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This episode opens with the family members of last episode’s deceased getting notified. Sookie calls Jackson, Alcide’s father, and Jason calls Hoyt to tell him about his mother. Jason becomes distraight after this phone call as it is still very painful that Hoyt has no memory of their friendship. Jason wants to console him but Hoyt asks if he knows him.

Pam and Eric are on a private plane and the two disagree on where they should go. Pam wants to go to Baton Rouge and start with questioning the mayor about Sarah’s location while Eric decides that the pair will go to Shreveport. Eric wants to get Willa even though she’s surely upset that she was abandoned.

Sookie visits Arlene’s children and speaks with them about staying strong. She decides that the only way to rescue Arlene and Nicole is to bring back Holly’s memories, no matter how badly she wants them to stay buried. Holly lets Sookie make her remember and they discover that the Fangtasia dungeon is where Arlene is being held. They also learn that Kevin is dead and Jason and Sam go tell his wife, Rosie.

TrueBloodS7E4 Sam and Jason notifying Rosie of Kevin's death

Flashback of Fangtasia

1986: The absolute best part of this episode is the flashback to Eric and Pam arriving in Shreveport from France after the situation with the Japanese corporation. The Magister gifts Pam and Eric a video shop which they are required to run and give 80% of the profits to the Authority. Eric is appointed sheriff and the Magister explains that this is because the Authority does not trust him and this way they can keep him close.

1996: We get to see Ginger as a college student come into the video store looking for vampire movies. Ginger asks for an application to work for Pam and Eric.


2006: Ginger arrives to the video store with a big chair that we know later becomes Eric’s throne in Fangtasia.

TrueBloodS7E4 Ginger in 2006

Pam listens as Ginger tells her an idea for a vampire bar (now that vampires are out of the closet) called Fangtasia. Pam loves the idea and glamours Ginger into thinking Pam came up with the concept.

TrueBloodS7E4 Ginger and Pam in 2006 at the viedo store

These flashbacks were so fun. Getting to see the origin of Fangtasia alongside the crew trying to rescue their friends from inside Fangtasia was very theatrical. Seeing Pam, Eric, and Ginger in their evolution of the relationship was super compelling and cool. More of this. Loved this.

Jessica is refusing to eat still resulting in her bullet wound not healing. James calls Lafayette and between Sookie and Lafayette, they get Jessica to eat and heal. It is clear that Jessica feels guilt over killing Andy’s daughters because that was the last time she ate.

TrueBloodS7E4 Lafayette convincing Jessica to eat

Time For Action

Bill and Sookie assemble the team of willing vampires and humans to rescue Arlene and Nicole. Eric and Pam show up and join the fight after Eric has a super tender moment with Sookie. The compassion that Eric shows her in this private moment was soft and I loved seeing this side of Eric.

TrueBloodS7E4 Eric hugging Sookie

Eric summons Willa – who is clearly pissed that she was abandoned at two weeks old – and demands her to join them and commands that they discuss their personal issues later.

TrueBloodS7E4 Willa being angry at Eric

The Recovery

Sam sneaks into Fangtasia as a rat through the alternate tunnel only Pam and Eric know about. He tells the captives what is going on and that the vampires that are about to enter after him are friend, not foe. As the vampires get ready to enter, the infected vamps take Arlene upstairs and begin feeding on her. It’s not looking too good for her but Eric creates a distraction by knocking on the door and asking for shelter.

Eric says he brought his own human and Sookie enters the doorway with him. The infected vampires let them in since Sookie smells delicious. Just as one is about to attack Sookie, a fight breaks out. A vigilante group including Vince, Rosie, and Portia show up and throw Molotov cocktails into Fangtasia. All of the vigilante group are killed when the infected vampires attack them.

In the chaos, Arlene is to the point of near death. Sookie looks into her thoughts and sees that Terry’s spirit is visiting her. Terry encourages her to stay and Sookie gets a clean vampire to give Arlene blood. Arlene recovers and looks like she’ll be okay. Whew. I’m glad we won’t be losing Arlene.

TrueBloodS7E4 Sookie holding Arlene

Bill and the vampire team kill all of the infected vamps and everyone we care about comes out alive. Sookie and Eric share a look as the episode ends.

TrueBloodS7E4 Bill, Jessica, Pam, and Violet look on to the dead vampire puddles outside Fangtasia

This episode as well as the last were extremely action packed and thrilling. I was on the edge of my seat. This final season is not disappointing – they are some of the best episodes of the entire series. 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 @crystalsnovelnook.

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Movies n TV

Shutter Island (2010): Review



Leonardo Dicaprio’s films rarely disappoint. It was interesting to see him flex different acting muscles in this psychological thriller Shutter Island alongside Mark Ruffalo and Michelle Williams. When I say that I was not expecting such a turn in the story, I mean that my jaw was pretty much on the floor the entire time. Without any further ado, let’s dive into its mastery, shall we? 

A cliché setup done right 

We have been here before a million times. A character stumbles into a scene to solve a mystery. Everyone is acting just the right amount of suspicion to make you wonder. Dicaprio’s Edward ‘Teddy’ travels to an extremely remote island where a woman goes missing from a psychiatric institution. He’s experiencing migraines and flashbacks to his murdered wife while receiving little to no help from the hospital staff. 

Teddy soon suspects that the hospital is experimenting on patients which fuels his theories on what happened to the missing woman. Things take even more of a turn when his partner also disappears. Unsurprisingly, everyone insists Teddy came to the island alone. Feeling like he’s losing his mind, our protagonist finds out that this is exactly the case. He is a patient in the hospital and the entire investigation is an attempt to get him to understand the truth. 

Leonardo di Caprio stands in front of the camera looking down, concerned with Mark Ruffalo looking baffled in the background

While the whole ‘it was all in your head’ trope has a bad rep for the fans of any genre, this film uses it masterfully. Watching it for the first time not knowing what to expect is obviously a shock and then watching it again, looking at all the clues that were the which you missed – that’s a treat on its own. After all, there’s nothing inherently wrong with using cliches if they are done the right way. 

Things that go bump in our minds

A huge part of this movie’s storyline is Andrew’s inability to process the truth. The roots for it stretch far beyond the plot twist. Andrew is unable to acknowledge that his wife is mentally ill and believes that moving them to the countryside will fix everything. After she murders their children, he is further pushed into the world of delusion, convincing himself to be a hero because he couldn’t save his own family. 

It’s interesting to note that in his delusion, Andrew is the one who set fire to their house. Is this a little sliver of his mind whispering the truth to him? Is it his subconscious villainizing himself out of contempt, searching for answers that are never going to come? Andrew’s psychiatrist pointed out that his moment of clarity has happened before, only to be undone quite quickly. Perhaps it was easier for Andrew to shut it off rather than live with the knowledge that he could’ve done something to prevent a terrible tragedy. 


Overall thoughts

Shutter Island is a movie that provides both the entertainment value you would expect from a suspense thriller and a deeper layer of thought. Coated with a perfect atmosphere and amazing acting, it’s a piece that will definitely hold the test of time.  4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

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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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