Thursday, January 31, 2019


Bird Box - A woman and her sister leave the hospital after a routine checkup, finding crisis amok in the city. Bird Box begins in the initial moments of the apocalypse. Her sister is overcome by an otherworldly entity, wrecks the vehicle she’s driving, and throws herself into oncoming traffic, killing herself.  The hapless pregnant woman is invited into a nearby house for safety. Years later she receives a radio transmission from survivors hiding in the forest. She decides to go to the community with her children, whose only names are Boy and Girl. Blindfolded Malorie, the children, and their pet birds in a box, make their way down the river in a small boat. She demands they not remove their blindfolds, or risk certain death. Directed by Susanne Bier, based on the 2014 book written by Josh Malerman, the film stars Sandra Bullock. Bird Box has been streaming on Netflix since December 2018. Netflix reports the largest viewership for any of the network’s original films, with over 45 million accounts watching, in a seven-day period. The film was viewed by 80 million households in the month following its release. I wonder if Netflix is the future of horror? We shall see. Although I was initially disappointed the film did not show the monster, the cast was top notch, and the film was original. A winner on all accounts.

Sunday, January 20, 2019


HORROR 2019 - Another annual listicle of horror films to scare the hell out of you.  Along with lists from the past several years.  As always, I value fresh offerings over uninspired remakes and praise originality above all else. Series/ franchises can be great when purposeful and unique. With the success of Jordan Peele's Get Out, I am encouraged that Hollywood continues to represent POC and LGBT.  

Escape Room
Release date: January 4
A group of people navigate a series of escape rooms, encountering deadly consequences.

Velvet Buzzsaw
Release date: February 1
An art critic discovers mysterious paintings with supernatural abilities.

The Prodigy
Release date: February 8
A young boy’s troubled behavior becomes more sinister.

Release date: March 15
A family is frightened by mysterious doppelgangers.

The Curse of La Llorona
Release date: April 19
Father Perez battles La Llorana, a ghostly specter of Mexican folklore.

Release date: May 24
Parents adopt an alien child only to be dismayed by his use of his supernatural powers.
Release date: June 21
A woman haunted by a cursed entity from beyond the grave in Japan.

The New Mutants
Release date: August 2
Young mutants must break out a secret facility in which they are confined.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Release date: August 9
A series of mysterious and horrific tragedies befall a quiet town.

Saturday, January 5, 2019


Fantasy fiction - Fantasy can often be separated from other speculative fiction genres by the lack of scientific or macabre themes, but not always. It is set in a fictional universe, often without any locations, events, or people referencing reality. Its roots are in oral traditions, sword and sorcery, mythology and old gods. The most common tropes in the fantasy genre derive from the medieval or renaissance eras. As part of speculative fiction (supernatural, fantasy, superhero, science fiction, horror, etc.) modern fantasy more loosely blends elements of near/ far other-worlds, ancient/ future worlds, and or alternative histories.

Nowell Codex by Anonymous (circa1000)
The codex is comprised of 3 works including Beowulf written by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet. Beowulf slays a monster attacking the castle that belongs to the King of the Danes.

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (1387)
Mostly written in verse, Chaucer describes a wide range of classes in English society. As a courtier he wrote poetry for the nobility. In the Knight's Tale, the MC leads crusades against pagan leaders in many countries.

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (1844)
A young man leaves home to join the Musketeers of the Guard. Unable to join the elite corps, he befriends the three inseparables.

Phantastes by George MacDonald (1858)
A young man is pulled into a dream world, hunting for the Marble Lady, an idealized beauty. After many adventures and temptations he gives up his ideals.

Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard (1932)
A barbarian who worships a deity called Crom, this sword and sorcery fantasy originated in pulp fiction magazines, such as Weird Tales. 

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin  (1968)
Set in the fictional archipelago of Earthsea, a young wizard unleashes a shadow creature during a duel with a fellow classmate.

Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly (1985)
A witch and a lord are approached by a prince who requests they slay a dragon. They agree on the condition the king send troops to the Northlands to fend off bandits.

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (1990)
When a global cataclysm ends the Age of Legends, The Breaking of the World occurs three thousand years later. The series depicts ancient mythology and advancements similar to the Industrial Revolution.

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (1993)
In the Seven Kingdoms, Ned Stark executes a deserter who fled from the Wall. Meanwhile, the bastard Jon Snow joins the Night's Watch. And Daenerys Targaryen becomes betrothed to a Dothraki warlord.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson  (2010)
Cast out by his people, a Shin man is sent to murder the king of one of the world's most powerful nations. He possesses magic such as Honorblade, used to cut anything, and Surgebinding, that renders him able to bind things together.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


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