Wednesday, September 28, 2016

R.I.P. XI: Book Review: The Ritual by Adam Nevill

How often do we feel fear when we head off into the woods? How many horror movies have been about well, horror in the woods! Lots. There are reasons why. Nature is scary. Nature doesn't care about us. It just is. It exists. The woods hide things. We can get lost.

Nevill does a fantastic job building up the horrors his characters face. Four friends head out on a camping/backpacking trip through the northern woods of Sweden. Soon one suggests a shortcut through some unknown woods since one of them has damaged his knee. Then they come upon a dead and horrifying slaughtered's fresh. How did it get up there?

They come upon an old cabin. They find a sewn together animal of goat and man and who knows what else...then the nightmares begin. It's a race for their lives as they try to outrun an ancient creature that wants to slaughter them.

It was creepy. The end took a different turn and that was creepy too. Overall, Nevill keeps us scared, guessing, and afraid of the woods. Perfect horror.

I read this for the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XI challenge hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

R.I.P. XI Movie Review: Let Me In

Let Me In is the American adaptation of the Swedish book Let the Right One In. It stars Chloe Grace Moretz as the vampire.

I thought they did a good job of adapting the overall isolation and drudgery of the Swedish novel. It's now small town New Mexico in the middle of nowhere. Many characters are cut and put into smaller parts to keep the adaptation more coherent.

Abby and her 'father' move in next door to Owen and his mother. Owen is bullied at school. His parents are getting a divorce and he wants power back in his life. Abby and Owen soon become friends because they're pretty similar. He soon finds out she's a vampire and bad things start happening...can he truly be friends with a monster?

The story is so good! But the American adaption was a little boring, honestly. I missed some of the characters from the book but I understand why they needed to be cut. I still think this is a worthwhile movie. It's still pretty horrific with a little girl being a vampire. It was fun to watch right after finishing the book.

I watched this for the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril challenge hosted by Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

R.I.P. XI: Movie Review: The Omen (1976)

The Omen (1976) with Gregory Peck is number 25 on the list of's top 100 horror films of all-time. The story opens with Gregory Peck's character Robert rushing in a car, worried and frantic that his baby died and that he can't tell his wife. He's in Italy and heads to an orphanage or hospital where a priest and a nun hand him a new baby he can present as his own to his wife. (I already had problems with this...why can't he treat his wife as a grown-ass adult and tell her what happened? sheesh...)

Flash forward a few years and all seems well. The happy family moves from Italy to England in order for Robert to be the American ambassador to England. So they're ridiculously rich and live in the middle of nowhere....

Flash forward two more years and little Damien is 5. It's his birthday and he's having a huge party all for him. He has a nanny who within minutes after looking into the eyes of a random Rottweiler on the property hangs herself from the top story of the house in front of everyone. And thus it begins....

I'd heard the director wanted it written vague enough to make it seem like the mother could be hallucinating it all. I kind of like that route. The whole time I'm watching it I'm thinking it's all the crazy fundamentalist adults who are blaming this poor little kid into being the AntiChrist.

The music is haunting. I loved the monk chorus. It was very haunting. The way the journalist dies was pretty crazy and spooky.

Overall I can see why it's a horror classic going along with pagan- like scares of the 60s and 70s with Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist.

I watched this for the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril challenge hosted by Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

R.I.P. XI: Book Review: Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

The book was so much creepier than the movie. But the movie kept the same feel of the book, which was nice. Overall, it's a coming of age story for both Eli, the vampire, and Oskar, the boy she lives next door to.

Oskar's parents are divorced. He lives alone with his mom. He's picked on brutally at school by three bullies. He wants a new life. Then he meets Eli, the girl next door. She's not like other girls. She stinks, for one, but she's really smart at the Rubik's cube. Plus she never judges him. Ever. They even start using Morse Code to talk to each other through the walls.

But then a boy is murdered in the woods. It looks like a ritual killing. More murders and more questions. Is Eli involved and her caretaker?

The pace is surprisingly quick. The author introduces all the characters that become entangled in Eli's web. We start to empathize and we're not quite sure who to root for....

I loved it. I loved the dark and cold feel of the book with a hint of warmth in how he writes both Eli and Oskar. Everyone seems human, even the monsters. It's a classic. I will read again.

There are two adaptations of this book. The original Swedish and the American one "Let Me In" with Chloe Grace Moretz. I saw the Swedish version a few years ago and plan on rewatching it soon and I just picked up the American version from the library so I'm excited to compare and contrast all three.

I read this for the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XI challenge hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings.

1/4 read

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XI

I've been so excited to start on all things Horror, whether books, movies, television, etc. So I'm signing up for Stainless Steel Droppings R.I.P. challenge.

There are multiple levels to choose from but I'm on a mission so I'm taking on the:

Read four books of any length that are considered scary or mysterious, etc.

And I'm also going to read watch a lot of horror these next two months. I've come up with a good list from Top 100 Horror Films. I don't know if I'll watch all of them but there are so many to choose from I shouldn't run out over the next month and a half.

Some possible books on the list:

  • Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. READ!
  • The Ritual by Adam Nevill. READ!
  • The First Days by Rhiannon Frater. 
  • The Ruins by Scott Smith. 
  • Hell House by Richard Mather. 
  • Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden. 
  • Swan Song by Robert McCammon.
  • Texas Gothic by Clement Moore.
  • The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson.
  • Ghost Story by Peter Straub.
  • The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allen Poe.
  • The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allen Poe.
  • The Dunwich Horror by H.P. Lovecraft.
  • The Dreams in the Witch-House by H.P. Lovecraft.

Some possible movies on the list:

  • The Devil's Backbone (2001) directed by Guillermo Del Toro.
  • The Omen (1976) directed by Richard Donner. WATCHED!
  • Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil directed by Eli Craig.
  • Let Me In (2010) directed by Matt Reeves. WATCHED!
  • Let the Right One In (2008) directed by Tomas Alfredson.
  • The Blair Witch Project (1999) directed by Daniel Myrick.
  • Don't Breathe (2016) directed by Fede Alvarez.
  • The Babadook (2014) directed by Jennifer Kent.

Top Ten Tuesday--All Time Faves Memoir/Biography Genre

The folks over at The Broke and the Bookish have an awesome weekly meme, Top Ten lists. Who doesn't love hearing about what others have loved in any and all genres?! This will be my first time participating and I'm excited to list my all-time favorite memoirs/biographies!

I know it's not Tuesday....but I'm only a day late so here we go:

Favorite Memoirs (in no particular order):

  • Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl. It's been a long time since I read this. But it's stuck with me. Such an amazing girl who was able to make the best of her situation. Even more tragic knowing her fate. It's a must read for anyone.

  • Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She's a beautiful writer. She's been through so much and continues to do so. Her struggle and redemption changed my worldview and am forever grateful.

  • Bossypants by Tina Fey. She started the funny and poignant memoirs by smart and sassy women, at least for me. One of my first audiobooks too. So so funny and so much to learn from her. I hope we hear from her in a memoir every ten years or so.

  • Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. This woman has been to Hell and back. Her insights are life-changing. I loved this book.

  • Secrets and Wives: The Hidden World of Mormon Polygamy by Sanjiv Bhattacharya. As a person who grew up Mormon and as someone who's fascinated by people this was an amazing book. A fair look into the underbelly of who and why theses people practice polygamy. 

  • El Deafo by Cece Bell. A beautifully written and drawn graphic novel based on the author's life. She became deaf from meningitis at a young age. She brings all of this to life in her graphic novel for kids. 

  • The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Also a graphic novel based on the author's life. Growing up during the Iran revolution. How it played out and how scary it all is. Made me think. A must read.

  • Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. This biography blew me away. So many things I didn't know about Malcolm X. It's a fair treatment of all the flaws and all the good things too. It made me think about Malcolm X in a whole new way.

So not quite ten but it's the best highlights I've read in a long time.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale

This book is a beautiful work of art. Love, anger, acceptance, and change are all ideas within. Native American artists sharing their work with the world. The most haunting are those stories about being forced into reformation schools where they had to learn English and Christianity and be taken away from their parents. Abuse ran rampant through many of these schools. History and culture and love was lost. But seeing the stories of redemption and reclamation is truly heartening and inspiring.

The book is divided into various sections like Roots--where they come from or Battles--stereotypes to fight, reappropriation, etc. Medicine--how they are healing. Dreamcatchers--how they live now. So many different art styles are incorporated from music lyrics, food, art, stories that are heartbreaking to stories that are inspiring. It's a beautiful layout and one that should looked at over and over again.

I recommend this book to see the amazing stories and art work and activism going on right now. Beautiful.