It’s halfway to Halloween and you know what that means………it’s Spooky Swap Meet time again in LA!! Or, I should say – it WAS Spooky Swap Meet time in LA and if you missed it then that is a damn shame. But anyway – yes, the annual super spooktacular tradition set up shop again at the Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles. And I’ve said it before – this place provides the PERFECT backdrop for this event. I mean, who doesn’t love a hauntingly good old Victorian house??
Not only were there over 60 vendors selling everything from creepy-faced pies to ghoulishly groovy candles – there was even a mini-walkthrough haunted house courtesy of Fear Farm! In addition to that, scare actors were roaming the grounds…..there were picture opportunies galore (you could even wear some traditional ghost sheets for a photo-op in front of one of the houses)…..and did I mention the creepy-faced pies??
All in all, another successful Spooky Swap Meet, and kudos to everyone who helped put it together. The addition of the mini haunted house was a plus this year, so I would love to see maybe one more added next year. And some more pies. Because I love pies if you couldn’t already tell. So…..now I’m giving you fair warning in advance. Like, 363 days in advance. DO NOT miss it next year and get your tickets early, because they will sell out! And I’ll scare you there!!
Another year, another Los Angeles Comic Con! And this time there were hobbits (Elijah Wood & Sean Astin), amazing vendors, amazing cosplay, and the amazing William Shatner! Typing that name made me think of the old SNL Star Trek convention skit. But anyway, L.A. Comic Con is one of my favorite conventions to frequent….and me being a huge horror fan, I can even have my ‘horror bone’ tickled when I go! Apologies if you have a fear of eyeballs….
Besides randomly seeing Billy Zane, one of my favorite pastimes of going to L.A. Comic Con is gawking at all of the wonderfully ingenious costumes and cosplay. Especially since I would fail terribly if I ever tried to put together a costume on my own. This year was no exception (the cosplay at the convention, not me being costume constructing challenged), as there were some amazing visuals and also some visuals that might give you nightmares (see below).
All in all….L.A. Comic Con brought together a lot of genres, styles, people, fun, William Shatners, and more! It’s already been announced that next year in 2023 it will be back December 1-3, so feel free to go HERE for all of the latest updates leading up to then. And maybe I’ll actually give some cosplay a go so I can possibly give people some nightmares. Anything I can do to help……
Halloween is six months away. It seems like an eternity to most of us All Hallows’ Eve fanatics. So we relish in any and every opportunity to get into the spirit before October rolls around. And if you were in LA this past weekend, you were able to get your fix (and then some) because the Spooky Swap Meet returned once again to the Heritage Square Museum!
I must confess – this was my first time experiencing the Spooky Swap Meet…..and I left with my Halloween heart filled with joy, and also the bag I brought was filled with T-shirts and other spooky trinkets that I purchased from the many amazing vendors there. One of the things that makes this event that more special is that it takes place at the Heritage Square Museum, which is comprised of old Victorian-style houses to further set the mood!
When I walked in, I immediately felt like it was October. Frightfully delicious decor was everywhere, and they were even handing out little bags to go trick-or-treating at the houses! Not only that, but there were creepy characters walking about (some on stilts) – so it truly felt like a Halloween-time celebration. As I eluded to earlier, there were plenty of vendors to satisfy your urge to add to your horror-themed wardrobe and overall collection. I would honestly love to see what this experience could be like at night as well, so maybe they can make that happen in the future.
When the Spooky Swap Meet returns, please make sure to check it out. Stay connected to their social media and keep an eye out on their site HERE. Thank you to everyone who helped put this together, because now my Halloween scratch has been itched!
Another convention! Woohoo! Take that, Omicron! But anyway – yes, conventions do get me a wee bit excited. And this past weekend I was lucky enough to attend Los Angeles Comic Con again. Now, I am more partial to horror conventions – but what makes Los Angeles Comic Con so amazing is that it is out of my comfort zone a little, and I absolutely LOVE seeing all of the inventive cosplaying. But fear not fellow horror lovers! There was still plenty of horror-themed vendors, cosplayers, and celebrities. The almighty Bruce Campbell counts as a horror celebrity, right?
Speaking of Bruce, he did a fun Q&A session on the main stage – where we all learned that he hates candy corn and he also let us know that his Evil Dead character Ash will NEVER be returning in any form in the future (sad trombone sound effect). In addition to Mr. Campbell – there were tons of panels throughout the day (Boy Meets World, anyone?) and TONS of aforementioned cosplaying (especially towards the middle of the day).
I didn’t make it to the gaming rooms unfortunately, or get to sit in the super fun Star Trek chairs. And my only other regret was not realizing there were food trucks and booze outside until it was a bit too late (more sad trombone sound effects). All in all, Los Angeles Comic Con was a blast and I can’t wait to see what they do next year! Perhaps I’ll do my own cosplay and go as superstar wrestler Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine or something.
I said his name 5 times looking into the bathroom mirror before I sat down to write this, so maybe I make it through to finish it….maybe I don’t. Anywho…..Candyman! And yes he can be pretty spooky in this sequel (yeah, it’s a sequel), which I know was a concern going in. Could it live up to the original Candyman from 1992?? But how will this movie be any good without Tony Todd?? What about the bees?? THE BEES!! I’m here to happily report that director Nia DaCosta has created a gothic and striking film, that not only pays homage to the original movie…..but elevates it to a new level that could (and probably should) garner sequels in this new Candyman universe.
I just pinched myself because I enjoy feeling pain at times, and also because it’s FINALLY safe to go back to the movies! Well, not if you consider’talking 10-year-olds sitting next to you while watching a horror movie‘ safe…….but still somewhat safe nonetheless. And the first movie in well over a year that I did see in the theater was…..A Quiet Place Part II: Electric Boogaloo. What a snappy title that would have been.
My rapid review for A Quiet Place Part II would go something like this: This was definitely not a sophomore slump for John Krasinski. Loved the opening sequence that showed the preface to the madness that unfolded in the previous film. Tense and loud (in a good way) from beginning to end, but also quiet at times because that’s the movie’s sweet spot. That bear trap part though (yikes). Cillian Murphy can do no wrong. Not much bad to say about it honestly, other than that I think the series needs to end with this one. But…..a third one already got green-lit (shrug).
Let’s move on to The Conjuring 3: Electric Booglaoo! Oh, I mean – The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It. For this one, I did not venture to the theater – but to my couch via HBO Max. So let’s talk: Very strong opening sequence in this one too. Uh oh – 20 mins in and I was already a little bored. I think I’m kinda over possession movies. But hey! Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are still great. That big fat guy from the morgue though (yikes). Decent climax (that’s what she said), but I think I’m Conjuringed out. Definitely my least favorite in the series, but I didn’t hate it.
Time for the wildcard in this review roundup – a little Irish mood piece called Caveat, which is available to stream now on Shudder. So, let’s chew the fat on this one: Oh my, that toy bunny is pretty terrifying. One of my fears is having to be chained up to the point where I can’t reach the toilet in the bathroom. This movie is directed and written by Damian McCarthy and is his first feature! Extremely dark, unsettling, but interesting as well – it keeps things moving without slowing down too much. I had read that some thought the ending was abrupt and unsatisfying – but I disagree. Easily one of my biggest surprises of the year so far. Go check Caveat out on Shudder. PS – I liked it better than The Conjuring 3 (shrug again).
Is this a review? Yes and no. I’m sort of tired of writing a typical review, so I’ll do this one a little differently. Have you heard of the movie The Dark And The Wicked? No?? Hmmmm. Do you have Shudder? Oh, you do?? Well…..get your happy ass on over there and watch the movie! That was a bit rude. My apologies.
Ok, so the movie is The Dark And The Wicked. Written and directed by Bryan Bertino, who also wrote and directed The Strangers (a personal favorite of mine btw). So what does this movie have going for it: Good acting? Check. Creepy atmosphere? Check. Jump scares? Yeah, a minimal check. A woman slicing off her fingers thinking that they’re carrots? Super check!
The Dark And The Wicked doesn’t exactly reinvent anything horror-wise, but aside from the ending – it doesn’t really fuck anything up. The story is fairly straight forward: Two siblings (Marin Ireland and Michael Abbott Jr.) return home to be with their dying father and distraught mother. While there, strange things start happening – disturbing images pop up – and blood is shed. Not all exactly in that order. There’s a sense of sorrow and dread throughout the whole movie, and it definitely plays on general grief and emotion that a family goes through when someone either passes away, or is about to.
This is one of those movies that I had low expectations with, and ended up liking it more because of that. While not perfect, The Dark And The Wicked did its job with me…..which is basically making me squirm a few times and maybe even giving in to the ‘jump scare’ attempts. It’s on Shudder now, so goooooooo watch it!
Ahoy! It’s time to set sail on the spoooooky and haunted (yeah – it’s said to be really haunted) Queen Mary in Long Beach, California for their 10th anniversary of Dark Harbor! I was lucky enough to go on opening night, and it was the perfect way to kick off my Halloween season.
From the opening moment when The Captain bellows to his fellow monsters to open the gate – you’re immersed into a world where you can walk by a snarling Scary Mary (my fav), before getting spooked by a 10-foot-tall creepy clown. The atmosphere is top notch here (something that Universal Horror Nights is lacking), and Dark Harbor not only brings it in terms of that atmosphere – but also with the mazes.
With a total of 6 mazes in all, Dark Harbor has unleashed Rogue this year as it’s newest addition and it lived up to the hype. My personal favorites Lullaby and Circus are back, with a few new twists that attendees from previous years will appreciate. The scare actors really go for it in all of the mazes, which makes the interactions with them all the more fun (and terrifying).
Once again, Dark Harbor satisfied all of my haunt needs this year and did itself proud for its 10 year anniversary! If you find yourself in the Long Beach area or are looking for something to satisfy your own haunt needs this Halloween season, then go HERE for more info on the schedule and ticketing for The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor experience! Scare ya, later!
If I could be any animal or reptile, I would be an alligator. I’m sure my readers just had their minds blown by that statement, but it’s true. Always fascinated with them growing up, I’ve never actually seen one in the wild – and I’ve never been in a hurricane either. Why did I just mention a hurricane? Oh – because the new movie Crawl is based on alligators running amuck during a hurricane in Florida. And guess what? I loved this movie! Continue reading →
Can I get my crow barbecued, please? Yeah – I’m eating crow now because I poo-pooed the new remake/reboot of Child’s Play before it opened this past weekend. Actually, I kind of dug the first trailer and had an open mind. And when Mark Hamill was announced as the voice of Chucky (aka Buddi), my mind was even more open. Then the second trailer dropped and I had doubts, at which point the poo-pooing began. Next were the ads of Chucky destroying various Toy Story characters (that movie opened the same weekend), which seemed like ‘desperation time’ for me. But…..low and behold – Child’s Play was actually (gulp) GOOD. Continue reading →