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Posts Tagged ‘slasher’

Book Review: Patricia Wants to Cuddle by Samantha Allen

November 21, 2022 Leave a comment
Image of a digital book cover. A large hairy ape hand with a manicure holds a blonde white woman who is holding her phone and taking a selfie.

A reality tv dating show is filming its final four – including a closeted bisexual – on an island in the Pacific Northwest, but things take a fantastical horrifying turn the night before the penultimate decision day.

Summary:
This season’s Catch is a slightly sleazy bachelor who helped fund Glamstapix, which explains why so many of the final four women are Glamstapix stars. There’s Vanessa a car model, Amanda the daughter of two lesbian moms with a fashion Glamsta, Lilah-Mae a Dallas-based Christian influencer, and Renee a Black woman nominated by her coworkers who’s pretty over being the token woman of color on the show. No one is thrilled with the rural Otters Island location in the Pacific Northwest but everyone is motivated to make it to the final two in Palm Springs. Things get heated while they film the final interactions before the Catch chooses who will come with him to Palm Springs but things take a horrifying and fantastical turn when the cameras turn off for the night.

Review:
I did not receive the blurb I gave you above. The blurb I got combined with the title led me to believe that this was going to be a reality tv dating show where one of the women contestants was into another one of the women contestants who then gets abducted by a King-Kong like female creature she has to rescue her from. I still love this idea. But this isn’t what actually happens in the book. At all. It’s not a romance. It’s a funny reality tv show book that takes a horrifying turn in the last third.

I repeat. There is no romance in this book. Unless you count old love letters between an elderly B&B owner and her now dead wife. (Not a spoiler, she’s dead from the beginning). Renee is a closeted bisexual who does have feelings for Amanda (or at least the hots for her) but those feelings are not the focus of the book. The title of the book is misleading because Patricia, the giant ape-like monster, absolutely is not out to cuddle anyone. It’s not some weird cross-species ill-fated romance like King-Kong. Patricia is out to murder. And she murders a lot of people gruesomely. If you don’t like descriptions of a monster tearing people apart, then you won’t like the direction this book goes in. Sorry if you consider that a spoiler but I think it’s essential given how the book is being marketed and how the first two-thirds of the book reads to warn you about the dark, horrific ending before you get there.

Speaking of the first two-thirds of the book, that’s what made me give it three stars. I loved the insider look at the overlap of reality tv and influencer culture. I enjoyed Renee’s scathing observations about it all. I appreciated that there was some understanding and empathy for the influencers, especially that it actually is hard work to get the glamor shots and constantly promote every aspect of your day. It’s a fun, light-hearted read. I was wondering why it was taking so long to introduce Patricia. But then when Patricia came in I understood. The last third was basically a rapid slasher, not a search and romantic rescue. So it didn’t need much room.

The following paragraph is a spoiler filled analysis of the ending. Highlight to read.

Renee is the only one that Patricia doesn’t attack. The book seems to make the point that Patricia doesn’t attack her because Renee doesn’t treat her like a monster, and Renee doesn’t do that because she herself is queer. There’s this queer woman death cult that surrounds Patricia and protects her as well, even killing people to keep her existence a secret. To me this read as that monstrous groups only act monstrously (or seem monstrous) because of how you react to them. This might have worked but Patricia literally immediately tears people limb from limb. It’s not a kind act that’s misinterpreted. She hasn’t gently carried someone away in a kidnapping because she’s lonely. She concusses Amanda when she kidnaps her and then later tears her head off when she dares to try to run out of the cave. She scales the tower Lilah-Mae and Vanessa are on and immediately tackles Vanessa unprovoked. If this is an allegory, it’s a bad one, because Patricia is, in fact, acting like a monster. I think the allegory could have worked if there were real misunderstandings involved instead of the actual gore that occurred.

Overall, this felt like two different works mashed together. The first was a funny and empathic analysis of influencer and reality tv culture. The second was a gore-filled horror slash-fest that would work as a short story. The former is more my taste, but I respect the quality of the latter. The way the two are put together, though, might struggle to find its audience. So if you like a slow burn horror led by reality tv satire, give this one a try.

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3 out of 5 stars

Length: 256 pages – average but on the shorter side

Source: Library

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Movie Review: Scream 4 (2011)

April 20, 2011 4 comments

GhostfaceSummary:
Sidney has returned to Woodsborough to kick off her book tour–a book all about overcoming being a victim.  Dewey is the sheriff and married to Gale.  Naturally on the eve of the anniversary of the original ghostface murders, new murders start occurring, and the townsfolk are not blind to the intense metaness of the whole thing.

Review:
The two words that best describe this movie are: hilarious slash-fest.  And it knows it too.  The insider jokes, the characters’ comments about how meta the whole thing is, movies within movies within movies, and the internet being worked into the plot all work together to make for a deliciously self-aware series that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

I have to say, I yet again did not figure out who Ghostface was, which is a huge plus in a franchise that has had to reinvent a similar theme over and over again.  The blood and gore was still at a shocking level.  They definitely kicked it up to the next notch.  Plus the editing and story keeps everything fast-paced.  As my friend who saw it with me pointed out, she didn’t look at the clock once, and that’s rare in a movie nowadays.

Could it have been better?  Yes.  If the ending had been taken a different direction, it would have gone from better than expected to reawakens the franchise.  Alas, they didn’t take that step.  It, however, is still an awesome sequel, particularly when Hollywood isn’t exactly known for generating good ones.

I highly recommend it to fans of the Scream franchise.  You won’t be disappointed.  You may even be surprised.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: theater

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Movie Review: Shrooms (2006)

August 3, 2010 6 comments

Skull in the forest.Summary:
Five Americans–two straight couples and one single gal–go to Ireland with two sole purposes: take shrooms and land their Irish pal as a boyfriend for the single gal.  Their friend takes them into the forest and aids them in gathering the shrooms.  As they are making the tea, the Irishman tells them the tale of the Black Brother and the Lonely Twin, an evil priest and the boy he tortured at a now abandoned school for troubled youth nearby.  As the night wears on the next day comes, the friends are left wondering if the horrors they are now seeing are the result of an open portal to the supernatural or just a bad trip.

Review:
This was a fun twist on the slasher flick norms, obviously not too heavy on characterizations as I can’t remember most of the character’s names.  I do know the annoying jock guy was named Bluto, because that’s just a hilarious name.  Anyway, the story is told from the perspective of the member of the group who ate a bad shroom and is now having premonitions about people’s deaths.  That part is rather like Final Destination, only in this case we know the person having the premonitions is high, so her believability is even more questionable.

The Black Brother is deliciously creepy.  He alternates between moving on what appear to be broken feet, floating, and crawling down from the trees.  His face is always obscured by his monk-like robe.  The cinematography is pretty good for a B-level horror flick.  The premonition and supernatural bits are just wobbly enough to give the viewer a bit of a high feeling themselves without being too distracting from the story.

The acting is typical of what you find in B level movies.  The actors all have their shrieking down to a science.  They’re good at being scared, which is all that really matters.  Unfortunately, the actor who plays the Irish guy is completely incapable of an Irish accent and manages to just sound British the entire time.  That’s a bit distracting, but oh well.

There is one scene early in the movie that sold it to me right away as a slightly laughable but still creepy slasher flick.  It involves a hallucinated cow who warns Bluto that he’s about to become a “dead fucker.”  I mean, a creepy talking cow?  Total B-movie win!

What really moved Shrooms up from a 3 star to a 4 star level for me though was the ending.  I can’t tell you what it is, obviously, but I can tell you that I didn’t figure it out, and it was legitimately creepy.

If you enjoy B-level slasher flicks with a sense of humor, such as Final Destination, you’ll definitely enjoy Shrooms.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

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