It's time once again to talk about Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Kai, AKA When They Cry: Kai, the second season/series. We've learned a bit about the time loops the main characters seem to be stuck in, but so many questions still remain. We know that one girl in the friend group--Rika Furude--is keenly aware she's trapped in these loops, remembering each and every one. What does it all mean? Why is the village of Hinamizawa trapped in this unending loop of misery and death? This arc, Disaster Awakening, does not answer those questions at all, but it does provide us some new answers! And also more questions. So many more questions...
On the surface, Lord of Illusions has very little to do with the Hellraiser franchise. One is about a shrewd detective in way over his head among supernatural nonsense, while the other is all about Hell. But what if I were to tell you that they take place in the same universe? Because that's absolutely the case, straight from Mr. Clive Barker himself. So this film actually does fit into this year's October themed event, The Hellbound Halloween! But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Welcome back to the ongoing recaps of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, AKA When They Cry! I had a slight hiccup in the schedule, but I've got the series all sorted out now up to season 3 thanks to a blu-ray collection! Just never ask me how much money I've sunk into this blog or I will cry. Anyway, after the Cat Killing Chapter special episode we are now officially in the second season, When They Cry: Kai, with "Kai" translating to something like "Solution." This series/season has a new opening in addition to a new name, and hopefully some new answers to all the questions I have after the first series/season. What kind of questions? What a great segue into a recap!
I don't want to come off as some sort of movie snob or purist. There are many different ways to tell a story, and sticking to a rigid structure is not always the best course of action. Case in point, Hellraiser: Inferno was a detective mystery that had some Hellish aspects, and I think it worked. But I guess Miramax thought they could try the same formula and create another interesting movie out of a script previously unrelated to the franchise. But no. Hellraiser: Hellseeker sucks and I hate it. Welcome back to the Hellbound Halloween. We're officially in the bad half of the franchise.
Back what seems like a thousand years ago, my first job had dirt cheap DVD packs that I absolutely needed to buy. Were they anything good? Typically no. These packs included things like the Prey of the Jaguar and The Conspiracy of Fear two-pack that I've already talked about here. One such pack was a "Horror Classic" pack of 5 movies featuring the legendary Mr. Bela Lugosi. So things like 1931's Dracula or even Plan 9 from Outer Space? Uh... no. More like his utterly forgotten films that fell into the public domain like The Devil Bat and today's film, The Gorilla, a slapstick "horror"* comedy that only has one redeeming element: Patsy Kelly.
Whoa! We're halfway there! The Hellbound Halloween continues with the fifth movie in the Hellraiser franchise, Hellraiser: Inferno. This is the first film in the series not to be released in theaters, and also the first where it's really, really obvious that this was originally an unrelated script before the cenobites were tacked on. As a result the execution is... polarizing. It's a very strange movie, but I think I can safely say it's the best Silent Hill film yet!
That's right, folks! Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, AKA When They Cry is back! Going by likes that have trickled in over the months since I wrapped up the first season, it looks like this was one of the more popular TV show I've covered so it makes sense to circle back to it with October right around the corner. But instead of diving straight into season 2--When They Cry: Kai--Wikipedia convinced me I should watch Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Nekogoroshi-hen, a special that takes place between seasons 1 and 2, also known as Cat Killing Chapter. But don't let the name make you worry! This isn't a retread of Revolutionary Girl Utena episode 10, so not actual animals were harmed in the episode. And really, no one died outside of flashbacks from years ago, so this is one of the more peaceful episodes of the series, in a weird way.
Look, I don't want to pat myself on the back too much. This blog already is a bit of an ego trip, but I'm just a normal guy. I put my pants on one trite quote at a time. However, after hearing that the twist in Malignant was supposed to be completely surprising, I figured it out in something like 20 minutes. What, like it's hard?
In the comics, What If? stories don't typically have happy endings. Sure, there are exceptions like "What If the Thing Had Continued to Mutate?" (What If? #37, 1983) where Ben Grimm ends the story back in his human body and his girlfriend regained her ability to see. But in that same issue, "What If the Beast Had Truly Become a Beast?" sees Hank McCoy get dropped off in the Savage Land--a jungle filled with dinosaurs--because he had lost all of his intelligence and humanity. The first two episodes of What If...? definitely had their sad moments, but things generally worked out better than in the MCU. Peggy Carter had the training to better foil Hydra, and T'Challa had the charisma to change the universe. But then we have this episode, "What If the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?" which is a murder mystery. The victims? Just about every Avenger. Better grab a flashlight, 'cause it's about to get real dark!
In a sane world, this would be the last Beethoven movie. Sure, in a saner world there would would only have been the original movie and none of these sequels, but either way that's not the world we live in. No, when both The Land Before Time and Air Bud franchises have 14 movies each, we clearly live under the oppressive boot of capitalism, taking your nostalgia and trying to wring as much profit out of it as it can. So here we are with Beethoven's 5th, the film that feels like a Scooby-Doo episode. Maybe that's why I didn't completely hate it?