THE MADNESS: Darkness  – Week 2

THE MADNESS: Darkness – Week 2

Well, I got several secret bonuses last week for The Madness by being totally OCD and posting right at noon Friday, but lost Saturday and reaping the consequences this week of the lost day and lost momentum. Fortunately I had a lot of time to try to make things up this week or this would have been a lot worse. Plus I didn’t realize how much horror I watch without trying, particularly TV.

Secret Bonuses?

The Shrine – 84 minutes (Secret bonus, mist/fog) – What is with people who insist on doing stupid things that put themselves and others in danger? Some pesky reporter gets her friends to go to Poland looking for a missing person and they stumble upon some unfriendly locals who chase them away. Then they go back and find a dense and very defined fog. That’s where I would say, “Bye!” But no, they enter and right off the bat it’s demon statues that turn and face you when you aren’t looking. BYE, already! Started good but degenerated into shameless Linda Blair ripoff. 2 stars

Pitch Black – 109 minutes (possible secret bonus? Radha Mitchell, Vin Diesel, monsters that attack at night, holed up in cave?) – Great action movie with a new twist on monsters that attack at night, with the unpredictability of a different planet’s solar schedule. So disappointing that Vin and Radha never got to hook up. 4 stars

Dracula: 2000 – 99 minutes (other possible secret bonus from 2000? Wes Craven producer, vampires, destroyed by sunlight) I know it’s kind a cheesy, but I’m a sucker for New Orleans and I love the Judas twist. 3.5 stars

Willow – 125 minutes (Billy Barty, descent into darkness?) I was convinced this was going to be the 20 point bonus, but the descent into darkness element isn’t clear to me. Willow and Meegosh fall through the ground when they encounter the Brownies, so maybe that counts? They all enter Queen Bavmorda’s castle, which is a place of darkness, literally and metaphorically, yet I’m not sure that qualifies? I’m not sure this is the one. There really should have been a Val Kilmer wild card though. This kind of fantasy is not really my thing, but I’ll give it 3.5 stars for having such an unconventional hero.

Madness Viewing party (30 points):

The Darkness – 102 minutes (darkness in title, attacks in dark, secret room, power outage, Anna Paquin, Lena Olin) – Creepy little thriller in Ana’s pre-Sookie days. 4 stars

The creepy clown in The Hole. BURN THE FUCKING HOUSE DOWN ALREADY.

The Hole – 91 minutes (pit) – How many dirty “hole” double entendres can be packed in one film and how many creepy doll attacks before you burn that fucking house down already! 4 stars for creepy doll, even if it did get silly in the end. 3.5 stars

The Ghost and the Darkness – 109 minutes (Darkness in title) – Is it just me or is Val Kilmer popping up a lot? I couldn’t help but think of Cecil through this and it made me sad. 3.5 stars

More Horror Movies

The Company of Wolves – 95 min (Werewolf) This is one of my favorites, directed by Neil Jordan with a twist on the Little Red Riding Hood theme, and some serious sexual tension from the Big Bad Wolf. Dreamy and surreal… 4.5 stars

Ginger Snaps – 109 minutes (Werewolves, Emily Perkins, Mimi Rogers used to be married to Tom Cruise, can that count?) I obviously love weird sisters with the same interests and the photos are amazing in the opening credits, even inspiring me on a photoshoot to make my own poison tea party. Mimi Rogers is hilarious as the clueless mom. 5 stars

Nastasha tea party

Darkness Falls – 85 minutes (darkness in title, attacks in dark, destroyed by light) A sick twist on the tooth fairy legend, which is sort of predictable but I sort of like this one anyway. 3.5 stars

Silent Hill – 125 minutes (attacks during darkness, Radha Mitchell, going down into underground?) I sort of wrote this off when it first came out, not liking the monster in it, but now love the creepy atmosphere and you have to love the skinning scene. 4 stars

The Mist – 126 minutes (mist,) What a cruel, cruel ending. Half the cast of The Walking Dead and yes, Carol is a badass survivor even before zombies. Didn’t love or hate it particularly. 2.5 stars

30 Days of Night – 113 minutes (vampires, killed by daylight, extended darkness) Finally some scary vampires in the age of twinkle toes Edward. That’s how you make a damn vampire movie, and Ben Foster may have had a small role, but was brilliant as always. Am I the only on who thinks Danny Huston sort of reminds you of a vampiric Anthony Bourdain? 4.5 stars

The House that Dripped Blood – 102 minutes (vampires, Christopher Lee) I love these three stories, featuring Lee and Peter Cushing in separate tales. 5 stars

sir christopher lee Oh how we miss you Sir Christopher

Sleepy Hollow – 105 minutes (attack at night, Christopher Lee, horseman and witch buried in tree) Still my favorite Tim Burton film, paying homage to the days of Hammer with Sir Christopher and throwing in Johnny Depp as bonus. Divine. 5 stars

Underworld – 121 minutes (both vampires AND werewolves, subway/underground tunnels, destroyed by sunlight) Vampires vs werewolves. Like vampires could really win. 4.5 stars

The Thing – 106 minutes (Rob Bottin, arctic, hidden tunnel under floor) The winter/arctic movies we did for the warm up were good, but this is the best. When John Carpenter is on he’s really on. 5 stars

Queen of the Damned – 101 minutes (vampires, Lena Olin) I really like this one because I want to live in London and join the Talamasca, so I live vicariously through Jessie. (Yet another use for a degree in demonology) 4 stars

The Ninth Gate – 133 minutes (Lena Olin). Vintage books on the devil. French apartments with massive libraries of aforementioned books on the devil. Johnny Depp. Castles. How can I not love it? 5 stars

The Howling – 91 minutes (Rob Bottin, werewolves) This is still one of the scariest werewolf movies to me, and those smiley face stickers get under my skin. 4.5 stars

Trick ‘R Treat – 83 minutes (werewolves, quarry qualifies as big pit?, Anna Paquin, victim being buried comes to life) This is a modern classic and now a Halloween tradition. Just the right mix of cheeky and creepy. 5 stars

TV Shows

Walking Dead – 90 minutes Season Premiere I wasn’t too impressed with the season premiere, or maybe my expectations are just too high. 3 stars

Fear the Walking Dead X2 “Cobalt” and “The Good Man” – 60 and 60 minutes (power outages) I just didn’t get into this spinoff, and didn’t watch the last two episodes till this week. Pretty strong ending, but the whole season I kept wondering why that girl never did go back and check on her boyfriend. Huge plot issue for me. 3 stars, 3.5 stars

Face Off – 60 minutes The finalists were chosen but none of the makeups really blew my away this episode. Kinda “meh” 2.5 stars

Scream Queens – 60 minutes “Pumpkin Patch” (night vision) More silly, campy fun and sorority hijinks, but the novelty is starting to wear off a little. Need a little more than Chanel being a bitch and Niecy Nash. 3.5 stars

American Horror Story: Hotel – 60 minutes “Chutes and Ladders” (vampires, forcibly walled up, “buried” alive in mattress?, secret game room for vamp kids) Uh-oh, I’m seeing signs of going campy again this season, with Evan Peters’ flashbacks of a serial killer and a fashion show? Oh please, keep it dark and glamorously creepy. 3.5 stars

Supernatural – 60 minutes S11E2 (darkness spreading thoughout world) I love Sam and Dean, but oh, it’s getting really tired. And they are tormenting us with the impending death of Cass, making it look like he’s about to be a goner, then saving him. You are cruel Robert Singer and company. 2.5 stars


‘Saw’ back in theaters this Halloween

‘Saw’ back in theaters this Halloween

This Halloween, Lionsgate will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the theatrical release of “Saw”, the film that kicked off the most successful horror franchise in history, by bringing it back to theaters nationwide for one week only.  The film will open on Friday, October 31st, with select screenings beginning Thursday night, October 30th.  The seven “Saw” films grossed $874 million at the box office worldwide and were hailed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Most Successful Horror Franchise” of all time.
“The launch of SAW was a signature event in Lionsgate’s history, establishing our first franchise and paving the way for our growth into a global studio,” said Lionsgate President of Acquisitions & Co-Productions Jason Constantine. “We are excited for our fans to revisit the twisted magic that first blew their minds on Halloween 2004.”
“As part of ‘Saw’s’ 10th anniversary, we’re thrilled to give new fans and audiences the opportunity to experience this film on the big screen for the very first time,” added “Saw’s” producers Oren Koules and Mark Burg.
“Saw” was the first collaboration for co-creators James Wan, who directed the film, and Leigh Whannell, who wrote the screenplay. Together, they also created the successful “Insidious” franchise, and Wan has gone on to direct such high-profile films as “The Conjuring” and the upcoming “Fast and Furious 7.”
Directed by Wan from a script penned by Whannell, SAW is a psychological thriller focusing on two men who wake up in a secure lair of a serial killer, with a dead body lying between them. The killer, nicknamed “Jigsaw,” leaves them tape recorded messages with details of how to make it out alive. The only way for one man to make it out alive is to do the unthinkable. The two men desperately try to find a way out, while also trying to figure out who’s behind their kidnapping. The film, which was released over Halloween weekend on October 29, 2004, was produced by Gregg Hoffman, Oren Koules, and Mark Burg.

10 spooky things to do for Halloween (or any time)


It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the Halloween is one of our favorite times of the year here, so here are a few suggestions for some cool, spooky things to do on Halloween… Or any time of the year. Creepy fun is not just for October!

1) Go on a haunted hayride or to a haunted attraction: Check for local haunted houses, ghostly hayrides and haunted corn mazes in your area for some scream-out-loud fun. This is one activity where the bigger the group, the better. To find 100 hapless close to you, check out our resource page to see what attractions are in your state.

2) Visit a real haunted house: If you want to mix a little romance with your scares, try checking into a haunted bed-and-breakfast. If you have a significant other, this is your chance to listen for things that go bump in the night, and if no ghosts arrive, I’m sure you can find a way to make things go bump in the night in your own way. If you know what I mean. (If not, then you need to find another significant other.)

3) Take a ghost tour: If you’re one of those people who don’t like things jumping out at you… what’s wrong with you? But seriously, check your area to see if there are any ghost tours of real haunted places. Bear in mind these are busy during the Halloween season and make reservations early.

4) Do a real paranormal investigation: If you want to take it seriously and do a real paranormal investigation, find a group event investigating a haunted site. Check with local paranormal research groups who sometimes have public events, especially around Halloween. You might get lucky and get a few lessons in ghost hunting or lectures about ghost lore or demonology.

5) Go to a local masquerade party or host your own: They can be sexy, like “Eyes Wide Shut,” or scary, like “Masque of the Red Death.” Be sure to watch the latter before going, so you can wonder just a little bit who might be lurking behind that mask, and if you see a man all in red, run for the hills.

6) Get your palm read: If you’ve ever seen a creepy carnival movie, then you know how scary fortunetellers can be. At least in movies. Try your local version to see what fate lies ahead for you.

7) Have a horror movie night: Either go to the theater, or, if you’re more the stay-at-home type, there are a few things you can do to create a scary movie marathon. Make sure you have plenty of cool treats on hand, lots of liquid refreshment of your choosing (preferably of the alcoholic variety), and a big stack of horror movies. Turn on some Halloween lights in the house and turn out the rest the lights for a spooky glow. Maybe light a few candles to add to the atmosphere.

8) Build a bonfire and tell ghost stories: If you live out in the country, invite friends over to toast marshmallows and tell ghost stories. If you’re super ambitious, can even set up an outdoor screen projector system or a TV to watch movies outside and have an outdoor theater. But if you know any good storytellers, or know how to weave a tale yourself, sitting around the fire and telling ghost stories is far more effective than any movie you’ll ever see.

9) Have a séance: Contemporary paranormal investigators like there gadgets and video cameras, but if you want a rocket old school, do a traditional séance. Sit around a table, light some candles, and call on dead spirits speak or make things move. breakout a Ouija board and see if any spirits want to chat.

10) Read a scary book: Now, we hope your going out and doing something fun or meeting up with friends, but worst-case if your plans fall through or if you just sort of the antisocial type, you can always curl up with a good book… A good scary book.


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Last minute, CHEAP Halloween decoration – glowing blood bowl!


This glowing bloody bowl is an awesome way to make your porch look spooky and it provides a good lighting for sitting on the porch handing out candy. It’s really easy –and cheap — Halloween decoration. It will glow for a couple hours, probably just long enough for you to get through trick-or-treating. You could also use it for a Halloween Party, if you do this you may have to refresh it every once in a while. Let’s get started on how to do this!


Glass bowl (Dollar Store $1), Red Puffy Paint (Wal-Mart, $1), Jumbo Glow Stick (Dollar Store, $1), and Water


-First you need to physically make your bloody bowl. So using your red puffy paint, take it around the rim of the glass bowl and make it look like dripping blood. Go all the way around your rim. Make sure that you don’t make all the lines the same length because switching them up for lengths gives it a more realistic look. *Another idea would be to cover your hand in paint and make a “bloody” hand print on your bowl.

-Allow for your paint to dry.

-Next, You just need to crack your glow stick as you normally would. Then cut off the top of your glow stick and pour it into your bowl.

-Then, just fill the rest of your bowl up with water and stir it up.

There you have it! Now you have an awesome glowing decoration to be used on Halloween! Have fun and enjoy!

dark glow bowl

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Face Off recap: Trick or Treat

Two of the top three looks this week on Syfy’s “Face Off:” Tate (left) and Roy (right.)

If you watched Tuesday night’s episode of “Face Off” on Syfy, you learned something very important: do not use light-up eyes on any makeup if you become a contestant on the show, or cotton candy for hair. We also got a sharp reminder that this is anyone’s game, as one promising newcomer stumbled, another rookie stepped up his game, and a struggling veteran finally rose to the top of the pack with the challenge that was right up his (dark) alley.

If you follow the show, that probably gives you a pretty good idea of the veteran I was referring to above, but let’s proceed.

Before the contestants got to the spotlight challenge, they had a challenge with guest judge Valli O’Reilly for a prize of immunity from elimination this week. Each artist got a different set of monster teeth that they had to fashion into a full makeup.

The three favorites of O’Reilly were Roy, Tate, and Miranda. All three did great makeups, but seeing how Roy used that netting to create texture on his model… It was a pretty good guess he might take the top prize, which he did.

Then they moved on to the main event, the spotlight challenge, which had a trick-or-treat theme this episode. Each artist had to choose from between five different classic Halloween costumes: vampire, clown, scarecrow, skeleton or devil.

Is anyone else getting the urge to break out the Halloween candy, like, right now?


Send in the clowns: Laney’s top look (left) and Scott’s bottom look (right.)

The top and bottom looks belonged to Alana, Laney, Tate, Roy, Scott, and Lyma. Although, it’s worth noting that newcomer Eddie did his best work of the competition so far with his version of the scarecrow, and one could argue that he might have been deserving of making that top three. It certainly shed a new light on him as a competitor in this series.

But the actual top looks belonged to Laney, Tate, and Roy. Roy did a devil with huge bat wings fabricated along with a sort of burnt lava-like makeup job. Tate was back to his horror roots, doing a scarecrow with a pumping heart. Laney had some issues with her clown, not realizing the cotton candy hair would melt in the hot lights, and yet she still pulled it out for top looks.

Speaking of which, if you don’t want to  impress the judges, do lit eyes. But if you do want to impress Ve Neill, do hairy armpits. If you don’t get that, you need to watch the episode, already — I can’t spoon feed you everything!

Then there was the bottom.

Scott did a serial killer clown that had pulled out his own heart to use as a squeak toy. To the untrained eye, it actually didn’t look so bad, to be honest. Kinda good, maybe, despite being a somewhat… lopsided sculpt. But then there’s a reason that the rest of us aren’t  judges on “Face Off,” I suppose.

The best part about the design was it prompted the first real “Glenn Hetrick zinger” (TM) of the season: “It looks like a misshapen Bert and Ernie.”

You gotta love a man who can be brutal and funny at the same time. Unless, of course, you’re Scott. Poor guy.

bottom looks

Lyma (left) and Alana (right) rounded out the bottom looks this week.

The next look on the bottom, Lyma, not only got a harsh critique from Hetrick on her sculpting and paint job, but Neville Page took her to task for the red lit eyes.

“This is something that, for me, never works… when creatures have glowing eyes. What this does is it cheapens it.”

And last on the bottom was Alana. While her work has been very good throughout the season, I have to confess I kept feeling there was some repetition I couldn’t quite put my finger on: A certain common theme of a very round, smooth, pale face that seemed to be done week after week.

And apparently, Hetrick was seeing it as well, and sort of went off on it in deliberations.

“It doesn’t look anything like a ram,” he told his fellow judges. “She can’t just tell us it was supposed to be something and then bang out this super simple form that she uses in every makeup. That’s not going to cut it.”

With some of the harsh comments Hetrick made in deliberation, it looked like a fan favorite might be heading home. But, instead, rookie Lyma — who had done some of the most original work this season — was sent packing, despite looking like she might be a dark horse to make the finals after last week’s top three finish.

All bets are off on this one, folks. Well… almost all bets.

Veteran Miranda started off really strong and continues to do very solid work, but last week Laura and Roy really showed what got them so far the first time around. And while Laura didn’t make the top three this week, she still put in a very good makeup in an area that’s not really her greatest strength.

Roy made top three again with another great makeup, and with immunity. He may not be the horror guy that Tate is, or the beautiful fantasy painter that Lara is, but he sort of lands in the middle space between the two, able to do some of each. His versatility may be the key to winning it all this season.

And then there’s Tate. If you’ve been reading my recaps of “Face Off,” you know I love my horror guys (Eric Fox!) Well, Tate finally took the top prize this week in his perfect wheelhouse of horror makeup. Not terribly surprising, I’ll admit, but as I’ve pointed out before, many fans felt his previous work this season was being seriously overlooked.

As a horror chick, I think you know where I stand on that one.

With Lyma out as a possible dark horse, there is still newcomer Laney that could upset the veterans, or if we start seeing more work from Eddie as good or better than what he did this week, you never know how far he will go. Hopefully, this bottom-three scare for Alana well pushes her to stretch herself and make use of the skills she has to really push the envelope and create something new and mind blowing from her — she’s far from out of it. Likewise, Miranda is running strong and getting more confident in her makeup. Well, sometimes she’s more confident. Someone on twitter likened her to the girl in school who always thinks she’s going to fail the test and gets an A+.

But, all that aside, if I was a betting woman (and as a poker player, yes, I am a betting woman) I’m putting my money on Tate, Roy, and Laura for the final three.

There, I said it. Sue me. Send the lynch mob with the flaming torches.

Who do you think should have been in the top, the bottom and sent home? Comment below the gallery of photos from this episode!

Next week’s show features Elvira, so tune in Tuesday night to Syfy for the next episode of “Face Off.” And check out this interview with Tate about some cool projects he has in the works.


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