Spooky-Ass Imaginary Friends: When You Were A Kid, Did YOU Know Any This Damn Scary?

 

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Dread Central ran a great piece back in January 2014.  KW Low (DC Staff Contributor) found a collection of very creepy anecdotes on Reddit. We personally don’t spend that much time on Reddit, but we’re thinking on the basis of this Dread Central piece that maybe we should look into that, because there’s some great material to mine and pass on to readers (giving credit where credit is due, of course).

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So apparently, someone–a new parent– posted a question or topic on Reddit asking if other parents had ever had any experiences with their children having creepy imaginary friends. Whenever we hear this brought up, our mind goes straight back to the time we saw the scene from the original Amityville Horror on TV when we were way too young. You know, the one with …JODY?  Jody was supposed to be a pig of some sort (we think), but all we can recall–quite vividly, even decades later–is the scene where the mother (played by Margot Kidder) looks out the window after the kid mentions something about “Jody” being outside the window and there’s a HUGE music sting as you see a red, glowing pair of eyes before they dart away. In case you don’t recall…

Anyway, there were a ton of answers that varied from “a little spooky” to “pretty creepy” to “a nightmare that sound like something out of a fucking James Wan haunted house/demonic entity movie”. As you can see, we’ve included examples…

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Some are from readers who remembered things as kids,  in their own experience. This one was even written by a teacher as told from a parent:

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Some are childhood memories from the actual kids, grown up now (but still freaked out… understandably) :

Fuck!  I might end up in therapy if I experienced something like this as an ADULT.

Fuck! I might end up in therapy if I experienced something like this as an ADULT.

We didn’t have imaginary friends as kids (that we know of, and now both of us are scared to ask our parents because we don’t want to hear anything remotely like this that’ll no doubt keep us awake). Just reading some of these in the middle of the night will probably get your imagination going a little…

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Here’s the one (below) that James Wan might want to think about adapting…

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Do you want to read them all? The link to the original piece on Dread Central is below:

21 Creepy Things Kids Say About Their Imaginary Friends – Dread Central.

 

Christ!

Christ!

Have you had enough chills or do you want some more? If you do, you’re in luck! They ran a follow-up a few weeks later with even more creepy stories, and here’s the link to that one. Some of the latter ones are actually kind of touching, such as visits (nice ones) with dead relatives who loved them.

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If this particular “imaginary friend” shows up outside your kid’s window, pack some suitcases and head to a motel, then call a realtor in the morning about selling the place you just bought in Amityville.

 

Sources: DreadCentral.com, Reddit

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La Llorona Halloween Attraction – Damn, Haunted Houses Sure Have Stepped It Up Since We Were Kids!

Apart from a few exceptions (which are vivid enough memories and such unique experiences they deserve their own post) the last I remember of going to local haunted houses, usually sponsored by a local rock radio station, you would get shuffled through a maze and some people with creepy make-up/costumes would come springing around a corner, go RAAAAWWR! or scream at you and sometimes grab you.  This is actually scary if they put some care and showmanship into it, which they did much of the time.

But this, this horrifying shit, takes it to a whole new level. I realize that this is Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights (this was taped in 2012, if they still have the attraction when we can afford an actual vacation in a couple of years, we are going, paying extra for some VIP pass if we can) and they have unlimited money and talent. Well okay, not unlimited, but the budget allows for a lot more. Not just actors, but animatronics. BIG ones.

But let’s get to the back-story of La Llorona (which translates as ‘The Weeping Woman’). I love that they based it on not just a folktale/legend, but a Latino one, and a simple one at that. No elaborate, intricate back-story, just the right amount of the basics to let your imaginations fill in the blanks. This attraction would be scary as hell without the legend, now that I think of it, but they fill you in on the basic version while you’re waiting in line or entering the maze.

Oh yeah, THAT should be a safe area of the attraction to mosey on through.

Oh yeah, THAT should be a safe area of the attraction to mosey on through.

Here’s their version, and here’s a link to the Wikipedia page to read more. I am sincerely glad I did not hear the legend of La Llarona when I was a little girl, and already had my nightmares full of stories about licked hands, dead boyfriends with signs around their necks saying YOU SHOULD HAVE OPENED THE DOOR, and hooks dangling from car doors, among many others. I didn’t need this on top of the huge terrifying library of urban legends (mostly told to me by friends at slumber parties) that were stored neatly away in my head, where they stay to this day

“Immerse yourself in the horrific tale that has tainted the dreams of children for centuries, with new twists and turns, spawning countless excruciating nightmares.

Succumb to the bloodcurdling screams of Maria, a mother tortured by the guilt of drowning her children, forced to suffer for an eternity as she wanders the Earth hunting for the souls of her children. Beware, for those who hear her weeping are marked for death!

If you think you know how it ends, you’re dead wrong!”

Well, they got THAT shit right.

I watched several taped versions and this one was the best quality (for night vision).  I hope to GOD there’s an age restriction on this. Fortunately I didn’t see anyone that looked under 18 going through the ‘maze’. Universal Studios calls it a maze –I know they have to classify all the attractions– but it looks more like a very frightening walk-through of a series of increasingly disturbing locations, including a fly blown butcher’s shop and a bridge over a body of water with the drowned corpses of children floating in it face down, and that blood-curdling bedroom with the first giant La Llorona creature – look at how long those horrible spindly arms and fingers/claws are, almost big enough to pick up the bed.

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Check out the detail in the set dressing, like the very small children’s dresses hung on the wall.

If you’re curious, there’s a version in Universal Studios Florida where they took a different approach and used only (I think) live talent. You can see it below (it’s also terrifying), and there are some pretty frightening images, especially when they use the strobe light effect. The sound effects are especially haunting.

However, sorry, those giant animatronic creatures (bigger than you are, in some cases), are just complete show-stoppers for me… not that it’s a contest, they’re both effective.

There’s also behind the scenes daylight walk-throughs with the head of the production team for this attraction on You tube (Sharp Productions has a really great YT channel), and those things STILL look scary as hell. I didn’t watch more than a couple of minutes because I didn’t want to spoil the illusion. The sun is currently up, though; after it gets dark tonight,  I may change my mind.

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Here’s the short version of the Wikipedia entry of the legend. The page linked to also mentions that “Parents often use this story to prevent their children from wandering out at night.”  Hell, they probably don’t want to wander out from under the bedcovers after their parents tell them this is a true story:

Although several variations exist, the basic story tells of a beautiful woman by the name of Maria who drowns her children in order to be with the man that she loved. The man would not have her, which devastated her. She would not take no for an answer, so she drowned herself in a river in Mexico City. Challenged at the gates of Heaven as to the whereabouts of her children, she is not permitted to enter the afterlife until she has found them. Maria is forced to wander the Earth for all eternity, searching in vain for her drowned offspring, with her constant weeping giving her the name “La Llorona.” She is trapped in between the living world and the spirit world.  Often it is said that if you lock the doors to a room with a mirror, light red candles and say her name a couple of times in front of the mirror, you may see her. [Ed: that’s okay, we’ll take your word for it]

In some versions of this tale and legend, La Llorona will kidnap wandering children who resemble her missing children, or children who disobey their parents. People who claim to have seen her say she appears at night or in the late evenings from rivers or lakes in Mexico. Some believe that those who hear the wails of La Llorona are marked for death… She is said to cry, “ay mis hijos!” “oh my children!”

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Must See: Popcornhorror.com’s Voting Deadline For Your Favorite “Blood Games” Horror Short is April 30th!

We discovered this site today (of course, at the last minute, but it’s still not too late).

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We’ll try to (for now) give you the Cliff Notes version, with more to come. You can also just read the “About Us” section on PopcornHorror.com, but if you’re in a hurry:

Most of the staff either grew up in the 80s like us, or are younger but very well-informed and huge 80s horror fans. You just need to look at their’ favorites’ list under bios.

  • Popcornhorror.com is based out of Scotland, started in 2011, and is a website and an app (we do still recommend, when you’re watching the short films,  that you watch them on a laptop rather than a tiny screen the size of an index card, though).
  • Popcornhorror was made –does this sound familiar?– BY horror fans, FOR horror fans. And we know us horror fans always have the coolest shit, right?
  • They want to help out and encourage all short horror filmmakers, or aspiring ones, to send in their work and get it out there (but they don’t own the rights if they decide to post your submitted film). There’s more of that on the FAQ Page.
  • What’s not to love about all the above?

Anyway, since the clock is ticking, we highly encourage you to click here ASAP to check out six quality horror shorts that are the finalists for a contest they ran called “Blood Games.” The theme was basically, well, like it sounds. For the six finalists the tagline could either be It Started Off As A Game…  or  It Was Just Supposed To Be a Fun Game… or Some Games Should Never Be Played.  I believe the longest was ten minutes, another was a little over four, another two minutes.

From the nail-biting  horror short finalist "Click"

From the nail-biting horror short finalist “Click”

We didn’t feel at all like we were wasting out time after watching any of them. One of the finalists is well-made but didn’t stand out, another contender reminded me of a different, better short I saw on BloodyCuts.uk  last year that blew me out of the water,  another only has one word of dialogue yet definitely gets the message across, but all six of the finalists are better than most horror shorts you’ll watch.  One has a twist ending that I’ll bet… hell, I’ll bet our Park Chan-Wook Vengeance Trilogy Boxed Set on that you will NEVER see coming. I pride myself (and get on my own nerves) by almost never being surprised by a twist, it’s pretty rare when I see something I absolutely couldn’t even begin to second-guess. No, I’m not going to tell you which ones are which, go in clean–and not trying to figure out the twist–and find out yourself. It’s much more fun that way!

If you’re short on time and can watch only two, I’d recommend “Click” (for successfully using a simple, very chilling element to scare the hell out of you, while staying understated; I don’t think there’s one drop of blood spilled) and the recently released “Don’t Move” from our horror pals across the pond at Bloody Cuts. Now THAT one is full of gore and sleep-with-the-lights-on scary. Though the budget was very low, you would never, ever guess it from watching. Crank the sound– not so much for the jumps but the amazing stunning, crisp, and terrifying audio. You won’t see (nor have you seen) anything like it. “Don’t Move” is also currently the top vote-getter.

From the show-stopping NSFW horror short "Don't Move" (Bloodycuts.uk)

From the show-stopping NSFW horror short “Don’t Move” (Bloodycuts.uk)

Those are the two that stick in my mind–the chills and suspense in the simple (but very clever) terror of “Click” (that title is in no way internet-related), and the in-your-face horror show that is “Don’t Move,” with the kind of quality you’d expect from Bloody Cuts at the top of their game. Voting closes April 30th (I assume at midnight) so get in those votes for your favorite and most deserving of the prize package now!

Nope, I do NOT mind waiting for the fresh popcorn.

Need a Good Laugh? Check Out The Satanic Toaster (News Story, 1984)!

I realize I’m probably one of the last ones to see this, but just in case, I had to pass it on. It’s also pretty hard to watch this 1984 clip without laughing at least once (almost did a spit-take the first time we saw it on The Soup).   I have no idea of the story behind this, furthermore, I don’t care. All I know is that this toaster, somehow, just brightened up my day a little bit. Great post, hilarious video. Yup, this actually made the news back then (talk about a cool station)… enjoy the Satanic Toaster!

After my husband David and I watched this, he said “I think the most unbelievable part is that Satan would speak English. He’d probably speak aramaic or something.”

I said that I didn’t know. It seemed to me that Satan probably speaks several languages. I think he’d be a polyglot.

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Horror Photographer Joshua Hoffine Takes On An Urban Legend – Babysitter

OK, what is the LAST THING IN THE WORLD you’d want to see around the corner when you’re a babysitter? Another horrifying, nightmarish Joshua Hoffine photo, another comforting ‘making of’ piece to show us that it’s ONLY A PHOTO… IT’S ONLY A PHOTO… IT’S ONLY A PHOTO… maybe if I say it enough times, I’ll get some sleep tonight. Check it out!

 

Joshua Hoffine | Behind The Scenes

This is my new photograph titled BABYSITTER.

This photo depicts a teenage babysitter being stalked by an escaped lunatic.

There is something very vulnerable about the teenage babysitter – no longer a child, but not yet an adult – attempting to shoulder grown-up responsibilities.

The concept of the escaped lunatic appears in at least three of my favorite Horror films: Black Xmas, Halloween, and When A Stranger Calls.

Ultimately, this photograph asks just one thing – what if something awful was waiting for you right around the corner?

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Bob Barber, who played the title role in DEVIL, returned to play the part of the escaped lunatic.

The teenage babysitter is my 13 year old daughter Arinna.

And the baby is my niece Thea, who was also the baby in my photo SNAKE.

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Patricia Castillo applied Bob’s make-up. I told her that I wanted a big lobotomy scar…

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Wild Red Band Trailer of The Week! Hansel and Gretel – Witch Hunters (2013) …in 3D!

What the… yeah, I know. This at first looks like (thought only for about 90 seconds after I read the script details) another attempt to cash in on the ‘zany title’ trend. You know, take a very well-known fictional character, then take a cool-sounding secret line of work that involves the supernatural. Toss in 3D if at all possible, even if the movie has a serious tone. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter  (I heard such lackluster reviews from my friends* that I haven’t even rented it yet, in fact I’d prefer to see the new Daniel Day Lewis Lincoln  biopic, which doesn’t involve demons or monsters or anything close to the horror genre, it just looks better and the reviews are stellar). Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies  (which I didn’t mind watching on streaming, they did a lot better with a lower budget). FDR: American Bad Ass (I posted the Red Band trailer for the flick over six months ago, watch it here for a great laugh or two) which I actually am looking forward to, great trailer. Thomas Jefferson, Demon Slayer.  Santa Claus, Zombie Killer  (In 3D and IMAX). Cinderella VS Werewolves.

OK, I made the last three up, but you get the idea. This one looks like a fun time at the movies. Mainly because there’s the clever, entertaining, and gory trailer that made me add the move to my IMDB watch list. Check out the Hansel and Gretel – Witch Hunters trailer below!

Looks like a fun time – plus, guys, UK actress Gemma Arterton as Gretel! Every comment on the movie made by a male has raved about what a total hottie she is; I’ll take your word for it (she does look beautiful). Jeremy Renner looks like he’s having fun. I also love to see Famke Janssen, who I swear only looks about a couple of years older (tops) than she did in the first X-Men movie back in . Here’s the official synopsis (for now, at least) released (though I think the title and the trailer pretty much give you the idea).

UPDATE:  I woke up after posting this and found the non-Red Band trailer – minus the gore but with more monsters and story.  If the movie seemed even the least bit interesting to you (or you have the hots for Gemma Arterton, who has more to do in this trailer and is even more bad-ass, including head-butting some douche who sneers at her) it’s worth the two minutes to watch this one as well. The opening was so different I wondered if it was a different movie with the same title for half a second.  The visuals on this one look really impressive. Check it out below:

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as Hansel and Gretel. 15 years after their traumatic gingerbread-house incident, siblings Hansel and Gretel have become a formidable team of bounty hunters who track and kill witches all over the world. Renner and Arterton are compelled to track down a dangerous Sorceress (Famke Janssen) before she can sacrifice all the local children to her dark arts.

OK, I’m in so far! Here’s the link to the official site: Hanselandgretelmovie.com.  I like the touches of putting hand-drawn sketches of missing kids and trying them onto glass milk bottles with string, and I love the shot of Renner seeing what looks like a pair of Siamese Twin witches fused together at the back… and barely pausing before chopping them in half vertically.

The action-horror movie opens (in 3D and 3D IMAX) January 25, 2013! PLEASE let it be worth the money to see in the theater…

 

Ten Things We Learned From American Horror Story Asylum, Episode 4 – “I Am Anne Frank, Part One”

Kit: You’re confusing me. You’re saying that if I’m crazy  I wouldn’t believe Dr. Thredson, but if I’m sane,  my crazy stories would be true?
[pause] 
Grace: I have no idea what you just said.

Well, that got ugly. Last night (unless you count Demon Sister Mary Eunice’s all-too-brief appearance as she happily picked out a cane with what looked like spikes on it for beating Kit and Grace), all the horror –and there were heaping helpings– had all-too-human causes. Nothing supernatural happened, but almost every character was in their own personal hell, caused by a fellow human being/s. There was also a strong theme of identity, sense of self, and which self you present to the world. Some characters present a wildly exaggerated version of the truth, some are willing to try to erase their identity in a ‘the ends justify the means‘ type of motive, some are more honest than we’ve ever seen them, and some show they not only have a dark side, but that dark side is enough to make them a monster. We see patient’s flashbacks that could be truth, or a lie. We see Dr. Thredson rather coldly explain to Kit why and how he killed his wife, and it’s shown in flashback format (for the record, I don’t buy it. As I recall, they were talking about telling everyone they were married, he wanted to share their love to the world, she wanted to wait).  Lana had a little fantasy (that I notice didn’t include Wendy–if so, I missed it) about finally being recognized as a serious reporter that was the final push for her to ask Dr. Thredson how soon she could begin treatment. Things didn’t go as Lana planned. Secrets, stories, and lies. We got introduced to this really quickly by Kit and Grace’s conversation in the kitchen at the beginning of the first act:

Grace: …it doesn’t matter what I believe.
Kit: It does. Especially in this place. Your story is who you are.
Grace. I wish I could forget my story.
Kit: No, you have to say it out loud all the time just to keep it straight in your head. Tell me. Tell me your story, I won’t judge you.

Which leads us to…

1. We learn that Grace’s father and step-mother were murdered with an axe (in a disturbing, gruesome scene that I loved) but that Grace’s stepsister, Patsy,  accused her of the murders and that ‘no matter how many times I told my story, no-one would believe me.’. We later find out (Sister Mary Eunice is more than happy to plop Grace’s file in front of Kit to show him ‘she’s not as innocent as she claims to be’ when they have a minute alone in Sister Jude’s office) this is a pack of lies (though I doubt anyone started to dislike Grace as a character when we heard the truth –especially coming from Grace as told to Kit ) and that Grace’s father sexually abused her-and she was ‘so young’ when it started. When she finally got up the courage to tell her step-mother, she didn’t believe her (or more likely, didn’t want to believe her) and gave her candy to keep her quiet. Finally Grace had all she could take, snapped, and killed both of them with an axe. While wearing fuzzy bunny slippers.  What seemingly pushed her over the edge, she says, was that her father had sold all her horses… and she never lied about how much she loved to ride. Grace’s sister walked in and caught her red-handed (rather literally in this case) hacking up her father, and so Grace was arrested and sent to Briarcliff. We don’t find out whether it was true that (as in Grace’s first version of the truth) her father and her step-sister Patsy (I assume she was a stepsister, and not his biological daughter) were secretly lovers who wanted the farmhouse for themselves. We also learn that Grace loved riding horses and misses the feeling of pure freedom and flight that it gave her more than anything else.

2. We discover that the high-end out call escort back in the episode Treats and Tricks was so terrified by her Halloween date with Dr. Nazi that she actually went to the police. I realize she was a more professional ‘lady of the evening’, who didn’t drink, but can you imagine actually going to the cops and saying that she was turning a trick, found some horrifying photos while rifling through his things, and (we don’t see this during the original scene, but I bought it) found some Nazi memorabilia. Looked like a medal of achievement he’d wear proudly), got so scared she ended up biting him and kneeing him in his groin to incapacitate him long enough to just get the fuck out of there? I’m surprised that (in 1964) they didn’t blow her off, threaten to arrest her if she made false accusations again, call her a whore and boot her out. My theory is she was friendly with someone in the department, which is why they took her seriously and even investigated. One of the cops also asks Sister Jude if Kit looks like someone who could skin a woman with “surgical precision”.

…they found her two days later. Her skin had been removed. So had her head.    -Dr. Thredson

 

3. Sister Jude is onto Dr. Arden. I especially liked the way she heard he was being questioned by detectives and then pretended to ‘accidentally’ walk in on their meeting.  Hmm, when I say Dr. Arden, should I perhaps say…

4.  Herr Doktor Hans Gruper, of the Nazi SS. Anne Frank (whose story is feasible, and if I know this show, I bet we’ll never find out anything more regarding whether or not it was true– if she’s lying, I don’t think she knows it). I believed the whole story, especially when Anne Frank/Kassie described him flipping a coin back in Auschwitz because he couldn’t save every girl, seeing the flashback, then seeing that same coin as described was one of the two Nazi souvenirs that poor prostitute found in the stash Dr. Arden had hidden in his bedroom. Not to mention, his interest in identical twins…

5.  We found Dr. Thredson’s fixation on ‘helping’ Kit is not as benevolent as we first thought. Remember when he seemed like the ONE person employed by Briarcliff, or in any position of authority there, who was sane? He objected to the exorcism as ‘outdated’, as well as the ECT done on Lana to ‘cure’ her homosexuality. We now have the seed planted in our minds that Dr. Thredson could be using his knowledge just to fuck with Kit, and maybe brainwash him into thinking he really did kill his wife. He fed him a story. Very firmly. If he can get the authorities to believe Kit did it but isn’t sane enough to stand trial, he’ll be “allowed to live out the rest of his days” at Briarcliff (oh goodie–I guess it’s still an improvement on the electric chair, though). By the end of the episode, he’s a weeping mess; telling Sister Jude that he doesn’t know any more, he must have done it, he doesn’t remember, but nothing else makes sense. Dr. Thredson seems to have accomplished his mission. Speaking of Dr. Thredson…

Could this be Bloody Face?

6. Dr.. Thredson also seemed like he cared a little about Lana and even hinted he might have had to go through aversion therapy himself at some point. He seems fixated, especially during this episode, about ‘helping’ Lana and Kit, even if he has to bend (Hell, even break) some rules to do it. We ask ourselves, what’s the common thread (no pun intended) between Lana and Kit? Bloody Face. I don’t know about Kit, but for Lana, we can’t see a happy ending, even if her only ‘crime’ was sneaking around Briarcliff so she could write an exposé and stop having to write about domestic issues and bake-offs due to being female. Dr. Thredson getting her out of Briarcliff, one way or another? “I’m leaving here on Friday and I’m taking you with me. I don’t know how yet, but… I will not leave you in this place, Lana. That’s a promise.” It’s too good to be true… especially on American Horror Story. Speaking of things not ending well…

Kit Walker. Does he seem like the kinda guy with the surgical precision to remove a woman’s skin …and her head?
-Detective questioning Sister Jude

 

7. While watching Lana’s revolting ‘aversion therapy’, I actually wondered who I felt more sorry for– Lana or Shelley. The sexy photo of Wendy that Dr. T suddenly revealed in the slides seemed an especially low blow …and he just took it from their house after he went to allegedly check in on Wendy and give her the note. Uh… there’s something way the fuck wrong with this picture. His description/flashback to her of the incident during movie night sounded kind of shady. He just broke in–Lana didn’t give him a key–saw some blood on the floor, then thought hey, while he was there he should grab that erotic photo of Wendy, then went to the cops, who told him the case was closed? I call bullshit on that. During the cold open, Shelly could still form coherent sentences, but at the end of the episode, she was barely recognizable; covered in boils, legs gone, one of her eyes larger than the other, only able to beg “Anne” to kill her. A mid-episode scene w/Dr. A on the phone showed her strapped to the table, unable to do anything but gasp and wheeze for air. My theory is he’s been giving her injections of diseases (like TB and syphilis) and if she lives through all of them, Shelley will “probably live forever,” per Dr. Nazi. For some reason, during this episode especially, I kept thinking of this certain HORRIBLE urban legend (fortunately, I only heard it as an adult, though it still  messed me up) when it came to Shelley’s fate.  When I think of Shelley now, I daydream about a scenario on the season finale where someone (hopefully all the female cast members he treated like dogs who have survived the season) cuts off Dr. Arden’s hands and feet and tosses him to the Raspers …and who is that crawling out of the fog and trees towards him? Now that we see her more closely could that be …Shelley, horribly mutated and deformed at the evil shithead’s hands, who happens to be very hungry?  Why, yes, that is her, and since she’s so messed up, it’s going to take her hours to chew his face off!  Now THAT would be a great pay-off. Well, I can dream, can’t I?

Anne: I know who you are!
Dr. Arden: You don’t even know who you  are!

 

8. Monsignor Timothy turned out to be a rotten prick. He’s in on Dr. Arden/Gruber’s evil Nazi past, but maybe he’s being blackmailed. Still, he was so shitty to Sister Jude when she finally went out on a limb to discuss it with him. He knows her weaknesses, and how to hurt her. “This isn’t about me. I am trying to protect you, this institution, our dream!”  Sister Jude entreats him. “Maybe this job is too much for you,” he sneers cruelly to her. “This job means everything to me,” she tells him,” we believe her, and he knows it. Then he has the nerve to bring up Movie Night, and gets downright shitty, telling her she was, “a drunken fool, almost slobbering.” Tough Sister Jude wiped away tears. Hey, you don’t say that to a woman, Father Jerkoff, even if she is a Nun; she wants to keep her dignity. After telling her to “pray on it” (grrrr) he immediately returned to his office, got on the phone w/Dr. Nazi, tersely telling him, “They’re onto you, Arthur. If you have any housekeeping to take care of, I suggest you do it now.” Monsignor Timothy replaces the phone headset back on the receiver, and takes a long drag off his cigarette. So they’re on first name terms?

“You killed the thing you loved most” – Dr. Thredson, to a weeping Kit

9. Sister Jude does have a heart. Oh, she’s scary as hell, ordered Grace and Kit to be ‘sterilized’ when she accuses them of ‘trying to make a murder baby! ‘and insanely strict, but I think she did feel some motherly concern for “Anne Frank” after seeing the concentration camp numbers tattooed on her inner arm. She has a talk with the Mother Superior, who is surprisingly cool and supportive of her. Later, when Kit says he wants to confess to her (not about banging Grace in the kitchen, as she first assumes) “about his crimes”. He asks her even if did something bad but couldn’t remember doing it, “he knows, right?” Sister Jude flashes back to the hit-and-run (which she still can’t forget, so far I think she was hammered, but not in a total blackout) and softly answers him, “God sees all.”  She also is visibly moved when he tells her,  stammering, “I need to be forgiven,” and she responds with surprisingly genuine compassion. “God forgives all.” She even puts her hand on his shoulder to comfort him, but the scene abruptly cuts away to the physical confrontation between Dr. Nazi and “Anne”. Was I the only one yelling, “Shoot him! JUST SHOOT HIM!” at the screen? I think not. I cheered when she called him a ‘Nazi piece of shit!’ and shot him in the knee. I hope it hurt like hell.

But there are eyes everywhere. The eyes of madness and disease. These people here are resigned to die here. We were never resigned. We always held on to a shred of hope. —“Anne Frank” in a letter to “Kitty”

 

10. Finally, no-one seems especially concerned about the complete and total disappearance of Shelley, Pepper the Pinhead, or “The Mexican.” In fact, it only came up in a flashback when Dr. Thredson was telling Lana that he saw her, Kit, and Grace leave and then return together, all three soaking wet from the rain and shaking with fear.

Stray Thoughts:

  • I had a bad feeling when Dr. Thredson brought up Skinner’s ‘behavior modification’ rather than ECT treatments to treat homosexuality, since we know that’s horrible bullshit too and definitely know in 2012 that being gay is not a choice, not something that can be cured, and certainly that aversion therapy continues to this day and the data shows that if anything, it does more harm than good. On the bright side, gay marriage has now become legal in my state as of election night, so society has finally made progress, at least in more liberal areas of the US. Looking forward to going to lots of weddings! I know it won’t undo all the damage done in the past, but it’s a good start.
  • From the previews, it looks like someone’s getting a lobotomy (icepick-style, through the corner of the eye, AAAAGH) on “I Am Anne Frank, Part Two.”  There was a shot (see featured image) of Kit being dragged down a hall by guards, but I think it’s a fake out and that the eye they showed looked (sadly) like Grace’s. Could Sister Mary Eunice be behind this, while Sister Jude is pre-occupied with investigating Dr. Nazi.

  • Is it just me, or is it somehow much more revolting when sexual terms are described with their clinical names? The four-letter words might be filthy, but they sound much less creepy. Bleh.  It seemed like Dr. Thredson was trying to use euphemisms, but no wonder his comment, “We’re all rooting for you,” finally made her grab the bucket and really puke harder than even the chemicals had.
  • Wondering how they got the flashback version of Dr. Gruper/Arden to look exactly like he would decades ago?  The actor was James Cromwell’s son! You can read more about it here in this Huffington Post article.
  • Which reminds me–I’ve heard and seen that “Miller 64” commercial (the one that consists of the manly men singing what sounds like an Irish sea shanty) 300 too many times, to the point where I’M  going to need a bucket like Lana’s if I have to sit through it again. They play it on Sons of Anarchy every commercial break, too. UGH! Where’s the bucket?
  • Dr. Thredson is looking very good for either Bloody Face, or being involved. I hear Lana’s “re-union” with Wendy will be the stuff of nightmares.
Anne Frank Chestnut Tree. Edited for brightnes...

Anne Frank Chestnut Tree.. Derived from Image (Photo credit: Wikipedia).

Celebrate Halloween With The Scariest J-Horror Short of the Month – “‪Rattle Rattle” AKA Katakata (カタカタ)‬

“…You’ve heard the rumors, right? It gave me such chills when I heard about it…”

When it comes to frightening Japanese horror shorts, there’ s a lot of contenders. I’ve seen a ton of J-horror short this year, several so disturbing and creepy they left me badly shaken. Then there’s Keita Amemiya‘s Rattle Rattle (2006),  which is the first segment of an arguably uneven J-horror anthology called Unholy Women  (Kowai Onna).  It’s the scariest J-Horror short I’ve seen all year (let alone all month), and that’s why I saved this for Halloween!

My advice is to watch Rattle Rattle  on You Tube streaming, if you have the technology for that, and if you’re feeling especially brave, turn off all the lights. Seriously, I dare you. The first time I discovered and watched this–it was recommended to me by a trusted source– was after dark, on my lap top. I kept turning the sound down lower and lower as I got more and more creeped out, and by the last ten minutes it was down all the way. I didn’t have the nerve to watch it again until almost six months later, and since it was a sunny, cheerful afternoon, I got the nerve to watch it via streaming on our flat screen. It was still scary as hell (and also filled in a couple blanks in the plot; the first time I was too busy being freaked the hell out before to focus on every pesky little detail).

I’ve talked to other horror fans, especially those who love Asian Horror, and they agree with me that this segment embodies everything about J-horror that scares the shit out of us. Elements like not knowing quite what you’re looking at, which makes it all the more creepy and unsettling, things that aren’t supposed to be there, or move the way they do, never being safe from whatever scary entity is after you, no matter where you go, what you do, or how long you wait, finding out a horrible truth, then finding out another horrible truth on top of it. Most of the time you don’t even have to do anything wrong, or anything stupid, all you have to do is show up, and you’re fucked . It never forgives …it never forgets,  as one of the taglines for The Grudge  correctly assures us.

At first the story in Rattle Rattle seems like the familiar–but always creepy on varying levels– theme of an innocent, frightened young woman being pursued ruthlessly and horribly by an onyro  (a vengeful female ghost such as Kayako Saeki or Sadako from Ringuhere’s a great, thorough article I highly recommend if you want to learn a little more). As I said, it’s hardly a new theme if you’ve seen a couple J-horror movies; I hear a lot of people say thery’re sick of seeing the pale, skinny ghostly girl with long black hair hanging over her face bla-bla. However,  in nine out of ten cases, I’ve noticed those same people continuing to see Asian horror and admitting they’re scary when done right.

“Someone did  jump from here recently…”

 

Anyway, that’s what I thought this short movie would completely consist of. Don’t get me wrong, I was already terrified and my heart rate was up. Then, though I didn’t think it possible and already was regretting my decision to watch the movie after dark as I knew I’d have to really apply myself to relax enough to sleep, I got even more frightened when I turned out to be wrong… and wrong a second time…


OK, I don’t want to talk this little-known gem up too much, so I’ll just tell you if you want a real scare for Halloween (or any time), invest half an hour and watch one of the most frightening J-horror shorts you’ll ever see. That’s why I saved this for Halloween. Watch this till the very end—there’s a moment when it looks like it’s over, but isn’t. You’ll know it when it’s over, trust me…  Happy Halloween!

 

Horror Boom Halloween Treat! Mountain Devil Prank Fails (Short Movie)

Hey! I highly recommend going into this one clean. Just give it a watch.  Relax, though! It’s just one of those funny prank fails, happens to be Halloween-related. Would you wear this lame costume to scare your friends? Watch the short (it’ll fly right by), THEN read my piece underneath (trust me).  Perfectly safe for you to shut off the lights and crank to volume up while you watch this viral video below! What could possibly go wrong?

Yeah, you could say that prank failed horribly! I love the idea that someone on You Tube might just think it’s a regular “fail” viral video and have no idea it’s made by a team of talented horror filmmakers. Surprise! Hopefully including the idiotic tweener trolls that now seem to make up half of You Tube’s viewers base, or the elitist hipsters who go out of their way to find something to insult in every video/trailer/clip, no matter how good it is. Actually, I kind of feel sorry for that last group, they’re missing out on some cool stuff.

I found this one while I was looking into the directors of the various segments of V/H/S.; I was most impressed by the first and last stories. The most memorable and fun ones, the ones that actually frightened and even disturbed me.  I was fairly sure of the direction “10/31/98” (the segment where three guys go to what they think  at first is a really inventive haunted house on Halloween) was taking, though that was due to the fact that one reviewer spoiled the hell out of it by not understanding the fucking difference between writing a plot set-up and a plot synopsis.

That’s on the reviewer, though, because knowing where the plot was going was not due to the writing and acting in the segment itself, which was outstanding. Even with the spoiler for everything but the last five minutes lurking in my brain, things got so freaky and wonderfully chaotic in that final segment that I was 100% in for the ride, and the dénouement was a brilliant and fun payoff. They definitely made the right call saving their segment for last, because it was a show-stopper. Both David Bruckner’s “Amateur Night” and especially “10/31/98”  brought something fresh and thrilling to the found-footage genre that’s been given a very bad name in the last ten years by dogshit movies like The Devil Inside, Apollo VII   (I don’t respect that crappy movie enough to research the correct Roman numerals in the title),  8213 Gacy House, and many, many WAY too many more.  You know, the all-too-familiar kind; the ones that don’t have an ending, and instead just …stop.

Yup, the short you just saw and the final segment of V/H/S are indeed both the work of Radio Silence, AKAthe team Chad, Matt & Rob.  Like “10/31/98”, the above video sure didn’t end the way I thought (I knew something scary was going to happen, but not ...that ). This “Mountain Devil” short is one of their highest-rated on You Tube, but you can bet your ass I’m going to start watching the rest and posting the best. Let’s hope their work appears in more movies soon and gets the wider audience it deserves!

Nope, I do NOT mind waiting for the fresh popcorn.

Name That (Horror) Frame – Week of 8/28/12 – Halloween Edition

So, probably not a big shocker what “Halloween Edition” means… these are all from horror movies that take place on Halloween, or in the days leading up to it, with at least the last act taking place on Halloween. You won’t see Michael Myers, but John Carpenter is in the mix here. Actually, once I started in with the screen caps I was having so much fun I had trouble stopping… Anyway, check this out. Look familiar?

Hey! No white shoes after Labor Day! BITE

I only own one of these movies, and I’m re-considering that right now.  Second, I own the special edition of this flick and boy is it worth it:

Ginger is looking good …for now!

and finally… I think anyone who saw the movie will pick up on this one…

Hint: we’re in flashback/back-story mode.

OK, that’s it! Now I have to force myself to toss the rest of the grabs on my desktop. More Halloween goodness coming soon, so I better get to writing it. Plus, you guys remember there’s a prize for this, right? 

No need to guess this, I just really liked it and wanted to put it in here!