House (Not the show. DEAR GOD, NOT THE SHOW)

This is not a writeup about the show House, where a snarky doctor pops Vicodin and solves medical mysteries. If that’s what you’re looking for, turn back now. This has nothing to do with that show, and never will. There are no similarities, except for maybe that some of the actors are male.

There are lots of movies out there about haunted houses and people getting trapped in them. Or people spending the night in one and then getting trapped in them. Or people going to a house because they’re lost/car’s broken/think it’s a nice hotel and then get trapped in it. It’s a familiar story, and it can be said that it’s a little played out. But then, you could really say that about every movie out there, couldn’t you? All stories have already been told, it’s the way in which they’re done that we should be looking at.

And by god.

I think I originally began to watch this because I thought it would be crap, and maybe it would help me fall asleep. Michael Madsen was obviously another pull. He’s okay in my book. But it’s very likely that I didn’t really have much hope, though I swear to you now that I recall no such thoughts happening.

Mostly because this movie just blew all such thoughts right out of my pretty little brain. Then said brain was splattered against the wall.

This is, apparently, also a book. Which I’m going to have to seek out. Because wow. If this is what I get from the movie, I can only imagine what I’ll get from the book (*knock wood* please, don’t jinx me, please don’t let me be wrong, please don’t let it be horrible since I opened my damned fool mouth).

This doesn’t just get you through plain old every day fear, either. This really fucks with you all over the place. It’s like it had a party in your brain with Motley Crew and Guns ‘N’ Roses and didn’t tell you. It also didn’t tell you that it invited some heroin junkies and gave you some acid in your sandwich. Every single angle, this thing is coming at you. I loved it.

I think that more horror should be all encompassing, instead of just focusing on the physical horror or the psychological horror. Combining it can make some very beautiful music. Haunting, melodic music carrying a chainsaw. Oh, I know it can go the other way, too. I’ve seen it happen. I’m not an idiot. But more should at least try. If we do not try, we do not learn.

We can take notes from this movie, and spread them all over the place, and hope that little baby movies with this much intensity are born. Or something.

Dante’s Inferno

Have you ever been really bad at a game you really loved? I haven’t. Well, not until Dante’s Inferno. And that sounds really arrogant, but it’s true. When I find a game that I adore, it’s like I already know what to do. My brain and my hands communicate perfectly, and everything comes extremely naturally.

Again, that was until Dante’s Inferno.

I picked this game up as soon as I could. The moment that it started to be talked about, I was interested. I am a huge fan of the Divine Comedy and have had multiple copies of it over my life. Currently I have an older set in a three book arrangement, and a giant copy complete with the woodcuttings. You can imagine that I was pretty excited to hear that they were going to make a game from this.

I knew, of course, that they wouldn’t be following the story exactly. How could they? And that things would be left out, other things would be added in that weren’t there originally. I made peace with these facts long before the game was released. The point was, it was going to be Dante’s Inferno. That’s all it needed to be, for me.

When I got the game, I was more than pleased with what I was seeing. I had no complaints to make, and happily worked my way through levels, deciding (of course) to damn everything as much as possible on the way.

The only problem was – I kept dying.

There’s something to be said for getting used to a game and dying a couple of times in the very beginning, but that wasn’t what was happening here. This was an extraordinary amount of dying. This was me kicking the bucket every few minutes. This was the sort of dying that makes you feel really bad about yourself as a gamer. It was getting to the point that I was only able to get through one level each time I played before I found myself extremely frustrated and having to quit. This is not the kind of thing you want happening in a game you adore. And despite my inability to stay alive, I was still in love.

It got to the point that I decided I was going to have to go for the easiest difficultly level. I just couldn’t do it anymore. So I went to the options and lo…

I have it set on the hardest. The hardest is called “Hellish”. Yeah. No kidding. It appears that Dante’s Inferno doesn’t work the way that other games do, with an “easy” “medium” and “hard”, but rather “Normal” (medium) “hard” (Holy crap) and “What the fuck” (dear god, save me). When I saw it, I thought that “Classic” was what they were calling “Easy”, so I skipped to “Zealot” which I thought was “medium”, and accidentally went down too far on the list, putting myself on “Hellish”.

You see, I do all my games on Medium. I’m arrogant, I’m not cocky. I know my level of gaming, and I know what I’m comfortable with. I like a challenge, but I don’t like to be constantly frustrated. Rarely will I go above Medium, and really, those times, it has to do more with getting an achievement. Like if you beat a boss on Hard and don’t have to do the whole game on Hard in order to get it.

So I’m pretty proud of the fact that I got through so much of the game on Hellish, but I was really happy when I knocked myself back down to Classic and stopped dying all the time. The game became fun, and my love grew. I could actually get through entire sections without a single death.

I enjoyed the game enough to play it through twice back to back, and loved all the interactions with Virgil (there could have been more). I loved the way that they made the circles look, there was definitely a feel of what kind of people suffered within them. There was no sugarcoating of what was going on, and the damned echoed (alright, and amplified) the kind of brutality that Dante wrote about. In the Divine Comedy, he certainly doesn’t give mercy to the souls he speaks about, and it was nice that the game didn’t either.

It – Movie VS Book

Alright. So when I finally read It, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I thought that I would immediately pick up the movie and sit down and have a watch, but that didn’t happen until today. As I have previously written, I have never seen It the movie. I don’t know how. I went all these years and never even thought to pick it up on the cheap. Netflix finally sent it to me, and I finally sat down and had my viewing experience.

First things first: There wasn’t enough blood.
It is a very very bloody book. A kid gets his arm fucking ripped off. A little girl is absolutely mutilated. At one point Bev’s bathroom sink explodes with so much gore that it’s supposed to look like a murder scene.

I know it’s a made for TV thing, and they couldn’t include all the really gory stuff, but they certainly could have made things more to the actual story in that area.

Secondly: There were a lot of things I felt were pretty integral to the book that were completely missing from the movie. Like Mike’s story of seeing It for the first time. Where the fuck was that? What about the explanation of how they all got out of the sewers the first time around? HOW ABOUT the fact that the promise they made was a promise made in blood? That’s kind of important.

A lot of other things too. I mean, I know you’ve got a certain amount of time you can have for things like this, but if you’re going to make something three hours long, why cut so much out? Go for that fourth hour and get all the really important stuff in there.

Third and last: The ending was crap. Not the part of what It is, because that’s the same in the book. There’s a lot more involved there, and I think they should have put it in, but whatever. What I’m upset about is the fact that Derry didn’t sink into the ground. Um. Hi. The entire underground is falling apart, how is the city staying up?

All in all, I did enjoy it. I certainly enjoyed Tim Curry in it. He’s so freaking wonderful. I could watch it again, and I would probably get it on DVD, honestly. But that doesn’t mean I’m not sorely disappointed in how things went.

I propose that this is remade. We bring back Tim Curry as Pennywise and we do everything right. I’m sure that we can make that spider thing look a lot more realistic and terrifying. Just imagine what the screen artists of today could pull off if given the reins.

The Haunting Of Molly Hartley

While I don’t feel as if I wasted precious minutes of my life by watching this movie, it certainly isn’t one that has made any huge impact in my life. Seeing it, not seeing it, doesn’t really matter. It made absolutely no mark on my being.

Complaint One: You can’t be baptized by some random girl from school. I think that’s common enough knowledge, even for people that weren’t involved in religion in any way. So why the hell would anyone wander into an empty church and follow said random girl into a baptismal? Cause she’s obviously going to try and drown your ass.

Complaint Two: The girl, Molly, is entirely too skittish. Yes, being stabbed by your mother with a pair of scissors is a traumatic event, but jumping five feet in the air when a dog barks at you from the other side of a secure fence and shitting yourself when the mail drops on the floor in your house? A little too much. I get that they want her to be Average Girl, but come on. Molly’s terrified by her own hair.

The ending of this movie is complete crap, by the way. It feels as if they left it open intentionally for a sequel. Which makes it feel like they should have just made it into a television show. That way they could just flounce on with their story as long as they wanted.

Not a whole lot is explained about things either. If you’re into this genre of movie normally, you can kind of piece things together, but you have to be really knowledgeable. Certain characters are just abandoned after a time, too. They have these fairly big roles or big scenes and then… you just don’t see them anymore. There’s an added issue with keeping people’s personalities straight. One girl in particular flip flops in her personality so much that she may well have begun her fictional life as two different characters, then they couldn’t cast the other, and smooshed the two together.

Don’t even bother with this movie. I guess it’s kind of like a reworked Omen or maybe Rosemary’s Baby. And they didn’t do it right. Not even close. At least in those you got to see the creepy shit that went on with the kid. They kind of just implied it there toward the end in a super vague way. In real life, what she achieved at school could easily be done with studying and focus, nobody needs the devil to do well in school. Especially when they were a 4.0 in their previous school. Crap. All of it. Crap.

Not entirely sure why it was listed as horror. They didn’t even explore the premise enough for it to qualify.