On the second week of Hallowtober…

my true love gave to me a new laptop.

Sorry for the delay, but Rossetti is having some hardware difficulties that have made her unusable and which it appears my warranty won’t cover. Boo.

8/5 – Devil’s Backbone, Texas

There are the makings of a fun movie in here. For one, it’s not your average found-footage flick. Devil’s Backbone, Texas is filmed as a documentary, with our writer/director/star, Jake Wade Wall, investigating his estranged father who was one (for reals) on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries back in the 90’s. There are interviews with his siblings and townsfolk who knew his father, making much of the movie feel like an actual documentary. In that setting, the inclusion of supernatural weirdness could be really cool, and in there are a few successfully creepy moments that hint at the movie that could-have-been. But the movie never really commits to the horror. It swings one way, then another, and in the end, just left me feeling unsettled and unsatisfied.

8/6 – The Others

During WWI, Nicole Kidman and her two sickly children are isolated in the old mansion they call home by an impenetrable fog. As you might expect from any movie on this list, strange and paranormal things begin to happen in short order. There’s a well paced build to scares in this one and a fun twist at the end, which you probably already know, but I’m not going to be the one to spoil it for anyone.

I remember seeing this movie in theaters as a kid and really enjoying it and IMO, it’s held up well. My one complaint is that I have a decreased tolerance for movies wherein Nicole Kidman’s character scolds people. It’s a little quirk I have.

8/7 – Da Sweet Blood of Jesus

A remake of the 70’s film Ganja and Hess, directed by Spike Lee. An anthropologist awakens with a thirst for blood after being stabbed by his assistant with an ancient African dagger. This movie is absolutely terrible. I just – I don’t have words to describe all the ways this movie falls flat. I was SO. EXCITED. to see Spike Lee make a vampire movie, you guys! And with vampire myth potentially rooted in African lore! But it’s just – UGH!

The acting is off, the characters are flat and universally despicable, the script is rambling and ineffectual, and the social commentary is all over the place, touching on a bunch of issues without actually saying anything. The real horror is that my friend and I watched this, all the way through, without the anesthetizing powers of hard alcohol. The pain of it still lingers.

8/8 – I took the night off to recover.

8/9 – Gravity Falls break!!!

After the disappointment that was Wednesday’s film choice, I fell back on a new favorite. Gravity Falls is a cartoon series created by Alex Hirsh and airing on Disney. It’s filled with monsters and conspiracy theories and mad science and adorable sweaters. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

I tried to stick to the more Halloween-ish episodes, such as Summerween, Little Gift Shop of Horrors, and Northwest Mansion Noir (a personal favorite. Can’t recommend enough. Vengeful lumberjack poltergeist.).

There’s so much to catch in this show, so it’s easy to talk yourself into rewatching episodes to catch visual gags and foreshadowing to future episodes.

8/10 – My laptop broke! Everything is awful! I read books instead!

8/11 – The Shadow

The Shadow (1994) is based on the old radio show of the same name. Set in New York City in the 1930’s and filled with some beautiful costumes, it’s about a psychic vigilante facing off against a super psychic descendant of Genghis Khan who intends to use an atomic bomb designed by Sir Ian McKellen and Tim Curry to conquer the globe. It that sentence doesn’t turn you on, we can’t be friends anymore.

I’ll see about squeezing two more movies in sometime during the upcoming weeks to make up for the deficiency.

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About Morgan Maria D'Isidoro

Morgan Maria D'Isidoro has lived in Baltimore, MD for most of her life, saving a handful of failed escape attempts. Given the murder rates, she'll probably die here too. Morgan is a writer of speculative fiction and poetry, a musician of dubious quality, cat aficionado, art history fangirl, kitchen sorceress, recovering pyromaniac, accomplished liar, and an all around person of questionable employability.
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