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Fantasia Film Review: Tragedy Girls

#TragedyGirls might be trending.

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Sadie (Brianna Hildebrand) and McKayla (Alexandra Shipp) are the Tragedy Girls, the online duo that posts tweets and videos on all news related to serial killers. When a series of deaths start to occur in town, the Sheriff’s office is quick to rule them out as accidental. Sadie and McKayla know this is false because they have the actual serial killer Lowell (Kevin Durand) locked up in a basement! But wait, there’s more. With him out of the way, the girls can go on the murder spree they’ve always dreamed about with a scapegoat to take all the blame.

Director Tyler MacIntyre has co-written this crazy murder-adventure of two popular girls trying to make it big in the online trending world. They will kill off rivals and past lovers just to get their number of followers up. The result is a horror comedy of friendship and gore that will melt your heart if it doesn’t cut your head first.

First of all, this is one of those satires that doesn’t exist in mainstream anymore. Paying tribute to dark comedies like HEATHERS and horror classics like CARRIE, it tries to do its own thing as it illustrates how sociopathic social media can be. Reason and logic has ceased to exist, chaos reigns, tributes and vigils turn into crowd mobs and the number of followers for Sadie and McKayla keep going on.

Recommended for gore and horror-comedy/satire lovers. The almost joyful way in which Sadie and McKayla’s friendship exists while they hack and slash victims will be put to the test as their fame goes up and love is in the air. The slasher genre needed a movie like this one to rejuvenate itself. Don’t forget to watch, share, comment and subscribe.

That will do for now.

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Fantasia Film Review: Sequence Break

Why don’t you try turning it off and back on again?

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Oz (Chase Williams) lives happily bringing back to life old arcade machines from the 80’s. He’s quiet, introverted and socially distant. He’s not ready to play co-op when Tess (Fabiane Theresa) comes along. But Tess is just what the doctor ordered, a single player that knows her way around the old games that Oz reveres so much.

But soon enough, a video game card arrives in the mail that doesn’t match any game that Oz has ever seen. When he hooks it up to an arcade, the game seems simple enough. The more he plays, the weirder things get. The controls seem to melt in Oz’s hands, as if reality is bending and the game is melting into his mind.

He’s not the only person affected. Tess keeps looking at the black arcade, somehow drawn to it. A homeless man keeps breaking into the shop, talking in a deranged manner, warning Oz of apocalyptic consequences resting inside the game he’s playing.

Director and writer Graham Skipper brings us a strange little film in which choices matter and progress can’t be saved. The mystic homeless man quotes Nietzsche with the line “if you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you” as a warning. In my opinion, he should’ve quoted H.P. Lovecraft instead.

There are certain refreshing elements in Sequence Break that I can’t help myself from spoiling. My favorite is that Tess does not become the manic pixie girl for Oz. She’s just into video games and she likes Oz. My second favorite is that Oz doesn’t quiz her about her nerd credentials (i.e. gatekeeping) but accepts what she says at face value.

Highly recommended to see the crazy and the weird that pulls you into horror as if video games had always something haunted in them. Perhaps they do. There’s a moment in the film, that I won’t ruin for you, in which the storyline progresses as it would in a video game. That’s all I will say. At some point I will have to include this movie into a spoiler analysis, but for now I will give you a chance to put in a coin and press start when you’re ready to play.

That will do for now.

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Series Issues: Doctor Who Falls, Finale Thoughts

Spoilers might shoot you in the back.

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(Source: BBC One)

You know how this goes, as much as that spoiler warning goes up. I don’t really like to recap an episode, specially when I like it so much. The series has been giving little hints about something else, and as it happens it goes all the way back to the first episode, to The Pilot.

But I’m jumping ahead. Pearl Mackie has been a subtle force to be reckoned with as Bill Potts. I really thought that we lost Bill. As it happens, we get to see Bill as Bill again. Bill is still a Cyberman. We see Bill because she still has her self-image as human. It’s a really good way to perceive her sometimes as she sees herself and sometimes as the Cyberman that other people cower away from.

They’re going into a battle that they can’t win. The Cybermen are coming. The Master and Missy are leaving, despite the pleas from the Doctor. Missy hesitates longer than normal, and we know we could be seeing a turn. A turn that when it comes, it comes a little too late. The Master seems to have a problem turning into Missy, and Missy seems to have evolved beyond her past incarnation. A pity that the Doctor never gets to see it.

There’s a quixotic attitude in the Doctor for this confrontation, a sense that he’s going into a battle he can’t possible win. He knows it, he knows the odds, he’s just doing it because it’s the right thing to do. A heroic and altruistic mindset that knows that even if he gives his life he might be giving the small community of humans a very slim chance, a chance that might translate into barely a few more drops of time living. There was a certain feeling, like running at windmills, of bravery regardless of outcome.

I was glad to see that Bill was spared the cursed life of a Cyberman prison. I didn’t expect Heather to turn up (the water fiend/friend from The Pilot). Now what used to be a doomed destiny becomes Bill’s chance at freedom. In typical cruel irony, the Doctor doesn’t get to see Bill’s future.

Instead, he’s transported to his beloved TARDIS. He’s sustained enough damage though. With an imminent regeneration looming, the Doctor stalls. He doesn’t want to regenerate. He doesn’t want to change anymore. It’s a middle-regeneration crisis he’s going through. He stumbles out of the TARDIS, still trying to put out the regeneration fires. Then a voice calls out and he calls back.

It’s the Doctor. Not a Doctor, but THE Doctor. The first ever Doctor in the flesh. Of course this is David Bradley (Filch!) playing the role of the original William Hartnell as he did back in 2013’s An Adventure in Space and Time.

Highs/Lows/FinaleThoughts:

  • I was glad to see Pearl Mackie again in the flesh, even if it was Bill having a illusory image of herself. That was very well executed.
  • The Master and Missy’s double betrayal. Backstabbing each other is the literal interpretation of the Master sabotaging himself.
  • Missy’s sonic is an umbrella. A dark Mary Poppins indeed. I will miss Missy though.
  • Nardole actually organizes the resistance. That almost makes me forgive him for running away and leaving the Doctor in the hands of the Master and Missy.
  • “Where there’s tears, there’s hope.” That line had a lot of reach in this episode, when said by the Doctor to a doomed Bill, when said by Heather to a converted Bill and when said by Bill to a dying Doctor.
  • The Doctor figuratively becoming Don Quixote and charging at the Cybermen as if they were his proverbial windmills. Also, Nardole blows up a windmill.
  • The Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) meeting the First Doctor (William Hartnell played by David Bradley).
  • I thought The Doctor would end up using his regenerative energy to restore Bill Potts’ body. Then again, I like this solution much better.
  • If the intention was to have Heather be the solution for Bill’s predicament, I wish some more forecasting had been used sprinkled across the rest of the series. Some scenes make allusion at Bill’s tears, however. I guess we just had to believe there was no way out for Bill.
  • The mystery of how the Twelfth and the First Doctor meet, and the actual regeneration to Thirteen will be revealed in the 2017’s Christmas Special.

That will do for now.

 

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