The Night House

A widow begins to uncover her recently deceased husband’s disturbing secrets. – iMDB

I’m writing this post not to forget that we’ve watched this movie. Weird thing, we did, and I already forgot about its’ existence. If it weren’t for Sardokens’ infallible memory, this one would have gone straight to oblivion. Makes me wonder what happened that night though.

After watching the trailer, I now remember it was an entertaining watch. There was this eerie vibe throughout the entire movie, but I wouldn’t have called it scary. As a reference, I haven’t jumped once, and coming from me that means something.

I would definitely not call this a horror fest, it’s more of a haunting mystery thriller. The story was pretty solid and original, maybe not the best movie, but worth the watch none the less.

AC Odyssey: How to Get the Best Ending

After many hours in AC Odyssey, getting lost in many quest lines and exploring the huge map, I’ve finished the main story line. It was fun, but it’s far from over. While I’ve killed many cultists, they haven’t all been slain. As long as my cultist page isn’t fully tainted red, I won’t give up on the game.

Apparently, there are nine different endings of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey depending on how many of Kassandras’ (or Alexios’) family members remain alive at the end of the game. Here is the short version of how I got to “a happy ending”:

  • In Chapter 2 “The Wolf of Sparta”, spare your father, Nikolaos;
  • In Chapter 6 “Catching Up”, tell your mother, Myrinne, you will save your brother, Deimos, from the cult;
  • During the quest “Ashes to Ashes”, save the baby;
  • In Chapter 7 “Paint it Red”, be kind to Nikolaos and tell him to help Stentor;
  • Don’t kill Stentor;
  • During the quest “A Bloody Feast”, tell Myrinne that you’ll bring Deimos back;
  • In “A Bloody Feast”, tell Deimos to hold on after you fight him;
  • During the quest “Doing Time”, convince Deimos the cult is manipulating you both. Deimos will say “I am not your puppet,” if it worked;
  • Continue to convince Deimos the cult is using him and refuse to fight in “Where it all Began”.

As a bonus for saving all of your family members, you’ll have them unlocked as Lieutenants for your ship. At first, I wasn’t too happy about having to do naval battles to progress in the game, but upgrading my ship changed that. It was pretty fun cleaving through ships as if they were butter.

Also, the end of the “Daughters of Artemis” quest line broke my heart, but I won’t spoil it in case Sardoken would decide one day he’d want to play Odyssey. While it was fun killing all those legendary beasts, I still can’t believe that the developers came up with an end like that. Ubisoft, sponsored by prozac.

For a game that I was so prejudice about in the past (I’d never play it, even if hell would freeze over), I’m having a lot of fun. Even AC Valhalla made it to my backlog, who would have thought that? Certainly not me.

Scream 2022

I remember watching the first Scream in 1996 at the theatre with my friends. It was a great Saturday eve slasher, and I loved it. I can still hear the iconic “Hello Sidney”, I think that these 2 words are imprinted in a lot of minds of people of my generation. However, after my disappointment with the second and third movie, I completely gave up on the franchise, and forgot it even existed. Until a new Scream was released this year.

It was fun seeing the old cast back in action, even though I have mixed feelings about Courteney Cox. I know that getting old isn’t easy, whether your appearance is mandatory or not. Every one I know suffers the same fate, and I understand that some people try to escape the inevitability by going to a plastic surgeon. Yet, I think that in most cases plastic surgery makes things far worse than they are. Honestly, I didn’t know whether to be scared of the killer(s) or Courteney Cox’ appearance.

Regardless, Scream 5 was a fun watch and brought back a lot of memories. Don’t expect anything deep though. I pity the ones who watch a slasher movie, and write a bad review cause they expected an award winning quality. Scream is what it is, a perfect Saturday Eve horror movie, and I’m glad a 6th one’ll be released in 2023. To be continued…

Archive 81

When archivist Dan Turner takes a mysterious job restoring a collection of damaged videotapes from 1994, he finds himself reconstructing the work of documentary filmmaker Melody Pendras and her investigation into a dangerous cult. As Dan is drawn into Melody’s story, he becomes convinced he can save her from the terrifying end she met 25 years ago. – IMDb

This TV-show is amazing, I absolutely loved it. First of all, I had no idea that nowadays people would be interested in restoring old tapes. I googled “restoring old tapes”, the amount of results that appeared surprised me. Watching Dan working his magic in Archive 81, was hypnotic. Granted, it was shot in a way that I looked like eye candy. I think that I would have really liked this job.

The videotapes Dan needs to restore, were shot at the Visser in the 90’s. The decade that gems like Twin Peaks and the X-files were created. Archive 81 belongs on that same shelf to me. I think that the reason why I love this TV-show this much is because so many boxes are checked for me. 

Imagine taking on a mysterious job restoring a collection of damaged videotapes in a remote location where there is absolutely no connection, and no way to get in contact with anyone but your shady employer. Things start to happen, and none can be explained scientifically. All you know is that it’s real. If I would have been in Dans’ shoes, I would have gone insane.

I think that this concept mixed with Cthulhu-esque elements like alternate timelines, comets, some otherworldly intoxicating mould, a cult who worships a demon / god named Kaelego,… works like a charm on me. 

Archive 81 is based on a podcast with the same name so I started researching about Kaelego, hoping I would stumble on some ancient historical facts. Of course, like expected, it’s pure fiction (one can only dream). However, I did read an interesting article on Den of Geek about the deity / demon Kaelego, the comets, the Vos Society, the Baldung witches, the Otherworld,… All I can say is that I’m awestruck by the world they’ve created.

There are many references to Dante’s Divine Comedy. The main character’s name is Dan T. (Dante) and he’s being taken on a journey with a man named Virgil (Dante’s guide). I still can’t believe I’ve read those books one day though, it’s not exactly light reading.

The music Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow created for the show is haunting. It crawls under your skin and gives a dark and intense vibe to the show. You feel something building up, like they’re trying to create a rift between two worlds. It’s daunting and tense. It reminds me a lot of Eyes Wide Shut, The Lords of Salem, and Twin Peaks.

There are only a few jump scares in the entire first season, but it weren’t those that scared the living hell out of me. This show is more about a lingering feeling of eeriness / creepiness which creates a tense atmosphere. I absolutely love this kind of thing, and I was sad to hear that Netflix cancelled the show without giving any reason. Regardless, I still don’t give up hope that it’ll be renewed one day.

AHS: Roanoke

One of the overall least popular seasons of American Horror Story is Roanoke. Granted, it isn’t my favourite either. It started off well, but instead of building up the story slowly, they directly went into full blow action and horror. They could have managed that better, in my opinion. While the first part let itself watch, the second became a drag and the end was mediocre. The reason why we went on to watch the show, is because we love the AHS cast. The actors are amazing, we got so attached to them that even a lesser season got us clung to the tv.

My Roanoke Nightmare is based on the true mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke:

In 1587 a small colony was founded on an island off the eastern coast of North America. The settlement would have been the first permanent English colony in the New World, had the settlers not disappeared owing to unknown circumstances. The lost colony of Roanoke is one of the most-notorious mysteries in American history; the cryptic clues left at the abandoned settlement and the lack of any concrete evidence make it the focus of wild speculation and theories. (source: brittanica.com)

An interesting topic which indeed leaves space for a lot of wild theories. I’ve read crazy ideas about zombie outbreaks, insane massacres, and all kinds of creepy stuff that only belong in horror movies. Nevertheless, I wonder how close AHS got to reality. Hopefully (most certainly) they are far off cause one thing is for sure, My Roanoke Nightmare is gruesome. From cannibalism to slaughter, they didn’t hesitate with the gore and were quite creative with the deaths of certain characters.

TLDR, I loved the first part of the show, but only went on watching it thanks to the excellent cast. The next and 7th season will be “AHS Cult”. I haven’t read anything about it so, I wonder what kind of horrific adventure Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck have in store for us this time.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

After years of instantly dismissing games like Assassin’s Creed for some made up stigmata; I solemnly swear that I’ll never be prejudice again. When AC Odyssey came out, I was quite negative without even having played it, but when I saw some breathtaking screenshots on twitter, I started doubting my negativity towards the AC franchise and all other games I’ve ever discarded without any valid reason. Now, I’m 60+ hours later in the game and I’m having a blast.

The game is so much fun for many reasons;

  1. It has a lot of diversity. You can go explore maps, quest, kill beasts, do naval battles, gather resources, complete objectives,… there’s always something for any kind of mood. 
  2. The gameplay in itself is great, intuitive and fun. You have the choice between warrior, hunter and assassin’s skills which you can mix up however you like. You can adapt your game to your own play style, I absolutely love this. Another plus is that you can reset your ability points whenever you want at a low cost. 
  3. The landscapes are jaw dropping, I sometimes stop everything to admire the beautiful view.
  4. The developers really went out of their way when it comes to detail. My advise is to play with a headset for the immersion. The sound of the environment and the interaction with it is so accurate and detailed, it feels lifelike.
  5. Swimming… It may sound weird, but I love to swim in Odyssey. The waves sometimes are threatening and daunting, but diving and swimming in general are so peaceful (if you can avoid the sharks and enemy ships hehe). Again the detail of the water, the way you shake off the water when climbing out of the sea, the sound of it,… they did an excellent job at Ubisoft creating this world.

If I may make just one suggestion: add a button “kick”. As you can see in the screenshot above, some of the bodies really don’t want to be disposed of and keep falling on the ledge where they remain… a little kick or push would do the trick though. It took me a while to get rid of that one. On another note, as you can see, some have a flair for dramatics when they die.

Another great thing that they’ve added to the game and that I’m going to mention here as a reminder for myself, is the screenshot mode within the game. I play AC Odyssey on Steam, so I can take screenshots with F12 which is great, but it doesn’t remove the interface. Since the game is always linked to a Ubisoft account, you can take screenshots by pressing F3. It makes your screen look like this:

As you can see, there are quite a few options for taking your perfect screenshot. Once you’ve taken it, it’ll be uploaded via your Ubisoft account for others to see. When you check out your map in game, you can see your screenshots as well as those of other people. The cool thing is you can drop a like on any of the pictures posted there.

Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m currently at 60+ hours in the game, and I’m only level 25. I’ve read somewhere that it usually takes 40+ hours, but I’m taking my time. When I check my map, more than half of it hasn’t been explored yet so, I guess I still have quite some fun ahead. I have to admit that I love to explore every nook and cranny, and complete every objective that crosses my path. At this rate I’ll be at a few hundreds of hours I think, but the longer it takes, the better. I wonder if AC Valhalla is as great. It certainly is on my list, and I will play it one day when I’ve completed Odyssey.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

This years’ Halloween headliner was The Conjuring 3. I don’t know if it’s because they start the movie with “based on a true story” and the fact that The Warrens are real, but The Conjuring series are damn frightening! Every time I’ve watched one of these movies, I’m terrified at night, afraid to go to the bathroom and stumble upon something horrific. Of course that never happens, but the movie leaves you with that feeling and that’s exactly why it deserves a 5 star rating.

The duo Patrick Wilson (Ed Warren) and Vera Farmiga (Lorraine Warren) is amazing, they have this chemistry going on that make them the perfect casting. The real Lorraine Warren was a head consultant on all of the Conjuring projects and was an avid follower of the series, she died a natural death a few years ago (age 92). 

During the closing credits, you can hear a news interview with the real Ed & Lorraine Warren from during the trial, along with photos of scenes from the movie and dialog from an audio recording of David Glatzel’s exorcism. This made it even more eerie, and makes me wonder what parts of the movie really happened or is it entirely fiction?

Also, an honourable mention to the Master Satanist, Eugenie Bondurant, her creepy performance is the highlight of the film. I’m surprised that we don’t see her more often in the horror industry.

I know that I keep repeating it a lot, but The Conjuring 3 was scary as hell, perfect for our 2021 Halloween Night. Let’s hope that there are many more to come so our Halloween Eves keep being perfectly frightening as it should be.

Halloween Kills

Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without Michael Myers’ annual killing spree. We usually watch the original while eating our pumpkin oven pasta, but this year we were in for a treat with the new and gory Halloween Kills.

The opening few minutes were awesome, it had the great vibe of the original and looked very promising. It’s always great to see Jamie Lee Curtis again. Too bad they decided to throw in a never-ending scene with a lynch mob yelling “evil dies tonight” resulting in the suicide of an innocent man. I could have lived without that scene, it was chaotic and way too long to be good. The death count throughout the entire movie was huge though and some of the kills were rather creative and gory, the right recipe for a good slasher. 

I’ve read somewhere that the firefighters appearing in the opening scene are the actual firefighters from Cannon Air Force Base Fire Department. From firefighter to movie star, they must have had a lot of fun shooting this scene.

Maybe the movie wasn’t a milestone in the horror cinema, but it was perfect for setting this years Halloween vibe.

On imdB, they published the following in trivia: Halloween (2018) was released 40 years after Halloween (1978). Halloween Kills (2021) was released 40 years after Halloween II (1981). Halloween Ends (2022) is set to be released 40 years after Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982). This means that next year the 13th Halloween movie will be released. Hopefully it’ll come out before October 31st.

Meanwhile, Happy Halloween!

AHS 1984

Every Friday night we watch an episode of American Horror Story, I already loved the TV-show, but 1984 is amazing! We’ve skipped a few seasons only to watch this one, and it was worth it. Weirdly enough, season 9 got a lot of bad reviews. In my opinion, it’s one of the best seasons with such an electrifying 80’s vibe, it makes you want to plunge into the Camp Redwood bloodbath.

While it doesn’t fail to capitalise on Camp Crystal Lake references, Jason Voorhees, or the notorious serial killer Richard Ramirez, the TV-show is full of 1980’s nostalgia with a compelling story that keeps you engaged. You have to hand it to the creators, they’ve got it all right, from the aerobics-scenes, to the music (Kajagoogoo, Billy Idol, Greg Kihn,…), the fashion,… it’s a straight trip down memory lane. The opening credits alone are worth the watch:

Also, the casting is as great as always, among my favourite characters this season: Matthew Morrison (Trevor), Emma Roberts (Brooke), Billie Lourd (Montana), and Zach Villa (Richard Ramirez). The scenes have enough gore and horror to keep any slasher fan entertained, and has a somewhat happy and satisfying end. AHS 1984 is an instant add to our regular rerun list, now I only have to find it on blu-ray and we’re all set.

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel

The first time that I heard about the Elisa Lam case was during this documentary, and it was also the least interesting part to me. After having watched all 4 episodes, I still wonder though: was it really an accident, did she kill herself or did she get murdered anyway? I guess we’ll never know.

The most entertaining was the history about the Cecil Hotel. I never knew about its’ excistence, yet a lot of things have happened there throughout the years. The place even welcomed the famous serial killer, Richard Ramirez. After having watched “The Nightstalker”, he’s now mentioned in the “Cecil Hotel”, he seems to be in a lot of things lately, a new star is born? From what I’ve read and heard about this hotel, you don’t want to set a foot in that place. Also, the surrounding neighbourhood, Skid Row (wait, wasn’t this an 80’s rock band?), seems less than uninviting… where is the L.A. that everybody dreams about? The palm trees, the beaches, the beautiful people,… I guess that Hollywood has sold us a beautiful image.

I’ve also learned a new word while watching this docuseries: websleuth, apparently it’s an internet community that is focused on crime and missing people. Well, what can I say… I don’t know who to be more afraid of, them or the criminals? I previously called them the internet police, and to be honest  they seem way too obsessed with a girl they’ve never met, it’s just creepy. I mean, look at the black metal musician “Morbid”, he was falsly accused of her murder by these websleuths. They’ve shattered and destroyed his life, in my opinion, he is the true victim in this documentary. Yet, nobody ever apologized once for the injustice that was done to him.

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