As a fan of what I call 'Handy-Cam-Horror', I loved this movie.
It was fresh. It was real. A little too real for my liking!
There are no flashy effects and extreme costumes. We have an American couple living together. They live aside their best friends. Life is perfect. Until, home invasions start.
Someone is on the loose, breaking into people's homes in their neighbourhood. If that isn't bad enough, the American couple are expecting a baby. So, in-between shocking news updates on multiple home invasions, wondering if their house will be next, they have the added stress of a baby on the way!
As we are openly told that everything is being filmed from a camera phone, everything has to look real. And, it is. Everything from the interactions between characters, to the decor, represent your typical homes and conversations. I am sure everyone can think of someone they know who are just like this couple. Which is what makes everything all the more realistic, and thus alarming. You feel as though you're holding the camera, walking around your home in the dark, with a dangerous individual on the prowl...
Don't let the movie's attempt at realness fool you, there are a few genuine chills in the lead up to a shocking climax.
Also, we are given small chunks of clues as to how the movie ends, without evening knowing it!
Overall, a simple but effective horror movie that is entertaining and unnerving.
This may be my favourite season of American Horror Story to date! Hotel pushes the boundaries in several ways.
As usual, we have a very talented cast including, for the first time, Lady Gaga. Not only does she rule the world of music, but her acting chops are remarkable. Her role is complex, to say the least. A countess who likes to rule and be admired. I found myself hating her character, then in the next scene, loving her. You follow her on a rollercoaster of an emotional, sexual, bloody ride.
Let's not forget the handsome Mr Matt Bomer. He had a small role in season 4 (carnival) that led to a recurring role in season 5. He is as great of an actor as he is beautiful. He is love-struck and wounded through the majority of the series.
Sarah Paulson isn't bad either. And by that, I mean she is sensational. Hypodermic Sally, a drug addict with severe emotional problems who
gives us so many powerful scenes. All she wants is to be loved, but seems doomed to be alone for eternity. Her needy nature becomes unsettling. The boundaries she is willing to break to find a soul mate are truly terrifying.
And of course, Kathy Bates is phenomenal! She plays Iris, the mother of Matt Bomer's character. She transitions from devoted, loving mother, to a merciless woman on a mission. Despite initially only being there to look over her son, she develops a kinship with Liz Taylor (Dennis O'Hare). This power couple go from strength to strength.
Speaking of Liz, a straight crossing dressing male who identifies as female is exotic, powerful, and undeniably captivating. There is a lot more than meets the eye with Liz, as you eventually find out.
So, that's the 'normal' cast. But we also have the appearance of serial killers! As a fan of true crime I was ecstatic at the arrival of well-known serial killers popping up, as well as one that runs the show. In one particular episode, we witness an annual meeting of some of the world's most infamous serial killers. This is surreal, bizarre, and excellent. Easily, my favourite episode of the season.
Let's not forget, this is a horror series. Therefore, heaps of blood, death, and chills are injected into every episode. Not to mention, unseen and explosive twists and turns as you try to escape the Hotel, but find you are beginning to enjoy the madness.
It has to be mentioned that this show is revolutionary in many ways.
One, it explores gender fluidity, sexual orientations or lack thereof.
Two, we look deeper into the fine lines between love, power, devotion, and hate.
Three, in the horror world, it takes multiple sub-genres and tangles them into a horror puzzle that we just love to solve.
Also, props go to the makeup department, both special FX makeup and more subtle makeup to give the undead a pale glow. Also, I can appreciate that a great deal of effort clearly went into choosing the location and the actual hotel, as well as other settings used.
As I expected, the costumes, especially Lady Gaga's are strangely sensational. But all costumes are superb.
Overall, this season ticks all the boxes, and then some! I eagerly await the next season and how they will bring horror lovers more great, unforgettable TV.
Well, what a season. I wasn't sure what to expect with the second season. Sometimes a series can have an awesome pilot season and then tank rather quickly. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Scream's second season, for so many reasons.
We delve deeper into the characters, old and new. I particularly loved Emma's (Willa Fitzgerald) clearly anxious state of mind when coming back to a place that was the stage for so much death and bloodshed. Her acting is sensational. We clearly feel her struggles of coping with PTSD. She obviously took a leaf from Neve Campbell's portrayal of Sydney in the Scream movies, in regards to honestly portraying a tortured woman coming to the realization that the killer is back and it is all happening again.
Emma isn't the only character that provides excellent entertainment. I was shocked by Brooke's various meltdowns played by (Carlson Young). In season 2 she deals with her fair share of trauma. Public breakdowns become a running theme for her. Bravo to Carlson! Brooke's turmoil was excellently expressed.
Let's not forget the talented Bex Taylor-Haus who plays Audrey. She is stuck in an undesirable situation, truly trapped and helpless. Her helplessness makes us love her more and truly feel bad for her. She made a mistake and feels incredibly guilty for that. Noah, as usual, eventually comes to the rescue. But, not in the way you'd think....
We have a collection of new characters that came into the second season, with Kiana Lede playing Zoe Vaughn. I adored Zoe. Her character was a fresh dose of boldness the show needed. However, in the spirit of honesty, I do have a problem with the character of Gustavo. Whether it was the actor who played him, or the character, I had trouble feeling anything for him: hate, love, or anything in-between. I was slightly irritated with him a few times but mainly indifferent. His character served no purpose in the season. I highly advise a new character to come in if a season 3 does happen.
Moving on, the plot thickens. The past isn't the past anymore. History comes back to bite them in the ass!
They up the gore considerably. Blood, carnage, butchery. The killer or killers are merciless this time around.
We have to appreciate that Scream TV pays homage to classic horror movies. Episodes are named after well-known horror movies. Then, we have several scenes that have clearly been inspired by horror movies. One particular scene, involving Brooke, is clearly taken from a classic horror movie. Except they added more horror to this. I yelped with excitement at this scene, flashing to an iconic scene from a horror film, and how the Scream producers / creators had added their own brand of crazy to this iconic moment.
Let's not forget what Scream TV is steadily becoming known for, its breath-taking cliffhangers! Every episode leaves you gasping for more. Fortunately, I watched this on Netflix and could binge watch the season. It proved impossible to have to stop due to obligations when they end every episode with a powerful, alluring climax that leaves a million questions but not one answer.
They may have taken inspiration from the horror culture, but Scream bursts with originality. From deaths, twists, character relationships, technology, and settings. They manage to simultaneously please the Scream fans, while satisfying all horror lovers. They add a lot more to this show than 'whodunnit'.
Two exceptional new characters, including Keiran's feisty aunt and sketchy cousin bring tension to the season. That's all I will say of them.... excellent acting from Sean Grandillo who plays Eli.
I am keeping my fingers crossed for a third season. Despite the initial reservations horror fans had about the movie franchise being turned into a TV show, I think we can all agree this series is becoming rather epic.
Bestselling horror author, marketer, blogger, reviewer, business owner, freelance writer.