Normally when covering Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Kai, AKA When They Cry: Kai, I talk about an entire arc in one post. Well, Mass Slaughter is eight episodes long, so welcome to part two! Let's start with a brief recap of what happened in the first four episodes: Rika is aware she's stuck in a neverending time loop of the same days over and over until her eventual murder. After around a hundred years of this, morale is in the dumps. Doesn't help that her invisible friend, the horned Hanyu, is a pretty big fatalist as well. Moping about the inescapable nature of fate to Keiichi, Rika is surprised when the boy stands up and forcibly changes how things are supposed to happen. Bolstered by new hope, she rallies her friends to save Satoko, her best friend who is trapped with an abusive uncle. And that's basically where we start this second half of episodes.
I honestly don't remember how Fire City: End of Days came up on my radar. The director's done stuff, but nothing that would make him stand out as a director. The writers have done little else. And none of the actors are really big names or in really big things. But I was still drawn to the film, mostly because it looked like it had some cool looking monsters. And it did! But basically nothing else worth watching.
So far with When They Cry, an anime about kids trapped in a never-ending loop of death, the longest story arc has been Eye Opening with 6 episodes. I managed to cram all my thoughts into one big-ass post, but there was a real concern at the time about the overall length. Well, now we're in the second season, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Kai, AKA When They Cry: Kai, where the arcs' lengths varies all over the place. Reunion was just a single episode, while the arc I'm starting today--Mass Slaughter--is eight. That's absolutely too long for one post, so welcome to part 1! Expect the next several posts for the show to be broken up in similar ways for shorter reads and less stress on my end.
There's something about franchises--particularly big horror franchises--where it sure seems like each one has a film that just refuses to stick in my head. I wrote about Children of the Corn: The Gathering just last year, but even then I still only remember the barest of details without looking at the post. Something about a fever...? In that same vein, was it Leprechaun 2 or Leprechaun 3 where he was at a pawn shop? And A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master is just a total blank to me. The point being I've seen all 10 Hellraiser films before, but had no memory of what the hell Hellraiser: Deader was about. But now I've rewatched it and can safely say that I'll most likely forget every detail of this boring movie--again--by next month, if not next week.
The Hellbound Halloween continues! It's a reference to The Hellbound Heart, the story by Mr. Clive Barker that Hellraiser is based on, by the way. This is the last film in the franchise that Barker had a direct hand in, which is a little concerning since it's only the second film. Yup, from here on out the quality steadily decreases--although I remember Hellraiser: Inferno being decent--until we hit the bottom of the barrel with the last two. But that's something we'll touch on later in the month; right now let's end Julia's reign of evil!
Sometimes you watch a movie because an actor you like is in it. I don't remember Hellraiser: Hellworld for it's groundbreaking script, but because the prolific Mr. Lance Henriksen was in the Hellraiser sequel that took place in an video game. And... Henry Cavill was in it? I'll file that away for later, but the point still stands. So while looking for my next movie to review I saw the trailer for Wildling, recognized an actor in this, and instantly knew I had to watch it. And as a bonus, Brad Dourif--Wormtongue in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Chucky in Child's Play, and a dozen more recognizable roles--is also in this!
The first four chapters in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, AKA When They Cry, are referred to as "question arcs." I think it's a great name because I have a whole bunch of questions as to what the fuck is going on. But now we've entered the so-called "answers arcs." I went into the Eye Opening arc completely unprepared for what I was about to see and learn, thinking it was going to follow the pattern I had assumed was there based on the question arcs. Is every question answered? Absolutely not, but I learned enough new things that I realized I've been working on some faulty logic about what's really going on here. This arc is six episodes, so this'll run a little long!
We're back after a short break with more episodes of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, AKA When They Cry. Last time was the Cotton Drifting arc, focusing on Mion and her surprise twin sister, Shion. Turns out Mion is the heir to the local yakuza and is in one way or another responsible for every death and disappearance associated with Oyashiro-sama's curse. Oh, and she has a demon inside of her, which might be different from the reason the she and Rena were acting creepy during Spirited Away by the Demon. These next five episodes--the Curse Killing arc--focus on Satoko, a character whose tragic backstory hasn't been fully fleshed out yet. By the end of this you might wish that was still the case...
Full disclosure, I was one of those people who believed that this movie was never going to be released. Originally slated to be released in April 2018, it was delayed four or five times because of things like the Fox/Disney merger and reshoots to change the entire tone. Like you do. In the end it released to an extremely limited theater run in August 2020, and was made widely available for [legal] streaming yesterday. As the last 20th Century Studios X-Men adjacent film--ending a 20 year franchise--was it worth the wait? Well...