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Remake vs Original: Episode Two

I come back with the second episode in our Remake vs Original series. This exists in attempt to learn more about the Horror films of our past that I have virgin eyes to. Watching the remake FIRST gives me better judgement and separation of each film. I’m able to go into each unbiased, provide spoiler-free thoughts on each individual film, and evaluate their relation to each other.

In the first episode Psychological Slasher: Maniac(2012) vs Maniac (1980) I learned a lot about the way filmmaking has changed over the years. If I had viewed either film five years ago, I’m certain my thoughts would be different. I’m extremely interested in revisiting all of the films in this series again in another five years to see how my thoughts have evolved.

Taken from K Period Media, Frenesy Film Company, Videa, Mythology Entertainment, First Sun, Memo Films (2018)/Suspiria

The basic premise of each are very similar, but both have their own style, grit, and excitements. We follow a young woman as she begins school at a prestigious dance academy. There’s definitely something going on with the staff that’s just not quite right. And there’s a big performance coming soon…We’ll follow this order:

  • Explore the 2018 remake directed by Luca Guadagnino
  • Dig into the 1977 original directed by Dario Argento
  • Discuss how the remake and original fit together
  • Recommendations

Suspiria (2018)

I have officially seen the most terrifying imagery of Body Horror known to man, thanks to the creators of Susperia (2018). Holy crap. This is staying with me for the rest of my life! Although lighting should be utilized more, the atmosphere leading up to this scene certainly boosts the experience. The audio adds to the slick style and format to create a film which seems very original and very well thought out and put together. Thom Yorke from Radiohead can lull me to sleep and make me feel like I’m being watched from behind, all at once.

Taken from K Period Media, Frenesy Film Company, Videa, Mythology Entertainment, First Sun, Memo Films (2018)/Suspiria

We get to see the former red-headed step-child of Antonio Banderas, Dakota Johnson. The sensuality she brings to the overall film could be provided by none other, assuming her role as Anastasia Steele 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey taught her a few things. Her overall acting isn’t anything special in Suspiria (2018), but it gets the job done. Now the ever gorgeous Tilda Swinton, she brings the BOOM!

Suspiria (2018) is available on Amazon Prime, but cost money just a few months ago, so if you get the chance, cut it on. Little ones should not be around for the viewing because of the crazy intense body scene, nudity and blood/gore. There’s some very intense scenes and you’ll find yourself confused to start, but trust that everything will come clear if you pay attention. Now I don’t know how the original can stack up to this borderline masterpiece, but I guess we’re gonna find out!

Suspiria (1977)

What a thrill ride Suspiria (1977) is! THRILL RIDE! The ins and outs of this Italian beauty weave us through the knot of uncertainty. The atmosphere is creepy and intense, the sound of crunching maggots will forever be stamped in my psyche. The use of lighting is very, very good and is definitely effective in setting and keeping the tone and feel of the movie. Even though the special effects tell me I am watching an older film, this storyline and situation is viable today.

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Taken from Seda Spettacoli (1977)/Suspiria

Jessica Harper plays our new student, and young actors will do good to study her performance. Her face looks good next to technicolor lighting. The believability of her role adds to the strength in relationships, whether positive or negative relationships, on screen. The characters are built well, many with their own wants and desires.

The creepy soundtrack stands out as a favorite. I hear many similarities to modern Horror soundtracks. In Susperia (1977) we listen to the start of music trends, the masterful pieces everyone else is trying to accomplish. Without this music the film would lay flat.

Suspiria (1977) is available on Tubi right now, free! And even though the ending is leaving me with a lot of questions and little satisfaction, I still think anyone who is interested in filmmaking or atmosphere studies should check it out.

How does Suspiria (2018) stack up to Suspiria (1977)?

I have to encourage anyone who has not seen either to watch the remake, and anyone who wants to grow experience with classic films to watch the original. They both have very good qualities, and they both have room to improve. As far as which film is better, I don’t want to choose. If shoved in a corner I would say the remake is better, but that we can’t forget the valuable lessons learned and experience gained from the first film.

Taken from Seda Spettacoli (1977)/ Suspiria

The two pieces follow the same character and situation, but approach the relevant issues very differently, leading the audience to two very different experiences. I’m certainly glad they both exist, but I’m even more happy that we have a decent remake, a remake worth making, a remake worth your time. I truly feel that if I watched the original first, my expectations for the remake would have damaged my overall experience.

Recommendations

Because I don’t know many vintage films, I will recommend films released in this millennia. I hope this changes as I continue with the series!

  • The Witch (2015)
  • Hereditary (2018)
  • Apostle (2018) (Netflix)
  • Eli (2019) (Netflix) See my full thoughts here
  • Midsommar (2019)

I’m extremely interested in your thoughts! Did you like either better than the other? Which Remake vs Original should I dive into for Episode Three? Let me know in the comments below!

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House of the Dragon S2 E1: Episode 1 Review and Recap – Son of a Son of a Sailor

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Alright, buckle up, mofos! The dragons is back, and oh boy, do they mean business. With the premiere of House of the Dragons, our thirst for the high-flying, fire-breathing drama that we’ve been missing since Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings new new new series, the boys, and uhh…possibly your toilet after a ghostpepper whopper is finally being quenched (unlike your bottom after said whopper).

Lets dragon-dive headfirst back into the twisted, power-hungry realms of Westeros, where the names Targaryen, Stark, and the rest of the totally not hard to spell/remember names reign supreme.

Usually, I write these reviews on the fly (no pun!), but since KYRIE CANNOT MAKE ONE DAMN MORE ASSIST (not his fault, he tried the rest couldn’t shoot for crap after the passes)…errrmm…I mean, I think I was watching the game that I definitely did not lose a few grand on. ONE LOUSEY ASSIST! errmm….HoD…right.

Let’s drink to remember all that happened last season cuz..well…yeah….I mean, doesn’t HBO have two elf looking series set in middle earth at the same time? I honestly don’t know if this is the one with Dumbledore or Legolaissisis or the Bowtie Doctor or…. well, you get the picture.

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We’ll remember what we totally forgot from last year, break down the key plot points (because who can keep up?), dive into the nitty-gritty details of this episode’s events, and speculate wildly about where Daemon and Rhaenyra Targaryen are taking us this time around in House of the Dragon season 2. So, if you’re ready to relive the glory, the gore, and the downright gut-wrenching politics of it all, stick with me. We’re in for a wild ride.

Immediate Recap: Remember last year? Me neither

So in this one:

Oh man, if your memory of last season is as foggy as mine, don’t sweat it! Let’s dust off those cobwebs and dive into a quick recap before we get lost in the new shenanigans of “House of the Dragon” season 2.

Basically, a bunch of white kids had sex with their King Daddy and that King Daddy went to one of the womens he was NOT *I think* sleeping with and said I will make YOU the heir to the throne–as long as nothing happens to me between now and the moment I will make this public and then yeah, you guessed it.

Ned Stark 2.0

I guess reusing old story lines is a good way to start a new series?

Now that you’re caught up…Let’s move to this new Season of “Who dey sleep with now?”

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The Wall and Starks are even more boring in the olden days?

So, here we are again with the Starks and that big old icy Wall. Remember how we left off with Jacaerys Velaryon flying up to Winterfell to buddy up with Cregan Stark? Yeah, me neither. I guess the only person to really remember is the North. Cregan gave Jacaerys the whole ‘Winter is coming” spiel—classic Stark move, right? Maybe one will live beyond this season?

Who dis? Who dat? (Robot Rollcall of faces n names)

Alright, let’s roll call because Westeros’ lineup can be harder to keep track of than a Hanson/Lindsay Lohan convention.

Not gonna lie. I can’t tell these people apart. One dude wears a bowtie and the other is a pirate or something.

Key Plot Points and Themes in Episode 1

Narrative and Character Development

Oh, the drama unfolds! In the heart of Dragonstone, Rhaenyra Targaryen’s world is rocked not just by political upheaval but also personal tragedy. As she comforts her son Lucerys about his heritage (Okay, so Jim had to google this because he forgot the kid was a bastard…like, seriously, that’s how much of an impact the whole ‘who the daddy’ thing made on Jim). Then people try to get some sort of alliance going but –again– since we can’t tell one character from each other, no shits were given.

Remember the original GOT? How we had our FAVORITES and we would really go “fuck these people’ if one of our favs died? Some of us even had a ditching kill point (mine was Tyrion or Arya). We don’t have that here. Would I be upset if Matt Smith’s character dies? Probably, but only because there would be one less person I could remember (that and eye-patch guy).

Oh, and Smith’s character pays two people to kill someone and they, of course, don’t kill the right guy just some baby rando.

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In short, nobody cared about any of the characters dying in this episode.

Conclusion and Looking Forward

As we wrap up our recap and analysis of “House of the Dragon” S2 E1, we have a lot to look forward to. We can look forward to (hopefully) character development so shits are given who is on throne or not or dead or not or fucking someone or not. So far, that hasn’t happened. The reason falls squarely on the shoulders of how they did Season 1: So. Much. Time. Shifts. Hard to care about someone you keep quantum leaping through their life at random.

I do hope this season has more plot and character development. I want to like this series. I think I can like this series, but honestly–if you did a side-by-side of the hobbit series and this…I couldn’t tell you which char was from what universe, and that’s not a good thing for either franchise.

This episode gets a pure rating of ‘maybe next time’ 2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)

Seriously, if you think Jim is kidding about the two franchises looking alike, well….did you notice that he used LotR screenshots instead of GoT for some of these images?

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Suburban Screams, Phone Stalker

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We’ve reached the last episode of John Carpenter’s Suburban Screams. And now that I’ve seen the entire season, I’d like to say something directly to John Carpenter if I may. Mr. Carpenter, I’m a big fan. Have been since I was a child. So I ask this with all due respect. Did you lose a bet? Do you owe people money? Is that why you did this? Because otherwise, I’m entirely confused.

The story

Our last episode tells the story of a woman named Beth Spierer. Her life is shattered when someone starts to call her and deliver horrific, violent messages.

These calls and texts get worse and worse. They often include pictures of her with scratches over her eyes or pictures of a dildo. The calls start coming to her work as well.

Beth tries to change her number, blocks calls and even goes to the police. But no matter what she does, she can’t escape the horrifying calls from the violent stalker.

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What worked

The acting in this episode was fairly good. At least when compared to most of this season. It isn’t good when compared to most other shows, but for this episode it was fantastic. All of the actors involved knew what they were doing. And they are not part of the criticism I’m going to levy in the next few paragraphs.

Julie Stevens as Beth in Suburban Screams.

What didn’t work

I can honestly say that this episode of Suburban Screams should not have been made. Full stop, this episode should have died before it breathed its first breath.

My reasons for saying this are twofold. The first is that the story just isn’t that interesting. Please understand, that I’m not being dismissive of Beth’s plight. What happened to her, and what continues to happen to her, is horrible. I have nothing but sympathy for her. But her story, while touching, isn’t unique. Lots of people are stalked, harassed, threatened. A content creator I follow had someone try to break into her house with a screwdriver. My husband had a stalker before we were dating. A friend of mine had to stay in a shelter for a while because she was being harassed. And I don’t know a single person, man woman, or nonbinary, who hasn’t gotten an unwanted genital pic on social media.

It’s like finding out someone you don’t know and have never heard of before has cancer. It’s sad, but it’s not news.

Again, this isn’t at all to say that I don’t care about care about what’s happening to Beth. I care about her, and her wellbeing. This is the second reason why this episode should never have been made.

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There is no doubt in my mind that if Beth’s stalker is still alive, they know about this episode. They probably have a Google notification set up for Beth’s name. And we just do not know how this stalker is going to respond. Maybe they’ll get off on it. Maybe it will enrage them and they’ll do something even worse to Beth. Maybe they’ll feel so much shame for this they’ll decide to take out themselves and Beth in one go.

There was no effort to hide Beth’s name. Or the names of her friends. There was no effort at all to protect her from whatever fallout there was from this.

This is not Beth’s fault. She has had to do enough to protect herself. This was irresponsible of the showrunners. And if God forbid, something happens to any of these people, the showrunners will have to bear some of the responsibility for that.

I liked it so much better when we were talking about wet ghosts and pizza box ouija boards.

Is it real?

This question for this episode is, unfortunately, a no-brainer. Yes, I believe that Beth Spierer was stalked and harassed by an unknown assailant. Yes, I further believe that when she went to the police the detective probably sexually harassed her.

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This is why we chose the bear.

In short, of course, this episode is real. I honestly wish it wasn’t.

All in all, this whole series was a huge disappointment. And threatening the wellbeing of a stalker survivor was just the last straw. I don’t know if another season is planned. But if it is, I doubt if I’ll be tuning in.

1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5)

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Suburban Screams, Cursed Neighborhood

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Episode five of John Carpenter’s Suburban Screams was one of the best kind of horror stories. It is a dark, eerie tale of a mean house that is determined to destroy anyone who dares reside within it.

The story

Our story begins in 1682. A group of colonists are attempting to take over land that is very much not theirs. When the colonists are killed, they vow to curse the land.

Fast forward to modern times, and the land in question is a little suburban neighborhood. Carlette Norwood moves in with her husband, mother, and daughters. The house seems like a dream come true. Until, of course, their beautiful dream home becomes a nightmare. The curse of the colonists wrapped itself around the neck of each family member, turning them into people that they didn’t recognize. People who don’t exactly like each other.

What worked

While I wouldn’t say that the acting in this episode is flawless, it was several steps above what we’ve seen so far. Every actor seemed to understand their role and reacted in realistic ways. I was especially impressed by the young woman playing Angelique. She had the good sense to not overplay the role, giving each scene exactly the right amount of energy.

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Of course, there was one actress who way overplayed every scene. But rather than being terrible, it was terrific. And that was Chloe Zeitounian, who played the neighbor Stacy. Stacy the neighbor was creepy as shit. After an unnamed neighbor dies by suicide, Stacy shows up at Carlette’s house with a bottle of champagne, sipping coffee with a big old smile. Well, okay it probably wasn’t coffee.

Stacy was a fantastic character, and I hope there was a crazy neighbor just like her. I bet her house was haunted as hell, but she just decided that her ghost was like a stray dog that everyone else thinks is dangerous. She probably put a bejeweled collar on the colonist ghost and renamed him Kori spelled with an I on purpose.

Finally, I want to talk about the theme of ancestral curse and ancestral protections that this episode discussed.

Charles County was cursed by the colonists who took the land that rightfully belonged to the indigenous tribes. They took what their ancestors had given them, and left a curse in their wake.

At the end of the episode, Carlette talks about being protected by her ancestors. Ancestors that survived horrible things most of us can’t imagine. I am sure that their strength blessed Carlette, and helped her to save Angelique.

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What didn’t work

While this episode was certainly better than most of the season, it wasn’t perfect. The thing that most stood out to me as being frankly unneeded was the inclusion of maggots attacking Brian.

Paul A Maynard in Suburban Screams.

In multiple scenes, during which Carlette is narrating, Brian has maggots coming out of open wounds. Never once does Carlette mention a maggot issue.

It feels like there is a clear reason why the creators did this. This story doesn’t have a lot of blood, gore, or jump scares. And a core goal of horror content is to cause a reaction.

Stephen King has a great quote about this goal. “I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out. I’m not proud.”

The inclusion of maggots in this story admits that someone involved didn’t think the story was terrorizing or horrifying enough. But it was. The story was freaky all on its own without the inclusion of our wriggling friends.

Is it true?

This might be an unpopular opinion, but aside from the completely unnecessary maggots infesting Brian, I think this episode is the most honest and accurate one so far.

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The thing about hauntings is that they’re seldom what we see in the movies. Haunted houses don’t have glass vases flying off shelves and wallpaper peeling to reveal 666 painted in blood over arcane symbols. Haunted houses dig into the minds of those who live there, causing bad luck and bad vibes. And that’s exactly what happened here. There are no massive explosions. No spirits throwing people downstairs or demonic dogs chasing children from the attic. This house dug into the hearts and minds of a loving family, ripping them apart.

So yes, I do think this episode is likely true.

The further we get into Suburban Screams, the more I enjoy it. This episode was eerie, upsetting, and riveting. I hope that Carlette and her daughters are healing from this horrific journey. And I’m thankful to them for sharing their story. 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

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