Suburban Legends

Everyone who knows me, knows I love a good creepy tale. This gem floated into my email at the perfect time: I was reading for RIPVIII and it was that creepy time of the year.. Autumn approaching Halloween! I was on the lookout for something to fill my ereader and this one fit the bill.

About the book:
Quirk Books // Oct 2013
They told you the suburbs were a great place to live. They said nothing bad could ever happen here. But they were wrong.
This collection of terrifying true stories exposes the dark side of life in the ’burbs—from corpses buried in backyards and ghosts lurking in fast food restaurants to UFOs, vanishing persons, bizarre apparitions, and worse.

My thoughts:
This was a great quick read for me. It isn't your typical book of short stories. The difference here is that they are all true. Not only are they all true, but they are all sufficiently creepy. The stories collected in this book made me think twice about assuming anything about my seemingly sweet neighbors. I felt myself looking over my shoulder and thinking about how some of these things could certainly be happening in my neighborhood. Out of all these twisted true tales, I enjoyed the stories about the twisted and crazy people out there. Maybe that makes me twisted and crazy too, but I found it interesting to think about what makes people tick.
I breezed over most of the supernatural tales in this collection. They didn't seem as interesting or engaging, but it was cool to think about how these stories of haunted homes and supernatural sightings were reportedly real.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was a fun little read and it was interesting. I would definitely recommend this to readers looking for a good short story collection and an insight into human nature. Sam Stall pulls the curtain back on suburbia and shows us its true hidden nature.

About the author:
Sam Stall lives with his wife, Jami, in the quintessentially Middle American town of Indianapolis, Indiana. Their home sits on quiet, tree-lined Primrose Avenue, part of a beautiful suburban area where nothing bad ever happens (except the tragic events described on pages 16, 178, and 216)

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

FTC: I received an egalley of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Author information, book image, and book information from Quirkbooks.com


The Historian mini-review

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova is pretty much the longest and most drawn out book I have ever read. Okay- maybe not literally, but figuratively it was. First of all, I started this out as part of the read-along with the Estella Society for RIPVIII- it was way too long and way too dry for me so I fell ridiculously behind before just giving up and resigning myself to finishing it when I found the time.The other problem I had was that I have never read Dracula by Bram Stoker and I've never watched any of the Dracula films- frankly, I was lost. Barrett likes the story of Dracula, so I kept bugging him until he finally got annoyed with my million questions and made me watch Bram Stoker's Dracula (the 1992 version). Once I watched the movie, I was able to understand a bit more of what was going on in The Historian. Even still, I didn't love the book. It was way too heavy in extraneous details and just soooo long. Thankfully I borrowed the book on my Kindle through the library. Once I finished this book, I didn't sigh with admiration for it.. I sighed and thought "well at least I finished it". Maybe this book is more suited to those who really love the history of Dracula. For me, it just didn't wow. On the flip side- it is a beautiful macabre tale.. I just don't think it was a good fit for me.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Mini's and updates

I've been slacking again. Time to wrap up what I've been up to with some mini reviews.  Let's start with the movies I watched for Peril of the Screen.

Resident Evil Series
The Resident Evil movies have long been one of Barrett's favorite series. He has always liked them, but we never did own the DVD collection... so I never saw them up until Netflix added the first Resident Evil movie to their instant. We then borrowed the next 3 from his sister and got the final installment that came out this past September out of RedBox.

Resident Evil: 
I was immediately hooked after watching this first film. I liked the plot and totally loved the character Alice. The idea of conspiracy and zombies and an underground lair is appealing and engaging. The entire build of The Hive and all that goes on under Umbrella Corporation is twisted and horrific. I loved it.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse:
Okay- so now Raccoon City is shit out of luck due to the T-Virus getting out of control. Alice is ready to kick major ass... and does. She is altered and has bonded with the T-Virus, allowing her to have super human strength and powers. Skilled beyond imagination, Alice rocks it. This one secured my love for Milla Jovovich.

Resident Evil: Extinction:
This one is the third in the series and my least favorite. Set in the desert (and at the worlds end) the Umbrella Corporation is still trying to perfect the T-Virus to make more monsters of evil. A lot of characters come back in this one too- which is kind of cool. The movie ends with a glimmer of hope and the audience hanging on waiting for what is to come next.

Resident Evil: Afterlife:
The beacon of hope from Extinction becomes clear in this movie. Old characters are once again given new life. Alice is changed in this movie, too. It adds for a new dynamic. Some major Umbrella drama is uncovered and more conspiracy bullshit is running rampant. By time we get to this movie, the stretches in imagination are HUGE and things are, to some degree, a bit ridiculous. However, that is what I think is appealing and continuing to keep us all coming back for more. 

Resident Evil: Retribution:
This one is even more far-fetched. Alice is once again caught by Umbrella and needs to break free. This time breaking free is a bit more dicey and she encounters some creepy clones and real-life scenarios that seem quite familiar. Recognizing that this is a training facility for Umbrella, Alice soon encounters a lot of the characters (and monsters) that were around in the first  movies. More drama and conspiracy, then we are left once again with a "what's next?!".

Overall- I totally loved the series. It is based on a video game which in my opinion, makes it even more interesting. I may have never played the games (and likely never will- just not my thing) but the fact that a franchise that is 5 movies strong with a 6th on the way is just incredible. Resident Evil has a cult-like following and I can totally see why. I also have a total girl crush on Milla Jovovich and totally want to be Alice for Halloween next year. Oh, and I want more kick ass boots like Alice.

Session 9
Session 9 was an interesting little film that I found on Netflix in the horror section. It is about a team of guys cleaning up asbestos in an old psych ward. The place is crumbling and falling apart, giving it the perfect backdrop for a creepy movie. The job needs to be finished ASAP and extra money is available if they do- so the guys plan to bang this one out in a week and get it done quick. However, it doesn't work that way. After a member of the group finds tapes from session with a former patient, an evil is unleashed. With lots of foreboding and suspense, as well as healthy twists in the plots, this movie was interesting. I actually watched the entire thing, and it was okay. I wouldn't put it on top of any list of amazing horror films, but the suspense alone paints this more as a psychological thriller in my opinion. It was good, but not great.

The House of the Devil
This movie was produced in 2010 but set to look like it is in the 80's. Think of all the cult and devil-worship scares and rumors that were so very prevalent in the 80's and add in Halloween's idea of a babysitter and you get House of the Devil. A young college girl heads out to the middle of nowhere to babysit- assuming it is a kid. When she arrives she finds out she is in fact babysitting for an older woman, who is apparently in bed and doesn't need to be watched- she is just there "in case". Things start to escalate when she begins hearing noises coming from upstairs and begins to investigate and finds out that things are not as they seem. This is a total throwback to cheesy 80's horror. I wasn't all that interested and it was really kind of a flop. I wouldn't recommend this one.

The Ward
Set in the 60's in a mental hospital, this psychological horror film presents classic asylum scenarios and creepy vibes around every corner. The ward houses 4 disturbed girls and our story begins with the addition of the 5th girl. This "new girl" realizes that something is off with the hospital and begins to look for answers, but to no avail. Her floor mates have no insight and the nurses and staff are just as evil as the horror she feels around every corner. Things get creepy when the girls begin to go missing, with no explanation from the staff. The girls try to uncover what is going on, and in the process reveal their own inner demons. The Ward was actually pretty interesting- I wouldn't label this as a favorite or a great one, but it did keep my attention and I did like it.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow



Well, I kind of hid and fell off the face of the earth for the month of October. Barrett was away for 5 weeks and I spent a lot of time keeping busy by reading and hanging with friends, hence my blogging fell to the wayside. It was the longest time we have been apart, so I did my damnedest to stay busy and not think of it!
While I may not have been blogging, I was reading and I was watching movies and such for RIPVIII. I will post reviews of some of the books I read and movies I watched while I was away from the blogosphere.
I must admit that I am highly disappointed in my scary spooky October reading. Typically I read and watch a TON of horror/thriller material, but with Bear away I wasn't as into it. It may not scare me, but I wasn't all that keen on reading scary stuff while home alone for weeks on end... the house is quiet when it is just me and the dog!

Here's a quick little list on what I have been up to while I was away from the computer:

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Suburban Legends by Sam Stall
Dracula: A Classic Pop-up Tale by Claire Bampton
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (re-read)
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (currently reading)

Resident Evil
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Resident Evil: Extinction
Resident Evil: Afterlife
Resident Evil: Retribution
Session 9
The House of the Devil
Ghost Hunters (series)
The Ward

I hope to review these titles and get them posted by the end of this week. I've also got a few books to read that came in the mail for review, so be on the lookout for those too!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow