Okay, so you’ve seen a few scary movies and enjoyed them, and now you’re looking to expand your horror prowess. Maybe you’ve been reading/listening to a lot of creepypasta, and you feel like you’re ready to take the plunge. Or maybe you just have a feeling that you’d like horror, but have no idea where to start.
I’ve been a huge fan of all things creepy and scary for years. I was just reading an article called, “Horror Gems You Haven’t Seen Yet” and realized that I actually had seen almost every film on the list, so I guess that makes me an expert. So, my new baby horror fans, allow me to introduce you to the genre.
Am I the only one who loves Stranger Things for the telekinetic murder, 80’s vibes, excellent plot, perfectly done suspension, clever script, and charming characters?
And NOT for Finn Wolfhard?
No hate though. He seems like a cool dude. I remember first watching ST when it came out, and thinking to myself that he and Millie were particularly good actors; but they aren’t the sole reason it’s my favorite series.
The world seems to have suddenly gotten obsessed with Finn ever since the IT movie came out.
one of these tiny au things for jeon wonwoo (ma man ma main man) please!!!!! THANK U so much i <3 your blog im
book club!au with wonwoo
he always shows up in the most comfy oversized cardigan and glasses slipping down his nose and tired, black circles under his eyes which you think are really r e a l l y adorable
doesn’t really comment that much during discussions, just listens to what others says and nods
got asked out by like every member at least once and he’s used the same excuse which is “im sorry, but my friend mingyu asked me to tutor him that day-”
fell asleep during one meeting so you carefully poked his side with your pencil so he’d wake up and not get called out
was staring at someone while they were talking and the person was like ‘i-uh-um-uh wonwoo are you mad at me????” and he perked up like huh what no why
and the person was like,,,,,,,,,sorry it just felt like you were burrowing a hole through me with that look on your face
wonwoo getting embarrassed: sorry,,,,,it’s my default,,,,
you’re reading one of your favorite books in the club and apparently it’s just come out as a film and everyone is super excited to go and see it
but when you all do, you end up hating it and the only other person who agrees with you on how shitty the producer did is,,,,,wonwoo
and you’re like “i don’t get how he ruined,,,,,,such an amazing piece of literature” and wonwoo adjusts his glasses and shrugs and is like “all movies,,,,,don’t really ever do justice to the book do they?” and you’re like RiGht,,,,,,,it’s just you can’t get 500 pages into two hours
and you and wonwoo both admit that harry potter flopped in comparison to the books
and somehow you get to chatting more and you leave the group at the movie theater to find a cafe and wonwoo is showing you his reading list on his phone and you’re telling him about a new author you’ve just discovered
and he moves his seat so you’re basically shoulder to shoulder, huddled close with your cold cups of coffee
and ,,,,, to everyone you look like a couple ,,,,, you guys just don’t notice it hehe
but when you look up and see wonwoo’s eyes through his frames, you turn a bit pink and stutter over what you’re saying and he fiddles with his fingers because your eyes met,,,,
and when you both decide to go wonwoo shyly asks if you’d like to give him your number,,,,,,to talk about books you know,,,,,,,and you gladly give it
and you’re both smiling to yourselves as you walk in opposite directions,,,,,,,,
the bookclub demands to know how your first date went the next meeting and you and wonwoo both melt at the word date LOL
There are so many great movies out there, but when I decided to make this list, I knew there was only one more that would fill my number one slot and throughout the process of making the list, that number one pick never changed.
1. American Mary (2012)
Yes, my top choice also features the amazingly talented Katharine Isabelle.
I found this move either at the end of 2015 or just the beginning of 2016, but once I saw it, it bumped right up my list to favorite horror movies ever. Not just underrated, but IN GENERAL.
It stars Katharine Isabelle and is the revenge movie to end all revenge movies. It is wonderfully twisted and fucked up in all the right ways, like every horror movie should be.
Isabelle plays the role of a medical student, who is going through financial problems, but determined to succeed in her chosen profession.
Desperate for money to pay her bills, she decides to seek work as a stripper, but because she is a medical student, she is instead offered $5000 to save a man’s life, after being beaten.
Needing the money, she does so, but is immediately struck with disgust returns home, in complete panic over the ordeal.
She is offered quite a bit more money to perform a surgery, which would involve removing a girl’s nipples and labia, to appear more like a human doll. She offered $10,000 and an extra $2,000 to just show up.
Despite the way she felt at the strip club, she agrees and successfully performs the surgery.
Some time passes and during her residency, she is invited to a party, where she gets drugged and sexually assaulted at by her former teacher.
Unable to cope with the attack, she drops out of medical school and goes back to the strip club, where she pays workers to bring her attacker to her.
She starts working at the strip club and starts working full time as a surgeon for consensual body modification, all while continuing to torture her attacker on the side.
This movie takes a new spin on revenge story and as I have said before in my number two pick, Katharine Isabelle is hypnotic on the screen and when she is acting, your eyes stay on her and only her.
What I have explained is only part of the plot and I will not give the rest away, because the element of surprise needs to be there if you intend to watch this.
It is written and directed by the Soska sisters who had a cameo in the film, shown above.
I have never fallen in love with a horror movie so quickly before and I urge you all to give it a chance, because not a lot of people have heard of this movie and it is such a visual masterpiece.
I will say this though, the climax and ending happens a bit fast and because of that, it does end a little underwhelming, which is a shame, because everything else is just so flawless and absolutely chilling.
I repeat, absolutely chilling.
Watch the trailer and see for yourself. If you are as intrigued as I was, you will find a way to see this movie.
If you haven’t noticed I have been ignoring you for a reason. Mostly because you are putting words in my mouth I never said and blaming me for things that are out of my control. You are also assuming what my opinions are on things which…if you know what assuming is, you know why you shouldn’t do it.
Let me be very clear:
I am in the LGBT community. I have had relationships with men, women, and any other gender you want to name on the spectrum. I am not “homophobic” I am not a bigot. I am an adult female who is sick and tired of gay couples just for the sake of gay couples on TV shows. Sick of it.
I have stated many times, I am not against diversity, I am not against gay characters if they are well written, but here’s the thing.
These days when there are gay characters the main personality of that character is that they are super gay and everything else is secondary. There are fandoms now with gay characters and when I ask about the character like, “Oh that’s cool so what is he/she like? What’s their personality? What do they have as a hobby?” no one has an answer. You know why? Because their only personality trait is that they are gay and they aren’t thought out beyond that.
I literally saw a comment for a show about a gay character on this website that said, “Well X Character isn’t that well written but X character is gay so yay diversity” I’m not saying what fandom because I don’t want to get attacked but the point is that people on here do not give a shit if the gay character is well written as long as they exist and that’s not what we as a community should want right now.
If you want people to accept gay characters and like them and even view them as a normal then you shouldn’t want their only personality trait to be “The gay guy”. Furthermore, despite what this website seems to think because apparently their TV viewing memory only goes back to 2012, there have been many well written gay characters, couples, and plots over the years, like way before now. The reason people don’t remember this is because those characters were well written. Those characters were more than just the “token gay” characters. Those characters had many facets to their personalities, struggles, and life that literally had very little to do with being gay and if their orientation was brought up it was in a normal capacity that wasn’t in your face annoying like a 5 minute reminder that they are gay and we need to praise them for being gay.
The LGBT community has fought for equality for I don’t know how fucking long but Tumblr, for some stupid reason, is insistent on not making gays equal but elevating them to some special level where they infest every TV show, they are only praised for being gay, and everyone must acknowledge their gayness at all times.
As a bisexual person, I do not want that nor do I need to see that on every TV show for every minute of every second of every story I watch. Why is it important?
When you demand these types of characters you know what you are saying? You are saying you are a selfish child. You are saying you cannot possibly have empathy/sympathy/whatever for anyone unless they are exactly like you. You are saying that there is no way for you to relate to another human being unless they are your same color/gender/orientation and that basically makes you a monster. You are saying that if the story isn’t exactly like your life and the character isn’t exactly like you, then you don’t care about them. It’s borderline psychotic to demand this much gay be pumped into a TV show for the sake of some bullshit diversity checklist than to actually appreciate good story telling.
Some of my favorite characters, ever, in the history of movies and TV are straight men. Why? Because I empathize with them. I understand them. Their personalities, struggles, failures, and successes mean something to me because they are well written, strong, and amazing characters. For me to sit here and say “Well I cannot possibly like this show because there aren’t 8 gay couples, a trans guy, and 17 different races” would make me miss out on some amazing characters and stories.
Diversity is good, and it’s important, but when you shove minorities, gays, and other things into a show only for the sake of that thing, don’t develop it, and then expect people to like and praise it just for existing, you don’t even begin to understand that it’s the wrong thing to want. If you want the LGBT community to have equality you need to also want to have well written characters that everyone can love, so even the straight people you seem to hate so much can say, “Hey look that character is gay but he’s just like me” instead of, “Why the fuck is that gay character’s only personality trait being gay”.
So either shut the fuck up and leave or understand what I’ve been saying all along and it’s literally nothing you are accusing me of. I’m vastly aware my opinion here is going to get me hate and is seriously unpopular because I know how this website works, but I also know how reality works and how adults in the working world works, so I also know I’m right.
“A couple of years ago I was suffering so badly from panic attacks that I remember thinking if I’d ever be able to live like this. I also have OCD, so the combination of those two were driving me crazy. The only thing that would put me in a calm state of mind was watching my favorite movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Something about the beautiful animation and the fun and joy of the feast of fools just calmed me down. I’m better now, but that movie will forever hold a place in my heart.“
so I had this idea in my head for a while and just thought that this would be really cool to write about
And I’m really sorry. English is not my first language
if you haven’t watched this movie yet PLEASE WATCH (it’s my favorite don’t even get me started)
SPOILERS AHEAD // hope you like it <3
Ok, let’s start then (this starts in the 80s)
so you and Peter have been best friends since ever
started with you being next door neighbours and outcasts at school
Peter was this really skinny nerdy boy and you were awkard and really smart
you had this habit to share sweets (RAZZLES) and to greet each other in another languages
“Arrivederci” “Au revoir”
your relationship was based on mutual trust and weird stuff that only you two understood
seriosly you could almost talk telepathically
Peter had this hobby to take pictures around and sometimes he even took them for the school paper and some of you
you have ever wanted to work on your favorite magazine (Poise) editorial and you have like all of their editions
the story really starts when you had the yearbook shoot in your 13th birthday and turns out B A D
but you don’t get too sad ‘cause Peter said that it looked good
“don’t worry Y/N, it can’t be worse than mine. I actually sneezed!”
six girls walks down the corridor like it was a catwalk and stops right in front of you
oops, forgot to tell you that Y/N really wanted to be popular and those girls used her for homework and projects
Peter knew about that and tried to warn you but guess what, you didn’t listen
the leader of their gang (Tom-Tom) usually approached you two to make fun of Peter and you used to follow her lead, laughing together
shitty habit i know
and on that they she told you that her group and your crush Flash Thompson wouldn’t come over to your party unless they finish their group project
so you say you would do it for them ‘cause you’re too naive to see bad in people
when you come home you start to get ready for your party, doing your makeup and picking a outfit that would fit better with the mean girls even putting some tissues on your top to look like you have boobs but nobody needs to know that
so while getting ready you read the last edition of Poise magazine and saw a story saying that the 30s are the best years of your life and claims that you want to be 30
“30, flirty and thriving.”
then you go down to your basement where the party would be held and put your jam on
I’m talking about Thriller ‘cause you know the whole choreography
when Peter arrived he just watched you dance because he is so fuCKING CUTE AND NEEDS TO BE PROTECTED
then he gives you the big box with a pink lace on top that is your present
“You know how you always wanted a Barbie Dream House? Well, I decided to make you your own Y/N Dream House”
you just stare to the big doll house that he built by himlsef and made just for you, showing all the rooms and faces from old pictures cut and glued to little dolls
then he sprinkles wishing dust all over the little roof and you close your eyes to make a wish by the time the doorbell rings
you began to panic and put the house away like it meant nothing and Peter just looks at you with his big doe eyes and feels his heart starting to break
the party starts and all of your guests are in the basement
Tom-Tom starts to be mean to Peter and you again follow her lead so he goes upstairs
then again, Tom-Tom comes into scene and suggests to play 7 minutes in heaven and says to you that Flash is dying to kiss you, but doesn’t closes the closet door before asking you where is her project and puts a blindfold in your eyes
Tom-Tom’s gang and Flash’s friends starts to leave the party and Tom-Tom finds Peter and says that you were waiting for him in the closet
so when he opens the door he sees you with a smile eye-to-eye and his world lights up
“I thought you weren’t gonna come”
he’s just so happy to hear that that he entrelaces your fingers together and leans in for a kiss, never making it because you called him “Flash”
it all goes downhill when you see that it’s Peter and everybody is gone and you started to blame him and locked yourself on the closet
you slides down the shelf where the Y/N Dream House is and starts to hit your head back, making the whole shelf move and some wishing dust to fall on you while you keep saying:
“I wanna be 30“
Here’s where the shit goes REALLY crazy
You wake up in a bed that isn’t yours and a flat that isn’t yours either
you find a mirror and sees that the reflection isn’t the same too
then you find a weird nude guy calling you sweetbun
you leave your flat in your pajamas after you saw his thingy and finds a blonde woman standing in front of a car and screaming at her phone and telling you to get in
so you starts to find out a lot of things about you and it comes to your mind that your wish was fulfilled. You are now 30 and were the editor of the Poise magazine, best friends with Tom-Tom (now you call her Lucy) and prom queen with Flash as prom king.
but then you starts to miss Peter and wonder where he is, so you ask your secretary to find him
when she does you leave the office and runs across the city to find his flat and knock on his door
“You’re not chinese”
you just stares at him and realizes that Peter isn’t a skinny nerdy guy. Now he’s tall and strong, with abs showing on his shirt and his wavy hair is now pulled back giving a whole new and hotter look.
then your panic comes back when he tells you that you’re not best friends anymore and you find yourself sitting in a bench while holding a fluffy pillow and drinking a glass of water
when you calm down you two go back to your apartment and you find your yearbook seeing the pictures of prom and Tom-Tom’s gang that you turned out to be their leader
“This is incredible, I can’t believe that I got everything I’ve ever wanted” “Yeah Y/N, you got it all. Congratulations.”
You receive a call telling you about a Poise party at night and you invite Peter to come and he says that he’ll think about it
by the night you starts to get ready ala 80′s style and find thongs in your HUGE closet
“Can you tell I’m wearing underwear? ‘Cause I totally am”
when you get to the party you find Lucy and asks for a drink
I’ll have a Pina Colada, not virgin. Wanna see my ID? Totally have it!”
then your boss comes to you and starts to panic about people starting to leave so you get an idea and go to the DJ
Thriller starts to play and you go to the middle of the dance floor, doing the choreography
starting to feel uncomfortable alone, you find Peter in the crowd and your heart skips a beat, your feet in a hurry to get him and making him dance with you
and literally everybody starts to dance too and your boss is so happy
but Peter says he need to leave and you hold hands for a second and your whole body heats up, having a weird sensation by the time he lefts
time passes and one night you’re outside a restaurant with Lucy and you see Peter walking by and ask what he’s doing there
then a beautiful ginger girl appears on his side and he introduces her as his fiancée, Mary Jane
your heart breaks a little and you feel numb for a second
you come back to your reality when the naked guy appears on your side and started to talk to Peter and his fiancée
Peter then leave and Lucy tells you to go to the naked guy’s (Alex’s) flat to play games
when you get there you suggests battleship and he starts to kiss your ear and you don’t know what to do while he keeps flirting
then he starts to striptease and do a weird dance and you look away trying to hide your shame
“Put your penis away, I don’t want to see it again!”
as the days goes by you start to realize what an awful person you’ve become on this alternative universe. You found that you have been screwing your coworkers husband and things that you never knew you could do
feeling bad, you go to Peter’s apartment and ask him if he wanted to go for a walk
you start to talk about the future and his wedding plans
then curiosity strikes you and you finally ask him about what happened to your friendship
you watch the pain in his eyes while he tells you about your 13th party
he says that you threw the Y/N Dream House that he spent 3 weeks building at him and never talked to him again
you feel awful
you became a monster after all
after that night you crash into your parents house and locks yourself in the same closet from your birthday party and realizes that the Y/N Dream House isn’t there
so you hit your head purposely on the same shelf and your parents find you in there
the morning after your mother makes you pancakes with blueberry eyes
“If you were given one do over anything in your life what would it be?” “Nothing” “Really?” “Really.” “But did you ever make a big mistake… a huge one that could change your life… what about that?” “Well, Y/N, I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes but I don’t regret any of them” “How come?” “Because If I haven’t had make them I wouldn’t have learned how to do things right.”
going through the pages of your yearbook you see that Peter was the one who took the pictures and a huge idea comes into your mind
you hire Peter to do a photoshoot with people recreating those pictures and have lots of fun while doing that
he can’t take his eyes off of you and his hearts melts a little whenever you laugh
you even dance together under the fake snow while doing the winter dance shoot
he even gives you a white peony while doing the class of 2004
later that day you two started to talk about the past and you two get Razzles and go for a walk
“Hey Peter, tell me something. What color is my tongue?” “Is red, I don’t know… red?” “Red red or Razzles red?”
then you two started to compete who would go higher on a swingset
it was beautiful ‘till you two fell
and it was beautiful again when you landed on his chest and his hand started to caress your bare sholder sending you chills on your spine
“Hey, you got arm hair” “Never got quite that reaction before.”
then you two started to smile at each other like the two dorks you were in the past and he leans in to kiss you
it was magical, every second of it. You just wished you could stay like that forever
when the day of the presentations came, you were super nervous to show your ideas ‘cause you were afraid about the opinions
so Lucy presents first and it wasn’t very well
and when you present your project, everybody go crazy about it and loving the idea of the class of 2004
but Lucy wasn’t very happy and goes to your office to find out that you were the one that was selling Poise ideas to Sparkle, the rival magazine
Peter goes to your office to talk to you and finds Lucy, who said to him that you changed your mind about his pictures and hired someone more professional
so you decided to go to his apartment to tell him that everybody loved his photos and you find Mary Jane wearing one of his shirts
the special one that he was wearing when they kissed on the playground
and she tells you that she will tell him when he gets back from picking up his tux and that they’re getting married on the next day
your heart completly breaks
the next day when you go to work you find out the whole floor empty and everybody packing from their offices
your boss tells you that Sparkle published your story and you find out that Lucy did it and she throws in your face all of the bad things you have done and how you sold all of the Poise stories to Sparkle
feeling worse than ever you decided to go to Peter’s wedding and calls a cab
later on you find out that the cab driver is actually Flash Thompson and just jumps out of it running like crazy
when you arrived at Peter’s yard you entered the house and ran to his old room, finding he knotting his tie while looking at the window
he looks at you and you can swear you saw a sparkle in his eyes
and you did
so you tried to tell him that Lucy was talking about a person that wasn’t you anymore
“It doesn’t matter what Lucy said. I stopped trusting her after she stole my poprocks on the third grade.”
you can’t help but smile at him and his dorkness
“Peter, I have to believe that if you knew that… if in your heart you really really knew that, you wouldn’t be getting married to someone right now, unless that someone were me”
he doesn’t look at you and you begin to panic already regretting but feeling like going on.
you started to miss his eyes and every blink looks like an eternity
“Y/N, I’m not gonna lie to you… I’ve felt things this past weeks that I didn’t know that I could feel anymore.”
you feel a smile forming on your lips but disappearing right after he completes his sentence.
“But I’ve realized in this past few days… you can’t just turn back time”
when you question him about it, he said that he’d moved on and you had too. And when he mentions Mary Jane you think about how good she is to him and can’t feel comfortable about the view of him wearing that tux and being ready to say “yes”
so you started to cry
then he opens his closet and you see the Y/N Dream House, feeling a knot involving all of your internal organs and or fingers start to tremble
you cry even more
it still have the wishing dust all over the plastic roof and you feel your heart warms at the thought of him putting it all over
he gives it to you and you hold the dream house in your arms, trying to feel it like one of his hugs and smile at him
“I’ll be fine, go on! I’m just crying because I’m happy… I-I want you to be so so happy”
talking a deep breath, your voice starts to shake while he gives you a sad smile
“I love you, Peter. You’re my best friend”.
when you put your hand on the doorknob he took an audible deep breath
“Y/N, I’ve always loved you”
and your mind lingers on the word “loved”
he loved you, but now he loves Mary Jane
so you go down the stairs and sit in the front yard, still holding the Y/N Dream House
the wedding music started playing and every melody sounded lower than your heart breaking a little more while your chest felt so heavy that it could send you to the ground in a blink
you started to play with the objects in the little rooms on the doll house and the wind started to blow against your face
you didn’t even care, your mind was only focused on how you wanted to be with Peter
and suddently there was wishing dust all over the ar, flying around you as your eyes were closed, trying to fight against the tears
you started to hear a song that wasn’t a wedding song and tried to open your eyes, being stopped by a blindfold
as you took it off, you saw that you were back again in that closet in your 13th birthday party and a warm feeling was all over you
Peter opened the closet door and you attacked him with a hug and kissed him
on his lips!
“Wow, you really know what you’re doing!”
you smiled at him and grabbed his hand, leading him upstairs and found Tom-Tom in the middle of it
you saw the group project that you did by yourself in her hands and ripped it appart, smirking at her and running again
“C’mon Peter, we’re gonna be late!” “For what?” “You’ll see!”
as the years passed, you and Peter only grew stronger and loving each other even more
the wedding music was now played for you two while you walked down the aisle and find his marvelous smile waiting for you
i haven’t been journaling in a while bc of all my dance classes and trips. but i finally had free time and im so happy with how my spread is starting out to be like!!
ive been watching movies more often this week bc i needed some happiness back into my life and movies are the perfect remedy;; is it bad that yesterday was only the first time i ever watched the notebook?? haha my friends were so shocked!
ANYWAYS thanks so much for over 2.7k followers @-@ thats amazing! i wanna give advice and just tell u guys to listen to music that makes u feel good and brings back good memories, rewatch some of your favorite feel-good movies and shows and dont forget to rest when u can 💝 its been helping me out so much to do so.
Mark: Mark would feel very responsible for his girl as he and she have a 3 years age gap. He would mostly do everything for her; like he’ll always plan the date, he’d buy anything for you, he’ll basically spoil you in a good way. He’ll be also veryyyy protective. Like when he sees you talking to Donghyuk, he’ll be cursing at him on his head.
Renjun: Renjun… oh Renjun. He may be older, but he’ll be shy. Like really shy. He’ll always check what you’re doing, and when you catch him looking, he’ll turn his gaze away. He’ll be very curious on what you usually do, since you’re still young and you’re a girl. Renjun would be very new at dating, as the 2002 girl may be new too; so Renjun and her would be that very cute but awkward couple.
Donghyuk: GOD BLESS WHO EVER GOTS HIM. He’ll be pranking you ALL DAY LONG. HE HAS NO MERCY. Donghyuck doesn’t care about the ‘age’, like he’ll be pranking his hyung, Mark, all day long too. But he’ll be a gentlemen when he feels or needs to. He’ll be like Mark; with a really dorky and savage side.
Jeno: He’ll be the sweetest boy ever. Always brings you your favorite food, always asks if your comfortable when he brings you on a date, he’ll be just a gentlemen. I think he’ll love dating a 2002 liner; because he feels responsible like Mark, and he has the right to lead the relationship, and that’s what he wants.
Jaemin (my baby nana are you alright? ): He’ll be a savage, but not that savage like Donghyuk. He’ll LOVE dates that only involves chilling (since, his condition) like cuddling or just watching movies. He’s okay about dating a 2002 liner, but he wants to be taken care of at the same time; so he mostly acts like a baby and hopes that you forget that you’re younger than him.
Chenle: *cue dolphin noises* HOORAY FOR THE 1 YEAR DIFFERENCE! Chenle would be so comfortable with a 2002 liner. He’ll act like his usual self, but more sweeter and sometimes he’ll take note to minimize the volume of his voice. He’ll sometimes forget that your younger than him, because, you know; a one year difference isn’t really that of a big deal.
Jisung: Ahhh, the maknae. He’ll be new at dating and also his partner; so like Renjun’s. They’re like that really awkward couple that cringes at every skinship done intentionally or accidentally. They would be very shy to talk about their dating relationship, as they are really new at it. Jisung might also get some dating advice from Mark and try to impress his girl, which sometimes lead on the wrong side.
The Princess and the frog is my favorite movie because I relate to Tiana so much. She’s a business woman, like me, and we are both driven to achieve our dreams. If I ever make it to Disney world she’s the one and only person I want a picture with.
I hated middle school. There’s a whole swath of memories I’d rather do without as far as the years 1999 through 2002 are concerned. There is, however, one memory I hold near and dear to my heart during this time frame. After reading about it in magazines and being really excited for it, my mother took me to Toys’R’Us one evening to get me a Sega Dreamcast. We brought that puppy home with a copy of Sonic Adventure, hooked it up, fired it up, and took it all in. As the opening cinematic played on my TV, Mum said “It’s like playing a movie!”
Boy, if we only knew what games would go on to look like now.
The Dreamcast was, and to this day remains, my all time favorite console. It’s the swan song of a company that was perhaps a bit too ambitious for its own good, a marvel of gaming technology many years ahead of its time, and home to some of the best and most unique games to ever come out.
At the time of its release, the Dreamcast was the most graphically powerful console on the market. Sony’s Playstation boasted 32-bit graphics, and the Nintendo 64 had double that, at -wait for it- 64 bits. Dreamcast had double of that: 128 bits of beautiful graphics, thanks to the GD-ROM, a proprietary disc format born from squeezing every bit of memory out of a regular old CD as was physically possible, before DVDs and Blu-Ray became as ubiquitous as they are today.
Even the method of memory storage was unlike its competitors; the standard memory card for the Dreamcast was the Visual Memory Unit (VMU), a cross between a memory card and a Gameboy that let you manage data and download minigames to extend the functionality of many games. The only other thing like it that I can think of being made is Sony’s Pocketstation, and that never saw the light of day outside of Japan. You would not believe the number of button-cell batteries I burned through caring for Chao on the go.
Of course, all of the fancy tech and cool gadgets wouldn’t amount to much if the games on offer weren’t fun at all. Tiger’s Game.Com bragged of being a versatily console and handheld device, but the games for it all stank like a fragrant dog poop laying on the sidewalk on a hot Floridian summer day. Thankfully, fun games were something the Dreamcast had no shortage of, even in the brief few years that it was on the market, a slew of which I’d like to bring attention to.
Sonic Adventure 1 & 2
Maybe they haven’t aged as well as I’d like to think, but DAYUM if these weren’t some fun games back in the day. Sonic has always struggled with 3D, but the first attempts at true 3D Sonic games remain quite novel. The first Sonic Adventure had different play styles for each character, some of which were great (Sonic and Gamma, for me at least), others…not so much (the less said about Big, the better), in addition to, for its time, an intricate plot with each character’s story intertwining and playing out differently depending on which character you’re playing as.
Sonic Adventure 2, meanwhile, streamlined the gameplay and improved upon some of the first game’s flaws, cutting out the non-platforming related stages (aside from the treasure hunting stages, which are a touch better than in the first game). It’s story was also very compelling, being one of the darkest storylines in the entire series; government conspiracies, weapons of mass destruction, fucking murder! Maybe that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think we can all agree that SA2 handled “dark and gritty” a lot better than Shadow the Hedgehog’s stand-alone game.
Both games also featured a mini-game that could prove to be just as addicting, if not more so, than the games proper: Chao Gardens. Chao were little, adorable water monsters that players could raise like virtual pets, their popularity likely owed in part to the ubiquity of other virtual pets like Tamagotchi near the end of the millennium, as well as how easy-going and casual raising a Chao was compared to a Digi-Pet that would not wait for you to clean its shit up: you can enter and leave Chao Gardens freely, and you wouldn’t have to worry of your Chao dying of neglect in your absence. There’s also very deep mechanics at work for raising Chao, with their growth and evolution depending heavily on how well you raise them, what animals you give them, and what fruits you feed them, all so you can have them participate in races. The aforementioned VMU also expanded Chao functionality considerably, letting you raise them anywhere you wanted.
My relationship with Shenmue, these days, is very much that of a love-hate relationship. On the one hand, Shenmue popularized two aspects of gaming today that I loathe; Quick-Time Events, and over-blown game budgets (this game would’ve had to be bought by every DC owner TWICE before it could break even). On the other hand, there’s no denying that this game was a labor of love by Yu Suzuki. The attention to detail in Ryo Hazuki’s hometown of Yokosuka is staggering. Everything you can imagine can be interacted with, down to the last dresser drawer in Ryo’s house. Every resident of Yokosuka was unique from the others and had their own behaviors that they would go through, unlike every other NPC in the town, or other games for that matter. The story may be a tad formulaic, and most of the voice work left something to be desired, but the world of Shenmue was one that was very fun to explore.
Plus, this game introduced me to Space Harrier. If that’s not a good thing, you tell me what is.
Jet Set Radio
I had to convince my mother this game wouldn’t turn me into a graffiti-painting delinquent. It was a hard sell, but it paid off, and boy am I glad it did.
Jet Set Radio is very much unlike other games, then and today even. This was the game that helped to popularize cel-shaded graphics; the thick black outlines around the character models made this game look like an anime come to life, and eventually paved the way for the wicked-awesome graphics we see today from Arc System Works with Guilty Gear XRD and Dragonball FighterZ. The idea of playing a roller-blading hooligan throwing tags around the city and evading the police was also unique, and kept players on their toes as techno music accompanies their shenanigans. The game was a bit on the short side, but was challenging and fun enough that multiple playthroughs were warranted.
Making my own graffiti tags was also quite the timesink.
Phantasy Star Online
I may be a late bloomer to the Phantasy Star series, but it has become one very dear to me for helping me meet some of my closest friends (Hi, Tara!).
Phantasy Star was a series of JRPGs by Sega meant to compete with other big franchises like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. The original PSO, on the other hand, is an online multiplayer dungeon crawler that would change the course of the series from that point forward. As interstellar colonists investigating mysterious phenomena on an alien planet, players would delve into unique locals with characters they would create themselves to slay monsters, collect valuable items, and unravel the mysteries of the planet Ragol.
The original PSO is also very notable for its attempt to break the language barrier with a unique conversation system. While good ol’ fashioned keyboards remained in vogue, players also had the option of constructing sentences to transmit to other players in the area or party in those players’ native languages. Using this system, you could send a message saying “Help! This dragon is too powerful!”, and your friend in Japan would read it as “助けて！この龍は強すぎる！” It may not have seen much use, since players are more likely to congregate and play with those that can speak a common language fluently, but it was very kind of Sega to provide the option.
One thing that gets me straight in the feels is something from the original beta trailer for this game: “The world of Phantasy Star Online lasts for an eternity!” It is not uncommon for trailers and developers to hype games up with hyperbole (just ask Peter Molyneaux), but this is a statement that has held true for PSO! Even after the last official server for the last iteration of PSO shut down in 2008, private servers continue to run the game to this day, ensuring that the world of PSO truly remains eternal. Even with a proper sequel Phantasy Star Online 2 proving to be a pop culture staple in Japan, the original PSO remains one of the most beloved and enduring MMOs in history.
Skies of Arcadia
I’ve got friends who would skin my hide and leave me to hang like the Predator if I didn’t mention this.
Just about every console since the NES has a JRPG, and the Dreamcast is no exception. While Phantasy Star shifted towards MMO territory, those hoping for a sweeping single-player adventure still had Skies of Arcadia. As the daring sky pirate Vyse and his motley crew of adventurers, players fought to stop an evil empire from awakening an ancient evil while flying across a world of floating continents in a kickass airship. This game is among the most challenging JRPGs in the genre; a clever mind and strategic acumen are needed to survive battles with other pirates, monsters, and rival airships. The world of the game is also incredibly beautiful; I personally think it has much in common with Castle in the Sky, my favorite Hayao Miyazaki film. The soundtrack compliments the game incredibly, and is a joy to listen to by itself.
There are plenty of other games that made the Dreamcast incredible, but this article is long enough as it is, so I’ll have to give those games their proper due later. Suffice to say, though, the Dreamcast is a historical console that remains one of the most beloved in the history of the medium, not only by myself, but by hundreds of thousands of gamers the world over. It may have only been on the market for a few years, but it is said that the brightest stars are the ones that burn out the quickest.
And make no mistake, the Dreamcast is one of the brightest stars there ever was.
Thoughts on “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne Jones
Moving Castle is built on a wonderful conceit: what if the
world operated on fairytale tropes, but not on fairytale logic?
This is wonderfully complex stuff for a children’s book. It’s
got layer after layer, and each time you pull one back you discover another
underneath. Nothing is introduced by accident. Everything is significant, and
not in the way you expect. You’re likely to draw conclusions about certain
characters—the identity of the scarecrow, for instance—and then likely to be
wrong. Jones, it seems, was just as adept in the art of misdirection as any
magician. If the book has a fatal flaw, it’s that near the end it sags somewhat
under its own complexity, as the only way to really pull all of the disparate
threads together is to dump them in a pile and let them sort themselves out—which,
naturally, they do.
For those that know the story only from the movie, they’re
likely to be in for a shock. Though some scenes are taken directly from the
book, the whole aim of the story is different. The movie is a story about war. The
book is much more personal, focusing instead on the idea of transformation
(both literal and metaphorical). Every character ends the story in a different
place than where they began even if they’re sitting in the exact same spot.
Sophie just might be one of my favorite protagonists I’ve
ever met. She’s strong-willed and tough as jerky, but is also allowed to have
flaws, something that female protagonists are all too often barred from having.
One of my favorite elements of the story is that Sophie is never quite sure
what she wants in the long run, only in the moment, which leads to great
character bits such as her discovering her own penchant for magic. The
supporting cast is just as good. Howl is endearingly despicable, Michael and
Sophie’s building relationship is adorable (the scene where they puzzle over a
poem they think is a spell is possibly the book’s highlight), and Calcifer is…
well, he’s a snarky fire demon, but even he is shown to have depths. If there’s
a weak link in the cast, it comes from the book’s antagonist, the Witch of the
Waste. In her first few scenes she utterly steals the show, which leaves the
final confrontation with her feeling somewhat hollow. After some reflection,
though, I think this might have been Jones’s point: to show that she too isn’t
what she seems, but rather only a shell of what she once was, strutting like a
peacock to hide her own decline.
The world of Ingary is beautifully realized. It never feels
anything less than alive and thriving. Jones deftly sews magic into the seams
of the world, enfolding the reader in a new set of rules and logic that become second-nature
after a while—making the reveal of Howl’s origin seems genuinely strange and
alien in contrast. It’s a brilliant tactic, and one that serves to highlight
the book’s genre-savvy nature. This also serves to take things that might seem
contrived and make them feel natural.
As I said before, if the book falters, it’s near the end. It all
happens a bit fast. Another chapter to pull things together a bit more
organically would have been welcome, but in the end, it’s a small sin. To gripe
too much about everything falling neatly into place would be a bit obtuse. This
is, for all its sly self-awareness, a fairytale, and what a delightful
fairytale it is. This was my first encounter with Diana Wynne Jones, and if
this book is anything to go by, it will be far from my last.
I’ve only seen 3 movies featuring Billy Crystal but 2/3 are among my favorite movies ever (when Harry met Sally & howls moving castle yes it counts the dub is good) and while Monsters Inc, the other movie featuring him, isn’t like a top tier bec benepla certified fresh movie, Mike Wazowski is probably the best Pixar character ever concieved. So what I’m saying is Billy Crystal should win best actor every year at the oscars until he dies and then 5 years posthumously
okay but can we talk about how much even loves birthdays?? like he goes full out, baking a cake, organizing a party with loved ones, wanting to make the birthday kid feel as special as possible. so naturally, even wants to do all these things for isak and he’s already baking the cake, flour on his hands and face, when isak comes in and tells him that “you really don’t have to do this, even” and he tries to sound stern but completely fails because maybe this is exactly what he wants. even knows by now that isak likes to be cared for and he can protest how much he wants, even knows that deep down isak is insanely greatful. so even shakes his head, tells him that he wants to do this for him, and then turns his back to him, continuing with the cake. he can hear isak sigh softly and then isak is out of the kitchen, leaving him to himself. and the next day even is up before isak and making breakfast for him. when he’s all ready, he brings it to their bed and wakes isak up by peppering kisses all over his face and although isak makes a disgruntled sound at first, even can definitely feel his smile. he lets go of him with one last kiss to his lips and then grins at him widely, announcing that he’s made breakfast for the birthday boy and isak tells him again that he didn’t have to do this and even just smiles, shakes his head, and then urges isak on to just eat it. after breakfast isak goes to school (even teases him about how he’s already /graduated/ by now) and once he’s there, he suddenly gets a text from even with the longest, cheesiest birthday message he’s ever read. and isak texts back “that’s cute but like you already wished me a happy birthday?” and evens like “i know but i can never say it often enough because today 18 years ago my favorite human was born and we need to celebrate that” isak only texts back a red heart but he can’t keep off his smile of his face for the rest of the school day. when isak comes back from school, they’re watching isak’s favorite movie (“isak, im only watching this because i love you and it’s your birthday”) (isak knew this was his chance). soon they’re cuddled up and forget about the time until the doorbell rings and oh right, they invited people over. it’s not only isak and even that exist in this universe. and they’re having a party with all their loved ones and a great time and even loves seeing isak smile during the whole thing. it makes him so happy his boyfriend is happy and having fun. later that night when they fall into their bed together, isak snuggles up against even, giving him a few nose rubs before saying “thank you for today. i know i told you you didn’t have to do this but it was the best birthday i’ve ever had. so thank you” and that’s all what even had wanted, to make isak feel good, special, loved and cared for. he’s happy he’s achieved that, a little proud of himself, as he tells isak with a soft smile on his lips “of course” he gives him one last kiss before they drift off into sleep in each other’s arms 💕
•Didn’t really like Mal that much tbh, her and Ben had like 0 chemistry
•So much MALVIE, like Disney, EVIE SEEMS TO CARE MORE ABOUT MAL THAN BEN EVER DID
•LIKE MAL AND EVIE’S DUET? GAY
•Also Harry is the bisexual representation we all need (and I loved the eyeliner)
•Jane was adorable as always, and her and Carlos were kind of cute together
•Lonnie?? Don’t you mean MY LOVE LONNIE ONE OF THE BEST CHARACTERS IN THE MOVIE MAKING HER MOTHER, THE SAVIOR OF CHINA PROUD
•THEY PULLED BOBBY MOYNIHAN INTO THIS???
•Dizzy was SO CUTE and honestly one of my favorite parts of the movie hands DOWN
•The only songs that I really liked were Mal and Evie’s duet and the rap battle song with Uma’s crew, like it had a nice musical feel to it, and I like those songs (like Evil Like Me from D1) The other ones were okay I guess
•MAL’S HAIR DIDN’T MATCH HER YELLOW AND BLUE DRESS LIKE EVIE YOU SHOULD HAVE NOTICED THAT
•China Anne McClain was actually really good?? Like she actually put effort into it and it payed off like dude she tried and she was A+