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Theresa DeLucci

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Fiction and Excerpts [1]

Season of the Witch: 5 Horror Reads for Fall

Fall comes at you pretty fast. If you don’t stop and smell the pumpkin spice, you could miss it…

Summer’s end is always a bit of a downer, but for some of us, falling leaves and harvest moons herald the most wonderful time of the year. Autumn is usually seen as the perfect time for new horror releases. Whether that’s actually true or just an outdated marketing ploy is arguable; I read excellent horror year-round. Still, I’d rather be inundated with good books than gourd-infused lattes, or, Cthulhu forgive, Christmas sales.

This fall sees a grab-bag of debut fiction, anxiety-inducing anthologies, and a love letter to horror that, actually, were you an enterprising and early bookworm, would make a pretty perfect gift for the horror fan on your list, be it for Halloween or some other, less fun holiday.

[Doubles, dolls, and lots of Satanic Panic…]

Blade Runner 2049: The Secret Lives of Replicants

Replicants may not live forever, but franchises sure can. Is that always best, though?

Blade Runner occupies a hallowed spot in pop culture’s pantheon. It’s timeless. It’s iconic. It’s gorgeous. It’s very nearly a perfectly structured film — depending on the cut you’re watching. Was there a need for more? Of course not. Compared to Ridley Scott’s other science fiction franchise, Blade Runner’s cinematic universe doesn’t have a clear-cut villain to bring back again and again in new and increasingly muddled situations.

Unless you see Ridley Scott as the real villain of the recent Alien movies.

In Blade Runner 2049, director Denis Villeneuve, fresh off his Oscar-winning Arrival, inspires a confidence Scott himself is unable to earn and brings a new philosophy to an old story.

Spoilers ahead, skinjobs and meatbags.

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It Came from Within: 5 Great Body Horror Films

The human body is a wonder of intricate systems, all tuned towards survival. Most of the time. It is guaranteed that your body will turn on you one day. You will sicken, or weaken. You will die. (Hopefully not while you read this.) For as much as the human body has been studied, there still remains a world of mystery beneath our skin. And where there is uncertainty, there is horror.

Body horror in particular feasts upon the flesh, the fluids, and the processes that keep us functioning day-to-day. While the average person might fall victim to age or disease—or unlucky bathroom accidents— it could also be a mad scientist, an alien invader, or, worst of all, love, that transforms and transfigures the fantastic, fragile, human body. These five films examine the visceral through the visual and have a lot to say about how we view our identity, morality, sexuality, and, ultimately, our mortality.

Spoiler warning: things are about to get messy.

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Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 7: “The Dragon and the Wolf”

Forget dragons and wolves and mockingbirds and lions. My very immediate reaction is a pained cry at the thought of having to wait until 2019 to find out what happened to the most beautiful ginger in Westeros.

I mean, sure, some earth-shattering things happened in the Game of Thrones finale, but I stand by my feelings, okay?

Spoilers for the currently published George R. R. Martin novels are discussed in the review and fair game in the comments. We highly suggest not discussing early preview chapters, but if you must, white it out. Have courtesy for the patient among us who are waiting and waiting (and waiting) for The Winds of Winter. Play nice. Thanks.

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Series: HBO’s Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 6: “Beyond the Wall”

Well, this is not good.

Am I talking about the events of the episode or the episode itself?

Spoilers for the currently published George R. R. Martin novels are discussed in the review and fair game in the comments. We highly suggest not discussing early preview chapters, but if you must, white it out. Have courtesy for the patient among us who are waiting and waiting (and waiting) for The Winds of Winter. Play nice. Thanks.

[“The Good, The Bad and The Really Ugly…”]

Series: HBO’s Game of Thrones

The Dark Tower Misses the Mark for Longtime Fans and Newcomers Alike

There are other worlds than these, pilgrim, and The Dark Tower movie tries to be the best of both, bringing Stephen King’s epic dark fantasy novel series to the broadest possible audience. But lots is lost in translation, and neither fans nor newbies to the material will find much to make them happy.

Theresa DeLucci has only read the first two novels and Pritpaul Bains has read them all—so how differently did they both hate this movie?

Spoiler warning: several major plot elements of King’s earlier Dark Tower books are discussed in passing, but nothing major from the final books.

[There are other movies than these, pilgrim…]

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 3: “The Queen’s Justice”

Well, that wasn’t a Meet-Cute for the ages. But I’d expect no less from Game of Thrones. The greetings in Dragonstone sure as hell went a lot better than the goodbyes in King’s Landing. There were other greetings and goodbyes, too. Mostly the nice kind. Mostly.

This is what happens when fleets sail faster than dragons. It all feels better if you just abandon entirely any sense of travel time and just accept that there is only one timeline that matters: the one that sets everyone on their endgame plays.

And right now? Everything’s coming up Cersei.

Spoilers for the currently published George R. R. Martin novels are discussed in the review and fair game in the comments. We highly suggest not discussing early preview chapters, but if you must, white it out. Have courtesy for the patient among us who are waiting and waiting (and waiting) for The Winds of Winter. Play nice. Thanks.

[“Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things, Redux…”]

Series: HBO’s Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 2: “Stormborn”

So, taking the Iron Throne isn’t going to be as easy as striding into King’s Landing and demanding it, now is it?

This week saw some hard lessons for the ladies of Game of Thrones, just when it seemed they were going to be on top. (Exempt from this turnabout: Missandei.) Littlefinger’s gonna leer, Spider’s gonna keep swimming, and Theon’s gonna… Reek.

Spoilers for the currently published George R. R. Martin novels are discussed in the review and fair game in the comments. We highly suggest not discussing early preview chapters, but if you must, white it out. Have courtesy for the patient among us who are waiting and waiting (and waiting) for The Winds of Winter. Play nice. Thanks.

[“You are a dragon. Be a dragon…”]

Series: HBO’s Game of Thrones

5 Horror Reads to Keep the Sunshine Away

Summer. Pfft. So overrated.

Some people look at the ocean and see a wonderland of surfing and swimming. But I know better. There, there be man-eating sharks and terrible Eldritch horrors waiting to loom up from a darkened trench. Too much sunshine causes skin cancer and sand gets into the most annoying places.

Keep your shiny, happy beach reads. I’ll be sitting safely in the shade of a tree, keeping myself cool with the riches of the season: an abundance of new horror and Weird titles by genre vets and exciting new voices.

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Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 1: “Dragonstone”

So, was it worth the wait?

HBO’s Game of Thrones returned for its seventh—and, in proper epic fantasy terminology, its penultimate—season where it left off, i.e. with lots of fans saying “OH MY GOD FINALLY!!!!” After the rare cold open, Game of Thrones‘ first volley was more of a quiet breath to recollect and reflect after the explosive episode that preceded it. Over a year ago.

But the episode’s last few moments proved that silence has its own power, as careful machinations led to a moment fans of the TV show and the books alike have been waiting years to see come home to roost. To roost and to wage war.

Spoilers for the currently published George R. R. Martin novels are discussed in the review and fair game in the comments. We highly suggest not discussing early preview chapters, but if you must, white it out. Have courtesy for the patient among us who are waiting and waiting (and waiting) for The Winds of Winter. Play nice. Thanks.

[“The North Remembers. For real this time…”]

Series: HBO’s Game of Thrones

Welcome Back to the Black Lodge: Twin Peaks: The Return

Um. So… that all happened.

Where to begin unpacking the long-awaited (almost 27 years!) return of one of television’s biggest shows? There were ominous trees, corpses, familiar faces, mentions of pie, chevron floors, white horses, blonde chanteuses, and a lot of head-scratching. And screaming.

Twin Peaks has certainly returned. Was it worth the hype?

[“Is it future or is it past?…”]

Isn’t He Too Dreamy? An Ode to Twin Peaks’ Dale Cooper

Before Rust Cohle chain-smoked his way through True Detective, before Will Graham rescued his first stray on Hannibal, and before Fox Mulder made us all believe, there was one sleuth whose preternatural ability to solve a murder tinged with otherwordly implications captivated audiences around the world.

FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper was the investigator tasked with solving one of television’s most notorious crimes: the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer on Twin Peaks. Portrayed by a dashing young Kyle MacLachlan, who was by 1990 a David Lynch regular, having starred in the director’s Dune box office disaster and the proto-Twin Peaks noir hit Blue Velvet, Cooper was the perfect detective of his time.

Will the upcoming return to Twin Peaks give us a Cooper fit for our current darkest timeline? Well, that’s not Dale Cooper at all. But is it the Dale Cooper we deserve in 2017? A face of law enforcement we can no longer trust? A white knight who has been corrupted? A seeker of truth subsumed by a monstrous lie? I hate to feel so cynically, but absent any inkling of Twin Peaks‘ upcoming story, all I can do is examine Agent Cooper’s FBI dossier and speculate over a mug of coffee black as midnight on a moonless night.

[“I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange.”]

Alien 3: A Haunting Failure

You don’t hate Alien 3 as much as you think you do.

A terrible sequel, the third installment of the ’Alien’ saga created by Ridley Scott isn’t actually a terrible movie on its own. In fact, if you haven’t seen director David Fincher’s 2003 “Assembly Cut” for the DVD/Blu-Ray box set, you haven’t even really seen Alien 3. It’s a dark and nihilistic arthouse SF film with a complex, challenging female lead. No wonder it flopped as a summer blockbuster in 1992.

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