Big Mouth Season 1 (Netflix, 2017-)

Ladies, gentleman, people of the Jury, we all know that cartons aren’t just for kids. We have great adult cartoons such as Rick and Morty, Family Guy and South Park. These are shows defiantly not fit for Cartoon Network. Netflix thought they would get on board the band wagon of inappropriate cartoons and made Big Mouth. From the look, characters of the show and the theme of going through puberty, it does originally seem like a nice teen show but please don’t make this mistake. It’s crude, bizarre and just kind of cringe worthy. I don’t want to watch 12 year olds masturbate but apparently in a cartoon this is fine.

Big Mouth follows a group of, I believe 7th graders (I’m British, I don’t know the American School system), going through the awkward stages of puberty. Women experience their first period, guys get their first pubes and teens get their pillow pregnant?! It’s super weird. The show explores the nature of moving from tween to teen, with strange metaphors and over bizarre situations. My personal favourite, being the hormone monster, who offers extremely crude suggestions in romantic situations. Nothing is better than trying to kiss someone for the first time when a monster is screaming at you to take them there and then. However, you can’t deny that inner you will shout that sometimes. It’s all the typical cartoon shenanigans but with such cringe situations, perhaps to represent the awkwardness of being a young teen. Despite this, it does rely on people to find second hand embarrassment and gross humour funny. I feel like I shouldn’t laugh at a teen jizzing his pants because he hugged a girl. I felt like ‘WTF Netflix’ was the general mood.  I personally don’t enjoy this form of comedy so some of this show is wasted on me. But I know a lot of people will laugh out loud at a lot of the scenes.  Nevertheless, I did really enjoy the show.

The idea of puberty is also well presented and since the target audience has already gone through that terrible stage, we can both appreciate and laugh at the crap that these characters must go through. Nothing is better than laughing at other people’s pain. It’s a show with a decent theme and purpose. The presentation is what keeps us film and TV critics at bay. Anyone who has seen the show will know that the song ‘Life is a fucked up mess’ is a tune. The series really allows a basis to catalyse a conversation on puberty and bodily changes. Hopefully, once you have watched to show, you will be able to open up and laugh about periods and pubic hair (more than you probably did before).

I also find that the show is trying to find its feet during production. The storylines only get better as the show progresses so if you watch it, give it time. There were a few times early on, where I thought I was going to give up on this ridiculous cartoon but I’m glad I saw it through to the end.

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Netflix Original: Gerald’s Game (Mike Flanagan, 2017)

Stephen King must be rolling in the money the past few months. With the release of IT (Andrés Muschietti, 2017) and now the release of Gerald’s Game (Mike Flanagan, 2017), only available on Netflix, he must be laughing at his success. There is no surprise that King has a net worth of over $400 million, when he can produce stories that are both great as novels and movies.  Gerald’s Game hit Netflix just last month and has defiantly proved this theory right, with one of the best Netflix original movies I have seen. It has a truly engaging storyline and film techniques good enough to make any film nerd scream with excitement.

Plot: When Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) go on a romantic getaway to spice up their sex life, Gerald decides to handcuff Jessie to the bed. Unfortunately, before any of the fun begins, Gerald has a heart attack and dies, leaving Jessie handcuffed to the bed, with no one around to get her out.  She must either try to survive long enough for someone to find her or find a way to get out herself. Luckily, she has the hallucinations of herself and her dead husband to help her through her nightmare.

 

 

Review: Firstly, any film that can have such an interesting and captivating narrative that keeps audiences on the edge of their seat, whilst being set in just one room is a rare and beautiful oddity in film making. As Jessie is strapped to a bed in one room and all she is able to see is the inside of her bedroom, this is all the audience is really able to see. We are confined to the mental and physical observations of our trapped character. For Jessie the world outside doesn’t exist so for us, it doesn’t really either. Space was an important part of the filmography and it is clear throughout.

Geralds-Game-Film-2017

Now the prospect of just watching a character strapped to a bed for 1h and 45 mins does sound very boring. She would have no one to talk to and she wouldn’t really be doing much but struggling and screaming. Well, she imagines herself and her dead husband talking to her and trying to help her live. This prospect is a really fun and interesting idea used within the film. It can suggest that her subconscious is really trying to survive and offers some innovative solutions to the conscious Jessie, who just can’t seem to stop panicking and crying. It seems as if the survival instinct is a separate part of Jessie, which allows her to keep ticking, even when she is a mess. Plus, it allows the audience to see her thought process in a more creative way, compared to her just talking to the air or hearing an internal monologue. Plus, it makes Jessie seem extra crazy. This however, may be just down to Stephen King being an excellent writer, rather than the director.

GERALDS-GAME

The sub plots are also appealing and provides both a large character development for Jessie and builds in elements of horror. The film shows flashbacks to Jessie’s traumatic childhood and added ‘hallucinations’ of death/ the moonlight man, a very creepy man who lurks in the shadows and appears in the moonlight. First we are given the horror of Jessie being shackled to the bed and then stuck to the bed with a monster on the loose. What I’m saying here, is the plot is fantastic. It is a unique yet simple storyline that offers a creative way of presentation that can be appreciated by both film fanatics and non-film fanatics. On the other hand, I am unable to comment on if the film sticks to the novel and how much I should be praising Stephen Kings writing rather than the directing of Mike Flanagan, as I have never read the book. (I do pan on reading it after I’ve finished Stephen Kings Misery… 200 pages left). If you have read the Novel, I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.

moonlight man

The conclusion to the film could have been a bit more dramatic. For those of you who have seen the film, I mean the last few minutes rather than the really gross and gory part. I do have to give them credit for the gross out factor. Not many films can make me cringe quit like that scene could. I mean, everything is wrapped up in a little bow for us fussy viewers. It was a typical Hollywood ending. For a film that focuses mainly on straying away from cinematic norms, perhaps they could have kept this prospect until the very end.

Despite, the incredible character development of Jessie, I do believe that Gerald’s storyline is lacking. We learn very few things about him, yet he is a main character within the film. We are suggested that he is slightly abusive and cheats but this is only a small part of his character. I wanted to understand more about their relationship and explain why her mind chose to have him help her through the film, if he was such a terrible character. I mean the film was named after him so a little more development is all I ask.

Overall, I would totally recommend this film. It is unlike any film I have really ever seen and you have no idea how difficult they are to find in this industry. It does have its flaws, like all films but there are way more positives.

 

My top 5 horror television/ Netflix returning shows.

Its October next month and that can only mean 2 things.  1) Its Halloween!!! Time to get spooky. 2) All the good horror shows are back on TV. Finally! We will be graced with some truly great television returns. As someone who loves the horror genre, I am very excited for the fright fest. In honour of the event, I am counting down my top 5 horror television/ Netflix returning shows. This will not include any new shows or the great spooky shows that returned in September, such as America Horror story on Fox, AMC’s Fear the Walking dead or SYFY’s Channel Zero.

5) The Exorcist Season 2 (SYFY) October 11th (UK).

Last year, a brand new horror show graced our screen, based off of the 1973 movie The Exorcist…. and the book I guess. The first season was based on Regan, the little girl from the film all grown up. The devil was back for more and returns to possess her daughter and torment her family. The second season seems to focus on a new family, allowing for a whole new story. Judging by how scary the first season was for a television adaptation, I hope to see some new frights in store and a continuation of quality. The first season had some impressive character development and adaptions to the original story. However, with horror shows, there is always the risk of losing itself along the way.  As we are moving somewhere new, there is always the chance that this can turn into another generic haunted house plot. This is would be perfectly fine, if we didn’t already have a few of these on our screens. We want originality to be scared. We will just need to wait and see.

4) Riverdale Season 2 (Netflix/CW) October 12th (UK).

Just the day after The Exorcist returns, Riverdale is back on Netflix. I know this isn’t necessarily a supernatural horror show but if you have watched the first season, you would know that there is murder, gangs, secrets, cheerleaders and disturbing plot lines involved. The show is very much a typical high school chick flick but with much darker and twisted themes, that you would usually see in shows such as Game of Thrones, rather than a high school drama. It’s very much the Heathers of the TV world (1988, Michael Lehmann). The show fits perfectly within the mystery teen genre and brings some originality to industry, with the use of tones and colour schemes. I personally loved the show because I am one for a little romance, mixed in with my crime horror. The storyline kept you thoroughly engaged with cliff hanger after cliff hanger. The show also had some lovable characters and cast. I have no trouble understanding why Riverdale has such a large fan following on Tumblr.  Again, as the main crime from the first season has been solved, it is difficult to see if they could match up the thrill of a murder with the shooting of a fairly secondary character, which still might live. BUT as the characters, rather than the plot, are the main selling point of this series, the show may still be safe after all.

3) Supernatural Season 13 (CW) October 12th in USA.

Yes, Supernatural is on its 13th season. The show might end…eventually. Now as a long time Supernatural fan, who has watched the show since its first season, I am allowed to judge the downfall of this show. Supernatural has faced a variety of big bad evils throughout the years from angles, demons, the 4 horsemen, the Devil, Leviathan and even Gods sister. These boss battles would get more extreme each year. However, what can trump God and his sister? According to the show, a Nephilim can. This is a child of a demon and a human. Sounds powerful but is also the villain in season 5 episode 6 so it’s been done before as a filler episode. However, the monster was never defeated as he was far too powerful, leaving some element of hope that this big bad could cause a lot of trouble for our boys. They shouldn’t recycle villains but it should be interesting to see if it pays off. Judging from the trailer, the quality of the show has gone down again but I am excited to see it back. Sometimes though, it’s wise to quite while you are ahead. They shouldn’t just drag it out until the quality gets so bad that no one watches. Perhaps season 13 will prove me wrong. Despite this, Supernatural has a very dedicated fandom who would probably watch Sam and Dean eat burgers for 45 minutes and be happy about it (I am one of these fans).  This is in my top 5 simply because I love Supernatural. It’s silly but has some fantastic moments and some incredible characters. I can’t wait to see what’s in store and how they set up the next big bad for season 14. Let’s face it, season 14 is happening. VIVA LA CASTIEL.

2) Walking Dead Season 8 (FOX) October 22nd.

Much like Supernatural, it can be argued that the quality of The Walking Dead has decreased slightly. This is down to the amount of build-up that season 7 has put into season 8. By this logic, the next season should be incredible. We will finally see the big battle between Negan and Rick, a concept they have been making audiences wait for, for a very long time. Due to the mass success of the show and cinematic style, the show has a lot of pressure to please us and create a truly fantastic season. TWD has been amazing before so there is a lot of opportunity for this to continue. Many people I know will be judging the first few episodes to decide if they want to continue with the series. Mind you, many people continued after the horror that was season 2 so if they can look past the farm, then they can excuse season 7. Judging by the trailer, we have a lot to look forward to, with more fighting of both the living and the dead, adding to anticipation of The Walking Dead’s return. Plus, we all want to know what our beloved characters are up to. I know a lot of people in the fandom, who want to know if Jesus and Daryl will hook up.  However, the TV industry could just be pulling their usual trick by putting all the good stuff in the trailer. There has been a lot of hype, let’s hope it pays off!

1) Stranger Things Season 2 (Netflix) October 27th Both UK and USA.

Stranger Things was all the rage last year when Netflix released one of the best horror shows I have ever seen. It’s not hard to see why the show had such an incredible response. There were some of the best child actors to bless our screen, accompanied by compelling and horrific script writing. A truly talented bunch of people made this phenomena and it’s not hard to tell. The 80’s charm and the immature characters appealed to a large target audience and were fit for those who may even be opposed to the horror genre. The show had an excellent combination of plot and character development, a difficulty in a lot of horror shows. Stranger Things feels similar to the 2017 version of IT. Everything about the first season was a masterpiece. Much like The Walking Dead, this adds to the pressure of season 2. They must make a frightening but fitting storyline and keep our characters engaging. Perhaps, this is why the show has stepped it up a notch by bringing the upside down the right-side up. The horror world is invading ours with a lot more force. From this, the creators have promised a scarier tone. Excellent for horror fans but could put off some viewers. Their loss. I simply can’t wait. Hopefully the Netflix server will be able to handle the demand of everyone binge watching Stranger Things all at once.

 

Let me know what shows you are looking forward to.

 

 

 

 

American Vandal: Season 1 (Netflix, 2017)

Crime documentaries are a very recognisable genre. We know the conventions. By this, I mean, we know that they will include interviews from witnesses, friends, family and the suspects.  They would have cut aways, narration, reenactments and professionals/investigators conducting experiments. You can spot the genre a mile away. However, we have finally reached the last stage in a genres lifecycle, parody.  Parody is to essentially take the piss out of genre conventions or other texts. Netflix took this definition and turned it onto the investigative crime doc, with its most recent addition, American Vandal.  Netflix does describe the show as a satire but the show seems to mock codes and conventions of film/TV, rather than society so I’m just going to call it a parody. (My dissertation was on parody so I apologise if I sound a bit too passionate about it).

Plot:

When Dylan Maxwell (Jimmy Tatro) is accused of spray painting 25 dicks on to 25 of the teacher’s car, Peter Maldonado (Tyler Alvarez) and Sam Ecklund (Griffin Gluck) create a documentary to find the truth. This 8 part mockumentary will seek to uncover if Dylan is guilty and if not, who is?

Trailer:

Review:

The show takes the investigation seriously and follows all the guidelines of a traditional documentary. You could easily mistake it for anything you would see on CBS. This is until you find out that they are investigating dicks. Luckily, the show doesn’t give us dick joke after dick joke. The fact that they take this crime so seriously and even make the show 8 parts is what makes it funny. They really grip you in, making you want to watch more. The humour stems from how this crime is replacing the usual murder storylines and replacing it with a childish crime. They just take the dicks so serious! To be fair so do I. I watched the show in about 3 days because I just wanted to know, who drew the dicks? I often found myself gasping at new bits of evidence and trying to solve it myself. I did pick up on stuff before the investigators did and that just heightened my need to watch it. It was just like watching any other crime show…kind of.

american-vandal-trailer

For such an immature crime comes immature suspects and investigation. Those involved are mostly students so their reasoning and methods of investigation are far from professional. They investigate the ball hair on the dicks and the hottest mums in school, to the credibly of a suspect based on whether or not they lied about getting a hand job. It does seem silly but it really works. I just can’t get how the serious everyone takes it, it’s based on dicks!  This does however mean, that you will just laugh at how stupid the show is, rather than actual comedy and jokes. Your comedy preferences would really influence If you enjoy this show or not. I do hope this inspires other mockumentaries. However, I don’t want to risk ruining this new genre.  This could inspire new shows but also start a trend that could be unsuccessful. Parody can be difficult to pull off but can always result in some great programmes, take Parks and Recreation for example.

american vandal

For such a non-serious crime, the show really needs to find evidence to discover who it is and why they did it. This is again understandable for the genre. Unfortunately, there is a lot of time wasting. They investigate things that are unnecessary and really drag everything out. I do believe that they could have made fewer episodes to keep viewer interest and avoid wasting time and budget. 6 episodes would have been much more fitting. In addition, when we finally get to the end episode, it isn’t wrapped up very well. I was left unsatisfied. I do enjoy my shows wrapped up in a little bow. However, this could be the show leaving room for a second season. We will just need to wait and see.

american vandal 2

The show is also unrealistic. Now hear me out. I know, it’s a crime drama based on investigating dicks on cars. This isn’t what I am talking about. The show is produced by student film makers around the age of 16. Throughout, it is implied that their past projects have been terrible. They aren’t given a budget. They have school level equipment but can still produce really high quality content. My level of work was nowhere near as good as this, not until I was at university. BUT, this does need to be watchable by a real Netflix audience. Maybe I’m just jealous that Peter and Sam can make better work at 16 compared to me at 16.

dylan maxwell

Overall, I did enjoy the show. I did watch it in about 3 days and I usually like to take my time because I hate it when shows end on me. I put the finale of Pretty Little Liars on hold for two weeks because I didn’t want it to end. If you have a love of parody, I would give it a watch. I found it hilarious and I hope to see more from the mockumentary genre after this.

My favourite directors of all time.

As someone who reviews films for a hobby, yes surprise, this isn’t my job, you would think that I would love to review films by my favourite directors. This is however, far from the case. I try to avoid it. This is to ensure that I don’t just rave about how much I love the film, even if it was far from their best work. I don’t want to be biased in my writing. In this blog post I will tell you about MY favourite directors and then a few honourable mentions. I have pointed out that these are just my favs because people might get a little offended if I miss out some of the greats such as Hitchcock, Tarantino and Spielberg. Don’t get me wrong, these guys are great and make some fantastic films but they just don’t do it enough for me.  So without further ado, here are my favourite directors of all time.

Edgar Wright

 

BRITAIN-ENTERTAINMENT-FILM-THE WORLDS END

Movies: Shaun of The Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), The Worlds End (2013) and Baby Driver (2017).  His most recognisable work is the first three films in this list. These 3 films are also known as the Cornetto Trilogy.

Wright Is a classic British parody comedy director who has been able to make some of the best comedy films I have ever seen. He doesn’t just rely on the dialogue of the characters, which is still brilliant, he is an incredible visual director. He has some of the most recognisable visual techniques within the parody genre. He has been able to take the tropes from other genres and turn them into a joke both within narrative and shot types. From the way he introduced characters into the frame, to being in sync with music and showing the passage of time. You are never bored if you are a media fanatic like me. You can just tell that so much thought and creativity was put into every frame.

shaun of the dead

He is such an underrated director in terms of study. I have been unable to find many film theorists who analyse his films and his style as a director. This was why I decided to write my 13,000 word Dissertation on him at University (I managed to get a first)! I spent over a year and a half studying his work on the use of hybridity (mixing genres) within his 2004 film, Shaun of The Dead.  He uses comedy within horror, romance and action to both reinforce ideology and take the piss out of the discourses of more traditional genres. I watched the film about 18 times in a 6 month period and I never got bored of his work. I did however, learn most of the words. This was much to the annoyance of my house mates.  If I could say one thing about his work, it would be “If it’s an Edgar Wright film, you just know it’s going to be good”.  When studying his work, I came across a video that teaches film creators how to ‘do visual comedy’ and Wright is reference throughout. Here is a link:

 

Tim Burton

tim burton

Movies: Beetlejuice (1988), Edward Scissor Hands (1990),  The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Mars Attacks (1996), Sleepy Hollow (1999) Big Fish (2003), Corpse Bride (2005), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Sweeney Todd (2007), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Dark Shadows (2012), Frankenweenie (2012) and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016).

burton

Tim Burton is the director I grew up with. As you can tell by the long list of films Burton has directed over the years, it wasn’t hard for me to grow up with his name. I have a love for the gothic horror and the unique style that Burton has within his films, from the over colourful Wonderland or the black and white film noir of Frankenweenie, to the bloody OTT horror of Sweeney Todd. His films are very much homage to the gothic literature and the style of cult. A fact I learnt from one of the 6 books I own on Tim Burton.  As his creativity is expressed mainly through character and world design, you must have an apperception for the creep factor to admire his work. As an ex- concept artist for Disney, It is no surprise he has a passion for the design over narrative. His films to me are just so beautiful and frightening, it’s difficult to combine the two but Burton pulls it off. He can bring the world of horror to a family film, making scares child friendly or bring the age range up by adding a lot of fake blood and darker tones. He can make films for all ages but still keep true to his look. But what else can be expected from EX- Mr. Helena Bonham Carter. Now that the pair is no longer together, I wonder who gets custody of Johnny Depp.

 

Honourable mentions:

Stanley Kubrick

Stanley-Kubrick

Movies: A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Shining (1980).

Since I have the Stanley Kubrick DVD collection and a few books on his work, I felt it necessary to add him to the list. We have all heard the stories of Kubrick being a crazy director. He seems to push the boundaries as to what he creates in terms of taboo topics, as shown in Clockwork and the limits on how far he pushes his cast and crew.

Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan

Movies: The Dark Knight (2008), Inception (2010), Interstellar (2014), Dunkirk (2017).

Christopher Nolen is on this list simply because his films are beautiful and so complex in storyline. His films seem very spectacle in style. Interstellar and Inception has some of the best looking scenes in cinematic history and I do not say that lightly. His mixture of narrative, dialogue and visuals is an art work. This idea is then heightened when you discover that he uses a lot of practical effects. This can include the rotating hallway in Inception to the world behind the bookcase in Interstellar. Any one brave enough and talented enough to achieve this gets a place on my list.  However, I could argue that his work with my favourite composer, Hans Zimmer, may have a little influence.

 

 

 

IT (Andrés Muschietti, 2017)

AN * This a long review as I had a lot to say. Just bare with me :)*

Last month, I wrote a post about my top 3 anticipated movies of September. IT was my number one choice and I can tell you straight up, I was correct. IT, is hands down a brilliant film, it’s creepy as hell, has fantastic characters and actors and hooks you in from the opening scene. I am not surprised the film has already made over $76 Million.

 

Trailer:

Plot:

When children begin to go missing, starting with Georgie Denbrough (Jackson Robert Scott), Georgie’s older brother Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) and a group of 6 others, also known as the Loser club, attempt to solve the mystery. The culprit is Pennywise the dancing clown, a shapeshifter who can turn into your worst nightmare and feeds off of your fear. I mean clowns are scary enough but Pennywise is something else. You wouldn’t want him preforming at your kids birthday party. He might just eat half of the guests.

IT poster

Review:

If you have read the book and watched the mini- series from 1990, you would know that this is so much more than a horror film. IT is a coming of age story. Think Stand by Me (Rob Reiner, 1987), another film adaption of a Stephen King novel. This is a story where you genuinely care about the characters. They are decent, lovable human beings and you would be devastated if anything bad happened to them. It is very much the fear of losing anyone from the losers club that really puts you on the edge of your seat. You are watching these characters and their relationship with one another and experiencing their lives and friendship. You get flashbacks of what it’s like to be a kid again. The horror element is secondary to the general story of these kids. I just want to adopt all of them.  My favourite characters are defiantly Richie (Finn Wolfhard), our beloved Mike from Stranger Things and Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer). They have such a strong friendship and come out with the best one liner’s. The comedy banter between these two defiantly gives us a break from the horror. Well that and Pennywise’s amazing dance routine. With such strong and memorable characters, excellent acting is a must and trust me when I say this, all of them deserve awards. Child acting is hard enough in family films but putting seven 13 year olds in a horror film with a terrifying clown, a lot of blood and swearing, well that sounds like a job only experienced adults could accomplish. These children amazing!

IT cast

Despite this, I feel like not all of the characters were developed well enough. With 7 to get through, you knew it was a difficult task. Mike (Chosen Jacobs) and Stanley (Wyatt Oleff), could have used a bit more story to them. Mike in particular was lacking. I hope we get to experience more of his story in Chapter 2.

pennywise_grid

The character design of Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) is also incredible, in my opinion he is so much more terrifying than Tim Curry. I mean the 1990 version was scary but horror hits a new level with this guy. Bill Skarsgårds young age, allows the clown to have a more childlike feel. His clown seems more devilish and babyish. He is more likely to have a paddy if he doesn’t get his way. Bill is also very attractive so seeing him look this horrific in full makeup is amazing. However, as Bill is a very hot actor, people on Tumblr seem to be sexualising the clown. The fanfiction honestly needs to stop! It’s not OK!

bill

I feel like you get to see a lot more of his clown, he has more dialogue and gets right in the characters face. You just want to look away but can’t seem to. If you have seen the film, all I’m saying is the projector scene and the clown room. Actually, just the whole part of the film when they are in the house. I shouted ‘Oh fucking hell’ and ‘nope, nope, nope’ in all of these scenes. The film is more of a creep out horror than jump scares and that is way more preferable in my eyes. Pennywise is more about frightening the kids, rather than eating them straight away so we see a lot of creepy scenes.

As you know,   IT turns into your worst fear. Originally, the novel is set in the 50’s so the children were scared of the typical classic monsters, like Frankenstein and The Wolf Man. However, this film is set in the 80’s so the monsters are changed to fit the era. Straying away from the original is usually frowned upon but it seemed to work very well. The new monsters are again very creepy but seem very cartoon like and childish. I feel that they could have used practical effects, rather than CGI. I wanted the monsters to look more realistic, to increase the fear factor.  This gives the film a Goosebumps feel just with blood and foul language. But these are what children fear, rather than what adults fear. Perhaps in Chapter 2, these will change into grown up horrors, such as paying rent and general responsibility.

clown roon

The film does stray away from the original in other ways. I have read IT but I am terrible at remembering what happens in books. I often need to re-read books to retain the whole narrative. Therefore, I am not going to tell you everything that they did not keep. All I will say is that they change the ending and for the sake of us all, left out the child orgy scene. They also made the decision to split the story in two. This film is the children’s version. This was a brilliant move, as we can have much more character development and is easier to understand. Plus, allows more detail. Bravo!

Overall, it’s brilliant. The film excellently balances the narrative of the children with creating elements of fear. You love the characters and feel such a connection with all 7. This is not usually the case with horror films. You just want to see people get murdered in brutal ways but with this precious bunch, I will personally fight anyone who puts them in danger. It’s bloody creepy and has a generally impressive narrative. I love it so much. I am hoping to watch it a second time at the cinema.

The Mist (Spike/ Netflix, 2017)

As fans of television and films, I think it is safe to say, that when it comes to Stephen King adaptations, they can either be amazing or terrible. Some of the great screen adaptions can include The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980), ‘IT’ (Tommy Lee Wallace, 1990) and The Green Mile (Frank Darabont, 2000). However, one particularly questionable adaption is the new television series ‘The Mist’ (Spike/ Netflix, 2017). It is nowhere as good or as disturbing as its film version, which was directed by our Green Mile director in 2007. If you haven’t seen this inadequate show, I will briefly and much to my dismay, describe the plot to you. I will then explain why I’m not much of a fan but will continue to watch the entire series.

mist poster

PLOT.

When the mist hits Bridgeville, Maine, the residents must haul up in various locations, including a shopping centre (just like the original), a church and a hospital. BUT this mist is not like the usual fog you get, when you are trying to drive to work and can’t see five feet in front of you, it’s filled with monsters. So it’s the same as driving through fog when you’re in Birmingham. In the film and the book, these monsters are just massive bug like creatures. In my opinion, the films monsters are some of the creepiest looking things ever. However, Spike thought they would shake it up a little, until the lid falls off and splashes liquid all over the kitchen. These monsters are your worst fears and they try to convince you to kill yourself, or they would just do it themselves if you refuse (redundant, I know).  That sums up the main plotline. Nevertheless, most films/ TV shows will have a sub-plot. The show opens with the rape of Alex Copeland (Gus Birney) at a party. She was unconscious while it happened so she is unsure of who committed the crime. Despite this, her best friend noticed Alex’s crush walking down the stairs during the party and told everyone that the love interest did it. Unfortunately, before the DNA test reveals the attacker, the apocalypse begins. Then to make things worse, Alex is hauled up with her over protective mother, Eve (Alyssa Sutherland) and her accused rapist.

mist spiders

REVIEW

When I watched the first episode and they started with a rape plot line, I was incredibly shocked. It is very brave of a show to start with such a dark and serious topic. When a show does this, they must do so with respect and ensure they are protecting venerable viewers. This need is kind of met. The family and police take the crime seriously but the other residents seem to blame it on the victim. They say that she has made it up and that it was her fault because she’s a slut. First off, this is not a good message at all to give to rape survivors. Please be more sensitive Spike! They are brave enough to share their story and get justice for a horrific crime against them and they get taunted and rejected. Luckily, those who do accuse Alex are swiftly eaten by some monsters. *High fives monsters*. This sub-plot is also the most interesting part of the show and the only reason I continued to watch. This should not be the case. The show seems to stray away from the fact that there are monsters now roaming America. I mean the other way the show also does this, is by not actually showing many monsters. You see like 4 in total so you end up forgetting that the monsters are a threat at all. It just turns into a show about angry people locked in a mall. It is honestly a disgrace to the film and book. Well that may be a little harsh. It is very different form the film and book.

With any apocalypse show or show with a possibility that your favourite character could be killed off at any moment, it is important to have good characters. The Walking Dead (AMC, 2010), for example has some fantastic characters and you know they can be killed off without warning. RIP. With The Mist, this is far from the case. I can personally say that I hate every character in the show, EVERY SINGLE ONE. You know in horror films and most apocalypse stories, that there is that one character who you just want to die. They are just the most useless character ever. Well this is every character in the show. Everyone sucks. They kill each other without reason, lock each other up, steal food, blame each other for stuff, kick people out of the mall and just act like generally awful people. All I ask is for one good character, please!

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If you have seen the Mist, you know there is one crazy religious lady that convinces everyone that a human sacrifice would help (Like WTF). Well, our lady played by Frances Conroy, is more of a hippy and states that its mother nature’s way of avenging the rape story line. A crazy theory that any sane person would not believe but apparently everyone is insane and actually believes her. Honestly like, they all deserve to die. By all means, murder your own kids because a hippy said so. The terrible characters take away from the plot because you just don’t care if people live or die and this is the main element of any horror.

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Ok, moving away from the characters, before I get too angry and rage quit my review. Let’s talk about the lack of suspense within the show. If you have worked in the television industry or have studied media, you would know that to keep people engaged in a series, it is important to have cliff hangers or points to ensure that viewers want to continue with the show. The programme loses this on occasion. This is the kind of show that if I stopped watching or missed an episode, I wouldn’t care too much about. Nothing to me screams “Next episode, put on the next one”. This is kind of a bummer considering the whole series is available to binge watch on Netflix. The show is just so unbelievable average. However, I haven’t actually finished watching the series so it might get amazing in the last two episodes. (I shall get around to it… eventually).

So this next little comment is not so much a dig at the show but my questions to Spike. 1) Why did you kill a dog off first, you evil people? 2) How long has this been going on for? Like it seems like only 3 or 4 nights and the shopping mall has already run out of food!

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Overall, the show is very average. It has a semi-interesting plot line. It isn’t very scary, it’s hard to like any of the characters (in my opinion, you may like the show) and it doesn’t stick to the original like at all, a factor that always annoys me in any remake. I wouldn’t really suggest this to anyone but again, you might enjoy it. This may be one of the harshest reviews I have ever done so that’s one thing The Mist has going for itself.