Thursday
Oct022014

Fail

Want to know how hard I failed at this blog? Not only did I botch the 31 Days of Horror, I failed so hard that I didn't touch the blog again until almost a year later. A full year. Seriously. What is this.

Ok, so, I have to try again and not be an idiot this YEAR. So, I'm going to attempt the 31 Days of Horror (and hide the last attempt to look weird.

Hopefully I can get in the swing of this, build some momentum, not be terrible. That would be nice.

Further updates to follow.

~Jones Out

Sunday
Oct062013

31 Days of Fright - Day 5: Click 

Blood Games - Click from Popcorn Horror on Vimeo.

No, not that Click. That's more funny/sad, this is full on creep show. 

I decided to take a break from the long game session of Amnesia to do something short, so I reached into the collection of short films I've been meaning to watch. That's where I found Click, a British short film staring 5 kids and a light switch. Yeah, you heard me.

There is no gore in this film, just darkness and light. The kids enter an abandoned warehouse for some macguffin of a reason, and come upon a room with a light switch. For some reason, this fascinates the kids (I guess there isn't much to do in the British Isles). So, one of the kids starts flickering the lights, on and off, in a room they've made pitch black. But in an instant, this little game turns creepy, then pants crapping scary, all without any monsters or gore.

Darkness is always huge for horror movies. Everyone at somepoint in their childhood was afraid of the dark. The dark represents the unknwon, which even as adults everyone has some fear of in one way or the other. It's a primal fear, for us to be so dependant on our sight and to not be able to use it. Even now, I bet when you're alone the lights go out, or walking on a dark street, you still feel that tension, that fear.

Seriously, watch the film above. It's a great short, using the lack of sight in a visual medium masterfully.

~Jones Out

Saturday
Oct052013

31 Days of Fright - Day 4: Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Ok, well, my skin is crawling. Literally crawling. 

So, tonight I decided to forgo a movie, and went the route of a horror video game. And seriously, whole new level of creepy. Usually, horror movies don't scare me. They're entertaining as all hell, but I don't identify with the characters, so it's hard for me to put myself in their shoes. It's a show, none of it is happening to me, so I'm clearly not in danger. Thus, no fear.

But a horror video game? Where I control the main character, where I AM the main character? That is terrifying. Suddenly, it's not you yelling at the scream to run. You're the one running. You're the one hiding. You're the one dying. The interaction of it all makes it so much more personal, which amps up the fear factor. That's tonight, that is Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

So far in this game I can tell that I have amnesia (imagine that). And it's self induced, because a note from myself (I found it by following the kool-aid on the floor) written by me told me I wouldn't remember anything. BUT that I had to go through the mansion to kill a guy. So, since I'm giving myself orers (isn't talking to yourself the definition of crazy?) I might as well go for it. Wish Old Me gave New Me a map though, because this place is confusing. And creepy.

This game is notorious for being this generation of gaming's most scary. In fact, the success of this game is what has revitalized the survival-horror genre on PC. Putlast, A Machine For Pigs, Slender, all games based off of this concept: you cannot fight. You cannot win. The enemy is invincible, and you are fragile. The enemy catches you and it's game over. All you can do is hide. Which works against you, because if you stay in the dark, you go insane, which hurts you. And if you stay in the light, the monsters (ugly SOBs) can see you. So, damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Honestly, I'm in a cold sweat right now. This is NOT my kind of game. I play video games for the power fantasy, not to feel weak and vulnerable. My usual reaction to fear is bravado, to boldly stare in it's face because I'm an idiot. But usually the scary monster isn't running at me with a slackjaw and claws for hands with an insta kill on it's breath.

I realize I have an audience of two, but maybe as a side experiment I'll pull a PewdePie and film myself playing this game. That way you can watch me be an idiot. Should be grand.

~Jones Out

Saturday
Oct052013

31 Days of Fright - Day 3: Underworld: Awakening

Some horror movies aren't so much "horror" as they are what I call "horror+". That is to say, horror and something else. Movies with horror tropes, but they blend the genre a bit. Sometimes it's a horror/thriller, a murder case with a mix of ghosts. Or a horror/romance, but let's never mention Twilight again, ok? And sometimes, we have horror/action, which is all fight and gore and mayhem and sex appeal. And that's tonight's particular flavor in Underworld: Awakening.

Maybe you can tell already that I am a little partial to this blend. I mean, action PLUS gore? That's basically a movie video game, how can I not love it? And this number is right up that alley, and then some. Want to see a werewolf with it's head ripped in two? It's got that. A man folded in half backwards? Sure. Matrix level cgi fighting? Of course.

What we have here is the 4th movie in a series that started as a vampire/werewolf Romeo and Juliet, but without anyone sparkling. The first two followed that thread of doomed supernatural lovers in modern times, and the prequel brought that back about 800 years. But the 4th? Out the window! We're going to follow Kate Beckinsale's character (the only reason people watch these films) and leave Whoshisface pretty much out of the loop. Instead, we have a preteen daughter of the couple, and a society with both of the supernatural communities on the brink of extinction.

You see, humans have discovered vampires and werewolves, and within minutes have come up with the UV/Silver bullet combo to take out the whole population. In what the movie shows as "The Purge", military police start going door to door to test everyone, killing the "infected" execution style. This decimates the population, because apparently vampires and werewolves no longer have super powers because plothole. Seriously, don't care how many bullets you have, monsters moving at super speed with super strength aren't going to get wiped out overnight, which is what we have here. At least show them putting up a fight damnit. And don't get me started on how I still think this series has the design for werewolves totally wrong. They look more like lizards than wolves, when the hell have you seen a slimy wolf in anyone's lifetime ever?

But honestly? Who cares. This is for fight scenes and gore. People get torn in half, have their throats torn out, are dropped from impossible heights. There is blood, blood, and more blood. This movie is not for the squimish.  But I sure as hell enjoyed it.

~Jones Out

Thursday
Oct032013

31 Days of Fright - Day 2: Killer Klowns From Outer Space

Ok, so let's talk. What is the point of horror movies. Most people are going to answer that and say "To be scary!", and those people are only half way there. Sure, some movies want to be terrifying and taken seriously, but other horror movies? They use the medium to be hilarious, sometimes unintentionally. They are the "B" movies, and are some of the best things to feast your eyes on. And we'll continue the month of horror with my favorite, Killer Klowns From Outer Space.

Sure, plenty of people find clowns scary. Maybe because they saw this film at an early age. I've had it explained to me that, because clowns have their emotions painted on, they are not to be trusted. But no matter what your opinion of Coulrophobia, you have to admit that death by cotton candy is a complete joke. And that's not even the weirdest bit of this movie.

First off, we have the small town America cliche. The police force is all of two guys, one of which happens to be the main characters ex. The other, a hard ass who hates the main character's new boyfriend. We also have the town knuckleheads for laughs and...well, that's it really. There are some bikers here, horny highschoolers there, but most of them are just cannon fodder who for some reason don't find 7 foot tall, scaley skined clowns all that weird. You can guess their fate in a movie where death by shadow puppet is a thing.

Then, we have the glorious, glorious clowns. Or Klowns I guess. These things are huge, ugly looking suckers who make Pennywise look like a glamour model. But boy are they creative. Ray guns that turn you into cotton candy? Check. Mallets? Check. Death by pie fight? Check. Vetriloquist shows? You better believe it (using one of their victims even). These writers clearly had a great time with this. But there is one quibble I have here. Their weakness? I mean, you can guess as the reader, you're pretty smart and it's pretty obvious. I'll wait.

...

It's their nose. The cop figures out that, after pouring a few bullets into a Klown with no effect, if you shoot their nose, it explodes and they turn into a green light show. This is vital information, since Crackshot McGee uses it to kill of a slew of Klowns in the third act. But he somehow forgets this when facing the monster Klown. That's right, the end of the movie results in a giant Klown, Jojo the Klownzilla, to appear and attack our "heroes". So our buddy the cop runs circles around him, shooting at nothing, but it isn't until the monster picks him up to face level that he uses his badge to pop the Klown's nose like a balloon. Can't make this stuff up folks.

Honestly, this movie is hilarious. Get a few friends, a whole ton of liquor, and stay up all night before you watch this. This movie was made for people to mock it and throw popcorn at the screen. Don't expect to feel any sort of fear or tension on this one folks, just enjoy the so-bad-it's-good ride.

Special Note: I tried to make Day 2 Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. I really did. But honestly? That movie is so bad, that it goes past the so-bad-it's-good phase, and goes straight into unwatchable. I get that it's tryign to be a comedy/satire of B films, but it's just horrendous. I have no idea how it spawned so many sequels, and even a Saturday Morning children's cartoon. When EVEN I can't stomach watching, that's a huge red flag.

~Jones Out