Friday, November 1, 2013

Wrapping up RIP VIII

I hadn't planned to do a wrapping up post for RIP VIII but when I saw them popping up all over the place I figured I might as well document how I went. I had a lot of fun with this challenge, it was nice and low key thanks to it being over two months instead of one. I was a little worried I'd get sick of reading horror/dark fiction constantly but I managed to include some non-RIP reading which I think was probably a good idea. I wasn't so great at the blog-hopping aspect. If I already follow you then I saw and read your posts, but I probably only visited a couple new-to-me blogs which is a little shameful, but oh well!

I ended up reading 6 books for RIP VIII and I liked them all, so woooo success! Of the books, Coraline was probably my favourite but I was also pleasantly surprised with how much I liked Warm Bodies. I don't think I'll bother with mini-reviews for these ones since I wrote full reviews for each, but if you want to see what I read and what I thought then follow the links.

The Pilo Family Circus - Will Elliott
Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo
Warm Bodies - Isaac Marion
Coraline - Neil Gaiman
Skeleton Crew - Stephen King
Rape: A Love Story - Joyce Carol Oates

I guess maybe Skeleton Crew should be in this section since it's a book of short stories *shrugs* Anyway, I read way more short stories than I expected to, and it seems a little silly to pat myself on the back for reading short stories since their defining feature is that they're SHORT, but I really don't read too many of these guys so I'm going to pat myself on the back anyway. Anywho, my favourite was probably In the Tall Grass, but I liked all three. Sleepy Hollow wasn't really what I was expecting at all, way less horror than I anticipated but it's a really well written narrative. And UR was a lot of fun, although the Kindle stuff was a little blechh. Links and such below.

UR - Stephen King (short story)
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving (short story)
In the Tall Grass - Stephen King and Joe Hill (short story)

I didn't get around to writing any reviews for this part of the challenge, but I did watch 3 films that were mostly really good. It's a little too late for them to be Halloween watches now, but who says you can only watch horror on Halloween? I watched Sleepaway Camp, Poltergeist and Chernobyl Diaries and I'm going to write a little mini-review of each because that way I don't feel like I'm cheating by including them in the challenge.

Sleepaway Camp (1983). This film is ridic. It is the horror equivalent of The Room, it's poorly acted, poorly shot, poorly written and not at all scary. But it is HILARIOUS in how bad it is. From the clown-like mother figure, the Brechtian memory scenes, to the cropped shirts and tiny shorts (on hairy dudes) and absurd murders - this film will have you agape at how terribly awesome it is. It might sound terrible, but it's worth it for the ending. The ending is the most phenomenally insane thing I have ever seen and you need to watch the whole film to truly appreciate it. Definitely save this for a group movie night if you can, it's so much better with a lot of people. And it's on Youtube in its entirety, so you don't even have to worry about paying for this dreck!

Poltergeist (1982). Some movies are classics for a reason. This film is SO good. I am horrified that I had never seen it before, I've wasted so many good rewatch years! Some of the effects towards the end are a little hackey by modern standards, but the creative measures they used to try and depict and poltergeist-ridden house are really pretty fantastic and don't detract from the story at all. It's not a scary-scary film, but there's that perfect '80s mix of supernatural horror and comedy which makes up for the lack of pulse-raising spookery. Also, there's a clown doll. A CLOWN DOLL. That's 2 awful creepy things mixed together!

Chernobyl Diaries (2012). A friend bought this for Tom and I last Christmas, and we only just got around to watching it. It was fine, I mean it's nothing special, don't go and run out looking for it, but if it's on TV...maybe don't switch over right away. There are some really effective jump scares, but they don't happen until way too late in the film. Who wants to spend 40 minutes watching a bunch of 20 year old backpackers drink in the Ukraine and then sneak into Pripyat to check out the irradiated abandoned town? Not this lady, or at least, not this lady UNLESS they die gruesome deaths instantly. Oh oh oh, does everyone remember Jesse McCartney, the blonde singer from a decade ago who had like 3 songs? Yeah he's in this.


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