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Summer has always played a special part when it came to me watching horror movies in the blistering heat. I have a theme and each year I like to take part in my themes as best I can. For the summer season, I always have a list of certain summery horror films that I watch just for the hell of it while sipping on a red slushie. So, today instead of a review, I thought it would be fun to share with you my top five ‘summer’ horror movies.

I Know What You Did Last Summer

Its a cliche I know but bear with me. I know what you did last summer was the staple horror flick to watch back in the 90s and if you, like me, were still too young to even witness Jim Gillespie’s teen horror in theatres then you will know that VHS/DVD was the only way for a sneaky little horror junkie like myself could my claws on at age 11. Spawning several sequels, I know what you did last summer became a summer favorite of mine to watch in the summer holidays, holed up in my room with lots of junk food and copious amounts of dr pepper, life couldn’t get any more blissful. I know it’s not very scary but I still enjoy the plot. It’s even gotten a parody in Scary Movie 2 which as bloody cheesy as it is, I still love! A killer with a hook for a hand running around in a yellow mac is kinda entertaining. Even to this day I follow my traditions and watch this bad boy. Not to mention it features a very young Jennifer Love Hewit and Sarah Michelle Gellar, two nineties scream queens!

Friday The 13th

Let’s be honest, it doesn’t have to be summer to watch this flick but I always felt it had a summery sort of feel. With the film focusing around summer camp at crystal lake, there was no way that I couldn’t slip this one by. Friday the 13th needs no introduction. Every horror fan is quite aware of the plot and is evident why I just had to feature this on my list. This 80s slasher has impacted my love for horror on a whole new level to the point where I have the crazed masked killer tattooed on my arm! 

Sleepaway Camp

Yes, another cheesy 80s flick but duh, the 80s had the best horror movies! Still sticking with the summer camp theme Sleepaway Camp was always the campy horror flick that I watched at a friends sleepover huddled beneath a pile of blankets. I don’t know why as the film isn’t that scary but to a child, the imagination is a wondrous thing, therefore, it just had to be on this list. 

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Piranha

Oh no, not the remake! I’m talking about the 1978 version starring Bradford Dillman and Heather – Menzies – Urich. Another childhood experience all thanks to the gory courtesy of my mother. It is thanks to her that I had a troublesome time of going to the seaside in fear that my toes were going to get eaten and stripped bare to the bone by tiny little sharp-toothed nasties. The ideology of fish attacking you and eating you alive is pretty gross. Piranha is one of my fav old school movies and one that needs more recognition. Would you want to stick your feet in any sort of ocean after watching this? Something tells me you would not! 

Jaws

I bet some of you guessed that this would feature. This inclusion is an ode to my mother of sorts as she loves shark films. Directed by the infamous Steven Spielberg, the 1970s was a time where the shit was put up everyone who visited an ocean whilst vacationing. Every horror fan knows the plot to jaws. A terrifying great white shark slips into shallow waters and begins killing unsuspecting victims as they bob about on their yellow banana floats. I had to include jaws as the film is very tensing and also very off-putting when you actually sit down and think about the impact of the possibility that something like that could happen in real life. Creepy AF if you ask me.

And there you have it my top five horror movies to watch in the summer! Hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to recommend me any other movies to add to my tradition! Stay spooky!

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The Boys, The Insider

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We’ve reached the second to last episode of The Boys, season four. And, as is appropriate for the penultimate episode of any show, things have to get a lot worse before they can get better.

Let’s discuss.

The story

Christmas is coming, and the whole world is getting ready. Ryan, despite being very clear that he didn’t want to appear on any TV shows or movies, has been strong-armed into participating in a Vought puppet Christmas special. He draws the line, though, when asked to sing about turning one’s parents in if they start talking about woke things.

Cameron Crovetti in The Boys.

Meanwhile, The Boys are trying to keep each other together. Butcher decides to take Sameer to the rest of the team. He also gets Frenchie out of prison, hoping they can make the Sup virus necessary to finally take down Homelander. Instead, this decision means disaster for one member of the team.

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What worked

I first want to talk about Ryan’s speech near the end of the episode. Because it was exactly the moral of this whole story.

Ryan’s dad is a monster. His stepdad is also kind of a monster. But Ryan is a good kid. He cares about people, about family. And while he loves Homelander and Butcher, he doesn’t want to be like them.

Even better, this speech sounded like something a kid would say. Ryan didn’t open his mouth and start sounding like a college student all of a sudden. He sounds like a kid who misses his mom and wants to live up to the good standards she set for him. And I think that’s terrific.

Speaking of Homelander, he shot himself in the foot in this episode. I said earlier in the season that his hubris was going to be his downfall, and I was right. Without Sage, he just has the same weaknesses he’s always had. He’s going to fail because he just isn’t clever enough or patient enough to succeed.

Without Sage, I think a win is in the bag for The Boys. This isn’t to say that Homelander by himself isn’t dangerous. It’s just that he’s more like a wildfire than a controlled burn. He’s going to cause a lot of damage, but not get anything he wants out of it.

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More’s the pity for him and everyone else who has to share his world.

Finally, I am thrilled with A-Train’s redemption story. I love that he wants to be a good person not to save himself, but to be a good person. His honest, pure and warm reaction to that little kid smiling at him in the last episode was heartwarming. It changed him in a moment, bringing to light a goodness that he’s been keeping under wraps for a long time.

Jessie T. Usher in The Boys.

This, along with Ryan’s courageous speech, proves once again what The Boys does so well. Yes, it’s gruesome. Yes, there’s blood and balls and batshit events. Yes, someone occasionally gets ripped in half. But there is a true human goodness in the story. One that we catch glimpses of. There are good people among the monsters. There is hope for redemption.

What didn’t work

Of course, so few things in this life are perfect, and this episode was no exception. For instance, I was irritated by the insinuation that Butcher cheated on his wife.

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That just doesn’t make any sense. We’ve seen flashbacks of Billy and Becca. They were happy. He was happy. He was head over heels for her. And I don’t think it’s realistic or necessary for the character to throw in that he cheated. It does nothing to add to the story, it’s just a weird and offputting moment.

Doesn’t Butcher have enough to hate about himself? Can’t we just give him that at least he was a good husband?

Finally, I kind of hate that we ended up with Annie being caught. It’s just cliche, which is something I don’t normally say about this show. It feels lazy unless they do something very clever with it in the last episode. Which, I suppose, they might.

Next up is the season finale. And with this season being as insane as it has been, I’m expecting nothing short of bloody fireworks. And I mean literal fireworks of blood. At this point, would it surprise anyone?

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4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Movies n TV

The Boys, Dirty Business

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Episode six of The Boys was one of the most surprising episodes of the series so far. And that is certainly saying something. Because this season has so far been bonkers.

The story

Our episode today revolves around a party at Tek Knight’s lovely mansion. Yes, it does look just like Wayne Manor.

The Boys know that Tek Knight is working with Homelander on something, but they don’t know the details. So they decide to send Hughie in to bug the mansion.

Because that’s worked so well the other two times he’s tried to hide a bug!

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It should surprise no one that this time goes no better. Hughie finds himself in Tek Knight’s basement. And by that I mean his BDSM dungeon.

Meanwhile, the party upstairs is no less disturbing. Homelander and Sage are trying to convince some well-off political donors to support a cue after the election. When pressed for details on his plan, Homelander freezes. He looks to Sage for help, but she wasn’t recently shot in the head and still in the junk food stage of her healing.

Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your point of view, Neuman jumps in and saves the day.

Claudia Doumit in The Boys.

What works

If I’m going to say one thing about this episode, it didn’t hold back at all. I didn’t expect them to show a character masturbating, sitting their bare behind on a cake, or spraying breastmilk into someone’s face. But every time I thought they’d cut the scene and let something be left to our imagination, they did not do that.

Derek Wilson in The Boys.

This is a dangerous move. Whenever you show the monster, you run the risk of them not being scary enough, or gross enough. As Stephen King says in Danse Macabre, to leave this sort of thing to the imagination if the reader makes things so much worse. So when they finally experience the monster, they might say that this isn’t so bad. It could have been so much worse.

But in this case, they managed to avoid that by making the scenes, especially the ones in Tek Knight’s dungeon, so much worse than I imagined it would be.

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What doesn’t work

While this was a deeply disturbing episode in many ways, there was one really innocent and sweet moment.

And yes, I did have a problem with it.

Confronted by Firecracker, Annie decides to apologize for spreading rumors about her when they were kids. She tells her that she is genuinely sorry.

And I believe her. I don’t think Firecracker did, but I did.

So why is this an issue? Because I’m starting to think that Annie is maybe too nice. She is too good.

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I know that Annie is our good guy. But every one of the other good guys has flaws. Hughie let his pride get in the way and took Temp V. MM hid himself from his daughter instead of teaching her to work through her emotions. Kimiko is far too closed off and has a hard time trusting others. Frenchie numbs himself with drugs. And well, what hasn’t Butcher done?

It is unrealistic that Annie is just so kind and so flawless. We all have shadows in our personalities. We all have weaknesses, we all mess up. We all do things we wish we could take back. The fact that Annie doesn’t seem to have anything like that is not just unrealistic. It’s infantilizing.

Give her some deep dark secrets. Give her something real to regret.

This was a shocking episode, even for someone fairly jaded like me. I wasn’t expecting the sort of weird sexual depravity, though I guess maybe I should have seen it coming. It was dark, upsetting, tense, and funny as hell. And with just two episodes left in the season, I can imagine the stakes are only going to get higher.

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4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

By the way, if you like my writing you can get my short story, Man In The Woods, on Smashwords and Amazon.

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Movies n TV

House of he Dragon: S2E4 – The Return of Trogdor!

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Instead of recapping this episode, I will link you to Strongbad, so you can see something with a dragon that doesn’t suck.

See you for Episode 5!

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