even though one of them killed his entire family and the other one is a dog doctor

100 Overlooked/Underappreciated Horror Movie Gems by Max Molinaro

For the past five months I’ve been writing lists of 20 great horror films that I feel may have been overlooked. Here are those five lists assembled in to one place. Enjoy the scares.

Chances are if you are a giant horror fan you may have seen a pretty decent chunk of these, but a vast majority have likely not seen many of them. This is a list of under seen films or movies that aren’t talked about enough when discussing some of the greats…  

  • Possession – I can honestly say there is nothing else like Andrzej Żuławski’s Possession. Starring Sam Neill as Mark and Isabelle Adjani as Anna, Possession is first and foremost about a dissolving marriage. Anna is done with the relationship and Mark tries to salvage it, but revelation after revelation puts more and more strain on their hopes of living happily ever after. As the film progresses it becomes increasingly surreal and disturbing. Mark is livid and lashes out against just about everyone after Anna leaves him, clearly losing his grip. As bad as Mark is becoming, it is nowhere close to the horrors that Anna is facing. Blood drips her mouth and she frequently disappears into a mysterious apartment building. What she is doing in this apartment is something no one can predict and it is deeply troubling. Neill is amazing, but Adjani is the stand out performance in the film. It is an exceptionally physical performance and you can tell that Adjani is giving it her all. One scene where she has some kind of attack that causes her to flail around the ground is extraordinary and the ending of the sequence is truly disgusting. Possession is really an incredible film with many interpretations and some of the most unforgettable images ever put to on screen.

  • The Devils – There is nothing else like Ken Russell’s 1971 highly controversial film, The Devils. Starring Oliver Reed as Father Urbain Grandier, a lecherous, but respected 17th Century priest, who has great power in a small-fortified French town. He marries a young nun after they fall in love, but that drives a hunchback nun (who as loved Grandier and pictured having sex with him as he appears as Jesus Christ coming down from the cross in the film’s most infamous scene) off the deep end and accusing the priest of witchcraft and consorting with the devil. The Devils is insane and feels like a demented acid trip. Filled with amazing performances and unforgettable scenes, The Devils is one of the most interesting (certain people would say offensive) and greatest horror dramas ever made.

  • Martyrs – This is a rough one that’s may even be too much for some horror movie veterans, let alone folks new to the genre. Martyrs is a French directed by Pascal Laugier and stars Morjana Alaoui and Mylène Jampanoï. The film follows the two female leads as one seeks revenge for being kidnapped and tortured in her youth. She’s been psychologically damaged and has become ruthless in her pursuits. She is also racked with guilt about something she witness during her initial escape many years agao, which leads to some of the film’s most frightening sequences. It’s a brutal and in many way nihilistic as it is part of the New French Extremity movement, where you’ll find a smorgasbord of hyper violent cinema. If you can get past the darkness and the violence, you’ll see that there is more to the film than meets the eye and there are many ways to interpret its message.

  • Ginger Snaps - John Fawcett’s Canadian teen horror film follows Brigitte (Emily Perkins) and Ginger Fitzgerald (Katharine Isabelle), two sisters with a morbid fascination with death. One night they are attacked by what was originally thought to be a rabid dog and Ginger is bit. She soon begins acting strange (and I mean strange for the Fitzgerald sisters, because they already had a reputation) and slowly begins to change physically. It is clear that she is becoming a werewolf and she begins to turn on her sister, the only person she has ever cared for. Ginger Snaps is one of my personal favorite werewolf movies, second only to the classic John Landis film An American Werewolf in London. This tragic tale is sometimes darkly funny, but is ultimately a story about girls entering womanhood. It’s an intelligent take on puberty through the guise of a werewolf movie.

  • From Beyond – “Humans are such easy prey”. From the director of Re-Animator, Stuart Gordon, and many other people involved in that film, comes From Beyond, the best film to date to be directly based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft. The film stars Jeffrey Combs (the Re-Animator himself), Barbara Crampton, Ken Foree and Ted Sorel and is a gory body-horror film unlike anything you’ve seen before. When two scientists create a device that let’s them see through reality to a metaphysical world, they mistakenly open a door that risks unleashing horrible beasts on the rest of the world. Their experiment turns into a disgusting nightmare that would make Lovecraft himself proud as the film reminds you “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far” (Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu).

  • Eyes Without a Face – This French pseudo-slasher film, released the same year as Psycho, remains just as shocking today as it did all those decades ago. Directed by Georges Franju and starring Pierre Brasseur and Alida Valli, the film follows a mad doctor as he kidnaps and murders women in order to remove their faces and transplant them on to his disfigured daughter. In many ways the film is as grotesquely beautiful as it is disturbing and continues to be highly influential across the globe.

 

  • Stake Land – Director Jim Mickle’s second feature is an ultra low budget that combines vampire and zombie apocalypse stories in some incredibly unique ways. Starring Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Danielle Harris and Kelly McGillis, Stake Land follows survivors of a vampire apocalypse as they do everything in their power just to survive. Damici plays a bit of a badass vampire slayer, which Paolo is just learning the ropes. Both scary and sad, Stake Land is a character driven indie that is a must.

  • We Are What We Are – Jim Mickle’s follow-up film to Stake Land was even better and proved that Mickle is a  director to watch. A loose and superior remake of a 2010 Mexican of the same, We Are What We Are is a film about family suffering from the lose of the mother. The father (Bill Sage), an old fashioned man, now must lay the burdens formally helf by his wife on his two daughters (Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner) and those burdens are unlike that of any normal American family. Just like Stake Land is ultra low budget horror drama is depressing, but you can’t look away as this family begins to buckle under the weight of their own traditions. Michael Parks also stars and he is always a welcomed presence.

 

  • Trick ‘r Treat - I love Trick ‘r Treat so much. I now watch it every Halloween alongside John Carpenter’s classic Halloween. It’s that good. This horror anthology directed by Michael Dougherty and starring Dylan Baker, Brian Cox and Anna Paquin is one of the most purely fun horror films to come out in the past decade. Featuring several short stories that are intertwined both in the editing and with characters has just about everything you could ask for and perfectly captures the spirit of the holiday.

 

  • The Devil Rides Out – Though some effects and storytelling elements may be a tad dated for some, this little known Hammer Horror classic directed by Terence Fisher and starring Christopher Lee, Niké Arrighi, Charles Gray, Leon Greene, and Patrick Mower gets that all good horror films need to have a certain kind of atmosphere to be effective. This is classic battle of good versus evil and has Christopher Lee in a rare role of playing a hero instead of one of his many classic villainous roles.

 

  • Splinter – Another dirt cheap monster movie, Splinter is directed by Toby Wilkins and stars Shea Whigham (on of those “you’d know him if you saw him actors”), Jill Wagner, and Paulo Costanzo. Whigham plays an escaped convict who becomes stuck in a secluded gas station with a young couple when a strange virus turns its hosts into a horrid creature. Similar to Carpenter’s The Thing is some respects, Splinter is a tightly paced, claustrophobic, and creepy monster movie and I love it.

  • Kill List – Upcoming British director, Ben Wheatley, delivered a morbid look into the darkness of a man’s soul with his 2011 horror-thriller starring Neil Maskell, Michael Smiley, and MyAnna Buring. It follows two contract killers as one of them, a family man outside of work, becomes increasingly violent and spirals out of control. Like Martyrs, Kill List is a very dark film that can be interpreted in many different ways. The third act of the film is simply terrifying.

  • Pontypool – Possibly the most original take on the zombie film in the past couple of years, this Canadian horror film directed by Bruce McDonald and starring Stephen McHattie, Lisa Houle, and Georgina Reilly is really something special. Set almost entirely in a radio station where radio announcer, Grant Mazzy, tries to understand the chaos going on outside just by listening to the incoherent reports he is receiving from his colleagues and from the horrible sounds he is hearing. Is there a riot? Is it zombies? What is causing all this violence outside and with the crew of this small radio make it through the night alive? You’ll never guess what’s going to happen next in this highly intelligent horror film.

  • Wrong Turn 2: Dead End – The original Wrong Turn was a serivable slasher film about a couple of mutant hillbillies offing beautiful middle in the middle of the woods, both with this first sequel the franchise really stepped it up a notch and then a couple of notches after that. Directed by Joe Lynch, the film follows a group of people on a reality TV game show set in the wilderness, but of course the wood are home to a family of inbred mutant cannibals. This is a movie that’s for the gorehounds out there. Right from form the get-go the film pulls no punches and features grisly deaths throughout.

 

  • Santa Sangre – This might be the one that may be just too much for some casual filmgoers. Directed by one of cinema’s all time greats, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Santa Sangre is an abstract work of very surreal art. Though there is more a clear cut narrative that some of Jodorowsky’s other work like Holy Mountain (which I absolutely LOVE, but I can see why it might by an acquired taste), Santa Sangre cans still be described as very avant-garde. Starring Axel Jodorowsky, Adan Jodorowsky, Blanca Guerra, Guy Stockwell, and Thelma Tixou, Santa Sangre is not a film with a plot that I could succinctly describe. It is a film that to have to experience because it really is art and pure as art can come. Jodorowsky is really just a brilliant madman.

 

  • The Bay – This is a found footage horror film directed by Barry Levinson. Yeah, that Barry Levinson who directed Diner, The Natural, Rain Man, and Wag the Dog. The Bay is Levinson trying something outside his comfort zone and that is reason enough for one to give it a try, but it helps that it is a really well done film. Based on the horrifying real life parasite known as Cymothoa exigua, The Bay is a story about a fictional town being almost completely wiped out in the course of a day by the wretched little tongue eaters. Disgusting and genuinely creepy, The Bay is really successful little film from a director doing something outside his wheelhouse.

 

  • The Loved Ones - Directed by Sean Byrne and starring Xavier Samuel and Robin McLeavy, The Loved One is a violent Australian film that’s not for the faint of heart. A teen is kidnapped and tortured by a crazed young woman and her father as they hold a mock prom in their isolated home. Just when you think things can’t get any worse for Brent (Samuel) they of course get far more terrible. The relationship between the murderous duo is a fascinating one as you slowly learn more and more about them as the film goes one. You’ll never want to go to a school dance again after this.

 

  • City of the Living Dead – Directed by the “godfather of gore” Lucio Fulci, this Italian film is fun, gory, atmospheric, and stylish. It kicked off Fulci’s unofficial Gates of Hell trilogy, where the other two films will probably be included in later editions of this series of articles. It’s a bit silly at times, but it’s a fun zombie film that could only be made in the time and country that it was made. Some good Lovecraft references peppered in throughout as well are nice touch.

  • F (aka The Expelled) – I suspect that this is the least know film on this list and it’s a shame because this is a damn good British horror film. Directed by Johannes Roberts and starring David Schofield, the film follows a high school teacher, who is getting dumped on from almost every direction. His day only gets worse when he gets into a conflict with his daughter that might cost him his family and is job. Those problems soon take second fiddle to something even worse as Schofield begins to be tormented by several hooded kids. Eventually the faceless hoodlums become violent and begin murdering the few people who have remained at the school several hours into the night after the school day has ended. This is a dark, tightly paced, well directed and acted, film that I high recommend you seek out. Also features a really haunting and fantastic musical score.

  • Who Can Kill a Child? – This Spanish horror film directed by Narciso Ibáñez Serrador follows and English couple (played by Lewis Fiander and Prunella Ransome) on holiday. They arrive at their destination to find all the adults missing and the islands children stalking them. The kids turn violent and the couple must do whatever they can to survive. Adding to the peril, the wife is pregnant, which just makes their quest to survive all the more desperate. This is a harrowing film and you can imagine by the title and by the end you may have an answer to the question it asks.

 

  • Frozen – Let’s this out of the way first: I’m not talking about that wonderful Disney film, I’m talking about Hatchet director’s Frozen, so we should just let it go (wink). It’s just a coincidence that this is the third single location horror film on this list after Splinter and Pontypool, but is can be a wonderful challenge is low budget horror filmmaking sometimes and it pays off in spades in Frozen. The premise is simple as it is just a film about three characters played by Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore, and Kevin Zegers as they are stuck on a ski lift after the ski lodge shuts down for the night. They’re only option is to find a way down or freeze to death over the next week while the resort is closed. Their escape is hindered by the cold, height, and a pack of wolves waiting for some tasty human meat to come down and that is where the horror lies. It’s a film that’ll have you asking, “what would I do in this situation?” and “how quick would I start to turn on my friends?”. This is a horror movie that relies on tension and sound design as opposed to gore and jump scares and shows Adam Green’s potential after doing the fun Hatchet films.

 

  • The Burning – This is just pure 80s. Everything about this movie is just so much of the time. This is a quintessential 80s slasher film, which was just a knock-off of Friday the 13th(which in turn was riding the coattails of Halloween). Directed by Tony Maylam and featuring some gory makeup effect by famed special effects makeup artist Tom Savini, The Burning is just a blast of a film, with a memorable villain named Cropsy. Fun fact: a young Jason Alexander’s very first feature film role.

  • The House of the Devil – The film that put Ti West on the map, The House of the devil is a brilliant throwback to low-budget 80s horror. Shot to look like it was done with grainy film stock used in the early 80s, the film gets the tone and look of the time perfectly. A college student takes a baby-sitting job, but finds out the job is more than she bargained for when the house’s owners turn out to be members of a satanic cult. It’s a slow burn that racks up the tension to a big climax. The film features the great character actor Tom Noonan who excels at playing both a kindly and creepy older gentleman. The House of the Devil is the first great film from one of horror’s best young minds.

 

  • Cheap Thrills – What would you do for five bucks? Ten? A hundred? Ten thousands? Would you say something that’ll get you slapped in the face? Would you vandalize a neighbor’s house? Cut of a finger? Those are the questions that the characters played by Pat Healy (The Innkeepers) and Ethan Embry (Can’t Hardly Wait) have to answer when they meet David Koechner (Anchorman) and his wife Sara Paxton (The Innkeepers) at a bar one night. The film is darkly funny and equally twisted. Pat Healy gives a layered performance as man that’s always gotten the short end of the stick and never done anything about it, but may finally step up under some insane circumstances. Cheap Thrills by E.L. Katz is a mean little piece of fascinating thrills that leaving you asking “what would I do?”.

 

  • The Werewolf – A stranger comes into town on a dark night, lost and confused. He runs afoul with an angry drunk and the wino winds up dead. It looks like an animal attack, but no one knows what kind of animal and where the stranger went of too. It sounds fairly generic, especially with such a simple title, but this 1956 B—movie is better than you’d think. Great makeup effects plus a 50s sci-fi twist on the classic werewolf myth and better character work than most genre films of the period, the film is a cheesy fun way to spend 79 minutes.

  • Monkey Shines – From master of horror George A. Romero, Monkey Shines Alan Mann played by Jason Beghe (Chicago Fire), who is rendered quadriplegic after a tragic accident. A friend of his, a scientist, gives Alan an unusually intelligent capuchin monkey to help him out. The monkey isn’t just unusually intelligent, but hyper intelligent due to medical experimentation. The monkey, Ella, quickly becomes attached to Alan and overly protective of him. Due to the experiments, they unknowingly become linked telepathically linked and Ella acts on the angry feelings that Alan never would act on in a million years. Alan eventually becomes a prisoner in his own home and is helpless due to his condition. His inability to move is a simple, yet highly effective way to create a ton of suspense throughout the film.

  • The Dentist – From director Brian Yuzna (Society) and producer Stuart Gordon (director of Re-Animator and From Beyond) The Dentist is about exactly what you think it is. Corbin Bernsen plays a dentist who is pushed too far by his cheating wife and stressed filled job. He takes matters into his own hands and begins torturing and murdering anyone that his the misfortune of finding themselves in his chair. You know how you get especially squeamish with little things like nails being pulled or stepping on tacks? This whole movie is little things like that involving teeth and the mouth. It’s gross and it’s under the skin like any of the best Yuzna/Gordon productions.

 

  • Lake Mungo – A 2008 Australian horror mockumentary tells the story of the drowning of the 16 year old Alice Palmer and how her parents and brother deal with the events after her death. The film is highly atmospheric and a great slow burn. There are elements of a mystery as to why Alice is appearing in home videos after her death and what she was actually like in life as opposed to the face she put on for her family. More creepy and intriguing than outright scary, Lake Mungo should be a film that sticks with you for a while. It is also pretty interesting if you’re a fan of Twin Peaks and you start seeing that the entire film plays out like an homage to the classic series.

 

  • The Tunnel – An Australian found-footage film that follows a small investigative news team looking to learn the truth behind a possible government cover-up regarding a recent water shortage. They enter the sewer system under Sydney, but soon they see an emaciated looking figure lurking in the shadows. They lose their sense of direction in the labyrinth and realize that something is stalking them. The Tunnel is pretty damn terrifying. It’s claustrophobic, tightly scripted, and tense from beginning to end.

 

  • Eden Lake – One of several British horror films on this list today is 2008’s Eden Lake. The film stars Kelly Reilly as Jenny and Michael Fassbender (one of this generation’s greatest actors) and Steve, a young couple on a romantic getaway at a remote lake. Everything seems perfect until they have a run-in with some punk teenagers. Steve confronts them, but then decides that him and Jenny should just move further down the beach. The confrontation eventually escalates and turns dangerous as the teens chase down the couple with deadly intent. More brutal and disturbing than the initial setup might suggest, Eden Lake is a relentless thriller.

 

  • In the Mouth of Madness – The last good film John Carpenter made before he lost his mojo, 1994’s In the Mouth of Madness feels a little bit Stephen King-like in a few parts and a lot like H.P. Lovecraft just about everywhere else. As the title might imply, the film is about the nature of insanity and has a bit of commentary on the nature of horror storytelling. Starring Sam Neill (second time he’s been mentioned on this list) as John Trent, a fraud investigator looking for a horror novelist’s, Sutter Cane, final transcript. Cane’s recent novel has been a massive success, but there have been reports that it has been driving some readers mad. Trent travels to the town that inspired Cane, but soon begins seeing horrible visions and the line between real and nightmares quickly becomes blurred.

 

  • Psycho II – Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is a classic, a masterpiece, and one of the most influential horror films ever made, so a sequel may seem like a crime against the art form. Surprisingly though, Richard Franklin’s 1983 Psycho II is not the horrid mess that many sequels to classics like The Exorcist II and Jaws 3 are. After 22 years in an institution, Norman Bates is released and returns to the infamous Bates Motel. He tries to lead a normal life and shed his “Mother” persona, but bodies begin to pile up and Norman starts to feel a little mad. Of course it’s not nearly as good as the original (despite what Quentin Tarantino thinks. He actually prefers the second one), but this sequel is an entertaining twist filled psychological thriller. Anthony Perkins returns to the role of Norman and he’s just always great.

 

  • Inside – From directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, this 2007 French film is one of the most relentless and grisly horror films ever made. Weeks after being involved in near fatal car accident and losing her husband, a young pregnant woman, Sarah, answers the door the door to a strange woman late at night. The woman begins harassing Sarah and is quickly escalates. It becomes clear that this woman only wants one thing: Sarah’s baby… Sarah is brutalized and fights to survive as anyone else who enters her home as a potential savior meets a gruesome fate at the hands of the deadly home invader. Dark, bloody, and non-stop, Inside is one of France’s best modern horror films.

 

  • Dog Soldiers – More British horror from The Descent director Neil Marshall in the form of Dog Soldiers. Essentially it is a low-budget Predator with the alien hunter swapped out for a family of werewolves. While on a training exercise, a squad of British Army soldiers is left out in the middle of the woods and is forced to duke it out with the pack of monsters. Gory, fun, and really well directed, Dog Soldiers is a blast. Many of you reading this have also seen the director’s work in the Game of Thrones episodes “Blackwater” and “The Watchers on the Wall”

 

  • Excision – Starring 90210’s AnnaLynne McCord and directed by Richard Bates, Excision is a powerful and disturbing high school horror film. The film follows Pauline (McCord), a mentally disturbed high schooler, with hopes of becoming a surgeon. There are several expertly shot dream sequences, soaked in blood and featuring confrontations with Pauline and her ideal self. Outside the dream, Pauline is extremely creepy as she emotionally scars everyone around. She very flippantly decides that she wants to lose her virginity and propositions a guy that’s tormented her in school. They meet at motel and what happens is sure to gross a majority of viewers out. After that Pauline becomes more aggressive in her acts and eventually does something that no one will forget…

 

  • The Lovely Molly – I watched the film on Netflix on a whim a while back, not knowing anything about it at all. That was a good call on my part because Lovely Molly is a super creepy ultra low-budget horror film. It’s incredibly subtle in the ways it attempts to frighten you and you’ll be uneasy for more of the film than not. Just watch, knowing that if you’re paying attention, it will pay off. Directed by Eduardo Sánchez, the mastermind behind The Blair Witch Project.

 

  • Deadgirl – Do not watch this on a date. I repeat. Do not watch this on a date. It won’t go over well. Or maybe give it shot, you may have an interesting night depending on whom you’re with. This 2008 high school horror film is gross and miserable. One day two boys, high school seniors who can only ever hope of finding a girlfriend, discover a naked woman chained up in a basement. They soon learn that this strange mute girl is not just a tortured woman, but that she is in fact a zombie. This is where the film gets really heavy and after deciding that neither of them can do it, they convince a jock to rape the so-called “Deadgirl” and it’s all down hill from there. The only way I could accurately describe the film is pure melancholy.

 

  • The Tenant – The third film in Roman Polanski’s thematic “Apartment Trilogy” following Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby, The Tenant is a paranoia fueled psychological horror film. Polanski himself plays a quiet, average man who moves in to an apartment after the previous tenant attempted to kill herself by jumping out the window. The landlord and the other renters begin to complain and chastise our protagonist for being too disruptive, when he is actually being anything but. The horror takes place in his mind as all these different outside forces start to come down on him and he begins to break. This one can only be described as mind-bending and features an unforgettable third act.

 

  • Berberian Sound Studio – British and psychological horror seem to be the unintentional theme of this edition with Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio starring Toby Jones. Jones plays a British foley artist, Gilderoy, who comes to Italy thinking he’s going to help with sound work on a film about horses. He arrives and soon learns that the film he is to work on is a giallo film. Gilderoy is new to horror films, so he is already out of his element being in this foreign country. Much like The Tenant’s protagonist, Gilderoy is an average and quiet man, who is needlessly thought of as greedy and rude by his Italian collaborators. All he asks is that he be reimbursed for his plane tickets, like he was told he would, but everyone gives him the runaround. From there Berberian Sound Studio becomes crazier and crazier as Gilderoy slowly becomes as insane and dark as the film he is working on.

 

  • Maniac – This 2012 remake of the 1980 film of the same name directed by Franck Khalfoun and stars The Lord of the Ring’s Elijah Wood as the film’s titular psycho. Shot almost entirely from the killer’s point-of-view, Wood’s character, Frank, is a shy and awkward man with a dark secret and even darker desires. His dimly lit home is filled with female mannequins. Frank murders women, scalps them (while most are still alive), then takes the top of their heads to place on his mannequins in order to give them personalities. Maniac’s violence is brutal, uncomfortable to watch more often than not, and horrifying to say the least. Wood is perfect as the awkward, yet menacing murderer, and by the end you may just feel like a maniac yourself.

  • The Children – Similar in premise to Who Can Kill a Child (which I mentioned in last month’s edition), The Children is yet another 2008 British horror gem about two families staying at a secluded home to celebrate the New Year. Everything seems normal at first, with some typical familial drama, but the young children begin to act very strange. They soon become sadistic and violent, which leads their parents to struggle with the fact that they either have to kill their own children or be brutally murdered by them.

  • The Fly II I’ve written extensively about The Fly II for some reason, which you can check out right here. To make it brief I’ll just say that Cronenberg’s 1986 remake of The Fly is just about perfect in my mind and one of my ten favorite horror films and while the sequel isn’t as good, it’s a fun ride and much better than one might expect. 

 

  • Ginger Snaps: Unleashed – Almost as amazing as the previously mentioned original, the sequel follows Emily Perkins as Brigitte Fitzgerald, Ginger’s sister, as she deals with the physical and mental toll that the events of the first film have taken on her. Just as impactful and raw in terms of pure emotions, this is a rare horror sequel that can hold its own with the best of them.

 

  • Braindead – Peter Jackson’s third feature and final outright splatter is arguably the goriest film ever made. On top of the insane over-the-top gore gags and gross out moments, it’s a wacky comedy, a dark familial drama, and a quirky romance. It’s an unforgettable film from on film’s greatest modern filmmakers. The film is more commonly known in America as Dead Alive.

 

  • The Prowler – Similar to The Burning in that is doesn’t really break new ground in the vast landscape of 80s teen slasher movies, but the film features some top notch makeup effects from the master Tom Savini. Not much more to say other than if you’re looking for a good slasher movie, The Prowler will satisfy.

 

  • The Stepfather – It’s soooooo good. Joseph Ruben, the director of Breaking Away and The Good Son, film from1987’s The Stepfather is such a fantastic work. Lost star Terry O'Quinn play’s the new stepfather to a young woman, who unbeknownst to the rest of the world, murdered his previous family and plans to continue his murderous cycle of entering and destroying families. O'Quinn’s performance is impeccable as the titular psychopath. The film was followed by two lackluster sequels and an awful remake in 2009.

 

  • Motel Hell – A pseudo parody of the horror films of the time when it was released in 1980, Motel Hell is a real cult classic. The unusual horror-comedy was ahead of its time in many ways and includes of the most bizarre images put to screen. The film’s killers, Vincent and Ida Smith, are an odd pair of farmers who capture innocent men and women and plant them in their garden, where they are fed until they are ready to be harvested and eaten. The sound of the heads sticking out of the ground will be embedded in your mind for a long time.

 

  • Humanoids From the Deep – Executive produced by the B-movie king himself, Roger Corman, 1980’s Humanoids From the Deep is an exploitive schlockfest about sea faring monsters with an urge to mate with attractive young human females. It sounds like it could be pretty offensive and it probably is, but the film is so much fun for that reason. Directed by Barbara Peeters, one of the few notable female filmmakers in the realm of 70s and 80s exploitation horrors, the film is the best of 50s B-monster movies mixed with the trashiness of the low budget 70s grunge horror.

 

  • A Tale of Two Sisters – A 2003 South Korean horror film from director Kim Jee-woon (director of I Saw the Devil) continues to prove that some of the scariest films come out of Asia. The film centers on a pair of sisters struggling with increasingly terrifying events surrounding them and their maniacal stepmother. The film is very creepy and unpredictable (unless you saw the crappy American remake, The Uninvited, in 2009)

 

  • The Hunger – A beautiful and haunting film from 1983 directed by Tony Scott and starring the great David Bowie and the now legendary Catherine Deneuve as a married couple of vampires living in New York. Susan Sarandon plays a doctor that Bowie needs help from when he begins to rapidly age, which leads to a chain of events that reveal that Deneuve has been hiding something deadly and Sarandon becomes entangled with this secret in some unexpected ways.

 

  • Alligator – This 1980 monster film directed by Cujo director Lewis Teague is fun satire of monster movie clichés that pokes a little fun at them, but at the same time uses them to great effect. With great effects work and an entertaining performance from Robert Forster, Alligator a real treat. The film also has the balls to kill children, something not normally seen in horror films like these.

 

  • Street Trash – Not a film for everyone, Street Trash is just as trashy as the title and poster would imply. Hobos melt in toilets and a severed penis is thrown around like a football in slow motion in James Muro’s 1987 cult classic. Appropriately disgusting while poking fun at homeless behaviors and all sorts of gross oddities on top of the super cheap production, Street Trash is a film that will turn off most, but it’s a corny good time.

 

  • Shutter – This 2004 Thai horror film by Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoomis a twisty ghost mystery and is utterly horrifying. A photographer begins seeing strange shadows in his pictures and can’t escape en entity that is out to get him due to a mistake from his past. The film plays with your emotions as it becomes unclear who is the villain in the story, but it is always scary.

 

  • Trauma – Dario Argento, the Alfred Hitchcock of Italy and the master of giallo, delivered this creepy film in 1993 with his daughter Asia Argento starring. A killer stalks the streets and is decapitating staff members of a local hospital and Asia plays a women suffering from anorexia who is caught in the middle of it all and begins losing loved ones. The decapitations are graphic and the film shows the heads living on for a few seconds after the fact, which is an insanely creepy image. The film was one of the director’s last good films before the quality began to slip in the late 90s.

 

  • The Curse of the Werewolf – Surprisingly one of the only, if not the only, major werewolf works made by Hammer Films in their heyday. Directed by Terence Fisher and starring Oliver Reed as the cursed man, the film is a dark one that throws everything you know about the rules of werewolves out the window. After a lengthy setup where Reed’s character is the product of the rape of his mother by a tortured vagrant and the boy suffers from some unusual habits growing up, he grows into a seemingly normal man. One night he undergoes his full transformation and begins to kill. Bleak and high in emotions, The Curse of the Werewolf is on of Hammer’s best.

 

  • The Ghost of Frankenstein – Universal’s third Frankenstein film from 1942 isn’t nearly as talked about as the original two classics, but Island of Lost Souls director Erle C. Kenton delivered an exceptional film with Lon Chaney Jr. as the monster, Bela Lugosi as Ygor, and Cedric Hardwicke as Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein. Set years after the Bride of Frankenstein, the film see’s Frankenstein’s son return to his father’s home and finds that he blamed for the supposed cure of the Monster. The film was the last truly great serious take on the Frankenstein story for sometime and was also used heavily has a source of parody just as much as the first two in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein (which shares the same general plot).

 

  • Afflicted – A Cronenbergian found footage film about two video bloggers traveling Europe. In France, one of them goes back to their room with a beautiful woman, but he is found alone and bleeding in bed when his friend busts in. In Italy he seems very ill and his symptoms becomes more and more extreme until he shows signs of superhuman abilities. When his hunger and aversion to sunlight become too much, it becomes very apparent what he is becoming. The film is able to pull off things using the found footage motif that do not seem possible to pull off in camera and on such a tight budget. The film is dramatic, exciting, scary, and one of 2014’s best. Read my full review here.

 

  • The Den – A creepy found footage film shot mostly on the desktop of a young grad student performing a social experiment on an Omegle-like website. While chatting with the usual online crowd she comes across what looks like a very real murder. She is slowly tormented with more and more frequency by unknown forces and seems to think that someone is out to get her and her loved ones. Creepy, memorable, and inventive, The Den is worth a look and a standout in an overcrowded subgenre.

 

  • Would You Rather – We’ve all played the game would you rather and in 2012’s film inspired by the game, things are taken to the next level and beyond. Starring Pitch Perfect’s Brittany Snow as a player in a sick game and horror movie icon Jeffrey Combs as the game master, Would You Rather sees a group of unsuspecting victims who wind up in a deadly version of the game. Increasingly brutal, set almost entirely in one room, and a film that successfully makes you ask “what would I do?”, Would You Rather is a surprisingly good little film. Combs is also wonderfully hammy.

 

  • Frontier(s) – The 2007 French horror film by Xavier Gens is almost on the level as Inside when it comes to horrific violence. A group of friends feels riots in Paris only to encounter a cannibalistic family, who proceeds to torture and torment the frightened group. Essentially a more violent French take on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with some extra twists, Frontier(s) is one of the most extreme horror films of the 2000s.

 

  • Them – The 2006 French-Romanian horror film directed by David Moreau and Xavier Palud isn’t the graphically violent French horror film that I’ve mentioned while doing this project, but it might be the most terrifying. The plot it simple as it revolves around a couple be stalked and chased by hooded kids in and around their new home. Suspenseful and unrelenting, Them is truly thrilling.

 

  • The Girl Next Door – This 2007 film was directed by Gregory Wilson and based on a novel by Jack Ketchum. Like the best Ketchum stories, the film is dark and incredible ugly. The plot is simple, but the morality of it all is complex as it tells the story of a teenage girl who is trapped and tortured by her aunt as the neighborhood kids watch and don’t know how to deal with the morbid situation.

 

  • Offspring – Another dark tale from the mind of Jack Ketchum, Offspring is a 2009 film directed by Andrew van den Houten. The film follows a married couple who have to protect themselves and their family from a small savage clan of cannibals. Since the film is Ketchum story, thing are not that simple as some of the protagonists might be just as monstrous as the cannibals.

 

  • May – A modern cult classic, the 2002 film directed by Lucky McKee follows the lonely May as she slowly loses her grip on reality in her attempts to gain more friends. May is one of the most interesting and damaged characters from any horror from the last decade and the morose film ends with one of the creepiest images ever put to screen.

 

  • The Hills Run Red – A little known film, 2009’s The Hills Run Red by Dave Parker follows a group of teens as they search for a long lost horror film, which is supposed to be one of the best and most grisly slasher films ever made. Instead of the film, they find the real life killer that the film was possibly based on. The Babyface killer in the film should be and would’ve been a modern slasher icon had the film gotten a proper release, but it’s available and should be checked out by horror fans. The film also subtly draws connections to real life quest that all die hard horror fans go one to find smaller films and obscure gems that they’re only heard of in magazines, on reddit, or in podcasts. That quest is something that exists almost exclusively for the horror genre (there might be some that search for old sci-fi, foreign films, or pre-code Hollywood movies, but horror is the big genre for searchers).

 

  • The Exorcist III – It would probably be easy to write off The Exorcist III since the original ranks high up on the list of the greatest horror movies ever made and The Exorcist II: The Heretic is one of the worst films ever made, but III ignores the first sequel and is a real horror movie gem and has a pretty sizable cult following. Starring Oscar winning actor George C. Scott as the Lieutenant William F. Kinderman character from the original film (who was played by Lee J. Cobb in the original) as he investigates a string of religious themed murders near a psychiatric hospital where a mysterious patient claims to be a long dead serial killer. The film is directed by the writer of original two novels and screenwriter of the original film, William Peter Blatty, who shows great restraint as the film continually builds and is remarkably tense throughout.

 

  • Thale - Aleksander L. Nordaas’ 2012 Norwegian supernatural horror film is a super creepy tale (pun intended) about two men who find a speechless woman with a tail. There is a mystery here to the big picture going on and to how this woman ended up trapped in this basement, making the film a very compelling one. Outside of the dark basement where most the film is set lays something very creepy out in the woods.

 

  • Severance – A horror comedy that can be described as the British version of The Office meets Friday the 13th. A company team-building retreat, a group of co-workers end up being victims of a small group of psychopathic serial killers. The film’s general plot makes it sound like something we’ve all seen a hundred times before, but Severance stands above many modern slashers due to its dry and dark British wit.

 

  • Idle Hands - A 1999-horror comedy directed by Rodman Flender and starring Devon Sawa (Final Destination), Seth Green, Elden Henson, and a young Jessica Alba. Sawa plays a high schooler finds that his right hand is possessed after it kills his parents and his two best friends and he has to stop it before it can kill anyone else, including the next door neighbor girlfriend. The film is so over-the-top 90s in a way that will make it a very fun, albeit dumb, nostalgic experience for a lot of people of a certain age.

 

  • Maniac Cop 2 – Even better than the original, 1990’s horror sequel by Maniac and original Maniac Cop director William Lustig returns to continue the story of the vengeful undead Maniac Cop Officer Matthew Cordell, who continues to reek havoc on the dirty streets of New York. Die Hard’s Robert Davi as Detective Lieutenant Sean McKinney takes over the lead from Bruce Campbell as the man with the tall order of catching the unstoppable killer, who is even more bloodthirsty than he was in the original.

 

  • Stitches – If Asian horror movies are usually destined to be really friggin’ scary and Australian horror movies turn out to border on nihilism more often than not, then modern British horror movies have two options; being dark and depressing like Eden Lake and Don’t Look Now or darkly humorous like Severance and 2012’s horror comedy Stitches by Conor McMahon. The film follows a group of teens who were a partially at fault for the death of clown at a birthday party in their youth and his return to murder them years later. The film is filled with some really inventive kills and good liners and who doesn’t love a good grouchy killer clown?

 

  • The Relic – Set in Chicago, The Relic from 1997 by Timecop director Peter Hyams is simply a super solid B-monster movie. The film a little bit Alien and Aliens, a little Predator, some Jurassic Park, and pretty much any monster movie you can think of thrown into a pot to make a fun monster bash that is ultimately a super solid guilty pleasure. Penelope Ann Miller and Tom Sizemore star in the two lead roles.

 

  • The Faculty – This underrated 1998 Robert Rodriguez film was penned by Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer screenwriter Kevin Williamson. With this film Williamson’s self aware hip high school horror film began to ware thin, but the film has just enough charm and wit to be fun time. The film was accused of ripping of many classics like Invasion Of The Body Snatchers but is really more of a loving homage. Beyond the fact that it is a purely entertaining 90s teen horror flick, the film has fantastic cast of young stars who mostly went on to have highly successful careers and are still thriving today (Josh Hartnett is currently killing it in Penny Dreadful).

 

  • Willow Creek – Bobcat Goldthwait doing a found footage horror movie sounds strange, given that his past work includes the phenomenal World’s Greatest Dad and the wonderfully dark God Bless America, but 2014’s Willow Creek is another winner from the comedian/director. It closely follows the Blair Witch formula, but the performances and the writing are very strong in this one and the film’s climax after a very extended take is insanely creepy.

 

  • Hour of the Wolf – Ingmar Bergman. The man is without a doubt one of the most legendary icons of world cinema and in 1968 he teamed with frequent collaborators Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann to make one of the closest representations of a nightmare that film has ever seen. Like any Bergman classic, the film is ripe with heavy drama and complex emotional tensions throughout and on top of all that, Sydow’s descent into madness is a gorgeous work of surrealist terror.

 

  • The Beyond – Easliy one of Lucio Fulci’s most popular films, The Beyond is an insane cult classic with some spetacually gory kills. The film follows a woman who inherits a hotel in New Orleans, not knowing that it is one of the gates of Hell and that everyone who enters will meet a horrible fate. Zombies, eye gouging, dog attacks, spider attacks, and a 6-shooter with apparent unlimited ammo abound in this Kind of batshit and super nonsensical film, making The Beyond is prime example of low budget Italian horror of the 70s and 80s.

 

  • Snowtown – This one is a bummer. Based on the true of one of Australia’s most infamous serial killers, the film is filled with scenes of implied pedophilia, incestual rape, and eventually (obviously) murder. The tone is bleak, the performances are pretty stellar, and the tone will leave you feeling sick to your stomach, even if much is left to your imagination. The film was released in 2011 and was directed by Justin Kurzel.

  • Frankenstein’s Army – A World War II set found footage film. For Russian soldiers in the midst of war, you might ask yourself how they got a hold of such a nice camera that records sound and shoots colored film, but after a few minutes you’ll forget about it since the creature effects are nuts. A Nazi grandson of Victor Frankenstein is creating an army of reanimated corpses fused with deadly bladed weapons, leading to some of the most memorable movie monsters of the 2010s.

  • The Town the Dreaded Sundown (1976) – Released two years prior to John Carpenter’s Halloween, 1976’s The Town That Dreaded Sundown is a early slasher film that is not talked about nearly as much as it should. Loosely based on the true story of the Phantom Killer in the town of Texarkana, Texas in 1946. The silent masked killer is very much a prototype Jason Voorhees and true crime have of the film makes it really stand out from the huge number of slasher films that would inundate theaters throughout the following decade.

  • Citadel – 2012 Irish psychological horror film written and directed by Ciaran Foy about a widowed father suffering from agoraphobia, who has defend himself and his baby from a faceless gang of hooded people. The film is another bleak one that is a good companion piece to 2010’s The Expelled. Citadel is an incredibly tense and layer thriller, with an impeccable leading performance by Aneurin Barnard. For a director’s feature film debut the film in extraordinarily mature work that deserves more attention.

 

  • The Cottage – A British horror comedy from 2008 by director Paul Andrew Williams and stars Andy Serkis, Reece Shearsmith, Jennifer Ellison, and Steve O'Donnell. Serkis and Shearsmith play a couple of brothers/criminals, whose kidnapping goes south when a crazed killer attacks them and their hostage. The film is darkly funny and makes a good companion piece to Severance.

  • The Kindred – An ultra low budget monster movie from 1987, Stephen Carpenter and Jeffrey Obrow’s The Kindred is a super entertaining effects filled romp. When a medical researcher’s mother dies, he, his girlfriend, and his team go to her home to uncover the secrets of her research, only to find that she created something truly horrific. The characters in the film are all exceptionally likeable, which is odd for a film of this kind and there really is no accounting for why they are so easy to like. You don’t want them get killed off, which goes a long way to make the film an exciting ride. The film also features Oscar winning actor Rod Steiger in a supporting role.

  • The Dark Half – Directed by George A. Romero and based on a story by Stephen King, the film is similar and far better than Secret Window. It sees Timothy Hutton as a King-esque author, who “kills off” the pseudonym he has been using for most of his very successful career. Shortly after that decision, someone that looks just like the author begins killing people involved with the man and his publishing. Hutton is great and the movie is appropriately Stephen Kingy.

  • The Awakening – A 2011 British film directed by Nick Murphy and starring Rebecca Hall and Dominic West. Set in 1921, Hall plays a paranormal investigator who doesn’t believe in the supernatural and wishes to disprove claims of ghost. It is an interesting setup and different than the usual haunted house film and the plot goes on to be a surprisingly layered and complex one.

  • Q: The Winged Serpent – Directed by Larry Cohen, the director behind such classics like Black Caesar, The Stuff, and the It’s Alive trilogy, Q from 1982 with stars Michael Moriarty and David Carradine is B-movie gem. The effects may leave much to be desired for some, but the stop motion Quetzalcoatl monster is a fun throw back. On the surface the film is a fun monster movie, but Moriarty shines as a paranoid and smarmy crook.

 

  • The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014) – Not a remake and not a traditional sequel, this 2014 slasher film is a strange hybrid of the two and that is a major reason why Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s The Town That Dreaded Sundown is special. Set in modern day Texarkana, where the original film is screened every Halloween, the film finds the town rocked by copycat killer or maybe even the original Phantom. The film is produced and conceived by Ryan Murphy and pretty much everyone behind the camera is a crew member of American Horror Story, so many there are many stylistic similarities there. The film is very respectful to the original and seeing 1976 cult classic will only enhance your appreciation of the new film, though it is not essential. Some might not see passed its slasher movie trappings, but it’s an old school slasher film that they don’t make anymore, so fans longing for the good old days of masked killers hacking teens will have an excellent time with this one.

 

  • Mad Love – Directed by Karl Freund (who was the DP of Dracula) in 1935, Mad Love tells the story of doctor (played by the great Peter Lorre) in love and obsessed with a woman he can’t have and his devilish plans to eliminate the man in her life. The doctor performs surgery on the woman’s lover interest after his hands are mangled. He wakes from surgery and finds that he is an expert knife thrower. There are twists, high drama, and a suspenseful climax, which all add up to Mad Love being an under appreciated classic.

 

  • Curse of Chucky – Everyone has seen all the Child’s Play movies, but 2013 saw the release of the franchise’s first straight-to-DVD feature, so it may have slipped under some people’s radar. The goal of the film was to steer the series back to it’s darker roots after the previous films digressed into board comedy (although that doesn’t mean they were bad. Bride of Chucky is arguably still the best). The film successfully reinvigorates the franchise and makes Chucky threatening again. It is still fairly funny at times, but it the darkest film since the Child’s Play 2.

 

  • The Brood – A classic film from the great David Cronenberg, The Brood is film about marriage and divorce manifesting themselves as horror. The film has big ideas about the power of the human mind and psychological trauma. Samantha Eggar and Art Hindle are the two leads and Oliver Reed co-stars as psychotherapist in one of his many great horror movie roles. Released in 1979, the film is one of Cronenberg’s first major releases after several much smaller films like Shivers and Rabid and it is one of his most outwardly scary films. Many ideas and stylistic choices of The Brood can be found in Scanners and Videodrome.

 

  • FoundScott Schirmer directed this 2012 ultra-low budget film about a young boy who is obsessed with horror films and suspects that his older brother might just be a serial killer. Humorless in its execution and unrelenting in its depiction of violence, the film was banned from a release in Australia.

  • Opera – A relatively later Dario Argento film that certainly has one of the thinnest plots and some of the most nonsensical characterization from the director, but what it lacks in story, it makes up for in uncomfortable imagery and brutal violence. The lead character is forced to watch grizzly murders while needles are taped under her eyelids to keep them open, which a surprisingly nauseating image that could only come from the mind of the Italian master of horror.

 

  • Blood and Black Lace – Directed by the legendary Mario Bava, Blood and Black Lace is the father of all giallo films that came after. Every troupe that would become common in the genre can be found in this film and fans of later Bava works, Argento films, some Lucio Fulci films, and many more will see it’s influence everywhere.

 

  • Grabbers – A 2012 Irish monster comedy from director Jon Wright is a fun film in vein of Attack the Block. The general plot revolves around a small town being attacked by a large tentacled beast and they only way to for the townsfolk to protect themselves is to have as much alcohol in their blood. Needless to say, the whole town getting drunk leads to film to be funnier than the average monster movie and the high production values of such a small film really make it stand out.

  • Wake Wood – A modern Hammer Horror film from 2011 stars Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle, and Timothy Spall. The premise is vaguely reminiscent of Pet Semetery as a mourning mother and father use a pagan ritual to bring their daughter back from the dead. The performances are strong and the film is moody as Hell as it harkens back to some old school European horror with modern day horrors visuals.

 

  • The Poughkeepsie Tapes – Never officially released (but it’s coming at some point), this indie mockumentary is deeply unsettling. Directed by Quarantine and As Above, So Below director John Erick Dowdle, the film tells the story of a serial killer that kidnaps and tortures his victims in the small town of Poughkeepsie. The killer often films his deadly deeds and those offer many of the film’s more disconcerting sequences. The acting is a little hammy at times, but the film is very effective and will stay with you for some time.

 

  • Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy – An epic 4-hour documentary on the entire A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise that features cast and crew interviews from a majority of the key players from the legendary films. The stories found in the doc are incredibly engrossing, highly informative, and very honest. The origins of Freddy, the films’ impact on pop culture and film, and much more is explored at length and even the lesser film’s in the series are given their due. The commentary on Elm Street 2 is particularly hilarious at times.

 

  • The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh – The 2013 feature film debut of Rodrigo Gudiño follows a young man who returns home after the death of his mother. The film is one of grief, loneliness, and regret and is tightly scripted by Gudiño. The lead of the film begins seeing something in and around the house that frightens him to his core and it is an image that is utterly creepy (albeit a little to CGI-y later, but it still manages to work).

  • Bubba Ho-Tep – An elderly Elvis and an elderly black JFK versus a cowboy hat wearing mummy should be enough to sell anyone, but when Elvis is played by Bruce Campbell and the film is directed by Phantasm creator Don Coscarelli, then it really becomes a must see. Campbell is at career best as a depressed and forgotten Elvis, who needs a walker and has a growth on his “pecker”. He gets one last chance to do something good in his life when he learns that a mummy is loose in the old folks home and is sucking souls. It’s a wacky setup, but the film is surprisingly heartwarming and Campbell really gets to show his real acting chops.

 

  • The Sacrament – A slow burn and atmospheric found footage film that is loosely inspired by the real life Jonestown Massacre. The Sacrament is directed by the wonderful Ti West and stars You’re Next stars AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, with Kentucker Audley and Gene Jones as the charismatic leader of the cult who a Vice news crew is documenting. The film builds and builds to a dark and disturbing climax, much like West’s previous outings The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers. Jones is stellar as the manipulative and intelligent as you can understand why many of his followers left their previous lives to join him on this secluded island colony.

 

  • You’re Next I’m well aware that most horror fans have probably seen You’re Next, but I’m going to cheat and point it on anyway since it wasn’t huge at that box office and I love it. It’s soooooo friggin’ good. It’s funny, gory, scary, thrilling, surprisingly, subversive, and everything you want in a horror film. Just watch it if you haven’t seen it.

anonymous asked:

Hey so u wanted anons? Question: do you think mark watney would ever eat potatoes again after mars? If so, under what circumstances?

thanks for the question :) i seriously apologize, this got out of hand. it was only meant to be a quick funny answer to how mark watney would respond to eating potatoes on earth but this came out of it. feel no obligation to read this entire rant, and im sorry but seriously thanks for sending this :) 

yes, mark watney ate potatoes after mars. but only once. it was the year 2075, mark watney had lived far longer than the doctors had expected, but despite that, he could sense that his time was running out. it was that feeling in his bones that he only got one other time and it was all those years ago on mars. and so he packed up a small suitcase, only containing a few things, dropped his dog off with Beck and Johansson’s granddaughter who had completely fallen head over heels for the pup. 

he first drove to Martinez’s house, to bid him goodbye before his trip. Rick was as cheerful as ever, joking around as though everything was normal. but somehow he knew this was it. when he shut the door behind mark, he began to sob uncontrollably.

 mark’s next stop was lewis in the nursing home. he knew it would only be a short visit, lewis in a constant bad mood ever since she moved in, never one to give up her independence easily. mark shuttered as he entered the home, he could almost sense ABBA being played on loop and braced himself for that horror. 

mark then went to visit vogel, laid to rest in the cemetery nearest to johnson space center. mark said a few words, mostly german curses, than laid a bouquet of potato blossoms on the ground, a smile forming, knowing what the chemist would remark if he could see him now. mark also pulled out a single rose for helena. she raised a family while her husband was off saving his sorry ass and he is forever in debt.

last he visits the johansson-becks. still as gross in love as ever. he nearly barfs on the way out, but not before giving johansson a noogie and indian sunburn (as any good fake older brother would do) and trying to force a mars bar (heh) down that health nut’s throat. he just wanted to see beck eat something unhealthy. just once. beck seeing the sorrow in his eyes finally obliged, eating the fucking candy bar. mark grinned. then, the bid his friends farewell and caught a cab to the airport. 

he bought a one way plane ticket for west australia and slept most of the flight. getting off, he found himself in a somewhat familiar place, similar to the one he had cursed for so many years. i guess he did become sentimental for mars in his old age. but only a tiny bit. 

once he got off the plane, he found a bathroom and changed into his spare set of clothes. it involved a tshirt from many years ago, a gift from the team that saved his life, he had never worn. it was just a plain shirt with the album cover of ‘i will survive’ on it, along with a ton of crudely hand drawn potatoes all over it. he felt now, of all times, was the time to wear it. 

mark then rented a car, and he drove far and wide, going from town to town, searching rigorously for a place that exactly fit what he was hoping for. and then he found it. 

there, in the middle of the sandy red desert, stood a stupid, retro sci fi themed restaurant and bar. he pulled up, took a deep breath, and got out as fast as an 81 year old guy who went to mars and back could. he strolled into the nearly desolate restaurant and took a seat at the back. 

a waiter came over and took his order, not even close to recognizing him. mark couldn’t begin to explain how good it was to be invisible again. the only upside to his fierce aging. but to be fair, the kid probably wasn’t even born at the time he was on mars. 

the waiter came back with his food after a few minutes. a cheeseburger which he devoured, a milkshake, which he could hear beck’s health rant as he drank. he was practically licking the plate before he turned to the basket of french fries. they were nothing like the potatoes he could remember, these were the epitome of deep fried, but it was the act of eating them that meant something. he looked around at his audience, which consisted of his waiter, a very lost older couple looking at a paper map probably older than him even, and a couple teenagers making out in the window. 

and there he was. mark watney, space pirate, survivor of the fucking red planet and commander lewis’ disco music, botanist extraordinaire, colonizer of mars, sat in a crummy diner in the middle of west australia, a plate of fries in front of him, and for the first time in just about forty years, he took a bite of a fucking potato. his only thoughts were that it was as wretched as he remembered. 


mark watney died later that evening. nobody really knew why, he just sort of keeled over in the diner the second the potato touched his mouth. martinez and johansson joked about the potato finally killing him, as a way to ease the pain. beck didnt even try to correct them. 

he was buried in the plot next to vogel and his wife, his tombstone basically a replica of the one made so many years before, except this one had been ensured to list ‘space pirate’ as a job title per the deceased’s request. 

lewis was the only one who didnt attend the memorial, but she watched silently from her room. when the ceremony was over, she turned off the tv and went to play one of her records. she reached for dancing queen just to torture his soul one last time, but stopped it mid song and switched it to one that made her think of him every time she heard it- ‘starman’ by david bowie. she couldnt help smiling at the fact that potatoes were the things to save his life, and then *probably* kill him. it was the fate mark watney deserved to have. 


and that was the only time mark watney ate potatoes after he had been rescued from mars


sidenote: im realizing how dark a turn this took im sorry i just killed off mark watney its 2 am please dont judge me 

i meant it to be like ‘mark would only eat them on his death bed’ sorry it kinda ran off in its own direction jeez what happned

Showing

Harry: You had always been naturally thin, it was something you couldn’t help, so you had thought that your baby would show easily compared to other girls, and seeing as you were now 4 months along, your belly was slowly protruding.

“Alright, just sit here lovie,” Harry steered me towards the couch set up backstage at one of his many interviews, pushing me down onto it gently. “We shouldn’t be too long, but if you need anything, just ask one of the girls yeh?”

“Harry I’ll be fine,” I rolled my eyes, pecking his cheek.

“Stop smothering the poor girl,” Louis appeared behind him, smacking his best friends head lovingly. “We’ve gotta go on stage.”

“Alright alright geez,” Harry huffed, giving me one last peck before running off to join the other boys. Lottie plopped down on the couch next to me, furiously texting, glancing up at me once she was done.

“Why are you wearing a jacket?” she furrowed her brows, eyeing the thick jacket I had stolen from Harry’s suitcase this morning.

“It’s cold,” I shrugged, wrapping it around me tighter, resting my arms on my stomach.

“Gosh you pregnant women are weird,” she giggled.

“Don’t be mean,” I pouted, shuffling further down on the couch so I was partially lying down. “I’m just really cold and bloated and I don’t like it.”

“You’re probably showing,” she squealed, ripping my arms away from my stomach and opening the jacket, squealing even louder when she saw my slightly protruding belly, running her hands along it. “Oh it’s so cute!”

“OI!” I squeaked, lightly batting her hands away and covering it with my jacket once again, a lightly blush spreading across my cheeks.

“Oh come on Y/N, let me take a picture!” she pleaded, jumping up from the couch and pulling me up with her. I let her pull my jacket off and raise my tank top slightly so you could see it better. “This is the best moment of my life.”

“This’ll be you one day,” I rolled my eyes, letting her take the photo of my belly, collapsing back onto the couch, hands rubbing over my stomach.

“Mmmhmm,” she hummed, typing away on her phone.

“What are you doing?” I shuffled over, trying to peer at her screen, whining when she turned it away from me. “Show me!”

“Calm down! You’ll see,” she gently pushed me back to the other side of the couch, rolling her eyes when she saw my pout. “Just because your pregnant, doesn’t mean you get to act childish.”

“Yes mum,” I rolled my eyes, shifting so my head was lying on the arm rest, flinging my legs onto Lottie’s lap and beginning to doze off. A sudden cheer woke me up, making me sit up with a small struggle, watching the audience go absolutely mental. “What’s going on out there?”

“Go see for yourself,” Lottie winked, giving me a smug smile as she helped me get up off the couch, watching me waddled over to the curtains. I poked my head out slightly, eyes zeroing in on Harry chuckling, eyes glued on the screen.

“OH MY GOD LOTTIE TOMLINSON YOU ARE DEAD!” I squealed, catching everyone’s attention.

“I wanna see the baby bump first before you kill my sister!” Lou jumped off stage, running towards me and pulling me onto the stage with them, much to the amusement of my boyfriend. All the boys rushed forward, cooing over my small bump that was forcing my shirt up, all running their hands along it.

“My beautiful baby is in there,” Harry grinned, dropping down to his knees and kissing my bump, making me blush and try to cover my stomach, not entirely happy with the entirety of the audience looking at my belly. “Oi, don’t cover my baby. It wants to be seen.”


Liam: You were now a few months into your pregnancy and you were already showing. You had been quite adamant about keeping everyone under wraps until the big day, but Liam wanted everyone to see your baby bump as soon as it appeared.

“So Liam, when are we going to see the baby bump pictures!” Chelsea Briggs squealed, making my boyfriend blush.

“I’ve been wanting to share them for a while, but Y/N always says no,” he pouted, making the other boys laugh. “She says she’s too insecure to show everyone her bump.”

“We’ve seen it and it’s pretty cute,” Niall grinned. “She’s a tiny little thing so the bump looks even bigger that it actually is.”

“I recon it’s twins,” Louis piped up, making the host gush. I rolled my eyes at the group, thanking the lord I had opted to stay home and watch from the safety of my living room, hand resting over my abnormally large bump securely.

“I don’t think I could handle two mini me’s running around,” Liam chuckled, eyes widening at the sheer though of twins. I pouted, picking up my phone and standing up, lifting my shirt and taking a side photo, grinning at the little tally marks Liam liked to draw on every week. I sent the photo to Liam, collapsing back onto the couch and shoving a handful of popcorn into my mouth, smiling smugly as he checked his phone.

“Speak of the devil and she shall appear,” Louis chuckled, taking the phone out of Liam’s grasp and turning it to face the camera, showing the entire world my baby bump. “That isn’t just one peanut.”

“She’s gonna kill me for this,” Liam sighed, taking his phone back, a soft blush evident on his cheeks as he replied to my message, letting the other boys answer the questions the interview was throwing at them. We continued to text each other for a few minutes, me giggling at the expression on his face when I told him he looked sexy, the boys leaning over and reading our text conversation upon seeing his expression.

“Ooooh Liam’s getting some tonight,” Niall nudged his best mate, making the other 3 start giggling like school boys. “It’s true when they say a pregnant woman’s hormones are off the charts.”

“Alright that’s enough about my pregnant girlfriend,” Liam whacked his mates gently, tucking his phone back into his pocket to avoid anymore teasing from his band mates. I turned off the TV once the awards shows they were at had started, opting to walk around the house with my bowl of popcorn, occasionally cleaning things and playing with Loki, finding comfort in the dog who had a strange fascination with my belly.

“Soon, you’re gonna have a little baby to protect,” I cooed, rubbing behind the dogs ear gently, giggling as he placed a paw over my stomach, staring up at me. “That’s right. A little baby is in there.” Loki barked happily, gently nudging my stomach with his nose. Before I had even realised it, it was 10pm, and Liam was walking through the door holding various bags of sweets.

“Y/N what are you doing on the floor?” he gasped, rushing over and helping me stand, patting his dog who had jumped up upon seeing his owner come home.

“I wanted to play with Loki,” I brushed his comment off, pecking his cheek before rummaging through the bags he still had in his hand, cheering when I found the peanut butter cups. “Thank you Li Li.”

“Don’t eat too many, the doctor said you have to be eating healthy foods,” he frowned, rubbing my belly softly, making me grin.

“I know, but I don’t always have to be eating vegetables and all that healthy shit Harry makes me,” I rolled my eyes, screwing my nose up at the sheer amount of kale he had decided to buy me.

“It’s for the baby,” he chuckled, chucking the bags on the bench and leading me up the stairs and into the bedroom, starting to strip off his clothes.

“Well my baby likes it’s chocolate because we have loads of fun eating an entire bag of M&M’s.”


Louis: Even though you were only 15 weeks along, your stomach had started to grow at an alarming rate. This of course, caused Louis to think of the only possible reason… Twins.

“I knew it ran in my family, I mean mum’s got two sets of twins, so it was bound to happen again,” he babbled on, taking a small sip from his tea whilst he scrolled through the photos I had taken of my bump. “Think of it, two little munchkins running around the house.”

“I dread the day,” I giggled, flicking a yoghurt covered oat at him. “Plus we don’t even know if it’s twins yet… The baby could just be really big.”

“Not likely considering it’s parents,” he pointed out.

“I don’t think I could handle two miniature Tommos running around,” I pulled a face, imagining the sheer stress it would put me under. “I can barely deal with the big Tommo.”

“Rude,” he scoffed playfully, sticking his tongue out as he passed to put his cup in the sink, taking my empty bowl with him. “I’m quite excited, especially if it’s twins.”

“You’re not the one who has to go through a double birth, feeding them both, bathe them both,” I checked off, giving him a knowing look. “You’ll just want to do the fun stuff and knick off for the rest of it.”

“Hey, I’ll help put them to sleep and give them bubble baths,” he defended himself. “But I don’t exactly have boobs so I can’t entirely help with the feeding.”

“You sure? You look like you growing a nice pair of boobs there Tommo,” I teased, squealing when he picked me up off my chair, gently placing me on the couch and straddling my legs.

“That wasn’t nice,” he pouted, pining my arms above my head, making me giggle.

“I’m not here to be nice to you,” I stuck my tongue out, whining when he licked a long strip up my cheek. “Ewww! Lou!”

“You know you love it,” he winked, peppering kisses all over my face, making me giggle and try to fight out of his grip. “Do you really not want twins?”

“I was hoping I would get at least a little bit of experience before twins,” I sighed, wriggling in his hold, smiling softly when he released my wrists from his grip.

“I’ll be here to help, and mum is always around,” he grinned, placing his hands on my stomach and rubbing it softly, leaning down and pressing a soft kiss to the growing bump. “Plus we’ve already got built in babysitters, what with the boys and my bajillion siblings.”

“I don’t think I would trust your sisters with my babies,” I frowned, placing my hands on top of his. “Lottie would probably try to force one of them into wearing makeup as soon as they’re out of the womb.”

“Well we can leave them with Harry,” he shrugged, rolling off the couch and lifting me up along with him, letting my wrap my legs around his waist as he walked us both up the stairs and into the bedroom.

“I don’t want him to steal my children,” I pouted, squealing softly when he threw me gently onto the bed, jumping over my body so he was lying next to me, letting me curl into his side.

“We’ve still got time to decide who’s on babysitting duty,” he sighed, pressing a soft kiss to my forehead. “For now, I just need some time with my absolutely gorgeous baby mama.”

“Nice try, but I need a back rub and a bubble bath till I’ll be ready to do anything with you,” I stuck my tongue out, giggling when he began to laugh.

“I’ll get right on that,” he pecked my cheek, sitting up and grabbing his phone. “But first, TWITTER!”

“Louis, don’t you dare tweet that photo,” I warned, watching him frantically type on his phone. “I don’t want everyone to see me looking all bloated n shit.”

“You’re carrying a little life, or lives, in you,” he poked my cheek. “You are not bloated, you’re absolutely glowing.”

“Stop trying to woo me with your compliments,” I rolled my eyes. “Get started on that bath and I’ll be expected a nice 20 minute back rub while I’m in there.”


Niall: Niall was adamant about you not staying home alone at any point during the tour, so he had convinced management and yourself to come along the rest of the UK tour with him. You were in Dublin tonight, and Niall was most excited about being in his home country and seeing his old friends and his family.

“Denise, Greg and Theo will be here tonight, so just call them if anything happens yeh?” he sat me down on the couch, stuffing pillows around my sides so I couldn’t fall off the couch.

“Ni, I’ll be fine,” I giggled, cupping his cheeks and pulling him down to me, pressing a long kiss to his lips. He groaned against my lips, pulling back slightly and pouting at me.

“I don’t want anything to happen to you or my child,” he frowned, grunting when I slapped his head softly. “I’m allowed to worry about my babies ok!”

“Not if it makes you an obsessive daddy to be,” I stuck my tongue out, pecking his cheek. “Now go on stage and have fun with your best friends. I’ll be back here eating all the food and texting you annoying emoji stories.”

“And that is why I love you,” he grinned, giving me one last kiss before bouncing off towards the stage, letting them fix him up for his mic and his guitar.

Halfway through the concert, Grey, Denise and little Theo marched back stage, complaining about the noise in the actual stadium.

“Loud those fuckers are,” Greg sighed, collapsing next to me and stealing one of the pillows stuffed at my side.

“Language!” Denise squeaked, slapping her husband on the arm, picking Theo up and placing him on Greg’s lap. “Mind him while I go to the bathroom.”

“Will do beautiful,” he winked, smushing the giggling Theo to his chest and pressing a sloppy kiss to his forehead.

“So since Niall and I have babysat Theo for you a million times,” I trailed off, gently nudging Greg in the side.

“Yes we will look after the newborn while you and Ni get it on,” Greg let out an exaggerated sigh, making me scoff.

“Baby,” Theo hummed, placing a hand on my growing bump and patting it softly. He clambered off his dads lap onto mine, now placing both his hands on my bump and rubbing it.

“Are you excited for a cousin Theo?” I cooed, holding him so he wouldn’t fall off my lap.

“Gonna play trucks and soccer,” he grinned, clapping his hands together excitedly.

“What if it’s a girl?” I asked, running my fingers through his soft tufts of blonde hair.

“Dress ups and dolls,” he answered quickly, going back to poking and patting my stomach softly, humming to himself softly.

“Watcha doin little man?” Denise popped up behind her son, tickling his sides making him squeal and try to fight his mum off.

“Singing to the baby,” he grinned, laying his head on my stomach.

“Can I go to the bathroom first buddy?” I giggled, lifting him off my lap and placing him on the floor, letting Denise pull me up.

“Wait!” he squeaked, stopping me from walking. I let him wrap his hands around my tummy, pressing a soft his to my stomach. I let out a soft coo, bending down to press a kiss to his forehead before waddling off to the bathroom. It was only when I came back that I noticed the uproar of fangirl screams from the stadium.

“What are they so excited about?” I chuckled, standing close to the curtains, still hidden from the fans but able to see the boys all staring at the oversized TV’s.

“I may or may not have tweeted a photo,” Greg wrapped an arm around my shoulders, showing me his phone screen.

“Dat’s mah woman!” I heard a faint yell over the microphone. I looked out to see Niall grinning cutely, giving me a small wave. I rolled my eyes, wiggling my fingers back. “Go sit back down baby! And don’t let Theo steal you away from me!”


Zayn: Whilst Zayn was generally quite chill with the whole pregnancy, and didn’t go apeshit like a lot of other father-to-be’s did, he was protective when it came to the paparazzi and ‘dangerous’ fans.

“Zee, can we stop at McDonalds really quick?” I pouted, rubbing his shoulder softly from the passenger seat of the car. “Baby is craving some chicken nuggets and a large coke.”

“Are you sure it’s the baby, and not you,” he teased, turning into the conveniently placed McDonalds, parking the car close to the entryway. “Come on, you need to get out and get some exercise. The doctor said it’s good for the baby.”

“Pffft, who needs exercise with you can balance bags of food on your belly,” I scoffed, pushing the door open and jumping down from the seat, mentally cursing Zayn for deciding to buy a Range Rover.

“Yes, I’ve seen you and Sophia doing that,” he rolled his eyes, lacing our fingers together and pulling me inside the relatively empty take out store, save for a few young families and an elderly couple. “Squishing our poor babies head.”

“I’m just waiting for the day it kicks an M’n’M off my stomach,” I giggled, pulling Zayn towards the counter and resting my hands on it. “I’ll take a full box of the chicken nuggets and a coke, the biggest size you have, please.”

“Pregnancy cravings?” the girl behind the counter raised a brow, punching in my order and taking the money Zayn was holding out.

“Hell yeh,” I sighed, rubbing my belly softly.

“My mum used to be like that,” she giggled, handing me the change. “She’d make me get up at 2am to get her an iced tea and massive bag of skittles from 7/11.”

“I made him sit out in front of Starbucks until it opened to get me a Pumpkin Spiced Latte once,” I grinned, leaning against the counter on my elbows. “He didn’t speak to me for a good 2 hours, but he couldn’t resist his baby mama.”

“Alright, enough talk about me being your slave,” Zayn cut in, placing his hands on my shoulders and rubbing softly, making me let out a little sigh.

“This may sound really weird, but can I take a photo of your bump?” a girl asked, a soft blush forming on her cheeks. “I’m an art student, and we’ve been told to find representations of love, and well, I don’t know what’s a bigger sign of love than a baby.”

“Oh yeh, sure,” I grinned, watching the girl jump over the counter and produce her phone from her pocket. She raised my shirt slightly, crouching down and snapping a few photos from several angles.

“How far along are you?” she hummed, typing on her phone for a moment before putting it away.

“5 months,” Zayn answered for me, placing a large coke in my hands, snorting softly when I squealed in delight.

“Have you found out the gender yet?” she climbed back over the counter, resuming her position of leaning against it.

“Y/N wants it to be a surprise,” he rolled his eyes, taking the awaiting bag of nuggets from another workers hands, holding it out of my reach when I tried to grab it. “Anyway, we’re gonna go. Good luck with your art project.”

“Oh! Can you tweet me that photo!” I piped up. “My twitter is-”

“I know what it is, I don’t live under a rock,” she chuckled, winking at me. “Have a nice night you two.” With that, she disappeared to back of house, leaving us standing there confused.

“You two are a beautiful couple,” a soft voiced cooed, making us both jump and turn around, seeing the elderly couple from before standing behind us. “You’ll make wonderful parents.”

“Oh, thank you,” I grinned, spotting Zayn’s happy look in the corner of my eye. 

He always got excited when people told him he’d be a great dad. Made all his insecurities go away I suppose. “I aspire to grow old and still be together like you two.”

Sorry

Toby’s earliest memory is of a man’s voice. It is booming, echoing through whatever space Toby is in – indoors, he thinks, full of golden light, though whether it comes from candles or those old incandescent lightbulbs he can’t recall. Bulbs, probably; he thinks it must have been the main hall of the church, though it might have been somewhere else. There are people all around him, and someone pressed against his side holds his hand. He thinks it’s the sister he barely remembers. He’s seated on something hard, and his toes can’t reach the ground.

He is so tiny, and everything else is immense.

The man’s words are the biggest things of all.

He can’t remember them precisely. A lot of it made no sense to his young mind, and more was lost to the dimness of memory besides. It doesn’t matter. Meaning had nothing on the feel of them, and that was guilt, and shame, and unworthiness, scintillating among the dust motes in the air, swirling off of the people around him in a faint haze of not-quite-color.

I should be ashamed too, his tiny subconscious self had decided, mimicking those around him. He was too young for logic, but still there had been a question and answer he had hardly been aware of: Ashamed of what?

Myself.

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summary: “Dean” is Sam’s first word.  John’s there when he says it too, with big smiling eyes and cheeks, all dimples and a face to die for.  Sam says “Dean” like other kids say “Daddy.” (A/N: part of the asthma ‘verse. Sam and Dean’s relationship from John’s perspective) 

It doesn’t take John even a month after Mary dies to realize there’s something different between his boys.  Something other brothers don’t have, a kind of care and devotion that he’s never seen before.  It keeps John up at night, scares him to pieces, because while family is family and Dean loves Sam, of course he does, now that John knows the dangers of the world he worries about his oldest son.  When he’s not drowning in grief and panic and pulling long gulps of whiskey from the bottle long after Sam and Dean are sleeping, he’s lying awake terrified for his kids.  Dean loves Sammy and Sammy loves Dean, if the giggly smiles he flashes at his older brother are any indication, and John is happy about that, he is.  But. 

Dean watches and takes care of Sam, even at four years old.  Once he learns how to change his baby brother’s diaper, it’s like John doesn’t even have to ask anymore.  He feeds Sammy and plays with him and makes him laugh in a way John just can’t.  He looks at Sam with soft eyes and touches him with gentle hands, the way a mother would.   He doesn’t pull Sam’s ears or shove Sam when he’s mad like brothers do.  John sees the look in Dean’s eyes, determination and nearly too sweet love, and his mind screams no, no, protect, because the last time John saw love like that it burned up on the ceiling. 

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anonymous asked:

I really like Jack's character as a whole and I appreciate the depth Fuller gave him. However, i just don't see how he isn't abusing Will in a way. He emotionally manipulates Will to do things that are harmful to him, not to mention the debacle with Miriam. To me, Jack is the perfect Leader/Soldier, willing to sacrafice the few for the good of the many, but I just can't see his relationship with Will as good in any way.

Okay. This will be my definitive Season 1 Jack post, and I know no one’s going to read it because most would rather hate Jack than give him the benefit of the doubt, but I’m going to do it anyway. So, without further ado, here is why Jack is not the bad guy the fandom seems to think he is (besides just being Morpheus, which, you know, ought to be good enough for anybody, but I digress). 

Let’s play a game of Pretend. Let’s pretend that everything in Hannibal Season 1 is the same except for two important differences:

  1. Will doesn’t have encephalitis.
  2. Hannibal is the therapist that Alana believes he is. 

And then we’ll walk through the season according to what would have happened instead. Why is this game valid to play in reference to understanding Jack’s character? It’s because while we all know it’s a game, this is the real world for Jack. This is the world as he understands it.

After we play that game, then we’re going to play another game of Pretend, this time with the encephalitis in play and Hannibal still being Hannibal, but in this version, Jack doesn’t try to keep Will from quitting or he takes Will off the cases at some point. And then we’ll see how that goes.

Finally, I’m going to still discuss Jack in terms of what actually happens in the show. 

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Pleased to Meet you Clara's Boyfriend

Chapter: 1 of potentially 2

Words: 1949

Rating: K+

Summary: When the Doctor shows up on Christmas eve, he has every intention of helping Clara prepare for the following day. However, as is commonplace with the Doctor, things don’t quite go according to plan…

Author’s Note: This was written as a Secret Santa present to oswinyoswaldy, who is entirely lovely and you should definitely all follow. I wanted to write more, but it’s gone midnight and I needed to get it posted before I go to bed… If there’s enough interest in a second chapter, then I’ll see if I can’t throw something together Boxing day. Enjoy, and Merry Christmas everyone! <3

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hello, today’s doctor who was absolutely abysmal but considering the fact that the previous series was entirely awful and the Christmas episodes seem to be the worst of the lot every single year that wasn’t really much of a surprise

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No Sleep For Those Without A Soul

After I stumbled across this post on my dash with gifs of the references to Dean’s insomnia this season, I can’t stop thinking about how important these little hints might be to his larger problem. 

Now Dean has never slept much.  There are  several quotes throughout the series that highlight this lack of healthy sleep, “Damn it, Cas.  I need my four hours."  In my opinion though, the following conversation in Sam Interrupted (which has been edited to contain only the parts relevant to Dean) gives us one of the best ideas of what his sleeping pattern looks like. 

Dr. Cartwright: "How many hours a night do you sleep?”

Dean: “Three or four, every couple of nights.”

Dr. Cartwright: “How many drinks do you have a week?”

Dean: “Well, I gotta sleep sometime. So, uh, what’s seven days times–somewhere in the mid fifties.”

A couple of times throughout the series we have seen Dean exhibit similar patterns of behavior, particularly when he is afraid or depressed (Season 7 for example).  However, he has usually been able to at least drink himself unconscious in the past.   In Mother’s Little Helper though, we saw him drink an absurd amount of liquor and he didn’t seem to be affected intoxicated by it at any point.  Despite having lowered his alcohol intake in the past season and a half, all the alcohol doesn’t seem to be able to drown out the pain and (more to the point for the purpose of this meta) doesn’t seem to be able to help him sleep.

There are a couple of possible reasons for this.  The first is that his alcohol tolerance has made it almost impossible for alcohol to affect his system anymore, as Sam asks in Party On, Garth, “I mean, can you even get drunk anymore? It’s kind of like drinking a vitamin for you, right?"  Since we’ve seen indications of more healthy sleeping patterns in Dean throughout season 8, particularly since they found the bunker, I find this to be a rather unlikely option.*

On the other hand, perhaps the Mark of Cain is giving him a higher than normal alcohol tolerance, which is causing him to not be able to feel its effects.  Or if he does, they are barely felt because they are being drowned out by the Mark.  Either way, it is obvious that he is trying, unsuccessfully, to drown out his new addiction to the Mark of Cain with the use of his old one. 

I would like to propose a third speculation which would explain both the higher alcohol tolerance and the lack of sleep. What if Dean is losing his soul?  

We’ve been seeing callbacks to the importance of souls throughout the season, which could be a narrative setup for this to happen later in the season.  (I mean, we literally just an entire episode devoted to Sam discovering a town where people were losing their souls, with cuts to Dean as he is beginning to slide down a path of moral ambiguity.)  So maybe the Mark of Cain is draining him, not just of his humanity, but is also literally draining away his soul.  As we found out in Season 6, Soulless Sam never slept - he said he didn’t have to, but I suspect that he wouldn’t have been able to even if he tried.  Literally the only time that we have seen Dean sleeping since he got the Mark of Cain (or even had any indication that he slept) was in The Purge when he was roofied…and that’s definitely not the same as falling asleep. 

Since the only person without a soul that we’ve had any real time to study was Sam, I am going to compare some attributes of Soulless Sam from Season 6 to Dean since he acquired the Mark of Cain:

  1. Allowing someone innocent to be hurt for the sake of information: Dean first becomes suspicious of Sam in The Third Man when he raises no objection to Cas reading Aaron’s soul even though it will be a very painful process for the kid.  Similarly, even though he was stopped from doing so, in Sharp Teeth Dean was ready to inject an unconscious Garth with adrenaline (which could have been very harmful to his system depending on what drugs the doctors had him on).
  2. Lack of empathy:  Soulless Sam would kill without any hesitation or regret, and we are beginning to see Dean follow a similar pattern of behavior. In #THINMAN, Dean stabs Roger coldly and without remorse - even though in the past he has usually allowed humans that he fought against to face punishment from other humans, usually law enforcement.
  3. His brother providing a conscience for him: Soulless Sam could not distinguish between right and wrong, so he allowed Dean to be a moral compass for him.  Similarly Sam is finding it necessary to remind Dean this season of right and wrong.  In The Purge, Sam had to remind Dean that not all monsters are not evil and need to be killed.
  4. Returning to previous patterns of behavior for lack of something better to do: Soulless Sam returned from the pit without the desires that made him who he was before, so he fell back into hunting monsters because it was what he had done his entire life and he was good at it.  Similarly, Dean his fallen into several of his old patterns of behavior after pushing himself away from those he cares about.  First he tries to start hunting with Sam again, then he allows himself to become obsessively focused on finding and killing one Supernatural being (Does this remind anyone else of Dick Roman?), and of course there are also the behavioral and psychological issues of drinking, depression, and suicidal tendencies that are starting to emerge again. 
  5. Allowing the other to face danger alone, even when called for help:  Soulless Sam allowed Dean to get bitten by a vampire, merely because he was curious to see if the cure would work and because he simply doesn’t care if his brother get hurt in the process.  Dean has rather the opposite problem, as he is currently finding it too painful to work with Sam (as well as dealing with his addiction to the First Blade and wanting to find Abaddon as soon as possible so that he can get his hands on it again). So even when Sam calls him for help in Mother’s Little Helper, he lies and says he is busy, which leads me to my next point…
  6. Lying for convenience: Soulless Sam lied so many times to Dean’s face before Dean eventually found out the truth (just watch You Can’t Handle The Truth for an abundance of examples), although Sam began lying to Dean the moment he showed up.  Dean has lied to Sam several times this season, although the best example of this would be Mother’s Little Helper because he knows that Sam won’t approve of his drinking (although I doubt that there is any way that Sam doesn’t know)  and also about how the Mark of Cain is affecting him.  Dean knows that he is slipping, but he doesn’t want Sam to find out if he can prevent it.
  7. Following the advice of someone who they know is advising them to do the wrong thing: When faced with something that they don’t want to experience (for Sam it was getting his soul back and for Dean it is being alone), both allowed themselves to be guided by a being whose advice they knew would lead them down a wrong path.  In the same way that Sam followed Balthazar’s advice and tried to kill Bobby so that his soul wouldn’t be able to enter his body again, Dean has been following Crowley’s advice ever since he separated from Sam at the end of Road Trip - getting the Mark, seeking out Abaddon, and very soon I think that will escalate into giving in to the Blade’s call to kill and trying (possibly succeeding) to kill a member of his family. 

The main difference is that unlike Sam, Dean isn’t soulless yet. As dustydreamsanddirtyscars beautifully pointed out to me, "his soul isn’t gone at this point, but rather fading away with each kill."  I theorized here that when Dean picked up the Blade, it pushed out of his head all the doubts and fears that constantly plague him (and are much stronger without his support system are him), leaving only a single-minded purpose to kill.  However, now that he is without it, those feelings have come back stronger than ever.  The craving for the Blade is growing every day as the effects of the Mark exacerbate the horrible feelings that came from his fallout with Sam after the incident with Gadreel. 

As a last point, even though one of the most memorable things about Soulless Sam is when he fought against getting back his soul and tried to kill Bobby, I think it is very important to note the following statement that he made in All Dogs Go To Heaven:

"I don’t know if how I am is better or worse. It’s different. You get the job done, and nothing really hurts. That’s not the worst thing. But I’ve been thinking. And it was… it was kinda harder. But there are also things about it I remember that I… Let’s just say I think I should probably go back to being him.”

If Dean is in the process of losing his soul, I think it will be essential for him to want to get it back before that can actually happen and he will be able to overcome the effects that have been brought on by his choice to take on the Mark of Cain. 

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Hi there, I love your blog! I wanted to ask you - do you think there is any particular reason that Chilton is mauled every season? I think that apart from his manipulation of Abel Gideon, which he paid for two seasons ago, he is pretty blameless when you look at him. The most you can really accuse him of is being a sleazy little git, with few survival instincts and an inflated ego. His assessment of the Dragon was fairly accurate and impartial really. The only way what happened could be called poetic justice is that he wanted to be noticed and was…NOTICED. With a vengeance.

Are the writers toying with the audiences feelings in some way, do you think? Because you want Chilton taken down a peg, he seems to be asking for it, bu he is a saint compared to some people on this show. *cough*hannibal*cough*, *cough*Bedilia*cough*, *cough*practically everyone has committed murder by now*cough cough cough*

You know, when Frederick Chilton went through the fire in this last season, there were quite a few people who were really passionately angry about it (people didn’t get the memo that he’d “die” in every season? iunno, they seemed rather unprepared for it) and making heated posts directed at Bryan Fuller and whatnot. Though you mentioned wanting to know whether the writers are “toying with the audiences feelings in some way,” it doesn’t actually sound like you’re looking for that as an explanation. Yes, all writers are looking to elicit emotional responses, and yes, Bryan Fuller loves Raul Esparza and likes giving him this absurd job of being creatively killed every season, just to bring him back to ham it up again as the show’s dark comic relief again the following season, and yes, I’m sure that the more charming Raul is in that role, the better bang for their buck the writers are getting, that they are doing this on purpose, and you can either call it “toying” or you can call it “writing”–but for the average audience member, the label doesn’t matter. You’re either prone to appreciate it or you’re not. (I would suggest, though, that without the grotesque death gimmick, Chilton is a character who people may tire of quickly: he’s charming and pitiable at least partly because you know he’s completely out of his depth and is going to get what ought not to be coming to him.)

But I want to address the notion of whether or not what was coming to him was “poetic justice”–or any kind of justice, really. 

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anonymous asked:

can we please have a discussion about amara waving her hand over cas' heart to find dean in 11x21 (in conjunction with the follow your heart/settling down storyline)? i haven't seen any posts about it yet and would really like to start up a conversation to see the perspectives including yours!! thanks :)

Hey man! Sorry for leaving this so late - I wanted to rewatch that episode so I could answer you properly, and this is turning out to be a busy period IRL.

So, I’m guessing you were living in a cave when All in the Family aired, because I distinctly remember opening my dash and being like -

Seriously, you’re right: the thing was so obvious and significant, many people wrote metas which (reasonably enough) anticipated Big Things To Come from the Destiel perspective; perhaps even The Big Reveal itself.

And, yeah.

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All of Me || Blyder

Blaine’s fingers gently ran over the fabric of the clothes in his closet. It all felt so unfamiliar to him, and yet it had a certain tug to him. One that he pushed away with a harsh force, terrified of the clutches that started to take over his life. Or… what was left of it. Uncertainty filled Blaine head to toe no matter what he did. When he ate something, or got thirsty, he wasn’t sure if what he did to curb those urges were what he did now. He felt as though he’d woken up in the body of somebody else, and no matter how hard he begged, or panicked, he was stuck. It was as though he was living somebody else’s life, despite it being his own.

All evidence pointed to Blaine being this profound, responsible person. His achievements were unbelievable, surpassing any thoughts of the future that he had once held. The expectations had been to work somewhere local forever, marry rich. Something along the lines of that, but everything had changed. Ryder was the center of it all, that much he knew. His heart hurt every time he looked at him, and he didn’t understand why. Why should he care that Ryder was hurting? He didn’t want to, but the urge to make him happy was one he wasn’t quite able to deny.

Sliding a white shirt off of the hanger, he slid his fingers over the semi-fancy material. His thumb moved a couple of the buttons and his gaze lingered over the shirt. It was almost perfect. Untouched, perhaps by mere memory or just recent inability to put anything on that wasn’t blank and oversized. It felt familiar, and yet so mysterious at the same time. He had to blink back nostalgic tears that he didn’t understand. Had the shirt been a great night for him? Or something terrifying that would provoke untouched memories? He slid the shirt back on the hanger for a moment, if only to take off the one he’d stolen from Ryder. Being wrapped up in his clothing and smelling him on him admittedly soothed Blaine, but it was once again a seemingly unexplainable sensation.

He had on a tank top underneath, simply due to the routine he’d always set for himself. While that may not remain at this point, it was a part he was adamant to keep. He picked the shirt up again, taking it with him and moving in front of the mirror. He looked at himself and the way he didn’t recognize who he was looking at made him frustrated. What had he done that was so bad? Why him? Biting his bottom lip, he slid the shirt on, slowly guiding his fingers and sliding the buttons through their slots. It was a little tight, but not as much as the rest of his clothing had been. He tucked the shirt into his pants, looking at himself.

Sighing, Blaine still hated the sense of sadness he felt when he looked at himself. With a quick glance around the room, he shook his head. What was he supposed to do at this point? No matter how much he belittled himself, or demanded his memories return, it remained an empty space. One giant blackout that evoked feelings he didn’t want, nor need. Looking at himself once more, Blaine didn’t feel right. Something was missing. His gaze rested on the dresser that was ‘his’ side, and he took a hefty breath, forcing himself to follow the pull. He slid open a dresser and couldn’t help but chuckle at the array of bowties. He was a total nerd. He went for a simple black one, shutting the drawer quietly as he moved back to the mirror. His hair was a curly mess atop his head, and as far as Blaine knew he had a few more minutes to just… enjoy his quiet time. This was the only time he could feel without fear of Ryder knowing that he wasn’t okay. But… Ryder was his rock. He didn’t know how or why, but the man had a pull on him that Blaine couldn’t ignore, no matter how hard he tried.

Scrutinizing his appearance in the mirror, he tried to put the bowtie on right, but wasn’t able to do so. His hands fumbled with the fabric, so he just kind of laid it there, deciding it was the thought that counted. He felt… good. But it was a kind of good that meant he was forgetting something, that there was a huge piece missing from the constant puzzle that was now Blaine’s mind. Padding out of the room, Blaine felt around the apartment, fingertips dancing across the walls as he tried to figure out what all was going on in his mind. His hand stopped on a door that he can’t quite remember going into yet. While he should have explored the entire apartment, he hadn’t.

Tentatively, his hands wrapped around the knob, opening the door and glancing inside, secretly wondering if there would be some sex dungeon just waiting for him to put his gaze upon. Thankfully, it wasn’t. Just a bare room, that didn’t seem to have anything in it – aside from the grand piano resting in the center. There was that pull again. After considering just… shutting the door and leaving, he took a few cautious steps forward, sitting down on the bench. He traced the cover to the keys, before lifting it, fingers brushing gently over them, never hard enough to press down. He felt at home here, and despite swearing he’d never sing again, he couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if he did. Maybe he’d feel better… maybe, just maybe, it’d help his thoughts organize themselves.

The question now was what to sing. The only thing he’d heard lately was whatever was playing on the radio. He had learned a couple of songs to hum as he laid around eating, but otherwise he was oblivious to anything recent. Experimentally, he pressed down on a couple of keys, glancing around him to see if anybody had heard. Not that there was anybody in the room with him. That’s when he noticed the pictures that hung on the wall – most were extremely silly. He moved off of the bench to go investigate, picking up one that was his favorite.

It reminded him of a prom photo, and he just assumed that’s what it was. On his person, he was wearing the shirt that looked vaguely similar to the one he had on now, and he couldn’t resist the temptation to chuckle at that. But Ryder was what pulled focus. The smile on his face, the way his eyes lit up. How… happy he was. He didn’t think he could ever make him that happy again. He set the picture down, glancing at the others. One was a close up of the two of the cuddling under some sheets, and others just family portraits of the Reynolds’ or just them. There was one of just them with Queso, ‘Blaine’ playfully glaring at the dog.

Shaking his head, he turned back towards the piano, his back to the photos and to the door. He assumed Ryder was doing something else, he didn’t come to check on him, so he decided he was safe. Positioning his hands on the piano, he played a couple of notes before he found himself, beginning to sing.

“What would I do without your smart mouth…?” His words trailed off as he sung, his voice taking a second to adjust to being used by singing. He didn’t stop, though, playing the notes that the song permitted. His eyes slid shut at some point, he just… lived in the moment. He let himself feel through the song, and he didn’t quite understand why he felt all the things that he did. The love was evident. He knew he loved Ryder, but he didn’t think he could love him as he once had. He didn’t want to hurt him. He wanted to make him happy. He wanted to be his, and Ryder be his in return… but not in a sex way. In a juvenile, laughable ‘I want to be loved’ way. He wanted to make Ryder smile like he had in the photo. He wanted to make him happy, and be the reason he wakes up every morning.

… But it wasn’t that simple.

“You’re my end and my beginning… even when I lose, I’m winning.” The song was clearly about Ryder, but he didn’t want to admit that. Not yet. The denial was bittersweet, filling him with a strong sense of security. What Ryder didn’t know would deem him safe. He wouldn’t have to evidently care if he pretended not to. He didn’t even know what had happened! How can he love an almost stranger? Why should he? The answer was obviously that Ryder loved him. Someone loved Blaine.

Someone he was probably close.

“Cards on the table… we’re both showing hearts… Risking it all though it’s hard…” The pangs in his heart couldn’t be faked. He couldn’t pretend not to care for someone he did. There was a constant pull to Ryder, one that the doctor had advised him not to fight if he wanted to regain his memories ever… but did he? He was happy… he was content.

“I give you all of me… and you give me all of you.” He stopped, fingers hovering over the keys as his voice died away, and he let his hands fall into his lap. He didn’t know if he felt better or worse. Maybe it was better to just… not address the situation that internally killing him. Pretending everything was fine was okay, right?