INSIDE: As If Motherhood Wasn’t Tough Enough

À l’intérieur (a.k.a Inside). 2007. Directed & Written by Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury.
Starring Béatrice Dalle, Alysson Paradis, Jean-Baptiste Tabourin, Dominique Frot, Nathalie Roussel, & François-Régis Marchasson.
La Fabrique de Films/BR Films/Canal+
Rated R. 82 minutes.
Horror

★★★★★

DISCLAIMER: The discussion which follows contains spoilers
INSIDE3Part of what’s considered the New French Extremity – a generation of films from French artists aiming at reworking horror conventions – Inside (original title: À l’intérieur) is at the head of the pack. Brutal, unflinching, directing-writing team Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury use pregnancy to create claustrophobic horror in a relentless barrage of scenes that’ll make even hardened horror hounds pucker.
Bustillo and Maury provide the story of a pregnant woman, Sarah (Alysson Paradis), recently in a devastating car crash, on the verge of giving birth. Perfectly, we get into the story the night before Christmas. A mysterious woman (Béatrice Dalle) shows up, laying siege to her house, trying hard to kill the expectant mother.
A simple premise is tangled into a mesmerising 82-minutes of claustrophobia, mystery, and a gorefest that works up in pitch until the – pardon the pun – mother of all nasty effects closes the film with a heavy gut punch. Bustillo and Maury’s tense, atmospheric direction, the eerie story combine with excellent sound design and editing, making Inside unforgettable.
INSIDE1The ultimate point of vulnerability as a woman is represented through Sarah’s pregnancy. She’s alone, her water’s ready to break. Like watching the nightmare of an anxious lady, counting down the days until she can finally see her child/get it out of them. What’s more interesting is that the story pits woman v. woman, a slasher-like showdown between two women in a male dominated genre (in terms of killers and villains). So even if there wasn’t any pregnancy, it’d be compelling.
Add that on top and this is nightmarish motherhood anxiety as a gory metaphor.
What intrigues me most about Inside is how it shows the trajectory of a pregnant woman’s thoughts, in so far as Sarah goes from a woman with actual anxieties over pregnancy, doubts, regrets, to a woman willing to fight to the death for her unborn child. Almost like a sick, primitive test to see how far she’s willing to go. The primitive nature of both Dalle and Paradis’ characters emerge through this violent, bloody process of motherhood.
In the final shots, which are some of the most savage images in modern horror, a sickening representation of a mother’s trials and tribulations to birth their child – the sacrifice, the pain – we see the film’s most devastating, clear image. Also happens to be drenched in blood, and cements the film as one of the most brutish horrors ever made.
INSIDE2Apart from anything profound found amongst the sanguine mess, Inside is above all an atmospheric piece of work, and unexpected, too. The sound design is quickly recognisable as an important element. A low, electronic thump. Screeches and howls of feedback in the flashes of crimson violence. These bits make the horror in both the loud and quiet moments shocking, they unnerve the viewer more. In addition, the editing’s able to amplify the psychological aspect of many scenes to an uncomfortable degree. For instance, when Dalle’s mystery woman sits at the bathroom door, lighting a smoke. The sound design and editing together directly mimic and reproduce the mental state in which this woman exists: her anger, the psychotic frustration, you can watch as the feelings intensify dramatically. Perfectly executed. All without an over-the-top, loud villainous performance from Dalle.
Overall, the atmosphere’s pure dread and claustrophobia. Insufferably grim for many who’ll likely shut the film off long before the intense climax and finale. There’s a dearth of hope in any given scene, so that at a certain point you’ll quit expecting any to come. You start anticipating that this protagonist will not survive, that a horrifying and tragic end is the only way for Inside to play out. Simultaneously, as our pregnant mother feels helpless, hopeless, as we do; as we should.
And due to how the atmosphere, the directing lull the viewer in, the finale’s vicious finish is not what many will have imagined or expected throughout the course of a first viewing. Somehow, after all the previous madness, Bustillo and Maury manage on finding a way to further draw out shock and awe in their audience. Admirable, in a twisted sense.
INSIDE4While pregnant moms might want to leave this until after the birth of their child for a Friday night horror flick, most honest horror fans will find Inside incredibly rewarding. Sure it’s got gore, it’s at times a pretty gross film. From the impeccable makeup effects, including a burning, a self-tracheotomy, scissors piercing various flesh, to the relentless psychological assault of worrying for Sarah and her unborn child, there’s NO DEBATE: this film is fucking ruthless.
But it’s also a bold piece of French cinema. Baulking in the face of misogynist genre fans who believe female-led horror isn’t as good or as hardcore as those led by men (many of us smarter fans have long known the truth). Inside is a game changer, in that it’s all-out horror pulling no punches, and also for the fact it shows that in the genre women may have been victims, time and time again, but hardcore horror doesn’t always require men. Not only that, a revenge-styled horror doesn’t need to involve the sexual assault of a woman: there ARE other plots out there, fellas.
For what it’s worth, Bustillo and Maury make motherhood into a terrifying scenario. Something it’s easy to imagine any woman who’s been pregnant already knows, too well. You can watch this as the gory horror it is, you can also see it in a broader, more metaphorical sense. Regardless of HOW you see it, see it. Because this is in league with the greatest horror of the 21st century.

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Mr. Mercedes – Episode 1: “Pilot”

AT&T’s Mr. Mercedes
Episode 1: “Pilot”
Directed by Jack Bender
Written by David E. Kelley

* For a recap & review of Episode 2, “On Your Mark” – click here
Pic 1We start in 2009, in Ohio. Extremely early in the morning at a City Jobs Fair. People are lined up outside through a roped walkway. Everyone waits patiently, some introducing themselves to one another. Others aren’t entirely happy to be there, not into the socialising. Regardless, everyone there’s starved for work, from the older folk to a young mother with her baby and every sort in between.
Suddenly, a Mercedes pulls up. Lights beaming onto the crowd. The driver slides on a clown mask, breathing heavy. Then he drives directly through the people, barrelling forward at top speed. People scream, running away fast as they can.
But some don’t escape. The driver ploughs over them, including the young mom and her child, a man helping her. Tons and tons of bodies lie bloody, crunched, smashed to bits in his wreckage. Holy christ, what a brutal sequence! When the smoke clears, Detective Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson) turns up on the scene to survey the carnage and begin an investigation along with fellow lawman Pete Dixon (Scott Lawrence). The senselessness isn’t immediately evident. Pete thinks the driver “lost control” of his vehicle. Hodges knows better.
Pic 1AWe jump ahead, two years later. Looks as if Dt. Hodges is a bit rough around the edges, lying in his own wreckage now. Mostly consisting of beer cans, cigarettes, and peanuts. Bit of a mess, in more ways than one. He’s got a lot of time to himself these days. Him and his friend Fred, the tortoise in the backyard. Seems they’re sort of at the same pace. He still has dinner with Pete, keeping in touch after his retirement.
One thing’s clear, though – Bill’s got unfinished business. Like many cops who’ve retired with unsolved cases. He doesn’t even feel like himself. While Pete and a local waitress named Sheila (Tuesday Beebe) try keeping him on track, as does nosy neighbour Ida Silver (the incomparable Holland Taylor), there’ll always be something not right with him. He just slides further into the bottle.
Bill: “Ever notice everythings upside down on a spoon?”
Sheila: “Maybe thats how life is, hon. Spoons just got it figured out.”
Perfectly with The Ramones playing “Pet Sematary” on the radio, we’re introduced to Brady Hartsfield (Harry Treadaway). He works at a store dealing in electronics, computers, all that sort of thing. He’s got a regular life, he and co-worker dealing with shitty customers and a corporate cut-out boss. And his boss, oh, man: a piece of work! He’s basically jealous of Brady’s talent with computers, cutting him down a peg at any corner possible.
We see that Ida’s nosy because she’s looking for a companion, at least a sexual one. But underneath all that – she’s a proud lady, after all – there’s a genuine concern about Bill. She doesn’t want to see him waste away, she’s seen it before. She doesn’t want him to have “retreated from the living” just because of retirement. So, despite her sort of snooty attitude at first, she’s genuinely worried the man doesn’t have any purpose. And without purpose, without telos, what IS a man?
Pic 2Well, there’s still a purpose. Deep down there somewhere.
Particularly after he gets an e-mail addressed from Mr. M. Subject line: Long Time. We see a clown mask briefly. Then the screen switches to a smiley face, speaking to him with an electronically disguised voice. Taunting about his retirement, his weight gain, and the fact he never solved his case. Up come a bunch of pictures of the victims driven down outside the City Jobs Fair. He even tells the former detective he wore a condom that night, for fear he’d ejaculate and leave evidence. The whole video is wildly disturbing, and totally terrifying.
So if there wasn’t purpose before, if he didn’t consciously care about it already, now Bill is paying attention. Now, he has something he must do. If not, he’ll likely suffer the rest of retirement in a haze of insanity.
We also cut back to Brady, his mother Deborah (Kelly Lynch) worrying he’s working too many hours. That he’s “all work and no play” – sound familiar, Stephen King fans? Similar to another fella named Jack. She worries more about him, that he’s never had a girlfriend, that he’s withdrawn, even if he’s a smart guy. Oh, and it turns out mommy has other things on her mind. Things no mother ought to be doing with her son, y’know, like incest. Yikes. Although Brady leaves before things go too far. Instead he spends time alone stroking one out rather than go all the way. Man, that’s unsettling.
If you didn’t know already, Brady is Mr. Mercedes.
Pic 3Pic 3AThe fun will-they won’t-they between Ida and Bill continues. She’s not happy she showed him a nude on her phone and he wouldn’t look at it. She insists he looks. He does, if not a bit reluctantly. I hope they continue this relationship, on any level, because Gleeson and Taylor together’s like some kind of sweet magic.
When Bill clicks a link on his computer with a smiley face, it goes to a short few clips of Mr. Mercedes driving through the people in the crowd that day, the clown mask, his distorted laughter. A fucking evil thing to witness.
Bill: “Now personally I think closure is overfuckingrated, but the nightmares, the panic attacks I could do without.”
So he’s poking around more, asking Pete questions about the case. His friend doesn’t want him to obsess anymore, like he did at the end of his career. Later, he ends up at the electronics store where Brady works. He’s looking for a surveillance camera, though he doesn’t come in contact with the young man. A slick moment of near chance.
Afterwards he heads to a towing lot. A place he’s evidently been quite a few times. There lies the bloody, beat up Mercedes kept in storage. Just seeing it leaves the retired cop in agony, imagining all the people being run over in those seconds of brutality. He sits in the driver’s seat, as if imagining himself driving.
Pic 5At home he gets the camera installed with help from a neighbour kid who does stuff around the house for him regularly, including with the latest e-mail business. And who else is rolling around the neighbourhood? It’s Brady. One of his other jobs is as a Mr. Friendly’s ice cream truck driver, serving up scoops for the kids, and fucking with Hodges, tossing a tennis ball with a smiley face into the yard for him to find.
Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 5.15.26 PMMan, oh, man! I did not expect the first episode to be so damn good. Much as I love King, I’m always sceptical going into a film or television adaptation of his work. Which is a bonus when it’s actually fucking great. So much to love here, and not least is the use of punk rock in the soundtrack. Love it!
“On Your Mark” is next week, so stay tuned. We’re going to get deeper into this creepy little world of Mr. King’s together.

 

The Mist – Season 1, Episode 7: “Over the River and Through the Woods”

Spike’s The Mist
Season 1, Episode 7: “Over the River and Through the Woods”
Directed by Matthew Penn
Written by Daniel Cameron Talbott

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Devil You Know” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Law of Nature” – click here
Pic 1Mia (Danica Curcic), Kevin (Morgan Spector), Bryan (Okezie Morro), Adrian ( Russell Posner) and Tyler (Christopher Gray) get through the mist to another one of the wards: the psychiatric wing. An orderly named Nash knew Mia’s mom, saying there was “nothing bad in her” and assuring she wasn’t like the other patients. Meanwhile, there’s plenty else to worry about than the mist, with Kevin still drugged up and having been exposed to it by the doctor, as well as Bryan and Mia’s now tenuous relationship.
At the mall,  Eve (Alyssa Sutherland) and Alex (Gus Birney) are holed up with Jay (Luke Cosgrove) and others. The protective mom is keeping an eye on the rapist, not willing to leave anything to chance. Not to mention there’s trouble with the new society in the mall, people eating too many rations. And people still believe the military’s coming. There’s a real hostility, too. Towards Eve. Although she manages to plant a baby monitor in the other camp, to figure out what’s been going on.
Over at the church, Nathalie (Frances Conroy) is having her face treated after taking abuse from that insane follower of Christ, the wayward sheep of Father Romanov (Dan Butler). The idea of faith, particularly Catholicism with its confession, is funny. You can do bad things, yet God is perpetually willing to forgive, so long as you repent. Thus begins Chief Connor Heisel (Darren Pettie) putting the priest to a confession, asking him if he’s responsible for what happened to the older woman. The cop beats Romanov to the floor, as Nathalie hums in the background. Eerie moment. Church and state coming apart, a new religion taking hold. However, the priest isn’t so innocent. This beating’s gonna put him over the edge.
Pic 1ABryan Hunt isn’t Bryan Hunt, he’s Jonah Dixon. He beat up the real Bryan, a soldier at Arrowhead military base. So she’s worried he could be “psycho” or it could be amnesia. The two talk about things, he tells her about meeting the real Bryan, that he was attacked. She then tells him about what happened at her mother’s house, the apparition of dear ole mom, the thought of fading into death. What brought her back was Jonah. In order to feel worthy of it, of anything, she’s doing a rapid detox. Harsh, brutal.
Particularly considering there’s a mist outside with terrible creatures inside.
Note: The score is absolutely perfect. Giona Ostinelli’s a killer composer, he’s done good stuff on several Mickey Keating films such as Darling and Pod. His music here comes perfectly fitting, punctuating the creepiest and most emotional moments alike.
Alone later, Adrian and Tyler talk about the worst things they’ve ever done. Tyler talks about beating up a guy who walked “swishy” and threatened his faux-masculinity, his closeted sexuality. Beat him then pissed on him. That’s how much he hates himself. So he apologises to Adrian, who offers forgiveness. Perhaps this is the relationship which helps a guy like Tyler accept himself. Maybe. Just maybe.
Nathalie questions Romanov about his beliefs. She’s reading the Bible, for the first time. He believes she’s holding people’s souls in her hands. But also, he admits to letting his insane follower do what he did to her, knowing it would happen. He speaks about a “trial by ordeal” that involves walking into the mist, seeing if God and nature spare the two of them: “Whoever dies, we will provide an answer for the people here.” Does she accept?
Pic 2When Adrian’s nowhere to be found, Tyler panics. He goes to Kevin, then the orderly tells them not to bother. That the kid’s a bad person, he can “see people” and who they are underneath. Turns out the orderly is not an orderly, he was a patient. An especially violent one. He runs off before the two can get to Adrian, who’s bound, gagged in a room. Not far from where the guy’s got a bunch of dead bodies stashed in a closet, piled atop one another like sides of beef.
At the same time, Jonah’s seeing Mia through her detox, a gruelling stretch ahead of them, as she sweats and cries and teases him with more information about his real identity. Lies from the throes of withdrawal? Or truth? Suddenly, he remembers bits and pieces on his own. And nothing good at all.
The ordeal of Father Romanov and Nathalie is set to commence. Whomever survives may have a chance at saving those in the church, rescuing them all from whatever’s in the mist. While the priest goes in his robes, she does so naked as the day she was born. As nature intended. Out from the doors they go, into the mist. They close their eyes and wait for whatever comes. Romanov hears the hooves of horses come near: the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The priest calls out scripture, receiving nothing in return but an arrow through his torso before they pull him back into the mist with them.
The only one left is Nathalie, so she goes back inside. Welcomed by everyone eager to hear what went on outside. One of my favourite couple scenes in this first season as a whole! Great, spooky stuff.
Pic 3Jonah remembers being experimented on, zapped, a woman speaking random words to him through all the pain. He sees all sorts of things coming back to him. He tells Mia about it, how he survived, and coaches her through the pain she’s feeling.
Simultaneously, Kevin’s trying to reason with Nash. He has serious issues, this dude. He talks about a nun that taught about the evil in people, having to beat it out of her. He’s gone past the deep end into an abyss. Determined to purge evil. Until Kevin says Adrian isn’t evil; he’s the one. This sets Nash after him, just long enough for Kevin to get in the room with him. They fight, tooth and nail. To the death.
Now people at the mall, some of them, are starting to look for a scapegoat. Why not start with the family who supposedly makes up rapes? That’s what the mother of the dead little girl’s suggesting. Not everyone is on board. But some are, and that’s scary.
And sadly, as Kevin and the others leave the hospital, Tyler refuses to go. Despite he and Adrian becoming closer in private. Teary eyed, the kid stays while his secretive gay lover Adrian, just as devastated, leaves with his close knit group.
Pic 4Wow, this episode was one of my favourites! If not the best of The Mist‘s Season 1. Such good stuff, on all ends. Interested to see what happens in many areas, like the gay relationship which is awesome – and so needed in this day and age for representation, very well written, at that – and also the budding trouble at the mall. Many things to come!
“The Law of Nature” is next week.

Room 104 – Season 1, Episode 1: “Ralphie”

HBO’S Room 104
Season 1, Episode 1: “Ralphie”
Directed by Sarah Adina Smith (Buster’s Mal Heart/Holidays segment “Mother’s Day”/The Midnight Swim)
Written by Mark Duplass

* For a recap & review of Episode 2, “Pizza Boy” – click here
Pic 1At a hotel room, Bradley (Ross Partridge) waits, looking stressed. Soon, Meg (Melonie Diaz) arrives. She’s there to babysit. In the bathroom is young Ralphie (Gavin Kent). Dad has to go, so he doesn’t introduce the kid. Dad leaves Meg in the dust, she’s a bit confused.
But soon the little guy comes out. Although he says that he isn’t Ralphie; he’s Ralph. They’re two different people. Ralphie “doesnt like girls” and he isn’t a very nice boy, it seems. The babysitter nicely tries to ingratiate herself to him, not believing the kid’s silly little stories. Believing it’s a case of dual identities. Meg even calls out to Ralphie, which gets her a half slap across the face.
Then Ralph says that Ralphie wants to talk with her. She starts getting curious, even a little worried. There’s been no word from dad, either. Suddenly Ralphie runs out in his underwear, a cape around his neck ,screaming: “Im gonna get you!” He tosses the room and scares the shit out of the babysitter. Then he’s gone again. Out comes Ralph, dressed in his normal clothes again and apologising for Ralphie’s behaviour. Very, very unsettling.
Pic 1AThey continue their night, and even though Bradley hasn’t returned Meg isn’t too worried. Just looks like the boy has issues. She talks with him, making him feel at ease. She’s not really at ease, it’s not so fun from her end. Then Ralph wants to talk about sex. Stuff his dad won’t tell him about yet. Certainly makes Meg uncomfortable. But the kid wants to know what his dad’s doing on his dates.
Afterwards, Ralph talks about how his dad “made up a story” about his wife dying, and that’s what they tell people happened to her. Suicide – Bradley claims mommy hung herself in the closet, couldn’t take it anymore. Is it because she was depressed? Or is it… because of Ralphie? Is it even real? Ralph says it’s make believe.
So, what really happened to mom?
Real talk, Ralph claims Ralphie killed her. OHHHH, NOW WE’RE GETTING TO THE MEAT! Meg’s got no time for the boy’s games. He’s super worried about Ralphie, says that he wants to kill him, too. When the boy disappears in the bathroom again, screams of “Die, die, die!” ring out. Bradley won’t answer his phone. This leaves Meg no choice but to call 911.
You wouldn’t believe it, but then the two boys emerge from the bathroom: Ralph AND Ralphie; two separate identities Meg can see. Ralphie jumps on top of his counterpart, smothering him with a pillow. The babysitter tries intervening, getting her nose smashed in the process.  Ralph goes limp, dead, and the only boy left now is Ralphie, a sinister look in his eyes. Like a primitive animal.
Pic 2When Bradley shows up, there’s no more Ralphie; only Ralph. He’s not breathing. Dead. The father’s distraught and trying to get his boy breathing again. To no avail. With sirens in the background, Meg laughs and laughs. Behind her a door slams shut. Is this by her own power? Weird. It’s almost as if she helped conjure up Ralphie, awakening a strange power in herself. Or maybe Ralphie’s real, and he’s just sneaky, devilish.
Who knows. The mystery’s more exciting than any answers could be.
Pic 3Next episode is “Pizza Guy” and from the looks of this one we’re in for something weird, something wild, something altogether unexpected. Because this one came out of nowhere. Wasn’t sure what to expect. Now I’m looking forward to more. Like a sort of modern Twilight Zone and Outer Limits-style series off the bat.

WITHOUT NAME: Man’s Troubled Relationship With Mother Earth & Women

Without Name. 2016. Directed by Lorcan Finnegan. Screenplay by Garret Shanley.
Starring Alan McKenna, Niamh Algar, James Browne, Morgan C. Jones, Brandon Maher, & Olga Wehrly.
Irish Film Board/Lovely Productions
93 minutes. Not Rated.
Drama/Horror/Mystery/Thriller

★★★★1/2
IMG_0280A couple years ago I saw a short called Foxes on Google Play, scooping it up. The poster felt similar to something I would’ve seen as a kid around Halloween. But it was more than just a short bit of horror. It was an experience. The imagery director Lorcan Finnegan pulls out of the brief film is stunning. So, I knew immediately his dreamy-type directing was my brand.
Foxes was a contained piece. Not only in the sense of its actual runtime, its implications and meaning felt of a personal nature. Finnegan’s latest film, his debut feature Without Name, is focused above all on a single character. Yet it feels grandiose, in a way that doesn’t feel pretentious, that speaks to something universal rather than personal. Finnegan has a keen sense of how to interlace visuals and the aural spectrum, a one-two punch of imagery that draws you in while the sound design in lieu of a conventional score unnerves the senses below the surface.
In Foxes it was evident, and Without Name proves he’s a unique filmmaker bringing his own style to the horror genre.
IMG_0282Part of the story feels epistolary, in that our main character Eric (Alan McKenna) finds this text by William Devoy called Knowledge of Trees, other books on the shelves sort of unnoticed such as Occult Defence among more titles. It’s got the feel of a classic horror story in the Gothic vein from the start.
Aiding the storytelling is Finnegan’s use of imagery. He makes the forest haunt you before anything actually sinister begins. There’s an ever present sense of isolation. Moreover, the forest becomes a character alongside the protagonist. In a way the forest is the story’s antagonist. The screenplay by Garret Shanley evokes a sense of wonder about the natural world, which Finnegan plays with, using the headspace of Eric to really hammer home the idea of the natural world – here, the woods in particular – as a truly living, breathing, feeling thing. That’s what starts our journey inward, through the forest and his mind.
As someone who’s used a “heap a mushrooms” in his heyday, I’m partial to films that recreate the experience, or at least use it in as part of the plot. The sound design works wonders in this sequence, as the voices and the other sounds fade from one side to the other, going all around, the light playing tricks. Truly like a mushroom trip. Finnegan and Shanley have both taken them, I’m convinced. There’s even a perfect coming down scene in the morning, feeling so genuine to the actual experience. Marvellous work. Likewise, it deepens the psychological aspects of the horror at play.
IMG_0283I want to draw a line between the ecological pieces of the story and the personal story of Eric, especially the fact that he’s cheating on his wife and mistreating her. He’s sent out to survey the land in a mysterious forest, likely for a contractor to come in and bend it to commercial, capitalist use. Even just his gear planting into the ground is treated in horror imagery, as if they’re knives stabbing the soil, the sounds making it feel as if the Earth itself is being injured.
The big relationship between the two halves of the story’s ideas is connected by Devoy’s text on trees, about the connectivity of humans and nature, that we are one and the same. “This is Eden,” one of his writings says, elaborating on a space and time where nature were more intertwined, a place that was “robbed from us.” There’s a parallel joining the idea of Eric’s philandering and adultery, the treatment of his wife, with how mankind treats Mother Earth. Within his relationship to women, his inability to communicate, is the same inability man – as a whole gender – has communicating with the Earth. It all joins together as one in how the forest reveals Eric to himself gradually. Just as Eric reaps what he sows in his marriage – loneliness, desolation – so does man reap what he sows by mistreating the forest, the trees, the soil, so on; only a desolate, lonely future ahead.
IMG_0284There’s a uniquely satisfying aspect to Without Name, even if it’s quite slow burning. Finnegan draws out the horror of the natural world, taking us into a deep madness. Although I do feel there’s a definite ecological perspective in here, I don’t think the story or the director are pushing to make it a message.
If you take this feature in combination with the earlier short Foxes, there’s a way in which Finnegan seems to view nature that’s very conscious of humanity’s loss of natural self, of how nature is altered and affected by humans. Or maybe he just likes the images of nature. That’s the beauty of art, the subjectivity of it all.
Either way I know, more than even before, I look forward to his next project. He’s a fascinating talent with compelling perspective, no matter how you cut it. Maybe this one’s not for everybody. If you’re willing to take a strange, semi-psychedelic journey into a man’s troubling mind, then Without Name is the ticket.

ALTAR’s Familiar Yet Fresh & Character Driven

Altar. 2016. Directed & Written by Matthew Sconce.
Starring Stefanie Estes, Brittany Falardeau, Deep Rai, Jessica Strand, Michael Wainwright, Tim Parrish, Tina Johnson, Jesse Parr, & Master Dave Johnson.
Movie Heroes Studios/Schumacher III/Stellar Lense Productions
84 minutes. Not Rated.
Horror

★★★1/2
IMG_0271I’ll always defend found footage because, when done right, the results can be shockingly impressive, and really scary. There’s a lot of misfires. It’s a relatively new subgenre, in terms of popularity, considering movies like Cannibal Holocaust and 84C MoPic have been around since the ’80s, even before The Blair Witch Project turned bigger audiences onto the idea. Because the subgenre became a hot property for studios, and an easy way to make movies for amateur filmmakers or even anybody nowadays with an iPhone, we’ve been inundated with a ton of found footage titles.
Altar starts out with a typical sort of setup, with a bunch of old college classmates who wind up lost on their way to a reunion in the Sierra Nevada. From there, we see a few similarities to popular entries in the genre, particularly The Blair Witch Project. Director-writer Matthew Sconce ultimately treads his own path by using expected conventions and a few of his own tricks along the way.
This film doesn’t flip the subgenre on its head, nor does it show us anything wildly different from what we’ve seen before. It does offer a creepy, unexpected slice of horror that feels like genre comfort food – the same ole good stuff you’d hope to get, plus a twist of originality in the execution.
IMG_0274Altar succeeds investing the audience in the characters. These people feel real, like they’re actually a group of friends who’ve known one another a long time, we revisit their nostalgia alongside them on this reunion trip. There’s a lot of good organic little scenes where the characters all build up through dialogue that’s not just jammed with exposition. Even a decent explanation aside from ‘I wanna record our reunion’ that plays well into the relationships between certain characters. While not every aspect of the writing impresses me, Sconce makes it all feel natural. Lending to that are the believable performances of the lead actors.
A nice addition in the cast of characters is that one of them has Asperger’s – the guy holding the camera. Not a POV we often see, so the inclusion is great, and the fact it all comes to bear on the character himself, what happens to him (et cetera) is really great.
When you’re engaged and you care about the people in a found footage film it’s easier putting yourself in their shoes. The woods are more often than not in this subgenre used as just a default place to send actors where they can run and scream into the darkness. Whereas Altar instead puts more work into the story, adding an ultra creepy bit of ancient mystery in the forest. There’s a familiarity around many a corner throughout the film, though Sconce combats that with some ingenuity. If anything, you’ll at least find a nagging curiosity on the brain concerning the titular altar.
IMG_0276The creeps are subtle and spaced out. It isn’t until the final 20 minutes when things unleash, when the tension boils over and there’s nothing but a spiral towards madness. Sconce avoids the usual ‘Turn off the camera’ moments, the constant infighting, sudden ruined friendships over fear. He opts to go for more of a group terror, one that lingers like static every moment we follow the group of friends. It’s not as if anything unexpected happens. What works is the tense, unsettling suspense of the last 20 minutes.
One thing I loved? A character actually brings a gun with her. You always wonder why people going into the mountains or the backwoods. Well, this time someone did! Whether that helps in the end, you’ll have to see for yourself.
Throughout Altar are a few eerie images. Such as the altar in the woods itself, which is so strange from the first time we see it onscreen. The axe guy in the beginning is almost chuckle-worthy at times, yet he’ll stay with you, getting under your skin in a brief amount of time. I did laugh at him, only to see the characters sitting by a campfire later and asking myself if they were to be slaughtered. Trust me, the answers aren’t as easy as that, they’re much more gruesome fun.
When the true evil of the story comes round, the first appearance is fuzzy, out of focus. You can pick out a shape, enough to feel frightened. Later, the evil becomes more defined, as it takes the characters on a hell of a ride.
IMG_0278I personally feel Altar‘s more worth your time than many efforts out there. Better than most of the sequels to Paranormal Activity. There’s a solid ending, too. Not one that begs for another film with a weak finish. Rather, we’re treated to – in this day and age of cinematic universes galore – a closed-ended story. There’s a mythology that of course isn’t totally laid out through expository writing for us, part of why I dig the storytelling. No sequel setup, no mush mouth explanations of worthless dialogue trying to create a huge backstory for the movie’s big evil.
Herein lies the greatest strength of the movie: it gives just enough without giving us more than necessary. I’m impressed, Mr. Sconce. Hope we see more soon. Horror won’t ever pass up guys like him, working with familiar territory and giving us his own take.

The Mist – Season 1, Episode 3: “Show and Tell”

Spike’s The Mist
Season 1, Episode 3: “Show and Tell”
Directed by Nick Murphy
Written by Peter Biegen

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Withdrawal” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Pequod” – click here
Pic 1Everyone at the church wakes up, the first morning after the mist came over their town. Adrian (Russell Posner) worries the others are “all dead” but Kevin (Morgan Spector) assures him they’re okay, that they’ve survived just like them. Upstairs, they look through a stained glass window’s scratch to spy a vehicle worth taking. They’ll need Mia (Danica Curcic), though the kid doesn’t trust her. And there’s the fact Connor (Darren Pettie) has her handcuffed. Those two dads are going to have a difficult moment, at some point.
Over in the mall, Eve (Alyssa Sutherland) comforts her daughter. Alex (Gus Birney) doesn’t exactly know how to be comforted, with the things outside, her rapist Jay (Luke Cosgrove) inside, people hanging themselves. The bodies are cut down by Jay and mall manager Gus Bradley (Isiah Whitlock Jr) – they’re military personnel, soldiers. Even more unsettling. There’s discussion of what to do with the corpses, then they want to search everyone for dog tags. One other soldier is left, a private in the army; he doesn’t have any information, so he says. But it’s more likely the military knows exactly what is happening.
Thus, suicides.
Pic 1ANatalie (Frances Conroy) talks about finding something 1860 in the newspapers. She’s told it’s supposedly a local legend concerning “the Black Spring” – a curse, after the murder of a young woman. Even creepier is they can see her husband Benedict lurking out there in the mist.
Then Kevin asks Connor to help them with getting to the mall, he needs Mia. Of course the cop won’t help. He’s suddenly concerned with law, despite leaving people behind to maybe die at the station. They get into a big argument which leads to the cop putting Mia in the basement. Bryan (Okezie Morro) keeps on looking out for her, helping her through the withdrawal symptoms; with a bottle of pills. Plus he gets her cuffs off. They form a mutual trust, as he’s just as lost in his own ways amongst the rest of the town. He didn’t even remember himself when he woke up.
After getting chewed out by the mall manager, the game store guys – Vic (Erik Knudsen) and Ted (Jonathan Malen) – decide they’ll make themselves useful. By using the bodies found to test the mist, to see what’s going on out there. Hmm, could make for interesting trouble.
One interesting note: I love the moral implications at play, in terms of the way Adrian sees things. He doesn’t like Jay, for likely raping Alex. He also does not trust Mia, as she’s accused for murder. The way Kevin sees no problem trusting Mia under the circumstances of what they’re facing, Adrian can’t reconcile morality on those terms.
Pic 2Later when Kevin tries helping to free Mia and Bryan, he winds up down there with them after Connor the pig – in two senses of the word at this point – says some heinous shit about his wife and daughter.
Speaking of, Alex runs into Jay in one of the mall shops. He says he “didnt hurt” or “touch” her that night. So, is he a liar? I think so. He acts like he did something noble, taking her upstairs and covering her up to sleep off the drunk. Why not get her out of there, get her home? Anything could’ve happened by leaving her there. He’s a rapist, gaslighting his victim.
Out of nowhere, Natalie decides she’s going home. She means out into the mist, with her husband. When one of the men tries stopping her, a bug flies into his ear. Then, perfectly, it bulges out of the moth tattoo on his back, splitting him open, sprouting the wings through his flesh. A swarm of bugs flying from his mouth. Almost more terrifying is how Natalie reacts, as if she’s seen a revelation. Although not one out of the Bible.
Natalie: “Its okay, I dont want to die anymore. Im happy. Ive seen God.”
The remaining soldier flips when he finds the games store dudes put the bodies out in the open, as an experiment. Gus finds out and he’s not entirely pleased, either. But there’s no bringing them back inside. Moreover, they need to “establish a set of rules.” This could be where things begin getting out of hand, when new rules are imposed on people. Might get tricky.
Pic 3The priest believes God’s testing their faith. Of course, what else would be think? He reels off the story of Job to Adrian, telling about the challenge of Satan to God. Et cetera, et cetera. Job prospered in patience, ever faithful. The kid’s reaching out for any kind of love, even if it’s the love of God. So long as it’s genuine. An interesting gay character I want to see more of throughout this season.
Mostly the new rules at the mall cover not stealing from the various shops, these types of things. Then one of the security guards decides anybody who “endangers the group” gets tossed. Jay’s writing down the rules, clearly a part of the new makeshift administration with Gus. So Eve isn’t having that. Neither is shopkeeper Raj Al-Fayed (Nabeel El Khafif), not wanting to see what the prejudice against someone like himself will produce. To get themselves in a more suitable position of power, Eve grabs the guard’s gun: “I always was an anarchist.” Nice fucking move, mom! This woman is a goddamn survivor.
Adrian decides he wants to be baptised in the church, which Father Romanov does gladly. Helping him accept the love of God into his heart. Now he’s repenting sins. However, things get sort of weird. As if the boy’s being turned inward on himself. Yet he manages to slip some keys out of the priest’s pocket. To help his friends in the basement. WHAT A SMOOTH CAT! Jesus, people are surprising me here in this episode. Dig it. Not only that, Kevin gets to lay a few punches in on the asshole cop Connor before their little group makes off out the doors.
At the mall, Alex works on notes to tie on a ton of balloons, they let them fly in the air outside to maybe reach help somewhere, to reach anybody and let them know survivors are there. Let’s hope Kevin and his friends get there soon. In one piece.
Pic 4I’ve got to say, The Mist is defying my personal expectations. I didn’t think it’d thrill me in the way it is already. First three episodes are fantastic, I look forward to the rest. These characters have drawn me in, their predicaments are compelling. Effects aren’t always perfect but they’re intense and imaginative at times so far, so that’s enough for me.
“Pequod” is the next episode and it’s sure to provide us with something wild again.

The Mist – Season 1, Episode 2: “Withdrawal”

Spike’s The Mist
Season 1, Episode 2: “Withdrawal”
Directed by David Boyd
Written by Peter Macmanus

* For a recap & review of the pilot episode, click here.
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Show and Tell” – click here
Pic 1SO MUCH TENSION in the pilot episode! Now, we’ve got people stuck in tight little places together, all their various beefs and tensions locked in there with them. Juicy, and scary.
Everybody more or less knows something sinister, something horrible lurks in the mist. Kevin (Morgan Spector), Bryan (Okezie Morro), Mia (Danica Curcic), and Adrian (Russell Posner) try to determine what they ought to do next. Kevin wants to go to the mall, to find his wife Eve (Alyssa Sutherland) and daughter Alex (Gus Birney). Meanwhile, big brave Connor (Darren Pettie), man of the law, left them at the station to run like a coward. He ends up having a moose crash right through his windshield, then must go the rest of the way on foot.
Poor Natalie (Frances Conroy), having watched as an unknown man blew her husband away, so Father Romanov (Dan Butler) comforts as much as he can. Nobody knows what’s going on. Not only has the mist crowded the land, it’s bringing an almost peak level of hysteria already.
Gus Bradley (Isiah Whitlock Jr), mall manager) asks Eve and Alex about what happened to the woman who went outside. Hard to explain, though she does. Nobody can tell what’s inside the mist. Only that it’s horrific. There are many people stuck in the mall. Gus makes sure nobody goes through the doors, locking them. All they can do now is sit tight, be safe. Awkwardly painful for Alex, as her accused rapist Jay (Luke Cosgrove) is in there, too.
Pic 2We see that habit of Mia kicking up. She’s obviously got dependency issues, looking for a few pills in the evidence locker. Wonder if she’ll cause a problem on the way to the mall, once they’re at the mall. Either way, Bryan finds her out, and he’s willing to help her. If she goes into withdrawals then it’s going to get ugly.
Eve and Alex and a woman named Kimmy go around helping to lock the doors at the mall. One of the hallways is “filled with mist” and there’s already a dead body. Not looking fucking good! There’s a radio in their security office. Only problem is it’s past the misty hall. People speculate whether this thing is natural, if it’s “terrorism” or who knows. It really doesn’t matter particularly, not at this point. All that matters is staying safe and survival.
They use a drone from one of the stores to get a look down the hall, Jay flies the unit on through. They locate another dead body; on the floor, something spelled out in blood. AMMO? ANNA? Now someone must go for the radio. Nobody exactly wants to volunteer. Therefore, they’ve got to a lottery-type draw.
Kevin and the others are trying to get out of the cop shop. They run for a cruiser outside, the longer they stop the more the mist envelopes them. Luckily, they’re able to get away. Although Mia’s starting to get the shakes, the sweats, not sure how long she’ll be good to drive. Someone stops them in the road, drawing a gun to steal the car. Rather than wait for anything to happen Mia runs the guy over. Before flipping the car in the road.
Nobody’s hurt too badly, which is the only saving grace. Yet the mist stats pushing in, cracking the window while they’re all stuck momentarily upside down. After they get out it’s either run or die. They flee towards the church bells ringing. Mia is about to go back for the guns when she comes across her dead mother in the mist, calling out to her; fuck that, go to the church!
Pic 3When they get inside Kevin confronts Connor, who ends up putting the cuffs on Mia. This guy’s a real piece of work. The cop blames them for taking too long, for Kevin staging a “prison break.” Truly he’s just a coward, doesn’t want to admit that. He’s meant to serve and protect. I guess that means only if he feels brave enough. We also see how lost Natalie is without her husband, lost in such a brutal, random killing.
Natalie: “Theres no spirit. Theres just nature. Theres here, and not here.”
At the mall, Eve is drawn in the lottery to go get the radio. One man refuses to let her go alone. They head downstairs, into the hallway, rushing through the mist. In the security room they get to the emergency radio. We gather this guy with Eve is a military man, he’s got a gun and knows more than it seems. She wants to get away, worried about being alone with him. She takes off, they end up wrestling in the mist. And she puts a bullet in him to escape before whatever’s in the mist can get her. Knowing she already has past issues with men, in some awful way, this can only exacerbate her fears. When she gets back to the others she says they lost each other down there, that the radio didn’t work. Shit, I hope that lie doesn’t come back to bite her hard.
Natalie finds some communion wine, to make a toast for Benedict. She talks about their lives together, the simple joys of their marriage. “We had money, but we never stopped drinking cheap wine.” It’s tragic. Everyone joins in for a toast, even those who didn’t know him well. Bryan gives a bit to Mia, to take the edge off. But there’s big trouble brewing between Connor and Kevin, they won’t last together under one roof for too long.
This is the first night in the mist. Everyone lays their head down with a wariness, that tomorrow might bring anything, and who knows what it’ll be, in what form. And life still goes on, people can’t turn their lives off just because of this incident. So all those tensions keep on rising. Not to mention, Bryan confirms to Mia she wasn’t having withdrawal when she saw her mother in the mist: “I saw her, too,” says Bryan.
In one of the mall bathrooms, Jay finds two people hanged by the neck from a pipe.
Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 11.21.59 AMMan, I’m impressed. Not everything’s perfect, but it’s a great show so far! I’m eager for more. These first two episodes flow really well and the excitement’s growing. Bits and pieces of horror along the way. Like any good slice of Stephen King, what’s best are the characters, their lives, their stories, and how they react in these mortifying moments.
“Show and Tell” is next. Will we see more devastation? Count on it.

The Mist – Season 1, Episode 1: “Pilot”

Spike’s The Mist
Season 1, Episode 1: “Pilot”
Directed by Adam Bernstein
Written by Christian Torpe

* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Withdrawal” – click here
Pic 1Bryan Hunt (Okezie Morro) wakes in the woods with a dog named Rufus. It’s almost as if he isn’t sure he’s himself: “I am Bryan and you are Rufus,” he says assuring himself. All around him a fog, a thick mist wafts over the forest, over everything. The dog runs in and Bryan chases him. But inside the mist is something terrible, it guts the poor animal to nearly nothing, a pelt left and innards, blood splattered all over the ground.
A woman named Eve Copeland (Alyssa Sutherland) is chastised for teaching topics not meant to be covered in the curriculum at her school, such as sexual education. She’s taken it upon herself, since it was taken out, to teach it at her discretion. This lands her with a temporary leave from work. She and her husband Kevin (Morgan Spector) discuss things, deciding to take it all as it comes. They’ve got a good family, nice neighbours including Natalie Raven (Frances Conroy). It’s a typical small town, people watching the football game and cheering the local boys.
Then there’s Mia Lambert (Danica Curcic), being held in a barn by some man, having the shit kicked out of her. Calls her “junkie” and knocks her around. Before she stabs him in the gut with a pitchfork.
Christ, there’s a lot going on in this place. A town full of wild characters, normal characters, everything in between.
Pic 1AKevin and his family are interesting, he loves his wife and at the same time recognises she can be cold, particularly with their daughter Alex (Gus Birney). Later at a party when her father lets her go out, Alex and Adrian (Russell Posner) run into a bit of trouble. Until football nice guy Jay Heisel (Luke Cosgrove) jumps in to help Alex after another player calls him a “faggot” in front of everybody.
At the police station, Hunt runs in talking about “something in the mist” and his dead dog. He wants to get a gun, so they naturally believe he’s gone mad. Local cop Connor Heisel (Darren Pettie) throws him in a cell, as he raves about the thing in the most, that it’s coming for them.
Mia goes to her mother’s house, only it isn’t her place anymore. She’s dead, someone else lives there now. This woman’s got history, a deep and dark one. Look forward to seeing more of her. The characters in general are very quickly developed, well rounded, in the sense it’s easy to feel part of their lives. All the better for when the horror begins.
Problems start when Alex tells her parents she blacked out as someone led her upstairs at the party, after she was drinking. Fuck. Someone raped her. She blames herself, but mom assures her it isn’t her fault. Turns out Adrian knows what happened, claiming that Jay did it. Furthermore, Eve is pissed with her husband for letting their daughter go to that party. It’s nobody’s fault except for the dirty rapist.
The cops ask Bryan a few questions. He mentions he’s homeless, doesn’t remember his Social Security Number. They treat him like an asshole instead of being either bit understanding, throwing him up against the bars and acting aggressive. Ah, American law enforcement!
In her garden, Natalie sees a bunch of toads come out, other insects and things acting strangely, birds flying away from a patch of woods in the sky. An eerie omen.
Pic 2Tests at the hospital are tricky, confirming a drug in her system, meaning she was passed out. Although there’s no trauma, which of course in a fucking court would cast all kinds of doubt because humans are idiots. Meanwhile, Alex finds only slight comfort in Adrian at home. They know how the town will act in the face of football star Jay being accused, refusing to believe he could be anything but wonderful. A few jocks already vandalise the street outside with the word WHORE. Simultaneously, Connor coaches his son along. Sort of assuming he’s guilty, only telling him he won’t go to jail. Yikes. What a mess they’re into, all of them.
Mia’s broken into a barn out back of her mother’s, digging up a bag. The owner ambushes her, keeping her at gunpoint. She gets the drop on him, yet has to leave without her satchel of cash and passports and whatever else. Cops catch up with her, though. She’s thrown in prison right next to poor Bryan.
Eve wants to take her daughter out of the house, leaving Kevin behind. She doesn’t feel it’s safe there for Alex. Mom knows about “guys like Jay” and she needs to get them away from there, at least for a few days. All the while that mist keeps on creeping.
And Natalie, along with her reluctant husband Benedict (Derek McGrath), she’s a bit of a conspiracy nut. She’s reading up on things, on “nature turning sour.” She wonders if there’s a connection with what she saw earlier, looking at microfiche of newspaper from 1860.
Pic 3Outside the police station are noises, car horns and a crash. The mist is swallowing the town, opening wide above it and covering everything. Alex drops hints about her mother’s past, saying that the town knows she was a slut; prompts a strong reaction from Eve. Did something bad happen to her? With that mist growing, Kevin, Connor, the other officers, they’re clouded in it. Cell reception drops out. And one cop taking selfies in the foggy air meets a pack of bugs swarming him, devouring him.
People don’t know any better, so they head out into the mist. It’s so thick they literally can’t see more than several feet ahead of them. A man with a gun appears, not knowing if what he’s seeing is real before shooting Benedict right in the throat, sending Natalie off on her own, stumbling into the church to the arms of Father Romanov (Dan Butler).
Kevin and Connor are about to leave, but the former runs in to get Adrian. He’s left with the decision of leaving Bryan and Mia, or taking them, as well. Mia does a good job talking him into letting them go, clashing with the kid a bit first. She’s a bad motherfucker. Outside, Connor leaves them behind like a coward.
What we can see is all the conflict in the town that’s about to be stuck in close quarters, every hateful remark, every nasty rumour, every secret bound together in a tight spaces with others of the same kind. Whereas The Mist we know stuck to a smaller space, it looks as if – at least at first – some of the groups of people will be separated in various claustrophobic locations.
Pic 4One perk? A woman who says Alex “lied about getting raped” walks directly into the mist, like a dummy, and the people inside the shopping centre watch as she has half her face torn off, then gets sucked back into the mist by something unseen. SCARY, and holds a bit of retribution for that woman’s awfulness. Nothing any better at the station, as the officer covered in bugs barely has a face left, either. Mia has to put a bullet in his head, saving Kevin when the cop nearly thrashes him.
Only now they’re all stuck, the mist outside, and all their demons raging inside.
Pic 5Great first episode! Was quite wary when I heard about it, but I love Stephen King. Huge fan. This story was always a good one, very chilling and spooky. The film was great, so I’m now looking forward to what they’ll do with this season.
“Withdrawal” is next week. Honestly, I might have withdrawals until then. Because I’m revved up by this pilot.

The Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 14: “Prey”

AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 3, Episode 14: “Prey”
Directed by Stefan Schwartz
Written by Glen Mazzara & Evan T. Reilly

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Arrow on the Doorpost” – click here
* For a recap & review of the penultimate Season 3 episode, “This Sorrowful Life” – click here
IMG_0095We see Andrea (Laurie Holden) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) in the forest, before, when they were travelling together. Andrea starts asking about the leashed walkers, asking if she knew them, which Michonne confirms: “They deserve what they get, they werent human to begin with,” she says.
Back in Woodbury, the Governonr (David Morrissey) prepares his own chains, to hold and keep someone firmly in place. For some of his darkest plans yet.
IMG_0096Caesar (Jose Pablo Cantillo) is doing his boss’ bidding, assembling weapons and people to head for the prison. Milton (Dallas Roberts) thinks it’s a “show of force.” For her part, Andrea believes otherwise. She knows there’s something not right. But then again, so does Milton. He sees the Governor falling apart in terrifying shambles. Likely with no way to stop it, either.
What Milton discovers is that Michonne is slated to be put in that chair, and much worse. When Andrea finds out she’s rightfully shocked. Milton shows her the room, the chair, all the nasty tools prepared for her friend. He asks her to go tell the people at the prison to get away. She’d rather kill the Governor, when she’s had so many chances before.
Andrea winds up slipping past Tyreese (Chad Coleman) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) while they watch the wall, shooting walkers. They’re good people, which is already clear, so they don’t give her too much grief; they’re not the authoritarians in Woodbury. When the Governor finds out Andrea’s gone he tries making out he’s only concerned for her, though he worries she’s up to something else. He tries not to worry Tyreese and Sasha. It’s clear they know Woodbury isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Alone, Andrea makes her way for the prison, as she hears vehicles scouring the road to locate her. If anybody’s good at surviving on her own, it’s her.
IMG_0097Tyreese and Sasha find out more about Woodbury when they go help Caesar. They see a pit of walkers in a field. A preparation for when they head for the prison, apparently. More to release upon Rick and his people. “This is sick,” says Tyreese. He refuses to take part while one of the others from his group hops on board real quick. The two men end up fighting and Tyreese nearly feeds him to the pit, before letting him go. More and more, the brother and sister pair see things they don’t like in their new camp.
Out on the plains Andrea is nearly found by another patrol. She hides as best she can before anyone sees her. But the Governor comes a-callin’, trying to stop her from running back to her former group. She makes away into the trees before he can catch up. After another while she comes to a set of buildings where she hides. He almost finds her, he begs her to come back to Woodbury, pleading in the dark. I don’t see that working, buddy. Instead of wait patiently he smashes anything he can find to try flushing her out. They come face to face after not too long. She doesn’t decide on going home. She locks him in a room with a horde of walkers, leaving him behind.
IMG_0101After so much bullshit, Andrea gets back to the prison. In the tower Rick (Andrew Lincoln) almost spies her, before the Governor sneaks up. He’s caught her, and so close to where she was headed. Meanwhile, the walker pits near Woodbury are scorched, the zombies melted in a pile. Someone’s been naughty.
The Governor arrives back at Woodbury to hear Tyreese and Sasha are under suspicion. He also curiously doesn’t tell Caesar he found Andrea. He heads over to talk with Tyreese and their group, smoothing things out, placating with lies. For now, they agree to stay and not cause any trouble. Because they didn’t cause any to start. Hmm; my guess is Mr. Milton Mamet.
The chair, lacking Michonne, has now been occupied by Andrea. Oh shit.
IMG_0104A gritty, creepy, intense episode. Love it. Next is “This Sorrowful Life” and there’s a ton more intensity to come as we get closer to the Season 3 finale.