Review: Skin Privilege – Karin Slaughter

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skin privilege

Grant County #6

SYNOPSIS: Sara Linton–resident medical examiner/pediatrician in Grant County, Georgia, –has plenty of hardship to deal with, including defending herself in a heartbreaking malpractice suit. So when her husband, Police chief Jeffery Tolliver, learns that his friend and coworker detective Lena Adams has been arrested for murder and needs Sara’s help, she is not sure she can handle the pressure of it all.

But soon Sara and Jeffery are sitting through evidence, peeling back the layers of a mystery that grows darker by the day–until an intricate web of betrayal and vengeance begins to unravel. And suddenly the lives of Sara, Lena, and Jeffery are hanging by the slenderest of threads. – via Goodreads

GRADE 9Okay, just to clarify, this book is also known as Beyond Reach. You know, pesky publishers giving different UK/US titles. Moving right on. This book is amazing. Granted, it is told out of sequence and that might throw a few people (confuse them, that is, not put them off), but it is told precisely like it needs to be to convey the correct feeling and message. The book is highly emotional, what with Lena fighting past demons and the desperation of saving her uncle.

Then there is Jeffrey and Sara and their quest to adopt a child and start their very own family. This book is phenomenal, with a good story. You feel a part of it, the disjointed feel and not knowing what the hell is going on, so you totally understand how Jeffrey and Sara are feeling. Sara seems to be lacking a lot of her usual fiery self here, which is to be expected, too, what with her personal drama. I am really glad her and Jeffrey are married again though, they really work together. Ick, Ethan Green makes an appearance once more, and let me tell you, he is still a hateful animal, and totally ramps up the tension in this.

Man, Slaughter really went for some things in this book, some sore topics were breached, and, as always, the characters remained true to themselves and developed all the more. I was horrified to read that Hank had gone back to his old, junkie ways, as I have always viewed him as a much stronger character. I maintain Slaughter has fantastic characters, they are so well written that you get super attached to them all, and so feel for them throughout their trials, tribulations and joys.

The writing is, as to be expected, great, the story is solid, the events spine-tingling. The book draws you in completely and you go along with all the characters, seeing how the latest drama in their lives comes together and how it all fits, and what they will do. I thoroughly enjoy this book, and still think it a really solid conclusion to this series.

SPOILER: Goodness gracious me, but that ending :/ It totally crushed me, and yet I also thought it to be a ballsy move from the author. Well played Slaughter, well played. Now let me deal with my depression for a few days again and then I will move on with my life. Again. 

The Originals: Season 1 (2013 – 2014)

2

the originals season one cover

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • So. Much. Klaus. I am a huge Klaus fan, and I was from the moment we met him in The Vampire Diaries. He’s just bad to the bone, really, and so unapologetic about it. He is what he is, and he doesn’t care who you are.
  • Elijah. Again, I have always like this Original. He is so honourable, has amazing suits, always looks good, speaks beautifully and has such a dignified air about him that you cannot help but respect him. On the flip side, do not get on his bad side. Like holy wow, the man is brutal as heck.
  • Being able to manage the stories of witches, werewolves, and vampires. New Orleans, man, was the best setting for this, because there are a ton of each of the supernatural beings, and it doesn’t seem out of place in New Orleans.
  • Glimpses of the Mikaelson past. Seriously, having been around for centuries means that there is history to tell.
  • Elijah and Hayley and all their back and forth. Yes. This couple? I think they are great. I just want Elijah to be happy, and he is so into Hayley, and being the man of honour that he is? Man, it’ll just be fantastic.originals season 1 elijah and hayleyoriginals season 1 hayley and elijah
  • The warring between Marcel and Klaus. Really, to see where Marcel came from, the relationship between him and Klaus, and how things have gotten? Oh my.
  • Father Kieran. I actually really like this character – I was a bit worried when there was the requisite priestly character for this type of thing, but it worked quite well.
  • The story arc of the wolves. I like that they are actually quite important here, not just a side plot to the vampires. The Originals has managed to successfully involve all these factions, and really well, too.
  • The relationships between characters is great. Elijah and Klaus, Klaus and Marcel, Marcel and Davina, Davina and Josh, Cami and Klaus… there are just so many and they all work exceptionally well.

What I didn’t like:

  • In The Vampire Diaries, in season two, Elijah was against Klaus because he was convinced that Klaus had killed off their whole family, and then Klaus brokered a deal to give the Mikaelson family to Elijah/reunite them, if he helped him. It was then revealed that the family had merely been daggered and lying in coffins. It was big news to Elijah. However, in The Originals, there are daggerings happening left, right, and centre, and it is well known knowledge that Klaus daggers the siblings that peeve him to teach them a lesson. I was not a fan of the inconsistency.
  • Davina actually irritates the hell out of me at the moment. She is so… she’s such a bloody child, and whiny. Get your things together sweetie, such is life!
  • Rebekah still irritates me. Not as bad as before, what with getting to spend more time with her, but enough to peeve me still. I guess we will have to wait and see how all this goes.
  • Francesca. Oh. My. Gosh. You can just tell she is trouble from the off, and what an ugly chick to boot, too. What an ego she has, too! Wow!

originals season 1 klaus

Rating:
Okay, so I ended up watching this because I finished all The Vampire Diaries and was all sad cause I was so hooked. Naturally, I turned to The Originals because you all know I love my Klausie. And Eljah. A lot. So I was, of course, willing to watch a show where they were the central leads. Of course I was. I wasn’t going to look down my nose at an opportunity to see as much Klaus as possible, as well as Elijah and his gorgeous suits, phenomenal poise, and stunning vocabulary. Seeking this out was well enough, as The Originals happens to be a really good spin off series, which is rare.

The plots are well developed, the characters have depth (even if it takes time to reveal them), the show ties in nicely to The Vampire Diaries, but only briefly and quickly, so you can easily watch this without the former, and the pacing is cool. The first few episodes fumble a little, as is to be expected, but as soon as the ball is rolling, we are on a fantastic mission here. It was interesting to see how Klaus’s opinion of Hayley and her pregnancy changed as the season continued, and it showed an extremely hidden side of him. Elijah, too, stepped up and showed another side to him, which I love. The man has impeccable taste and is a man of honour, integrity, and his word mean everything. He is super polished. However, under all that, he is a brute of note.

Klaus taking on Marcel for the city was interesting, too, because they both want such different things out of the whole deal. The story arc of the witches, their oppression, and then eventual completing of the Harvest was great, and resurrecting the fallen. I thought it was crushing to see how Rebekah had brought their father, Mikael, to New Orleans all those years ago to run Klaus out of town so she and Marcel could be together, because it is a really sad thing that Klaus is painted terrible and treacherous (he is), but nobody examines what happens before all these things.

originals season 1 elijah witches

Another thing I love? The chaste relationship between Elijah and Hayley. I am quite taken with it, and the tension between them is driving me wild. Let’s not forget the Camille side of things – I actually don’t particularly enjoy her character, I find her flat and needy. Also, the jumping between Marcel and Klaus is silly, and I don’t feel that her and Klaus click at all. I just wish it would work out. I particularly enjoy all the politics going on here, and the history of the Mikaelson family is compelling. New Orleans is the perfect setting for all the power plays and all the magical factions coming together. It is really good.

And that final episode? The dramatics! The intensity! The blood, rage, and anger? Eeeeeeep! As if I didn’t dislike papa Mikael enough, seeing more of his history, what he did to his kids, and especially Klaus? Never, ever going to like him now. UGH. I am a really big fan of seeing the Mikaelson history, as well as delving into their exceptionally messy family ties. For reals. Also, Mikael returning in the end? This could get absolutely fascinating.

The Originals is a really solid series with great characters and interesting stories. It is quite well written and really well acted. No time is wasted getting into the story, and I like that. The Mikaelson family is fascinating, and watching the broken dynamics of it is engrossing, and to see how all the relationships between characters tie in together is great. Truly well worth the watch!

originals season 1 klaus and rebekah

Review: Deadly Recall – T.R. Ragan

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Jessie Cole #2

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. 

SYNOPSIS: When you search for the missing, there’s no telling what you’ll find. PI Jessie Cole learned that painful truth firsthand when her sister disappeared. Now a new case will test Jessie and Ben once again.

Owen Shepard, the public face of one of the country’s biggest health insurance companies, has become the target of a vengeful father. The man blames Shepard for his child’s death and plans to make the CEO know what it’s like to live with a broken heart—and watch others die. After killing two employees, the desperate father kidnaps Shepard’s daughter. Tasked with finding her, Jessie and crime reporter Ben Morrison are running out of time to save her.

Meanwhile, Ben is still seeking insight into the man he used to be before a car crash erased his memories. And each discovery is leading Jessie and him down a frightening road. What they find could scar both of them forever. – Goodreads

You know, I have read the majority of the Lizzy Gardner series, and I am really not a fan. It’s like… they are okay to read, but nothing special at all. When this series launched, I thought it would be worth giving it a shot, and I was actually impressed with Her Last Day. I didn’t expect to be, but I was. I am pleased to say that the second instalment in the Jessie Cole series is also a pretty good read.

There really are so many parallels between the Gardner books and the Cole books, but I honestly feel that the execution and characters are far better in the Cole books. Again, the pacing is a lot better in this. The book speeds by and is interesting throughout, not suffering from a lot of unnecessary bloat, and the multiple cases being dealt with are handled really well here, neither being forgotten or wasted away.

Zee returns in this book, and I am glad about that, as she is a character who is odd but I like her. Deadly Recall also gives us a bit more time to chew on Ben Morrison and who/what he is, as this book spends some more time digging into that. I really like this aspect, and I think Ragan is handling it really well.

Overall, Deadly Recall is a solid follow up to Her Last Day, and I am really interested to see where Ragan takes it from here. The book reads quickly, is interesting, and has characters that are more memorable than her other series. All in all, it works better, and is well worth the read if you are looking for a little something new to look into.

Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

8

“We have to stop her here and now, and prevent Ragnarok, the end of everything! So I’m putting together a team.”
– Thor

SYNOPSIS: Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization, at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. – via IMDB

Well, it’s no real secret that I haven’t enjoyed a single Thor movie so far. They aren’t terrible (who am I kidding, what was that Dark World kak?!), they are just… wasted potential. Seriously, all that lore and everything to work with and we got the two movies we did? Oh well. However, then Taika Waitit directed Team Thor, and I had a renewed interest. The man’s brand of humour appeals to me, and the short made me laugh. We all know I love his other work, so how would it go when he took over the reigns of a massive Marvel production?

In a word? Great. Really. Waititi breathed life into an Avenger that really needed it. Two, actually, because one cannot forget the Hulk in this one. Hemsworth is way more comfortable than ever before in his return as the Son of Odin, and he works so well with Mark Ruffalo, so easy and comfortable. Jeff Goldblum has an absolute ball as  Grandmaster, and Tom Hiddleston is, as always, supremely entertaining as Loki. Hemsworth and Hiddleston play together well, too, and continue to impress us with their hilariously dysfunctional relationship.

The humour is, as I was hoping, top notch. It’s hilarious, and there were a few scenes my husband and I laughed so hard at we went back to rewatch them a few times (Thor’s explanation of the dirty snake trick Loki played on him when they were eight and Loki and Thor with their “get help” skit are prime examples). It truly had me laughing. I have to admit, Korg (Waititi) had me in stitches a few times, what a character!

Thor: Ragnarok is more than just silly entertainment and solid humour though, and it must be noted that the movie looks great and has some solid effects, which I enjoyed a lot. The colours I truly loved, as it just fit the whole vibe of the movie. The soundtrack, too, works all the way through. This is not to say that the movie is without flaws. I, for once, could have done without the whole Doctor Strange bit, as I seriously felt it did not advance the narrative in any way, and was just there to fill time. I was also not a particular fan of Tessa Thompson in this, though eventually you warm up to her a little more.

All in all, I found Thor: Ragnarok to be a highly entertaining, funny film that just goes ahead and does what it wants, and it works so well. It doesn’t matter what you do/do not know about the MCU, you can still enjoy this regardless of.

JB & The Chop Do: Blair Witch (2016)

3

When the trailer for this movie first came out, I believe it was called “The Woods”,  made by the team that did “You’re Next” and “The Guest”, this looked nut-busting awesome and seemed like it would be a big winner. Then they called it Blair Witch and it went straight to streaming so…. hmmmm….. did anyone’s nuts bust here???

SYNOPSIS: After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his vanished sister Heather, James and a group of friends head to the forest believed to be inhabited by the Blair Witch. – via IMDB

The answer to that is a big, blue balls no for this wretched movie. What the FUCK? This was totally stupid from start to finish, I don’t know about JB but I wanted to kill all of the characters as well as the writer and director, and then they threw in of the worst fucking CGI creatures I’ve ever seen. Fuck you, man!

Who could have possibly thought that was a good move? Also – I think there was something going on with a spaceship. Or something. And some time travel. I think. I couldn’t have cared less.

You know the routine. A bunch of dopes go into the woods. They hear a bunch of shit noises. They go into an old house. They eat shit and die. Fucking suck it! I mean, I can’t even think of things to write… here’s that one pic again:

Are they trying to make us think that the Blair Witch is the stick figure thing?? Are they trying to insert THIS movie into the Ancient Aliens mythology?

I don’t know what to tell you but this movie is horseshit. I want to give another dearest thanks to The JB. Despite everything we’ve been through she’s still hanging in there with me. Surely things will get better for us, right??? Now – the real question is asked – are JB and I aliens from a distant time? Are we visiting from the past…. or the future?

Or is this an example of The Mandela Effect and you don’t remember things the way they happened………………………… ??

You know, I mistakenly thought that things couldn’t go further downhill with these movies than that Book of Shadows crap. I was sooooo wrong.

So, Wingard is a director that a lot of people fawn about. For me, outside of The Guest (of which I still have an indecent obsession), I am not totally in love. Him and Barrett aren’t bad, they are a little different, and I like that, but I don’t think they are like the Second Coming or anything. So I didn’t expect to hate this (shit, I even liked Death Note, though I will likely be butchered for even saying that), but I did. There. I said it.

Blair Witch is so fucking messy and upside down and stupid and cringy and NO. So much no. Initially I was really interested in the concept of Heather’s brother still wanting to know what happened to her all those years ago, and wanted to see what would happen. Instead we have icky dialogue, the characters I cared least about in the whole series, and then… the Witch/Spindly-Legged-Spider-Alien. Like… guys? Help?

There were a ton of throwbacks to the first movie littered throughout this one, and for the most part, those sections were handled rather well, which is odd considering how useless the rest of the movie was. And I am all for making a project yours, but this just… didn’t really fall in line as well as you would have hoped. We had alien witch things and outside light ups and arms in trees slapping people around, Prohibition tunnels, tents getting ripped up, and people being snapped like twigs. Uhm… sure.

So all of that makes it sound like a lot of crazy stuff was going on and that it was at least worth a watch, right? Wrong. If you take everything together and put it there, it looks like there was quite a bit to watch. In reality, there was a lot of bitching and moaning, crappy camera work, bland friendships, flat, generic characters and a whole lot of meh-ness all round. Seriously, I thought this would have been a little better. There are reviews I have read online that called this movie smart (!!!!!) and deft (!!!!!) and scary (!!!!!) and I am just wondering if we all even watched the same fucking movie. Because this movie is lame and heavy handed and soooooo drawn out and boring.

Needless to say peeps, I think the only movie you need to see in this series (if you haven’t seen any and if you want to see what it is all about) is The Blair Witch Project, even though it is screechy and low budget, it also comes across as the most sincere, and it was the movie that popularised the stupid found footage genre.

Thanks to everyone who stuck with us for yet another series and read, commented, and enjoyed our torture! We survived this franchise, too! The things we put ourselves through for fun and entertainment. But you know what? We secretly love it. And PSC, you are the bomb! I totally love working with you on all our projects, and I am so happy you were up for these, even if they were sketchy.

February Blind Spot Review: Sixteen Candles (1984)

4

“That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d call ’em something else.”
– Jim Baker

SYNOPSIS: A girl’s “sweet” sixteenth birthday becomes anything but special, as she suffers from every embarrassment possible. – via IMDB

Alright, so we know that John Hughes is like super popular and all these things, and I have watched some but not all of his movies. I love The Breakfast Club while I completely loathe Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, so I was figured I should check out another one of his movies that I have heard so much about but never actually watched. Now I have. And, well… okay.

I wasn’t a fan of this. I didn’t hate it, and it had moments, and let me tell you, having your family forget your sixteenth seriously blows (true story, I actually know this feeling). Hughes captured the complete teenage-ness of Samantha and her life, and I think Molly Ringwald was totally the right choice to play sullen, sulky Samantha.

I have always heard a lot of bitching about a rapey angle of this between Jake and the Geek and Caroline, and let me tell you, now that I have watched it, I get it. That arc was so not cool. Basically like giving the girl away like she was a commodity, not caring what happened, all that. I don’t want to get into it too much, but just know that the whole situation was just not cool man. ICK.

John Cusack is adorable, as always, and I could totally have done with more of him. In fact, the most entertainment for me came from the interactions between Bryce, Cliff, and the Geek, even if at times they were a touch inappropriate. Then there was the silly but fun story line of Long Duk Dong. What an unexpectedly crazy character to make his way into this.

Anyway, I thought that Sixteen Candles to be an alright watch, maybe not the best of all time, but it wasn’t bad. There were aspects that I liked and aspects that I didn’t, and while it won’t be something I will be checking out again (probably), I don’t regret having ticked it off my watch list.

Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

9

“If you’re nothing without the suit, then you shouldn’t have it.”
– Tony Stark

SYNOPSIS: Peter Parker balances his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and finds himself on the trail of a new menace prowling the skies of New York City. – via IMDB

Okay, so I finally got to this. I was not super amped to hear there was going to be yet another Spider-Man, because seriously, how many different ones? So I didn’t rush to the cinema for this and didn’t lap up all the news, except that a lot of people said it was good and that Tom Holland is the best Spider-Man of all time. Well, uhm, no, actually. The movie is generic as all hell, and while Holland is good, Garfield still remains the Peter Parker/Spider-Man king to me. But we will get there.

I found this to be… so generic and forgettable and bland. Sorry, but I did, and I know this opinion probably won’t make me super popular among the “Marvel is King” crowd, but yeah. Okay, I know we didn’t get yet another origin story, and I am down with that and all, but I really don’t see the point of another Spider-Man movie just yet. Also, this movie is Tony Stark/Iron Man heavy, and instead of being a drawback (as it sometimes can, sometimes we just want to see the new movie), it actually helped a lot in this one, gave me something to look forward to. Tony and Pepper were what kept me watching, and I was thrilled to finally catch a glimpse of Pepper lately, it’s been too long.

Back to the movie… generic. The score wasn’t amazing, the movie was standard, it was overly long for what it was, it was annoying, Ned grated on me, too, and yeah, I don’t know, it was just totally unnecessary, in my opinion. I also didn’t like the new suit essentially being a Spider-Man one with the same inside engine type thing as the Iron Man suit and (seriously, Karen????) and so super tech heavy?! I didn’t really have fun with this, either. Most times you can at least have some mindless fun, but this just felt forced.

I don’t really have much to say about this except that it was passable. Yes, put together well and all that, it still doesn’t make it a good movie, and still a totally pointless affair for me. And no, I do not think Hollander is the best ever Spider-Man, but he is good.

Review: Faithless – Karin Slaughter

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faithless

Grant County #5

SYNOPSIS: The victim was buried alive in the Georgia woods–then killed in a horrifying fashion. When Sara Linton and Jeffrey Tolliver stumble upon the body, both become consumed with finding out who killed the pretty young woman. For them, a harrowing journey begins, one that will test their own turbulent relationship and draw dozens of life into the case.

For as Jeffrey and Sara move further down a trail of shocking surprises and hidden passions, neither is prepared for the most stunning discovery of all: the identity of a killer who is more evil and dangerous than anyone could have guessed. – via Goodreads

Karin Slaughter does not cease to amaze me at the rate she is able to tell a story, and the thought, research and character development that goes into it. Faithless might not (for me) have been as amazing as the others, but it is by no means less of a book, to be sure. The read barrels along and presents an interesting story, and gives the characters we have grown to love more to fight through, deal with, and develop more.

Jeffrey and Sara never seem to catch a break. These two fit, but I still feel that Sara is selfish and entitled when it comes to Jeffrey, and he constantly allows her that. I know he screwed up in their past, but it takes two for a marriage to get to that place. Anyway. Also, her superiority when snapping at Hare was so uncalled for, because she, too, would have done exactly the same thing. It’s almost as though she expects different treatment because it is her. Selfish.

Let’s not even forget to mention Lena when it comes to selfish. That woman has wrecked herself completely. Like for reals. I know she went through crap, but instead of coming out stronger, she has collapsed, and Ethan still plays a large part in all going on with her. I also wish she was better to Hank. They are more similar than she realises, and she really treats him like crap.

Once again, Karin Slaughter shows that she is not scared to deal with real issues, things that affect people more than credit is given. The story is fast paced and detailed, I would expect no less. More character flaws and details are released in this story, as well as epiphanies that are reached, and the simplicity of honesty and friendship is highlighted. All in all, a very solid novel that is definitely worthy of joining the ranks of its predecessors.

Review: The Confession – Jo Spain

2

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. 

SYNOPSIS: Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear.

Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn’t know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry’s many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal? – via Goodreads

So the write up for this looked interesting when I skimmed it. I requested it, read some other books, then picked it on my reading list without remembering what it was about exactly, and man oh man, that was just so worth it. I was so hooked on this book and just wanted to know what was going on every step of the way. I wanted answers!

Spain sets up the story really well. We get this brutal crime, and from there we get three people reconstructing the story for us, from their own perspective. We read about JP from when he was a child and how his upbringing was, and it is quite something to read. Then there is Julie telling us about her marriage to her husband, the man so brutally and senselessly attacked by JP, and finally there is Alice, relentlessly pursuing the truth, desperately clawing at the crime to see how it all fits.

So the story is told in those three fragmented parts, each contributing to the story every step of the way. It is easy to pick up where you left off, as well as to see which character’s section you are reading, which is dead helpful. I appreciated how you never really get a sense of who has done what, and who is innocent, and who is wrong. Each character has their own reasons, their own flaws, their own idiosyncrasies, and the book blends them and blurs them all so well that you are on the fence the whole time, commiserating with a character one moment and condemning them the next.

Something that did irritate me endlessly, however, was the constant referencing of Julie’s tits. Not breasts, not ample chest, but tits, and this point was hammered in, as though this character was definitely purely by her tits. I don’t know, it got old and annoying really quickly, and just felt out of place in this the whole time.

The Confession is written well and flows, you just breeze through it, and just want to know what is going on because the pacing, too, is spot on. Not too much information too quickly, not too little too slowly, so you get just the right amount of satisfaction to keep you going back for more and more. I could highly recommend this read, and have no regrets for checking it out. I had an absolute blast with it, and found it super entertaining.

JB & The Chop Do: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)

11

Peeps! It’s us! Again! So, following last week’s exploration of the movie that really gave rise to the crap that is found footage horror, we are going to explore the inevitable sequel this week. Well, how bad can it really be, right? Right? Hello? Anyone? Shit.

SYNOPSIS: A group of tourists arrive in Burkittsville, Maryland after seeing The Blair Witch Project (1999) to explore the mythology and phenomenon, only to come face to face with their own neuroses and possibly the witch herself. – via IMDB

Okay, so, hot on the heels of the unexpected (I am sure) success of The Blair Witch Project comes a *gasp* sequel. Seeing as the first one was not brilliant, but cost very little to make and gained crazy popularity, I suppose a sequel was not surprising. Also, it being shitty could also not have come as a shock. Okay, okay, that is a bit harsh. It is shitty, no doubt, but it could have been so much more offensive than it really was at the end of the day.

Upfront and honest in these reviews, right? Well, the best thing about this movie, without a doubt, was Marilyn Manson’s Disposable Teens and later on Rob Zombie’s Dragula. For reals, at least there was something good to listen to. The soundtrack overall is probably not too bad and the least offensive thing about this movie.

On to the actual movie. The performances! Dear lord, the performances! They were a particlar brand of wtf, not to mention the character logic. It astounded me immensely, and was beyond questionable, even for a horror movie. For example, if I miscarried, the last thing I would do would be to go stay at a stranger’s house. I would want my husband and home, comforts and all that. Not some random dumpy place in the bush and strangers. This is just one of the things that I was like erm… okay.

Our main peanut that we watch, good old Jeffery, is mad as a hatter. Like seriously, this guy has some issues, and we never get to see more about his cuckoo past, which is a disappointment. Actually, scratch that, is probably isn’t a disappointment, because I am sure they would have cocked that up to. Let’s not forget the sheriff. That character writing was hilarious. His phone call to Jeffrey and waving on TV? That was actual comedy gold, because… why?!

We have Wiccans and goths and “writers” out here, but it is all just… nope. It’s like every character in here was written purely from stereotypical conventions. Look, I get it was a budget movie and it was just a money grab and all of that, but have some self respect! Now, I must say, while it is bad, it certainly isn’t the worst movie I have watched. Let’s not forget that Eric and I continue to slog through the Amityville movies (I swear, there is no end in sight). If you don’t overthink this, it is just a sad, generic movie, but nowhere near as offensive as some. It is typical shitty sequel pulp. It could have been more, and Berlinger tried to make his own movie, using the concept of the Blair Witch and doing his own thing. Seriously, the opening for this movie made me think there was going to be more to it. I really liked it,  but it didn’t quite stick to that.

Oh, oh! Oh! How could I forget?! There was one true gem in this movie, which was the skit about how many Heather’s you would need to change a light bulb. Like I laughed, because it was so cheesy yet so totally fitting hahaha. Well played. I did like how the movie skipped between found footage and actual movie, so that it wasn’t all this disjointed shaky cam crap, but that does not save this or make it better. It was a concept that could have worked but instead it was just another scoop of awful to this… movie.

I think it is bad to watch this because yes, I am bitching about it being bad, and it is, but it is so offensive because it actually could have been something more. I see that there was a lot of studio meddling (surprise surprise) and I actually really liked the vision that Berlinger had and wanted to bring forward, because that would have actually made for a solid psychological thriller, and instead we got a shitty movie. There are moments where you can see what he wanted to do, and it is good. Like cut out all the random flash forward and back crap, and you can see the skeleton of what could have been. Oh well.

Okay, but forgetting the corny joke and the Manson and Zombie, Book of Shawdows is a typically messy, cheap cash grab, a practise which is yet to die out. Not the worst of the worst, but by no means a movie that you need to seek out. I think it might get a little more hate than necessary, too. It is not worth the eternal scorn I keep reading about. Seriously, guys, I know The Blair Witch was a big step for horror history, but it is not an amazing movie, either, so whoosa!

The year is 2000; we have all survived the media invented Y2K scare,  JB is like…. 8, we have AOL browsers, we have pay-porn on the computer, we’re all dying for something like MySpace or our own webpage, I’m still trying to rock a head full of long hair (think = fail) and they unleash this thing to a series of vile and cruel reviews by the newspaper and TV critics. IMDB has just started! Memories of whatsherface with snot coming out of her nose linger. I skip this because I don’t care and go on to other things. Life happens and I buy a house. My friend gets shot in the chest but survives and moves home and we smoke a lot of grass, drink tequila and we watch horror movies. Eventually this shows up on some cable channel, we watch it – fully sober (kidding) – and I say – “Well that wasn’t too bad….”

The year is 2017; even though my web presence is basically dormant, JB still keeps in touch. Now facing the nature of snow and ice after she moved, we discuss cold weather. We decide to report on three more movie franchises – say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!! This one is agreed upon first and the first movie sucks complete balls. See last week’s entry. I start watching this on HBO one day and it sucks so bad I can’t concentrate. Jeffrey Donovan is absolutely miserable (Note: I loved him in Fargo Season 2), I thought I liked Kim Director but she sucks here, the non-HD shaky cam is gross, there are enormous problems with the story and the sometimes-useful use of time trickery in film just doesn’t work.  This is not Memento.

I understand cash-grabs. I understand milking things for all that they’re worth. But, like my good friend once said, “if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a fucking pig.” This movie is the epitome of a pig with lipstick on. Here’s my spoiler summary: SUCK. This thing is both of those pictures of Donovan above…. red eyed and tired and then foaming at the mouth shitty.

I do agree with JB that there is a good story in there – but everything about this was bullshit. The acting, the dialogue, the script, the “Oh-shit-I’m-covered-in-scratches!-Me-too!” stupidness, that who-the-fuck-cast-that-guy-with-the-ponytail sheriff, the pitiful non HD footage (who can watch that on a 70 inch tv??), Donovan’s butt… nothing really worked for me here….

Because we do what we do and we do what we must and we do what we like and we like what we do, I have to be honest. I didn’t finish this fucker the second time around. By the time we got around to scheduling and writing about these things, this was no longer out on HBO and I was going to be damned if I rented this. I remember how it ended and I didn’t need a second go. So – am I being fair? I just typed the word ‘fart’… coincidence??  That sounds about right – this movie is a big fart, and not the good kind where you accidentally poot and sit down in it and it’s…. OK… this is a dog-fart-room-clearer…

I don’t really have anything else clever to say about this, not that I’m clever. I didn’t like much about it. I guess it wasn’t vile and wretched but I couldn’t get into it enough to finish it off a second time. To close out – here’s a butt for you. Enjoy! #butts