Monday, 14 December 2015

Kweeny Reviews: Krampus

I know I've been lax on my blogging this year, and I am pretty sure Krampus is gonna come for me. If he's half as cool as the one in the recent movie, I am totally gonna squee when he comes to my door!

Too bad I don't have a chimney...

Krampus (2015) is a movie fans of both the legend and of the darker, creepier side of the holidays, will appreciate. From start to finish, it is a morality play that is familiar to all of us. Messages such as be careful what you wish for and once something is done, it cannot be undone. And most of all, when you loose all hope, you loose everything. 

These important lessons both kids and adults need to be reminded of.

Krampus shows us that PG 13 horror can be done, and done well. A lot of horror uses gore as a crutch for scaring and shocking their audiences. While I like a bloody mess of a movie like anyone else, I know horror is more nuanced as a genre than just blood. There is very little blood in this movie. Instead, dread is built up with excellent cinematography, dark, festive imagery, and sound. The sounds in this film are just fantastic. From creepy jingling, stomping, and quiet, hissing monster sounds. Some moments are tense because the dread is built up so beautifully. We don't even get a full look at the big demon himself until closer to the end of the movie. Which is a good thing. There is so much going on building up to his reveal, that you aren't bored at all waiting for him to show his full face. He's seen bouncing around near the beginning and stopping people in the snow, letting us know he's not Santa Clause and he's got a list of his own.

"Krampus doesn't give. He takes." Omi tells us, as the family starts to understand the plight they have been put into. The movie starts off showing us some of the worst parts about the holiday, including the family we are stuck with through the movie. There is someone in the mix for everyone to hate as characters. We all have a relative that is just hard to be around for various reasons. They are all well acted, don't get me wrong. They are just mostly genuinely horrible people. I think Omi and Max are truly the only redeeming people in the mix, though all of them before they are taken redeem themselves a little before they are gone. The movie is really good at playing with tropes you'd find in a typical PG 13 horror movie. I busted a gut at times at not just the snarky dialogue, but at the way the movie would make you think one thing, but do another. Especially near the end. I'd say more, but I don't want to ruin it. It's just brilliant. A prefect way to show the horror of a fate delivered by Krampus.

For a new take on an old classic monster, I think Krampus is a great film. It introduces people to the "Shadow of Saint Nicholas" in the most perfectly unseelie fashion. With monsters, helpers, terror in the snow, evil toys and the horrible darkness of the horned devil himself. I think seeing Krampus alone just stomp around with his hoofed feet is worth the ticket price.

It's nice to see more support for the dark side of the holidays. I can't wait until Krampus is on DVD to add it to my festive horror classics. If you've seen Krampus, feel free to chat with me in the comments about it!

Now if you excuse me, I wanna go put on some horns and harass my husband. *evil witch cackle*

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Kweeny's Recap of H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon!

This last weekend I got the chance to go to my first film festival. And it wasn't just any film festival. I went to the  H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon!

I didn't know what to expect when I got there, and I sadly missed half the festival. They had a really cool Speakeasy event on Thursday, but since I don't live in Portland it can be hard to get up there. My friend went and said it was fabulous, and people all dressed in 1920's fashion to keep with the Lovecraft theme. However, I did get there for Saturday and Sunday, and me and my friends watched many wonderful short films. The films were mostly really good. The odd one or two needed more fleshing out but nothing I saw was outright bad. I had my favorites of course, like Cool Air, Hum, The Stomach and The Littlest Cthulhuist.

Cool Air was a wonderful retelling of the short story by H.P. Lovecraft. They went out of their way to make it really feel like the 1920's too! I was impressed with everything.

Hum was a creepy short about how sound can drive someone completely mad. Having PTSD, I have felt similarly to how the poor lady felt in the film.  I can be triggered by sound sometimes, and it feels like it is killing you from the inside out. This film was well done.

The Stomach was a really creepy concept of a medium who holds spirits in his belly, and people talk through a tube he puts in his mouth to the spirits. It doesn't end well let's just put it that way.

And The Littlest Cthulhuist was hilarious! It was a fake documentary about families who are practicing "Cthulhu Witnesses". Things get out of hand of course, because one of the teachings of the Cthulhu Witnesses is, "We don't get mad. We get even!"

In between films I got the chance to wander around and check out the small village of booths with amazing art, all dark and inspired by monsters. I didn't have much money to buy anything, but I was impressed with a lot of the stuff I saw.

I also got the chance to hug and meet Jeffery Combs, which made my event! He is super charming and sweet. I would love to see him in more films, even if they aren't horror. We went to the viewing of Reanimator, which was the first time I have seen it on a big screen. It was great to hear people laugh at the same points I do. After the film Jeffery Combs did a great QA with the audience. He really appreciates the horror genre, but he did sound like he wished he could get more work. Acting is a hard gig, so I have nothing but respect for him.

I would highly recommend the film festival, especially if you are a fan of H.P. Lovecraft. It is an amazing event, full of monsters and creeping dread! Perfect way to spend the beginning of October!

Happy Halloween month monsterkids! I will be back with more creepy goodies, so stay tuned to the blog!

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


The horror world was rocked this week when we found out one of our beloved creators, Wes Craven, died. It was a shock too a lot of us. I know I personally was so devastated I had a good cry about it, and I needed time to formulate my thoughts on the matter. Wes was not just a filmmaker. He was one of us. He was a lover of the horror genre and fought his cancer bravely. He will be deeply missed.

I talked about my feelings a little bit on Archivists Bet On Sexy Witches, a podcast I co-host with my other fellow Witches. We all shared our feelings about him, and I was in awe how deeply the horror community was touched by this. We all have come together in one form or another to share our feelings on Wes, because whether you like his films or not, you cannot deny his impact on the genre as a whole. Personally, I think he was a brilliant man, who showed us the power of nightmares made flesh.

Speaking of nightmares made flesh, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite Wes Craven movies with you. These movies shaped me as a kid. Watching them late at night when I was supposed to be sleeping was one of my favorite pastimes. Hell, sometimes my mother would watch them with me anf forget to punish me for staying up.

I do get my love of horror from her.


5. Scream

When Scream came out it reinvented the slasher genre, while at the same time giving us great satire. It was gory, funny, and had some amazingly shot kills. One thing Wes was good at was framing a scene, and many scenes in this movie are really great to watch. Plus, the twist ending made the movie live on in slasher history.

4. People Under The Stairs

I love this film for it's weirdness. It has some amazing acting and over-the-top shit like the S&M family relationship. As things unravel we get some really good commentary on child abuse, and I still get chills watching poor Alice clean up after her "parents". The family is downright creepy, and it definitely teaches you that you may be able to break into a house, but you might not find a way out alive after.

3. Last House On The Left

This film is a hard one to sit through for many reasons. It has a great soundtrack and powerful imagery, but it's really not a gentle film. I mean, you know things are going to be bad when the two teens in this film come across some escape convicts who are in the mood to be assholes. The torture and rape in this film is hard to stomach, but I applaud Wes for not pulling punches with it. He shows it ALL. The twist with the parents exacting revenge is well done and really satisfying.

2. The Hills Have Eyes

I put this one above Last House On The Left because I honestly enjoyed it more for the weird, cannibalistic family. It's one of those vacation-horror films that really makes you wonder about people who live in the mountains. There is a strong commentary on suburban folk as well, and how they demonize those they don't understand. Of course, in this case they have a right to be afraid. This time. The kills in this movie as brutal-as-fuck, but that's why I love Wes. He doesn't hold back when he unleashes horrors on you.

1, Nightmare On Elm Street

I know it's probably cliche, but I love this movie best of all. I think out of all his movies, it is the most creative and inventive, and I still get shivers watching Freddy Krueger stalk Tina Grey. There are some really beautifully horrible scenes, like Tina in the body bag, that just stick with me. I watched this at a really young age, and I still remember how afraid I was to sleep after. Krueger is a monster, through and through, and though he becomes more lovable as the series goes on, I never forgot that he was a child-killing bastard who just wanted to hurt people.


So those are a few of my favorite Wes Craven movies. He will live on among us monster kids in our dark dreams. What are some of your favorite movies? I think I am going to watch The Hills Have Eyes tonight. I haven't seen that movie in years. RIP Wes Craven. Thank you for all the nightmares.

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