Live Action Reviews! by Crystal Connor: Quarries

Master Imaginationist and Instagram photographer Crystal Connor is the Chief Imagineer working for the Department of Sleep Prevention’s Nightmare Division. A Washington State native she loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys (as in evil-geniuses & super-villains.  Not ‘those’ kind her mother warned her about), rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high-heeled shoes & unreasonably priced handbags.

She is also the founder of CrystalCon, a symposium that brings both Science Fiction & Fantasy writers and STEM professions together to mix and mingle with fans, educators, and inventors in attempts to answer a new take on an age-old question … which came first, the science or the fiction?

When she’s not terrorizing her fans and racking up frequent flyers miles by gallivanting all over the country attending fan conventions and writer’s conferences she reviews indie horror and science fiction films for both her personal blog and HorrorAddicts.net

She is also considering changing her professional title to dramatization specialist because it so much more theatrical than being a mere drama queen.

http://wordsmithcrystalconnor.com

http://www.facebook.com/notesfromtheauthor

Download your free copy of …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! from Podiobooks.com and see why the name Crystal Connor has become “A Trusted Name in Terror!” 

http://podiobooks.com/title/and-they-all-lived-happily-ever-after

Live Action Reviews! by Crystal Connor: Never Tear Us Apart

Master Imaginationist and Instagram photographer Crystal Connor is the Chief Imagineer working for the Department of Sleep Prevention’s Nightmare Division. A Washington State native she loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys (as in evil-geniuses & super-villains.  Not ‘those’ kind her mother warned her about), rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high-heeled shoes & unreasonably priced handbags.

She is also the founder of CrystalCon, a symposium that brings both Science Fiction & Fantasy writers and STEM professions together to mix and mingle with fans, educators, and inventors in attempts to answer a new take on an age-old question … which came first, the science or the fiction?

When she’s not terrorizing her fans and racking up frequent flyers miles by gallivanting all over the country attending fan conventions and writer’s conferences she reviews indie horror and science fiction films for both her personal blog and HorrorAddicts.net

She is also considering changing her professional title to dramatization specialist because it so much more theatrical than being a mere drama queen.

Download your free copy of …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! audiobook from Podiobooks.com and see why the name Crystal Connor has become “A Trusted Name in Terror!” 

http://podiobooks.com/title/and-they-all-lived-happily-ever-after

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Live Action Reviews! By Crystal Connor: H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival Best of 2015

 

 

Master Imaginationist and Instagram photographer Crystal Connor is the Chief Imagineer working for the Department of Sleep Prevention’s Nightmare Division. A Washington State native she loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys (as in evil-geniuses & super-villains.  Not ‘those’ kind her mother warned her about), rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high-heeled shoes & unreasonably priced handbags.

She is also the founder of CrystalCon, a symposium that brings both Science Fiction & Fantasy writers and STEM professions together to mix and mingle with fans, educators, and inventors in attempts to answer a new take on an age-old question … which came first, the science or the fiction?

When she’s not terrorizing her fans and racking up frequent flyers miles by gallivanting all over the country attending fan conventions and writer’s conferences she reviews indie horror and science fiction films for both her personal blog and HorrorAddicts.net

She is also considering changing her professional title to dramatization specialist because it so much more theatrical than being a mere drama queen.

Download your free copy of …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! audiobook from Podiobooks.com and see why the name Crystal Connor has become “A Trusted Name in Terror!” 

http://podiobooks.com/title/and-they-all-lived-happily-ever-after

crystalconnor

Live Action Reviews! By Crystal Connor: The Victorville Massacre

At 11pm on the night of March 28th 2016, Crystal Connor, sat down to watch a slasher film that used a small California town located in the Mojave Desert as a back drop. With the coffee table piled high with popcorn and snacks, with her small dog nestled by her side she picked up her remote and pressed play.

This is the unedited journal chronicling the harrowing experience of her screaming, crying, and expletive outburst that her neighbors were forced to endure as she watched Riley Woods 2011 The Victorville Massacre.

Reader discretion is Advised

Movie Poster 2Victorville

Entry 1: Last line of the movie: “Never had a serial killer in this town.” Ummm…

Complaints: I think watching horror movies should be an ‘interactive’ activity (which is why I watch them alone) and the more I yell at the people on the screen the more fun I’m having. I’m a tough customer and I can be pretty unforgiving when it comes to the myopic way in which I prefer to be entertained.

For those of you who follow my reviews, as you can see, I didn’t particularly enjoy this one.

Let’s me just start off by saying that while I was born in the state of Washington, the high deserts of California is where I grew up. I went to Bender (Harold H.) Elementary for the 5th and 6th grades. I spent a significant amount of time serving after school detention at Hook Jr. and ran track, ditched school, spent my Friday nights, and graduated from Victor Valley Senior High. So I was super excited to see a horror movie set in basically my home town, but …

Complaint #1: The lack of research

I am extremely forgiving when it comes to indie movies. I love the low budget, campy, sometimes cheesiness, oftentimes ambitious glorious efforts and labors of love that makes independent films rocks which is what keeps me, you, all of us coming back for more. However that generosity comes to a screeching halt when it becomes apparent that little or no research was done in regards to the subject matter.

I was immediately turned off by the stereotypical Barney and Fife portrayal of cops in small towns. This isn’t the 1960s and a lot has changed since then.

After the killing of the rookie officer, the suggestion is made that this may be the work of a serial killer, an idea that the chief and the surviving cop dismisses out of hand. Smfh, 1st off Victorville is too big a city, a host to complex criminal elements to be policed by small town cops willing to bend the rules and turn the other cheek in the name of retribution. And besides that the stretch of highway between Victorville and Vegas in a basically a dumping ground. Has been for years, they are always digging up remains or finding decomposing bodies discovered by drifting sands and circling carrion. The very last thing that would be ignored is the evidence presenting a serial killer.

Complaint #2: The lack of research

Normally when you have a site specific location the movie is based upon the foundation of that area’s urban legends. With a group of young adults spending the weekend partying in Victorville I was expecting for the house to be located on or off either Jicarilla or El Evado Roads, both of which are haunted. But no. Maybe then, after hours of binge drinking and gratuitous sex they would have the bright idea to break into the abandoned and consumed facilities that used to be George Air Force Base, which is also haunted. But no. There is nothing, absolutely nothing that ties this movie with Victorville or the small surrounding towns that make up what’s known to us desert rats as ‘up the hill.’

Complaint #3:

Like the title suggests, what happened in the movie was a massacre, yet the law enforcement officers all kept referring to it as a serial killing. Which brings me back to the very first cop who told the chief he thought it was the work of a serial killer. This is something that, in light of how things unfolded, is completely out of the realm of possibilities as there is no reference to a pattern in regards to previous killings that could have tied this crime to an individual who had killed several times before.

Complaint #4:

Dudes. This movie had so much potential. And this for me was the worst part. Once I saw what going on I was thought the story was a really good idea and I could totally see how someone would be really excited to make this movie. But I couldn’t understand why, besides the complete and total absence of research, Massacre, at times seemed so awkward. I mean to the point of being absurd. One of the tags on IMDb is comedy, which kinda explains things, but the jests fell flat. It was as if they were inside jokes, funny only to the cast and crew.

Again. I am not easy to please, and I can admit that because I was expecting this movie to be about or in my home town, I watched this movie with a sharper critical eye, so I must implore you, if this was a movie that was on your to-watch-list, please do not removed it because this could very well be a its-not-you-its-me situation. And if you’ve seen The Victorville Massacre and liked/loved it … please, please, pretty please with a cherry on top leave the link to your review or tell everyone why you thought this movie rocks in the comments.

Where I watched it: VOD

crystalconnor

Washington State native Crystal Connor has been terrorizing readers since before Jr. high School and loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys, rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high heel shoes & unreasonably priced hang bags. She is also considering changing her professional title to ‘dramatization specialist’ because it’s so much more theatrical than being just a mere drama queen. Crystal’s latest projects can be found both on her blog and Facebook fan page at:

Crystal Connor’s Official Blog

Crystal Connor’s Facebook

Download your free copy of …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! from Podiobooks.com and see why the name Crystal Connor has become “A Trusted Name in Terror!” 

And They All Lived Happily Ever After! Audio

 

Live Action Reviews! By Crystal Connor: Lung II

Please read the review for Flowers before reading the review for L
ung II. Thanks!

Live Action Reviews! by Crystal Connor: Flowers

At 10:45 pm on April 6th 2016, Crystal Connor, began her weekend by watching the second movie that was sent to her curiosity of Borderline Cinema

This is the unedited journal chronicles the harrowing experience that her neighbors endured for hours as she screamed, cried, and shouted expletive obscenities at her television as she watched Phil Stevens indie horror film Lung II…

Lung2

Reader discretion is Advised

Entry 1: He’s back

Entry 2: You might wanna invest in some quality knives

Entry 3: That’s a nice stroller

Entry 4: Wait, they know each other?

Entry 5: When did he put on gloves?

Entry 6: How would he know that?

Entry 7: How does that not hurt?!

Entry 8: Really, LOL GTFOH

Entry 9: So they do know each other?

Entry 10: Fucking A! No one fucking listens

Entry 11: What kinda hotel just lets you check in with blood all over your shirt?

Entry 12: Really?!  Your masculinity is that fragile, probably why she left you for a woman.

Entry 13: What the fuck did he do?

Entry 14: What  did I just watch?

Plotline: A nameless man wanders the city, littered with necrotic artifacts and a trail of corpses. Are his grotesque hallucinations clues to a violent past? Or are they premonitions?

Overall / High Points: Like Flowers, Lung II has no dialogue but in comparing both films, Flowers is the stronger of the two in regards of giving you more to work with in telling a complete story. The incident which drives our lead over the edge seems to be blown out of portion in the way he responds to it without knowing more of the back story.

Lung II is beautifully shot, a non-ending, all you can eat buffet for those who are fascinated with morbid images and buildings in ruin. And it’s even more Hitchockian than Flowers because the entire film is shot in black and white. Just stunning.

You do not have to watch both films, but I hope that you do. Even if you don’t I think the conclusion would still be that this isn’t the older guys first time at the rodeo, and I just can’t shake the feeling that he ended up being a victim of the older guy. There is a scene which is almost identical in both movies which makes me believe that he was killed even before the women and it was his corpse that we see in the bathtub in Flowers.

My favorite scene is when he fights his demon in the bathroom. Still not sure who won.

Gore Factor: Lung II isn’t as much as Flowers though the sex scene in the refrigerator is odd. But if you’ve seen an adult film or five, you should be just fine.

Scariness Factor: Zero.

Complaints: N/A

Stars: 5

Where I watched it: Advance viewing copy

 My Thank You video for the director

crystalconnor.png

Washington State native Crystal Connor has been terrorizing readers since before Jr. high School and loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys, rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high heel shoes & unreasonably priced hang bags. She is also considering changing her professional title to ‘dramatization specialist’ because it’s so much more theatrical than being just a mere drama queen. Crystal’s latest projects can be found both on her blog and Facebook fan page at:

Crystal’s blog

Crystal’s Facebook

Download your free copy of …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! from Podiobooks.com and see why the name Crystal Connor has become “A Trusted Name in Terror!” 

Download Crystal’s Book here!

Oh Dear God, Won’t Someone Please Think Of The Children!!!

Why do so many horror stories involve children? Children aren’t supposed to be scary.

Aren’t supposed to be…

I think the thing that scares me more than animals with problem-solving capabilities are children, or if truth be told, children scare me more…why? Because children aren’t supposed to be scary. I am currently working on my 2nd anthology, and like And They All Lived Happily Ever After!  this collection is also inspired by fairy tales, not exactly by the moral of the story but more so of the children who star in them.

There is something so unsettling about children committing vile acts of violence, or witnessing them as victims of such yet from the Brothers Grim to mid-century illustrator Edward Gorey, from The Bad Seed to Cooties it seems we can’t get enough of creepy little kids doing creepy cunning stuff. Why is that? Is there something wrong with us?

**An anonymous user on Stack Exchange made a really interesting point, in a mini think piece he says:

This is a topic of which there is a huge body of work, circulating different theories of why children are such a prevalent theme of horror, so its unlikely you will find a single comprehensive answer/theory, but there is one unifying reason that all parties are in agreement upon:

Kids are scary, yo.

Children are able to operate as Microcosm for social anxieties. They are largely denied ‘a voice’ (particularly if they are infants), or when they do have a ‘voice’ it is distorted by the ‘inexperience of youth’, and so something that should sound innocent can come across as sinister. Think of “They’re here” from Poltergeist, “1 – 2 – Freddy’s coming for you, 3 – 4 – better lock your door..” from Elm Street and “I see Dead People” from The 6th Sense…. but there are plenty more.

As a personal aside (but a good example!) a friend of mine once told me that when he was tucking his son into bed, his 3 yr old son said “Goodbye”. He said, “No, its Bedtime now, so we say “Goodnight”. His son replied, “I know Dad, but this time it’s Goodbye”… He slept with the light on that night.

Children are something that are familiar, but still refracted through their own experiences; under-developed and ‘alien’. There is no equivalent word in the English language for this apparent dichotomy, but the German word is ‘Unheimlich’, meaning un-homely (the opposite of what is familiar – or not right within the home, as a place of safety). This is to say the fear doesn’t come from something being obviously sinister grotesque, but just slightly not right, but without being able to fully explain why.

German culture actually has a legacy of being slightly obsessed with the “Unheimlich”, and Freud wrote a great deal about it (claiming it is where our fear originates). The idea of a Doppelganger originates from the “Unheimlich”, and as such there are sinister connotations associated with twins. Twin children, as in the Grady Twins of “The Shining”, are perhaps the ultimate representation of “Unheimlich”.

Children are not governed by the norms of society, as they are not yet participants of it. As our general notions of safety are governed by our shared assumptions to ‘play by these rules’, and children are outside of this, they are considered ‘unpredictable’, which can create anxiety, often turning them into ‘folk devils’.

As an opposing theory to this (which is particularly pertinent to Horror) children who have a supernatural or sociopathic understanding of the rules of normality but elect to disregard them are a classic origin of horror.

Damien from ‘The Omen’ is an example of this type of fear, as he is considered the ultimate ‘The Possessed’ child who demonstrates and awareness and is complicit of his own evils. The book “You’re only Young Twice” by Theorist Tim Morris features a chapter ‘Panic Attacks: Children as Adults, Adults as Children in the Movies’ which explores the origin of Horror within these parameters, and will be able to provide you with a long history of terror being extracted from children in this way.

Film Theorist, Mary Jackson identifies this films with their own nomenclature as a sub-genre ‘Children as Horror’, and identifies our fear of these ‘Evil Children’ as the representation of our societal fear of failing the younger, emergent generations:

‘Not surprisingly, in the run of child-as-monster films, frequently the real point is not the evil of children, often the victims of demonic possession themselves, but rather the ineffectiveness of the family, church, and state – America’s most highly valued institutions – to guard themselves against deception and impending destruction.’

Regan from ‘The Exorcist’ is a similar case, although her’s is a story of the corruption of innocence as penance for her mother’s implied heresy/blasphemy/impiousness. Her’s is a meta-religious allegory to the Angel of Death taking the children of the impious, but much more sinister: The devil ‘takes them’, but the terror is not through removal but through defilement.

The most obvious (perhaps) reason for children being so numerous in Horror needs little explanation:

Children aren’t supposed to be scary.

By subverting our expectations of children as non-threatening entities, Horror is able to force doubt into our natural assumptions, which is a staple of effective horror.

Of course, it’s become so common place for Children to be ‘Evil’ in Horror movies, and this genre tradition has become so entrenched, that its hard not to automatically consider children as the de-facto evil in a horror movie. Such is the way of postmodernism.**

I couldn’t have said it better, which is why I posted it here. It’s a really interesting thread, a deep pool of information if you have some extra time you should check out the conversation: Kids are scary, yo.

Kids are hella scary and not only in fiction but have the potential to become extremely dangerous … in real life. So why do we keep having them? Why won’t we just leave them alone? We are through songs, images, and rhyme and reason we are warned of the hazards. So, armed with this knowledge why do we dare to thread were angels won’t?

Again, I have to ask Is there something wrong with us?

No. Like the true HorrorAddicts that we are, we just keep coming back for more, drinking from the fountain of youth despite the evidence that the water is tainted.

See what I just did there, ‘fountain of youth?’ lol