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!
Is it weird to say that I missed watching bad movies? Probably, but back when I could safely have people over at my place (what seems like a hundred years ago), bad movies were the staple of Movie Night. We'd sit around and riff on them, finding enjoyment more through our own senses of humor than whatever lame thing was on the screen. But I watched this alone, with only my growing disappointment as company. I swear we watched It Waits a decade ago--literally this time--but all I could remember was hating a parrot? Turns out that's all that's memorable about this direct-to-DVD flick.
When we last left Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, AKA When They Cry, three of the five main characters were dead. Keiichi murdered Rena and Mion in self-defense, but the drug they injected him with made him rip out his own throat, eventually dying from blood loss. So... what now? Do we continue the story with the survivors, Rika and Satoko? Does detective Oishi take a main role in investigating the strange and possibly supernatural happenings at Hinamizawa? Nope! We're going to pretend the first arc never happened! Let's get weird and homicidal (again) as we look at the second story arc, Cotton Drifting.
Let's try something a little different. Disney+'s release schedule for new shows is pretty tight, with episodes releasing weekly followed by a making-of documentary and kicking off with a new series the week after. For the time being I'm going to skip the Star Wars shows, but that still means that the majority of these Saturday posts will be tied up with the MCU, not leaving much time for anything else. Well, I'm instituting a new policy for the blog: when I'm in the middle of reviewing the latest MCU show on Saturdays, a completely different show's posts will go up as a bonus on Sundays. Does this mean that the last half of the month will have a post every single day thanks to MCU March? Yup! Will I regret this? Probably! But enough of that, let's talk about child murder.
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...
I want to give this movie some credit: while a lot of found footage movies are incredibly cheap, The Monster Project had a budget for its monsters. I've absolutely seen worse effects in other movies, and the creatures here didn't look like ass. The problem is that this movie is really, really proud of its monsters. It takes every opportunity--once things kick off at the halfway point--to show you them in action. But that becomes a problem, because the more you see clear shots of a creature, the less frightening it becomes. We become inured to it and can grow bored with it. And I know this feels more like a third paragraph thing rather than an intro, but I wanted to get that out of the way first.
I count myself lucky that my family isn't too crazy. Sure, we have members like "the one who's always drunk," but things could definitely be worse. Like, oh, for example, my mother didn't have dissociative identity disorder and then died in hospice care, my father didn't die from self-inflicted starvation, and my (nonexistent) brother didn't suffer from schizophrenia before hanging himself! Oh, and I also don't have a tense relationship with my (also nonexistent) children because one time I almost burned them alive while sleepwalking. Man, wouldn't it suck to have that kind of baggage!
Welcome to October of the Corn! That's right, the same guy who skipped the X-Men: First Class movies because he was sick of franchises is jumping straight into another one right after Mummy Mondays ended. I have to do something productive with all these DVDs that I own, right? So suffer with me, because for the next 10 Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (with one exception late in the month), we're going to talk about no one's favorite horror franchise. Fun!
You know what actor I absolutely love? Mr. Billy Zane. I think most people who recognize that name will know him as the bad guy from Titanic first, maybe as one of the guys in Biff’s gang in Back to the Future, and rarely as the titular hero in The Phantom. Hell, he even has a random cameo at the end of the lame Holmes & Watson as himself. But for me, my favorite performance of his will always be Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight.
Look, I absolutely can talk about Batman non-stop for weeks on end, but for both our sakes I'd rather not. I still have several movies I own that I want to talk about, so that means the occasional break in the three or four weeks I'm going to be focusing on this particular superhero. So instead of something related like The Shadow, we have Lo.