American Horror Story Rewatch: Part 2

Just like that, I am done. I can now dip into Apocalypse with a well-rounded understanding of all the characters, and where they cross-over/feature in each season. It’s so Stephen King!

I have absolutely loved my AHS marathon (which didn’t include Cult because that one is still so recent). Here are my thoughts:

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Freak Show

Freak Show starts strong but seems to drag in the last few episodes. Honestly, it could be cut by a couple of those, and the same could be said for the next two seasons as well. Like, we get it – let us live. As with the first two seasons, there’s a lot going on. The addition of Edward Mordrake is fun and it takes away one of the main villains early on (Twisty), leaving the coast clear for Dandy to step in as main psycho. But there’s so much to keep up with that it made my head spin a bit. I have also started to notice a trend for happier endings (for most of the characters) and it’s nice but also not really what I want. I sometimes want the wicked characters to get their comeuppance.

I also don’t really like Sarah Paulson‘s characters (Bette and Dot) in this (really bad FX) and find the addition of Neil Patrick Harris‘ Chester Creb a bit annoying (although it does bring back in the amazing Jamie Brewer). So it’s fun but could be condensed and therefore stronger as a result.

Evan Peters and Jessica Lange are spectacular as per and I really enjoy my attraction to Paul the Illustrated Seal. Frances Conroy and Emma Roberts are a bit wasted though – I prefer Emma when she’s being bitchy.

I did appreciate the tie in to Asylum as we meet Pepper again and then follow her journey to Briarcliffe. It’s sweet and sad but it’s nice to get a little bit of background on this character, who is played wonderfully by Naomi Grossman. We also enjoy a flash of Asylum’s Nazi doctor (James Cromwell) who is directly involved in a very macabre story line featuring Elsa Mars. This says a lot about me but I love the snuff stuff, it’s so horrible and that after all, is why we are here.

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Hotel

Hotel is majestic tbh and maybe my second fave. It is the first AHS without Queen Lange however, but Gaga does a mighty job as The Countess. Highlights here are Liz Taylor (Denis O’Hare) and Kathy Bates’ downtrodden Iris, especially when they team up against The Countess for some messy, bloody revenge. Again, this could be cut down a bit but when the setting is as wonderful and The Shining-esque as the Hotel Cortez, who’s really complaining? Evan Peters’ James Marsh is a little OTT but the Devil’s Night episode is magnificent. Lily Rabe is perfect as Aileen Wuornos.

Things that don’t work for me so well are Chloë Sevigny as Alex (she’s so amazing, why can’t AHS use her appropriately?) and I don’t give a damn about the Children of the Corn kids or frankly, serial killer (surprise!) John Lowe. What a dull family! See also: Rudolph Valentino and wife. Zzzzzz.

It is awesome to have Sarah Paulson back as Murder House‘s underused Billie Dean Howard though.

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Roanoke

This one is good because it really plays with structure and tries something new with the reenactment concept. It is also over long and very messy in places. For a time, in the second part when the real life characters and the actors who played them are trapped in the house, I lost the will to live for a while. There are good elements, don’t get me wrong but I didn’t really understand a lot of it – like Gaga’s character Scáthach – who never really comes to fruition and then just sort of peters out.

I still like it though and I particularly love the horrible Polk Family. Adina Porter enters the AHS franchise as the real Lee Harris and I bloody love her. She was amazing in Cult and she’s in the new one too, so yey for that! Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates both deserve to be strung up for their accents though, there’s no excuse.

Until Apocalypse, bitches.

Another Horror Movie Questionnaire

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Bad morning breath is a deal breaker, no question
  1. If you were to direct a horror movie, what sub-genre would it be part of?
    I love horror-comedy when it’s done properly. Good examples are Evil Dead II (1987), Drag Me to Hell (2009) and The People Under the Stairs (1991), so I would like to think I would contribute to that tricky sub-genre. However, if not comedy, a damn good ghost story.
  2. If you could erase one horror flick from your mind, what would it be?
    I’m going to say Hostel (2005) for being so awful and disappointing. It plays like soft porn and is completely gratuitous, all the characters are horrific and I just didn’t give a shit about any of them.
  3. Do you have a problem with nudity or sex in horror films?
    I don’t have a problem with nudity or sex in any film if it’s not just there to titillate the audience. Too often it feels like it’s only there to appeal to a certain type of audience member, and has nothing to do with the character, the story, etc. At least try and work it into the storyline, yo.

    I like to think we’re moving away from the ‘slutty/busty co-ed shags her boyfriend in her parents bed, then gets slaughtered’ trope and we should go with it. Besides, sexy can be done in a white vest and jeans (Eliza Dushku, Wrong Turn) if you can’t bear to have your characters all buttoned up.

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    “I know we’re in peril but don’t think I don’t notice your hand on my arse…”
  4. Do you have a favourite music score from a horror film?
    Anything by John Carpenter of course. He’s the King of the Movie Score and a master of manipulating the hairs on the back of your neck.

    The Fog (1980) is perfect, as is Halloween (1978) and, though not strictly a horror movie, Assault on Precinct 13 (1976). I also love the score in Candyman (1992), by Philip Glass but then I love everything about that movie.I’ll be watching it again this Halloween.

  5. What are the best settings for a horror film?
    Sofa, under a blanket. There’s no better place. Lights off.
  6. Are there any guys or girls that you have an attraction to in any films in the horror genre?
    Apart from Candyman (Tony Todd), you mean? Sure.Ash (Bruce Campbell), Jessie (Dushku again, Wrong Turn), Mary Mason (Katharine Isabelle, American Mary – yes I am obsessed).

    Ryan Reynolds in the The Amityville Horror (2005) is super fine. Mind you, so was James Brolin in the original (1979). Matt Bomer is insanely hot in American Horror Story: Hotel, as is Gaga.

    There are so many hot horror characters, it’s kind of a given in this genre, non?

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    Drag me to bed
  7. Is there any specific scary film you watch every Halloween?
    Candyman, Halloween, The Descent (2005). This year I’m adding The Blair Witch Project (1999) to my rotation.
  8. If you were to write or direct a horror, what would you change or put in to refresh the genre?
    I don’t exactly know but I would love to take the concept of the Final Girl (which I blogged about yesterday) and play with that. Whatever happened it would be a very feminist horror film!
  9. Which scary film gave you the most nightmares?
    I tend to get more disturbed by realism than horror. Things like The Others (2001) stop me being able to go to the loo alone. Martyrs (2008) was a tough one because the ending shocked me so much.
  10. Would you count horror as one of your favourite movie genres?
    It is my favourite, hands down.
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Too much hot in one room

~

Thanks to Vinnieh for the horror questionnaire. You can read my answers to the first one here.

I hope you’re all having a positively spooky Halloween month. Mwahahahahah! 🎃

Hey Shorty, It’s Your Birthday

I’ve done this before on other significant birthdays (like The Queen, I have two: one for birth, and one for my blog*) and I wanted to mark today in a similar way, just for the sheer heck of it.

Yes, it’s my 38th birthday. Or my eleventh time turning 27, depending on my mood.

I wanted to use this post to shout out some major appreciation to a couple of fellow bloggers and important people in my life.

I shall do this via the medium of a fantasy dinner party. Oh yeah.

So, the guest list (which has evolved a little since my last virtual party), a mix of both IRL peeps and fantasy attendees:

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Tom Hanks – Sorry, but Tom is always invited. No reason needed. In fact, he has his own front door key…

Justin Bieber – Because I’m a Belieber now and IDGAF, K?

Jillian – Not a celeb maybe but one of my greatest influences. Blog Wife, Movie Partner and fellow cat botherer (though I don’t have one at the moment). You’re the best, boo, I love you sooooo much! You can sit next to anyone you like as long as I’m on the other side…

Ilana Glazer – She’s just brilliant, you know? I’d want her to style me half way through dinner though, so we might disappear for a bit.

Hayley Margaret of A Stitch To Scratch – Or HM, as I’ve come to address her, because I’m linguistically lazy. This girl is so sweet and talented, plus just completely up my street, so she’s in. (I ❤ you, HM)

Gaga – I’m currently rocking a rather large Gaga crush so obviously that gets her an invite. I’ll just giggle whenever she speaks to me and make a fool of myself, it’s cool.

My favourite, Tatty Frankland – I honestly don’t know if I’d be able to do what I do without this peach. We sometimes have shitty, stressful days because of our shared environment, but this girl is my sunshine. Nobody is more stylish, generous or cool, tbh. (Love you, bb!).

And, I’ve just realised that there are only two men at my party. I’m cool with that but I’ve decided I’m also inviting Aziz Ansari because he’s cute and I loved Master of None. That balances things out a bit, not that it matters.

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I don’t know if any of my honeys have any dietary requirements but I’m proposing a lot of food; yorkshire puddings, Indian with all the trimmings, cake and masses of sweets. Good burgers, too. Oh, and pancakes, of every conceivable shape and flavour.

Can I get a pancake bar? You know what, it’s my birthday, so the answer to that is yes.

We’ll drink mulled cider and rum, and we’ll dance to two albums on repeat: Carly Rae Jepsen’s E·mo·tion and Bieber’s Purpose (the Real Bieber will refuse to perform while he’s off-duty).

Later, when it’s time to cry in the kitchen, we’ll put on Adele’s 25 and ruminate on lost loves and all the times we’ve fucked up our liquid liner.

Basically, this will be the greatest Birthday Party of my life. My husband will obviously be there too, but he’ll no doubt excuse himself and pass out on our bed by 10pm, as usual.

This is more than just a party for me though, it’s a party for those bloggers mentioned. A Thank You For Brightening My Day, Every Day Party.  A Thank You For Inspiring Me Soirée.

Thanks for being such funny fuckers, such sweethearts and such empowering friends. I hope you know what you mean to me.

What? I’ve got something in my eye…

*Does The Queen have a blog? I would read the shit out of it.