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Film Corner: Silent Hill 2

Silent Hill 2

: Time for the next movie! Silent Hill: Revelations (2012). I have heard that this is not high art, and should be afraid. I say to that: "well, it can't be worse than Valerian, right?" Before we even get to the movie, already I notice a particular kiss of death: The studios are not the same. Tristar/Sony published the first movie. Universal published this one. I am in for shit, aren't I?

Heather runs through a carnival, being chased by a leather cult. Pyramid Head runs the merry-go-round as she tries to hide on it. Dark Heather appears before her and sets everything ablaze with one warning: "Do not go to Silent Hill." Heather wakes up screaming. Chris rushes in to calm her down and tell her that Silent Hill , but then gets stabbed by a monster! But it's all okay, but it was just another dream! Oh good, we're using this cheap cliched tactic.

Turns out Heather isn't her real name, which is close enough to Silent Hill 3. But wait, Chris is now Harry? Wait... Why are we making him Harry now? I thought this was supposed to be not-quite Harry, like she's not-quite Cheryl. This feels like fans complained. Harry gets her an early-birthday present of the signature vest. Then he sends her off to school. Sean Bean's accent is really slipping in this movie. It kind of was last movie, but it's more obvious here somehow. I guess cause he's speaking more?

Harry goes looking in her journal and hides the page of "SILENT HILL" in a box with the save symbol on it. Rose tells Chris through the mirror that she can't be in this film, so take Sharon and keep her safe. Then Sharon is just on the couch with a brass symbol. So dude finds his daughter with a weird symbol-covered disc and thinks "yeah, I'll make a box covered on that". …..I think Harry would NOT do that. That seems more like a Henry thing to me.

Heather sees a homeless man, but catches a flash of him faceless. This spooks her already, but then a creepy man starts pushing some "do I know you" bit on her, making her more freaked. Can this girl not catch a break? Heather's homeroom forces her to share something about herself. She gives a verbal middle finger to the whole class and sits down. Good for her! But she's not the only new student. Now we meet... Vincent. A leather-wearing bad-boy. Oh no.

As Heather goes to her next class, she starts getting visions of Alessa being bullied in class and how she's next. Then the Otherworld flickers in around her. An Armless Man wanders in, prepared to charge her. Just as she's about to run, Vincent grabs her. Oh fuck, we're going to be forced into a romance with this, aren't we? He follows her, asking about coffee. She says no. He gives puppy eyes. And now the creepy guy from before is following her. She calls Harry, and it looks like someone found him at home.

At least this feels like we're setting up for some of the SH3 plot. Heather waits in the mall next to a birthday party. The cake and balloons say "Happy Birthday Heather". Alright, there's a lot of Heathers out th- OH MY GOD NOW IT SAYS ALESSA. THE CHILDREN EAT CARNAGE. THE GUARD IS FACELESS. NOW CREEPY GUY FOUND HER. RUN!!! [TW: Cannibalism] In the staff only area, she sees a man getting carved alive by a butcher, then the flesh being cooked next to the dead bodies. The FDA is going to have a field day in this mall!

Heather runs off with creepy guy in pursuit. He keeps calling her Sharon. Finally she grabs a pipe and tries to intimidate him. He says he's a detective hired by The Order of Valtiel and.... Wait a god-birthing minute... This is Douglas? Creepy skinny guy is the gumshoe detective from SH3? And what's that about The Order? I thought they were more of a Christian/Puritan cult thing. Is the movie backpedaling to be more "faithful" to the source material? Oh, it's gonna regret that.

Either way, Douglas gives her information that her father might not be upfront with her. After he gives the name Silent Hill, a monster appears and kills him, leaving Heather to run and hide in the basement of the mall. The monster we've seen is called the Missionary, and is supposed to be Harry's killer, not Douglas'. Also, is supposed to be male, not female, but... Eh, they still look interesting. Honestly, they're hard to make out in the game, so this is a nice clean concept!

Heather heads back through the mall and makes it outside where there's 911 responders present. Someone found Douglas' body and reported it. Was there a time jump she went through? I felt she wasn't in there long... Otherworld, man... Heather walks away to rush home, but Vincent starts to follow her to talk. She's not in the headspace for letting people in, but he tries to be a decent guy and offer his jacket. She sees the leather cult again, but Vincent doesn't. It seems she's hallucinating.

Quick aside about Vincent. That ain't Father Vincent. This is a classy, leather-wearing, chip-on-his-shoulder, heart-of-gold sweetheart. Father Vincent is a chaos agent who jokes about serious topics and brings jokes into serious discussions. Why the name??? On the way home, Heather mentions dreams and reality. Vincent talks about his grandfather mentioning worlds on top of worlds. His grandfather is committed, so he doesn't talk about it. (Oh my god, Vincent sounded like Vincent in that scene.)

They walk her to her street with some chemistry naturally(!) blossoming between them. She's still not ready to let people in, but there's a chance that he'd be an exception. He may not be Game!Vincent, but he's a good man! May this charming character not die... Heather walks in, expecting her father. A message in red tells her to "Come to Silent Hill" with a red symbol next to it (Halo of the Sun). Then Vincent knocks, asking if she's ok. "I heard you screaming." She lets him in, asking for help. He's the exception!

Vincent watches as she pulls stuff out of a box with the Halo on it that Harry kept. His job is to ask questions so the audience has answers. Then the police bust in, because she must have been the one who killed Douglas! Vincent drives them away, trusting her. At least the cops in this movie act realistic. Bust down the door of a house they suspect is correct, assume the murderer is a high-school girl rather than do any actual thinking, guns drawn because someone didn't open the door right away at midnight. Realistic! So Vincent is getting her to Silent Hill rather than Douglas. Ok.

Chris/Harry wrote a note, telling her that she isn't to go back to Silent Hill and that he lied to her to "protect" her. Wouldn't telling her the truth eventually actually help you protect her? Harry's notebook is really detailed and cool-looking? How did he find those monsters? Anyway, they mention that Silent Hill was built on sacred Native American lands (which is from game's Mouth of God, though doesn't make it less racist).

Heather reads the plot (cult trying to birth God for their apocalypse) while he keeps driving. After a while, they stop at an inn for the night. Then he says that Heather shouldn't go to Silent Hill because something might happen to her. This is seen as touching? Oh shit, he's sent to bring Heather back! He's a child of The Order! (If his mom is Claudia, I'm shitting bricks.) He shows a massive wound in the shape of the Halo, which the only way he can move between the worlds. The cult member Harry killed had a mark like that.

Vincent says that Harry's dead if The Order has what they want (Heather), and that she has to go of her own free will. In order to save Harry for good, she has to find the other half of the brass plate. Looks like we're in for a Silent Hill scavenger hunt! In her rage against him, the Darkness peels away around them. As she tries to ask questions, Vincent is captured, and Heather knocked out. She wakes in the ash world with a gun, ready to take on Silent Hill.

She walks into town with no trouble, but people watch from the building windows. Down an alley, she's at a church. Past some bodies, and we run into Dahlia! She joins in the "stay away from Silent Hill" club. Here, we get a quick version of the previous movie's history about Alessa. The Darkness takes over, interrupting their conversation. Heather runs into a building where a birthday table is in the hallway. Something spooks her to run into another room.

A room full of mannequins. Oh god no. She wanders through the shelves, creepy mannequins looking back at her. One is even breathing! She comes across a woman being slowly turned into a mannequin! Holy shit! THE MONSTER IS HORRIFYING!!! Heather manages to save a woman from the monster and get her out of there. Oops! Spoke too soon. She dead. Vincent is now being interrogated by the Leader of the Cult, and his mother. She calls him weak for not doing his job and sends him to the asylum.

Heather makes it to the asylum herself, looking for Leonard. But she's not alone. A faceless man tries to kill her, but the bullet takes him out quick! She makes her way to S12, where Leonard is just tethered to the floor. (Not a monster, but is Malcom McDowell.) Leonard tells her not much, but when he's given the Seal, he names it and thrusts it inside himself as he had the other half. Now he can see and fight! NOW he's a monster! He carries her away, but then she steals the Seal, killing him. Heather then finds herself surrounded by grabby "inmates" and can't get free. She cries for help, which comes in the form of Pyramid Head slicing arms like salami! It's enough for her to hide and slip away.

She hides again and sees Vincent being wheeled away. Looks like she's going to save him. Cut to a room full of faceless nurses. They remain still, until they sense movement. Vincent is soon the only one alive. Heather rescues him, barely, and they book it. I noticed something odd about these Nurses. Light isn't what draws them anymore, and they make these very sexy gasps and moans with every movement. IMO, the gasping kind of makes them less scary and more silly? Just my opinion...

We learn that the Darkness has been on the whole time, which... is a choice. I thought it was cool to go back and forth. Yet, here we are with no transition back after we talked to Dahlia. Huh.... So now we're at the carnival! Vincent goes back to "get out of Dodge" talk and I'm super peeved. Why did they make me hate him? She's here already! She can't just GO BACK! How about you go back to being that cute boy at the beginning?! I liked you then!

The Carnival springs to life around them and fills the air with annoying (sry, scary) noises. Some Order soldiers (The Brethren) are searching for them. Vincent "sacrifices" himself to distract them. Then Heather realizes this is just like her dream. Heather gets caught by a Brethren, but is stopped when she rips his mask off. See, they believe that the air of the Darkness corrupts them. Turns out to be right as he starts turning black and coughing up black fluid! Weird!

Heather runs for the Pyramid Head merry-go-round, and the dream repeats itself. She and Dark Heather have a talk. Then hug it out in a battle of wills. Heather accepts the Darkness in her, now whole. I think they're whole? Heather awakens in the sanctuary and walks through like she owns the place. She finds Harry, but is stopped by- did we get a name for her yet? White One. She says that Harry will feed the god and Heather will birth it, so all of the world will pay for its sins.

Heather gives White One the Seal so we can see her turn into the Missionary. Awesome, awesome! AND NOW PYRAMID HEAD AND MISSIONARY FIGHT! YES! It's... an ok fight. She's gonna win, I feel. But it's long enough for Heather and Vincent to save Harry! Nevermind! She gets some good hits in, but then he cuts her head off like butter! Fade to white as Pyramid Head walks away, and now we're in the ash world. Though, the ash has stopped. There's some talk that things will be different, though maybe not over...

Harry/Chris says he can't go with Heather as he needs to finds Rose and she can't go with him because it's his task and not hers. I think Sean Bean just wanted out without having to die. He walks off, taken by the fog. Heather and Vincent find a way out of the ash world and walk along the highway. They get picked up by a trucker named TRAVIS GRADY! IT'S THE RETCON MAN HIMSELF. As they drive off, we see police traveling along the road in a similar scene to Downpour.

The End...?

Look, if you want to make a movie adaptation that's LIKE the game, but not exactly like it, the first movie is a good way to go about it. The second one, I feel, isn't. There were several references made in the first film to be a good adaptation, but also enough creative differences here and there to persuade me to believe that it was a nice little AU of the first game.

The second film didn't quite hit that sweet spot for me. Maybe it was the sudden renaming of the main characters back to the original ones. Maybe it was the almost retelling of the plot of SH3. Maybe it was something else. I don't know. But it just quite didn't. But, it's not SH3 made for film, it's a movie sequel. So as a movie, how does it fare? Actually, not terrible. It's not AMAZING in the slightest, but it's not god-awful either.

6/10, better than Valerian! I knew it! Also, that WAS Claudia as Vincent's mother!!! I figured it out! Silent Hill's references were subtle and acted like a bit of Easter egg candy for the fans. Revelation's references were like someone winking at the camera going "see what we did there?".

Film Corner: Silent Hill 1

Silent Hill 1

Kissmate: I just read an upsettingly poorly written e-mail from my father-in-law, so I'd like to prove a better writer with a #Kissmatewatches! Today's watch will be Silent Hill (2006, dir Cristophe Gans) and Silent Hill: Revelation (2012, dir M. J. Basset). I've seen Silent Hill before, but not Revelations. Since my first viewing was on a night when I was more worried about my husband's health, I figured the second viewing would hold my attention more. Also, I have played some of the games, so Nerd Cred!

We start with parents (Christopher and Rose) looking for their daughter Sharon. Rose finds her by a waterfall/cliff, swaying in her sleepwalking haze. We see the pool below fade into another world of fire, rust, and iron. There's a glimpse of another girl below. Just as Sharon is about to fall into the pit, Rose football tackles her to the side, saving her life. Sharon then starts screaming "SILENT HILL" over and over, clearly not well. As the family takes a huge breath of relief, a lit-up cross shines in the distance.

Next we see Sharon coloring animals and being a cute kid. Rose tells her about the trip to Silent Hill they're taking because of the sleep walking. Sharon seems a little confused since she doesn't remember her dreams. We then see a sign quoting Corinthians. Turns out Rose is going behind her husband's back and taking Sharon to Silent Hill without his knowledge or consent. Don't know how to feel about this.

Sharon has been making some drawings with dark creepy people and some runic-looking crosses. I'm noticing a motif of Christian iconography here that I hadn't before. That wasn't really brought up in the games, so I'm wondering if it's a change so the cult seems more American, or something. Or maybe the symbols are to mean that "this is safety and you are leaving it" instead. We'll find out! I'd also like to add that the music is VERY reminiscent of the OST of the games and I'm VERY excited about that!

Turns out Sharon didn't like her pictures changed. She doesn't remember! A cop walks toward Rose's car. She tries to talk to Sharon, but she rolls up the window with a "Don't talk to strangers" muttered. Good girl! When Rose tries to pay for gas, the cards are declined. When Rose calls Chris to tell him off, he says that Sharon needs doctors and medications, not trips to ghost towns. Rose disagrees, saying she's taking their adopted daughter to her home town for answers.

This conversation is a good example of a realistic and difficult situation. Their daughter is clearly not well and needs attention of some kind. When science "fails" to work, Rose looks to a more supernatural means. This is a very common reaction for parents. Instead of Rose going to a Faith Healer or a New Age Healer, she goes to the place that her daughter screams out every night in her sleep. It's her only lead. And you can't blame her for trying. Rose sees the cop circling her car. The cop offers assistance of any kind, but Rose quickly and firmly brushes her off. We see the cop write down the plates. Rose travels on with that good sweet music playi- DAMN IT, COP!

Rose thinks the same thing and stops just long enough to get the cop off her bike, then drives off to the Silent Hill exit. (I like the little nod they give to Brahams there!) Rose bursts through some gates blocking off the road. There's nothing stopping her now!

The radio. Something's wrong with her radio. It screeches and causes Sharon to cover her ears and scream. Rose then has to swerve not to hit a girl that looks very similar to the one we saw in the pit earlier. The car crashes, causing Rose to get knocked out. This whole scene is a nice recreation of the intro to the first game while still being a wonderful piece of film. The action, the editing, the camerawork. Not a thing out of place here. *chef kiss*

Rose slowly comes to, with Sharon missing. Heavy fog obscures most vision and ash falls from the sky. This feels and looks like the first game! Rose think she sees Sharon and rushes after her into an alleyway. Then the sirens begin. Darkness takes the screen until the sirens fade. Rose opens a lighter and continues on, needing to be with her child. The walls and fences are covered in wet rust now, and rain seems to be falling instead of ash. (The camera angles are like the first game!)

A gurney is just there, but before we can look at it, Sharon runs away. Rose chases her, but is stopped by a ghastly visage of a disemboweled person tied to the fence with barbed wire, guts everywhere. They're not dead though! As Rose turns around, a small child made of darkness and fire screeches at her, calling more of its brethren. She tries to get away with little success as they claw and grab at her. Only by the changing of the worlds is she saved. They burn away, and she faints.

Those little shadow children were exactly what I'd think a film-version of the monsters would be like! This movie is getting it! Also, that was horrifying to watch! Thousands of faceless monster children trying to smother you with their numbers is TERRIFYING. Rose wakes up suddenly to "Ring of Fire" playing in a bowling alley. Rose runs through the streets, finally coming to a dead end. It's like a huge knife cut through the town, and she sits on the edge.

A woman tells her only the "Dark One" opens the way to Silent Hill. When Rose mentions she lost her daughter, the woman goes on. "We've all lost our children... They deceived me. Their evil. Their hate. They hurt my child... Alessa." Wait... DAHLIA? So in this movie, Dahlia is NOT the mastermind behind the cult like in the game. IMO she's one of the biggest differences. We'll get into it more later when her story is revealed, but for now know that there is Movie!Dahlia and Game!Dahlia.

Rose shows Dahlia the picture of Sharon and starts exclaiming that she's her daughter. There's a tussle and Rose breaks out into a run, leaving Dahlia behind. "Into the fire, she swallowed their hate," Dahlia says. We see Chris in Brahams, asking about his wife. When that doesn't get him answers, he asks about Silent Hill with a bit of money to grease the tongue.

Back to Rose, who went back to her car. There's a drawing there Sharon made of a school, giving her a clue. She tries to start the car and make a phone call to Chris. The car stalls while she apologizes to the answering machine. Then the cop rolls in. CYBIL! Oh, shit, Cybil. They made her a bit of a bitch. She arrests Rose, handcuffs and all, and gets Rose to start walking back to Brahams with her. Rose tells her off a bit, but it means nothing to Cybil. I don't recall game!Cybil being this mean...

Chris gets the voicemail, but it's all static and broken phrases. He gets to the gate and sees that something blew through it. The police mention that her Jeep is there, but empty. Chris joins with them in hopes to find his wife quickly.  Little Easter Egg here I heard about: Detective Thomas Gucci (policeman on the bridge) is a name taken from a document Harry finds in the game. Not the same person, since Gucci died before the game via "mysterious circumstances", but still a nice little thing.

Cybil goes on about how she saw a boy get killed here once and she doesn't want it to happen again. Rose tries to tell her off again but Cybil blows it off. "How do I know she even is your daughter?" Would I have some random child's photo around my neck??? Think! They come across another knife cut in the road and Cybil is in disbelief. Even after Rose is proven right, Cybil still insists on getting to a radio with a handcuffed Rose. "Fuck you, you stupid cop." MOOD.

They see a silhouette in the distance and Cybil calls out to it. Then the radio starts emitting static. That can only mean one thing: that ain't human. The Armless Man from SH2 stumbles in and attacks Cybil, who then shoots it to death. The best part here is Cybil loses the helmet and jacket making her not only look better, but adds the transition of "no longer an asshole"(iirc). Rose runs away still cuffed, though gets her arms to her front. She uses the bus stops as a map to get to the school she thinks Sharon's at. (The school is also the one from the game!)

The doors have the same symbol Sharon drew when she slept: a strange crucifix. There's even a Bible verse above the doors! I get this is in West Virginia, so Bible Belt, but Texas didn't have verses everywhere in a public school setting. There's definitely something going on here. Rose heads to the main office and starts looking around for... I guess a heavy flashlight, cause she takes one and starts looking around.

Cut to Chris and Gucci going through the town. Gucci mentions his family died here in the '74 fire. Interesting. Rose goes through the school, but encounters some masked weapon-wielding people. Scared they could be monsters, she runs through the courtyard. (The hopscotch Heaven/Hell thing is amusing to me. Pause it and look, it's kinda funny.) Rose makes it to a classroom where she finds a desk with the dust disturbed. The name is Alessa Gillespie. Then we see Sharon or that girl (Alessa) run away, with Rose following her into the upstairs bathrom.

Rose tries to comfort the crying girl from the other side of the door, but opens it to find a body twisted up in barbed wire instead. There's something in his mouth and writing on the wall "daring, daring, doubling daring" her to take it. Oh no... After a tense scene and her nearly puking, she takes a blue item. She runs out to the hallway, where Rose is found by those people again! She locks the door, grabs a necklace (locket or cross?) and starts begging for help. It comes in the form of the Otherworld.

The people book it right before the siren goes off, leaving her alone in the Darkness. The Janitor crawls out of the stall, no longer a body. Rot seems to surround him, spreading on the walls from his touch. To put it lightly, he reminds me of a pervert monster. [TW: CSA] He molested Alessa when she came here to cry in the past. Now he's forced in a position so he has to drag his genitals on the floor to move around. His tongue waggles out of his mouth. He's blinded, so goes by hearing. This monster is super fucked.

Rose manages to get out, passing mutilated bodies in the hallway. She finds the people from before, now screaming as they're covered with foot-long bugs. Possibly little biters. She screams in horror either way. [TW: Insects] Oh yeah, they're biters. We see the bugs strip the flesh off the people in seconds. Their bodies are then covered by the swarms. Rose rushes to a room, hoping for an escape. Alessa scribbles away in the same room. Then Rose falls out of a window.

We get a glimpse of our world, where Chris and Gucci walk through the untouched school. And back to Rose, who is still inside the school (what are physics?) catching her breath. From behind her comes Pyramid Head himself, surrounded/untouched by the insects. Rose books it! Chris calls for his wife, who's so close, but dimensions away. Rose breaks down crying as Gucci leads Chris away. As the swarm closes in, Cybil drags Rose behind a door and barricades it. Then the cuffs come off. Yay!!

The peace doesn't last long as Pyramid Head thrusts his giant sword in past their defenses in hopes to stab deep inside them. Insects swarm in as he forces their backs to the wall. If I make that sound sexual and gross, it's because the director wanted it to be. Just as it looks like they're done for, the bugs start dying and Pyramid Head walks away. The world comes back, likes ashes falling into place. Peace returns, for now.

Chris is escorted out of the town and told to let the police handle it. He doesn't believe them, so starts making calls. Cybil and Rose makes their way to the hotel that the blue object eluded to. There, they find two women having a tousle. Anna is throwing rocks at Dahlia, calling her a sinner. Rose and Cybil stop her from attacking further as Dahlia escapes. Here, we get some answers about this town. There are more people here and they live at the church with Cristabella in charge. The symbol we've been seeing is on all the old buildings. It's "a symbol of our unity and faith" to Anna.

There's a drawing of a burning scene in the mail slot of room 111. Chris breaks into Braham's archives. Everything from Silent Hill is here, though it looks very burnt. He finds a file made by Gucci about Alessa, which includes the orphanage she was sent to. But not the one he got her from? Cybil and Rose takes Anna with them to Room 111. Turns out this town had witch hunts "to keep us pure". Rose takes this as a hint to rip open the painting of the witch burning to find room 111. There, the room leads to another building that looks burnt badly.

Rose goes through the building and sees Alessa crying in the corner. She crosses a bottomless pit and rocky footing to try to comfort her. Alessa gets up and bursts into flame with a giggle. But it was merely an illusion! No burning here anymore! As Rose gets back, Anna screams that the Darkness is coming. They run tot he church, which Sharon drew before. It doesn't look comforting. Dahlia tries to warn them not to go inside and Rose tries to talk about Alessa.
Then it goes black.

Behind Anna, who's ready to attack Dahlia again, Pyramid Head materializes. He grabs her, skins her alive, then throws the bloodied skin on the door just as it's closing behind Cybil and Rose. So what I'm seeing is don't fuck Dahlia, or Alessa gonna get ya. The church inside seems fine and 30+ people seem safe here. They call out against Rose and Cybil, calling them witches. Cybil calms them with a warning shot. Christabella calls them all to pray, after which the Darkness recedes.

Chris goes to the orphanage to ask about Alessa, but the Sister shuts down any questions. Gucci comes in to arrest Chris. Doesn't stop him from spilling what he does know about it, though still limited. These people did terrible things to Alessa, and she didn't make it after the fire in Silent Hill. Gucci shows he has burned hands from something and tells Chris to leave "this town and it's last 30 years" to him. Rose asks about finding Sharon to Chrsitabella. She tells them to go to the demon, though no one's lived to tell about it. Christabella pockets Rose's locket, but doesn't open it yet. That's an uh-oh waiting to happen.

Christabells them how to get there, but sees that Sharon looks like Alessa right before they go in. They try to stop Rose, but Cybil tells her to "find her" before blocking the way with Rose all alone. See, I believe game!Cybil would do this for Harry! Cybil gets the shit beaten out of her, but her fate is still up in the air. Rose walks out of the elevator and makes her way to the room she was shown. Unfortunately, there's a small platoon of sexy, faceless nurses twitching towards her!

Rose turns off the light, causing them to freeze. Rose squeezes past them, but one spots her! They struggle to hit her, but keep hitting each other instead. Rose bursts through a door and into safety! And a bright light, it seems. I noticed a lot of the monsters are from Silent Hill 2, even though the story is based on Silent Hill 1. I get why; SH2 has the more cinematic creatures while SH1 was more generic "flying demon" and "undead dog" creatures. It's just something worth noting to me.

Alessa congratulates Rose with the truth. Alessa was fatherless. That was enough to turn the town against her. Dahlia, in weakness, gave her to be purified. The town burned her to kill the evil, but it caused a HUGE fire. Gucci was the one to save Alessa. Alessa lived on for a long time, scared, alone, in pain, and full of hate. Alessa asks Alessa if she wants to make them hurt too. (Maybe a demon, or something?) That's what caused these worlds to be created and hurt those who hurt her. So, you know, stuff from the game, really.

Rose walks in to see a nurse in red (Lisa?). Alessa still lives, though barely. The Dark Part of Alessa tells Rose that Sharon is the only goodness left of Alessa. "It is time for the end of days." But Alessa can't enter the church alone. So now Rose has a job! Christabella raids Dahlia's home and finds both her and Sharon! Chris is taken to his car with a warning to not let it happen again. We then get a look into Cybil as she stayed with a boy for three days until he could be rescued. How was this supposed to comfort?

Cult is making a bonfire indoors. Smoky the Bear has a few words to you. They plan on burning Alessa, Dahlia, and Cybil. Cybil screams that they're fucked, right before she dies. Rose comes back and isn't happy with their bullshit. Rose screams how wrong they are. Christabella stabs her. The black blood is what causes Alessa to enter the church. So much for "telling them the truth", eh? Either way, Darkness Falls.

Rose starts bleeding profusely, opening a hole to Alessa. But all the blood was just Alessa, so Rose heals up real quick after. Bed and Alessa rises up on a column of barbed wire, ready to rain revenge on these assholes! Christabella is the most gruesome death. Barbed wire lifts her in the air, then shoots up her robes. Next we see those wires shoot out of her body in various places until she's split in half. Dark Alessa dances in the blood like it's rain. More wire comes out, killing the cult. Rose saves Sharon and tells her to shut her eyes. When Sharon faints, we fade to black.

Dahlia was spared, because she was Alessa's mother. They drive back home (sans Dahlia) with ash still falling. Chris gets a call from Rose, but it's all static. Rose and Sharon gets home, but it's all foggy still. They're in the wrong world. But... they're home.


This movie showed me how an adaption can be different from the source material but still be an amazing piece on it's own merits. I really do recommend this movie for those who can watch it. The gore is the only thing that prevents me from watching it non-stop. All-in-all, this movie tied its hair back, pulled up its sleeves, and gave us a hell of a run! 9/10, keep your radios close and your survival skills closer!

Break time before I subject myself to the sequel!

Open Thread: Puzzle

A puzzle I made

Picture taken in my kitchen right now after I realized I was going to bed on Sunday and I hadn't posted an open thread in two weeks.  It's of a puzzle I designed and had 3d printed years ago.  At some point in the past month or two I noticed that if one turns every layer by 45 degrees it makes a kind of interesting shape, and that's what you're seeing in the picture.


Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us so almost over, but you can still give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Film Corner: The Circle

The Circle

I haven't done an Amazon Prime movie in a long time and I think I need one to soothe me so here's something that promises to be awful but which I actually wanted to see at the time: THE CIRCLE. I think it's about Evil Off-Brand Facebook.

"Mae lands a dream job at a powerful tech company, only to uncover a nefarious agenda that will affect the lives of her friends, family and that of humanity." Whoops. It sounds a lot like ANTI-TRUST (2001) with Ryan Philippe and when I looked up his name he's apparently in this movie too, so that's a weird coincidence. [Editor's Note: I don't think he ever was in this movie that I saw, so that's confusing.]

We rapidly establish that Mae has a shitty job, a broken car, ill parents, and a neighborhood boy with a crush on her she doesn't really return. Dad needs medical help that their insurance won't cover. Ouch. Her best friend has gotten her an interview with The Circle, which is the best news ever but Mae has to ace the interview. The Circle is glowingly described as making the web simple by using your real name tied to a credit card. Ooh, ooh, I know why this is bad! Call on me, a trans person!

November Newsletter (2020)

I don't really know how to do a newsletter for this month. I'm scared about the election and I know a lot of you are as well. Please stay safe out there. Kissmate and I have stocked up on groceries as much as we are able and are staying inside, continuing our quarantine. I'm trying to keep writing and keep watching movies and keep...breathing? I don't know what else to say, because it's hard to know what to say when you're scared. I love you all.

I'm posting 2 more queer fairytale retellings this month, and 4 live-watches. (Two by me and two by Kissmate.) I hope they bring you enjoyment as something good to distract from all the bad.

Patreon News
All Patrons: Kissmate watches the Silent Hill series and I watch a couple bad horror movies.
$5+ Patrons: Queer fairy tales!

Older Links
My Ramblings Deconstructions: Here.
My YouTube Let's Plays: Here.
My Favorite Tumblr Funnies: Here.
@KissmateKittens: Here.


Please stay safe out there.

Open Thread: Last Leaves

Last Leaves

Picture taken October 25th.  After having to go to my sister's house several times, which is an hour and a half ride each way, I finally remembered to bring my camera to take pictures of the foliage.  By then almost all of the beautiful colors had passed, but I did my best to get shots of what survived.  Then my camera broke.  (I need to check if it's still under warranty.)

The plan to return to a Friday open thread this week didn't work out, but at least there is an open thread this week.


Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us so almost over, but you can still give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Film Corner: Resident Evil 6

Resident Evil 6

KISSMATE: Alright, my delightful followers, tonight is the last installment of the Resident Evil film series! Aptly named, it's called "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" (2017) directed and written by Paul W S Anderson. Last reminder that the series is live watched by both me and Ana Mardoll!

The other films range from an alright but annoying flick, to a fun cheesy zombie movie. We'll see where this lands in the odometer! High hopes, low expectations, and all that. A light annoyance: The other films had clips and movement in their DVD menu. TFC can't be bothered. It shows a lack of effort.

Alice gives us a recap of how the T Virus began and who all was involved. None of the characters have their original actors. Oh no. That's a bad sign. Oh, this is one huge boot of the history this film series has been building. I am ~pissed~ that the last five movies were just flushed right down the drain! I feel like the movie's telling me "What do you believe, your eyes or what I tell you?" and that's FUCKED.

Open Thread: Distorted Reflection

Picture taken November 5th 2019 from the Portland side of the Casco Bay Bridge.


Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us so almost over, but you can still give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Film Corner: Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5

KISSMATE: Today we're continuing the Resident Evil film series! Written and directed by Paul W S Anderson, we're watching "Resident Evil: Retribution" (2012). The last one was fun with cheesy writing, so I'm hoping for something similar. Just a nice popcorn flick. Don't forget this is a double team with Ana Mardoll!

I did notice something interesting last movie. Wesker said he needed Alice's blood to become stable with the T Virus. After she was stabbed in the fight, she stabbed him with the same knife. Meaning she stabbed her blood into his brain. I'm hoping he comes back!

Open Thread: October Leaf

Picture taken yesterday, for the specific purpose of being used, that day, in this open thread, which was already a week and two days late at that time.  (Sorry about that.)


Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

While you are free to discuss movies in this thread, provided you encipher any spoilers (the standard method is by summoning Cthulhu), we sometimes have special open threads set aside for discussing a specific movie, with the discussion including plain text spoilers.  This is for when discussion of the movie in question is expected to drown out other discussion, is expected to take place over multiple weeks, or both.

At the moment, however, no such threads are open.  If you feel that a given movie calls for the creation of such a thread, please ping me (chris the cynic, not Ana Mardoll) in the comments, otherwise, please use this thread for movie discussion.

Film Corner: Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4

KISSMATE: After a week-long bout of stomach bugs and stressful IRL stuff, we continue our series of Resident Evil movies! Apologies for the delay. Today's little ditty is RE: Afterlife (2010) directed and written by Paul WS Anderson himself! At this point, Paul WS Anderson has married Milla Jojovich, the main actress playing Alice. I've heard the writing reflects this in some way. What way is that, I don't know, but we're gonna find out! Don't forget this is a joint effort between me and Ana Mardoll, so follow both, please!

After some artistic bullshit thrown in our faces that is supposed to represent the virus spreading through Japan and World, Alice explains stuff we knew from the previous movies. Then we see Snipers getting taken out by mysterious forces. I call Alice Clone Army. Ok, the 3D models in the other movies were cool because it gave us reference of space. This one almost made me puke because the camera was left of the roller coaster setting.

Film Corner: Resident Evil 3

Resident Evil 3

KISSMATE: Hello, my dear followers! Today is the third movie of the Resident Evil series, Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) dir. by Russel Malcuhy. So far each movie has had a different director. It showed last movie. Let's see if it's better here!

We see Alice waking up in the shower again, per first movie. Like, shot for shot, scene for scene. Did we put in the first movie by accident? No, because none of the Hive deaths were shown... She opens a door and now is in the Queen Laser Chamber! The lasers attack, but she escapes through the vents. Now she's in the empty hospital. She runs through the hallway pushing a gurney (to break the glass?) when a trap guillotine falls and breaks the bed!

October Newsletter (2020)

It is officially October and I am officially late on my newsletter! But October has been so wild and on top of everything else I've been dealing with really bad allergies and some kind of stress-tension migraine? I know that's not exactly novel right now because we're all stressed. I hope everyone is well and able to rest, breathe, take medications, and so on.

In writing news, having this new project figured out has lit a fire under my butt and I am so happy to be writing again. I posted 4 stories (I think? I'm pretty sure!) last month to my Patreon and I have 2 more already scheduled for this month. I'm working on a 7th story right now. I love fairy tales so much and it's so much fun to be playing around with them. I get to keep all the weird and gory and nonsensical bits without having to update everything to "make sense", which I would absolutely be making myself do if this were one of my usual re-tellings. It's just nice being allowed to indulge in something absurd for a change.

We also have more live-tweets of movies scheduled. I'm going to tell you this one in advance: The Circle is available on Amazon Prime and it is garbage, and Vivarium is available on Amazon Prime and it is amazing. It's my favorite kind of horror: no jump scares, very little violence, and sensible people who react in a "normal" way to an alien and very genuinely terrifying situation. That's all I'll say for now but I wanted to tell you before the live-watch goes up in case it stops being available after Halloween. (Trigger warning for self-harm: there's a very brief glimpse of a suicide in a bathtub near the end, though not of any of the main characters.)

Patreon News

All Patrons: Kissmate finishes out the Resident Evil series, and I watch The Circle.
$5+ Patrons: Queer fairy tales!

Older Links
My Ramblings Deconstructions: Here.
My YouTube Let's Plays: Here.
My Favorite Tumblr Funnies: Here.
@DivorceKittens: Here.


That's really all I have right now! I love you all and I hope you're staying safe.

Open Thread: Green and Purple

Picture taken on September 9th.  Sorry for the lack of open thread last week.

I wasn't expecting today's description to be word for word identical to the one from two weeks ago.  So it goes, I guess.


While you are free to discuss movies in this thread, provided you encipher any spoilers (the standard method is by summoning Cthulhu), we sometimes have special open threads set aside for discussing a specific movie, with the discussion including plain text spoilers.  This is for when discussion of the movie in question is expected to drown out other discussion, is expected to take place over multiple weeks, or both.

At the moment, however, no such threads are open.  If you feel that a given movie calls for the creation of such a thread, please ping me (chris the cynic, not Ana Mardoll) in the comments, otherwise, please use this thread for movie discussion.

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Film Corner: Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2

KISSMATE: Another day of Resident Evil movie series! Today is Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) dir. by Alexander Witt. With hopes high and expectations low, let's blow this casket open!

The naming schemes for the titles are garbage. The only way I know for sure that RE: Apocalypse is next is because I looked up the years. The words after the main title either need to explain the chronological system, or just add a number after the main title. I'm looking at Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies as I say this, though not proudly. Good movies suffer this too. Still, it's difficult to bring newcomers into these series if you can't even keep the order labeled and obvious.

Utena: Outside The Birdcage

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Child Death]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 39: "Someday, Together, We'll Shine"

We don't even get an opening song, just a repeat of Anthy stabbing Utena as Akio waits. Anthy whispers that Utena reminds her so much of Dios when she loved him. [Kissmate: "Oh, the merry-go-round. This happens again and again, in a cycle."] She says Utena can never be her prince, because she's just a girl. (Female or child? She leaves that ambiguous.) She peels Utena's sword from her hand and Akio walks up as children laugh.

Saionji is about to take off his rose crest when Touga stops him, saying she's entered the arena representing the duelists. Nanami, god bless her, is grilling kabobs and idly mentions she's already taken hers off. Juri tells a story about how her sister nearly drowned as a child. An adult rescued her, but a boy who jumped in to save her was washed away. He did a heroic act, but is forgotten instead of celebrated and successful; he wanted to be a hero, a prince, but the danger was real and not a fairytale, and he wasn't ready. [Kissmate notes the biggest danger in drowning cases is that the victim will try to climb the rescuer and they can both sink; Anthy is taking Utena down with her.]

Utena: Crumbling Castle

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault, Stalking, Self-Harm]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 38: "End of the World"

Zettai unmei!! We get one more! Utena opens the rose gate and, at the end of the song, takes Anthy's hand. A walkway appears and we see a decorative orb materialize upon which sits Prince Dios. Akio walks out and confirms he's the End of the World but says he's also her prince and the reason she came here. [Kissmate: "Ha! He's wrong and this 'memory' isn't right. He still doesn't have her figured out. She didn't come here for him. She came here for Anthy."]

Utena demands to know what he's doing with the school and making everyone duel. Akio says all he dreams about is the castle where a prince and princess will live happily ever after, forever and ever. He takes Utena's hand and says he's the prince and she's the princess. At this, Anthy collapses like a ragdoll, and disappears only to reappear at the base of the stairs at Dios' feet. Akio say she's done well not to lose her noble heart, and pulls a sword from her chest and transforms her into a pink Rose Bride dress. [Kissmate: "Wait! Usually the Rose Bride pulls it out of the duelist these days, but he's going back to season one where the duelist pulls it out of the rose bride!"]

Film Corner: Resident Evil 1

Resident Evil 1

KISSMATE: We're starting a brave and bold new project, my dear followers. Ana Mardoll and myself shall be dual-livetweeting a special series of movies. Resident Evil. All Six of them. Grab your sunglasses and cheesy lines, we're going in loaded! A bit of background: I know the games pretty well and know the main actress, Mila Jovovich, was married to Paul Anderson at the time. I haven't heard good reviews on this series (esp from the fans) so I know I'm going into a shark tank without a cage. Let's dive!

Already, the movie starts out like the video games (the newest ones especially). Text that floats across a technological background and talks about Umbrella Corp. and Raccoon City. Not too bad so far! So Umbrella is Amazon. It's everywhere and is almost all powerful. We see someone take a gun full of green science away, while breaking a blue science behind him. This causes a building full of scientists and office workers to be locked down inside. Panic ensues.

Utena: Every Girl a Princess...or Witch

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault, Stalking, Self-Harm]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 37: "The One Who Brings The World Revolution"

We open with Utena looking at Anthy in the morning sunlight. Slowly, she takes her ring off and lets it drop. At breakfast, Akio notices that Utena's ring is gone. Utena asks him if he can meet with her after school. She seems chipper than usual.

At the council balcony, Saionji and Touga are on a bicycle together like they were as children. They've received farewell letters from the End of the World. Touga points out that Utena doesn't want to revolutionize the world and Saionji asks if that means Dios' power will remain sealed and the revolution won't happen.

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