Tag Archives: carpe scream2017

Carpe Scream: LORE

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I was so excited about Amazon’s upcoming show, Lore. I really was. Bunnyman Bridge, Robert the Doll, dead-ringers, etc. Lore promised to be a show that would cover all of the gruesome truth behind the folklore. Did it really deliver on that promise?

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Lore, now streaming on Amazon Prime

When the show started I immediately sussed out that something wasn’t quite right. The narrator was pausing in strange places. He didn’t seem to have a sense of flow as he stumbled over the words and phrasing, trying to dramatize mundane words and placidly running over important key statements. I immediately had to look up who this was. A former child-star? An lesser-known actor?  No. The whole show was being narrated by it’s own co-producer, and writer, Aaron Mankhe. All sense of drama was left flaccid by Aaron’s awkward nasal voice. Apparently this guy has a podcast? Maybe he’s better unscripted. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

No problem, I thought. At least the scares and folklore would save it.  Sadly, that was not the case. The episodes started promisingly, with a preface about people being buried alive and demons plaguing the house, and the Bunnyman bridge. But that preface always disappointed as we were then thrown into slowly paced, badly written amateur drama about families with Tuberculosis, A boy and his doll, and the first lobotomy procedures. No fright. No thrills, No chills. Just very stilted, boring, dramas. These reenactments are of the caliber of those Travel Channel TV episodes about families with haunted houses. Long pauses, tangential story-lines with milquetoast characters, and very often NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ORIGINAL PREMISE. I really don’t care about Doctor Walter Freeman’s strained relationships with his wife or his hatred of Thorazine. Nor did I care about Mr. Howard’s spiritual crisis about digging up his dead daughter. And at the end, when they teased about miraculous supernatural events and occurrences, murder, or sacrilege? Nothing. Because these stories are about real life and in real life, nothing like that happens. That’s pretty much the punchline of every episode here: NOTHING HAPPENS.

There was nothing new either. Every point covered has had about 10 television specials already. The points were redundant, highly speculated, generalized, and very uninteresting. Most of the facts could be found in a single wikipedia search. The real-life stories had nominal interest, but they certainly didn’t need to be drawn out into 40-minute late-night TV dramas with no budget.

And the torture porn. Oh, my sweet aunt, do they love torture porn in this. In the middle of the mind-numbing boredom, we’re treated to squick-factor, highly detailed uncomfortable closeups of fingernail needles, lobotomies, blood-letting, and other gross scenes that take up way too much time.

The worst offense in this show is that there seems to be no real focus. The premise has nothing to do with the rest of the episode, and they might tack on a twist at the end, but more likely they don’t. And the twist will be totally unrelated to the premise.

It’s very true that we’ve never seen anything like this show. We’ve seen better. If you’re interested in schlocky writing and spooky stories, try the Travel Channel. If you’re interested in real horror and scary folklore, look anywhere else.

 

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Carpe Scream 4: Child’s Play

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Today, I look at another Horror Movie Icon. For the longest time I thought I’d seen the first Chucky movie, but I guess that was number 2 or 3, because I have no memory of Child’s Play. This is back when they were still calling it “Child’s Play” and not “The ____ of Chucky,” because, let’s face it. It’s all about this freaky little doll, possessed with the spirit of a Chicago Serial Strangler.

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Childhood fears are a subject I embrace with tender love, but this movie is the only one to encapsulate the TERROR which I lived with as a child: FREAKY UNCANNY VALLEY TOYS OF THE 80’S. Seriously. ALL of these guys could have been possessed by dead serial killers. Just look at them!

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Killers. All these guys.

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Ahhh! No!

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WHAT…. I DON’T EVEN….

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BURN IT WITH FIRE!!!

So yeah, I was among the millions of kids who saw the “Good Guys” doll in commericals (a cute nod to the “My Buddy” doll for boys of that era) and immediately cottoned on to the idea that it was evil. But still not as evil as the HuggaBunch movie.

The rest was your typical Talky Tina plotline, except this doll isn’t protective of its owner and has a vendetta of his own to kill the guys who pursued him in life and—HOLY CRAP, IS THAT GRIMA WORMTONGUE?

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Brad Dourif, image property of MGM/UA

So, I guess this guy is just good at being the evil little voice in people’s ears.

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“Chucky says she was a rotten bitch and got what she deserved!” (image property of Newline Cinema)

It was pretty fun, and Charles Sarandon was pretty fun as the detective, but it might have been fun to hint at a little romance between him and the mom. And for all Chucky being possessed by a serial strangler, he actually did very little strangling. Mostly stabbing, but when your body weight is reduced to a measly five pounds, you don’t really have that power behind it.

Final thoughts? This movie wins the award for the most fake-out endings ever probably. Chucky is now available to stream on Xfinity OnDemand for a limited time. Also Netflix just posted the The Cult of Chucky for streaming. I might take a peek later this month just to see how weirdly this concept deviates from its source.
Sweet Screams, everyone!