Podcast Review: Tanis Bonus Episode #1—This is Tanis at its best, and it’s worth subscribing to get access

Recently, Pacific Northwest Stories started releasing bonus episodes of Tanis through Patreon.  This is becoming a pretty standard practice (Lore has been doing this for months).  I think it’s a good model, and it works particularly well for Tanis.

As I said in my original and subsequent reviews of Tanis, the show functions best when it is cataloging strange events that might theoretically be ascribed to the bizarre influence of Tanis (the concept).  I argued that the organizing theme of Tanis wasn’t working because it was too vague and unconnected (I adjusted my stance by mid season; we’ll see what I think in my end-of-season review when I post it), but that the storytelling of the “episodes” of Tanis were individually outstanding, and that I wanted more of those.

Well, these mini episodes seem to be exactly that!

The first one follows one Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard, whose disturbing medical practice makes the jump from dangerous to disastrous upon her move to the Pacific Northwest.  The first bonus episode felt like an episode of Lore, and when I get time I plan to dig into it to see if it was inspired by anything true or whether it’s made up out of whole cloth.

In any event, these mini episodes are probably going to end up being one of the best sources of Spookypasta in the foreseeable future.  I plan on supporting Tanis on Patreon, and I recommend doing the same, if only to get these bonus episodes.  You also get a premium transcript, which would certainly be helpful for me as a reviewer, but they are planning on producing them like a digital magazine, which would make Tanis a fully multi-modal composition.  Plus, Tanis sounds like something that would work great as a digital magazine, so this looks like a win all around.

The pricing is a little steep (you have to do $10/month to get the mini episodes), but I think it’s probably worth it to pony up for the mini episodes and premium PDFs.  I’ll post an update here once I’ve committed and have looked at all the extra content.


Posted in Podcast Review | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Movie Review: The Darkness (2016)—Toby Oliver’s abysmal cinematography renders this an unwatchable mess

Here’s the official marketing blurb: A family returns from a Grand Canyon vacation, haunted by an ancient supernatural entity they unknowingly awakened and engages them in a fight for their survival.

darkness2016Straight up, skip this movie.  I will address content, but first I need to talk about the cinematography.  A cinematographer or director of photography is “responsible for achieving artistic and technical decisions related to the image.” The man responsible for the cinematography in The Darkness (2016) is Toby Oliver, and it’s his fault this movie is awful.  Continue reading

Posted in Movie Review | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Werewolves (April 2016 Literary Meeting)

tales of ravenloft

Welcome to the April 2016 Literary Meeting!

The theme this month was werewolves.

As always, I’ve made informal references in text, with full references listed at the end .

Aromatic Accompaniment: Black Birch by Chesapeake Bay Candle.

The April literary meeting was somewhat shorter than usual on account of a busy academic term (I actually don’t think we even broke out the wine!), but we were happy to have it after the tumultuous start to the year (I had an internship in DC for all of January, during which time my apartment flooded, and I didn’t even get to move back in until March 1st, upon which time I was decidedly NOT prepared to play host for some weeks).  For the same reason I don’t have much analysis, but I wanted to get it posted to at least preserve the reading list.

Continue reading

Posted in Literary Meeting | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spooky Spotlight: Lost in the Pines, A Haunting New Play Produced by Magnetic North Theater Co.

Martin and Jaime Gutfeldt recently formed a theater company, Magnetic North Theater Co., and their first production, Lost in the Pines, will have its debut performance, in San Diego, the final weekend in February 2016 (roughly one month from now).  The Gutfeldts graciously provided me with an advance copy of the script for this Spooky Spotlight.

The theme for the production is “Path 3” by Max Richter from the album Sleep.  The music is as haunting as the play, and I’d suggest turning it on before you continue reading.

Here is the description of the play:

When Ben and Elise move into a remote mountain home after a traumatic event they don’t expect to get mixed up with a thirty-year-old mystery. They struggle to keep their marriage alive as they uncover the town’s troubled past, while a supernatural force works to drive them apart.

Continue reading

Posted in Spooky Spotlight | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Movie Review: The Forest (2016)—The use of setting is great, but for a film plot centered on supernatural illusions, this is no Oculus

Here’s the official marketing blurb: A woman goes into Japan’s Suicide Forest to find her twin sister, and confronts supernatural terror.

the-forest-poster-2The Japanese Suicide Forest is something I heard about several years ago, and yet when I heard that someone was making a horror movie about it the premise still felt somehow simultaneously too soon and too late to me, in that it felt like an attempt to cash in on the latest timely thing, in the same way I would react poorly to hearing that someone was making a Slenderman movie. Once something becomes well-known enough to merit a mainstream movie, you generally know something has run its course. Continue reading

Posted in Movie Review | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments