Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween 2010 Horror Line-Up

Hey all!

It being Halloween tomorrow (and finding myself with some spare time) I thought I'd compile a quick list of the scariest media and characters I've been enjoying over the last week of Halloween. Please note this is not a best of, a top ten list (kinda hard seeing as there is only four topics) or a full review, although several of these things could appear on lists or reviews in the future. Rather its just a recap of how I wasted my time this Halloween.
Enjoy!

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Scariest Horror Film (of Halloween 2010)
The Thing (1982)



Wait What? Hold On A Sec...



Thats Better!


The premise for John Carpenter's The Thing is simple. An alien creature that kills and takes the form of its victims. A small research team in the Antarctic cut off from the rest of the world by seasonal bad weather. Some of the most disgusting creature designs ever. Stevie Wonder. (Well, very briefly on a radio anyhow)

This film simply refuses to let up, demanding the audience to try work out for themselves which member of the crew is the alien. Typically it only becomes clear when the creature begins one of its stomach churning transformations. The tension grows unbearably heavy in scenes where the human characters come closer and closer to killing each other out of panic, all while, safe in its disguise, The Thing slowly picks them off and replaces them...



Kurt Finds The Hidden Hitchcock Cameo

The Thing reveals itself by ripping out of the form it is currently taking and assimilating the next creature it wishes to become. This leads to some very brutal transformation scenes, gory highlights including a scene where a guy's head sprouts insect legs to escape fire (which is done entirely with puppets, latex and old fashioned cinema magic). Add in Ennio Morricone's utterly haunting, desolate soundtrack (Sparse and electronic, unlike anything he has done before or since), powerhouse performances by Kurt Russell and Keith David and effects that noted film critic Roger Ebert called "among the most elaborate, nauseating, and horrifying sights yet achieved by Hollywood’s current generation of visual magicians", The Thing is without a doubt one of the greatest horror films of all time.

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Scariest Horror Game (of Halloween 2010)
Silent Hill 4 - The Room (2004, PS2)



Even Chained Up, The Sneezing Door Was A Menace


Lets get one thing straight right now, this is not my favourite Silent Hill game, not by a long shot. That would be Silent Hill 2, a game I have already raved about at length on my old site. But even Silent Hill 2 has to try very hard to be as creepy as its little brother here. Also I haven't played Silent Hill 2 this Halloween. So there.

Anyhow, in Silent Hill 4 - The Room you play as Henry Townshend, an average guy in his late 20's who has been trapped in his apartment for the last five days with no one seemingly able to hear or see his struggle to get out, be it though window, door or telephone. Also a mysterious hole has appeared in Henry's bathroom, which seems to be some kind of portal to various locations where Henry witnesses horrific murders and is attacked by disturbing protagonists. So far doesn't sound unlike the other games in the franchise.

What makes this one stand out is its focus on running away and your characters relative inability to protect himself, even by Silent Hill standards. Unlike many survival games there are almost no guns and very few weapons, all of which are quite weak. Running is generally the only option, but how do you escape from enemies that can pass through walls to find you and are already dead...? Even the enemies that are corporeal are also terrifying, as every enemy is a representation of one of the 21 murders the game is based around, from elderly men to baby twins.



"Here You, Pull My Finger"


Worst of all is your apartment itself, which gradually starts to become haunted by ghosts too. Opening the fridge for some milk only to find a cats head on a plate? Looking through the peep-hole of the door only to see shredded bodies outside? Faces forming and disappearing in the wall? All this in-between actual levels of the game. Creepy, atmospheric and damn difficult in parts, Silent Hill 4 - The Room is a game designed to make you keep the lights on and company close-by when you play it.

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Scariest Film Character (of Halloween 2010)
Pennywise The Dancing Clown (IT,1990)



Awww... It's A Sad Clown! Maybe He Needs A Hug?


Or A Visit To The Dentist?


Do I even need to explain this? I mean did you see that picture? Thats not just bad dental hygiene. Pennywise the dancing clown (the greatest performance of actor Tim Curry's career easily) is a creature of nightmares that eats children. He (or indeed IT) takes the form of whatever scares children most then kills and eats them, but first drives them half mad with fear. Everything about the character, from his outfit to his sadistic taunting of the other characters to his incredibly unsettling laugh is designed to make you never trust a strange clown in a drain pipe again. If only Georgie had known...




This character is scary to both kids and adults. As a kid, Pennywise will make you never want to visit the circus again. As an adult, the undertones of pedophilia and the sadistic way Pennywise tortures rather then straight up kills his victims is very unsettling, especially for a TV-movie. Pennywise is every nightmare you have every dreamed of, your worst dreams come through.

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Scariest Game Character (of Halloween 2010)
Giygas (MOTHER 2, Earthbound. SNES.1995)
(Although I Played It On An Emulator)


I'd Make A Joke Right Now, But I Just Shit Myself


A game with a largely very innocent and child-like tone, sprinkled with some very clever humour for adults (think of it as a computer game made by Pixar) MOTHER 2, Earthbound was a great RPG. It centers on a group of psychic children who must stop an evil psychic alien called Giygas, who is influencing people around Earth to turn evil (and blue). As the game progresses it becomes increasingly clear that Giygas is too powerful to be stopped in the present, as his powers have grown so much his mind and body have been destroyed and he is slowly being reborn as a god in a device called 'the devil's machine'. Thus your characters travel to the past to kill Giygas inside this incubator before he is fully formed. Terminating a new life before its formed, suppose thats not a bad plan right?
Wait that sounds kind of like abortion...



On The Left Is The Devil Vagin... I Mean Machine. The Right Is Giygas's Constantly Swirling Form Taking Baby Shape. Rated E For Everyone!!


Aside from the implied abortion this game wishes you to commit, the whole last hour or so of the game goes from a bouncy and almost silly tone to unbelievably dark and twisted. The music used is so frightening its almost hard to listen to, with my personal soundtrack spine-chillers being the tracks 'Cave of the Past' and 'Giygas Wounded'. The sound has a huge effect on the last sections of the game, using very odd effects and distortion to create tremendous unease and a sense of something terribly wrong. The darker, colder colours also change the games feel considerably, as does the final path to Giygas, which increasingly resembles a fleshy tube...

During the first stage of the boss battle your characters face appears in Giygas's 'devil machine' in what is one of the games stranger moments, almost like Giygas is trying to communicate in some way. Once the machine Giygas is incubating in is switched off and he is let loose, your party is eloped in a swirling red mist, a haze of shifting madness that looks like a howling face, an ultra-scan of a baby and even, as the image gets hazier and more static-like, blood flowing through your tv screen. All during the fight Giygas screams gibberish such as "I'm H a p p y", "It's not right it's not right" and "Ness Ness Ness It Hurts Ness Ness It Hurts Ness". The fight ends with a rush of static and your screen abruptly going black, apparently leading some to think their tv's had broken first time round.

Oh and most of this is happening against Giygas's will, as he no longer has control of his power or even his manner of rebirth. Many see this as a rape allegory, especially when the game creator Shigesato Itoi stated that his inspiration for Giygas' speech in MOTHER 2, EarthBound came from a traumatic childhood experience when he accidentally walked into the wrong cinema screen as a child and instead of the cartoon he had hoped to see saw the rape and murder of a young woman from the film The Military Police And The Dismembered Beauty. He also admitted this heavily influenced his art for this section of the game, as he wished to create a tone of complete and total evil and wrongness with this character.



While not all the story will make sense unless you play the game and the implied tone may seem hard to grasp if you are not a fan of Japanese games, suffice to say even based on this brief description alone Giygas has rightly earned the moniker of most disturbing game boss ever. For more evidence, check the video above. And keep in mind, this is primarily a game aimed at kids.

Anyhow, hope you all have an amazing Halloween, and enjoy the one time of year where taking sweets from strangers is not just ok, its the whole point. Oh and remember...



Oh And How!

Til next time!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This Is The End, My Fri... Oh Wait, No. It Isn’t.


Hey all.

Well guys, with almost 6 months and no updates, I guess I should call it. Ranticular, my old website from which I once shouted at the world, is over.

*Does A Little Jig*

Bye....

...Oh don't look at me like that. I’m sorry guys, the internet just doesn’t need me anymore. I set my site up to bitch about the awfulness of everything as well as expose the world to how very funny I can be (It's just taking you people awhile to notice that's all). Sadly a huge problem with spam has stopped me dead, with over 68,000 (?!?) comments appearing in two weeks offering me ways to enlarge my penis or make thousands from the comfort of my sitting room all thanks to a simple mistake I can't undo. So www.ranticular.com will not be posting anymore articles.

But in all honesty, does the world at large need me or my rage anymore? I mean recent films have been amaz...


...Oh...

Ahem. Ok so the world of films still has its occasional ups and downs but when has that not been true eh? Surely thats just a once-off blip in what is otherwise a very strong August film season right?

Son Of A Bitch!

Ok, the Autumn film season is always one of the weakest of the year, its a time-honoured Hollywood tradition, a cleaning out of the closet almost. Usually there is at least one strong contender and this year its the amazing Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. If you havn’t seen it by now I can’t even express how much you are missing out. As such, I’m glad to see it take its rightful place as champion of the Box-Office... What do you mean it barely made $45,135,506, which doesn't even make back its production costs...?

For Fucks Sake!

I must not fear, fear is the mindkiller...

Well I’m just looking at a microcosm of films over the past few months, lets look at other big budget blockbuster films to come out this Summer shall we?

... Fear Is The Little Death That Brings Total Oblivion...

This is insane, I mean this really is utterly insane. Ok so the Summer was by and large an abortion of a season. Fine. But what of the future? I for one was very excited about the up-coming Jonah Hex film (As many of you may recall from my news update on it ages ago). One of my favourite DC francises was finally getting its chance to shine! So lets take a quick look...

Oh, so now Jonah isn’t quite the merciless killer from the comics, Megan Fox does not play the horrifically scarred and incredibly damaged Tallulah Black as I had initially hoped and Quentin Turnbull is now a voodoo priest?

Wow, thats really fucking stupid.

I know the film was never going to crest the dizzy heights it's comic roots, being one of DC's most violent yet also most tragic franchises and always rooted in the real world compared to most other comics of the time. Forgiving that brief incidence of time-traval the comic attempted in the 1980's. Which was admittedly silly, though not nearly as silly as making Jonah now ESP-senstive for no fucking reason. Finally, the poster sucks.

Is That A Railgun In Your Pocket Or Blah Blah Blah

For all the uber-nerds that may send me extremely picky e-mails or comments yes, I am aware there was a spin-off comic series in the 90’s entitled Two-Gun Mojo that had a plot similar to the films. That series was also a huge flop and often regarded as one of the worst Jonah Hex series ever. Why base your film on a weak spin-off, is it because zombies are still quote-unquote ‘cool’? Because John Malkovich really looks like he had a good voodoo priest in him? Sweet Lord, why give Hex the ability to resurrect the dead? He never had that power in the comic, the comics made a point of him not having any super-human powers! FOR FUCK SAKE WHY?!

*Gasp... Pant*... Ok so the world of films may still need me it seems but no, this whole ‘Running a website alone that no one looks at’ lark is too exhausting, shit films alone will not sway me. Even with all this awful cinematic dogshit lying around, you people have enough other mediums to enjoy, mediums in which you have all grown numb to awfulness, where nothing can truly hurt you anymore and you are therefore safe. Right?

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This Simply Will Not Do!

That is it.

Starting next week, from my new location right here, expect hopefully an article a week.

Thanks to all the people who kept encouraging me to start this again. You guys are awesome.

Til next time!