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...
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 have a list bookmarked that ranks what most people regard as the best horror movies ever made. And I've... covered an embarrassingly few of those movies on this blog. I definitely have seen a huge chunk of these films! I just tend to gravitate towards garbage because ranting about something being bad is easier than making a post with nothing but praise. But I have plans to burn through a couple of my personal to-do lists, so let's kick off this burst of motivation by talking about something actually good for a change: Carnival of Souls.
Tag caught my attention the first time I read a summary of it and thought, "Holy shit, are they fucking serious?" Before I get to what made my jaw drop, I want to specify which Tag this actually is. It's not 2018's Tag about grown men playing a game of tag. It's not 1982's Tag: The Assassination Game with Linda Hamilton. It's not even 2015's Japanese Tag where heads explode. No, this is 2015's American Tag--or 2012, or 2014, or 2016 depending on which site you check--where McLovin gets sucked into one man's plan to spread HIV to as many people as possible.
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.
I want to say that I found this movie by looking up superhero movies. Tell Tale is a film written by Mr. Dave Callaham, who is credited as the writer on Wonder Woman 1984, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and the upcoming Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2. Hell, Callaham also wrote 2021's Mortal Kombat and all four The Expendables movies--no, you're not having a stroke, the fourth one hasn't come out yet. Or that I found it looking up movies based on Edgar Allan Poe stories. All those are things I would talk about here, so it would make sense. But no, I discovered this obscure movie in a way that leaves me honestly feeling a bit embarrassed...
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!
Some days the best laid plans fall through, and for that I'm glad we have short films. I'm not saying that every time I review a film under an hour long it's because I'm scrambling at the last minute to find something to post the next day... but I'm also not not saying that will be the case. Anyway, I at least took the time to look up some horror short films, and Zygote came highly recommended. Was it worth 22 minutes of my time? Absolutely!
Once upon a time, my husband's favorite movie was Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a video game-themed comedy based on a comic (graphic novel, technically). That makes sense if you know him and I like that movie, too. Then he watched What Happened to Monday, and this dystopian sci-fi thriller became his new favorite. The only thing the two movies have in common is a focus on the number 7. After finally sitting down and watching it, did I also like this film? Well... not really. Sorry, babe.
I've been going back and forth on whether to just go full spoilers when talking about Black Widow, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie in two years. When I covered all the other movies earlier this year as part of MCU March, the assumption was that people had already seen those films so I gave a summary as a refresher then talked about all the plot points I wanted to talk about. But Black Widow comes out at a weird time, where on one hand people are cheering that COVID is finally over, while on the other the Delta variant is becoming more widespread. Not a lot of people are willing to spend two hours in an enclosed space with strangers and Disney+ is charging $30 to be able to watch the film in your house. In the end I went with very light spoilers because I'm betting a lot of people are waiting to see this, which is a shame since it was good.