Halloween Horror: American Horror Stories

Hello, hello!
It’s October and y’all know what that means! It’s almost Halloween which is my favorite holiday of the year. I usually declare all of October Halloween month which means you’ll posts on all things horror, spooky and creepy. To kick things off, I took a closer look at American Horror Stories. As that season is an anthology on the episode level I’m gonna give you a tiny review on each one instead of the series as a whole!

The Plot (as found on Rotten Tomatoes):

“American Horror Stories” is a spin-off of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s award-winning anthology series “American Horror Story.” The weekly anthology series features a different horror story in each episode. Since 2011, the creators of the series have redefined the horror genre with various installments featuring a creepy asylum, a coven of witches, a traveling freak show, a haunted hotel and the apocalypse itself. The television series sprouted a legion of dedicated fans who anticipate what terrors the next chapter will hold.

The Rating:

Rubber(wo)man

Oh this was bad. So bad.
I actually liked the idea of this one (actually to kick off the season they started with a double episode that I am reviewing as one here) but the execution – not so much. The angle they choice was super up to date but I think this suffered from being so closely attached to the whole Murder House trope. Dear Ryan Murphy, please let it go. There are only so many things you can do and it already started getting repetitve a while ago. But what really killed this for me was probably the main character and her relationship. I didn’t care for her at all and even less for the weird ass super unhealthy relationship she got into. It really didn’t help that Kaia Gerber’s acting performance was one of the worst I have ever seen in my entire life. As was the case with a great many Ryan Murphy projects, this started out promising but went to hell pretty soon.

Drive In

For this one, I hated just about the entire thing except for the last 30 seconds. 🙈 One problem I noticed while watching this: it’s the lenght of an episode but I guess they thought they were making a movie. What do I mean with that? For most of the episode everything feels like it is a film (not a good one, mind you) also in terms of pacing. But then there are only five minutes left and what would have been half an hour in a film gets crammed into that time-frame. What also really bothered me about this one is that many of the lines were extremely cringy and even pissed me off to some degree. The concept could have been intriguing but the writing was terrible. The very end was honestly the most interesting thing about it and a smart twist. But a few seconds can’t save the episode.

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Mystery/TMP Television Edition: Cold Cases

Hey, guys!
Welcome to another entry for Thursday Movie Picks.
It’s a series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, so if you want to join the party, head over to her blog! It’s pretty easy: check out each week’s topic and come up with 3 to 5 movies that fit the theme.
Welcome to the last post of the mystery mini-series. Since it is the last Thursday of the month we talk about TV shows rather than films, those about cold cases in specific.

#1 The Forgotten

I dredged this one up from the bottom of my memory. Has anybody else ever watched this show?

#2 Beyond Evil

Other than the first pick, I had to use some google powers to find interesting shows that fit the theme. I mean I could have just picked Cold Case, but I didn’t want to. Instead, I came across this Netflix film that I 100% need to watch.

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TMP Television Edition: Book Adaptations

Hey, guys!
Welcome to another entry for Thursday Movie Picks.
It’s a series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, so if you want to join the party, head over to her blog! It’s pretty easy: check out each week’s topic and come up with 3 to 5 movies that fit the theme.
For the final post of each month, we talk about TV shows instead of films. So, today we’re going to tackle some book to TV series adaptations!

#1 Nos4a2

I don’t know why it took me so long to finally read this book. I’ve known Joe Hill’s stuff for a while and liked everything else that I’ve picked up. Well, this year I finally read Nos4a2, so I also checked out the show after that. I loved the novel, but the show, well, not so much.

#2 Wheel of Time

I’m still in the process of reading all these books (there are sooooo many!) but I finished the first one and watched the adaptation earlier this year. I had so much to say about it, that I even did two posts just comparing the two. 🙈

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TMP Television Edition: Origin Story

Hey, guys!
Welcome to another entry for Thursday Movie Picks.
It’s a series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, so if you want to join the party, head over to her blog! It’s pretty easy: check out each week’s topic and come up with 3 to 5 movies that fit the theme.
As is customary for the last TMP post each month, we’re focussing on TV instead of movies. So, today we’re talking about some shows that give us origin stories!

#1 Bates Motel

Alfred Hitchcock’s film Psycho is probably one of the most famous pictures in cinematic history. With Bates Motel we learn more about Norman Bates’ life before that particular story.

#2 Merlin

This might be a bit of a cheat, but hear me out! In myth and legend Merlin is always by Arthur’s side and teaches, advises him. However, he’s usually depicted as an old man. In Merlin, however, we learn where he comes from and meet him at a younger age. But, he’s by Arthur’s side nevertheless since the show changed a lot about the original narrative. So, it’s not quite Merlin’s story before the role he plays in mythology but somewhat of an in-between.

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TMP Television Edition: Home and Lifestyle Shows

Hey, guys!
Welcome to another entry for Thursday Movie Picks.
It’s a series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, so if you want to join the party, head over to her blog! It’s pretty easy: check out each week’s topic and come up with 3 to 5 movies that fit the theme.
As usual, since this is the last TMP post of the month we’re talking about TV shows instead of films. It’s Home and Lifestyle shows in particular that are on our plate today!

#1 Tidying up with Marie Kondo

I guess despite the overwhelming success of Marie Kondo’s book, the Netflix show was not that popular since we only have one season. But I really like her approach of “Does it spark joy” and try to apply it to many areas of my life.

#2 Interior Design Masters

I think this has more than one season, but over here the first one is all that is available on Netflix, so that’s all I have ever seen. I don’t watch to many reality TV shows, so this week we had slim pickings 😅. Nevertheless, I found Interior Design Masters interesting to watch.

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Book vs. TV Show: NOS4A2 (Season 2)

Hello, my darling readers!
I talked about the transition of book to screen for NOS4A2 a few days ago, taking a closer look at season 1. Of course, my opinion on the show wouldn’t be complete without also giving the second season a chance!

The Plot (as found on Rotten Tomatoes):

Based on Joe Hill’s New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, “NOS4A2” is a different kind of vampire story. It follows Vic McQueen, a gifted young woman who discovers she has a supernatural ability to find lost things. This ability puts her on a collision course with the evil and immortal Charlie Manx. Manx is a supernatural villain who feeds off the souls of children and then deposits what remains of them into Christmasland — a twisted place of Manx’s imagination where every day is Christmas Day and unhappiness is against the law. Vic strives to defeat Manx and rescue his victims — without losing her mind or falling victim to him.

Book vs. Movie:

Good news and bad news. I wasn’t too impressed by season two and still prefer the book over the show any day. However, there is one part about the series that makes for an interesting addition to the novel and it gets a big thumbs up from me. Then again, it was maybe a little half-baked in the show but we can’t always be gunning for perfection, can we?

But first things first. Just like in season one, they took the basic idea but altered just about all the details. If you do that, make sure you are improving the story. Otherwise, why on earth did you have to make alterations just to turn this into something worse than what we started with? This became glaringly obvious in the second half of this season. The book keeps up the pace, leaving you breathless and thrilled. The show on the other hand just leaves you checking your watch. Once we head for Christmasland, it becomes evident that the “heroes” we have here are just about the most incompetent people of all time. Their plan is so weak, barely thought through and the execution is even shittier. It’s not just that, on top of it not making much sense, it’s extremely boring which is arguable to worst thing they could have done. Even though the novel isn’t perfect, it was never boring. It felt like they tried to string as many characters along for the final episodes because fans may have liked them, while in the book they had no place being there (or weren’t even alive anymore). See, Joe Hill surely had a thought process when making those decisions! You can tell that the story doesn’t benefit in any way shape or form this alteration and even if I hadn’t read the book first, I would have been very disappointed.

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