EA dropped a major announcement under the guise of a small update yesterday. In a post titled “An Update On The Visceral Star Wars Project,” EA’s Patrick Söderlund announced some changes will be coming to Visceral’s upcoming Star Wars game—and Visceral Games is no more.
For whatever reason, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor‘s Nemesis System didn’t take the world by the storm the way it seemed it would three years ago. Other games haven’t borrowed the innovative system that affords players the opportunity to create endless stories within a larger game, but that’s okay. It’s back now, and it’s better than ever in Shadow of War.
We’re officially into the second half of October, and I’ve once again become painfully aware of the speed of time whipping by and the crushing relentlessness of adulthood. Or maybe I’ve once again realized we’re closing in on the end of the year and that’s it. There’s really no way of knowing which it is. Here’s everything I watched and played this weekend to stave off the advancement of time:
It’s October. It’s Friday the 13th. How could I not write about horror movies today? This is in no way an exhaustive list on either side, but here are five horror movies I love and five I should have seen a long time ago but still haven’t for whatever reason. I’m leaving the past few years out of this, which knocks a ton of great movies out of contention—including It Follows, The Babadook, and two of this year’s best movies: Get Out and It.
Let’s get down to it.
Love: 28 Days Later
Post-apocalypse + horror + hope = a movie made for me. Danny Boyle and Alex Garland’s 28 Days Later is terrifying both in the moment and after the fact, and it stuck with me more than most other movies of any kind after watching it. It breathed new life into the zombie subgenre while not really being a zombie movie, and its assured, frantic direction elevates the suspenseful story from greatness to excellence.
Shame: The Thing
This is, unfortunately, not the only time a John Carpenter movie is going to show up on the wrong side of this list. Everything I’ve heard and read about The Thing tells me I’ll love it whenever I finally get around to being a decent horror fan, but I’m a little worried my expectations have gotten out of control.
Love: The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the Woods is lightning in a bottle. It’s a great horror movie and an even better deconstruction of horror movies. It captures all the good of slashers and amplifies it with the perfect dose of self-aware humor. It’s never really scary, but its perfectly paced shifts between horror and comedy make it immensely watchable.
Shame: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Tobe Hooper’s 1974 film helped shape nearly every horror movie that came after it, and it’s widely considered to be a classic. So of course I haven’t seen it.
Love: Paranormal Activity
There were several mid-to-late 2000s horror movies that could have gotten the nod here, but none affected me quite as much as Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity. It isn’t my favorite horror movie, but Paranormal Activity‘s masterful, perfectly paced escalation of tension and suspense is undeniable. The fact that it was done on almost no budget and led to a massive franchise is impressive, but it’s the superb build and payoff of this film that stands atop the franchise’s accomplishments.
Everything I’ve heard about Suspiria paints it as a must-see horror film. It’s thrilling, bloody, artful, and stylistic, and it’s completely unacceptable that I haven’t seen it. At least with this one I have the excuse that it’s not exactly easy to see in the US. Hopefully the impending remake will change that.
There’s no denying that Aliens outshines its predecessor in almost every way, but it’s impossible to replicate the tension and and isolation of Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece. It’s one of the best and most important movies ever released, blending horror and science fiction with a tremendous performance from Sigourney Weaver. It just might be the perfect horror movie.
So, uh… yeah. There’s no excuse for this. I know that. Modern horror movies wouldn’t exist as we know them without Halloween
Love: The Blair Witch Project
The Blair Witch Project can get almost unwatchable at times. At most times, even. Heather, Josh, and Mike’s bickering is painful more often than not, but it’s also real. Put in the movie’s situation, I have no doubts that most people would fall into the same patterns of The Blair Witch Project’s characters. It’s tense and thrilling in its early moments, and there’s little out there that matches the all-out horror of The Blair Witch Project‘s third act.
Shame: Don’t Look Now
This one’s been on my watch list for a while, just waiting for me to rent it and dive in. There’s just something about the blending of horror cinema with unbearable grief that’s kept me from getting there, though.
Have a good weekend. Watch some horror. Let me know what you’re watching, and what I need to watch, in the comments.
We play games for a lot of reasons. Sometimes we play for fun. Sometimes we play to turn our brains off and relax. Sometimes we play to experience a story. Sometimes we play to get lost in a fictional world and escape from reality, which I’ve been doing a bit more than usual this year.
2017 introduced a new wrinkle to my gaming habits, though: I’ve played more games I hate this year than I ever have before.
I’m deep into my second time through Dishonored: Death of the Outsider. I’m playing the game’s Original Game+ mode, which replaces Billie’s powers with three from Dishonored 2: Blink, Dark Vision, and Domino. There are three NPCs in front of me, and let’s just say the discussion they’re having isn’t a friendly one. Having linked the three characters with Domino, I’m standing on a nearby rooftop to figure out my plan to take them out and avoid detection—when one shoots another, which in turn kills all three characters. Problem solved.
It’s moments like this one that I’ll remember most about Dishonored: Death of the Outsider.
You don’t need me to tell you a new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi dropped last night. You don’t need me to share my thoughts about Rian Johnson’s entry in the Star Wars franchise based on the trailer. I really only have one thought about the trailer, though:
I’m not fucking watching it.
It’s Columbus Day. As you all know, that means basically nothing. It was still a weekend, though, which means there was plenty to enjoy on my TV screen.
The world sucks right now. I don’t think I need to go into the reasons behind that statement, and I’m pretty sure this would be my longest post ever if I tried. There’s plenty of good out there, though. You just have to try to see it. A special, intimate acoustic performance by my favorite band, The Wonder Years, helped me do exactly that last night.
I always do my best to check out all the new shows I’m even remotely interested in every new season, even as I struggle to watch just about every other TV show in existence. I’m lucky to find a show or two I’m interested in following past its first few weeks, but it looks like that might be changing this year. I’ve only had the time to check out two new shows so far, but I’m planning on sticking with both of them—at least for the foreseeable future.