Tagged Skyler Samuels

Scream Queens – Season 1, Episode 13: “The Final Girl(s)”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 1, Episode 13: “The Final Girl(s)”
Directed by Brad Falchuk
Written by Brad Falchuk/Ian Brennan/Ryan Murphy

* For a review of the previous episode, “Dorkus” – click here

 


With a seemingly shocking reveal by Hester (Lea Michele), high heel in her eye at the end of the penultimate episode “Dorkus”, #5 (Abigail Breslin) was pointed to as the other Red Devil Killer.
This finale episode begins in January 2016, with Zayday (Keke Palmer) and Grace (Skyler Samuels) at the head of the sorority. Even further, Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) is there smiling. Plus Hester (Lea Michele), who has an eye patch, and she claims via voice-over she grew up in a mental institution, she is the only Chanel left. Her 20-year plan went off just as planned. Wow! Really? I was all bent on #5 actually being the other killer, but I’m slightly surprised now with Hester’s revelations. We get great flashbacks to Gigi Caldwell (Nasim Pedrad) teaching little Boone and Hester in the asylum all about chainsaws and hammers, and the terrifying things for which they’re quite useful. A ton of fun moments with Hester in the asylum, ranging from darkly comical to full-on horrific. Hester specifically talks about her rockin’ bod, therefore it was necessary to find a “cloak of social invisibility” which came to be the huge brace.

 


Hester: “What Ive noticed is that the more weird and gross you are, the less people wanna know about you. No one asks the kid with terrible acne what their favorite movie is or where they were born.”

 


Then Gigi and Hester found the Red Devil costume, ironically killing the Red Devil as their first victim. Very eerie scene where Gigi stabs him to death, sort of shrouded in a little darkness and looking completely insane. The filling in of back story is good fun, explaining how Hester and Boone (Nick Jonas) never went to high school, so it became hard for them to get into college; Hester slipped in due to Munsch’s idiocy, Boone simply showed up among the Dickie Dollar Scholas and pretended to be a student. Best of all is watching the eye patched Hester doing a voice-over, as Grace and Zayday talk to the new sorority pledges.
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Gigi: “Hammers are good for bashing people in the skull and watching them bleed to death.”
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Then we’re back to Hester preparing to jab herself in the eyeball with the high heel shoe. A perfectly nasty little scene. We see her being rushed out by paramedics, still claiming #5 is the Red Devil Killer. Everything is looking rough for poor #5, how could I have doubted her? Well Chanel #1 (Emma Roberts) and #3 (Billie Lourd) are especially convinced, throwing all kinds of accusations at her. New Chief Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) strolls in talking about a male body with chiseled abs and possibly a “gay face“, even though everyone is already aware Boone is dead and gone. Still, Grace and Zayday are convinced of Hester’s guilt. Then the crazy shows up, her eye patched with gauze, claiming she was home schooled and that’s why her high school transcript was faked, et cetera. She continually blames #5, trying to sway everyone to believing her obviously fabricated truth. Then up shows Hester’s father and mother, so she says; it’s obviously a fake family, they even say they’re in the CIA, but they’re clearly a couple actors. Chanel #5’s parents show up and they’re not more interested in her than any of her sorority sisters are. They give up a story about her being adopted from Gigi: a flashback sees Hester going to #5’s parents, they actually hate her claiming “our daughter sucks“. So many ridiculous notions flying around. Denise still thinks Zayday is the killer, too.

 


Chanel #1: “I think youre a serial killer because I know you, #5! You bite your own toenails!
Chanel #5: “Okay, I am flexible. Why would I waste my money buying toenail clippers when God already blessed me with toenail clippers in the form of teeth in my mouth?

 


On top of everything, #3 is accused as being in cahoots with #5. We get more hilarious Billie Lourd here, talking about bathroom duties: “I was past number two. I had to go: number three.” I mean, I actually fucking choked laughing at this part. Especially when Lourd refers to taking a dump as “laying pipe“. Then there are more inclusions of #3’s father as being Charles Manson – letters from prison talking about killing people, strapping bombs to people, and so on. Another laugh out loud moment: “Dirty Helen.” So much back and forth between Chanels #3 and #5 and Hester, with occasional interjection from Chief of Police Denise Hemphill. But basically what happens is Hester accuses all the Chanels, even #1, of being in cahoots together. Except we actually see Hester dressed up as #1, buying things at a home improvement store. Not like we don’t already know what’s happening. But I still dig how they’ve combed through so much fabrication on Hester’s part.
The sequence afterwards where the Chanels are arrested, perfectly by a bunch of deputized male strippers in police officer uniforms, all of which is accompanied by a great tune.
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Flash to May 2016. Dean Munsch is very happy, about the campus open and free, the Chanels having their bail revoked, and other fun stuff. Turns out Chad Radwell (Glen Powell) and Denise Hemphill have broken up their long steamy affair, including her TLC “Waterfalls” quotes; great return to the pilot with reference to the song. “We got too close to the sun baby, we shined too bright,” she says. To which Chad replies: “I promise Ill never bang anybody like I banged you.” Moreover, Chad starts a ridiculously abbreviated charity in the name of Roger, Dodger, Earl Grey, and the boys. He can’t exactly explain to which charity the money will go, “I dont know all of them.” Then there’s Munsch with a book out on “new new feminism”, making lots of light of her past terrible year. So when will all this break? When will the lives of these survivors be impacted by the reality that Hester was one of the Red Devil Killers?
Then, Dean Munsch reveals to Hester she knows the truth. She remembers the baby in the bathtub, the girl, she knew it was Hester all grown up. To all this, Hester replies she needed a real father, she needed good influence instead of the painful upbringing she experienced. Even with all her amorality, Munsch knows the death of all those people was wrong, they did not deserve her wrath. Only Hester strikes a tentative deal: she won’t say anything about Munsch covering up the death of her mother those two decades ago, or the suspicious death of her husband, if dear Cathy won’t say anything about her murderous rampage. Deal struck. For now.

 


Grace is showing Wes (Oliver Hudson) around the new sorority house, including lifelines for girls like his wife who were forced into situations like happened twenty years ago, when she gave birth and died in that bathtub. They have lots of nice father-daughter catching up, including some typical hilariousness.
Then the courtroom scene with the Chanels is pure comedy gold. Especially when we see the jury’s ballot as marked NOT GUILTY, before Chanel #1 makes a scene, then the jury foreman crosses those decisions out and marks off GUILTY on “all 47 charges“. There are amazing instances of surreal comedy throughout Scream Queens and this whole scene is a perfect example of that. Even while the Chanels are complete pieces of shit, there’s something tragic about them being sent away to an asylum while Hester still walks around, murder in her heart. My favourite part of the episode is when the Chanels are shipped off to the asylum, as Simple Minds’ hit “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” plays throughout. Even after a bit Chanel #1 & #5 become best friends, as well as they all gorge on food because there are “no boys to stay skinny for“. Most laughs here: Chanel becomes House President of the asylum, toasting with prune wine brewed in lock-up. I mean, how can you not laugh? Such a downright funny sequence.

 


In the night at the asylum, Chanel tries to go to sleep. Only above her bed appears the Red Devil Killer. And so comes the end of Season 1.
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I know others weren’t as pleased as I am, but I’ve got to say: I loved this finish. The whole thing didn’t wrap up completely, so Season 2 will come organically out of this finale. I’m excited to see where Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan take their unique horror-comedy vision for the next season. People are saying it was a predictable end. Why does everything have to be so twisty that you NEVER see it coming? Part of the fun of a slasher movie, and in turn a slasher styled series, is that you keep guessing. Sure, maybe you guessed with blind luck early on. Or maybe you guessed, then second guessed yourself, over and over, until finally your first guess was right. Either way, it’s all part of the fun. If you didn’t enjoy it, be done; don’t tune into Season 2. Me, I’ll be back with bells on. Looking forward to more hilarity and horror mixed together, with new adventures for the remaining Final Girls to look forward to down the road.
Will Dean Munsch pay for her indiscretions? Will Chanel #1 survive? Is Hester still the only one in the Red Devil Killer costume, or does she have new help? We’ll see next year.

Scream Queens – Season 1, Episode 12: “Dorkus”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 1, Episode 12: “Dorkus”
Directed by Bradley Buecker
Written by Brad Falchuk/Ian Brennan/Ryan Murphy

* For a review of the previous episode, “Black Friday” – click here
* For a review of the finale, “The Final Girl(s)” – click here
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Starting at the end of “Black Friday“, Pete (Diego Boneta) reveals to Grace (Skyler Samuels) his role in everything happening. When Pete found Boone (Nick Jonas) out to be the Red Devil Killer, he thought it made sense that the Kappa House sorority were pure evil, everything that was wrong with society even. So Pete believes “the Kappas, the Chanels“, all that is the evil here; not the Red Devil. He compares the 100+ deaths at the sorority since the ’70s to the 8 or so at the Devil has taken. No big deal, right?
We get to see a bunch of scenes where Pete recounts which victims were by his hand. First, there’s Rodger, “or Dodger, I dont knowI getem all mixed up,” says Pete. Yet even though crazy Pete is now confessing all this to Grace, there’s still the other Red Devil Killer. We haven’t yet figured that part of it all out. But there is a lot of good revisiting of scenes, plus Grace chastises Pete for being a murderer AND a douche, quoting Nietzsche like a dummy. Then there’s also the fact Pete was the one that actually killed Boone, not the supposed twin sister.
Pete goes back and tells Grace about his encounter with Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts). She reveals her darkest fantasy, or so she says, involving Clan of the Cave Bear, pulling Pete into a humiliation scenario where Chanel #3 & #5 (Billie Lourd/Abigail Breslin) watch him act just like a caveman, face and body point and all. Rough, and hilarious.
But Grace doesn’t want any part of Pete or his confession: “If you want me to stay, youre gonna have to kill me.” Pete has more information, though. The identity of the other killer; one of Grace’s sisters. Is it #3, who claimed Charles Manson was her birth father? The oft-tortured #5? It couldn’t be Chanel #1, could it? Before Pete can reveal who the “other baby in the bathtub” was, the Red Devil Killer appears from the closet, stabbing Pete who can only croak: “Run.” Grace and the other Red Devil wrestle awhile, before Grace gets knocked the hell out.


More great voice-over from Emma Roberts, as Chanel #1 struts her stuff down the sidewalk at campus. This is where we get the Delta Gamma parody from Chanel. Even better, the stylized sequence we get with the letter itself is AMAZING! Everyone from #3, #5, to Zayday (Keke Palmer) reads the letter on their phone, while we simultaneously get to watch/hear Chanel # 1 type the whole thing out. One of my favourite scenes out of the entire first season. It has all the venom and hilarity of the original letter it is satirizing. The whole thing has to do with Chanel #1 ending up alone at the pool with Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis), looking like an idiot with a bunch of chains. I couldn’t get enough of this sequence, it was so well done. Even more than that, I think we can count Ms. Oberlin out of the running for the other Red Devil Killer. Personally I can’t see her being the other killer. Especially seeing as how the other killer brought the missive she wrote to the world. And the plot thickens.


Chanel #1: “You can all SUCK IT!


Chanel decides to kill herself, “like Cleopatra“. Zayday finds her on her bed with a deadly snake, supposedly, in a box. Turns out it’s just a garden snake in a knitted sweater half its body length. But Zayday sort of talks her down. They have a heartfelt chat about being nice, and not saying “the first horrible thing that pops into your head all the time”. Funny at times, sweet in others. I really love Zayday’s character; Keke Palmer is talented and has a ton of charisma, perfect for this role.
Then out of nowhere, the Red Devil Killer shows up, bumbling and acting like an idiot. When Zayday knocks him out, there’s a strange anonymous guy under the mask. Downstairs, Hester (Lea Michele) is also rambling, talking about a woman with scars on her face saying something like “Dork“. Not hard to tell: Melanie Dorkus (Brianne Howey) is somewhere lurking about.
Our anonymous guy in the Red Devil costume reveals he’s a pizza delivery guy. The real Devil wrapped his waist in dynamite. When the timer finally counts down and all the girls run away, it blows the pizza guy to bits. Pretty awesome and nasty scene, too. Afterwards, we see Chanel trying her hardest to turn a corner, planning an “apology tour“.
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Over at her dad’s place, Grace sits for a drink with Wes (Oliver Hudson). He’s another great character who is pretty damn hilarious. This whole conversation at the start was a crack-up. Even further, they have a bit of a serious chat about trust, life. And then more conversation on the Red Devil Killer. Wes suggests “lie detectors” and “waterboarding“. Grace has other plans.
When Cathy Munsch arrives home, she finds her place littered with lit candles. Then upstairs on the bed, Wes is stretched out with a rose, a couple petals on the bed, in nothing but his underwear; in the background, Heart’s “Crazy on You” plays. Wes even switches over to some “Listen to Your Heart” by Roxette, pouncing on Munsch, as Zayday and Grace sneak about in the background.


The Chanels go to see Melanie Dorkus, except for #6, Ms. Hester. Instead, she stays back at Kappa. She rifles through all sorts of drawers in Chanel #1’s massive walk-in closet, sauntering around smelling shoes and touching dresses. Such a weirdo.
At the same time, Grace and Zayday try researching the other Kappa House ladies. They need to find out information pertaining to who might be the other killer, looking through the courses they’ve taken, their families, et cetera. Nice little reference to Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal, too.
After some wild sex, Wes and Dean Munsch lay in bed as she smokes a joint. Then he rolls over and claims it was the best sex of his life. This whole bit made me laugh super hard, in the greatest way. But it ends with Wes wanting a relationship, and Munsch claiming they need Grace to “go away“, at least for a little while.
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Wes: “I never knew sex could be like that. I mean, at first I was like, ‘Wow, shes being really loud. Are the neighbours gonna call the police?And then I was like, ‘Wow, now Im being really loud! Why am I screaming so much? Theyre definitely gonna call the police!And then I just stunned at how flexible you are. I thought you had to be a gymnast to get both feet behind your head.”
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At the Dorkus residence, Chanel #1 & #3 are there to visit Melanie. Except they start things off comparing her to Freddy, Jason Voorhees, and even the Toxic Avenger and Rocky Dennis from Mask. Plus, #3 is in the background filming the apologize. Then #1 pulls out a pair of scissors trying to stab Melanie to death, claiming she’s the killer with all sorts of half-baked evidence. But Grace and Zayday show up to help stop Chanel; they say Hester is the Red Devil Killer.
Only #5 is lurking around Kappa House when the others return. She mysteriously earlier took off because of a Tinder swipe, or so she said. Maybe she was alerted to the fact someone was looking into the information of each of the Kappa girls? Perhaps #5 is the other baby from the bathtub.
The girls all find Hester in the walk-in closet, a high heel driven into her eye socket. She points at #5, shaking, saying: “Red Devil.”
Is it true?
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Wait for the final episode, “The Final Girl(s)“. Let’s find out together.

Scream Queens – Season 1, Episode 11: “Black Friday”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 1, Episode 11: “Black Friday”
Directed by Barbara Brown
Written by Ian Brennan

* For a review of the previous episode, “Thanksgiving” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Dorkus” – click here
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The beginning of “Black Friday” is naturally sassy. Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) and her crew of brown nosers are in their glee. This is their favourite day of the year. Chanel loves it so much because she’ll buy cheap presents for her friends, making them question the bonds of their friendship. She also loves the stampede of piggish Americans forcing their way through the doors, charging one another and so on.
At Kappa House, Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) is consoling Zayday (Keke Palmer), who reluctantly admits Gigi’s roasted head actually smells sort of delicious. However, Munsch and the Chanels have a bit of a confrontation. #1 talks her down, like only she can with brutal sorority house vigour.
Wes (Oliver Hudson), Grace (Skyler Samuels) and Pete (Diego Boneta) show up at the police station. Turns out the mayor is pissed about the Red Devil Killer. He went ahead and fired most of the cop. But makes sense doesn’t it? The lead detective was an idiot.
At the mall, the Chanels end up in the darkened halls, the doors locked and chained. Then from behind the glass, outside, it’s the Red Devil with what looks like a crossbow. The Chanels all run screaming. The Red Devil is inside now coming for them. But instead of running with Hester (Lea Michele) and the others, Chanel #1 goes to confront the killer. She taunts the Red Devil, before taking an arrow to the chest. Though, before the killer can take her out, up shows Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) who is now Chief of Police after all the nonsense. Of course the killer gets away.
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Denise: “Man, why didnt I shoot him when I had the chance? I was busy talkintoo much
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Chanel survives, and back at Kappa she rallies about who the killer is: Dean Munsch. Not everyone believes it. However, Grace somehow ends up on the same side as Chanel #1. She gives an impassioned speech to all the others stating: “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to stop her. Dean Munsch has to die.” A consensus comes up between Chanel and Grace: they’ll poison Munsch. Really? Let’s see how things go down.
Hilarious douche Chad Radwell (Glen Powell) stands up at the podium giving a Dickie Dollar Scholar speech, but everyone is dead. Aside from Pete, who is there for some reason. Chad reads out Boone’s supposed Last Will and Testament. It’s full of things left to – dun, dun, dun – Pete Martinez. Strange, right? Chad’s convinced they’re gay lovers. But fact is, Pete seems to have been using Boone as an undercover source for his investigative reporting. Through all the foolishly funny nonsense Chad spews, he eventually asks Pete to join the Dickie Dollar Scholars. Pete refuses, as if he would ever say yes.

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Chad: “Your body, Pete Martinez, is not a wonderland.”
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Grace and Chanel #1 take a meeting with Dean Munsch at her place. They put on a ton of fake charm and sincerity. Honestly, I’m loving the writing from episode to episode, just because of how Ian Brennan/Brad Falchuk/Ryan Murphy & Co. take down a lot of the dumb things our society today has brought forward.
But there’s lots of mystery and suspense, as the girls bring Munsch a jar of apple cider. One which they’ve poisoned with fish venom. The Dean drinks a whole jar back quick, giving off a burp and exclaiming: “Yesabsolutely nutmeg! Excusez moi.” Jamie Lee Curtis is absolutely perfect for this role and I can see why it was specifically tailored for her. Not only has she gotten the chance to play off previous roles she played in horror films, even her mother’s performance in Psycho. Curtis gets a great chance to show off her comedic chops. She’s one hell of a funny, witty person.
Another thing I love is, again, the suspense. There are plenty of excellently suspenseful scenes throughout this first season. We get more of them in this episode, aided by an equally good score (as usual). The music of the series is beyond cool.
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When Grace decides to change her mind about taking Dean Munsch out, Chanel #1 and the others – even Zayday sort of – decide to kick her to the curb. Back at home with her dad, and Pete apparently, Grace learns what the two have been up to. Wes confirms he didn’t know much about Gigi, to the point of not even knowing how to spell her last name. Doesn’t matter – her name isn’t Gigi Caldwell, but possibly Jess Meyer, a name she checked into the asylum with. A couple eerie, twisting plot points here. Plus, I find it funny Wes and Pete are bonding in any sense of the word because the whole dynamic with Grace and her father is a crack up anyways. Only makes things funnier. But then there’s also the fact Wes fathered the two Red Devil Killers, whose rampage has not yet ended even with Boone dead. So there’s a good deal of complexity happening, even among so much silly fun.
Chanel #1 has a plan for Dean Munsch. A bit of cryotherapy. Chanel and the other girls watch as the Dean heads down into the big chamber, waiting until she freezes to death. Except when they bring her back up, expecting her to be a frozen corpse, tough ole Cathy is still alive!


Pete receives a call at his place. Someone we don’t hear. He asks: “Why do you want to take this any further?” Then he ominously opens up his closet, looking at the Red Devil costume hanging there like we saw a bunch of episodes back when he and Grace were at his apartment. What’s Pete’s connection? Did he help any of the killings, or is he merely aware of it all?
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The Kappa House girls all try to think of how Dean Munsch could’ve possibly survived. #5 (Abigail Breslin) rambles about Teen Wolf (the movie). Hester talks about Rasputin, and the tale of his supposedly vicious death after the first several attempts on his life did not work. A creepy little scene just from the way Lea Michele recites the whole story. So the final plan ends up with Munsch headed for a drowning, says #1.
Only when the signal goes out to the other Chanels, they’re busy being idiots. At the campus pool, #1 ends up alone. She and Munsch are there by themselves now, with #1 bringing along a bunch of chains. Nothing happens, only a bit of back-and-forth between them. This prompts Chanel to end up writing a missive, surely reminiscent of the Delta Gamma letter which took the internet by storm a while back.
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Grace comes to Pete, wanting to give her body over to him. Yet he’s reluctant. Then he drops a bomb before the episode ends: “I don’t want your first time to be with a murderer.” What, Pete? What?
I’m beyond excited to see the next episode, “Dorkus”. Stay tuned with me to find out more about Pete and his revelations!

Scream Queens – Season 1, Episode 7: “Beware of Young Girls”

FOX’s Scream Queen
Season 1, Episode 7:
 “Beware of Young Girls”
Directed by Barbara Brown
Written by Ryan Murphy

* For a review of the previous episode, “Seven Minutes in Hell” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Mommie Dearest” – click here
Picture 1And we’re back at Kappa House for another night of horrors, plus a good few laughs.
Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) is consistently hilarious. She’s beyond oblivious, but to the point it’s comical. They all are really. Chanel #2 (Ariana Grande) is being laid to rest. Instead of a nice eulogy, Chanel #1 rants and raves about the “dumb dead whore” in the casket. It’s such a grim crack-up to me. Others will say it’s overkill. Not me. Totally in line with who Chanel #1 is and her personality is meant to be awful.
The others aren’t particularly upset. Chanel #5 (Abigail Breslin) is more concerned with stirring shit; between suggesting a seance to mend things with #2 from beyond the grave, to bringing up how #2 banged Chad (Glen Powell).
Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd) leads their little Ouija board ceremony, alongside #1, #5, and Hester (Lea Michele). Things start to get a bit spooky once neither of them can admit to moving the Ouija. It spells out the unfaithfulness of Chad. Oh, I get it… obviously the girls are trying to mess with their fearless leader’s head.
Picture 3More and more, the true character of Gigi Caldwell (Nasim Pedrad) comes out. She makes clear their game – her and the Red Devil(s) – is not kidnapping: it is murder. This is wild. Not just that, she and Wes Gardner (Oliver Hudson) are moving along quickly. They’ve got a serious relationship going now. Might spell trouble for Wes, as well as his sweet daughter Grace (Skyler Samuels).
Speaking of Grace, she is trying her hardest to get close with Gigi. Though, the more Grace tackles Gigi’s terrible fashion sense, the closer they’re becoming… the more Gigi digs her nose into things. She’s attempting to push Grace, and reporter Pete (Diego Boneta), towards Dean Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis).
Then we get a nice little Rosemary’s Baby visual homage with Feather McCarthy (Tavi Gevinson) looking so similar to Mia Farrow. Gigi suggests going to talk to her, a former Kappa Sister. Pete and Grace meet with her. She opens up a new little subplot involving Dean Munsch – turns out Feather slept with Munsch’s husband, creating an incredibly tense situation. Apparently, Cathy would then show up everywhere dressed like Feather, terrifying the young girl and everyone else. Lots and lots of stuff pointing towards Munsch as being involved with the Red Devils. But can we believe this? I feel there’s something more devious, more dark at play. But who can tell.
Picture 4Back at Feather’s house, she discovers an ominous bloody arrow on the floor, a severed arm and motions to go THIS WAY. Further and further she heads upstairs, only to find more chopped body parts, more bloodily written directions on the wall. Inside one of the rooms, there is Steven Munsch (Philip Casnoff) – former husband of the Dean – his head cut off and in a fish tank.
Cut to Chanel #1, who walks in on Chad… in his boxers, lying in bed with a pink-collared goat. I honestly can’t get enough of Chad Radwell. He is a piece of shit, a misogynistic, terribly dumb man. But Chad’s so funny, he is the evisceration of brodom, of the dudebro code and all it represents. Then there’s Chanel – she represents the equally stupid and vicious type of girl who often, too often, falls for a guy like Chad. Together they’re downright ridiculous, which makes me laugh, over and over.
Let’s get back with Munsch, though. Cathy has a bad knee, complaining she fell down drunk last night. But Detective Chisolm (Jim Klock) and all the other cops are determined she killed her ex-husband. In turn, they speculate her to be the Red Devil Killer. I still don’t buy it. She obviously did something stupid a couple decades ago by covering up what happened to that poor pregnant girl in the bloody bathtub. I just do not think she’s part of the killings, moreover I’m convinced she’s a target.
Picture 5 Picture 6 Picture 7Grace and Pete are already jerking each other off over their supposed victory. Everyone is settled: Dean Cathy Munsch is the killer. Case closed.
Oh, really? Well Munsch wants to see both Grace and Pete in the morning.
At the asylum ward, where Cathy’s now setup painting and relaxing with other patients, the place is rough. It’s part church, part snake pit. Seems like “therapy twice a day, plenty of time to rest and dream again” has started making a difference for the Dean. A bit of a revelation, really. Lots of creepy goodness here slash a few laughs.
Cathy breaks it down for the “crackerjack reporters“, letting them know nothing has been solved. Typical to the slasher sub-genre the police are being lazy, everybody is looking elsewhere than towards the proper directions. Either way, Pete and Grace are playing along for now. Munsch is way too smug to be the real killer, it’s as if she has no fear about any true conviction in the murders, so I’m inclined to keep believing she’s more a target of the Red Devil(s) than anything.
More good tackling of the slasher horror tropes – Pete ends up getting access to a ton of police files, pictures, et cetera, because of the detective’s utter laziness. I find Ryan Murphy & Co. do a great job lampooning so many aspects of the slasher movies we know and love (or hate).
Picture 8More Ouija board for the Chanels. It only makes them go a little crazy. I’m not sure now if any of them were moving the board because they’re freaked out. Then Hester drops a bomb, saying they have to kill Chanel #1. A couple awesome suggestions from a Sugar Party to poisoning her through the nipples. They’re wasting no time, though. After #1 falls asleep, the ladies plan on murdering her.
Then we get a trippy little sequence where Chanel #1 sees #2 come back. ALSO HILARIOUS! Carl Sagan sits at the front desk of Hell. #2 has to spend eternity picking food out of the Husseins beards with her teeth. SO MANY great lines of dialogue with Ariana Grande delivering them: “She was probably just mad ’cause Adolf Hitler was motorboating my boobs.” Best of all – #2 advises #1 about the upcoming murder plot the girls are planning, apparently off getting a bowling ball to smash her head in. Tricky, tricky! I love that there are supernatural-like aspects coming into play, makes things into even more classic slasher style.
Picture 9 Picture 10Hmm. We get a scene where Grace and Pete try to find more evidence. He mentions to her a feeling of faintness around blood. Is this purposeful on his part? Or is it a real clue to the fact he can’t be a Red Devil?
Doesn’t matter right now. Munsch is exonerated, back on campus. Little Feather doesn’t appear to be who she seems. Could she be the one who was on the phone with Gigi earlier? Is Feather a Red Devil in league with Gigi? There’s certainly something wild happening around the events at Kappa House.

Chanel #1: “See this is why you turdlets need me. You’re not even competent enough to kill one lousy sorority president.”

Lots of speculation on different parts. The Chanels start to believe Grace and Zayday (Keke Palmer) are the killers. Meanwhile, there’s Munsch and the cops/Grace and Pete who are believing Feather is the one responsible.
The finale of the episode has Dory Previn’s song “Beware of Young Girls” playing, as Munsch prances around back at home. SHOCKER: She did kill her husband! Holy christ, I did not see that coming. What a saucy minx Munsch is, she spun Feather around her finger almost from day one, and then she used the Red Devil(s) killings in order to kill her husband. On top of that, Feather is thrown into a glass jar at the asylum.
Picture 11Dean Munsch: “Here’s to young girls getting what they had coming to them. Yuu know what they say: nothing tastes as good as revenge feels. Actually they don’t say it, I just sort of made that up, but here’s something they do say: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
Picture 12 Picture 13Such an awesome finale. This is one of my favourite episodes yet in this first season. Excited to see how things start expanding on the new developments in the next episode, “Mommie Dearest”, which I hope will bring more revelation.
Stay tuned with me, friends!

Scream Queens – Season 1, Episode 6: “Seven Minutes in Hell”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 1, Episode 6: 
“Seven Minutes in Hell”
Directed by Michael Uppendahl
Written by Ryan Murphy

* For a review of the previous episode, “Pumpkin Patch” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Beware of Young Girls” – click here
IMG_2175This week’s Scream Queens begins awesomely with a vote for Kappa House presidency, including the 1986 (recorded in ’84) Nu Shooz jam “I Can’t Wait”. Love this opener, especially when Jennifer (Breezy Eslin) goes on her mini rant about the autism spectrum. There are lots of little bits like this in the series, which I’m huge on, as Ryan Murphy & Co. slip in as much commentary on the 21st century as humanly possible.
“Seven Minutes in Hell” starts out strong with the vote hitting a tie between Chanel #1 (Emma Roberts) and Zayday Williams (Keke Palmer). At first, we’re led to assume Chanel is pissed about it all. However, pretty damn quick it’s revealed the whole thing is part of her plan; she actually wanted Zayday to win. All in an effort to save her own skin from getting chopped by the Red Devil.
With Zayday in as co-president, she and Grace (Skyler Samuels) are planning a slumber party. This way they may be able to draw out more details about the killings, knowing someone in Kappa House has information, at least SOMETHING, in regards to the Red Devil.
IMG_2177Seems as if Chad Radwell (Glen Powell) is having a change of heart. The frat bros all wonder why he’s spending so much time “porking old people“, after it’s revealed he has been sleeping with Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis), so he ends up feeling as if going back to Chanel #1 is the best option. Where will all that lead?
Back at Kappa, the girls are all playing spin the bottle. Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd) really wants to have a kiss with Sam (Jeanna Han) a.k.a Predatory Lez, so it comes to pass. They have a bit of romantic sort of moment together alone in the washroom.
Best of all is the explanation for why #3 wears the earmuffs (aside from the fact Lourd’s mother is Princess fucking Leia) – a guy who went to the college was obsessed with her ears, so much so he went mad and threatened to cut them off if he ever saw them again. Therefore: ear muffs, all the time for #3. Such a hilarious god damn scene.
IMG_2181Roger: “What do we do now?
Chad: “Only thing we can do: give him the dignity of watching him die.”
IMG_2178 IMG_2179Chad and the frat bros, including armless Caulfield, head over for a panty raid on the sorority house. Worked out for the Kappa girls, after they’re locked inside; turns out Chanel #1 had the whole place turned into one giant panic room. This ends up with all the guys and girls ready to play a bit of Truth or Dare. Except first, Caulfield gets the rest of his body chopped equally by the Red Devil.
Sadly, Sam isn’t long for this world. After revealing Chanel #3’s father is supposedly Charles Manson, #3 dares Sam to go down in the basement and lie in the bathtub – yes, the old bathtub from when a girl died giving birth a couple decades ago. So, you can be positive something bad will eventually happen. As Sam navigates her way through the darkness, the Devil is lurking. Best part? She asks to see who’s under the mask before dying, to which she reponds: “I knew it was you
Who could it be? Which of the two Red Devils is this one? And who is the other?
IMG_2182So many laugh out loud moments in this episode. One of my favourites is the argument between Jennifer and Chad concerning the logistics of Truth or Dare; he just can’t get his head wrapped around the fact Truth or Dare is not a legally binding agreement, that you could simply pick Truth and lie. I mean, it’s a brief part of the scene, but so, so funny.
Another crack up, also involving Jennifer, is when Wes Gardner (Oliver Hudson) shows up to take his daughter Grace away from danger. Zayday refuses to let him do so, making it known the sisters are sticking together. At that moment Jennifer slides in next to her, almost as if we’re expecting her to agree in solidarity – instead, when Zayday puts an arm around her Jennifer says she only moved because she let a fart rip “over there” and it smelled bad. I actually laughed to tears.

Chad: “Is there any like Crisco or cooking oil here? Just like, dry handies really bum me out.”

This episode also brings even more confusion to the question: who are the Red Devils?
First there’s Hester (Lea Michele) who finds Sam dead in the bathtub downstairs. Suspicious, considering she is a tad bit messed up in the head after her previous graveyard encounter with Chad a couple episodes ago.
Then not long after, Chanel #5 (Abigail Breslin) and Roger (Aaron Rhodes) go for their Seven Minutes in Heaven. And that ends up with more nasty murder. Roger is nail-gunned to death by the Red Devil, who then disappears into thin air once more. Is #5 in cahoots? She seemed awful terrified. Who knows.
Most intense scene comes when Chanel #1 and Zayday head into the labyrinthine passages below Kappa House. You can just almost feel a death coming. Sure enough, Zayday finds herself trapped with the Devil, wielding a dual axes, and I thought she was finished! But Chanel #1 comes back to save her, smashing the Devil in his (or her) head. This was super surprising, I honestly was expecting this would be the last we see of Zayday. Although, Chanel does admit it was selfish: “I’m gonna need the numbers.” I don’t care, though, Zayday is awesome and I didn’t want to see her go so soon – Palmer is great in her role.
IMG_2185Chanel #3: “You and I are going to outlive Chanel. Deal?
Chanel #5: “Deal
IMG_2186With this episode, there seems to be a solidarity among the Kappa House sisters. Best of all there is at least a tenuous partnership between Chanel #1 and Zayday, which may spell survival for them both. Who knows, though. It’s hard to tell who may live and who may die. So far, a lot of the murder has been focused mostly on people around the girls. Will next week see someone major die? Who’s next? Will we get more clues about who the Red Devils are, or more muddying of the waters?
IMG_2187 IMG_2188 IMG_2189Stay tuned and we’ll find out together. The next episode is titled “Beware of Young Girls”. Sadly we have to wait until November 3rd for it to air, which is strange. You’d think they would want to have an episode airing the week of Halloween!? Then again, we’ve already had bits and pieces of Devil’s Night on Scream Queens. Until then, head over to my American Horror Story reviews, maybe.

Scream Queens – Season 1, Episode 5: “Pumpkin Patch”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 1, Episode 5:
 “Pumpkin Patch”
Directed & Written by Brad Falchuk

* For a review of the previous episode, “Haunted House” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Seven Minutes in Hell” – click here
Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 4.49.41 PMThe fifth episode of Scream Queens kicks off with Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) and the Chanels – new addition Hester (Lea Michele), #5 (Abigail Breslin), & #3 (Billie Lourd) – they’re planning a Pumpkin Patch Fundraiser. Both Fergies – the Dutchess and the Black Eyed Peas frontwoman – are coming, little whoops from #3. Seems they’re mostly letting the original Chanel down, yet she’s laying down the law.
The Wives of Fallen Presidents = theme for the Chanels. Hilarious and morbid all at once. Of course, Chanel #1 chooses Jackie Onassis – stylish as she was certainly. More constant bickering between #5 and #1, though, now Hester is puckering up and kissing lots of ass becoming the new go-to-girl for Chanel #1.
Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 4.50.06 PMFar as I remember, this is the first episode we’re treated to the full-on Scream Queens theme song and an elaborate credits sequence. At first I kinda thought it was a little lame, but it grew on me. More great music comes out in this episode in terms of the overall score throughout various scenes, so I’m loving the electronic stuff from the credits to everything else. Works so well for the show’s aesthetic.
Back to the task at hand – Zayday Williams (Keke Palmer) has been abducted and everyone is gathered at the sorority, or at least everyone of interest and pertinent to anything happening. Chad Radwell (Glen Powell) gives another ridiculously foolish speech, trying to plea for an open campus instead of Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) opting to cancel Halloween and shut the place down. A curfew is enforced and the Chanels are pissed, as the Pumpkin Patch Fundraiser will not get to go ahead.
Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 4.50.26 PMHester is rounding up Chanel #5, as well as others such as Jennifer (Breezy Eslin), in order to try and oust Chanel #1 from the presidency.
In class, #1 gets bothered by her professor before getting taken out by police to one of their cars. Hilarious sequence, I loved it.
Then a quick shift to Zayday, who finds herself holed up in some basement-like room. Down the halls, we hear Culture Club, Boy George belting it out, as the Red Devil’s workshop is presented to us. He stands up above Zayday, holding a puppy, just like Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs. Awesomely executed homage, all around in this scene.
Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 4.51.13 PMPete (Diego Boneta) and Grace (Skyler Samuels) are worried about Zayday, obviously. But everyone else seems pretty unconcerned. In fact they’re downright horrid and could not care any less. The Chanels are all pretending to eat and way too busy to be bothered with anything else – like a twisted version of the Lost Boys from Hook except they were poor and actually had no food to begin with, unlike these stuck-up sorority ladies.
Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 4.50.36 PMWhen Grace goes for help trying to find her father, dear ole dad Wes (Oliver Hudson) is in bed with Gigi Caldwell (Nasim Pedrad). Awkward bedroom interruption scene, as Grace and Pete walk in on the two of them banging. Real good moment, though. A crack up; Pedrad in particular makes me laugh out loud often.
Even better scene is right afterwards when Chanel #1 is talking away, as if to her Chanels, yet it’s in jail. She has a few “besties for life” after having impressed one of them with Chanel-O-Ween presents last year. I mean, if you don’t find this stuff funny, totally fine. But to me, it is hilarious! I’m not even a big horror-comedy fan yet I find myself consistently in laughter while watching Scream Queens.
Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 4.51.45 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 4.51.52 PMDenise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) and Dean Munsch are bonding, hilariously. Nash is one of my favourites on this series so far, her character is way too funny. Security guard Denise is stuck on Zayday actually being the killer, though, we clearly know the difference, don’t we?
And while everyone sensible, or half sensible, is trying to find Zayday – in some way – Chanel #1 and #5 are still having at it, back and forth. Ultimately, #1 wants her Pumpkin Patch and she will god damn have it.
Roger (Aaron Rhodes) and Dodger (Austin Rhodes) help #5 light all the Jack-O-Lanterns for the fundraiser. The designer ended up making a life-size replica of The Shining‘s hedge-maze, full of snow, so we get another fun homage in this episode. As the Red Devil chases them all, Roger and Dodger give us lots to laugh at, arguing with #5, making her choose one of them. However, eventually one of the brothers gets disemboweled by the Red Devil, his guts flopped out in his lap. Sick! Awesome scene in the maze, both full of laughter and again harkening back to Kubrick’s creepy (loose)adaptation of Stephen King.
Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 4.52.26 PMThe rest of the crew – Pete, Grace, Wes & Co. – go searching for Zayday, taking along the proper weaponry and defense mechanisms. They find their way to where we saw the Red Devil earlier, in his/her workshop, and even stand atop where Zayday was kept. Is she still there? No, only the red velvety pillows on which she was last seen sitting.
Bit of a Saw homage here, as well! Lots of stuff happening. Denise and Gigi come upon a room much like something out of one of the Saw films. Another quasi-homage back to Silence of the Lambs with the Red Devil using night vision to move around a room. And just when you think the Devil is caught, they’re gone again. Or is it really how it seems? We saw Gigi in the old house where the hag supposedly lived, so can we trust her saying Gigi saying the Red Devil cranked her in the head before taking off? Hmm.
Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 4.52.45 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 4.52.52 PMZayday shows back up at Kappa House triumphant. Just in time for the big vote for presidency of the sorority.
Flashback to the Red Devil wining and dining Zayday back at the workshop, as he hauls her up from the pit where she’d been kept. Managing to stab the Devil’s hand and take off, she was able to get back in one piece.
Of course, no one believes Zayday until Grace runs in confirming the story of the lair, the romantic dining set, et cetera. Still though, the vote is on!
Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 4.53.24 PMNice creepy sequence with Gigi walking alone, the Red Devil following behind. FINALLY – they meet! They are officially in cahoots, now we know for sure Gigi has something to do with what’s going on in the overall plot. Unsettling stuff, who knows where this will head now.
Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 4.53.34 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 4.53.41 PMLooking forward to the next episode, “Seven Minutes in Hell”, directed by a regular Ryan Murphy brother-in-arms Michael Uppendahl. Stay tuned for the next one, fellow fans! I’m still loving these episodes, one by one they add up to more excitement and more horror and tons of laughs.

Scream Queens – Season 1, Episode 4: “Haunted House”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 1, Episode 4
: “Haunted House”
Directed by Bradley Buecker
Written by Brad Falchuk

* For a review of the previous episode, “Chainsaw” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Pumpkin Patch” – click here
IMG_2115Chanel Oberlin: “I own Halloween. It’s my jam.

The opening scene is excruciatingly funny and so acidic in terms of how it takes on popular “bitches” like Chanel #1 (Emma Roberts). Chanel-O-Ween sees her send presents to tons of girls who idolize her, supposedly the “losers” or whatever you want to substitute for a description.
Way too funny. Hard to describe, yet it’s just so good. Solid opener for the episode.

At Kappa House, Dean Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) is being questioned by the police, but not really. She is great friends with the detective questioning her. Not only that, she does make sense – it would be awfully hard for her to get out, dress up as the Red Devil, climb down unnoticed outside, and then attack. Or is it? Wes Gardner (Oliver Hudson) is not convinced, neither is Gigi Caldwell (Nasim Pedrad) particularly. I am, though. Munsch is dirty, just not a killer, I don’t think. Then in bursts guard Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) trying to tell everyone Zayday Williams (Keke Palmer) is the real killer.
Mostly this part is an amazing showcase, once more but longer this time, of Niecy Nash kicking out the comedy jams. She is awesome and perfectly fits this character. We always hear how black women are “sassy” or something similar. I think Nash allows herself to be goofy, which is super fun. Not that she’s a weak character, but she doesn’t necessarily have to be strong, she just gets to be silly and it works proper.
In another confrontation between Denise and Zayday, we find out Denise was rejected from Kappa House at the same university she now guards. Great, quick flashback to her being tossed – once again showing off Nash’s hilarity.
IMG_2116 IMG_2117Meanwhile, Grace Gardner (Skyler Samuels) and Pete Martinez (Diego Boneta) track down the woman who was once a sorority pledge at Kappa House – Mandy (Jennifer Aspen). She tells them about how her life is “split in two: before that night and after“.
Flashback to 1995 where Dean Munsch talks through the process of covering up the young girl’s death in that bathtub. Then, she makes the girls wear hoods on the ride out to bury the body, so they’ll never know where it is buried. Munsch locks them all down with a highly nasty little plan, all to cover her own ass – though, she claims it’s to protect them, to protect their families. Real chilling scene. More and more, we see how sinister Munsch is, but again: not a killer. I’m sure there’s someone, or a couple someones, out to get Munsch and anyone else linked to Kappa House, or the original women.
SHOCKER? The baby was/is a girl, confirmed by the woman who was there. Hmmm, the plot thickens.
IMG_2121Chanel #1 gets a big smack in the face when Zayday reveals her intentions to run for president of Kappa House. Ms. Oberlin makes a bit of a threat, then takes off somewhere to grieve. The other Chanels find her in the shoe closet, sharpening kitchen knives.
I think Emma Roberts is pretty great, too. Honestly, she pulls off the incredibly awful sorority girl role. Slightly similar to her role in American Horror Story‘s third season, but very different than the one she played in the fourth season. There’s more comedy here obviously and it’s a satirical, even farcical look at the sorority/fraternity mentality which is especially rampant in this day and age in America, particularly. So while some think it’s either over-the-top, or what not, I find it on the nose and Roberts does well with making us truly believe she is a stone cold bitch of a young lady.
IMG_2122A bit of nice horror in this episode. Mandy, in her little trailer out in the dark, out off the grid somewhere, finds herself at the mercy of someone outside causing mischief. She walks around brandishing a baseball bat. Then, in the mirror behind her, the Red Devil appears, knife in hand. As she screams out, the Devil stabs her to death. Nice little clip of Leprechaun plays in the background, cut in briefly; I’m pretty sure it’s one of those films, anyways.
IMG_2125IMG_2123 IMG_2124 Chad Radwell (Glen Powell) is out in the graveyard about to have a yank over a grave, when Hester Ulrich (Lea Michele) shows up with her new look going on. She proposes they’ll have sex in a “very scary location“, and that maybe he can head in the “back door“. Hilariously twisted scene.
Professor Gardner is showing more horror again in class. This time it’s Children of the Corn. He’s going on about children in horror movies attacking the adults, that we “can’t escape our inner child“. More of the film professor nonsense, or is it? You be the judge. I think it is, if you’re examining a film like this, others maybe not so silly.
Grace shows up then to question her father about her mother, who went to the same school, supposedly pledged Kappa. She point blank asks if her mother died in the bathtub, to which her father replies with surprise. She’s convinced something is going on with him, in some way. I am, too. All the same, the moment between them here feels genuine, like he’s telling the truth: “I saw you come out of your mother
We’ll see where it all goes.
Grace then heads off to meet Pete at a local haunted house, or so Pete and Denise say – the house on Shady Lane. At times this sequence is spooky, others it’s fucking riotous with Pete and Denise telling the tale simultaneously, or in tandem more so, which comes off like a scary version of Abbott and Costello. They talk about a hag living in the house, shrieking and wailing coming from inside, et cetera, typical legend type stuff. A super creepy room full of weird little dolls is found to boot. Turns out the woman lived in the house around 1995, when the Kappa House tragedy happened, or just after – that’s where the screaming must have come from, I imagine.
IMG_2126 IMG_2127 IMG_2128
There’s a PERFECT scene where the Chanels are about to eat cotton balls, dipping them in sauce, when Hester speaks up and changes Chanel #1’s mind. They decide to go for pizza. Then, the world of the sorority at Kappa changes. Great little feminist bits where Chanel #1 points out the hypocrisy of how men can look versus how women are expected to look. Then, a moment between the girls and a couple fratbro douchebags where they lay it out for the men: don’t whistle at me, don’t ask me to give you a smile, don’t belittle women under the guise of trying to talk to them, and so on. Love, love, loved this bit! Such an excellently written scene.
IMG_2129 IMG_2130 Right afterwards, Chad is being brought out to the house on Shady Lane, where Hester seems to be letting him “throw her a bone”. Then comes the HORROR – bodies everywhere! First, it’s Ms. Bean and Hester pokes a hole through her leg accidentally, believing it to be a wax replica of some sort. Then there’s Chanel #2, Denise’s partner Shondell, Coney a.k.a Aaron Cohen, and more. Even poor Mandy who was recently dispatched by the Red Devil.
Solid homage to John Carpenter’s Halloween with Ms. Bean’s headstone above the bed where she lays. Love all the homages and references in the episodes so far.
I thought this part was absolutely fitting. Using all the real dead corpses of those killed off previously in the series as supposed props in the haunted house, it’s genius!
IMG_2131Chad: “Don’t go to the haunted house on Shady Lane! There are dead bodies. Like real, live dead bodies.
IMG_2132Zayday gets nabbed by the Red Devil in a great freeze frame with red filter. The aftermath sees just about every main character at Kappa House, the detective and other officers present to try and suss out what’s been going on around their campus. So much madness and mayhem and murder. Professor Wes wants answers, threatening to go to the media if nothing is done in regards to the safety of the students.
Pete and Grace decide they have to discover who the Hag of Shady Lane was, the woman in that house, that way they may break through to find out more about the murders and the original tragedy.
Perfect closing shot sees Gigi sitting in the Shady Lane house, in a chair with all those dolls, hooded in the Hag cloak, wailing away. Very, very spooky!
IMG_2133Can’t wait for the next episode titled “Pumpkin Patch”. Stay tuned for another review next week! Hope at least some of you are enjoying the show as much as I am. Been having a blast, full of comedy and equal parts horror. Cheers.

Scream Queens – Season 1, Episode 3: “Chainsaw”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 1, Episode 3:
 “Chainsaw”
Directed by Ian Brennan
Written by Ian Brennan (also writer of Cooties)

* For a review of the previous episode, “Hell Week” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Haunted House” – click here
IMG_2105The beginning of this episode sees Grace (Skyler Samuels) and Zayday (Keke Palmer) going to a convenience store, talking about Pete Martinez (Diego Boneta). Zayday in particular says she thinks Pete is a bit strange due to his concern with what’s been happening at Kappa House, but Grace assures her he’s a good guy.
Then they confront the Red Devil himself, standing silently near one of the coolers in the store. He comes at Grace and she uses a taser on him, right in the balls.
Suffice to say, the murders are taking their toll on everyone.

Back at Kappa, Chanel #1 (Emma Roberts) and Chanel #5 (Abigail Breslin) are face to face having issues. #5 has been getting laid recently, or Eiffel Towered as she puts it, so this has helped her popularity-wise. Therefore, #5 says goodbye to the original Chanel in spectacularly bitchy fashion.
But a little later, Chanel #1 concocts a plan in order to help get back in Chad’s favour after he breaks up with her. She decides to fix up the apparent trainwreck Hester Ulrich (Lea Michele), so then there’ll be less “losers” in Kappa; meaning, long story short, Chad will want her back when the place is more popular again.

At the same time there’s Grace and Zayday, who are looking for clues to what has been happening at both the sorority house and then at Chanel #2’s parents’ home, along with trust security guard Denis Hemphill (Niecy Nash). They eventually discover that none other than Chad Radwell (Glen Powell) was engaged in a sexual relationship with Chanel #2. UH OH!
Even better, Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd) tells Sam (Jeanna Han) her father is – wait for it – Charles Manson. Her mother supposedly connected with Manson while in jail and got pregnant. Is it nonsense or what? I’d love to think it’s not because that would be AMAZING, but I don’t know… I guess that would be too far out. Either way, this scene was hilarious. Billie Lourd is a crack up in this show!
IMG_2107I’ve got to say: Niecy Nash is god damn hilarious! The part where she talks about the luminol and horseradish would be good enough on paper, yet Nash takes it right off the page and makes it a riot. Because I honestly wondered – why the hell does she have that? – then Brennan’s writing makes it clearer, on top of that she acts the character hilariously. There are some typical moments you might expect from this character, but I think Nash is funny enough that she’s able to transcend that a little.
Glen Powell plays the character Chad Radwell excellently. The character’s meant to be an idiot, he is the archetypal fratboy douchebag. But you can have those types played badly. Powell is almost near perfect. Because there’s no subtlety about the character and somehow that’s spot on. Every time he’s onscreen I know there’ll be at least one good laugh.
On a comedy note again, Jamie Lee Curtis as Dean Cathy Munsch is both sinister at times and flat out hilarious at others.

Chanel #3: “Are you hitting on me? ‘Cause I heard munching box is what killed Michael Douglas

Again, the score of this series is incredible. One of the first real awesome bits of music out of “Chainsaw” comes when security guard Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) enters the scene. Just a great example of the electro-sound these episodes have going on, amongst other popular songs on the soundtrack and other horror-styled compositions. There’s more of this throughout the episode. For instance, when Chad and the fratbros are talking about the supposed death of Boone (Nick Jonas), there’s a perfect little piece with a minimalistic sound that’s sort of creepy horror-like music and at the same time it has the EDM excitement about it in a subtle way.
IMG_2108Things get awkward for Grace when her father Wes (Oliver Hudson) shows up as her film professor. She storms out, naturally a bit weirded out. Then it gets AMAZING and also hilariously satirical of film professor bullshit, as Professor Gardner shows them his choice for the greatest film ever – Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. He gives a silly little mini lecture about the final frames: “Vietnam, Watergate, the invention of the pill, the White Album…
Loved this whole scene because it throws a little suspicion out onto Wes himself, as he really enjoys Hooper’s film a bit too much. Not only that, as I already mentioned, this scene takes on the film professors/TAs/even students who try to take certain films and elevate them to high art when really they’re not even intended as such. I’ve been to film school and let me tell you: so many students and professors are this way. Many are not, but too many definitely are snobby, nose-in-the-air types. Though, Wes Gardner comes off a little creepy, a bit dangerous here. Will this lead to anything more? Or simply another red (pardon that pun) herring? Time will tell.
While Gigi Caldwell (Nasim Pedrad) still tries to inch her way into Wes’ arms, Dean Munsch is determined to step in the middle; she’s got a real thing for the new professor. Inviting Gigi to golf, they have a bit of a stand-off over Wes, though it seems the Dean has laid down the law. Regardless, the two of them plan on moving into Kappa House with the sorority for a week to keep an eye on things. Is this for safety, or is Dean Munsch more concerned her part in the tragedy 20 years might eventually come to light?
Once they’re finally rooming together, Munsch puts the screws to Gigi with her white noise machine, her array of dressings at dinner (prompting Gigi to laugh hard when one of the bottles makes a fart sound), all over handsome Professor Wes.

Professor Wes Gardner: “Aren’t we all running from the chainsaws in our past?

By far my favourite part of this episode is the mascot, Coney, a.k.a Aaron Cohen (David Simpson). There’s a real great montage of scenes happening while WHAM!’s “I’m Your Man” rages in the background, which culminates with the Red Devil infiltrating young Cohen’s room, attacking him with a chainsaw, and naturally, sawing his head off. Coincidence the chainsaw was used after Professor Gardner’s class? Hmm.
IMG_2109 There are other things going on in “Chainsaw” aside from the horror and bits of violence thrown in the mix, such as more exposition from Grace and Pete; she thinks Chad may be the killer, or at least is an interesting suspect. Luckily Pete is a sneaky Pete – he’s been doing a bit of digging. He found the name of a girl from Kappa who dropped out, two credits shy of a degree, not too long after the mysterious death at the sorority.
Decent stuff happening. Even poor Zayday is being looked at as suspect with security guard Denise doing footwork on her background; not that she has much to be worried about, as far as I’m concerned. Denise has good intentions, good detective she is not. God damn funny, though.
But what I love is the scene set to “Backstreet’s Back” with the fratbros fighting the Red Devil; only there are TWO Red Devils. They come wielding chainsaws. Just as it looks like Chad Radwell is going to get the saw, one of the bros runs in to save him only to have both his arms lopped off, the effects like the wonderful “Tis but a scratch” scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Just a gnarly awesome sequence all around.
IMG_2111 IMG_2113 The Red Devil – only one it seems this time – shows up back at Kappa House when Gigi opts to leave her and Dean Munsch’s room to sleep on the couch. Wes gets a chainsaw to the arm trying to defend Gigi (is he the other Red Devil? Key horror trope would be to have him injured, y’know… so it looks more convincing). Even more than that, Wes grabs the chainsaw, after the Red Devil disappears into thin air, and tells Dean Munsch: “You’re the killer
Overcompensation? I don’t know. I have an itching suspicion Wes is not who he appears. Though, that can be said for a lot of these characters.
IMG_2114Next up is “Haunted House”, directed by Bradley Buecker (American Horror Story). Stay tuned fellow fans, we’ll see more blood and hilariousness together next time!

Scream Queens – Season 1, Episode 2: “Hell Week”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 1, Episode 2:
 “Hell Week”
Directed by Brad Falchuk
Written by Ian Brennan/Brad Falchuk/Ryan Murphy

* For a review of the previous episode, “Pilot” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Chainsaw” – click here
IMG_2031The “Pilot” ended with the Red Devil – masked and mysterious – running over deaf, now dead, Taylor Swift – a.k.a Tiffany Something. This was a great close to the first episode, now we’re heading into the nasty aftermath at the Kappa House sorority.
Really great opening in this episode, “Hell Week”, as Dean Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) brings us into the modern world. I think people aren’t giving this show enough credit. Not that it’s reinventing the wheel, so the speak. However, Dean Munsch is a no nonsense type of person. She lays out the silly social media world in which we currently live, hurtling headlong into the 21st century, as well as this new foolish sense of self-entitlement people have nowadays. There’s an incredible skewering of youth culture in the beginning, which I found

Lea Michele is someone I’ve never seen before personally, other than her one-off episode appearance on Sons of Anarchy (the Season 7 episode “Smoke ’em If You Got ’em”). But straight up, she has been slaying me as Hester Ulrich here. Everything from the body language to her weird and matter-of-fact style of delivery has me cracking up almost each time she’s in a scene. Plus, Hester is kinda of creepy.
When Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts), the remaining Chanels #3 (Billie Lourd) whose earmuffs and dry tone
Furthermore, Denise Hempville (Niecy Nash) shows up in this episode, hired by clueless national sorority president Gigi Caldwell (Nasim Pedrad; also a crack-up). Denise is not so much sassy, as black women so often end up being described, she’s a straight to the point type. I swear, when she got on about the walkie talkie, all that stuff, it was almost perfect.
Some reviews and opinions I’ve seen online keep saying that the comedy outweighs the horror. Is that a bad thing some times? I don’t think so. Not to say there isn’t any horror, but definitely the comedy is more a focus at certain points than blood, mayhem, murder.
IMG_2033A new, strange relationship brews between Dean Munsch and the father of Grace Gardner (Skyler Samuels). When Wes Gardner (Oliver Hudson) meets with the Dean, she gets a bit frisky. Either way, Wes wants a job on campus so that he can be closer to his daughter, to keep her safe. At the same time Dean Munsch both wants to keep everything covered up as long as possible on her campus, and also wants to find her way into Wes’ pants apparently.
Meanwhile, Grace is snooping around the sorority house. She’s told a mysteriously locked room is only able to be opened by the president, who has the key. Later, Grace finds some of the old relics of the 20-year old death at Kappa House.
SHOCKER! Dean Munsch, and also Ms. Bean (Jan Hoag), helped to cover up the dead girl in the bathtub back then. Honestly, I didn’t actually see that one coming. Mostly I was thinking the Dean was one of those tough yet ultimately helpless authority figures, trying to stave off the media and the coming onslaught of public opinion that might negatively affect her college/its reputation. Turns out, the ole Dean is actually trying to cover up the fact she covered up a young girls’ death, the birth of that baby in the tub. Nice, interesting twist.
IMG_2034 IMG_2035People can say what they want, this show constantly makes me laugh.
The scene between Boone (Nick Jonas) and fellow douche extraordinaire Chad (Glen Powell) is unbelievably funny. I’m able to separate my personal feelings about certain types of people and how I can enjoy a character, even if I don’t particularly LIKE who they are. For instance, these guys – Boone and Chad. They’re such outright knobs, yet they’re hilarious. When Boone asks to get in bed with him, then there’s all the wiener talk… I mean, it’s not even immature, it’s a fucking gut buster.
IMG_2037Why don’t you go in there and ogle his big old broner?

Grace is getting closer to Pete Martinez (Diego Boneta), self-styled investigative reporter. Poor Pete gets attacked by the Red Devil himself. Waking up, he’s hung in front of the school by his pants with a note saying “MYOB” (mind your own business). Only problem is that back in his dorm room, Grace discovers a Red Devil costume in his closet; he claims it’s for mascot duties during football games. But Grace is tainted – she asks how old he is, discovering him to be on the verge of twenty: “exactly how old the baby would be if it grew up“. She storms off and leaves poor Pete behind – for all his faults, we the audience know Pete is not the Red Devil, as we’ve seen him be attacked by the Red Devil.
Or will this series play with our expectations? Did we really see Pete get knocked out? Or did we see what Pete wanted us to see? We can only wait and find out. Personally, I don’t think it’s him as the scene with him being knocked out would be HIGHLY misleading and manipulative.
IMG_2038Personally, I’m loving the music from Mac Quayle in this series so far. He’s done music programming and composed additional music for films like Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive and Only God Forgives, as well as the Season 4 episode “Monsters Among Us” from American Horror Story, the episode “Crutchfield” from the fantastic series The KnickFary Cry 4, and My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. Not to mention Quayle has composed music for another twelve episodes of AHS and the new breakout television series Mr. Robot. Here, he instills many of the scenes with either a pop-ish twinkle, or in others it becomes this ominous, foreboding, even grating at times, score which takes us into the heart of the horror in these episodes. While things remain light and fluffy in a horror-comedy/parody/satire way, Quayle’s music really adds some extra weight to certain scenes and moments with a neat style that’s all over the place, in a great way.
IMG_2039Worst comes when the Dean sees Wes meet Gigi – they go off for coffee together, as he leaves his daughter and the girls alone (funny how he just drops safety as soon as Gigi hits on him), and as Munsch watches them with an evil eye.
The Red Devil tries to grab Chanel #1, but she manages to wriggle free and get back to her sorority girlfriends. When they all go back upstairs – hilariously without new security guard Denise or her partner Shondell (Deneen Tyler) – they find a threat to Kappa House scrawled in blood red on the wall. I found Denise (Niecy Nash) awesome in these few moments, just absolutely dropping the ball and having a laugh doing it! When she finds Shondell dead in the cop car, having been visited by the Red Devil, it was HILARIOUS. Great scene.
Poor Boone, though. He finds himself confronted with the Red Devil – “What am I supposed to be scared?“. Yes, Nick Jonas – yes, you ought to be scared!!
The other frat bros find Boone, throat cut, laid out perfectly over the dining room table. Very creepy, very cool, and all set to “I Wear My Sunglasses At Night”.
IMG_2040IMG_2041BUT A BIG SHOCK AT THE END OF THE EPISODE!
When the Red Devil goes to the morgue, which I’m assuming that is, where Boone’s body is being kept after death. The Devil opens up the cabinet where he’s being kept: AND BOONE IS ALIVE! Honestly, never expected that. Wow. A great finisher to the episode, as Boone pulls the slit neck makeup off and whips it away. What does this mean? Who is the Red Devil, or better yet: who’s Boone, really? They’re connected and we’ve got to wait another week to find out.
IMG_2042 IMG_2043Stay tuned, friends! I’m loving this series already. Let those who don’t enjoy it not enjoy. The rest of us can have a little fun with some twistedness mixed in. See you next week for “Chainsaw”, which is directed by

Scream Queens – Season 1, Episode 1: “Pilot”

FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 1, Episode 1
: “Pilot”
Directed by Ryan Murphy
Written by Ian Brennan (Cooties)/Brad Falchuk/Ryan Murphy

* For a review of the next episode, “Hell Week” – click here
IMG_2013Just to start, I loved Ian Brennan’s writing and acting in Cooties, as well as the fact I’m a huge fan of the Brad Falchuck-Ryan Murphy FX series American Horror Story (all my reviews so far are here). So I walked in biased, but still, I do think the best parts of these three writers show up in the Pilot episode for the new series Scream Queens.
The opening of the episode is one that sort of hammers you. Not even the immediate blood – which is proved to be something else than you might originally believe it is – but afterwards, once you see the girl in the bathtub, after having given birth in the tub, that’s when things rocked me. I paused and went “Whoa”. In a great, horrific way.
An immediate thing I loved about this Pilot is that the horror is so obviously there, yet it’s a good riot. Some viewers said it tried too hard. I don’t think so, personally. Right from the minute all the people at the party were rocking out to TLC’s “Waterfalls”, I thought to myself: I’m going to love this.

Who told you you could have a baby here tonight?

So the setup is, after the shocking death of this young mother in the bathtub, twenty years later the horror TRULY begins!
Straight away, after those two decades have passed, we meet Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) – possibly the most irritating and heinous young woman we’ll ever come across. She’s the sorority queen, the one who tortures young pledges (is that what they’re called? I don’t know; that frat/sorority shit is so dumb – great fodder for comedy-horror). Her character comes across as heavy handed at first, but I think it’s going to serve the story well. We’re already seeing these unlikeable characters, not strange within the horror genre, and no doubt SOME of them – probably not Chanel as Emma Roberts seems to be the star here – will find death at the hands of a masked murderer.
Aside from Chanel, there are her unfortunate numbered others – Chanel #2, #3, and oddly #5 (respectively: Ariana Grande, Billie Lourd, Abigail Breslin); there was a #4, but she got meningitis and obviously couldn’t hack it, right? These Chanels are the ones who take the brunt of Chanel #1’s awfulness. There’s also Ms. Bean a.k.a White Mammie (Jan Hoag) who is there to seemingly please Chanel constantly and do anything she ever wants, no matter if it’s important or nonsense on a whim.
Aside from the “bitches”, there’s the new girl on campus Grace Gardner (Skyler Samuels) and her wonderfully energetic roommate Zayday Williams (Keke Palmer). Grace has a very loving father, Wes (Oliver Hudson) but her mother passed away. So with the sympathetic view of Grace from the beginning, it’s easy to see she’ll likely not die – at least not as early as any of the other mean spirited, awful young college girls.
IMG_2017I also like the other random characters such as Nasim Pedrad’s hilarious Gigi Caldwell, with the strangest fashion sense I’ve ever witnessed; she’s always a treat, whether on Saturday Night Live or elsewhere. Also, I think Lea Michele is flat out HILARIOUS as Hester. From the very first moment we see her character, the way she talks, the freeze frame: fucking funny as hell. She’s awesome.
Furthermore, I thought Diego Boneta as Pete is a good addition. I don’t think I’ve ever personally seen him in anything before, but he’s going to serve well as a decent male character, I think. We’ll see as the time goes on. The stuff with Pete and Grace was good, as well as just the dynamic between Pete and Chanel; the fact Pete is a bit of a reporter works in a fun way with everything else going on at the campus.
IMG_2018 IMG_2019 IMG_2020There is a pretty good setup of despicable characters mostly, which only extends once we start to meet some of the other students around the campus. Like Chad Radwell (Glen Powell) and his sidekick Boone (Nick Jonas), the DUDEBROS. Oh man. What’s awesome here, though, is the fact Murphy and Co. are setting up all these types to be bait, to be victims; Murphy particularly knows horror, so well, as does Falchuk and I’m starting to believe Brennan does, as well. So we’re getting this cast of killable characters introduced in comedic fashion. Instead of following typical horror formula all the way, as a television series Scream Queens has the ability to flesh out ALL the characters, including some of the more nasty and hateable ones. This is something I particularly find interesting because usually in horrors, especially a lot of 1980s films, these asshole-like characters often get killed off too quickly to ever be anything but annoying. I’m not saying you’ll grow to like these characters, not all of them, however, I do think even the frat douchebags and the sorority assholes will come to be more than simply one-dimensional meat for kill scenes.

Not only do we get Jamie Lee Curtis in this show, as the acidic and sly Dean Cathy Munsch, but we get Curtis doing some excellent work. Granted, it’s only the pilot. Still I see the kernels of an excellently developed character here. Just the way she lays in bed with that young guy, the banter, the joint smoking, plus Curtis looks AMAZING (and I think always has); I think that scene alone is wonderful. But it’s the back and forth between Dean Munsch and Chanel Oberlin (Roberts) which truly got me going. Because it was funny! Not only funny, Curtis plays well off Roberts in terms of their characters – the older woman who has seen it all, knows the tricks, probably pulled a ton of them herself VS. the younger, brattier, more foolishly confident and conniving sorority queen with, sadly, the world in her palm. There’ll be lots of good stuff between these two, you can count on that, and it will only get better as the episodes wear on. At least here’s to hoping.
IMG_2025Let’s talk cinematography and score. I personally LOVED the look and sound of the entire episode! There’s an ominous score at parts in the opening sequence. It’s once the synth, poppy score kicks in during the introduction to Chanel that the music takes hold. I’m a sucker for fun, electronic style music in a score. Works wonders here. Then we get the dark stuff again during moments of horror or tension.
In terms of cinematography, there are moments where I definitely get an American Horror Story vibe. Not frequently, though, honestly. I dig the way this has a similar feel in terms of darkness, but the look has this very neat and tidy thing going on which is different. There’s also this beautiful contrast between that pristine, pretty style and the horror which turns up over and over. It makes the horror – dare I say – much more fun.
IMG_2026Finally, I have to mention the GNARLY kills which I totally dig.
The deep frier death of Ms. Bean (Hoag) was so nasty and incredible. When she pulled her face out, the deep fried bits of her skin were so wild. Not only that, I absolutely cried – I mean tears for real running out of my eyes – when Zayday (Palmer) responds “Yes you do“. Watch it, you’ll know what I mean. Perfect delivery. This also goes to show how Keke Palmer is going to be another excellent part of the cast, in my opinion. Funny lady!
IMG_2024 IMG_2022Ariana Grande’s kill scene was absolutely a riot. I thought it made fun of modern day youth culture – smartphones particularly – so well and it had me in stitches.
There’s definitely a Sinister homage with the sequence at the end, with the ride-on lawn mower. One of the first things I thought, as the camera catches the light on front of the mower in that perspective view, is one of the found footage tapes from Sinister; not a rip-off, but a nice homage to a pretty awesome modern horror movie. I also think the earlier scene with the burning skin was a very Cabin Fever-ish homage, but maybe not, though I really suspect it leans in that direction.
IMG_2016 IMG_2028 IMG_2029This was a fun episode. Not perfect, but definitely sets a wild, funny, and at times horrific tone we’re not always treated to on television. Looking forward to watching and reviewing the follow-up episode, “Hell Week”.
Stay tuned with me! More #ScreamQueens to come.