre that is not what I am writing. NaNoWriMo means that I might not have as much time to write for the blog as regularly. I’m trying to keep things simple and light. Hopefully you all understand. 🙂 I also started planning for December which might be a little different from the normal holiday movies (since I’m running a little short on choices). That will be for the December update though.

Cute Kitty Moment

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Upcoming:

  • Event: MTL a Table
  • Movies: 90s movies and other random stuff

Halloween Marathon: Scream (1996)

Welcome to the Halloween movie marathon!!!

The first franchise we are working on is SCREAM! We have to get that Wes Craven love back after last year’s highlight of Nightmare on Elm Street. I’ve only ever seen Scream 2 so getting the franchise in is going to be really cool. For the record, I think the scariest mask is Ghostface for some absolutely odd reason. I don’t even know why. When I see that mask, I tell myself that it is just some dude with a mask on but it creeps the heck out of me. It might be because Scream 2 is actually one of the first slasher movies I saw when I was young. My family is not huge on horror so this genre was a much later discovery.

We’re done with the rambling! Time to check out the first movie, SCREAM!

Scream (1996)

scream

Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Rose McGowan, Matthew Lillard, Jamie Kennedy

Sidney, attempting to cope with her mother’s mysterious murder, and her horror movie-obsessed friends are stalked by an unknown killer who seems to have a hard time letting the past go. – IMDB

Just a quick question before we start, does Scream feel like it has similar tones to Nightmare on Elm Street? It would make sense because they are both directed by Wes Craven. Scream was definitely something a little different from what I expected. Don’t get me wrong. It was an extremely fun and full of jumpscares experience. That is what Wes Craven was really great at: building the atmosphere and winding up the audience. Scream does not fail at that. For the most part, Ghostface is actually less scary now that I’ve seen Scream. I still think that mask gives me the shivers at times but the tone of Scream ranges from scary and creepy to silly in just a single moment. That is what I totally love about it though. It captures a fine balance between witty and creepy.

scream

Other than the masterful atmosphere here, the characters are pretty cool. Neve Campbell is iconic as Sidney. She isn’t a wimpy girl to say the least. She holds her morals and ethics high and has suffered loss that keeps her apart from others. Sidney is a strong girl and for the most part, the best part, is that she can hold her own. In many cases, it seems like she can outsmart the slasher quite a few times. While the rest of her friends are a bit more cliche and fits the slasher formula. The standout goes to her best friend Tatum, played by Rose McGowan. Her boyfriend Billy, played by Skeet Ulrich is also rather good. He is a little mysterious and weird but sweet in other moments. The same goes for his buddy who feels a little more unhinged but really just a simpleton. Of course, there is also the nerd of the group Randy, played by Jamie Kennedy, that adds a little horror movie cliche references. They all balance the film and propel it forward. However, the silliest part of Scream goes to some of the dialogue which can be extremely random at times.

Scream

Among all the characters, nothing beats the entertainment value of Courtney Cox and especially David Arquette. These two characters both are rather simple minded but seem to have some more depth in a way. Courtney Cox, as a TV reporter is fighting for a belief and suspicion and doing her job. David Arquette is just a young silly cop who seems to be out of place because he has a gentle heart and the best intentions. Let me say, his expressions and dialogue was awesome.

Scream

No one can get out of looking at a slasher flick and ignoring the slasher itself. I actually think the reveal was pretty clever. It sure fooled me for the most part. However, while Ghostface is incredibly.creepy at times, there is still a Freddy Krueger silliness here especially when we have that one scene where Ghostface creeps behind the bushes weirdly, then suddenly stops and looks into the camera and keeps going in a weird walking or exaggerated sneaking style. It is these moments that make the slasher feel less deadly when the slasher is. As weird as it is, that might all be to relieve some existing tension and also let the audience know what the characters in the movie doesn’t so we can wonder who goes next.

Overall, Scream is an entertaining and fun slasher flick. In all his silliness, Ghostface is still very creepy and deadly. Neve Campbell brings to life a great character in Sidney who is smart and strong and can hold her own. David Arquette is funny to watch as the young cop and the early interaction with the reporter played by Courtney Cox gives it some fun moments as well. Plus, we get a young Drew Barrymore cameo in the beginning.

Have you seen Scream? Did you like it?
Later this week, Scream 2 review coming up!

Announcement: Halloween Month!!!

October is here! You know what that means? The official announcement for the start of Halloween/Autumn month!!! 

great-pumpkin

I have a ton of fun stuff planned for this Halloween month. Let’s start it off!

Horror marathon: SCREAM franchise & EVIL DEAD franchise

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We are continuing this year with the Wes Craven franchises and doing Scream! I’ve only ever seen Scream 2 before and I don’t remember much. However, I am a little nervous about Evil Dead. I hear its pretty scary. Still, I’m going to be put on those big girl pants and give this a go.

Horror Marathon: Other Movies!

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Of course, my movie marathon will never been just 8 movies! I have been neglecting my own movie collection so I pulled out a few movies that I haven’t seen yet either because its from my husband’s collection when we moved in together or just movies we bought that I haven’t had the time to watch yet.

However, I do have a few titles I want to look at as well from Netflix! I doubt everything I post here will be seen. As you will see, I have a lot planned and there is only 31 days of this month so I just have to keep it balanced. For Netflix, here is a quick list I’m looking at.

  • Sharknado 3
  • Bone Tomahawk
  • Insidious: Chapter 2
  • Sinister
  • Scouts Guide for Zombie Apocalypse
  • Extraordinary Tales
  • and more….

Which of these or any other ones currently available on Netflix do you suggest I watch? I’m totally up for suggestions.

Books & TV series

On terms of books, I have a few selections in my Kindle that I wanted to get to. I already started reading it and the first of the reviews will be coming around this week. Since reading takes a bit more time, I’m doing shorter reads like graphic novels and novellas. If I do manage to get through a full book, that would be great. For this one however, no suggestions. I already have a general list slated out from the current books I own. I need to keep my own promise to clean out the Kindle before buying more books.

As for TV series, we’re doing a few TV binges. I can’t promise how many there are however. For now, the first to show up will be a mini series that I kind of started but didn’t finish before because I got distracted by other things. Other than that, I’m aiming to get Scream Season 2 done and of course, Scream Queens. We’re going to be screaming a lot. 😉 And yes, I am debating Stranger Things. Its not listed as horror but it is considered scary on Netflix.

On a side note: If  I do get Scream 2 done, then I will be launching the new segment I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’ll be talking about that a little more if that does happen.

Autumn themed segements: Food & Crafts

I know some of you aren’t exactly horror fans so for that, I promise you that I’ll keep it entertaining. I have some baking projects planned so recipes will be up. I’ll try to keep it assorted from desserts to breakfast to dinner and maybe even fun cocktails or drinks.

Also, I’m going to try my hand at some crafts. Recently, I got a few decorative pumpkins so I’m going to try to do something with them if I can. And other decorations to get back into doing these fun, creative bits. Crafts are time-consuming and special so I usually reserve it for themed months like October.

Segments that won’t stop because of Halloween month

I know that Autumn and horror might not even be your cup of tea. That is okay. If you come here for travel, the Vancouver and Kelowna weekly travel posts will continue. If there are restaurants to review, I will do so as well and those days will be double post days. Also, Game Warp Podcast announcements will continue. This month happens to be Halloween themed and darker tones. On top of that, we have a special day coming up which is my 1st Wedding Anniversary so maybe I’ll do something with my husband and that day is non-horror for us and on the blog. Before that, we also have the Unboxing and Recap for Miss Fresh somewhere in the month. I can’t remember if Meowbox is also coming this month or next. And tomorrow starts off with a horror-themed unboxing as well!

Unfortunately, after going through my schedule, I decided that Netflix A-Z will resume in November. November is also NaNoWriMo and I’m debating on whether to join or not. I am a little overloaded this year but I do have some really great ideas so we’ll see how well things go. 🙂

Gaming and Twitch Streams

Some of you aren’t exactly interested in the gaming segments but if you are and happen to stop by, I will be streaming horror games on Twitch. My highlight will be Until Dawn which I’ve been meaning to be play forever. I actually have an early access point and click adventure as well which I may be streaming soon (like in the next few hours from when this post goes live). You’ll have to check out the Game Warp Podcast Facebook or Twitter (@GameWarpPodcast) to get those streaming hours. For now, I usually stream sporadically over the weekend. If I finish it, I might do Slender: The Arrival or maybe start Outlast. I haven’t quite decided yet. Or just follow me on Twitch and you’ll get the notification when I start a stream. My Twitch channel is HERE! Actually if you can help me out, I’m trying to get at least 50 followers so if you are interested in game, help me out!! 🙂

That’s it for the Halloween/Autumn month Announcement!
It replaces the Weekly Adventures segment.

Have fun and enjoy! 🙂
Please drop any movie suggestions!

My Weekly Adventures: Wrap-ups, Beginnings, And Reviving Updates

Welcome back to another My Weekly Adventures.  I should change this to biweekly adventures, right? I will, for the next one. I probably won’t be scheduling anything more than every two weeks.  We are in a huge update post today!

I’ve been thinking about the blog a lot lately.  Well, I always think about the blog but its nearing the end of the year and my choices of how to continue the blog become more prioritized than the past few months of the year.  Especially  now that the wedding is over and everything is settling down, I’m really getting back to feeling a little more myself.

So let’s jump into the updates!!

1) DONE: Halloween Marathon!

Can you believe it? It was shorter than expected but we got the entire highlight series done and reviewed.

a nightmare on elm street

There was two horror-ish book review posts, and two movies from Netflix A-Z (4 if you could Nanny McPhee as a witch and wrap up into the Halloween-ish thing). And then a few other movies.  Along with that, our podcast over at That Moment In was all about Halloween as well.  We covered Tremors (which I also did a review for) and 28 Days Later. Then we ended it with having some fun more casual posts.  One was about Halloween as a celebration (not the franchise) and Scary Moments in movies. Overall, I rather success month of horror (even if it was technically like 3 weeks or so).

If you missed any posts, check it out at the page HERE!

2) Halloween Haunted House!

Since Halloween marathon is pretty much done and I’m being lazy, I’m going to skip doing an entire post on my Halloween activities.

We did something different this year and other than doing the MTL a Table with friends, we also headed to visit some haunted houses. I did one of them and the other one, I skipped because I wasn’t sure if I’d survive it 😉

Haunted Houses Montreal

1st : Westmount area of Montreal

I kid you not, this house was pretty much pitch black outside and inside was eeriely designed and full of movie referenced rooms from newer ones like Cooties to older movies like The Ring and I think, Christine.  Maybe even some Halloween/Michael Myers thing.  It was a last minute decision and this place has been putting up 41 years of haunted houses on Halloween.  This is its final year so it deserved a visit and it was so worth it! 🙂

Haunted House

Haunted House

Second one was a little closer to my place on the suburbs in La Prairie area and it was done a lot more “Hollywood”-esque as my friend called it.  More noise, more lights, more people dressed up during the walk.  I didn’t do this one because I wasn’t sure if we’d go through the house and they had some funky designs up in the windows.  Look up..yup, zombies? Excuse me…*shakes head* no.  That’s all I’m saying.  And they even had this ending where they had a zombie with a briefcase walking down the alley.  It was crazy. Huge applaud to the efforts.  My friends thought it was a bit loud but got startled a few times.

That was my Halloween nights. Did you do any Halloween haunted houses?

3) BEGINNING: NaNoWriMo!

nanowrimo

With the end of the Halloween marathon and waving goodbye to October, we arrive at November.  For some of you who have followed me for the last few years, every year since 2012 or so, I’ve been joining into NaNoWriMo.  While I seriously contemplated giving it up this year, I just couldn’t because I honestly think I finally have a really good idea.  Maybe you may have had brainstorming hints in fifties over at my other blog, Days Nights & Daydreams. If you haven’t, I have been working on three storylines so far. Which did I choose? Well, that’s a secret 😉 If it becomes something I like, I’ll probably edit it and release it chapter by chapter at my other blog though.

I haven’t had such a charged idea or ideas in a long time.  Usually they leave my mind and then I get lost while I’m writing.  I feel really enthusiastic about any of these plots. It’ll be fun! I’m absolutely psyched about it!

Its GO time! The goal this year (as it is every year): STAY ON TRACK! 😉

If you are doing NaNoWriMo, Best of luck to you! Happy writing! 🙂

4) RETURNING: Projects, Baking, Cooking!

Going back to the thought of thinking about the direction of Tranquil Dreams.  I’ve been focussing a lot on movies and books.  Its great and I love it! Talking movies and books with all of you is fantastic.  But my roots are photography, baking, cooking and artsy crafty things. Moving and being disorganized has honestly stopped me from catching up on these things. The house is finally getting organized and the last room to do our own organization is the kitchen where I can get all my baking stuff in one spot and in cupboards that I can reach.  Its still a work in progress but we added this little baking counter to solve a good bit of my problems!

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And I have baking and cooking projects tentatively scheduled to go up.

First priority goes to the Disney Baking Project that I haven’t done much with.  What I will do is post up a few more reviews for Disney movies and move through the baking side accordingly. Its a little more creative so I need to give a little more thought before diving in.

Fact is, I feel a little lost without simply baking.  I’m a little more stressed and more worried about everything without it.  Its weird that baking takes me into that space of sweet joy.   Everyday I think about it and then realize how I’ll get frustrated because everything is gone and vanished and it’ll take triple the time it used to to make something as simple as banana bread or cookies, so I stop and sit down to do something else.

But, things are picking up and we’re reviving all of those things.  I even want to do a little drinks section.  Its a desire at most now.  We’ll see what happens 🙂

Tranquil Dreams is heading back into the days of Glow in the Dark Cupcakes and Cloud Cakes and Hamburger Cupcakes.  Are you excited? Because I sure am!

5) WordPress: Home of Tranquil Dreams for 5 years!

This is nothing official.  I didn’t start using the blog and making it active with posts until January 19th or something so thats my actual blogiversary but I always love seeing WordPress notify me every October 23rd of how long this has been my blogging home. The friends I’ve made and the posts I’ve read.  The inspiration all of you and this space has been in my life.  I’m evening getting the opportunity to branch out into doing podcasts.  It seems like this 5 year milestone is marking a lot of new beginnings and it makes me love every bit of it more.  As you can see, I’m revamping the blog a little for 2016 right in time for the official 5 years celebration.

With all that up there, I may be planning 2016 and there might probably be some changes.

6) Events this month!!

In November, I like to prove that I’m superwoman. What can I say? Somehow, this year, I’m rather pumped up about it. So, I might end up skipping Le Grande Degustation.  We’ll see the scheduling.  All depends on my husband since I refuse to drink THAT much wine tasting by myself. At a certain point, it won’t be enjoyable anymore.

However, we do have plans set for MTL a Table (which has already started) and we will likely be heading to Sherbrooke mets a table.  This is probably the equivalent of the MTL a Table food festival but in the Sherbrooke/Eastern Townships area.

If there are any other festivals, it’ll be a surprise 😉

UPCOMING:

  • Resuming Netflix A-Z: next letters Q, R, S, T (at least)
  • Disney Baking Project
  • Music Obsessions & Pinterest Therapy

Halloween Marathon Wrap-up: A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

It might have been easier to do another post but as you see, we’re here! Its October 31st and we’re wrapping it up with the final movie of our highlight series. More accurately, this is the remake of the iconic series started by Wes Craven. I’m not going to lie, this one was a pain to do.  At this point, I’m a little burnt out with all the Nightmare and Freddy movies.  I’m all Freddy-ed out. Haha! We’ve gone through a wave of good, bad, great, cheesy, campy…basically, I have no expectations right now.

Let’s get going! Review first!

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

a nightmare on elm street

Director: Samuel Bayer

Cast: Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz, Clancy Brown, Connie Britton

The spectre of a dead child rapist haunts the children of the parents who murdered him, stalking and killing them in their dreams.-IMDB

We’re here in remake world.  It feels like a long time ago that I watched Nightmare on Elm Street.  And you know, it might’ve been since I started Halloween in September. As a recap (in case you didn’t read the review post on the original), I liked it but thought that it had some functional campiness to it and there were some creative kills. As we enter into remake world, there are pros and cons to this one.  How do I say it? Everything that didn’t work in the first one worked here and then everything worked here, kind of didn’t work as much in the original? I guess I can say that.

Nightmare on Elm Street 2010

Let me explain.  First of all, lets take a look at our star villain.  The main complaint I’ve had of Freddy (except for in New Nightmare) is that he isn’t scary because while his concept of using nightmares and a world you can’t control to kill you in real life is a good one, they never make him that way.  He is always campy and goofy and just not horrifying.  But this is where the remake does well.  Freddy looks a little different from the original and the guy playing him is no longer Robert Englund but Jackie Earle Haley.  Fred Krueger looks like a burnt victim and he is genuinely creepy as sh*t.  Like I mean, he is a messed up, sadistic man from his laugh to his dialogue.  There were parts that it sent chills down my spine and I literally feared for what he was going to do next. Plus, everything that he does with the characters is a hint towards a deeper trip into why he does what he does.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Second, its a refreshing time to be watching one of these where I actually know all the cast.  I mean, I know what to expect from them and their performances.  Kyle Gallner was in Veronica Mars, Rooney Mara in a ton of movies, Katie Cassidy is some movies and Arrow, Thomas Dekker was in Secret Circle. Its seriously looking like a CW party here or something.  Anyways,  the cast here pulls in some decent performances with what they had to work with.  They didn’t exactly have good dialogue to support the script (which is something I’ll elaborate on later), but they did well enough.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Third, the remake makes a serious effort to give us some memorable scenes from a few of the past Nightmare movies. We can see it added in pretty nicely.  There are a good many that are taken from the original Wes Craven’s.  Obviously, those scenes are judged a little heavily.  For one, the most effective scene in the original was the body bag scene and this one was a little overboard. Just one simple example.

A Nightmare on elm street 2010

Finally, the visuals and effects and sound worked well for this one.  While we could feel the tension, the story behind this worked better.  In one movie, we were able to learn about Freddy (even though some details were changed, I think). Freddy himself tried to lead the kids of those parents who killed him to know about it.  At the same time, we also get more up close and personal of who Freddy is. Was he innocently accused? What is he trying to revenge? All those questions that took a few movies to build, we get a good idea of in this one remake. It tries hard to make us twist our beliefs about Freddy.  While I can’t criticize what they were trying to do, the execution of it focused too much on the teens and paired up with the bad dialogue that sometimes felt a little choppy and awkward, it ended up causing the movie to drag a little in certain parts.

Overall, I rather enjoyed A Nightmare on Elm Street.  I’m not saying its better than the original because Craven can build atmosphere and the passion is retained there.  However, this is a decent effort. The script itself, mostly the dialogue and focal points in various plot points could have made for a better execution but the visuals are better and Freddy is much more chilling and thrilling to watch. The backstory of Freddy is the highlight here because we learn so much more about him and that really worked for me. Is it a good or bad remake? I really can’t say its bad.  It feels a little lengthy at parts but it stays generally faithful to the original but with its own style.

What do you think about the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street?

Halloween Marathon: Honeymoon (2014)

I saw Honeymoon a good few months ago.  The reason I didn’t post this up is that it requires a very delicate handling to not ruin the story and I’m not exactly sure I’m up to the task. But, when I asked for suggestions, Mel at The Creative Fox Den told me to do Honeymoon.  Plus, she did point out that it is perfect since I did just get married.  We have a postponed Honeymoon but hell, I sure hope my Honeymoon never turns out into this horror. It is quite perfect for the Halloween Marathon plus, its still etched rather deeply in my mind so let’s do it! 🙂

Oh, expect a short write-up/review 😉

Honeymoon (2014)

Honeymoon

Director and co-writer: Leigh Janiak

Cast: Rose Leslie, Harry Treadaway, Ben Huber, Hanna Brown

A newlywed couple finds their lake-country honeymoon descend into chaos after Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of their first night.-IMDB

Honeymoon is a rare gem.  One that knows when how to build the mood and character slowly and then flip the situation around as it decelerates into another new horrific world of the unknown.  We are left with questions as the plot slowly unfolds after Bea, the newlywed wife disappears into the woods one day and reappears. Its one that makes you wonder what is going on and offers you up solutions that are all possibilities of outcomes.

The cast here is small.  We have Rose Leslie who plays newlywed wife Bea and Harry Treadaway who plays the husband. They both are fantastic at their roles.  They can show their love and as whatever unknown has caused Bea to change starts breaking them apart, you can still see the connection they have. There’s this reluctance to separate that you can feel.

Honeymoon

The setting itself is in a secluded cabin close to a lake.  Its quiet all around.  The perfect place for something like a honeymoon getaway to turn awry. The music compliments the atmosphere perfectly as well.

You know what? Honeymoon is one to be experienced fully.  Don’t watch the trailer, have as little knowledge as you can going in.  Let its thrills and mysteries, its creeps and horrors consume you as you watch the story unfold. Its exactly for these reasons that I love the world of indie films. You never know what to expect.

Have you seen Honeymoon? Did you like it? (Let’s try and keep it spoiler-free.)

 

Halloween Marathon: Red Eye (2005)

We’re almost at the end of our highlight series but before we head into the final movie, lets get some other movies done.  This one kind of matches up as it is directed by Wes Craven, the mastermind behind the start of the Nightmare on Elm Street series.  We’re taking a look at Red Eye.  Its funny because for the longest time, I thought that I had seen Red Eye but it turns out that I mixed it up with Flight Plan.  You know, the one with Jodie Foster? Yeah, my bad, right?

Let’s give this a go!

Red Eye (2005)

red eye

Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Rachel McAdam, Cillian Murphy, Brian Cox, Jayma Mays, Jack Scalia

A woman is kidnapped by a stranger on a routine flight. Threatened by the potential murder of her father, she is pulled into a plot to assist her captor in offing a politician.-IMDB

Red Eye is more of a thriller than a horror.  But if you know me well, thrillers sometimes can create a sort of intense dread or fear that pure horrors aren’t able to achieve quite so well.  Its for the mere fact that it relates to real life more and can just hit those psychological notes.  On that note, Red Eye works for the most part.  The setting of being enclosed in a plane and then just dealing within confined spaces and one that you truly can’t escape is a good.  Then we have Wes Craven as the director who sets the perfect atmosphere along with the characters to give the story a nice push.  It manages to give us a sudden twist around in the situation that catches us off guard.

red eye

The cast in Red Eye is pretty great. I’m not a huge fan of Rachel McAdams.  I liked her well enough in The Notebook and then she was rather fun in Mean Girls being the mean popular girl, I never really thought much of her acting skills.  However, as a thriller story protagonist, she works great.  She captured this role with a wonderful performance that managed to keep me on the edge of my seat.  I guess part of that praise goes out to Cillian Murphy who is fantastic as the bad guy here.  He takes on the wolf in a sheep skin role very good.  He goes from this amazing charming guy that Lisa (Rachel McAdam’s character) meets randomly and helps her out of a frustrating situation then turns into a man that sits next to her and threatens to kill her father if she doesn’t comply to his wishes for her to switch the rooms of a politician staying at the hotel that she is a manager of.  With the decision of either choosing to save your father or the life of a politician, what do you choose? Its a tough decision.

red eye

At the same time, Red Eye had some interesting side roles.  Of course, we have Brian Cox as the father of Lisa. I’m not entirely familiar with his work but he did look incredibly familiar. But my biggest surprise watching this was that Jayma Mays was in this as a supporting role as Cynthia, the girl working at the hotel desk in communication with Lisa during this event.  Jayma Mays is in Glee as a guidance counselor.  I love Glee and I’m starting to notice parts of her being here and there nowadays which makes me happy.  She’s a fun character who can pull off some cute expressions and she has a very unique voice that gives her some personality as well.

red eye

Overall, I don’t have too much to say about Red Eye.  It was a thrilling watch.  I loved it.  It wasn’t exactly unpredictable but it had a lot of pretty intense moments and it all comes down to the great performances and being able to build up the atmosphere for it to feel that way on and off the plane.  Red Eye has a little something going for it.  Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy do an outstanding job at taking on their roles and making us connect with their character.  Red Eye became a thrill ride because of that.  We never knew whether anything would work out or not.  Even if the ending, the plot seemed to unravel a little too much, there were some pretty edgy scenes that worked. For that, its worth a watch 🙂

Have you seen Red Eye? What do you think of it? 

Halloween Marathon: Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

The first double review of a movie is happening for this Halloween marathon.  My initial idea for this next installment of Nightmare on Elm Street with its crossover with the Friday the 13th series was to do a reblog but you know what, I can’t.  For one simple reason, when I watched it the first time, I knew the Friday the 13th series and Jason Voorhees was the point of reference while I was completely in the dark with Freddy and the Nightmare series. Now, watching this again, I’m looking at it from the Nightmare on Elm Street point of view and its incredibly different.

I’ll have a link to last year’s post at the end of the review 🙂

Let’s check it out!

Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

freddy vs jason

Director: Ronny Yu

Cast: Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Monica Keena, Jason Ritter, Kelly Rowland, Chris Marquette, Brendan Fletcher, Katharine Isabelle, Lochlyn Munro

Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees return to terrorize the teenage population. Except this time, they’re out to get each other, too.-IMDB

The second viewing of Freddy vs. Jason turned out to be a super hard one to complete.  We took about 3 viewings before we managed to get through the whole thing. Does that mean that its a bad one? I think it might. Last year, when I saw it, it didn’t have such a huge thing, mostly because I watched it for the fact of its addition to the Jason/Friday the 13th franchise.  Jason Voorhees in Freddy vs Jason was kind of an accessory to murder.  He was the puppet to kickstart Freddy’s plan that just went off course because we all know, Jason really doesn’t have much on his mind but the blind desire to kill. With that said, his role was taken on very well.  He even played a key role in blocking off Freddy and causing Freddy’s initial plan to not work out and initiating their versus battles.

Freddy vs Jason

With that said, Freddy in this one is an absolute goofy character. In a way, I started getting rather angry with this one after understanding Freddy’s character. Freddy wasn’t enjoyable to watch.  If you enjoy the fact that Freddy has gone down the goofy slasher road, then I’m sure you might enjoy this one rather a lot.  But for me, I didn’t and it actually angered me quite a bit.  It felt like they were mocking these two characters to no end.  I’m a fan of Jason Voorhees and I truly believe the Fred Krueger has the essence in his character to be absolutely bone-chilling scary, you know, the things that haunt us in our nightmares literally. But somehow, except for the first one and New Nightmare, we haven’t hit that territory.  I like the Nightmare series because of how it does try to keep a good storyline and Freddy has the reason to be angry and revenge and yet, Freddy vs. Jason was pointless.  I couldn’t place where it was supposed to be in the franchise timeline.  All these things frustrated me.

freddy vs jason

I guess in the end, Freddy vs. Jason was a disappointment.  It seems whenever you clash two franchises, nothing really good comes out of it except the looks of wanting to grab some quick box office dollars off of the fans of both or either franchises. But, I never do reviews without having a positive. If you do want to enjoy this, the battles between Freddy and Jason are a total joy to watch.  Compared to the script and the dialogue and the portrayal of the characters, put aside the goof, they kind of hit a kind of fun and smart territory.  One of those rare moments when they unite that kind of works.

freddy vs jason

 Overall, Freddy vs Jason is a nonsensical addition to the series. Freddy is the most campy and goofy he has ever been.  He’s doesn’t instill fear at all.  After knowing both Jason Voorhees and Freddy, while this is more of a Freddy series addition, Jason has a better role here mostly because he matches the “throwing everything together and see if it works out” sort of strategy. We get a bit of Elm Street and we get a bit of Crystal Lake.  We have some stupid teens that do things that make no sense and we have some stupid kills and some pretty decent ones, but what stands out is the battles between Jason and Freddy.

You can see my review of it last year HERE!

Have you seen Freddy vs. Jason? What do you think? What did you like/dislike?

Halloween Marathon: Tremors (1990)

If you recall, a few weeks ago, I posted up the podcast with my co-host David over at That Moment In where we have a random chat about Tremors.  If you missed it, you can find it HERE!

While I don’t watch a whole lot of Kevin Bacon movies, the few that I have seen has proved that he is a great actor with a widespan of skills for many different characters. Tremors was mentioned to me a few times before but the most impactful was during a Q&A session for Cop Car at the Fantasia Film Festival this year after the captivating thriller called Cop Car.  You can check out that review right HERE!

No more link-ups! Let’s head into the review! 🙂

Tremors (1990)

tremors

Director: Ron Underwood

Cast: Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross, Reba McEntire, Robert Jayne, Charlotte Stewart, Tony Genaro, Ariana Richards, Victor Wong

Natives of a small isolated town defend themselves against strange underground creatures which are killing them one by one.-IMDB

Tremors is definitely a treat in the creature feature genre.  In Netflix, its categorized with the cult classics.  Interesting because I guess I can see why it would be there. However, it is one of the more fun creature features despite its age and campiness.  The characters excel at balancing the humor and the fun aspect.  While it takes a little while to get the story going in the fun and adventure area, it does work well in building its story as we follow the main characters, Val (Kevin Bacon) and Earl (Fred Ward) discover the threat that has been hitting obscure areas in town.  As the characters add more, we get some more sophisticated characters that add to the group and turn this into a fight against the creature for survival as they put their heads together and add a little boom here but discover that the creature is actually quite intelligent.

Tremors

Is Tremors scary? No, that it isn’t.  But then, a lot of creature features aren’t exactly that scary.  They may have been when I was younger, like Deep Blue Sea but this one has some tense moments even though it never holds long enough to make it feel too endangering to the characters. Maybe that isn’t true because with the modern creature features, we always expect someone to die in whatever way and when we can’t determine when and how they will die and just how the creature is, there is a sort of underlying fear.  Definitely the beginning hit that horror territory more than the second half.  As we hit the second part, it really lands into the adventure part as they find creative ways of evading this creature lurking under the ground.  Its entertaining and its hard to not want to cheer the characters on at this point.  My favorite is definitely when they think up the whole pole vaulting escape plan. While it is fun, it is also rather fast paced as they try to outwit and outrun the creatures.

Tremors

While Tremors is a lot of fun, there are some unnecessary and forced bits.  Its never enough to make me roll my eyes or get frustrated.  In the end, it still delivers a satisfying and enjoyable horror comedy creature feature enveloping all the subgenres I typically like.  Its fun and adventurous, and the characters and their cheesy outdated dialogue. Sometimes its that sort of dialogue that resounds and makes it even more entertaining. Its definitely one I wouldn’t mind rewatching especially if its watching Kevin Bacon’s funny reactions and dialogue and then the gun toting couple and the super campy creature effects.  Like it a whole lot!

Have you seen Tremors? Do you like it? Are a fan of creature features?