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Find the previous episode recap here before reading on.

We open this episode at the hospital with Sam and Luna. Luna is furious and wants to go after the people who attacked them. Sam convinces her that he is on it and makes her stay. After Sam leaves, Luna shifts into Sam. We know that skinwalking is really dangerous, so who knows if Luna will survive this. How did it even happen to her? Who knows.

TrueBlood S5E8 Luna and Sam argue in the hospital

Andy has the fake nurse perpetrator in custody but he won’t talk. Andy leaves Sam and the man in the interrogation room alone and Sam turns into a cobra, threatening to strike the man. This leads him to confess that the group has abducted Jessica from Fangtasia by tricking her and are holding her in their house to be murdered.


We see Hoyt with this group of shooters in the house and they present Jessica to him, bound in silver and demand that Hoyt kill her. They see this as a gift – she broke his heart and she isn’t even alive anyways, so. The group locks Hoyt in the room with Jessica and tells him that he can’t come out until she’s dead.

TrueBlood S5E8 Hoyt and the Obamas watch Jessica writhe

Hoyt and Jessica discuss why she fell out of love and it’s apparent that Hoyt is pretty hurt. We think that he may kill Jessica as we hear him call out to the lone guy still at the house guarding the room. The guy comes in and Jessica steps from behind the door and breaks his neck. Jessica can’t leave since it’s daytime, but Hoyt leaves to go get help for her. Hopefully this little interaction can help both Jessica and Hoyt just move on. I mean, it’s the end of it y’all. Move along.

TrueBlood S5E8 Jessica being held prisoner

Andy, Sam, and Luna as Sam show up and help Jessica. She is confused when they say that Hoyt is not with them and she worries for his safety. Sam and Luna sniff out a human woman while in the house Jessica was held captive. Does this mean someone else is running this game? Probably.


We see Hoyt walking on the road and a truck pulls next to him. A gun is shoved in Hoyt’s face.


The vampires end their crazy Lilith blood fueled night and Eric is feeling very wary. He tries expressing this to Bill, but it seems Bill has assimilated to the Lilith followers and anti-mainstreamers. Eric leaves the room. Salome entrances Bill and asks him to feed on a woman with her. The woman is begging for her life, screaming that she has a child.

This makes us see a flashback of Bill visiting his dying daughter. He daughter is of course confused as to why her young father is visiting and asks him to save her and make her like him. Bill refuses. Bill rushes back to the present and feeds on the young mother with Salome. I don’t believe for a minute that Bill has abandoned his care for humans and his ideology that mainstreaming is the only way. I feel like Bill is infiltrating sneakily while Eric rejects their views outright and is turned away from the circle.

Emptying It Out

Jason finds Sookie trying to expel all of her light, ridding her of fairy powers. He emphasizes how important her powers could be to find who killed their parents and this makes Sookie back off the whole losing her powers thing.

Jason and Sookie go to the fairy club and Claudette’s brother tells her to meet them at the spot her parents were killed the next day. Everyone shows up and join hands, intensifying their abilities. They instruct Sookie to feel her parents’ energy and she will be able to see what happened to them. Exactly this happens. Sookie envisions herself in her mother’s body and watches her parents be murdered. All of a sudden, Sookie is seeing things from the vampire’s point of view, including Claudette appearing and warning Warlow to stay away from the girl.

TrueBlood S5E8 the fairies leading Sookie

Claudette’s brother is alarmed by Sookie seeing the event through the eyes of the vampire, because this means that she has bonded to him. We see that this is true when later in the episode the creepiest vampire face ever pops up in the air and tells Sookie he is coming for her. I don’t know who Warlow is, but I’m already scared – in such a good way. Villian of next season possibly?

The Challenge

Alcide and Rikki seem to be heading quickly towards boyfriend/girlfriend status when we catch a glimpse of them having sex. Later on in the episode, the two show up for Alcide’s fight with J.D. J.D. plays really dirty and insists that they are hunting a college track star – as human, not wolf. We know Alcide’s morals won’t let him do this type of thing to an innocent person so he has to concede the fight. J.D. announces that he will celebrate by still hunting the guy. This sends Alcide and J.D. into a physical fight where J.D. nearly kills Alcide since he is hopped up on V until Martha steps in and stops it.

TrueBlood S5E8 J.D. preaching to his pack

Arlene and Holly convince Lafayette to help them with Terry. They pay Lafayette so that he will hold a fake seance and explain to Terry that the woman he killed has released the curse. They get more than they bargained for when the woman’s spirit enters Lafayette for real and says that she will lift the curse if Terry kills Patrick or if Patrick kills Terry. I don’t know, seems fair to me. Patrick should really be the one to die since he gave the orders.

TrueBlood S5E8 Arlene and Holly beginning Lafayette for help

At Fangtasia, one of Tara’s high school acquaintances sits at the bar. She completely insults Tara and Pam breaks it up before Tara says way too much.

TrueBlood S5E8 Tara and Pam in the dungeon of Fangtasia

It seems Pam discourages Tara’s feisty behavior until the pair go to the basement later and Pam has tied up the woman for Tara to feed on. Pam glamours the woman and convinces her that she is only there to be Tara’s food, loyally. Pretty nice gift if I do say so myself.

TrueBlood S5E8 Tara and Pam with the woman from the bar

We end this episode with a scene of the vampires trying to determine their next move. They discuss simply killing mainstreaming vampires, but Bill comes up with an idea to attack the Tru Blood factories and force vampires out of their food so they have to feed on humans. Eric is appalled and asks Bill what he is doing. Bill says “evolving.” 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Follow along and watch the next episode, finding its recap here.

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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Movies n TV

Wheel of Time, Daughter of The Night



We’ve reached episode four of Wheel of Time, which means we’re halfway through the season. While it doesn’t seem like much has happened so far, this is the episode where things start heating up.

The Story

We begin this episode with a flashback. Ishamael is raising something dark and twisted. As we watch, it takes the shape of a woman.

More on that in a bit.

Meanwhile, Nynaeve is healing from her time in the arches. She is quiet and withdrawn. She’s also awkward and uncomfortable around Egwene now that she’s initiated and Egwene is not. Her new friendship with Elayne isn’t helping.


But the three girls come together when Liandrin tells Nynaeve that Perrin has been captured by the Seanchan.

Zoë Robins, Madeleine Madden and Ceara Coveney in Wheel of Time.

However, Perrin is no longer in the clutches of the Seanchan. He was rescued by Elyas and a pack of beautiful wolves. Beautiful and deadly AF by the way. If you have any fear of dogs, this episode might not help that.

Elyas explains to Perrin that he is a Wolf Brother. This means that he can communicate with the wolves, and eventually will gain some of their abilities. While Perrin and Elyas don’t exactly get off on the right foot, he does find a fast friendship with one specific wolf. After a time, he introduces himself by showing Perrin an image of himself jumping up and down. From this, Perrin assumes his name is Hopper.

Finally, we return to Rand. He and Selene have been off in the mountains. They haven’t done much more than each other so far.

And that’s exactly what it appears they’re about to do when Moiraine bursts into the cottage and cuts Selene’s throat.

Rand is surprised and furious until Moiraine explains that the woman he knows as Selene is the Dark Friend Lanfear. With this shocking revelation, the two run off into the night.


What worked

It should be a surprise to no one that I loved the wolves in this episode. Hopper himself was worth an extra Cthulhu. But this is not just because dogs are cute. It’s also because the dog playing Hopper just does a great job.

On a more serious note, I loved how Nynaeve responded upon coming back to the real world. She isn’t okay.

Zoë Robins in Wheel of Time.

And it’s a good thing that she isn’t. Too often in fiction we don’t see the fallout of emotional damage. Hell, we don’t usually see realistic fallout from physical damage.

But she is hurt by what she experienced. And you can tell. That’s realistic character building, and we don’t see that enough.

I also really appreciate the special effects in this episode. The first time we see Lanfear, she’s eerie. She’s frightening. Part of this is thanks to Natasha O’Keeffe, who does a great job. But the effects are what really sells this.

What didn’t work

If Wheel of Time has any fault, it’s that there is far too much sitting about and talking about things. In this case, there’s a lot of standing about and talking about things. Some of this was necessary, and some of it could have been done better. Honestly, there just has to be a better way to convey that characters are struggling.


This was most apparent with Rand and Selene/Lanfear. Honestly, anytime the two of them were on screen it was a great time for me to catch up on Instagram.

This might come as a surprise to anyone who hasn’t read the books, but Rand is supposed to be the main character. And here we are, four episodes into an eight-episode season, and so far all he’s done is mess about with his emo girlfriend!

That being said, the story is starting to pick up. With four episodes left, I can’t wait to see how far we go.

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Elevator Game, a Film Review

Elevator Game (2023) is directed by Rebekah McKendry and is the first feature-length production of Fearworks.



Elevator Game (2023) is directed by Rebekah McKendry and is the first feature-length production of Fearworks. It adapts the supernatural myth and creepypasta of the same name while providing an original plot. This unrated Shudder exclusive stars Gino Anania, Samantha Halas, and Verity Marks. In full disclosure, I had the opportunity to interview Gino Anania and Stefan Brunner about the film.

Ryan seeks to find answers to his sister’s mysterious disappearance. To do this, he infiltrates a myth-busting web series that seems to have some ties to her final confirmed moments. Desperate to force a confrontation, he encourages them to play the elevator game. Unfortunately, there seems to be more truth to the myth than expected.

A woman bends backward to look over at someone. The street she's on is red and ominous.
ELEVATOR GAME’s Samantha Halas as the 5th Floor Woman

What I Like about Elevator Game & as an Adaptation

I am lucky to have additional insight into the development hell this movie overcame due to COVID. It’s commendable that the film manages to make it of that, even if it requires a lengthy delay of the film.

Usually, I provide a separate section for adaptation quality. However, the source material remains the ritual, which Elevator Game performs accurately. While the myth inspires many creepypastas, Elevator Game doesn’t directly take or adapt any of these works from what I’ve seen. Instead, it makes its own film based on the legend.

As the Fifth Floor Woman, Samantha Halas creates an eerie and disturbing character. While I won’t go so far as to say terrifying, she certainly makes an impression. The revelation that the stunts and performance are all her, as an actual contortionist, I give her more credit.


Gino Anania, given a more complex role than most of his cast members, really does bring a strong performance that creates either friction or synergy with his cast members. I suppose I wanted more of these interactions as some cut sooner than appreciated.

Another amusing element is that the entire motivation for the plot to follow is a forced advertisement from an investor. Something about the chaos being a product of appeasing some investors feels uncomfortably real.

The alternate reality remains surprisingly effective. To be clear, it’s not impressively realistic but stylistic. It genuinely seems like an alternate world with a skewered impression.

White background, rubber stamp with disclaimer pressed against the white background.
Disclaimer Kimberley Web Design

Tired Tropes or Trigger Warning

I feel weird mentioning this, but endangering a sister’s life to push the brother’s story forward seems a common trend beyond one form of media.

No discredit to the actors, but the romance feels rushed and unnecessary. Without going into too much detail, to avoid spoilers, there is synergy between the actors but little chemistry in the plot.

A woman holds a man's arm as an elevator door closes.
ELEVATOR GAME – Verity Marks as Chloe Young and Gino Anania as Ryan Keaton

What I Dislike or Considerations

Elevator Game remains set in providing a B-movie experience. Its tight budget leaves little room to surprise the viewer visually. While I am surprised at what it accomplishes, it’s far from overwhelming. This film also remains the first production of Fearworks, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. I’m interested in the future, but Elevator Game leaves much to grow from.

Rebekah McKendry may have a directorial style that influences dialogue, but the line delivery evokes an overexpression that’s common in Lovecraftian films. I say this not as a direct negative, but it remains a required taste best known before viewing. As this isn’t Lovecraftian, I fear it removes some of the reality and tension of those haunting elements.


Many of the characters feel underdeveloped, making me wonder if cutting these roles might lead to more invested characters. While the performances hit their marks, a tighter cast might give each role more to work toward. As this is a tight cast already, it seems an odd issue to rectify.

Final Thoughts

Elevator Game provides an interesting B-movie experience for those who know the legend. For those expecting something different, this film may not work for you. This film overcame a lot to exist but doesn’t break the mold. While I am excited to see Fearworks pursue further ventures toward its ambitious mission statement, I find Elevator Game falling short of its goal.
2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)

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Movies n TV

My Best Friend’s Exorcism, a Film Review

My Best Friend’s Exorcism (2022) is a R-rated horror comedy directed by Damon Thomas, available on Amazon Prime.



My Best Friend’s Exorcism (2022) is a horror comedy directed by Damon Thomas. Based on Grady Hendrix’s novel of the same name, this R-rated film stars Elsie Fisher, Amiah Miller, Cathay Ang, and Rachel Ogechi Kanu. As of this review, the film is available to Amazon Prime subscribers.

Abby Rivers (Elsie Fisher) and Gretchen Lang (Amiah Miller) seek to escape the monotony of high school drama with their friends. However, in their efforts to have fun, Gretchen Lang encounters a troubling otherworldly demon bent on controlling her body. It’s up to Abby to help her overcome this demonic threat.

A VHS style cover with a girl with red eyes dominating the page. Two girls below here with pink balloons. A clocktower to the right and a field to the left
My Best Friend’s Exorcism Novel Cover

What I Like in My Best Friend’s Exorcism

The effects are surprisingly good. While not overwhelming, these effects never take me out of the film. Even the less realistic scenes fit the overall tone while looking better than expected or required. The 80’s aesthetic strengthens that believability.

Continuing that thought, My Best Friend’s Exorcism oozes the 80’s. Perhaps this comment should set an expectation for the viewer. I can’t exactly comment on the accuracy of the era, but it certainly fits the era of film. If 80’s films don’t interest you, consider looking somewhere else.

While I don’t meet the target audience, the jokes land and provide an enjoyable horror comedy feel. My Best Friend’s Exorcism focuses more on comedy than horror, but this remains a common trend in horror comedies.


The performances remain strong throughout, with leads Elsie Fisher and Amiah Miller pulling off that best-friend chemistry. The cast purposely captures that 80’s nostalgia. Added to the campy nature of the film, one might grow irritated with the acting choices. For me, it certainly fits with the tone and setting.

White background, rubber stamp with disclaimer pressed against the white background.
Disclaimer Kimberley Web Design

Tired Tropes and Trigger Warnings

Drug use might deserve a mention on this list. While I don’t find this egregious, I imagine this point, or some other technicality, earns the film its undeserved R-rating.

The possession lends itself as a rape allegory, with some characters even believing this to be the trauma Gretchen Lang suffers from. While this isn’t the case, the conversation remains for those who want to avoid such material.

Body horror describes a few scenes of the film, though sparingly. However, one scene convinces me to bring this up for those who get squeamish at the cracking of bones or slimies in the body.

A character is tricked into outing themselves and faces some homophobia because of it. This homophobia is rightfully taken as cruel, not condoned in the slightest, but it remains potentially triggering and deserves mention here.

Two girls sit on a bed, looking at each other. Flower wallpaper in the background.
Elsie Fisher as Abby Rivers (Left) and (Amiah Miller as Gretchen Lang (Right)

What I Dislike, or Food for Thought on My Best Friend’s Exorcism

This film seems to earn its R-rating off some technicality. It is neither raunchy nor gruesome for those expecting that from their R-rated horror films. For me, it’s more an issue of setting expectations. I expect my R-rated horrors to hit hard. My Best Friend’s Exorcism doesn’t.

It would be unfair to expect something like Jennifer’s Body, as this is a lighter and zanier film. There are elements of sisterhood and bodily autonomy that echo the cult classic, but My Best Friend’s Exorcism remains an entirely campier affair.


In terms of performances that lack the intended impact, three over-the-top anti-drug spokesmen outstay their welcome. It’s clearly a jab at D.A.R.E., which certainly works in increments, but then one character becomes an important part of the plot and still keeps his caricature.

Final Thoughts

My Best Friend’s Exorcism fits the taste of an 80’s horror comedy fan. Don’t expect to be frightened at any point, but the comedy lands well enough. The film knows its niche and hits most of its targets. It’s hard to say if the film will stand the test of time, but it certainly earns its runtime.
3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

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