Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Movie Review - Saint Maud (2019)

The headline of an article on Daily Beast "Inside the Terrifying 'Saint Maud,' the First Great Horror Movie of 2021." Unfortunately, I have to disagree. "Saint Maud" is an A24 movie and anyone who knows me knows I'm a big fan of their movies. The "Blackcoat's Daughter," "It Comes At Night," "The Killing of a Sacred Deer," "The Lighthouse," and three of my most favorite movies, "The Witch," "Hereditary" and "Midsommar." "Saint Maud" definitely fits the style of those movies in some ways (slow burn, creepy moments), but not enough to be called "Terrifying." I was not terrified. Yes, Maud's religious fervor could be construed as terrifying to those of us who do not identify as religious, but that, I believe, is stretching the context of what is scary. Religion has been used to good effect to terrify and disturb (see "The Witch"), but not so much in this movie. The performances are good. Jennifer Ehle as Maud's patient was excellent as always. Morfydd Clark does portray Maud with intensity, but it's not enough to truly be scary. Luckily, the movie is only around 84 minutes, but when the most terrifying part of the movie (more gross than terrifying) is at the very beginning, watching the rest is just a let down.

Review also posted on Jackmeats Flix.

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Thursday, February 18, 2021

Cover Reveal - Usher House Rising by Don Roff

The first of a brand new trilogy and a modern retelling of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher." This trilogy will entice fans of American Horror Story, Bates Motel, and American Psycho.

Life after her high school graduation sucks for Mads Bland—her foster mother has died, her boyfriend has broken up with her, she can't afford community college, and it seems that she'll work in a grocery store forever.

When a mysterious invitation to Usher House arrives at her door, however, everything changes. Mads soon learns that her real name is Madeline Usher and that she has inherited the crumbling mansion in a remote part of Georgia. What's more, she discovers that she has a twin brother, the quick-witted and devil-may-care Roderick Usher. At first, things seem excellent—Mads meets a beautiful guy, Liam Delaney, who operates his father's farm down the road, she has inherited the remainder of the Usher fortune, and she now has a sprawling home, a place of her own.

However, Mads finds out that she's a pawn in a deadly game—her narcissistic brother is jealous of her romantic relationship with Liam, so he gaslights and imprisons his new-found sister within the haunted confines of the manor. Mads must battle against the inherited insanity that every Usher family member has succumbed to and embrace her hidden strengths that she didn't know she had to survive the madness of Usher House. (Goodreads)

About the author
Don Roff is no stranger to scary and suspenseful fiction. Over the past 12 years, his terrifying yarns have been published under the Scholastic banner with titles like Scary Stories, Werewolf Tales, Dragon Adventures, and Terrifying Tales. In adult fiction, he has written two bestselling works—Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection, published by Chronicle Books/Simon & Schuster UK, as well as the supernatural thriller, Snowblind, published by Brambleberry Books. Snowblind a chilling story about four Army Rangers snowbound in a haunted lodge, is currently in development as a major motion picture starring Karl Urban (Thor: Ragnarok, Star Trek), Ashley Greene (Twilight), and Forrest Goodluck (The Revenant). In addition, his darkly humorous YA novel, CLARE AT 16, will be published in 2019, as well as a major film. His suspense radio series Darkside Drive, on CJSW 90.9 FM radio (now available on iTunes), has completed its second season. He also writes a popular monthly "Monster in the House" screenwriting blog for the Save the Cat website based on Blake Snyder's ubiquitous, blockbuster book. A former US Army Ranger, Don resides in the Pacific Northwest. (Website)

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