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This episode opens with a news cast about how all of the world’s Tru Blood factories have been destroyed. As Sookie watches the news, Mike, the local coroner, shows up and is a vampire suddenly. He attacks Sookie and bites her. Sookie narrowly escapes by staking Mike with a pair of chopsticks from her takeout bag.

A New Regime

At the vampire headquarters, Molly receives the true death for rebelling against the new authority.

Trueblood S5E10 Molly being held by guards with an iStake on

Eric is taken to Nora and Bill feeds them Lilith’s blood again in an attempt to convert Eric.

Trueblood S5E10 Bill standing near the display that holds Lilith's blood

Eric and Nora see a vision of Lilith killing Godric and when they take Eric back to the group, he asserts that he now believes and that he was worshipping Godric as a false idol.

Trueblood S5E10 Lilith killing Godric

Eric and Russell squash their beef and call it even.

Trueblood S5E10 Russell holding Emma at the AVL

More Like Going, Going, Gone

Hoyt recovers from the pig attack and decides he is moving to Alaska for a job at the chagrin of his mother. Hoyt does ask Jessica and Jason for one last thing. He wants Jessica to glamour him and make him forget both of them. She does it and on Hoyt’s way out of town, Jason pulls him over to talk to him. This destroys Jason when he sees that Hoyt has absolutely no memory of their entire lives together.

Trueblood S5E10 Jessica and Jason with Hoyt at Merlotte's

Elijah, the new sheriff, tells Pam that there is an order to create new vampires. He wants 30 new baby vamps in Area 5 and demands that Pam and Tara get moving. Tara is fed up with Elijah and calls him in a panic when she thinks she killed Ginger, but it is a trap. Tara stakes Elijah and when Pam walks in, Tara says that nobody mess with them in their house. I am loving this new relationship building between Tara and Pam and I firmly believe it will end in a romantic relationship.

Trueblood S5E10 Elijah

Jason helps Sookie unearth the real item Gran told her was under the bed. They pry up a floorboard and there is an old scroll with otherworldly writing on it. They take it to a professor who insists it is over 200 years old but that it is not in any human language. When they bring it to Claude, he enlists Maurella’s help to read it because it is in the old language. Peep this: Maurella is pregnant, presumably with Andy’s baby.

New Mortal (and Immortal) Foes

Maurella explains that the contract is from 1702 and is an agreement from one of Sookie and Jason’s ancestors with M. Warlow promising Warlow the family’s first female fae heir. This just happens to be Sookie. I wonder what their ancestor got in exchange for that deal.

Sam and Luna try to figure out how to get Emma back from Newlin. Sam calls Newlin’s publicist pretending to be from a dog magazine to get an interview and photo shoot, but he is denied. The pair learn that Newlin is going to be in Louisiana that night for a debate. The pair sneak in backstage and when they don’t see Emma, they turn into rats and take a ride in Newlin’s bag.

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Trueblood S5E10 Jessica in the elevator at the AVL

Bill sends for Jessica and brings her to the AVL. He is spewing so much religious nonsense and Jess is visibly uncomfortable based on her Christian past.

Trueblood S5E10 Jessica holding the vampire bible with Bill looking at her in the background

When Newlin returns to the AVL, the secretary brings Emma in human form out. Newlin yells at her, telling her to turn back into his dog. He locks Emma in a room but not before we see a mouse go in with her.

Trueblood S5E10 Newlin sternly pointing his finger at Emma

Russell finally loses his cool and tells the AVL how stupid they and their religion are. He insists that they can walk in the sun and could potentially breed fae for food. Bill and Eric share a look. Russell dips out.

Trueblood S5E10 Andy and Holly dancing together in the bar

This episode developed many of our plotlines that are coming to a close for this season. How will Russell end when he tries to attack Sookie? Will this snap Bill and Eric out of it? Maurella telling Andy she’s pregnant with his baby? How is Holly going to take that? Sookie’s got so many vampires after her it isn’t even funny.

Trueblood S5E10 Bill holding the vampire bible
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Sarah Moon is a stone-cold sorceress from Tennessee whose interests include serial killers, horror fiction, and the newest dystopian blockbuster. Sarah holds an M.A. in English Literature and an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing. She works as an English professor as well as a cemeterian. Sarah is most likely to cover horror in print including prose, poetry, and graphic forms. You can find her on Instagram @crystalsnovelnook.

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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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Happy Father’s Day Herman Munster!

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Herman Munster would be so proud, collage by Jennifer Weigel
Herman Munster would be so proud, collage by Jennifer Weigel

Today for Father’s Day I want to celebrate one the best dads in horror ever: Herman Munster! Herman Munster of television celebrity is a perfect example of a good father in a genre awash in epically horrible parents. He is fun to be around, cares deeply about family, and has a huge heart. He is essentially the naive and loving Frankenstein’s monster despite his horrific appearance, and is aptly employed at a funeral home.

Herman is lovable, hardworking, and always ready with the physical humor dad jokes, even if he is too naive to catch on to his role in the punchlines all the time. He is devoted to his wife Lily Dracula and son Eddie and will do whatever he can to protect them. His generosity extends beyond just his own, with the family taking in his niece Marilyn (who is painfully normal by comparison to the Munsters), and father-in-law Grandpa.

Portrayed by Fred Gwynne, Herman Munster is kind of the epitome of the good father in horror. Sure, he’s a brute, and can be a little dim sometimes, but he’s really just a big teddy bear at heart, and always ready for a good laugh. And apparently Herman Munster was even nominated by his son Eddie for Father of the Year in Season 2, Episode 25, so it all comes around full circle. If the show highlight doesn’t load, you can find it here.

And to celebrate more great Hollywood celebrities, here’s a poem for Ed Wood and an homage to Theda Bara

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Suburban Screams, The Bunny Man

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Someone is stalking the children of Fairfax, Virginia. He comes bearing an axe. He comes from the forest. He comes in the night.

He comes dressed as a bunny.

The story

In the 1970s, the sleepy town of Fairfax Virginia was menaced by a man dressed as a rabbit. He stalked kids and teens with an axe while they were playing in the woods, or ‘parking’. Children were cautioned to not play outside after dark. Parents were terrified. The whole community was rocked by the horrific killer who, well, didn’t kill anybody. And who might have been a whole bunch of people inspired by a truly sad tale?

Still from Suburban Screams The Bunny Man.

The story begins a hundred years earlier. A man whose name is lost to time is accused of stealing a cow. For this crime, he’s sentenced to death because things were a lot tougher back then. The man escaped but swore vengeance on the town. A few days later several children were found hanging from a bridge underpass, butchered and hung as though they were slaughtered rabbits.

What worked

The biggest thing to love about this episode, the one thing that sets it apart from the rest of the season, was the presence of Historian Cindy Burke. Finally, we have an actual professional talking about one of these stories. Yes, there are still first-hand accounts. But that is how these sorts of stories work best. We have the emotional retelling of evocative survivors. But we also have a professional who is emotionally separated from the situation backing up these stories with historical knowledge.

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This wouldn’t have mattered as much in any other setting. But Suburban Screams has been clear from the start that it wants to be seen as a documentary. This is supposed to be real. And if you’re going to claim that your ghost story is real, bring receipts. As many as you can.

If we’d seen more historians, detectives, and police reports through this series, it probably wouldn’t have the bad rating it does on IMDB.

What didn’t work

Well, it might still have had a bad rating. Because the acting in this episode was, for lack of a stronger word, terrible.

I don’t know if it was the directing, the casting, or just a weak talent budget. But not a single person except for the man playing the Bunny Man could act in any of these dramatic reenactment scenes.

The worst offender was probably the child playing Ed’s childhood friend. This character was way overacted. It’s as though the child had seen a parody of how little boys behave, and was told to act like that. As this was a little boy, he was likely a bit embarrassed.

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And I know, I’m trash-talking a child actor. I’m trash-talking all of the children actors in this episode. But children can act. There are lots of examples of kids doing great acting jobs. Stranger Things is an obvious example. Violent Night is another. The kid can act. These kids couldn’t act.

Is it true?

Unlike most of the other episodes in this series, The Bunny Man is a story I’ve heard before. It is a legitimate urban legend that blossomed from a few firsthand accounts of madmen doing scary things dressed as rabbits in Fairfax County, West Virginia. These events probably inspired others to do stupid things like dress up like a rabbit and run around with an ax. Much like the people who decided to dress up like clowns and scare the hell out of people across the country in 2016.

So, yes, the Bunny Man is very much real. He’s real in the hearts and minds of pranksters and West Virginia frat boys. And he is based on some very real, very upsetting, actual events.

I honestly wish the whole season of Suburban Screams had been exactly like this. Filled with facts, first-hand accounts, and proof of scary events. This was everything I wanted in a supernatural/true crime story. So if you’re giving the rest of the season a pass, I would suggest watching this episode.

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4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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