Do You Like This Hotel?…I Guess So. Good. I Want You to Like It Here. I Wish We Could Stay Here Forever… and Ever…: The Shining (1980)

Do you like this hotel? Yes, I do. I love it. Don’t you? I guess so. Good. I want you to like it here. I wish we could stay here forever… and ever… and ever.

So last week I went to a Halloween party and the guys were trying to figure out what movie was still scary. They had a bunch that frightened them when they were children, but felt that they were no longer horrifying as an adult. When they mentioned this one, I was like maybe for you but I find this movie even more terrifying as an adult. Jack Torrence is a horrible and abusive man. When I first saw it their relationship scared me, but after being in an abusive relationship it is a little too real. The scene when he yells at her for “disturbing him” would give me nightmares and that manner he takes with her would fire so many emotional triggers.

So Jack is a writer and and alcoholic. He hurt his son and his wife unfortunately believes in giving him a second chance, I’m like no don’t, but she does and they are going to be staying at a hotel in the Rocky Mountains during the off season (winter) taking care of it.

Everything about this sounds like a truly terrible idea. This former alcoholic man who abused his child is now trapped with you up on the top of the mountain in the middle of snowy winter where help will be unable to come if needed. If I was the wife there is no amount of money that I could be paid that would convince me to be trapped with that man. Even the first time when I watched this and had no clue what would happen next, Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Jack Torrance scared me so, even in that just beginning “normal” scene, I would not want to be trapped up there with either Jack.

But before they are given full reign the manager, Stuart Ullman, reveals that the former caretaker had murdered his wife and two daughters, afterwards committing suicide.

Jack is okay with that and insists his wife will be too, uh no, but he is again he is also incredibly creepy. From the start of the film Jack Nicholson looks like a psychopath, as he does in every film.

Jack and Wendy’s son, Danny, has the ability to read minds and premonitions that always come true, just like in almost every Stephen King film. We are never given any reason why that happens. Is this “shining” an inherited trait? Why is he the only one in the family that can do it?

Oh he also has an adult man that lives inside him, but no one is too freaked out by that. I would be very worried.

Once they get to the Overlook weird things start happening as it is clearly possessed and starts affecting the family.

There are the ghosts of the twin girls that were murdered by their father: a scene that inspired one of my most loved memes:

But there are even more strange and paranormal things happening: the dead wife rises (in zombie form), there is a ghostly bartender, two men involved in some strange fetish of one being dressed as a dog, rivers of blood flowing, etc.

Eventually Jack is so possessed that he tries to kill his family, correcting them as the ghosts and hotel insists he should.

From The Invisible Man

I’ve always wondered do the spirits and ghosts come out only to play in the wintertime, like a reverse snowbird? Haunting other areas in the summer? Is it his abusive nature that made him one they felt they could turn to their side? Do they only attack when there is a single family living there? Why don’t they continue this reign of terror and murder in the summertime?

Hmm…

The film is very well done with the pacing and how they show everything, but I just can’t watch something like this because of the abuse. Jack is absolutely horrible, I wish Wendy would have left that situation before they went to the hotel, but she’s been with him so long, seen the good side, and is trapped in the wheel of promises and manipulation.

Stephen King actually hates this film as he feels the actors didn’t capture his characters and the storyline is nothing like his book, just a “shallow interpretation”. He actually remade it for TV but I have seen that one and it is soooo boring. I still can’t believe any studio read that script and green lighted it, but I do feel that way about a lot of films.

The background of making the movie is as equally horrifying as the film, as Stanley Kubrick was a nightmare to work with. Remember when I talked about William Wyler in Wuthering Heights? Kubrick was just as terrible as with his constant retakes and need for the perfect shot drove every actor and staff member to near insanity. In all interviews I have ever read or watched by the actors in this film, everyone says that they were thankful for the opportunity and that they were a part; but would never ever do it again.

Kubrick also completely traumatized and gave Shelley Duvall a nervous breakdown. Unfortunately that was back in the day when a famous director could do whatever they wanted to and didn’t have to face any repercussions. That is another reason that makes this film hard for me to watch, all the fear Duvall had and her breakdown is actually real. After this film she had to go to a sanitarium for a little while.

And as this is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, I want to end with this: if you are in a relationship that mistreats you, abuses you or your children, and you want to leave, there is help out there and there are resources for you. One thing they show in this movie that is really accurate is about how Jack keeps saying he will change, he will be better, but doesn’t. Very few people will ever truly change their abusive behavior. They might be able to for a little while-enough to make you think they have changed for good-but instead after they have hooked you again, then they slowly return to their horrible nature.

Abuse is more than just physical violence, it can be in many different forms.

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

It can also look like the below cycle 

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.

And the Facebook banner:

For more Stephen King films, go to My First Boyfriend is a Monster!…Literally: Sleepwalkers (1992)

For more Jack Nicholson, go to What Are You? I’m Batman!: Batman (1989)

For more ‘80s films, go to Something’s Out There and It’s Killing People! And If It’s Monsters, Nobody’s Going to Do a Thing About it Except Us!: The Monster Squad (1987)

Stolen Lover Leads to Murder: Death on the Nile (2004)

Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors. She revolutionized the way mysteries are written, and created a wonderful collection of characters. Not only are her plots amazing, but I like how she presents all the information to you that she gives her detective characters, putting the two of you on equal footing. I strongly recommend reading any of her novels. When you start one, you just can’t stop.

Death on the Nile isn’t my favorite of her works, as all the people in this are horrible. But, I do really love this episode from ITV’s Poirot. I think David Suchet is a perfect Poirot, as he looks just the way I always imagined Poirot to look like. And because it stars this guy:

I’m all about that JJ!

Yep, it has the incredible, handsome, and extremely talented JJ Feild. This is the first time I actually saw more dimension into the character. And as they sometimes change plot points in these tv episodes there was the possibility things could go different. With his performance I believed anything is possible.

Hmm…

The story Death on the Nile begins with Linnet Ridgeway (Emily Blunt), an extremely wealthy woman, who is approached by her much poorer best friend Jacqueline “Jackie” de Bellefort (Emma Griffiths Malin). Jackie wants to marry her boyfriend, Simon Doyle (JJ Feild), but his job doesn’t provide enough for them. So Jackie reached out to Linnet to hire Simon so they can be together.

Only problem is, Linnet falls for Simon Doyle and they get married.

For their honeymoon, Linnet and Simon decide to go on a trip through the Nile, and of course run into Hercule Poirot (David Suchet), he never gets a vacation. He sees the former best friend, Jacqueline, threaten them, and they ask Poirot for help. He declines helping them (as they did wrong), but warns Jacqueline to stop or else she will open herself to evil. She refuses and follows the Doyles on their boat trip to the Nile, joined by 11 other interesting characters.

Linnet is murdered (of course), and everything points to the two characters, Jackie and Simon, who clearly could not have done it. Who could the murderer be? With these 11 interesting characters there are multiple suspects (and of course several of them have serious hatred toward Linnet). Poirot is on the case.

Yep, this is the only adaption I have ever seen that I really enjoy. And all because they perfectly casted Poirot and JJ Feild did such a phenomenal job as Doyle.

For more Agatha Christie, go to This Village is Full of Strange People: Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Endless Night (2013)

For more Hercule Poirot, go to I Won the Cederberg Tea Giveaway + Book Club Picks: The Insanity of God

For more JJ Feild, go to I Was Asked to Be a Guest on the Podcast P.S. I Love Rom Coms + My Review of their Bridget Jones’ Diary Episode

For more Emily Blunt, go to Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

For more detectives, go to A Man Dressed as a Giant Bat, Psychotic Deformed Man Wrecking Havoc, and a Zombie Cat Woman…A Batman Christmas: Batman Returns (1992)

Murder in High C: Murder She Wrote (1995)

So you know what that means: Horror TV episodes Tuesday

I know this is a little odd, TV episodes on a Tuesday instead of Friday as I’ve been doing for the past few years?

Well this year October 1st started on a Friday and it just doesn’t seem right for Horrorfest to start with a review of a TV episode. 

So instead we will be reviewing TV episodes on Tuesdays, TV Tuesdays.

And our next TV episode comes from Murder She Wrote.

I love Murder She Wrote, as I grew up watching the reruns on TV Land and Hallmark. The story was of widowed, retired school teacher, Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) who becomes an author-published under the name J.B. Fletcher.

As she goes about life she gets pulled into all these different murder mysteries, using her intellect and observational skills to solve the crimes.

Today’s pick is one of my favorites from Murder She Wrote, because of all the possibilities.

This episode takes place in season 11. Jessica Fletcher has become an international bestseller and has made friends with people of various backgrounds from all around the globe. In this episode Jessica is in Italy, excited for her friend Andrea Beaumont’s big premiere as prima soprano. Over a year ago, Andrea was stalked by a crazed fan and has been in therapy. She is finally returned to singing, but as Andrea heads to the theater we see the fog and hear a creepy voice threaten to kill her.

Aahhh!!!

Andrea ends up fainting and is sent back to her hotel, this being the first of many incidents. Andrea continues to get calls as someone is harrassing her? But who could it be?

Mystery, you say?

This episode has a plethora of suspects:

Andrea’s former stalker was sentenced to prison last year, but when the police start investigating they discover that he was released early. He has been keeping with his probation appointments, but a week ago he seemed to have disappeared. Has he come back and followed her to Italy to finish the job?

Hmm…

Drew Granger (Bruce Abbott) is the conductor of the opera production and he is in an extremely bad mood. He and Andrea had a thing, but she left him when she met Jonas Cole, marrying Cole instead. Drew is dating Vicki Lawson, PR manager, but he doesn’t seem to be over Andrea, as he and Cole are constantly going toe to toe over her. Could he have been repeating the stalking as he is intimate of the details and wants her to pay for leaving him? Does he think by making things stressful she would want to date him again, this incident bringing them closer together? Or maybe it isn’t romantic at all? Granger was asked to conduct in New York, a much bigger deal than this Genoa show-but he’s locked in his contract. If Andrea cannot continue and the production chooses to cancel instead of continue he will be free to leave. Could it be him?

Stella Knight is the former prima soprana, but is seen as being “too” old, having to move over for the younger Andrea. She is furious and demands her husband do something and does all she can to make things hard on Andrea. The stalking was widely publicized, could she be recreating it so Andrea quits and Stella can take back her role?

Jonas Cole is Andrea’s stock broker husband. He is caring and loves her, but he always seems to be gone or off doing something when she needs him most. And as they always say-the husband is the first to be looked at. He could be trying to kill her and wanting someone else to “take the fall”, maybe for money or to get rid of her so he can remarry. Maybe he doesn’t want Andrea dead, but is trying to “kill” her career hoping to “scare” her into permanent retirement?

Hmmm…

Rudolfo Petrocelli is the company director and is worried about money and the performance. He can’t understnd it, but they seem to be barely making it. If Andrea quits the performance she will have to pay for dissolving the contract. If that happens the company would actually make more money than what they would make with ticket sales. Could he be behind this scaring?

Hmm…

Vicki Lawson is the PR manager of the tour and this event. She’s good friends with Andrea…or is she? She is dating Drew Granger and mad that he seems to be focused on Andrea than her. Not only does Drew end up dumping her when Andrea joins, but when she tries to make Drew see he needs her expertise, he gives her the kissoff. Could it be that she became so jealous that she is striking out at Andrea? Maybe she thinks if she gets rid of her she can have Drew back?

The poilice promise their protection and tap the phones to try and pinpoint where the stalker is calling from. But even with their best efforts the stalker still comes backstage and tries to attack Andrea.

So Whodunnit? One of the suspects figures it out and tries to to blackmail the stalker, winding up dead instead, (as the murder in Murder She Wrote). Which one could it be?Which one? You need to watch this to find out.

While some episodes are a little more obvious as to who the killer is, I really like that this one gave us so many possibilities. It is a fantastic episode, with plenty of remediate and turns. But don’t worry, Jessica always figures them out.

For more Murder She Wrote, go to The Witch’s Curse: Murder She Wrote (1992)

For more mysteries, go to A Teenager Tries to Be Nancy Drew, With Disastrous Results: True Crime (1996)

For more Angela Lansbury, go to Because I Am Mad, I Hate You. Because I Am Mad, I Have Betrayed You: Gaslight (1944)

For more with stalkers, go to Superhero Film or Stalker Thriller: Unbreakable (2000)

Horrofest X: Have Yourself a Haunted Halloween

It’s that time of the year again! Time for another Horrorfest, 31 days of horror, mystery, monsters, etc.

So I started Horrorfest back when I first began blogging. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with it, the direction I wanted to go in. Since I like to watch scary movies every day in October, I decided to review them, and I had so much I fun I continued every year.

I know some people aren’t interested in it or would think it has nothing to do with my blog’s title, but you know who would love it and be so into horror films?

When I started this, I used a lot of stills from the movies I was reviewing and ended up with a a bunch of photos I couldn’t reuse for future posts. Since then I try to add less, unless I think I can use it for future posts or that it is crucial to the story. Instead I reuse old photos and I try to caption each photo with what film it came from, but at times I forget.

Over the years I have established a set of rules and annual films categories.

Rules are there must be at list one film or TV show episode:

  • From every decade (1930s-2020s)
  • by Alfred Hitchcock
  • Is animated
  • made by Disney
  • by Stephen King
  • by Tim Burton
  • starring Vincent Price
  • And is in some way Jane Austen related

The Jane Austen one is the hardest to do, although two years ago I had several. There was the Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans Alta Mar AKA High Seas,Death By Persuasion” from Midsomer Murders, Rebecca, and Strong Woman Bong Soon; along with the film that led to Sense and Sensibility (1995) being made-Dead Again.

Last year we had several films with Jane Austen Bingos (actors from Jane Austen productions spotted in another film), and I finally reviewed Northanger Abbey (2007), one of my favorite Jane Austen adaptions. I also started a new tradition, #CelebrateHalloweenwithNorthangerAbbey, something I will be continuing this year! So be sure to join me!

Another tradition I added a few years ago is dressing Jane up in costume every year. Last year I did Jane the Vampire Slayer to go with my review of Return of the Vampire (1943).

This year I decided to make Jane a Ghostbusters.

Well, I hope you enjoy this year’s picks-so far we have vampires, zombies, aliens, mysteries, monsters, gothic stories, film noir, and more!

For the original Horrorfest, go to I Don’t Belong in the World: Carnival of Souls (1962)

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

For Horrorfest III, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart: The Wolf Man (1941)

For Horrorfest IV, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For Horrorfest V, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

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

For Horrorfest VII, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

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

For Horrorfest IX, go to Time for You to Awaken, Master. Time for You to Go Out: The Return of the Vampire (1943)

Dirty Deals, Murder, Mob Goons, and a Kidnapping: Men at Work (1990)

Dirty deals, murder, mob goons, and kidnapping

So I was surfing through Amazon recommendations and I saw this starred Emilio Estevez and his brother Charlie Sheen, and was written by Emilio Estevez, I just had to watch it.

{Picture from Ringu)

I am so glad I did as this was hilarious!

I love Emilio Estevez, I always have ,so anything with him in it, I’m down for.

So we start the film off with a meeting between gangster rich guy, Maxwell Potterdam III (John Getz) and the Mayor running for reelection. Potterdam what kind of name is that for an evil villain/gangster? Sounds more like a nerd to me.

So Potterdam has been paying the mayor so that he could illegally dump his toxic waste, but the mayor is done with it. Unbeknownst to Potterdam, he’s sneaky and caught the gangster on tape.

Oh, wow…

Hmm…From there we switch to friends and coworkers, Carl Taylor (Charlie Sheen) and James St. James (Emilio Estevez). They share an apartment and Carl likes to stare out the window and watch his neighbors with binoculars, espechially the woman across the way.

Not okay.

He finds her beautiful and has memorized her whole routine-that’s creepy.

SUPER creeped

James and Carl are trashmen and not happy about their job, it pays the bills but what they really want is to have their own surf shop. They are also in a prank war with some other trashmen and have two cops who hate them.

They take care of the trash but are the worst trashmen ever. It is hilarious how they just toss the cans everywhere, go through the trash and take some things, etc.

From Clueless

Meanwhile, the Mayor was approached by his campaign manager, Susan Wilkins (Leslie Hope). She gives him a tape with a rap on it for his campaign but he ignores her, takes the tape he made the night before and takes it to the police chief. He plays it, but you guessed it-he took the wrong tape. He runs out to find Susan-while the police chief contacts Potterdam. Yep, you guessed it-he’s a dirty cop.

The worst!

That night the guys are hanging out and playing trivial pursuit. They notice a ruckus across the way when the mayor comes over. He’s yelling about a tape and pushes Susan. Carl gets upset and when Susan goes downstairs to look for the tape Carl gets his pellet gun and shoots him in the butt.

From Supernatural

The guys laugh as he screams in pain and they hide missing seeing some hitmen come in and garrote the mayor and remove his body.The mob men are supposed to take him and dump his body, but the two hitmen start arguing about music and they don’t realize that they have lost the body, he slips and falls into a trashcan.

That’s not good.

The next day the boys are called in to work early and read the riot act because they’ve had so many complaints. The boss’ brother-in-law needs a job, so he’ll be watching them, Vietnam vet Louis Fedders (Keith David).

They both are having a hard time working with him, as they don’t want to be “observed”. As they are taking out the trash they find the body and think Carl killed him. They both start freaking out.  Can’t they tell he wasn’t shot but garroted?

Thank goodness for the Louis. He points out to the guys that he wasn’t shot but garroted. They decide to take the body with them as hey don’t have a good relationship with the cops. This seems like a very bad idea.

They discuss this and are overheard by rivals at work-uh oh not good.

So they go out to try and discuss what must have happened and I love how Louis gets defensive about his fries. There are something a man (or woman) never shares.

Louis: There are several sacred things in this world that you don’t *ever* mess with. One of them happens to be another man’s fries. Now, you remember that, and you will live a long and healthy life.

They share about what they saw last night and Carl decides to go over and get information from the girl across the apartment. Louis and James will watch from their apartment with the pellet gun in case she turns deadly. Louis turns out to not be helpful to James as he starts to lose his grip on reality and thinking he is in Vietnam again.

That’s not good.

So while the guys are waiting they order a pizza and when he pizza guy delivers it he sees the dead body. Louis ties him up and he is along for the ride.

James: [offering a slice of pizza to the pizza delivery man] Are you hungry? Would you like some?

Louis: [having a Vietnam flashback] Don’t give him any, James.

James: Why not? He might be hungry.

Louis: He’s a prisoner; he should be treated accordingly.

James: Have you completely lost your mind? We’re not soldiers and he’s not the enemy. He’s a pizza man.

So Carl gets with Susan, lying and telling her that he’s a doctor. She’s actually into him and wants to go off to the beach. The rest of the group follows-Louis, James, the Pizza guy, and the dead mayor.

Meanwhile, the cops pull over James and Louis-although Louis uses he pellet gun to disarm them and the hitmen are after Susan and Carl.

That’s not good.

Susan and Carl cut a break when the hitmen get distracted by their bickering, they are really unprofessional, Hitman Biff gets mad that Mario bought a taser, “it was on sale”, instead of using a gun and makes fun of him again. That’s the last straw. He decides to use the taser on his partner.

Biff: [Biff is slowly coming to after Mario blasted him with a taser gun] Ooohhhh… what happened?

Mario: Man, it was something. You got struck by lightning.

Biff: Really?

Mario: Freak storm.

Susan and Carl are running and Carl scared spits out that he lied and that he isn’t a doctor but a trashman, and his name is Carl, and he watched her from across the way and saw the fight. When Susan hears that he was spying she slaps him twice, but she still takes off with him as he’s a better option than the hitmen.

What the group doesn’t know is that Carl and James’ coworkers have tracked them down to play a prank on them and have cut the brake and gas line. One of them drops their cigarette so when Carl and Susan reach it, boom it explodes.

The hitmen catch up to Susan and Carl and kidnap them, taking them to Potterdam and they get sealed in containers to be dumped.

That’s not good.

James, Louis, the Pizza man, and the dead body chase after them and we have a great scene where James and Carl are hanging on the gates of a truck screaming.

So they find Susan but they still have to deal with Potterdam. They end up going through the trash and creating a little carnival of horror to freak Potterdam out and stop him. Even the pizza guy joined in. It’s hilarious.

This movie is crazy, but in a good way. It was hilarious, fun, and I loved it. After I watched it I had to show my sister and friend.

For more Emilio Estevez, go to Don’t You Forget About Me

For more spying on the neighbors, go to One Day You’ll See Something You Shouldn’t: Rear Window (1954)

For more kidnapping, go to Super Power Girl, Blackmail, Gangsters, and a Serial Kidnapper: Strong Woman Bong Soon (2017)