Let That Catherine Morland Flag Fly Free

So Horrorfest started I couldn’t tell you exactly when. I’ve always been a fan of horror, thriller, suspense, mystery, film-noir, etc. I would watch them all the time, but every day in October.

When I went to college, I continued and my roommates were thrown into my 31 Days of Horror films celebration.

Who knows?!

So when I started blogging in 2012 I decided to include it and officially create “Horrorfest”-blogging about a film every day. That way it would save my friends/roommates from something they weren’t as interested in.

Yay!!!

Over the years I have established a set of rules and annual films categories. Every year I have enjoyed doing it although sometimes I have fallen behind because of life getting in the way. Usually I have the posts written, like this year I had all 31 done extremely early-the best I have ever been, it is just the editing that slowed me down. If you have someone willing to edit your work-give them a lot of love, because it takes a LOT of time to do.

So last year I received quite a few comments questioning Horrorfest as it has nothing to do with Jane Austen. They felt that there was no reason to do it and didn’t want me to continue.

Hmmm

Well, they are right it does have nothing to do with Jane Austen.

Even though Horrorfest doesn’t really have anything to do with Jane Austen, I have tried to input anything Jane Austen related-I’ve reviewed Death Comes to PemberleyDeath by Persuasion-or things with Austen actors in it like Ruby in the Smoke and Dead Again. I’ve even reviewed some films that while not Jane Austen-are films that Austen fans will love.

But even if I don’t review something Jane Austen, I think its okay to include Horrorfest as there is one character who would love this:

Yep the Regency spooky girl:

So if you aren’t interested, feel free to skip reading me this October and join us back in November. For the rest of you, next October I’ll be back with more horror, mystery, film-noir, suspense, thrillers, etc.

So for this year’s review: how I do Horrorfest VIII is that I watch whatever, and review it. I mean I usually plan the first and last film-and of course I planned The Planet of the Apes series review after someone donated the set to the library-yet it always amazes me how many match up themewise.

This year we had gothic films with the Horror of Dracula and Rebecca.

We also had a multicultural Horrorfest VIII as my Jane Austen profile pic was inspired from my Mexican culture, we had Horror of Dracula from England, High Seas AKA Alta Mar from Spain, Spirited Away from Japan, and Strong Woman Bong Soon from Korea.

We had dystopian futures with Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Battle for Planet of the Apes, Logan’s Run, and The Running Man.

We had Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans with Alta Mar AKA High Seas,Death By Persuasion” from Midsomer Murders, Rebecca, and Strong Woman Bong Soon.

We had superheroes with Batman, Strong Woman Bong Soon, and Unbreakable. 

Ghosts with The Fog, R.I.P.D., Spirited Away, and 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo.

And apes with the Planet of the Apes series and King Kong.

And of course our Annual films:

  • A movie or TV episode from every decade of 1930s-2010s
  • Doubledose of Alfred Hitchcock with Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Rebecca
  • Animated Film with Spirited Away, Disney with Spirited Away, 
  • Doubledose of Lifetime with Death of a Cheerleader and Psycho Mother-in-Law,
  • Stephen King with The Running Man
  • Tim Burton with Batman
  • Vincent Price with 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo

The full list of films, TV episodes, and video game reviewed for Horrorfest VIII:

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

King Kong (1933)

Rebecca (1940)

Lamb to the Slaughter” from Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1958)

Horror of Dracula (1958)

The Notorious Landlady (1962)

Planet of the Apes (1968)

Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

Escape from Planet of the Apes (1971)

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

Battle for Planet of the Apes (1973)

Logan’s Run (1976)

The Fog (1980)

Dark Crystal (1982)

To All the Ghouls I’ve Loved Before” from 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo (1985)

The Running Man (1987)

Batman (1989)

Dead Again (1991)

Leprechaun (1993)

Death of a Cheerleader (1994)

“The Puppet Show” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

Unbreakable (2000)

Spirited Away (2001)

The Stepfather (2009)

The Last Christmas: Shadow Island Mysteries (2010)

R.I.P.D. (2013)

Death By Persuasion” from Midsomer Murders (2017)

Strong Woman Bong Soon (2017)

Veil of Secrets (2018)

High Seas (2019)

Psycho Mother-in-Law (2019)

How Much Do You Really Know About Him?: The Stepfather (2009)

How Much Do You Really Know About Him?

In 2009, I was 17 years old. A senior applying to colleges, trying to figure out what to do next with my life-planning prom and other senior activities.

I remember when this film came out, it was a big deal at the time as Penn Badgley was super popular from Gossip Girl (it being in its third season) and this was to be his big film role (prior to this he was in John Tucker Must Die! as the little brother). I wasn’t super interested in it at the time- I was more angry about the Fame remake (which sucked as much as I had thought it would), that Where the Wild Things looked depressing instead of the fun book I remembered it being (it was both boring and depressing), and thought Dare, New Moon, and Avatar all sounded dumb. The only thing I was looking forward to was Robert Downey Jr. and Judd Law in Sherlock Holmes.

In fact I never probably would have even remembered anything about this movie, except my mom was so against it. But I was 17, I could watch whatever I wanted. I remember saying some smartmouth reply and getting in trouble for it.

I never did go see it in theaters as I didn’t really care about it.

Flashforward to the beginning of this year and I’m housesitting/catsitting for a friend who has cable-and not just cable, Lifetime!

I LOVE Lifetime and can’t help but watch the Lifetime movie channel. That day it was playing The Stepfather, so I decided what the hey? Why not check it out?

NO! NO! This was not good at all. I should have listened to my mom and passed this one by!

Yes, always listen to your mother!

So typically I do not review a movie without reviewing the original, but I didn’t get a chance to fit it in, so the review of the remake must go on.

So the film starts off with “the Stepfather” (Dylan Walsh) having killed his family and their dead bodies not even phasing him as he leaves and moves on to the next town to find his “new family”.

In the supermarket he meets Susan Harding (Sela Ward), with her two kids-Sean and Beth. He charms them quickly and he, now going by David Harris, and Susan begin a relationship.

If I’ve learned anything from movies and TV is the supermarket is nor the place for women to meet men. I mean the mom gets set up with a Vampire in Mom’s Got a Date With a Vampire, Susan gets with a serial killer, and Fran with a liar-guy is a hot dog vendor pretending t be a stock broker in The Nanny. Just cross that place off the list.

Don’t go there to look for men!

So David and Susan become engaged-which is something that really bothers me. I mean it is called The Stepfather, but David is NOT the stepfather. He and Susan live together, but they don’t marry. So why call it that? Because it is better than The Man My Mom Lived With or My Mom’s Evil Fiance or My Mom’s Serial Killer Boyfriend or Don’t Let Mom Marry the Serial KillerActually that last one sounds pretty good. It could be super serious teen drama or ’90s kids comedy-someone write a script, make a ton of money and give me 10% for the title.

Finally! This is almost over!

So anyways, it is the summer and Michael Harding (Penn Badgley) has just returned from military school. He was acting up after his parents’ divorced and was sent away. Depending on his behavior he can stay or will be shipped back.

Choose wisely.

He meets David and feels weird about the whole thing-everything has seemed to move toooo fast and he’s worried his mom might end up with another bad relationship-another guy like his dad.

Now here is where the film first failed with me. This film could have been a lot better if they went in a different direction then what they chose. Now I have never seen the original film this is based on, but think how much more horrifying if David seemed so nice, developed a great relationship with the kids, maybe even Michael opening up and sharing what happened with his dad-what he saw between his parents that made him not be able to stand his father and react so destructively. Then to have him realize David is not who he seems-I think much more interesting.

But instead David tries to bond with him but it is all so fake and creepy-Michael doesn’t tust him, second guesses him, and the suspense/mystery/horror is missing. We know David is a psycho and Michael knows it too-there is no buildup.

I mean Buffy the Vampire Slayer did this much better on their Ted episode. Buffy wanted to like her mother’s boyfriend, she tried to like him-but then felt something off-and she felt bad about being so down on her mom-convincing herself it was her problem not anything wrong with Ted. But then Ted starts being extremely controlling, he threatens her. He continues to treat her cruelly but others nicely, causing no one to believe her or make her think she is imagining it. It is emotional and mental abuse-and makes you wonder what will happen next.

That would have been a better path to take, but they didn’t do that.

Ugh!

Michael isn’t the only one who is unsure about David as Susan’s sister, Jackie, points out that there is a ton about David she knows zero about, although Jackie’s wife/girlfriend (it doesn’t state their exact relationship) thinks Jackie is being overprotective-as David’s hot. So what if they don’t know his family, religion, history, friends where he grew up, etc, and he’s not working-David’s hot.

Yeah, Susan really? I mean you are a single mom, don’t you want someone more stable for your kids? Don’t you think you want someone with a real job?

And David’s plan doesn’t make sense! He creates fake identities but has nothing to back him up? I mean he just plans to move from town to town with no social security number or anything and expect to work and live there? I mean they could have had him buy dead people’s identities and then have Michael do some research and stumble on to it! And then he presents it to his mom and she’s like, “oh that, it’s a common name that’s not him.” And then David doing something creepy like almost kill him, kind of like Joseph Cotton in Shadow of a Doubt when he starts sabotaging things around his niece because she knows too much, and everyone thinks she is just imagining things.

Anyways, one day Sean isn’t listening to Susan, so David decides to “discipline” and chokes him. When Sean and Beth visit their dad, he tells him and when Jay returns the kids he gets in a fistfight with David. Now this is my other issue with the movie-Jay confronts David about choking Sean and is freaking out and DAVID ADMITS IT and what does the mom do? Get angry at her EX-HUSBAND THE MAN PROTECTING HIS CHILD AND NOT THE MAN WHO JUST ADMITTED TO CHOKING OUT HER BABY. And afterwards Sean is all it my fault, and everyone is mad at Jay for making a scene and overreacting, and Sean apologizes to David and everyone is its okay, we forgive you. And later when Sean is freaking out, Michael is all its okay Sean David won’t hurt you again.

Uh, no. NO, NO, NO, NO! Jay was totally in the right and I completely 100% agree with his decision to pummel the guy ABUSING HIS child. And Susan, really? What is wrong with you! This man admitted to abusing your child because “he forgot what it was like being a father and discipling and maybe went too far. But don’t worry, he’ll learn how to do better, Uh, no! Get out of my house and out of my life and I am calling the police on you.”

WHAT!!!??

But Susan loves him. After that I checked out-I just couldn’t get over that scene. Now if they had David not admit to it, and change it around so it sounds like Sean is lying as he is upset at the changes, or Jay made it up, or twisted it in any way-I’ll buy that. But he admits it, and Susan cannot see the warning signs? Now I’ve been in an abusive relationship I now how they can meld your mind and practically brainwash you with their emotional and mental abuse- but your kids Susan! Your kids!!!

So Michael investigates, David goes on an anti-climatic killing spree, Michael’s girlfriend walks around in tiny clothes and bikinis, and the movie is just boring.

There is no suspense or buildup, no twists, it is all bland and very oatmeal-you know what you are getting and it happens-just as expected.

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more serial killers, go to It Should Have Been a Movie or a Miniseries: American Gothic (2016)

So with today’s topic and October being national domestic violence awareness month, I felt compelled to share this.

I Am a Survivor of Domestic Violence and I Know Help is Out There:

Are you being abused?

It’s abuse when someone who should care about you does or says things that hurt you or make you feel afraid, helpless or worthless. Here are only a few examples:

  • Slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking you or your kids, your pets
  • Threatening you, your kids, friends, family or pets
  • Hitting, kicking, slamming walls, doors, furniture, possessions
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Calling you names, swearing at you, yelling
  • Controlling all the money, even money you earn
  • Blaming you or your kids for everything
  • Putting you down, making you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough
  • Treating you like a servant or slave
  • Controlling where you go, what you do, what you wear
  • Controlling who you see, who you talk to
  • Humiliating you in front of other people
  • Refusing to let you leave the relationship

If you are in danger call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

 

This is Not the End…It Will Never End

I love October:

I’m so sorry it is over.

I love doing Horrorfest and I am so happy that this year I was able to do all 31 days!

Let me apologize for the messy postings, they weren’t as edited and full of images as I would have liked but I was so eager to have 31 posts done for publishing that I didn’t take the time I should have to make sure they were fully ready for publishing.

But I did it!!!!!!!

Great choices

So let’s see I promised you horror, suspense, mystery, film noir, monsters, ghosts, Alfred Hitchcock, Lifetime movies, aliens, witchcraft, murder, and cyborgs.

And what did I deliver?

Hmmm…

So lets start off with our yearly films. We always have Alfred Hitchcock, this year with me finally reviewing The Birds and a nod to Psycho with a Boy Meets World episode. Our Tim Burton film with Edward Scissorhands; a double dose of Disney with Maleficent and The Great Mouse Detective; an animated film with The Great Mouse Detective; yearly Stephen King film with The Tommyknockers; and a double dose of Vincent Price with Edward Scissorhands and The Great Mouse Detectives.

Our Lifetime movie in The Stranger Beside Me. I watched a ton of them but only reviewed one-probably because this one struck close to home.

AHHHHHHH!!!!

Had some spy action in The Glass Bottom Boat andThree Days of the Condor

And a lot of film-noir with The Blade Runner, The Blue Gardenia, Deadline at Dawn, A Letter to Three Wives, and Possessed 

I also for the first time, reviewed a video game It Lives in the Woods for Horrorfest. I’m thinking about doing it again next year.

We had horror-comedy in Fashion Model and The Glass Bottom Boat

Lots of psychopaths: multiple family members in American Gothic; the husband in Double Jeopardy; the dad in The Good Student; Griffin in The Invisible Man; the car jackers in Nocturnal Animals; the criminals in Rawhide; and the husband in The Stranger Beside Me.

We had quite a few literary nods-Sherlock Holmes with Basil of Baker Street, Agatha Christie’s Crooked House, H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew, and Phillip Pullman’s Ruby in the Smoke.

Had our Jane Austen fix with the final review of Death Comes to Pemberley. Now I guess I’ll have to review Pride & Prejudice & Zombies in order to keep Jane Austen in Horrorfest.

Mystery, you say?

Aliens in Independence Day and Tommyknockers:

Witches in a Murder She Wrote episode:

Cyborgs in The Blade Runner:

Classic monsters with Dr. Jekyll in Sccoby-Doo, Dr. Jekyll in Dr. Jekyll Versus the Werewolf, and the Invisible Man in his first film appearance.

So as you see, there is something for everyone. For all the films and TV shows reviewed:

The Invisible Man (1933)

Nancy Drew, Detective (1938)

Fashion Model (1945)

Deadline at Dawn (1946)

Possessed (1947)

A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

Rawhide (1951)

The Blue Gardenia (1953)

The House of the Arrow (1953)

The Birds (1963)

The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)

Nowhere to Hyde: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? (1970)

Dr. Jekyll Versus the Werewolf (1972)

Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Blade Runner (1982)

The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

The Witch’s Curse: Murder She Wrote (1992)

The Tommyknockers (1993)

The Stranger Beside Me (1995)

The Psychotic Episode: Boy Meets World (1999)

Double Jeopardy (1999)

Independence Day (1999)

The Good Student (2006)

Ruby in the Smoke (2006)

Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Three (2013)

Maleficent (2014)

American Gothic (2016)

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Crooked House (2017)

It Lives in the Woods (2017)

 

Who Did I Marry?: The Stranger Beside Me (1995)

Who did I marry?

I saw this film about four years ago when I was going on a Lifetime binge on youtube. It is still up there so you can check it out for yourself if you wish. It is based on a true story.

The film starts off with Jennifer Morgan (Tiffani Amber Thiessen). She is a respite worker for a man in a wheelchair, she wants to be an artist and keeps to herself-no dating and no men.

She gets encouraged to date Chris Gallagher (Eric Close), a guy she meets at a picnic, and at first is hesitant-but quickly falls in love.

We discover why she is so closed off, she reveals to Chris that she was raped by a friend’s stepfather. Chris understands and later proposes. The two get married and Chris reveals his dream of joining the navy. He enlists and the two are off to base.

All are happy

There Chris starts changing, he is extremely jealous and starts becoming anxious about being away from Jennifer and underwater. He starts acting out-very angry and frightening, but is always apologetic afterward.

Then a neighbor gets spied on by a peeping tom. One night when her husband is on duty she is raped.

Jennifer is terrified, but Chris just blows it off as no big deal.

Hmm…

Meanwhile, Chris has a panic attack and is relieved of his duties. Jennifer finds out later that it wasn’t an attack, but that he threatened to kill himself if he had to go under and is getting psychiatric help. But that doesn’t seem to help his possessiveness and anger.

Chris gets discharged when he is caught and charged with voyeurism. Jennifer wants to leave him, but is pregnant and decides to give him one more chance.

Things get better and then they become very much worse. He becomes angry, bad tempered, abusive, and voyeuristic. To add to such terror a masked rapist starts attacking women in the neighborhood.

Jennifer has the baby, and Dana, Alyson Hannigan, Chris’ niece, reveals that he molested her her whole childhood. Jennifer wants to leave him, taking the baby with her, but Chris attacks Jennifer.

Noooo!

Jennifer tries to go to the police to press charges, but he has a friend in the police and not enough evidence to connect him to the rapes.

Chris tells her that she cannot leave or else he will hurt her and their daughter. Jennifer stays and pretends to be a dutiful wife always watching, and trying to find a way to catch him, looking for a slip up.

She becomes friends with a detective that believes her husband is guilty, the two working together in the hopes of getting evidence and putting him away.

It has a great and powerful ending, you should check it out for yourself.

It is an amazing film, but so sad. Watching that was like watching my life when I was married. It was awful, and I feel so bad for this woman. If you would like more information on the actual case, go here. But even though she encountered hardship, she took that guy down like a true hero.

No banner this time as there weren’t any pictures big enough to use. Oh, well-there’s always next time.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For more Lifetime films, go to It Was the Curse. My Curse: The Cheerleader Murders (2016)

Horrorfest VII: Your New Nightmare

So tomorrow is October 1st, you know what that means:

HORRORFEST!!!!!!

31 Days of horror, suspense, mystery, film noir, monsters, ghosts, Alfred Hitchcock, Lifetime, aliens, witchcraft, murder, cyborgs, and more.

Last year Horrorfest was a bit of a downer. My charger broke and I tried to catch up but only was able to do like 17. This year I am working overtime to be sure that I have them all finished.

A couple years ago I put Jane Austen in a costume and added it to my Horrorfest tradition. Last year I Moreland dressed up as Sherlock Holmes, so I decided to have Jane do so this year.

For more Sherlock Holmes, go here.

So here we go!

To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World: Carnival of Souls (1962)

To start Horrorfest II from the beginning, go to There Are Many Strange Legends in the Amazon: The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart: The Wolf Man (1941)

To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

To start Horrorfest VI from the beginning, go to One of Our Guests is a Werewolf, I Know It.: The Beast Must Die (1974)

 

Business is Business, But Your Happiness is More Important: Borrowed Hearts (1997)

Most Romantic Moment #3

200px-Borrowed_Hearts_DVD_cover

So if you recall from an earlier post when I reviewed this film for Christmas, I said how even though this is a Christmas film I always connect it to Valentines Day as every year they used to show it around February 14th on WE or Lifetime.

Valentine-Wallpapers-For-Facebook

At the time I was in love with Eric McCormack, thought Roma Downey was extremely pretty, and envied the little girl’s room and toys.

hearts banner

Sam Field is a millionaire who is trying to negotiate the biggest deal of his life with Javier Del Campo.

Finally something GOOD!

Finally something GOOD!

The only problem is that Del Campo only likes to do business with family-orientated people, and Sam is a confirmed bachelor.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

So what’s a guy to do?

Hmm...

Hmm…

Well hire a fake family of course.

Its-so-crazy it just mightwork

Enter Kathleen, single mother and worker at Sam’s plant. She is trying to save up money to buy a house, but so far does not have as much as she needs.

StoryOfMyLifeSomeLikeItHotMarilynMonroe

A chance meeting, winds up with Kathleen and her daughter Zooey pretending to be his family for a few days, which ultimately expands into weeks as Del Campo wants to spend Christmas with the Fields.

What have I gotten myself into?

What have I gotten myself into?

As they spend more time together; Sam, Kathleen, and Zooey all learn more about family and learning to love again.

hearts banner

Most Romantic Moment: You are More Important Than Money

So as the film progresses we see that Sam changes from caring only about himself and money to actually caring about Kathleen and Zooey; finding out more and more about their lives and wanting to protect them; along with bringing them happiness.

twisterborrowedhearts7

So the most romantic moment comes near the film’s end. It is Christmas Day and while Zooey has had a fantastic Christmas and received tons of gifts, she didn’t receive what she really wanted, her dad.

Noo!

Noo!

Sam sees how sad she is and goes out to get him, caring more about Zooey and Kathleen’s desire to bring her daughter happiness; then the millions he would make.

borrowed hearts

Now this is a huge deal for Sam. First of all, it shows how much he cares for these two and that they are not employees or hired help; but very important to him, family.

So sweet!

So sweet!

Secondly, we already saw earlier in the film that he paid the father to stay away from Zooey and Kathleen until after Christmas. And it wasn’t a simple transaction, he dropped a large load to get him to stay far away. So he was also willing to sacrifice that.

And thirdly, by doing so he shatters the careful illusion he paid thousands in clothing, toys, redecorating, and hiring Kathleen and Zooey; and ends any chance of this multimillion deal. But he doesn’t care, these two are worth it.

borrowed hearts kiss

hearts banner

To start Romance is in the Air:Part IV from the beginning, go to I Can’t Pretend, I Have to Be: Casual Sex? (1988)

For the previous post, go to I Don’t Care What You Think, She’s My Girl: Veronica Mars (2005)

hearts banner

For more on Borrowed Hearts, go to 25 More Films of Christmas

For more Christmas movies, go to Santa Clause is Comin’ to Town

A Cautionary Tale

Memories

It’s true. That’s why you need to protect yourself.

guardyourheart

Because once something is destroyed it is hard to fix.

Trust

Yep:

alcapone

But even when people hurt you, its important to show forgiveness.

forgiveness

And let go of the past.

LetGoofthePast

So you can start again.

Endbeginning

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For more bible verses, go to Let It Go

For more J. Cole, go to Fall for You

For more Lion King, go to Wake Up, Dad

For more Uptown Girls, go to Red Rubber Ball

For more quotes, go to Fiction or Reality? I Choose Fiction