Category: Horror

An Interpretation of BIRD BOX

 

TSJ Interprets BIRD BOX, a Netflix Original

BIRD BOX is a gripping horror/survival/post-apocalyptic film. The disaster reveal happens near the beginning of the movie, but it does not explain the “monsters” in any real detail (more on this later). This is another film in the horror sub-genre involving a sensory deprivation. Recent examples include DON’T BREATHE and A QUIET PLACE. In those films, the story forces characters to remain silent or risk death. In the case of BIRD BOX, however, the sense involved is sight. If the characters see the monster, they die — in this case, victims kill themselves after witnessing the creatures.

TSJ Reviews THE LAST OF US

 

TSJ Reviews THE LAST OF US

THE LAST OF US is a survival/horror game set in the United States following a pandemic that has wiped out or infected the majority of the world’s population. The storyline follows Joel, a survivor, as he escorts 14 year old Ellie across the country to a group of scientists who might be able to create a vaccine to the infection using her natural immunity. What follows is one of the most emotionally-charged, intense, and satisfying video game journeys I have ever experienced. This game is up there with ALIEN: ISOLATION (see my review here) and PREY as being a top-tier effort, and it is a shining example of what a gaming experience should be. The story is simultaneously emotional, heartbreaking, uplifting and tragic, and each sequence is gripping. Each “chapter” ends on a cliffhanger, and I simply had to keep playing to find out what would happen to Joel and Ellie. This game is, simply put, a masterpiece.

TSJ Reviews HOLD THE DARK

 

TSJ Reviews HOLD THE DARK

Film: HOLD THE DARK, An Original @Netflix #Movie
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Riley Keough, Alexander Skarsgard
Directed by: Jeremy Saulnier
Screenplay by: Macon Blair
Based on the Novel By: William Giraldi

This is a captivating and moody film holding layer upon layer of meaning that will keep viewers guessing until the end. It’s compelling and engaging, thanks to strong acting and beautiful cinematography, and it reminded me of WIND RIVER crossed with THE REVENANT. It’s a mystery, a crime thriller, and a brutal examination of the thin line that divides human from animal. Answers are not stated outright, but the clues are all there … so watch closely.

TSJ Considers Telling a Truth … or Taking a Dare

 

TSJ Reviews TRUTH OR DARE and Ruminates on Blumhouse Productions

FILM: TRUTH OR DARE
Stars: Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane
Director: Jeff Wadlow (KICK ASS 2, CRY WOLF, NEVER BACK DOWN)
Writers: Michael Reisz, Jillian Jacobs
Production Co.: Blumhouse Productions
Budget: $3 500 000

I purchased TRUTH OR DARE on Blu/DVD/Digital Download for roughly $25.00 at the local Best Buy. It’s how I watch many films. The price is right, especially when you’re getting both a physical copy along with a digital download. I picked TRUTH OR DARE this week not because of the title or concept, but more because of the producer’s track record.

TSJ Reviews CAMP DEATH III in 2D!

 

Review:  CAMP DEATH III in 2D!

I had the opportunity to review this “camp” horror film (see what I did there?) by director Matt Frame and starring Dave Peniuk and Angela Galanopoulos. The film is currently making the horror festival circuit, and campy is actually an understatement when describing this horror farce. Crowdfunding helped with the movie’s $35 000 budget, and apparently the filmmakers spent four years working on it.

Radio Interview with TSJ on Writing Thrillers, Managing a Busy Life, STAR WARS, and THE WAR BENEATH

 

Radio Interview with TSJ on 106.9 THE X’s Your Life, Your Way with Host Gail Barker

TSJ and Gail Barker, 8 August 2018

On 8 August I participated in the radio show YOUR LIFE, YOUR WAY at local radio station 106.9 THE X. The topics of conversation ranged from managing a busy life while also writing thrillers to my new underwater adventure THE WAR BENEATH. Gail Barker and I also discussed

TSJ’s List of the Best Science Fiction Movies of the 1970’s

The Best Science Fiction Movies of the 1970’s

I should clarify that a film’s presence on this blog post is entirely subjective based on my experiences growing up. These were my creative formative years, during which I was discovering genre books, television shows, and movies. I was born in 1970, so really the 80’s were my true introduction to Science Fiction Horror, Thriller and Adventure — books by Asimov and Crichton and films by Cameron, Spielberg, Carpenter, and Verhoeven — but the 1970’s played a huge role in my love for the genre. Detroit Channel 7 broadcast most of the films I saw. Many had poor effects, but the stories were so powerful and the actors so committed that the movies rose above the rest of the stories that were available at the time. The themes were relevant, the plots compelling and interesting, all the base human emotions like revenge and lust and greed and hate were on full display, they spoke of issues that people dealt with every day, and they featured powerful scores and incredible directing. They were gripping.