ACNH Island Designer

After weeks enjoying the peaceful life in Animal Crossing New Horizons, KK Slider finally visited our Islands and, by doing so, Tom Nook unlocked the terraforming app. We recently had a week off and we enjoyed our days away from our office laptops reworking the shape of our beloved Islands.

Sardoken

I had planned to keep as faithful as possible to the original design of my island. I would only move what was really necessary in order to build great yards for the residents and correct a few things like the position of the bridges.
By the end of the week, the island had changed much more than I had anticipated. I changed the path of the rivers, deleted a cliff, moved most of the buildings and relocated my house.
I am completely addicted to terraforming and I can’t stop changing the design of Lonestar to further improve it.
I only wish that they would have kept the entry of the buildings and the bridges to even numbers. For example, the exit of the airport is 2 blocks while the entry of the museum is 3 blocks, which makes it harder to center the paths. But it’s just a small complaint, the app is really well done and fun to use.
I wonder what my island will look like after my next week off…

Soforah

I remember playing Animal Crossing in 2006, Chris had bought me my first gaming platform, a Nintendo DS, and AC Wild World. I was so happy at that time roaming around in my little town, it already seemed so huge. Fifteen years later, we’re actually terraforming, crafting, and decorating an entire island. I knew that New Horizons would be different from all previous AC games, but I never expected it to be this great. When I created my island, Miskatonia, I chose one that I thought would be the perfect lay-out to begin with. 100+ hours later my island doesn’t look at all anymore like the original map. So far, I’m having tons of fun creating little nooks and crannies all over the place. So much has changed already, I wonder what it’ll look like in another 100+ hours from now.


Pet Sematary (2019)

Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple soon discover a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home – IMDb

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This remake of the 1989 classic, wasn’t bad, but not good either. The thing that disappointed me in this movie is that it wasn’t creepy. I kept expecting jump scares, and something more evil to surface throughout the entire movie, but it never came. The idea behind the story was great, but they could have done so much more with it. After all, it’s a Stephen King story, but to be honest, I’ve never even managed to finish reading one of his books, just too boring.

Anyway, it was a fun little thriller, but don’t expect the ultimate horror experience because you’ll be disappointed.

Sardoken

I don’t remember much from the original movie, except that it was average at best. This one is a bit the same… When the movie was over, I thought “ok, not bad”.

With such an idea, it could have been much more intense, but too many scenes ended up being soft, I even wondered if it was purposely done to satisfy a wider public.

The feeling I have with most Stephen King stories is that they are written for the people who want to read something a bit darker than the usual supermarket thriller, but it’s too soft for the real horror public.

Pet Sematary didn’t scare me, it didn’t shock me, but it didn’t bore me either, just like most Stephen King stories.


Assimilate

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What would I do if everyone in my town was being replaced by evil clones who only seek to convert me? Would I gear up and go full Commando?

Or would I try to steal a car and run away as fast as I can?

That’s the question I’ve been asking myself while watching Assimilate.

I would probably try to leave as fast as I can, only to find out that the next town as been overtaken as well. Then I would gear up, try to find others and build a guerilla to fight back…

About the movie, I don’t have much to say… The casting was good and the movie didn’t slow down until the end. Certainly not my top horror of the year, but a decent Invasion of the Body Snatchers clone for a Saturday evening.

Soforah

The reviewers constantly refer to this movie as another Body Snatchers rip off. I’ve never watched that one so, I can’t tell. All I know is that I enjoyed it, and that it deserves much more credit than it got.

“First they bite you, then they become you”… I loved the story, it was well paced with unexpected twists. Also, the actors did a great job, they gave a classic horror teen feel to the movie which I like.

Also, kudos for the found footage parts, I’m a sucker for those. When I started watching this movie, I was convinced that it was about some experiment in a small town. I won’t spoil anything, but the plot twist at the end was one that I didn’t see coming!

If you like Sci-Fi and horror, this is a must watch! The end left an open spot for a sequel, I personally hope that the story didn’t just end there. To be continued?


Haunt

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Last week, I went to the street fair in Liège with Inge. One of our tradition is to visit the haunted house. It’s safe, it’s in plain sight, packed with people. There are kids (actually, it’s mostly kids and us), which makes it feel even safer… The attraction in itself is not really creepy, it’s just a lot of decoration and not much light. There’s one thing though… the people who hide in the dark, wearing masks, ready to yell at us. We know that they are there, yet it always scares us. As always, the biggest creep is the human.

Now, imagine that the haunted house is located in the middle of nowhere, that there’s no one else and that you have to sign a waver and surrender your phone to a creepy clown who doesn’t even talk. Would you still go?

In Haunt, just like at the street fair, the creepiest part of the haunted house isn’t the decoration, but the people inside. Too bad we didn’t watch the movie before going to Liège, it would have added to the tension.

Following the same reasoning, I should have watched Final Destination before going in “The Turbine”. I know, I’m a daredevil 😉

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This is the movie that I expected to see when Rob Zombies’ 31 came out. Unfortunately, 31 was so bad that Chris and I stopped watching it in the middle. Fun fact, though, was that the song in the closing credits of Haunt was a cover of Mr. Zombies’ Dragula.

There is so much to love about this movie, the setting, the acting, the costumes and masks, the haunted house theme, the fact that it keeps you sitting on the edge of your seat,… all perfect for Halloween.

Even though I love to visit haunted houses myself, I would never enter one so remote where a disturbingly creepy clown makes you sign a contract, and asks you to leave your phone in a lockbox. Never going to happen!

Also, kudos to Eli Roth, this dude sure knows his stuff. I’ve always been a great fan of his projects. I wonder what he’s going to work on next. In the mean time, grab the popcorn and saddle up, it’s going to be one hell of a ride!


Scream – Season 3

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Serial killers doesn’t feel compassion, they don’t feel the same way as other do. They enjoy to hurt people or to see people being hurt so they can feel something. They don’t kill for revenge, they use revenge as an excuse to kill, it’s just an opportunity. (source: me, I’m a criminologist)

If you follow this rule, you should easily find who Ghostface is in the third season of Scream because, for once, they didn’t cheat. Most movies or TV shows that relies on suspense will often misguide the audience, so they can surprise it with a final twist. This time, they didn’t.

Other than the show being more honest than usual, the suspense was what kept me watching. I know that it’s part of the Scream recipe, but I start to get tired of the over-stereotyped characters. Also, I really didn’t like Deion, neither the character, neither the actor. I can’t explain why, it just didn’t click.

The third season is worth the watch, only to see if you’ll be able to find the killer. After all, it’s only 6 episodes.

Soforah

Even though the third season is less good than the previous ones, it still remains a decent slasher show.

The first episode threw me off due to the casting. Beth, the goth girl, looks so fake with her glued on piercings, it still makes me cringe.

The second episode got me convinced to like the tv-show nonetheless. The pacing, and classical slasher theme got me hooked. Also, they followed the rules on how to survive a horror movie to the letter. Makes it all kind of obvious, yet you never stop wondering who the real killer is.

My top ten on how to survive a horror movie:

  1. Never say you’ll be right back;
  2. Never walk backwards because it’s always behind you;
  3. Always check the inside of your car before you get into it;
  4. Don’t ever split up;
  5. When you know that the house is haunted, just leave the place;
  6. Always assume that your attacker is still alive;
  7. If you find an ominous book written in a language you can sort of sound out (but don’t really understand), don’t read it out loud;
  8. Don’t ever go into the basement or attic alone;
  9. If you suspect something or someone is haunted or possessed, don’t stick around trying to make contact with otherworldly spirits;
  10. If you’re a girl (most often a virgin) and you notice that everyone else around you dies, congratulations, you’re a Final Girl, and you’ll probably survive!

Well, from the looks of rule number ten, I’m doomed. Haha… Anyway, like I’ve mentioned before, a decent slasher worth the watch. I wonder if there’ll be a fourth season though.


Exists

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Teens go on a trip to the woods, and all goes horrifically wrong. Add the found footage theme to this, and a perfect recipe for a horror movie is created.

This movie has it all, the jump scares, the plot, the pacing of the story, even the big foot costume was excellent. I’ve stayed on the border of my seat throughout the entire movie. Somehow you know that most (if not all) of them are going to die, yet you can’t stop wondering who’s going to be next.

I also love the Big Foot theme which is, to my surprise, rarely used in horror movies. Apparently, the director, Eduardo Sanchez, is half of the genius behind The Blair Witch Project. Seeing the quality of the story, this doesn’t surprise me.

All in all, Exists is one of the best found footage movies I’ve seen so far. Another one that convinced me not to go to remote woods at night, you never know what lurks in the shadows over there!

Sardoken

If there’s one thing that is certain about Sasquatches (even more than their existence) it’s that you can’t reason with them. If one day, you’d unwillingly provoke them, there’s no need to apologies, they don’t care. All they want is revenge and you’d better run fast. (source: me, I watch a lot of movies)

Seriously, I love Bigfoot movies. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough good ones. Exists is probably the best of them.

The Sasquatch is relentless, unforgiving and absolutely brutal. The movie starts with the introduction of the characters, but doesn’t waste time. Once the action begins, it doesn’t stop, from one gruesome scene to the next.

Oh, and if you would ever happen to stumble upon a Bigfoot, just bring back a DNA sample, there is a lot of people out there who need to confirm its existence (so they can continue to sell goodies in their tourist shops).


Us

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There is nothing I hate more than a psychological drama camouflaged as a horror movie. It’s always the same with that kind of movie, the beginning is promising but, half-way through, you realise that it doesn’t keep its promise, that everything has been slowing down for 30 minutes. You keep watching in the hope that it’ll pick back up, but it never comes. Then you know that you’ve been fooled by the crappy ratings of nowadays drama lovers on places like Rotten Tomatoes and, even worse, respected horror websites like Bloody Disgusting.

I don’t care that it’s artistic, that the mix of ballet dancing with the fight scenes is well done. I don’t want symbolism or references to metaphoric crap from the Bible. I came for a horror movie, and I ended up with a dramatic opera. I would have preferred that the other families would have been aliens trying to replace us.

So, if like me, all you want is to watch a horror movie, don’t watch Us, it doesn’t belong in that genre.

Soforah

The only horror related to this movie are the high ratings. Seriously, this movie was bad!

The first scene looked promising though, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in 1986 had me expecting an epic 80’s themed horror movie. While it had a lot of potential, they had to go completely bamboozled in the second part. Conceptual art doesn’t belong in movies! Who likes that anyway? The whole fight vs ballet scene was unbearable.

I’ve read that the concept of the movie is based on Jeremiah 11:11;

Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.

True story *ahum*… I think that my scientific brain can’t take these kind of things seriously.

Anyway, they could have used this idea for something darker and creepy, a real horror story! All in all, this was one of the worst movies I’ve watched in 2019. I think I will be more cautious next time I see high ratings on a horror movie.


The Silence

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I’m typing this post as silently as I can… I just can’t help it, since we’ve watched The Silence, it seems that I can’t help but try to be more silent than usual.

Seriously, I really enjoyed the movie. The casting was great, the story was very well wrapped and the tension perfectly built. We were so much into it that we almost didn’t dare to talk during the movie.

The Silence has a lot of my favourite things: a global catastrophe, a family trying to survive on the road,… It’s also very enjoyable to watch, the movie doesn’t break its rhythm with long emotional scenes. People die, horrible things happen, but we don’t spend 20 minutes crying about it.

My only regret is that the movie only lasts 1h30′, I would have enjoyed more survival scenes, more road trip to the North with great American landscapes… In fact I could have seen it as a TV Show where the dad and his daughter are left alone after the rest of the family got killed. I couldn’t help but find the duo perfect when they had to make a run for the meds.

There could be a great character development as they travel through the US, learning how to defend themselves, find shelters and become badass at surviving.

Yes, I know, that would be very much like The Last of US. What do you want, I’m a fan of the game and I couldn’t help but see a bit of Joel and Ellie in Ally and her dad.

However, The Silence is a great movie, probably one of the bests I’ve seen this year.

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Despite the bad reviews, The Silence is one of the best movies I’ve seen in quite a while. Easily a four stars on five for me.

When the world is under attack from terrifying creatures who hunt their human prey by sound, 16-year old Ally Andrews (Kiernan Shipka), who lost her hearing at 13, and her family seek refuge in a remote haven – IMDb

The casting is remarkable, there was a direct connection with the characters. It’s funny to see the duo Kiernan Shipka and Miranda Otto, who play together in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, portray completely different characters in this movie. They all did an amazing job!

One of the things I’ve most appreciated, is the survival aspect in the story. I’ve always loved big catastrophes, and end of the world themes, there’s nothing quite like it. I dare you, though, to say one word while watching this movie, I know we couldn’t. The tension builds up nicely, and every scene adds to the story.

A great Netflix original that deserves to be on my small re-run material list. Knowing that I normally don’t like re-runs, this is a huge compliment.


The Conjuring

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I don’t want to enter the debate about the truth behind the Warren case files. I believe in atoms, biology and chemistry, I don’t believe that something unexplainable, guided by evil forces, lurks in the dark.

But, as strong as my belief in science can be, movies like The Conjuring or The Exorcist make me feel uneasy. When those movies are over and I need to bravely cross my apartment at night, I usually bring my flashlight with me.

But that’s what I’m asking for, a scary feeling that lasts for a little while, until my brain takes over, and The Conjuring delivers just that.

Of course, the scenes are well done and the tension is build perfectly, but it wouldn’t work as well if the casting wasn’t as flawless. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are absolutely fantastic and both give the movie the level of seriousness that makes you think “and what if it was all true?”. From the moment that the thought enters your mind, the movie has done its job, the door to your logical brain is open and the fear can take over.

So, fact or fiction? Does it matter when it’s quality entertainment?

Soforah

We had planned to watch “El Camino” last night, but when we saw that The Conjuring was available on Netflix, we changed our minds. It’s October, and we don’t need a lot of excuses to opt for a horror movie if we can, even if it’s a re-run.

I know that I’ve already seen this movie a few years ago, yet I was still as terrified as the first time I’ve watched it. Most movies loose the element of surprise once you’ve seen them. The Conjuring, however, still kept me on the border of my seat until the end. Absolutely bonechilling!

Apparently, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga (who portray Ed & Lorraine Warren) traveled all the way to Connecticut before filming began, where they spent time with the real Lorraine Warren. They wanted to learn about her long-running paranormal career in order to make the film as authentic as possible.

I also read somewhere that the production was plagued by spooky happenings, but I don’t know whether I believe these stories or not. Could be a great publicity stunt to attract more viewers.

Anyway, true story or not, The Conjuring scares the living hell out of me! Perfect for a Saturday horror night.


In The Tall Grass

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A rainy Sunday afternon, candelights, my wife, me… And a Netflix movie.

I was afraid to have seen most of the story in the trailer, but there’s more in this Stephen King inspired movie than just a few people getting lost in tall grass.

There are so many ways that this movie could have turned bad, but it didn’t. Instead of going non-sensical and heavy, the movie managed to keep moving in the same direction and led us to a satisying ending.

The casting was good, but Patrick Wilson, by showing another face than the mister nice guy from The Conjuring, was excellent. Even though, his acting skills were not able to top the real vilain of the movie: the monolith. Never a piece of rock had felt as threatening.

Certainly not my horror movie of the year, but probably part of my top list of 2019.

Soforah

And the award for best performance goes to: the tall grass… No seriously, the movie was pretty good, better than I expected after having read the bad reviews.

It was dark, cold and rainy last Sunday, we (my husband and I) had no game installed and felt like watching some TV. I remembered having seen the trailer for “In the Tall Grass” on Netflix and, thought why not watch this? So, a Stephen King story it was.

We lit up some candles and snuggled in the couch while the rain was tapping on the window, and people were getting lost in tall grass on our screen. The reason why I speak so few about this movie is that it’s more about the entire moment. It’s one of my favourites, and no matter the quality of the movie, it will always be bound to an unforgettable Sunday afternoon.