TV: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Kiernan Shipka in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018)

Nickelodeon’s programming shaped much of my childhood, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch was probably one of my favourites. The new incarnation of Sabrina on Netflix borrows much more from the current trend of gothic teenage dramas like Riverdale, The Vampire Diaries, and countless others by this point. It’s a beautifully produced, creepy/fun show. Some of the characters are delightful.

The Spellman sisters (Miranda Otto and Lucy Davies) and their niece Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) prepare for her dark baptism into the Church of the Night. This is proper New England witch craft, with witches’ marks, familiars, and the goat-headed devil. The witches receive “delicious” gifts from the Dark Lord in return for signing their name in the Book of the Beast. A reference to the fantastic movie The Witch (2015), perhaps?

Spoilers ahead for the first five episodes.

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Crimson Peak Review

crimsonpeakI have been waiting almost two years for this film. Expectations were high, but so was confidence. Guillermo del Toro would be taking on an old favourite of mine: the Victorian gothic ghost story. With Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska in the leading roles, to actors already familiar with the costume drama, I could not be more hyped.

Miss Edith Cushing is a young aspiring author who falls for the dashing baronet Sir Thomas Sharpe. He brings her home to his dilapidated mansion in the middle of nowhere, and of course there are secrets and ghosts lurking in the dark corridors. You might be inclined to think of Jane Eyre, but Sharpe is no Mr. Rochester.

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Penny Dreadful (HBO)

penny-dreadful-poster-2Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) and Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) are hunting dark forces in London. Soon they are aided by gunslinger Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) and Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway).

This gothic show features all our favourite monsters in new and fascinating combinations. The setting is not new, however. Most of the characters (Frankenstein, vampires, Dorian Grey, etc) are right at home in Victorian London. The style is not new, except that it is perhaps the darkest version of this type of show I have seen in some time. So how can such a classic concept feel so damn fresh?

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Not Dead Yet – Dead Snow 2 Review

deadsnowIf you haven’t heard about the Norwegian zombie-movie Dead Snow (2009) then you are in for a treat – if you like zombie comedies, that is. The film resides both inside and outside the genre, poking fun and fulfilling the tropes at the same time. It is gruesome, but the actual massacre isn’t really disgusting. The most grotesque moment, for instance, comes not during one of the many intestine-ripping scenes, but when two of the group have sex in the outhouse. The film features the standard “friends on a camping trip in the mountains”, but ups the ante by including zombie Nazis on the hunt for their Nazi-gold. One by one, the group gets massacred, ending with our last protagonist thinking he finally got away, only to have the Nazi leader, Oberst Herzog (how many zombie movies have zombies with names?) about to finish him off.

And that is where Dead Snow 2 (Dø Snø 2) starts, after a quick recap, so there are some spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen the first one. Our protagonist had his arm cut off during the first film, and during his escape he manages to rip the arm off Oberst Herzog. At the hospital the doctors accidentally attach the zombie’s arm, which turns out has a bit of a mind of its own. Meanwhile, Oberst Herzog and his army of zombies start recruiting in order to finally accomplish the mission Hitler set them: wiping out the quiet town of Talvik.

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Fall Results: New Shows

There were three shows I knew I had to start watching this season: Sleepy Hollow, Almost Human and Dracula. I’ve been keeping up with them in their first seasons, and although most of them haven’t finished (and one barely begun), I probably won’t get another chance before Christmas to write about them, so here is my opinion thus far.

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Insidious 2

Note: I will post my Thor review later. 🙂

If you haven’t seen Insidious then just skip this whole review (and movie). The sequel continues right at the drop off from the first, and this is both a fairly bold move and a way to guarantee no new audience members. Sure, it does give enough backstory for you to understand what’s going on, but with no set-up of the characters you won’t really be invested in what happens to them. Obviously, this review contains spoilers for the first movie, so please, go watch it or skip it.

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Scary Weekend: The Pact + The Innkeepers

FINALLY, autumn is here and I can watch movies in the dark!  With that awful life-giving ball of gas gone, I decided to spend some time catching up on my ridiculously long horror watch list. I picked two at random, both from last year. Let’s see which one (if any) gave me nightmares. Minor spoilers ahead because it’s impossible to write without them.

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Second Place in Scandinavian Film Championship: the best and the worst movies

I am a proud member of Team Trondheim, one of 18 teams that competed in the Scandinavian Film Championship last weekend, and well into this week. Despite serious misgivings on my part, we went all the way to the silver medal, though sadly we didn’t get an actual medal, just the well-deserved prize of sleep.

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Five Favourite Specific Film Genres

I love all kinds of movies – the good, the bad and even the just-good-looking, but there will always be more movies than I can watch, so how to pick which one? Usually, I catch whatever is at the cinema, or maybe a friend recommends a movie. On top of these standard ways of thinning the herd, there are a few specific “genres” that will always get me to watch a film, even though I know it’s probably going to be bad. I say genres, but every entry here can include everything from romance to action, so I guess you can say if a movie contains one of these five things, I’m watching it.

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