Tag Archives: Horror

Summer Reading #2 – The Haunting of Hill House

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Welcome back readers!  Good to be back to writing after my short holiday break.  My 4th of July week was full of fireworks, food, and some outstanding American made pre-rolled joints.  This was a perfect week to kick back from writing for a bit to celebrate this amazing country.

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Now that I’m back to my regular writing schedule, I figure its time to take a look at another title for summer reading this year.  Last time I took a look at Angels in America, an epic play about the symbolic, yet horrific look at the AIDS crisis and the gay men enduring personal hardships during the 1980s.  Our next title takes us away from the hustle and bustle of 1980s New York City and into an abandoned house on a hill.  Four people arrive at this tattered and dark house to search for evidence of supernatural occurring.  This novel is called The Haunting of Hill House.


The Haunting of Hill House is a gothic horror novel written by Shirley Jackson.  It was published in 1959 and is considered one of the best literary ghost stories of the 20th century.  Most of the events take place in Hill House, an eighty-year old mansion built between many hills.  Hill House was built by Hugh Crain, who passed away years ago.


Four main characters stay in the Hill House for the weekend – Dr. John Montague, Eleanor Vance, Theodora, and Luke Sanderson.  Dr. John Montague is an investigator of the supernatural who invites the guest into the Hill House.  Eleanor is the shy young woman who resented living as a recluse caring for her demanding mother.  Theodora is a bohemian, flamboyant artist.  Luke Sanderson is the young heir of Hill House, acting as the host for the others.

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A few minor characters come in later during the novel.  Mr. and Ms. Dudley act as caretakers of Hill House, yet they refuse to stay in the house during the night.  Ms. Montague, Dr. John Montague’s wife, enters the house for the weekend with Arthur Parker to help investigate the house.

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Many creepy and eerie occurrences happen over the duration of the novel.  One such disturbing aspect is the way the house was constructed.  Hill House was constructed with a few unique modifications that caused the characters to lose their balance every so often.

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This was definitely a creepy novel to read.  Each character had their own quirks, which made this horror story even more exciting.  They each came with their own agenda, only to be disturbed by the haunting each night.

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If you’re looking for a creepy Gothic horror story to read this summer, definitely check out The Haunting of Hill House.  It is filled with supernatural haunting, kooky characters, and one strange house on the hill.


AHS Coven/Murder House Crossover – Fall 2018

In the midst summer starting, showrunner Ryan Murphy dropped some MAJOR news about the newest season of American Horror Story.  Lately there has been some rumor floating around about characters from season one and season three crossing over during one of the seasons.  This special crossover won’t be happening next year because…the crossover will be happening THIS year!

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Ryan Murphy revealed in a tweet last week that the infamous Coven/Murder House crossover will be happening this year.  Witches will reign supreme again in the next chapter of American Horror Story when it premieres in September.  This is one of many surprises that is in stores for AHS audiences.

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As far as characters go, many American Horror Story veterans will be returning this season.  Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Billy Eichner, Adina Porter, Cheyenne Jackson, and Leslie Grossman are all slated to return for the next chapter.  Joining the veterans this year will be Dynasty star Joan Collins.

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But one of the latest surprises came this past weekend.  Emma Roberts announced on Sunday that she will be reprising her role as Madison Montgomery in the new season.  She took to Instagram for her announcement.  Other than starring as Madison Montgomery, Roberts played Maggie Esmeralda in American Horror Story: Freak Show and as Serena Belinda in American Horror Story: Cult.

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While we don’t know what this year’s title or theme will be yet, we can certainly say that many AHS veterans are coming back this fall.  Fans can look forward to another horrific chapter of American Horror Story when it premiers tin September.

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This is some exciting news to hear!  I haven’t been hearing much about the new season lately, but I am excited to see that the typical cast is returning this season.  It will be interesting to see Madison Montgomery return to the AHS universe this year.  Who knows how she will be revived in season eight.

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With that, this is just one of many hints dropped about the newest season of American Horror Story.  Who knows what other intriguing clues will be found about the latest season.  In the meantime, don’t miss out on the latest hints Ryan Murphy will be dropping this summer.

Philosophical PR Nightmare of Fullmetal Alchemist

Lately there haven’t been a lot of interesting titles jumping out at me on Netflix lately, so I decided to revisit a classic anime series.  This one started as a manga series that sold over 70 million copies worldwide, eventually becoming a best-seller.  It tells the tale of two ambitious boys looking to bring there mother back after a disastrous attempt of alchemy.  I’m talking about Fullmetal Alchemist.

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Fullmetal Alchemist chronicles brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric on their journey to search for the philosopher’s stone.  After losing their mother Trisha to an illness, they work to bring back her mother through alchemy.  They attempt to bring their mother back, but a dangerous mistake causes Ed to lose his right arm and left leg while Alphonse’s soul was placed into a suit of armor.  Ed gets fixed up through automail and joins his brother on the quest to search for the Philosopher’s Stone.

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The underlying story revolves around seeking out the Philosopher’s Stone, a powerful stone that can bypass the laws of Equivalent Exchange.  Ed and Al search relentlessly for any clues about how to create the Philosopher’s Stone, only to find some hidden surprises along the way.  But within the major story lies a fictional PR nightmare revolving around the State Military, the nation of Ishbal, and a group of Homunculi.

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So the story goes like this – the nation of Ishbal was being invaded by the State Military.  Orders were set out to fight a war against the Ishbalans.  There was even a Ishbalan Massacre where many people were slaughtered in a matter of days.  Soldiers were told that Ishbalans ignited the war, but the story went MUCH deeper than that.

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All of these orders were set off by Führer Bradley, who happened to be – WAIT FOR IT – the Homunculi Pride.  Führer Bradley, the leader of the State Military, was a Homunculi all this time.  He was working alongside with Envy, Sloth, Wrath, Lust, Greed, and Gluttony.  What’s even more shocking is that Juliet Douglas (A.K.A. Sloth) was working alongside Führer Bradley the whole time.  Better yet, the entire State Military was working with the Homunculi the whole time.

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Not only did they start the war on Ishbal, but they even took many of them as prisoners as well.  Those prisoners were placed into Laboratory Five where they were used to recreate the Philosopher’s Stone.  They would then use the Philosopher’s Stone to cause even more destruction towards its enemies.

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Of course, the State Military did everything they could to cover up the story.  They never wanted anyone knowing that the Philosopher’s Stone exists or what they were using it for.  It got to a point where Captain Maes Hughes was shot by Envy after getting to close to the source.  All of this just to keep the secret about the Philosopher’s Stone hidden from everyone.  It’s just like the old myth says – you fly too close to the sun and you come crashing down on the earth.

Just…wow.  I am amazed at the level of depth this PR nightmare went throughout the season.  The main plot comes with a powerful storyline, but the PR nightmare around the State Military is just absolutely brilliant.

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There are some amazing stories in anime these days and Fullmetal Alchemist is a great example of that.  Fullmetal Alchemist is so much more than about two boys looking to bring their mother back – it’s a disturbing tale about the Philosopher’s Stone and the lengths people took to obtain it.  So much war and chaos went into the Philosopher’s Stone throughout the series.  I’m not sure which is more bizarre – what people did with the Philosopher’s Stone or the actions they took to keep it secret from everyone else.

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In the end, Fullmetal Alchemist was definitely worth watching all over again.  It was shocking to watch the hidden PR nightmare unfold in front of my eyes.  This storyline featured many twists and turns around every episode.

If you’re looking for a good anime with a crazy PR nightmare, definitely check out Fullmetal Alchemist on Netflix.

Wittrock/Criss ACS TV Criss-Cross!

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In the midst of all of events I have been busy with lately, I’ve barely had time to catch up on American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace.  The second season of Ryan Murphy’s acclaimed series takes viewers into the event leading up to Gianni Versace’s death.  Other than Versace, also get a glimpse into the life of serial killer Andrew Cunanan (who we’ll discuss more about later this week!).

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One of the main characters we are introduced to is Jeff Trail, Cunanan’s first victim in his string of killings within the nation.  Jeff Trail was played by none other than Finn Wittrock, who acted alongside Darren Criss in the show. For the record, this was NOT the first time the two actor shared the silver screen.

Well folks – I believe it’s time for another epic TV CRISS-CROSS!

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So let’s get down to it – Finn Wittrock and Darren Criss both appeared in American Horror Story: Hotel, the 5th season of the horror anthology series (the season with the disturbing addiction demon!).  Wittrock played both Tristan Duffy and Rudolph Valentino.  Tristan was the male model who was a part of Will Drake’s fashion show.  He was attracted to the Countess as well, who later infects him with the virus.  The duo planned to kill Will Drake, inherit his money, and live happily ever after.

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Wittrock also portrayed Rudolph Valentino, the famous silent movie star who was involved in a secret polyamorous relationship with Elizabeth and ex-wife Natacha Rambova.  Valentino was one of the minor characters during a flashback of how the hotel came to be.

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Darren Criss played Justin, a hipster from Silver Lake who was seeking refuge in the hotel from pesky trick-or-treaters.  Justin had a string of demands for him and his girlfriend including a hotel room at a discount, a plate of artisanal cheeses, full-bodied red wine, and pâté.  After mocking Iris and her food, Iris kills him in a fit of rage.  He appears again later on as a ghost of the hotel demanding for some kale.

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While Criss and Wittrock never shared any scenes together, the fact that they were together on another series by Ryan Murphy proves to be an epic TV criss-cross to spot.  They are both veterans when it comes to Ryan Murphy’s work, making major appearances in series like Glee or American Horror Story.  It was only a matter of time before these two veterans would share some scenes together.

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We don’t get much TV criss-crosses these days, so its always amazing to discover a new one each time.  Who knows what other surprising actors/actresses will pop up in American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

That’s all for today’s TV criss-cross event.  Stay tuned for more criss-crosses on the horizon!

Ryan Murphy’s American Netflix Story!

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Over the past decade, Ryan Murphy has become one of the most popular show-runners in cable television.  He created intriguing shows like Glee, American Horror Story, Nip/Tuck, and many others.  His latest series American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace has been winning over audiences since premiering in January on FX.  Other than on FX, he has also received widespread success for his procedural drama series 9-1-1 on FOX.

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Even though American Horror Story isn’t coming back until the fall, Murphy is still finding success with his latest shows.  In fact, Murphy has gained much popularity that he is in talks on a deal with the popular streaming service Netflix.

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Netflix, along with Ryan Murphy and his production company, signed a five-year deal that was reported over $300 million.  It is believed to be one of the biggest deals for an individual in television history.  Murphy only had a few months left of his contract with 21st Century Fox.  His provocative and trending hits made him a sought-after talented figure in television.

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What’s interesting to note is that Murphy isn’t the only sought-out figure in the television business.  Other notable people that Netflix linked deals with include ABC Show-runner Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, Scandal), Jenji Kohan (Weeds, Orange is the New Black) and producer Shawn Levy (Stranger Things).

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Murphy is one of many show-runners that is part of Netflix’s newest television PR strategy.  With all of these show-runners becoming successful over the years, Netflix is connecting with them to offer more bang for their buck.  For these trending show-runners, this new deal with Netflix presents them a whole new canvas to work on.  They wouldn’t have to be blocked of untapped creativity due to rules and regulations from such networks like ABC or FX.

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Both parties benefit from these deals – Netflix receive new creators who will create original content for their digital library and the creators will have much more freedom than the former networks.  Showrunners like Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes will pitch more bold storylines that introduce more colorful characters.

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This tactic shouldn’t come as a surprise, being that the streaming service audiences have been growing every year.  More and more audiences are cutting cable and streaming their favorite shows online.  Netflix saw that audiences are flocking to streaming services, so they have to do their part by hiring the best of the best talent that work in television and movies.  Star talents like Ryan Murphy will definitely give Netflix that leg up it needs from network giants like FX and ABC.

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As Netflix and Hulu become more popular in the future, you will see more TV/movie giants migrating their work over to streaming services.  Cable television series are pulling every last move to salvage their place with the American audiences while streaming services reap the rewards with series like Altered Carbon and The Man in the High Castle.  What you will see is that cable television is coming to a slow and painful end very soon.

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So what will see next from showrunner Ryan Murphy?  Will he release a line of drama series pertaining to shocking events in American history?  Could we see more horrific monsters like The Rubber Man or Twisty the Clown?  With Murphy’s new deal with Netflix, will there be a horror series much more disturbing than American Horror Story?

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Ryan Murphy, along with Shonda Rhimes and Shawn Levy, are a few of many showrunners who are making waves with streaming service audiences.