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This episode opens with a news cast revealing that the largest Tru Blood factory in Texas has been bombed and there were even human casualties. The vampire crew feasts on a human to celebrate their victory.


Molly finds that the compound is locked down and that no one can move in or out of the building unless they are someone like Salome or Nora. Eric asks her if there is anyway they can escape and the two come up with a plan. Eric brings Bill in on the plan, asking him to steal Salome’s blood.

Trueblood S5E9 Molly near the elevator

Meanwhile, Sookie enlists Lafayette to help her figure out who Warlow is and why she is attached to him. Gran comes to Lafayette and tells him that Sookie is sleeping on top of answers. Sookie gets family photos and obituaries out from under the bed, but is confused as to how the answer is in this box of mementos that she’s combed through her whole life. Sookie does notice that in the obituary, it says that Sheriff Dearborne found her parent’s bodies, a detail she never knew. Sookie decides to pay Bud a visit.

Trueblood S5E9 Lafayette and Sookie on her bed

Is He Gone?

Jessica assures the police that Hoyt is not one of the Obama shooters. She is afraid and tells Jason so because she cannot feel Hoyt, as if he were asleep or dead. We see that this is the case because Hoyt is unconscious being dragged through a pig pen.

Trueblood S5E9 Jessica with Jason at the police station

Luna leaves the hospital with Sam against his wishes, but the two join in the search for the Obamas. They smelled pig shit where they found Jessica. Andy tells them that they need to go home and tries to cut them off from the search, so Luna and Sam seek out the perpetrators on their own.

Trueblood S5E9 Sam and Luna with Andy at the police station

Andy and Jason find a website dedicated to videos of the Obamas staking vampires and such. They cry out “Long Live the Dragon,” and Andy is remind of a Klan member that died a while back. This is definite confirmation that we are looking at a hate group modelled off of the KKK. Andy and Jason begin to try to figure out who the new Dragon is – their leader.

Means to Information

Andy and Jason beat Joe Bob in his cell when he will not reveal any information about the Dragon.

Trueblood S5E9 Jason with Joe Bob in his cell

We get to see Alcide flash back to training for his pack with Debbie when they were younger. Alcide’s father is the teacher. We aren’t sure where this is going, but Alcide drives and shows up at his father’s house later in the episode, where he is drinking and gambling.

Unexpected Twists

Sookie meets with Bud at his house and Bud tells her that at the time of her parents’ death, they just thought that alligators had gotten to the bodies but that it is very possible that the damage was from a vampire. Sookie reads Bud’s mind and realizes he’s hiding something. A woman appears and hits Sookie over the head with a frying pan.


Patrick jumps Arlene on her way into Merlotte’s and makes her call any other employees so that they don’t show up. Terry arrives and sees Arlene at gunpoint. Terry gets down on his knees and is ready to sacrifice himself when Arlene stabs Patrick in the neck with a pencil from her hair. They get the situation turned in their favor, and Terry kills Patrick when the woman’s spirit he killed appears and tells him he must do it to make it right. After Terry shoots Patrick, the woman conjures Ifrit and the monster takes Patrick’s body and Terry and Arlene are left in peace.

Trueblood S5E9 Patrick holding Arlene at gunpoint

Sookie wakes up in a pig pen and sees Hoyt. She can tell he’s been drugged by his thoughts. Bud appears with the woman and forces Sookie to drink a mixture that knocks her out.

Catching Up

Andy and Jason rewatch some of the Obama videos and notice Bud’s boots on one of the Obamas. They know they are Bud’s boots because they were a gift to him at his retirement party. They bust into Bud’s home but it is empty. They remember Luna and Sam saying something about the smell of pigs and they head to Bud’s wife’s family farm.

When Sookie wakes, Bud and the woman are in front of her. They preach about how supes must be killed – all of them, including her. We learn that this woman is the Dragon and Sookie reads her mind, finding out that her husband left her for a shifter. The pair are about to kill Sookie when Sam – as a pig – attacks them. Sam saves Sookie and Andy and Jason show up not far behind. When Bud tries to kill Sam with a shovel, Andy shoots Bud and kills him. Jason grabs Sookie, but she points to Hoyt, who seems to be getting eaten by pigs.

Trueblood S5E9 Jason finding Sookie in the pig pen

Jason and Andy rush Hoyt to the hospital. Outside, Luna runs after Sweetie, the Dragon, and beats her in a field.

Trueblood S5E9 Eric and Nora

Back at the vampire lair, Eric listens as Nora tries to convince him of her religion. He concedes that he wants to believe and Nora reunites with him. The pair head to the elevator where Molly is waiting.

Trueblood S5E9 Eric and Molly holding a limp, drugged Nora

Eric drugs Nora. Bill walks up, but so does Salome. Eric learns that Bill has turned him in and Eric is arrested. It really does seem like Bill has changed sides, but I hope not.

Trueblood S5E9 Eric being arrested

At Fangtasia, Pam tells a vampire at the club to get out of Eric’s throne. He tosses her across the room and says that Northman is over and that he is the new sheriff.

Trueblood S5E9 Newlin and Russell walking close together

Russell tells Newlin about how he lords over werewolves by giving them his blood and how they serve him. Russell visits J.D.’s pack and lets them drink from him. When Martha won’t, Russell takes the baby wolf in her arms – Emma – from her.

Trueblood S5E9 Russell choking J.D.

J.D. tries to stop Russell, but Russell attacks him and asserts that his blood is not free. Boy is Luna going to be pissed. Russell gives Emma to Newlin as a pet. At the beginning of this series, I could have never predicted that Russell and Newlin would be such an item.

Trueblood S5E9 Russell holding Emma as a pup
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 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 @wellreadredhead18.

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Movies n TV

The Beach House, a Film Review

The Beach House (2019) is a body horror film directed and written by Jeffrey A. Brown starring Liana Liberato, Noah Le Gros, and Jake Weber.



The Beach House (2020) is a body horror film directed and written by Jeffrey A. Brown. This film stars Liana Liberato, Noah Le Gros, Jake Weber, and Maryann Nagel. As of this review, this film is only available on Shudder.

Desperate to rekindle their strained love, Emily (Liana Liberato) and Randall (Noah Le Gros) escape to a beach getaway. They soon learn to find that family friends of Randall’s father, Mitch (Jake Weber), and Jane (Maryann Nagel), also had a similar idea. After getting used to each other, a mysterious fog engulfs the town. Unfortunately, they realize too late the danger they find themselves in.

A woman with her mouth agape. Behind her is a dark background. Next to her reads, "The Beach House." Below is a scenic beach with a mountain in the distance.
The Beach House Alternative Cover Art

What I Like

Body horror gets under my skin, and The Beach House certainly lives up to the standard. There’s something magical about creatures terraforming your body to their preferred environment, turning humans into nothing more than conscious prisoners in their own flesh. While I wouldn’t consider this film the most traumatic or unsettling example, it utilizes wonderfully grotesque scenes.

Aside from the body horror, the film drops a few Cosmic Horror–or Lovecraftian–vibes that go together perfectly. Another favored genre of mine, this combination ensures the odds are overwhelmingly against our human leads.

Beyond the grotesque, visuals might not overwhelm but certainly succeed in their goal. Several scenes provide an intentionally tranquil experience that contrasts with the grotesques and improves their effectiveness.


In terms of performance, each actor hits their mark. While some roles require less effort, each contributes to the plot as intended. The standout performance goes to Liana Liberato’s Emily, who acts as co-lead. She simply has the most to work with and lives up to the part.

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

Tired Tropes and Trigger Warnings

As “body horror” should indicate, this film will hit hard for the more squeamish viewer. While horror by nature has some amount of grotesque, body horror brings that grotesque to the next level. While I don’t particularly find The Beach House hitting harder than its competition, it certainly respects its chosen genre.

Woman looks shocked or horrified. Bushes or trees make up the background.
Liana Liberato as Emily

What I Dislike or Considerations

A few scenic montages may hit or miss depending on your interpretation. While I have my own theories, that speculation goes beyond the scope of this review. Many of these scenes overlap more philosophical conversations and musings that may annoy or add layers. This strategy seems a common practice in Cosmic Horror, which forces characters to rationalize the irrational.

It’s hard for me to understand how secretive or known this event is supposed to be in the film’s world. Individuals know something outside of the town, with evidence implying governmental knowledge. This information creates a contrivance–perhaps, even a plot hole–because the characters had to reach this isolated town without any opposition.

One of the visuals didn’t exactly grab me. While I won’t go into too much detail, an effect looked too visually similar to a common animal that barely survives rain. It’s hard to be threatened by that. It also doesn’t exactly match up with some of the other visuals. Even the creatures that look similar to it still look different enough to provide a more alien assumption.

There are moments when the infected chase our main characters by crawling at them. While the context works, with injured characters helping to sell them, I can’t help but find these scenes amusing as opposed to frightening. Yes, it’s certainly visually different from the plethora of zombies out there, but it’s also less frightening than zombies that leisurely walk to their targets.

Final Thoughts

The Beach House combines cosmic and body horror to create an uncomfortable film that tests its characters. For those who enjoy these genres, it will certainly entertain you, but I doubt it will frighten you. I imagine the mood to watch it again might strike me, but I’m not entirely certain it will stand the test of time. 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

If this movie suits your fancy and you want more, Honeymoon seems an appropriate recommendation.


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Movies n TV

Every Secret Thing, a Film Review

Every Secret Thing (2014) is a crime thriller directed by Amy J. Berg and written by Nicole Holofcener, based on Laura Lippman’s novel.



Every Secret Thing (2014) is a crime thriller directed by Amy J. Berg and written by Nicole Holofcener. This R-rated film stars Diane Lane, Danielle Macdonald, Dakota Fanning, and Elizabeth Banks. Based on Laura Lippman’s novel of the same name, the film adaptation is accessible through MAX and DirecTV.

When a little girl goes missing, Nancy Porter (Elizabeth Banks) spirals into an all too familiar tale. As pressure mounts, Alice Manning (Danielle Macdonald) and Ronnie Fuller (Dakota Fanning) become the leading suspects. The strained frenemies unravel under the attention and reminders of their shared past.

Laura Lippman stands out at the top of the cover, over a black background. Every Secret Thing appearing over a pool
Every Secret Thing Book Cover

What I Like

The film unravels in a non-chronological structure but makes it easy for the viewer to follow. It helps that the age difference clearly divides the younger actors, who change actors. One casting choice resembles their older counterpart, and the acting reflects a strong direction for their shared role.

Unreliable narration remains expertly communicated with scenes that change perspectives depending on whose perspective we view them from. This choice adds a reason to view the film twice, providing extra ambiguity for some of these events.

The camera gets up close and personal to an uncomfortable degree, which almost certainly presses the actors’ performances. This choice places the viewer in the character’s perspective and limits us from others’ perspectives to add extra credence to these biases.


Every Secret Thing provides a spiraling mystery that unravels with several twists and turns. Assuming the novel provided the outline, this film executes these points and keeps a consistently engaging experience throughout the runtime.

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

Tired Tropes and Trigger Warnings

Child abuse and neglect remain the central plot points of Every Secret Thing. Little of this abuse appears in scenes, but there is no escaping the danger children are in throughout the film.

Self-harm and suicide are shown throughout the film (once in the case of suicide) through one specific character. It isn’t glorified or romanticized nor addressed with particular sensitivity. For those sensitive to these subjects, it might be triggering.

Racism, the assumed motive for the bi-racial victims, plays a small role in the film’s narrative. However, character motives remain more complex, but going further spoils some elements. This film decision does create the reality that bi-racial children are the victims of child neglect and abuse in the film with little additional context. It does invite uncomfortable speculation, but speculation it would be.

Sexual assault is another concern for viewers, specifically statutory rape. This issue seems particularly mismanaged, considering the survivor remains an antagonist. One can be both survivor of assault and an antagonist of a film without needing to discredit the assault. While little appears of this issue, and the manipulation angle can indicate a perspective shift, it’s hard to refute how the film wants to represent this attack.

Daughter resting on her mother's shoulder. Both are in the back of a car.
Diane Lane as Helen and Danielle Macdonald as Alice

What I Dislike

Loosely tied to the above point, one character seems mentally off and purposely so. This point doesn’t inherently create an issue, but there seems to be a choice to make this character a mastermind. Perhaps this is better addressed in the book, but the execution is far from perfect here.

A newspaper montage reveals essential information which feels oddly misplaced. Practically the entire setup for the film appears through this montage, which creates the necessity to read these headlines in the minimal time given.


As a horror, nothing but the events are haunting. Children being abused or kidnapped always haunts, but the terror of this remains secondary to the mystery. While the mystery is nice, this film won’t particularly scare the seasoned horror fan.

Final Thoughts

Every Secret Thing unravels a mystery of opportunism, selfishness, and deception. While the movie won’t haunt the viewer, it certainly unravels a mystery that shocks them. The nuanced and deceptive characters add a layer of engagement that creates a unique experience, but I doubt this movie will linger in my mind.
2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Quid Pro Woe



We’ve now reached episode six of Tim Burton’s Wednesday. And after the last episode, this one did not disappoint.

We start with Wednesday attempting to contact Goody Addams. Last episode, if you’ll recall, Morticia explained the difference between a psychic dove and a raven. Since Goody Addams was the last raven psychic in the family line, it’s got to be her that trains Wednesday. 

But her seance is a failure, and Wednesday is interrupted by a magazine note shoved under the door. It says to meet someone at a crypt for answers. 

When she gets there, it turns out that her friends have put together a surprise birthday party for her. Before she can cut the cake, however, she has a vision.

Jenna Ortega in Wednesday

Goody Addams tells her that she must find a specific gate. After some investigation, Wednesday discovers it’s the gate to the old Gates house. 

Wednesday goes to investigate, but she isn’t the only one. She is nearly discovered by Mayor Walker. He is also investigating the Gates family, even though they’re all reported to be dead. He leaves a message for Sheriff Galpin and is almost immediately run over by a car.

This incident is enough to get Wednesday’s town villages revoked. Though this seems like an empty punishment since the whole school is on lockdown. Someone burned Fire Will Rain on their front lawn. 

Wednesday isn’t one for believing the rules apply to her. She has it in her head that she’s meant to save Nevermore Academy, probably from whatever descendent of Crackstone who’s still around. So she has no problem lying to Enid and Tyler and convincing them to help her sneak off campus and explore the Gates house further.

This, of course, is an incredibly informative trip. The kids find a hidden altar to Crackstone, as well as the missing body parts from the monster’s victims. They also find evidence that someone’s been staying in the house. Someone who’s staying in what looks like a little girl’s room.

Before they can find anything more, the monster finds them. They barely escape, and go to the sheriff with what they find. 


Of course, the house has been cleared out by the time Sheriff Galpin arrives. Furious that his son was almost killed, he tells Wednesday to stay away from him.

Because that always works, right?

Galpin isn’t the only one angry. Enid is fed up with the way Wednesday has been treating her. And so she leaves their room to bunk with someone else, leaving Wednesday alone. 

This episode was well done. The discoveries at the house were exciting, and I’m almost sure I know who’s behind the murders at this point. Overall, this was a good ramp-up to the season finale. 

Jenna Ortega in Wednesday.

Finally, this episode did something I was worried just wasn’t going to happen. And for that alone, it deserves praise.

Wednesday has been incredibly selfish and inconsiderate since the first episode. She’s been rude and demanding towards Thing. She’s ignored her friends’ needs and emotions while insisting they put themselves in danger for her investigation. She has respected no one’s boundaries, even while other people have at least tried to respect hers.


And now, it’s finally come back to bite her. All of the people who have been doing their best to show her kindness and support are finally done with her bullshit.

Yes, this is a good thing! Characters are best when they’re allowed to learn and grow. When they don’t come to us flawless. When they mess up and learn from it. Especially for a show aimed at kids, this is essential.

If you’d asked me at the beginning of the season if this character was going to experience honest character growth, I’d have assured you it would never happen. Much to my surprise, it’s happening. I hope that Wednesday is going to come out of this a better person. With two episodes left in the season, there’s plenty of time for that.  4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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