This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: April 27 – May 3, 2015

Availability status updated on Aug. 3rd. 2015.

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~

Tristis est anima mea | Preformed by La Compagnia del Madrigale | Composition by Carlo Gesualdo

This beautiful music was composed by a man who murdered his wife and her lover in 1590.

The absolute best movie I saw in April was:

movie poster housebound

~THE MOVIES~

THIS WEEK ON NETFLIX & IN REDBOX:

Starry Eyes (2014) NR

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix. 
No longer Available from Redbox.
I’m probably not going to watch this one, because the reviews are telling me that it gets pretty gory in the second half. It’s a shame, because the first half sounds really intriguing. If you do watch it, and think it’s worth the splatter, let me know. Because I know I’m not the best person to judge hard-core horror, I’ll share the following review (with spoilers) by Craft Fear, who loved it. (She pairs her movies with an appropriate beer, then reviews both, which I think is brilliant.) Read the piece here: A Devil’s Tale Paired with Soul-Selling Starry Eyes.
On IMDb here.

An American Haunting (2005) PG-13

Available on DVD from Netflix.
No longer Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
Donald Sutherland & Sissy Spacek star in this film inspired by the Bell Witch haunting. This one has received several recommendations in the comments section of my post The 13 most haunting films, for ghost story lovers (and another 13+ worth watching.) I’ll be making the time to see it this week. UPDATE: I thought this was a little too on-the-nose … or something.  I’m being too harsh … maybe. Perhaps it would be best to direct you to a review from someone who is more articulate when it comes to this film. Read a proper review on Danse Noir.
On IMDb here.

Fantastic Voyage (1966) PG

Available on DVD from Netflix.
No longer Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.

 

(NO LONGER) IN THEATERS:

True Story (2015) R

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
On my weekend get-away, we saw THREE movies in the theater. This was the best one. (I’ve gone back to the appropriate listings for Ex Machina & Age of Adeline to leave my opinions of those movies.) There’s nothing paranormal here, but there’s plenty of dark psychology. The relationship that develops between the two main characters gives me the chills. Fine performances by both Jonah Hill and James Franco, plus at least one fantastic scene by Felicity Jones. Well worth the watch.
On IMDb here.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) PG-13

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.

~ON TV~

Penny Dreadful | Showtime | Sundays | 10/9c | Resuming May 3rd.

(2nd season.)
Season 1 is available on 3 Netflix discs.
On IMDb here.

Showtime is giving away a taste as follows:

Penny Dreadful | Season 1 Episode 1: Night Work | Full Episode

Penny Dreadful | Season 1 Episode 2: Seance | Full Episode

Penny Dreadful | Season 2 Premiere | Full Episode

I’m still not sure I should be sharing programs that are only available on premium channels, so my featuring of such shows will be hit or miss. I did want to mention Penny Dreadful though, because it’s really quite wonderful, once you get used to it. We don’t have Showtime, but I saw most of the first season while I was staying with my daughter in North Carolina last summer. I’m actually fighting temptation to subscribe … there are other shows I miss too. 

~THE REST ~

pooka monster movie buttons

 I have been waiting for my daughter to make this listing go live for a MONTH. This set is available in pin-back style (think flare buttons) for $14, or in magnet style (think refrigerators) for $20. I’ll be ordering all 12 designs in the magnet style so that I can wear them in my pendant necklace. Order yours here: Pooka Creations. And, if you think they are cool, why not share the link to my daughter’s work on your social media outlets?

Erma

My son brought my attention to a Tumblr artist who is developing Erma, a character reminiscent of one of our favorite ghost girls, Samara Morgan, from The Ring. See the imgur gallery here or visit the artist’s Tumblr bog here.

~***~

INDEX TO ALL MACABRE & MYSTERIOUS MEDIA FEATURES HERE

The color of the title is keyed as follows:
Black = Have not yet experienced. I’m interested … or I think you’ll be interested.
Red = Have experienced. Not recommended. Worse than the reviews or buzz indicated.
Orange = Have experienced. Recommended, with reservations or cautions.
Green = Have experienced. Recommended. A good movie that lives up to its reputation.

Last updated 2016.06.03


This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: Mar 30 – April 5th, 2015

Availability status updated on Aug. 3rd. 2015.

I’m still trying to work out the best way to do Macabre & Mysterious Media. I’d like to make writing these posts easier and quicker for me, and reading them more useful for you. I’ll be experimenting in the next few weeks, so please bear with me. (I’m not sure I’m going to stick with the date-as-post-title thing, for example. Terrible SEO.)

This particular list is long because I haven’t been staying on top of what’s going on lately, so I have some catching up to do. Because movies come and go so quickly, I’ll concentrate on gathering the best and most promising movies this week, but rest assured, you will also see television shows and games in the future.

NEW FEATURE: The color of the title is keyed as follows:
Black = Not yet watched. I’m interested … or I think you’ll be interested.
Red = Watched. Not recommended. Worse than the reviews or buzz indicated.
Orange = Watched. Recommended, with reservations or cautions.
Green = Watched. Recommended. A good movie that lives up to its reputation.

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~
Blackie & The Oohoos – Song for Two Sisters

If you only watch one thing from this list, it should be:

nightcrawler

~THE MOVIES~

ON NETFLIX & IN REDBOX:

I have some last-minute alerts — these movies are about to become less accessible than they were:

Jane Eyre (1943)

Available on DVD from Netflix.
No longer Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.

The Amityville Horror (1979)

Available on DVD from Netflix.
No longer Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.

Clue (1985)

Available on DVD from Netflix.
No longer Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.

There. You’ve got more time to plan for anything else on this list.

Nightcrawler (2014) R

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
BEST MOVIE IN THIS LIST
This film was robbed at the Oscars. I didn’t manage to see it before the 2014 Academy Awards, so I didn’t know just how pissed I should be. Jake Gyllenhaal should have been nominated for best actor. And, maybe, he should have won. This is a film that keeps you deeply engaged. (It’s not a horror movie, but it is horrifying … and very dark.)
Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
On IMDb here.

Interstellar (2014) PG-13

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
A fine movie with an interesting premise. Solid scifi drama. This movie clocks in at more than two hours and forty-five minutes, but you won’t feel it. (As long as you don’t drink too much soda.)
Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain
On IMDb here.

A Good Marriage (2014) R

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
Joan Allen, Anthony LaPaglia, Stephen Lang. From a short story by Stephen King.
UPDATE: I watched it this weekend. Not bad. Pretty faithful to the short story. A fine performance by Joan Allen.
On IMDb here.

Stonehearst Asylum (2014) PG-13

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
Kate Beckinsale, Michael Caine, and Ben Kingsley
UPDATE: Just finished it. It’s based on a dark comedy, by Edgar Allan Poe, called The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether. It’s a pretty movie. There are some nice performances here – particularly by Kingsley. Not scary, but atmospheric. Feels fairly chick-flickish to me, but it’s got a nice twist. Worth a watch if you want to feel cozily creeped out.
On IMDb here.

Ouija (2014) PG-13

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
I’m willing to give this a go, mostly because I really like Olivia Cook, who is also in Bates Motel.
On IMDb here.

Jessabelle (2014) PG-13

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
This caught my eye because it’s set in Louisiana. I tend to like a good deep southern Gothic. We’ll see.
On IMDb here.

The Quiet Ones (2014) PG-13

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (2013) R

Currently available on Netflix streaming. Him & Her
Here’s an interesting concept: two movies, about the same story, each shot from the viewpoint of one of the lovers in the story. (There is nothing paranormal about these movies, they are just interesting, so I thought I’d share.)
Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy
IMDb: Her
IMDb: Him
There is also a third movie, denoted as “them“. From reading the reviews, it sounds like this is the one to skip, because it’s a compilation of the first two films.

NO LONGER IN THEATERS:

It Follows (2014) R

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
There is a lot of buzz about this movie. I think I’ll be seeing it this week, because Ogre has heard good things. Gotta say, though, that I’m not impressed with the premise. I’m hoping it comes through in the execution.
EDIT: A reviewer I respect has a great piece up that perfectly encapsulates my hesitation about this movie. And one of his readers has an interesting counterpoint in the comments to the post.
Review: It Follows by The Angry Scholar
UPDATE: Ok. I finally saw it in July, 2015. I adored the soundtrack. (It’s good to hear a real soundtrack on a horror film again.) I very much appreciated that the teens/young adults in the movie are neither stupid, nor dickheads. (They are much truer to the kids I know than to the typical teen trope.) Despite the premise of the movie, the sexuality of the characters is respected and treated as a natural expression of affection. In short, this movie could have been terrible in the wrong hands, but it  was actually quite good. It raises the bar. It isn’t without its problems, though. I was never very satisfied with the strategies the characters used to deal with the thing that is following them and there are several inconsistencies in the sometimes illogical plot. I’ll say this: It led to some interesting discussing and theorizing between Ogre and me.
On IMDb here.

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014) NR? (I’d guess PG-13)

Not yet Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Not yetAvailable from Redbox.
This is a movie about an urban legend, about the movie Fargo (1996). We saw it this last weekend and I think I mostly loved it. Granted, it’s a bit slow in places, but the second half of the film is memorable and affecting. It’s definitely not a paranormal movie, but it’s beautifully mysterious and, yes, a bit macabre.
On IMDb here.

Run All Night (2015) R

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
Not remotely paranormal, but — because I’m married to a cinephile — I see lots of movies. This was really good. Great performances, good writing and excellent pacing. Much better than I expected it to be.
On IMDb here.

And that will wrap it up for this week. Now that I clearly see what’s out there, I’m guessing I’ll get to about … three of these. (And I’m going to go watch Jane Eyre now, but that doesn’t count because I’ve seen it before.) Care to guess which ones? Would you recommend anything you’ve seen that I haven’t? 

~***~

INDEX TO ALL MACABRE & MYSTERIOUS MEDIA FEATURES HERE


‘NetNet: Book give-away of THE WAITING – an inspired-by-true-ghost-story, Vampira, scary (very) short films, the Yankee Pedlar Inn, Sherlock Holmes, and a mystery vending machine.

ENTER A SPECIAL DRAWING FOR A FREE  DIGITAL BOOK, OR AUTOGRAPHED PAPERBACK, BY HUNTER SHEA

hunter give away badge with glow

I’m honored to be kicking off the virtual book tour for a favored author and stalking victim, Hunter Shea. At the end of the month, he and I will be doing an interview in which we’ll discuss his latest novella, THE WAITING, and how it was inspired by a true-life haunting.

It will be my first interview, and this is the first time I’m participating in a book tour, so I hope you’ll all be patient and supportive.

I have every intention of asking him probing questions about how THE WAITING and the true events relate, so it would be best if you all have read the novella by the time of the interview. (I suspect there may be spoilers.) I’ll have the actual drawing on midnight of the 20th, so that the winners of THE WAITING will have time to read it … and the rest of you will have time to buy it AND read it, if you want, to get all you can out of the interview.

NOTE: The book tour, as a whole, has a rafflecopter give-away going too … for the same set of prizes that I’m offering, but don’t be confused! There are TWO rafflecopters and one of them (accessible below) is just for The Paranormalist readers. To maximize your chances, you may want to visit some of  the other stops on the blog tour and enter into that rafflecopter too. To find links to all the tour’s stops, visit Hunter’s launch post at his website, huntershea.com.

the-waiting-shea-tour-

Yes, I am spoiled. Either that or Hunter fears likes me.

In addition to TWO digital downloads of THE WAITING, I’ll be giving away one autographed paperback copy of my favorite Hunter Shea novel (so far) SINISTER ENTITY, which is a new and interesting spin on the concept of dopplegangers.

book shea sinister entity

Click to see Amazon listing.

 In order to enter the drawing, please click below to be taken to The Paranormalist Portal.

Once there, you will find a widget that allows you to earn chances (think of them as raffle tickets) by completing simple actions that will support Hunter. Tasks that can earn entries for you range from following him on Twitter to purchasing and reviewing any of his books. (THAT sort of behavior, will get you multiple entries, of course :))

Once you’re done there, there will be an easy link to come back here, so you can continue reading this week’s NetNet.

CLICK TO GO TO THE PARANORMALIST PORTAL

*****

LEARN ABOUT THE ORIGINAL VAMPIRA

From Eva at The Year of  Halloween20th Century Glamour Ghoul: Honoring Maila Nurmi’s Vampira

*****

VIEW AN EXPERTLY CURATED SET OF SCARY SHORT VIDEOS

From Meagan at Halloween Girl: Horror short round up

*****

VISIT THE YANKEE PEDDLER INN (SETTING OF THE MOVIE ‘THE INNKEEPERS”)

peddler inn lobby

 

From Taylor & Dean at Haunted World: Yankee Pedlar Inn (Torrington, CT)

****

DREAM OF OWNING A VERY SPECIAL VENDING MACHINE

mystery coke machine

From Mark at Mark My WordsThe Mystery Coke Machine

*****

GET PRIMED FOR A SERIES OF EXAMINATIONS OF THE SHERLOCK HOLMES PHENOMENA, FROM AN EXPERT

holmes-basil-rathbone

From TimPrasil, Inventor of Persons: In the Shadow of Rathbone: An Introduction

*****

There is no way I’m going to capture every great thing that happens in my personal web, let alone on the wider internet. The posts I feature here just happened to catch my eye. They resonated with me and whatever is going on in my life right now. And they are worth sharing.

‘NetNet

#NetNet

*****