Well, this is it. The end of our True Blood run. We’ve had a great time and I feel like the series finale was well-deserved and thought out. Let’s get started!
We open this episode with Sookie and Bill inside her home talking through his decision to die. Bill explains that he visited his family in the cemetery and that his memorial is basically a lie. He is not buried there with his family, but it says he is. Sookie slowly begins to understand why Bill is asking her to let him die, telling her about how she won’t be able to live a normal life with him around.
Sookie seems to really get it and Bill asks her if she would kill him with her light. This plan would afford both of them what they want. Bill will be out of her life so that she can move on as per his hopes and Sookie will not be a fairy anymore – something she has been wishing for the entire series. Sookie is really upset by this proposition and asks Bill to leave.
Eric and Pam formulate a plan to free Sarah, feeding her Pam’s blood so that they may find her again, and kill Gus. Eric plans to steal the idea for New Blood and get rich off of it himself. It turns out to be pretty easy when Eric and Pam kill Gus’ men and burn Gus alive in a tunnel as he goes after Sarah.
Pam finds Sarah at an amusement park and Sarah begs Pam to turn her into a vampire. This is laughable. Worst idea ever. Pam declines and feeds off Sarah to “vaccinate” herself.
Jessica goes over to Bill’s with Hoyt and makes amends with the fact that Bill has chosen to die. Bill asks Hoyt if Jessica is the reason he has decided to stay in Bon Temps. When Hoyt confirms, Bill asks if he ever intends to marry Jessica.
This tailspins into the impromptu wedding of Jessica and Hoyt where Bill is able to walk his daughter down the aisle before his death. It’s all very sweet but rushed. I mean, I guess you’re not legally married so there are no repercussions, but that was fast (especially for Hoyt – who has no memory of their past relationship).
Sookie speaks with Jason at his home about Bill’s proposition of her killing him. Jason doesn’t give advice and just listens. Sookie lets Jason know that Bridgette likes him – she listened to her thoughts. Sookie gives her blessing even though Jason says he definitely won’t be a girlfriend fucker again. Sookie brings up the fact that they just left Jessica and Hoyt’s wedding so Bridgette definitely isn’t Hoyt’s girlfriend.
At the wedding, Sookie heard Bill’s thoughts about how he wished a normal life for Sookie because he loves her. He wishes Sookie could experience what Jessica and Hoyt have. Sookie also goes and seeks advice from Reverend Daniels. It’s a nice talk where she comes to the decision to help Bill end his life and end her fairy powers.
Sookie has made arrangements with the cemetery and she meets Bill there at night. They open his empty coffin that was buried in his place when he didn’t return from war.
Bill climbs inside the coffin and Sookie summons her light, but is unable to do it, realizing that being a fairy makes her who she is. She climbs into the coffin with Bill and uses a broken shovel handle to stake him. This scene is devastating and Sookie is covered in her lover’s guts and his mourning her loss.
A Year Later
The episode flashes to a year later where we see Eric and Pam filming a commercial for New Blood. They prattle on about how they searched for Sarah Newlin after she swallowed the antidote to Hep-V but could never find her. However, they did find a drop of her blood from a broken windowpane as she escaped her sister’s home and they synthesized it into New Blood.
Three Years Later
We cut to Eric and Pam making huge money on New Blood on the stock market. This is a great ending to the pair of our favorite vamps.
That Next Thanksgiving
During the following Thanksgiving, we see Jason and Bridgette with their three children as well as a very pregnant Sookie.
At Fangtasia, Eric is on his throne and Pam is selling 60 seconds with Sarah Newlin and her blood for $100,000 a pop.
Sarah sees a vision of Steve who asks her what she’s thankful for, to which she replies “Nothing.” Everything that Sarah got was coming to her and I don’t feel bad about it.
Back at the Thanksgiving feast, we get to see a lot of our favorite couples still together, making a toast with beers and New Bloods. Sookie hugs an unknown man who is clearly her husband as the screen fades to black.
What a great ending to a seriously killer show. The love story of Sookie and Bill is finally complete and I enjoyed how Bill received closure for himself, even if he had to die. Sookie found her own way and did end up happily ever after, as did some of our other favorite characters. This show is one of the best vampire sagas to exist and you can’t convince me otherwise. There were only small places in the entire series where I felt bored. I was always throttled by the newest revelation and the story propelled itself. Bravo! (5 / 5)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 / 5)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 / 5)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 / 5)