Upstream Color (2013) – Review

What if your thoughts intersected with someone else’sand your identity and sense of reality become completely warped? Similar to his debut film Primer, Shane Carruth heavily focuses on identity using slow, layered, unique and intricate scenes that convey one’s humanity in Upstream Color.

A pretty experimental film that makes your head scratch at times, this is the type of subgenre that truly captures a person’s subconscious in a nonlinear way. The premise can be described as “basic” in the sense that it’s simply about a parasite affecting people’s mind, but it’s more so metaphorical than plot-driven.

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Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Review

The grisly, the sublime, and moral quandaries are all fascinating aspects of the Gothic genreand Silvia Moreno-Garcia doesn’t shy away from them in her novel, Mexican Gothic.

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Circe by Madeline Miller – Review

Being the daughter of one of the most powerful gods might give you the most extravagant lifestyle you can imagine–yet Circe’s life is anything but that.

A tale of triumphs, grief, heartbreak, and ego-filled gods, Circe focuses on the peculiar daughter of Helios (god of the sun) and Perse (a nymph and naiad). Since her childhood, Circe the nymph has had to go through all sorts of trials and tribulations that her siblings don’t even have to–and she eventually snaps, getting ousted from the opulent house of Helios.

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X (2022) – Review

Paying homage to classic slashers such as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, recent A24 film X delivers a few modern tropes in combination with a 70s atmosphere that many horror fans are nostalgic about—with a more risqué premise.

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Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk – Review

17 people go on a writer’s retreat to craft pretty words with no distractions, no contact with the outside world, all together in an abandoned theater for three months. What could possibly go wrong?

Synopsis:

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk is a compilation of 14 disturbing short stories that are part of a bigger narrative. Following the lives of 19 people with names representative of the stories they tell, such as Saint Guts, Sister Vigilante, and Mother Nature. Palahniuk adds a much darker and satirical tone in a setting and premise that might remind the audience of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.

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Antlers (2021) – Review

Directed by Scott Cooper and produced by Guillermo del Toro, Antlers delves into supernatural folklore horror and a tale of trauma, grief and horror taking place in a small Oregon town.

An adaptation of Nick Antosca’s short story “The Quiet Boy”, the film incorporates a variety of elements that are in many contemporary horror films. The trauma and bad family dynamics are conspicuous since the beginning, following a community where poverty and neglect are rampant. The film opens with a spine-chilling quote, letting the audience a glimpse of the malovelent spirit at hand:

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Piranesi by Susanna Clarke – Review

In the dream-like House encompassed by a sea, Piranesi is surrounded by beautiful statues, endless halls and even dangerous pathways. While this labyrinthine is the only thing he’s ever known, Piranesi discovers that there’s more to it than he realizes.

Synopsis:

The fantasy novel follows the journal entries of Piranesi, a man who lives in a place called the House comprising infinite vestibules, intricate statues, and even an ocean that sweeps back and forth in it. Being the sole inhabitant of the House – besides an occassional visitor he calls the Other whom he does research with – he explores and takes notes of every nook and cranny of it in his journal. From the tidal patterns to the skeletons and statues, Piranesi has great respect for this World – but things start getting fishy about the only place he’s ever known, and we’re not talking about the ones he catches for food.

Review:

Like the House, the prose itself is beautiful – Clarke somehow makes statues and fishing sound intriguing. Although many fantasy books can have complicated world-building that can confuse or bore readers, Clarke’s descriptions are delightfully entrancing. From Piranesi’s journal entries, his appreciation and awe for the House is more than conspicuous, calling himself the “Beloved Child of the House.” It’s akin to how many people often view religion:

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Fresh (2022) – Review

We hear horror stories about modern dating all the time – they’re nothing new, unfortunately. Fresh, however, takes this on a whole new level,- and this is much more horrifying than your average scary “getting kidnapped by your Tinder date” scenario.

Mimi Cave’s new horror film Fresh has a modern and darkly humorous take on dating. We’ve seen and heard some embarrassing stories from our friends, from matches online not being who they really are in real life, to more extreme incidents as seen in Netflix’s Tinder Swindler. Dating can’t get any crazier than that…right?

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