Tag Archives: horror

Sunken Dreams

Isla was the first of her friends to arrive at the ship, as Cora and Kendra could never beat her in a race. She looked up at the ship in awe. It had sunk years before she was born, and the metal was covered in algae and rust. There was something written on the bow, but she couldn’t read much of the human language.  Kendra would know what it said, assuming she ever caught up to read it.

Isla scanned the area for signs of sharks; sunken ships were one of their favorite haunts. She thought she saw something in a porthole, but it was gone before she could identify it.

“Isla!” Cora had finally caught up with Kendra not far behind, “Why do you always feel the need to swim ahead?”

“Sorry,” Isla said, “but I was so excited to see the wreck, I forgot to slow down.”

Continue reading Sunken Dreams

Pet Sematary Review

On April 5th, the reboot of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary hit theaters, and reminded everyone why local pet cemeteries are generally a bad idea. The remake deviates from the original 1989 version of the film, offering viewers not just a modernization but a reinterpretation of the classic tale. With powerful performances from the main cast, some very impressive special effects, and a killer score, this film is definitely worth seeing if you’re up for a little fear.

For those unfamiliar with this film, Pet Sematary follows the Creed family as they settle into their supposedly idyllic new home in rural Maine. However, their new beginning is marked by hauntings and unease, and tragedy looms over them like a shadow. The film’s scares come mostly from suspense and a sense that something terrible is about to happen, even if you don’t know what exactly that terrible thing might be. The jump scares are minimal, but there’s plenty of gore and body horror to go around, and the film certainly earns its ‘R’ rating.

Is this film the scariest ever made? Probably not, though it certainly scared me. Sure, someone in the theater I was in very loudly spilled their popcorn no less than 30 seconds in, but that wasn’t really the film’s fault. However, fans of horror will likely still find the film entertaining, and it provides an interesting new take on King’s classic story. The film makes several nods to the original, though there are a few changes that serve to breathe new, horrifying life to this chilling tale. I would recommend this film to anyone looking to experience a feeling of deep sense of unease for an hour and 40 minutes, but to anyone who would actually like to go to Maine at some point, as I’d rather not be held responsible for any lingering fears of Maine’s beautiful wilderness that develop while watching this film.

Photo by Kerry Hayes/Paramount Pictures

Within the Ice

Far to the North,
Before the world’s End,
There’s a cave in the Ice,
Where no mortal dare tread.

On the surface is beauty,
Blue ice rising from white snow,
Catching the light on the sun,
Hiding secrets we will never know.

Deep within those ice blue walls,
Where the world knows only cold,
Lie sleeping creatures terrible and great,
Lost since days of old.

Slumbering giants trapped below,
Alive and waiting in the dark.
The sun does not reach them there,
Yet they await its warming spark.
Within the Ice they’ve slept for years,
Creatures old and patient still.
What difference does a century make,
When faced with such an ancient will?

One day they will arise once more,
Though it’s doubtful to be soon.
When they come they’ll bring the cold,
And trap us all beneath the moon.

The world was dark and fearful once,
And one day those fears will return.
But for now, they sleep beneath the ice,
Until they feel the sun’s sweet burn.

Photo by David Rucker

In The Dark

Silence hangs in the air like an axe.

The clock tick-tick-ticking closer toward the witching hour.

Gradients of darkness give shape to the room.

A black mass in the corner waits, quiet and knowing.


A face with two sets of eyes stare,

One a ghastly green, the other a blazing blue,

Never blinking, always watching.

High above it waits, eternal.

“Never blinking, always watching.” Photo from: media4.giphy.com

The axe falls by degrees, a slow draining drip of dread.

Whispers, voices, leak through the wall,

Crawling along the ceiling and echoing,

Loud enough to hear, muffled enough to hide.


Scratches dig deep into the door,

Claws dragging long grooves.

Just wait, wait until the night ends

And the blood red light leaks in.

Everything you need to know about American Horror Story: Hotel

It’s almost that magical time of year again when Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk release yet another long awaited season of “American Horror Story”. If you’re anything like me, you’re a little nervous for this season because it revolves around newcomer, Lady Gaga’s, character rather than Jessica Lange who usually plays a lead role. Never fear, however, because here is what you need to know before the premiere on Wednesday October 7th.

1) Taissa Farmiga will NOT be in this season.

Yes, it’s a huge bummer. I really thought she would come back for this one since it’s been an every other year type deal for her since season one. However, she has other filming commitments so while we will be missing her on the 7th, we will hopefully be seeing her soon in her upcoming projects.

American Horror Story kicks off their fifth season with "Hotel."
American Horror Story kicks off their fifth season with “Hotel.” Graphic from Pop Matters

2) Jessica Lange WILL be in this season.

When Lange, the usual star of the show announced that she would not be returning for season five, our hearts were understandably crushed. However, one of the show’s creators, Ryan Murphy, has confirmed that while Lange will not be playing a huge role, she will make an appearance. At least we can wean ourselves off of her.

3) Darren Criss WILL be in this season.

Darren Criss rose to fame after starring in Ryan Murphy’s hit show “Glee” (although I fell in love with him while watchingA Very Potter Musical” way back before his “Glee” days) and now after some vague Instagram remarks, it is apparent that Criss will be making an appearance on American Horror Story: Hotel.

4) Max Greenfield WILL be in this season.

Yes, Schmidt from “New Girl” is checking into the Hotel. Let’s all pray that he doesn’t die, although knowing Murphy and Falchuk, he probably will.

5) Evan Peters will be playing a serial killer.

Yes, you read that right. Sure, he shot up his high school in season one, but he ended up being a reformed bad boy. In all the other seasons, he played pretty moral characters. This season, we’re going to see a different side to him.

6) The plot may include something about the story of Elisa Lam.

If you don’t remember, Elisa Lam was a 21 year old Canadian tourist, who back in 2013 was staying at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles when she died. She went missing and was found days later in a water tank on top of the Cecil during an inspection after guests complained about low water pressure and funny tasting water. Bizarre and incredibly creepy security camera footage captured Lam acting very strange in the elevator as she presumably rode up to her death. She appeared to be interacting with an invisible being. The autopsy report showed no drugs in her system, making this video even more disturbing as it could never be explained.

The hotel had been the temporary home of a few serial killers and many people who believe in the supernatural say that one of their spirits killed Lam. Many fans of American Horror Story are expecting the new season to touch on this case ever since Ryan Murphy dropped hints that the show would cover famous Los Angeles hotel deaths from over the years.

7) Ryan Murphy says this may be the most disturbing season yet.

If you’re like me and you hate blood, you might want to sit this one out. Not wanting to miss out on a great season, I just plan on watching this one through my fingers as usual.

If you want a taste of what’s to come, check out the opening credits and this first look, released a few days ago.

Revel in ‘The Strain’

Ripe from the minds of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, The Strain thus far is a slow burning thriller whose focus upon the human heart will undoubtedly intrigue viewers. As with the first book this series is based upon, the show starts as an unresponsive Boeing 777 lands at JFK Airport with seemingly dead passengers. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (the story’s main protagonist) and Dr. Nora Martinez of the CDC are called to investigate. Upon boarding the plane, the two find a flight filled with passengers suffering from an unknown biological malady. The passengers’ eventual release begins the countdown towards the end of humanity — orchestrated by an ancient vampire known as The Master.

Promo poster for The Strain. Graphic from IMDb
Promo poster for The Strain. Graphic from IMDb

Much like the original trilogy, the main attraction behind this series is its brutality and reinterpretation of vampirism through biology. The latter is enough to set this series apart from its predecessors. Without revealing too much, victims of this disease experience their bodies corroding in order to establish new organs for feeding. This occurs in a very rapid and Lovecraft-like way, which will disgust viewers, while simultaneously triggering their curiosity. As intriguing as it is, this series is not by any means dependent upon or hurt by traditional horror tropes involving gore.

As the story progresses, those who are infected search for, and eventually drain their loved ones. This perversion of affection is driven by The Master’s will. The very idea of love being something worth striving for, yet binding is a concept that’s often used in this show. One scene involving an infected girl returning to her distraught father is particularly haunting. Ultimately, this idea strengthens the image of vampires being a metaphor for the mortality of humanity.

Del Toro’s influence upon the cinematography is clear and makes even the most distressing scenes beautiful. As a series that thrives upon a sense of hysteria, his and other’s shooting techniques greatly advances the immersion level. All of the key moments from the first book not only gain more weight for being translated into TV language, but draws alternative responses for the way it’s shot. As any creator knows, too much of any effect might produce an indifferent audience. Because of this, peppered throughout the show are additions of music and humor to add balance.

Unfortunately, because of the format of this show, one isn’t given enough time with certain characters. Thus, it is somewhat difficult to understand and even care for said characters (with exceptions such as Abraham Setrakian). Shortly thereafter, the very same characters you wish to see fleshed out more, become outweighed by the strange and creative nature of The Strain’s epidemic. For those who haven’t previously read the book trilogy, this might be enough incentive to give up on the show. That being said, after the first three episodes, character details are exposed that should capture the public’s attention once again.

Despite a potential absence for concern at first, and The Master’s ridiculously designed face, del Toro’s and Hogan’s brilliant work so far has found the right home with FX.

Prepare for The Strain. Graphic from ScreenCrush.

A crown floating in a pail of water

Jack and Jill went up the hill

 To fetch a pail of water,

 Jack fell down and broke his crown

And Jill came tumbling after.”

Shrieks echo in my head as I look out the cracked door window. A pail filled with the blackest water rests upon a crumbling well in the far corner of the yard. Soft fog threads itself on the dew covered ground. Under a moonless sky, darkness convulses, daring me to enter its domain. With every flint of a shadow, flickering lights paint a story of death and despair. My breathing grows shallow and beads of sweat pool down my flushed skin. Images of pale flesh tainted with blood fill my mind’s eye and air eludes me. My legs buckle and the floor reaches out for my soul. The darkness outside shudders in anticipation.  I fall against the decaying door and it opens like the mouth of Hell. Continue reading A crown floating in a pail of water

Bus stop 109

Doctor Buchannan sits patiently at the bus stop. Stops 109 and 110 are on the edge of town. He watches as half a dozen people approach bus stop 109 across the street. He drops his head towards the ground but keeps his eyes up, watching the small silent group. Rustling leaves and the chirping of not so distant insects gives the night a quiet hum. Continue reading Bus stop 109

“Insidious: Chapter 2” impresses horror fans

“Insidious: Chapter 2” outdoes the average horror movie and then some. Film director James Wan and scriptwriter Leigh Whannell have created and executed a plot that allows the original story arc to come full circle by explaining some of the freakiest moments from the first movie.

Continue reading “Insidious: Chapter 2” impresses horror fans

“Evil Dead” vs “Evil Dead”: Remake or original?

To anyone who has read one of my previous articles, you know how much of a Sam Raimi fanboy I am. On April 5, the remake of the 1981 cult classic “Evil Dead” was released and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. This comparison may have some slight spoilers, but nothing so detrimental that it will ruin the film. Continue reading “Evil Dead” vs “Evil Dead”: Remake or original?

The best of Netflix horror

Oh, the horror! The horror! And how great it is. Of all the genres in Netflix, the horror section is truly the most impressive. Sure in other areas Netflix provides major blockbuster hits like “Iron Man” and “Super 8,” but the horror section gives notice to some of those independent gems that may have been missed by the average moviegoer. Continue reading The best of Netflix horror

“Paranormal Activity 4”: And so it goes on

“Paranormal Activity 4” is yet another sequel to the franchise which started off as a low budget, independent film that earned national release. After the first movie, the writers tried to create a more streamlined plot involving a haunted family and their different lives. Now in the fourth movie, we are introduced to a brand new family but with repetitious moments. Continue reading “Paranormal Activity 4”: And so it goes on

“Sinister”: A different kind of horror

This year has been a great year for horror films. We’ve been getting fantastic movies like “The Cabin in the Woods,” “The Woman in Black,” “The Possession” and “The Innkeepers” just to name a few. Now the new movie “Sinister” is getting some attention, as it was able to beat “Taken 2” and the Oscar-worthy “Argo” in the box office. This film is not only crushing the box office, but is also getting some relatively good reviews in the process. Continue reading “Sinister”: A different kind of horror

“The Possession”: Welcome back exorcisms

Released Aug. 31, “The Possession” went straight to the top of the box office charts. Now granted, it was the only movie that had nationwide release that week, but with that being said, was it actually good enough to earn that spot?

“The Possession” takes your normal exorcism film and adds its own little spin and flair to it. The story is simple. A recently divorced father buys an antique box at a yard sale for his daughter. The box holds a violent ancient spirit and the family searches for a way to end the curse. The plot is nothing spectacular, but the film succeeds in nearly every other way. Continue reading “The Possession”: Welcome back exorcisms

Zombies, candy and costumed people run rampant on campus

Halloween is all about trick-or-treating, dressing up as your favorite character, eating candy, scaring people or getting spooked and having fun. Events are happening all over campus in celebration of Halloween.

Trinkle Hall and RU After Dark are sponsoring two events on Oct. 28. The first is a Zombie Walk, which is a costume parade where participants dress up as zombies and lurch around campus. The event will start at 7:15 p.m. Makeup will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Muse Banquet Hall. The second event is a Zombie Prom, which starts at 8 p.m. in Muse Banquet Hall and goes until midnight. There will be food provided by RU Catering Services, face painting, costumes, a DJ and a photo booth.

Zombie Prom. Photo by Austin Tuley.

Another Halloween event is RU Otaku-don’s Octoberfest from Oct. 29-30. The event will be held in the Bonnie on the second floor starting at 7 p.m. and concluding at 1 a.m. The club rented out the whole floor for this event. There will be a room for playing horror video games, another room for Japanese horror movies and there will be food in the main lobby. The food will be provided by RU Catering Services. There will also be music for people to enjoy when they aren’t watching a movie or playing a video game.

President of Otaku-don Ryan Arias said that he hopes to provide students with a fun and safe harvest festival they can share with friends in an entertaining atmosphere. He mentioned the spooky events like horror movies and scary video games. Costumes are also welcome, but need to be campus appropriate. Prizes such as an iPod charger, glow sticks and headphones will be given for killing the most monsters in a game, not screaming at a movie and best costume awards.

The night before Halloween, the Residence Hall Association will sponsor RU Scared. The program was created to give children in the Radford community a chance to come trick-or-treating on campus. On Moffett quad, there will be tables set up where different organizations that will be passing out candy. The residential halls on campus are able to participate as well, and they will have volunteers passing out candy to the children, similar to the typical house-to-house Halloween collection. All of the buildings can participate as long as there are enough volunteers, otherwise participants will be moved into the different quads.

RU Scared. Photo by Austin Tuley.

“The event is very successful; the children walk away with so much candy and treats, while the Radford students are able to give back to the community,” said RHA Programming Coordinator Gabrielle Williams. “It’s always a big turnout.”

Generally 40-60 children come to the event. RU Scared is a way to give back to the community and give children the opportunity to come to campus and go trick-or-treating.

On Halloween, the Bowling Club is hosting Spook-n-Bowl. The event will be in the Bonnie Game Room from 7-10 p.m. It will cost $4 to play three games with rental shoes included. The club is expecting about 30-40 people.

“The event is to support the bowling club and also just to create an event so students can have fun and relax,” said Bowling Club President Amanda Garland.

Halloween decorations will be set up and black lights, laser lights and a fog machine will be used. There will also be candy for students to have while bowling. Prizes will be given out for the best costume. Prizes will be gift cards to Wal-Mart or little prizes from the store.