Until Dawn (2015)

It can be a hard knock life out there for a console-tied horror lovin' gamer like me. Sure, there are classics like Resident Evil and Silent Hill, but there is room in my heart for more. However, in recent years horror games have generally morphed into action games with a horror skin; while scaring the player still figures into the equation, newer titles tend to be fast-paced and combat heavy instead of atmosphere-laden mood and exploration pieces. (One need only look at the evolution of the Resident Evil games to get the gist–it's hard to believe that Resident Evil and Resident Evil 5 are in the same series.) Don't get me wrong, there are still flashes of brilliance–P.T. terrorized me more than anything else in my life ever has, Alien: Isolation is a fantastic fright fest, and even the lo-fi aesthetics of games like Home and Lone Survivor can belie some gripping experiences. But by and large, I'm always thirsty for new horror games that don't solely revolve around shooting monsters.

You can imagine, then, that I was really fucking excited for Until Dawn, a survival/adventure horror game that emphasizes story, character interaction, exploration, and decision making.


The plot features a setup that's straight from the early '80s heyday of the slasher flick: Ten friends spend the weekend at a remote mountain lodge, but after a prank goes awry, two of the party members end missing and presumed dead. A year later, the remaining eight friends return to the lodge for another weekend, but guess what? They're not alone. Yep, it seems there's a masked killer on the loose. Go figure!


When dawn finally comes, the number of survivors remaining is up to the player. You're frequently faced with choices, from seemingly insignificant ones (do you give a sincere or a snarky response to an innocuous question?) to ones that can immediately result in life or death for a character (the killer is chasing you, do you run or hide?). Anyone who's ever yelled at the screen during a horror movie will delight in taking control of characters normally deemed moronic...and they'll find out how damn difficult it is to make a split-second decisions when you're in a panic.

Once the game gets rolling, it doesn't stop. The train is inexorable, and it chugs along...until dawn. There is no going back if you make a wrong choice or if you miss a clue whilst exploring, and you can only live (or not live, as the case may be) with your decisions. While some mistakes are obvious, the game will tell you what "butterfly effect" an earlier action has had. You know, like maybe that snarky response of yours hours earlier means that someone isn't exactly rushing to come to your aid now.


The characters, as you might expect, are also straight out of early '80s horror: there's the jock, the jokester, the mean girl, the probably final girl, the horny couple, etc. Before the action begins, you've got to wade through some dopey dialogue, and I admit I found myself saying "I don't care if any of these assholes makes it through the night." After all, most of the victims in a generic slasher flick are just there to be killed. If you can tolerate them before that, great...but chances are there are some you can't wait to see die just so they'll shut up.

But I'll be damned if everyone didn't grow on me during Until Dawn. I'm not saying the characters end up more than the archetypes they start out as, or that they ever have, you know, depth. But listen: when you are tasked with seeing a character through a particularly grueling sequence of events, you become very invested in their survival. I was shocked when I realized that the character I liked the least ended up being the one I was rooting for the most. Seriously, early on I was thinking that I'd try to get her killed intentionally I hated her so much. Her personality never really underwent a change, but damn, she endured so much that I wanted her to live. Ultimately, she didn't make it and it was sort of devastating, for the interactive nature of the game had us buddied up. I fucked up, and she died. As active participants, players bear a responsibility in Until Dawn that they don't in passive entertainment such as Friday the 13th. For a lifelong horror fan, it's a unique, terrific experience.


Gameplay is accessible even to those new to video games. Yeah sure, you need to have fast reactions much of the time, but it's generally little more than matching onscreen button prompts, moving a stick in one direction or another, or–in the most nerve-wracking sequences–not moving the controller at all because doing so will give away your location.

Until Dawn is frequently beautiful to look at, and also frequently very strange to look at. The odd mix of motion capture and animation often dips low into uncanny valley, leaving characters looking more like creepy robots than actual people. (It doesn't help when characters are made to resemble their real-life counterparts, such as actors Peter Stormare and Hayden Panettiere.) More often than not, however, your mouth will be agape at the visuals in, like, a good way. And also because of the gore. Oh yes, there's enough blood and gore here to do Tom Savini proud.


The story twists and turns, touching on plenty of beloved genre tropes and touchstones, and the horror pedigree of co-writer Larry Fessenden readily apparent. (Do you love Larry Fessenden? I do. I don't love everything he does, but he's a cool cat and it seems like he loves horror as much as you or I.) If you like horror movies and video games, Until Dawn is absolutely a no-brainer.

My first playthrough saw only two of the eight characters survive. Can you believe that? I thought for sure I'd make only the right decisions and everyone would waltz out of that lodge alive and happy in the light of a new day. I mean, I have a horror blog. You don't get more expert than that!

Until Dawn is a PlayStation 4 exclusive.

Tales Of Horror The Haunted Crossroads

Tales Of Horror The Haunted Crossroads 2-12-37 http://oldtimeradiodvd.com  or  http://xstreamplatinumhd.com

Tales Of Horror The Haunted Crossroads

Tales Of Horror The Haunted Crossroads 2-12-37 http://oldtimeradiodvd.com  or  http://xstreamplatinumhd.com

Contemporary Family Room

Contemporary Family Room - Portland

Vegetarian Table

vegetarian table

Stack Of Chocolate Chips Cookies – Good For

Auckland Dominatrix
stack of chocolate chips cookies - good for background

Modern Home Gym

Modern Home Gym - Dc Metro

amazon one-star reviews: MARTYRS (2008)


It's sure been a grand old time jib-jabbering in the comments of my recent 20 Best Films of the 20th Century post. Lists make for lively conversation! They can introduce you to films you've never heard of. Perhaps someone's love of a movie that you hate will make you see it in a new light, will make you give it another chance. Sometimes you can only marvel at a person's garbage taste in movies, and the pure outrage over what they enjoy gets your blood pumping and adds three minutes to your lifespan. Diving into a list you have some sort of personal investment in is like climbing into a rickety-ass car and passing through the double doors that open into a carnival funhouse. You're excited, even though you anticipate that the experience may not be "pleasurable" exactly. You expect a few things that are reliably in every funhouse: loud buzzer noises, a random blast of air in your face, string hanging from the ceiling that gets in your hair and makes you momentarily lose your mind. Then there are the occasional surprises in store for you, like a chance to witness Sylvia Miles giving a handjob to a monstrously deformed young man. Maybe you die before it's all over, or maybe you make it through the set of double doors on the other end of the track, emerging back in the real world a better person, or maybe a worse person, or maybe pretty much the same person you were when you went in. To be honest, I'm not even sure what I'm talking about anymore, or why I thought comparing lists on the internet with carnival funhouses was a good idea to begin with, but here we are.


Anyway, the number one film on my list, Martyrs, is undoubtedly a divisive one. Amongst those who have seen it, feelings tend to run strongly one way or the other–this is not a film you see and shrug when it's over, giving it a "meh". Given its reputation, plenty of folks–even hardcore horror fans–are reluctant to go near it. That reputation is pretty well-deserved, I must say. It's a brutal movie, one that's endured rather than simply watched. It's violent, although in my mind the violence serves the story. Others, however, argue that the "story" is a thin excuse, that it's as useless as any other film in the "torture porn" pantheon. To be honest, I'm surprised by how much I adore–if "adore" is the right word...it's not the right word, probably–Martyrs. I don't need gore and violence in my horror (though they are certainly enjoyable at times). I'm not really into watching victims suffer and/or be tortured. My tastes in the genre are continuously evolving, but at no point in my tenure as a horror fan would I peg something like Martyrs as a soulmate of a movie for me, but again, here we are. It's nihilistic, it's full of love and hope, it's abhorrent, it's beautiful.

But that's just my "give it a million stars out of five" opinion. As I said, it's a most divisive film, so here's an opinion from the other end of the mind spectrum:
There is something about the French and Horror movies. They can't them good. This is the worst movie I have ever watched, and I have watched a million movies. It is a waste of time, blu-ray or the uncut version. Don't waste your life force by watching this crap.
It does not come anywhere near Hostel, which had a sick plot and was interesting.
This film is not even interesting and the viewer is never allowed to share the how and why things are happening.
Now if you just like to young girls tortured, there is no sex, then this is your movie. It sucks

Regarding horror movies, even if you take Martyrs out of the equation, personally I think that the French can them good. But I do agree with the reviewer, girls getting tortured is okay so long as there is sex.

amazon one-star reviews: MARTYRS (2008)


It's sure been a grand old time jib-jabbering in the comments of my recent 20 Best Films of the 20th Century post. Lists make for lively conversation! They can introduce you to films you've never heard of. Perhaps someone's love of a movie that you hate will make you see it in a new light, will make you give it another chance. Sometimes you can only marvel at a person's garbage taste in movies, and the pure outrage over what they enjoy gets your blood pumping and adds three minutes to your lifespan. Diving into a list you have some sort of personal investment in is like climbing into a rickety-ass car and passing through the double doors that open into a carnival funhouse. You're excited, even though you anticipate that the experience may not be "pleasurable" exactly. You expect a few things that are reliably in every funhouse: loud buzzer noises, a random blast of air in your face, string hanging from the ceiling that gets in your hair and makes you momentarily lose your mind. Then there are the occasional surprises in store for you, like a chance to witness Sylvia Miles giving a handjob to a monstrously deformed young man. Maybe you die before it's all over, or maybe you make it through the set of double doors on the other end of the track, emerging back in the real world a better person, or maybe a worse person, or maybe pretty much the same person you were when you went in. To be honest, I'm not even sure what I'm talking about anymore, or why I thought comparing lists on the internet with carnival funhouses was a good idea to begin with, but here we are.


Anyway, the number one film on my list, Martyrs, is undoubtedly a divisive one. Amongst those who have seen it, feelings tend to run strongly one way or the other–this is not a film you see and shrug when it's over, giving it a "meh". Given its reputation, plenty of folks–even hardcore horror fans–are reluctant to go near it. That reputation is pretty well-deserved, I must say. It's a brutal movie, one that's endured rather than simply watched. It's violent, although in my mind the violence serves the story. Others, however, argue that the "story" is a thin excuse, that it's as useless as any other film in the "torture porn" pantheon. To be honest, I'm surprised by how much I adore–if "adore" is the right word...it's not the right word, probably–Martyrs. I don't need gore and violence in my horror (though they are certainly enjoyable at times). I'm not really into watching victims suffer and/or be tortured. My tastes in the genre are continuously evolving, but at no point in my tenure as a horror fan would I peg something like Martyrs as a soulmate of a movie for me, but again, here we are. It's nihilistic, it's full of love and hope, it's abhorrent, it's beautiful.

But that's just my "give it a million stars out of five" opinion. As I said, it's a most divisive film, so here's an opinion from the other end of the mind spectrum:
There is something about the French and Horror movies. They can't them good. This is the worst movie I have ever watched, and I have watched a million movies. It is a waste of time, blu-ray or the uncut version. Don't waste your life force by watching this crap.
It does not come anywhere near Hostel, which had a sick plot and was interesting.
This film is not even interesting and the viewer is never allowed to share the how and why things are happening.
Now if you just like to young girls tortured, there is no sex, then this is your movie. It sucks

Regarding horror movies, even if you take Martyrs out of the equation, personally I think that the French can them good. But I do agree with the reviewer, girls getting tortured is okay so long as there is sex.

amazon one-star reviews: MARTYRS (2008)


It's sure been a grand old time jib-jabbering in the comments of my recent 20 Best Films of the 20th Century post. Lists make for lively conversation! They can introduce you to films you've never heard of. Perhaps someone's love of a movie that you hate will make you see it in a new light, will make you give it another chance. Sometimes you can only marvel at a person's garbage taste in movies, and the pure outrage over what they enjoy gets your blood pumping and adds three minutes to your lifespan. Diving into a list you have some sort of personal investment in is like climbing into a rickety-ass car and passing through the double doors that open into a carnival funhouse. You're excited, even though you anticipate that the experience may not be "pleasurable" exactly. You expect a few things that are reliably in every funhouse: loud buzzer noises, a random blast of air in your face, string hanging from the ceiling that gets in your hair and makes you momentarily lose your mind. Then there are the occasional surprises in store for you, like a chance to witness Sylvia Miles giving a handjob to a monstrously deformed young man. Maybe you die before it's all over, or maybe you make it through the set of double doors on the other end of the track, emerging back in the real world a better person, or maybe a worse person, or maybe pretty much the same person you were when you went in. To be honest, I'm not even sure what I'm talking about anymore, or why I thought comparing lists on the internet with carnival funhouses was a good idea to begin with, but here we are.


Anyway, the number one film on my list, Martyrs, is undoubtedly a divisive one. Amongst those who have seen it, feelings tend to run strongly one way or the other–this is not a film you see and shrug when it's over, giving it a "meh". Given its reputation, plenty of folks–even hardcore horror fans–are reluctant to go near it. That reputation is pretty well-deserved, I must say. It's a brutal movie, one that's endured rather than simply watched. It's violent, although in my mind the violence serves the story. Others, however, argue that the "story" is a thin excuse, that it's as useless as any other film in the "torture porn" pantheon. To be honest, I'm surprised by how much I adore–if "adore" is the right word...it's not the right word, probably–Martyrs. I don't need gore and violence in my horror (though they are certainly enjoyable at times). I'm not really into watching victims suffer and/or be tortured. My tastes in the genre are continuously evolving, but at no point in my tenure as a horror fan would I peg something like Martyrs as a soulmate of a movie for me, but again, here we are. It's nihilistic, it's full of love and hope, it's abhorrent, it's beautiful.

But that's just my "give it a million stars out of five" opinion. As I said, it's a most divisive film, so here's an opinion from the other end of the mind spectrum:
There is something about the French and Horror movies. They can't them good. This is the worst movie I have ever watched, and I have watched a million movies. It is a waste of time, blu-ray or the uncut version. Don't waste your life force by watching this crap.
It does not come anywhere near Hostel, which had a sick plot and was interesting.
This film is not even interesting and the viewer is never allowed to share the how and why things are happening.
Now if you just like to young girls tortured, there is no sex, then this is your movie. It sucks

Regarding horror movies, even if you take Martyrs out of the equation, personally I think that the French can them good. But I do agree with the reviewer, girls getting tortured is okay so long as there is sex.

amazon one-star reviews: MARTYRS (2008)


It's sure been a grand old time jib-jabbering in the comments of my recent 20 Best Films of the 20th Century post. Lists make for lively conversation! They can introduce you to films you've never heard of. Perhaps someone's love of a movie that you hate will make you see it in a new light, will make you give it another chance. Sometimes you can only marvel at a person's garbage taste in movies, and the pure outrage over what they enjoy gets your blood pumping and adds three minutes to your lifespan. Diving into a list you have some sort of personal investment in is like climbing into a rickety-ass car and passing through the double doors that open into a carnival funhouse. You're excited, even though you anticipate that the experience may not be "pleasurable" exactly. You expect a few things that are reliably in every funhouse: loud buzzer noises, a random blast of air in your face, string hanging from the ceiling that gets in your hair and makes you momentarily lose your mind. Then there are the occasional surprises in store for you, like a chance to witness Sylvia Miles giving a handjob to a monstrously deformed young man. Maybe you die before it's all over, or maybe you make it through the set of double doors on the other end of the track, emerging back in the real world a better person, or maybe a worse person, or maybe pretty much the same person you were when you went in. To be honest, I'm not even sure what I'm talking about anymore, or why I thought comparing lists on the internet with carnival funhouses was a good idea to begin with, but here we are.


Anyway, the number one film on my list, Martyrs, is undoubtedly a divisive one. Amongst those who have seen it, feelings tend to run strongly one way or the other–this is not a film you see and shrug when it's over, giving it a "meh". Given its reputation, plenty of folks–even hardcore horror fans–are reluctant to go near it. That reputation is pretty well-deserved, I must say. It's a brutal movie, one that's endured rather than simply watched. It's violent, although in my mind the violence serves the story. Others, however, argue that the "story" is a thin excuse, that it's as useless as any other film in the "torture porn" pantheon. To be honest, I'm surprised by how much I adore–if "adore" is the right word...it's not the right word, probably–Martyrs. I don't need gore and violence in my horror (though they are certainly enjoyable at times). I'm not really into watching victims suffer and/or be tortured. My tastes in the genre are continuously evolving, but at no point in my tenure as a horror fan would I peg something like Martyrs as a soulmate of a movie for me, but again, here we are. It's nihilistic, it's full of love and hope, it's abhorrent, it's beautiful.

But that's just my "give it a million stars out of five" opinion. As I said, it's a most divisive film, so here's an opinion from the other end of the mind spectrum:
There is something about the French and Horror movies. They can't them good. This is the worst movie I have ever watched, and I have watched a million movies. It is a waste of time, blu-ray or the uncut version. Don't waste your life force by watching this crap.
It does not come anywhere near Hostel, which had a sick plot and was interesting.
This film is not even interesting and the viewer is never allowed to share the how and why things are happening.
Now if you just like to young girls tortured, there is no sex, then this is your movie. It sucks

Regarding horror movies, even if you take Martyrs out of the equation, personally I think that the French can them good. But I do agree with the reviewer, girls getting tortured is okay so long as there is sex.

amazon one-star reviews: MARTYRS (2008)


It's sure been a grand old time jib-jabbering in the comments of my recent 20 Best Films of the 20th Century post. Lists make for lively conversation! They can introduce you to films you've never heard of. Perhaps someone's love of a movie that you hate will make you see it in a new light, will make you give it another chance. Sometimes you can only marvel at a person's garbage taste in movies, and the pure outrage over what they enjoy gets your blood pumping and adds three minutes to your lifespan. Diving into a list you have some sort of personal investment in is like climbing into a rickety-ass car and passing through the double doors that open into a carnival funhouse. You're excited, even though you anticipate that the experience may not be "pleasurable" exactly. You expect a few things that are reliably in every funhouse: loud buzzer noises, a random blast of air in your face, string hanging from the ceiling that gets in your hair and makes you momentarily lose your mind. Then there are the occasional surprises in store for you, like a chance to witness Sylvia Miles giving a handjob to a monstrously deformed young man. Maybe you die before it's all over, or maybe you make it through the set of double doors on the other end of the track, emerging back in the real world a better person, or maybe a worse person, or maybe pretty much the same person you were when you went in. To be honest, I'm not even sure what I'm talking about anymore, or why I thought comparing lists on the internet with carnival funhouses was a good idea to begin with, but here we are.


Anyway, the number one film on my list, Martyrs, is undoubtedly a divisive one. Amongst those who have seen it, feelings tend to run strongly one way or the other–this is not a film you see and shrug when it's over, giving it a "meh". Given its reputation, plenty of folks–even hardcore horror fans–are reluctant to go near it. That reputation is pretty well-deserved, I must say. It's a brutal movie, one that's endured rather than simply watched. It's violent, although in my mind the violence serves the story. Others, however, argue that the "story" is a thin excuse, that it's as useless as any other film in the "torture porn" pantheon. To be honest, I'm surprised by how much I adore–if "adore" is the right word...it's not the right word, probably–Martyrs. I don't need gore and violence in my horror (though they are certainly enjoyable at times). I'm not really into watching victims suffer and/or be tortured. My tastes in the genre are continuously evolving, but at no point in my tenure as a horror fan would I peg something like Martyrs as a soulmate of a movie for me, but again, here we are. It's nihilistic, it's full of love and hope, it's abhorrent, it's beautiful.

But that's just my "give it a million stars out of five" opinion. As I said, it's a most divisive film, so here's an opinion from the other end of the mind spectrum:
There is something about the French and Horror movies. They can't them good. This is the worst movie I have ever watched, and I have watched a million movies. It is a waste of time, blu-ray or the uncut version. Don't waste your life force by watching this crap.
It does not come anywhere near Hostel, which had a sick plot and was interesting.
This film is not even interesting and the viewer is never allowed to share the how and why things are happening.
Now if you just like to young girls tortured, there is no sex, then this is your movie. It sucks

Regarding horror movies, even if you take Martyrs out of the equation, personally I think that the French can them good. But I do agree with the reviewer, girls getting tortured is okay so long as there is sex.

White-Chocolate Hot Cocoa With Coconut And Rum

White-Chocolate Hot Cocoa With Coconut And Rum

White-Chocolate Hot Cocoa With Coconut And Rum

White-Chocolate Hot Cocoa With Coconut And Rum

White-Chocolate Hot Cocoa With Coconut And Rum

White-Chocolate Hot Cocoa With Coconut And Rum