February 8th, 2011

Scary Books

Primeval Series 4 Ep 7 Review

This appalling series ends, it was worse than series 3. Thusly I have no interest in series 5. This show is an intellectual wasteland. A chav vanishes during a prison visit. The team show up to uncover why and find a terror bird and multiple anomalies.

The stupid Matt needs a slap. Phillip is permanently grim faced. Danny returns, he never asks why Sarah isn’t around. Connor’s stupid. There is no point to Jess. There is a revelation about Ethan. This show comes to a near standstill whenever Jess, Emily, Matt or Ethan get acting space.

Phillip and Helen Cutter have a connection. Ethan whines and possibly kills Becker. Matt’s Emily obsession goes on and he reveals his not so big secret. But his acting is so flat and non-existent in the scene it is a non-event.

This was dull and awful Series 5 is set up as it is revealed the dumb Connor will destroy all life on Earth. D’oh.

Why are there sheets hung out in an empty prison? Where did Danny get the change of clothes? Why did Abby vanish for the last 15 minutes of this ep?

Best Lines:
You named your stick?”
“Listen it was just me and those terror birds for six months.”

“Drop the gun or I’ll drop you."

“Helen Cutter, dead?”
“As a dodo.”
“Excellent.”

“Well strictly speaking it was a combination between a raptor and a steep cliff that finally finished her off.”

“I don’t belong here and neither do you.”

“We exist underground because the surface of the planet can’t sustain life anymore. It’s sterile because of something mankind did.”

Scary Books

Outcasts (2011) Ep 1 Reviewed

Hawaii Five-0’ was a letdown and so was this. A colony has been founded on a distant world. Finally another transport ship has arrived after a five year voyage. The colony has been established for five years and there is only the one city Forthaven and a lot of secrets.

Mitchell (Jamie Bamber) wants to leave Forthaven and set up another settlement with his annoying child actor son and wife. But his wife has informed on him. So he goes mad, or so we have to assume as Bamber is a terrible actor. The colony is ruled by Richard Tate (Liam Cunningham of ‘Dog Soldiers’) and his frozen faced cohort Stella (Hermione Norris of ‘Spooks’), who are lying fascists.

Tate makes sappy speeches and is plotting against the expeditionary teams that are surveying the planet. Stella likes to use mind reading machines on people. They are keeping secrets about the Evacuation Programme from Earth and the fact there is something outside the fence.

This is like a stiff upper lip version of ‘Earth2’. Except with bad acting and annoying characters. Mitchell’s wife Karina was a liar, her buddy Fleur is an idiot and the only interesting character is Cass.

The transport ship burns up in the atmosphere but some people survive, one of whom is Tate and Stella’s nemesis Julius (Eric Mabius of ‘Ugly Betty’). This was mediocre; however I’ll watch ep 2 because there is a gleam of potential. Then again I thought the same about 'Bonekickers' and 'The Deep'.

What happened to the rest of the flotilla? Why has contact been lost with Earth? What are these whiteouts the colony suffers from? What are Tate and Stella lying about? What did Cass do? There was a nuclear war on Earth? What was the illness during the early days of the colony?
Scary Books

Quotes of the Day

According To Jim’ Quote
Drop me like a plague rat at a pet show.”

Them Bones’ Quotes
The pits of hell are opening and bones are crawling from the cold, damp earth. Vengeance is neither swift nor just, but inexorable.”

“You’d never be tempted to forget the unforgivable.”

Scary Books

Marchlands (2011) Ep 1 Reviewed

Three families live in the same remote house in different time periods. Somehow something malevolent connects all three in 1968, 1987 and 2010.

In 1968 a young couple live with their vile in-laws and are suffering from the death of their daughter Alice. Everything is dreary, with hideous wallpaper, attire and a general miasma of coldness and misery. Alice’s mother Ruth is an irritating shrike, her grief makes her shrill and nobody listens to her or wants to be around her.

In 1987 a couple and their two children live in the same house. The attire is still hideous but manages to be warm. But they listen to Tiffany, watch ‘Crossroads’, wear terrible clothes and their daughter Amy has an imaginary friend named Alice. Amy’s behaviour is causing problems as the vile little brat is a budding sociopath.

In 2010 a young couple are redecorating the house in sterile IKEA style and awaiting the birth of their child. The wife finds a book and a mural that belonged to Alice and decides to name her own child Alice.

This is very good. There is a mounting sense of unease as in 2010, the mother-to-be uncovers artefacts from the 1960’s. The 1987 mother (Alex Kingston) wears dungarees and aerobic gear and looks like she needs a visit from Gok Wan.

Her vile teenage son Scott is still lurking around the house in 2010. He’s all grown up now, but he knows something. The mystery intrigues. Something ominous is going on and I look forward to finding out what.

How did the 2010 couple afford the house? How did Alice die? What does the 2010 husband know about what is going on? What is the significance of the deaf girl from 1968 knowing the 2010 husband? What happened to Amy’s coat and cross?

Best Lines:
She’s always lived here.”

“Television? The death of conversation if you ask me.”

“It’s like she’s still here.”

“Bloody Ophelia.”

To Light The Way To Bed

Book Reviews: The House Next Door +Steampunk'd +A Plague of Angels +The Best Horror of the Year 2

The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons
This is an engrossing ghost story set in the American Deep South. It’s not set in a ruined antebellum plantation house featuring a southern belle wailing for her lost world, but rather in a modern suburb. Well modern meaning the 1970’s when the book was originally published.

In an upper middle class Atlanta suburb, construction begins on a vacant lot. A new house is to be built to the dismay of Colquitt and Walter Kennedy who live next door. But privacy concerns soon turn out to be the least of their worries. There’s something wrong about the beautiful modern house.

The Harralsons move in. They are happy newly weds, at first. Soon death and disgrace cause them to exit and the house is up for sale. A new family move in and the pattern repeats. The tension ratchets up as Walter and Colquitt in between dining at the club and visiting their beach house are forced to accept the unthinkable. The house next door is wrong.

Walter and Colquitt know they have to do the right thing but it is costly for them. Friends turn against them and they are mocked and despised for their efforts to help. This is an excellent haunted house story.

Best Line:
There’s something Tennessee Williams about the whole tribe of ‘em.”

~
Steampunk’d edited by Jean Rabe and Martin H. Greenberg
This is a good collection of tales that reimagines the Victorian era if it were powered by steam tech.

Chance Corrigan and the Tick Tock King of the Nile
A good romp through Egypt with rotters, adventure and magic.

The Battle of Cumberland Gap
The American War for Independence was lost and now there is a Franco-British race for Kentucky coal. Whoever gets the coal will decide the fate of the Napoleonic wars. This is okay.

Portrait of a Lady in a Monocle
A wronged woman seeks justice. This is okay.

Foretold
Meteorite hunts and augury in Russia. This is good.

Of A Feather
A bizarre adventure in the Amazon. This is an okay quasi-sequel to ‘The Lost World’.

Scourge of the Spoils
A downbeat tale of the price of progress.

The Nubian Queen
An interesting alternate history that sees a decedent of the victorious Cleopatra fight for her throne. This is good.

Imperial Changeling
An okay tale of the fey in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The Transmogrification Ray
A mad scientist accidentally crates something ominous. This is good.

~
A Plague of Angels by Sheri S. Tepper
This is a fantasy novel set in the far future. The remnants of the human race live either on farms or in the last few derelict cities.

An orphan girl lives in an archetypal village being prepared for the day she must fulfil her destiny. The farm boy Abasio runs away to a city and is forced to join a gang. Meanwhile in the last fusion power plant on Earth, the wicked witch makes her evil plans.

This is an intricate tale and is very enjoyable. It has malevolent and dark influences, an overly labyrinthine cunning plan and many characters. It’s great fun.

~
The Best Horror Of The Year Volume Two edited by Ellen Datlow
An enjoyable collection of scary, creepy and disturbing horror tales that has a somewhat unnerving cover.

Lowland Sea
An okay homage to Poe’s ‘The Masque of the Red Death’.

Each Thing I Show You Is A Piece Of My Death
An excellent and unnerving tale of a dead man who keeps appearing where he shouldn’t.

What Happens When You Wake Up In The Night
A little girl wakes up to find her nightlight is gone. But that’s not the only thing that’s changed. This is creepy.

Wendigo
A woman eats and eats. This is an unnerving tale of monstrosity with a weird ending.

In The Porches Of My Ears
A couple choose to sit next to the wrong people in a cinema. Okay.

Lonegan’s Luck
A scary western.

The Lion’s Den
A creepy tale of a strange incident in a zoo.

Lotophagi
A freaky tale of goings on at a commune.

The Gaze Dogs of Nine Waterfall
Two women look for vampire dogs. This is okay.

Dead Loss
A fishing boat hauls in something it shouldn’t have. This is okay.

Strappado
An okay tale of two lovers who go to an art show, but they’re the exhibits.

Technicolor
A college professor teaches a special class. This is very good.

Best Line:
“Those forests are the ones that people Don’t Go In. Or if they do, not all of them makes it out.”