Hello again! So glad to see y’all along with me for the ride Halloween blogging, or, as I call it……BLOGTOBERFEST……..
Today’s recipe is not a mocktail, but a straight up liquor fest. It was a choice between this and chocolate martinis. I chose this because it looks like fruit punch. (What, me drinking? Nah, this is fruit punch.) And I love sangria.
You can find the basic recipe here, but I added my own twist.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
- 1 (750 ml bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja reds, Zinfandel, Shiraz)
- 1 Lemon cut into wedges
- 1 Orange cut into wedges
- Strawberry or Kiwi slices
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 2 shots brandy
- 1 shot gin
- 2 cups ginger ale or club soda
Pour wine in the pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon and orange into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and add sugar and brandy. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale or club soda just before serving.
If you’d like to serve right away, use chilled red wine and serve over lots of ice.
Kidnap: Every Parent’s Horror Movie
In the US, a child goes missing every 40 seconds. You never think it will happen to you. Until it does. Alone and scared, Karla Dyson (Halle Berry) is unwilling to leave the fate of her son’s life in someone else’s hands. When she catches a glimpse of the abductors speeding away, she decides to fight back. In a heart pounding race against time, Karla begins a high speed pursuit and will stop at nothing to save her son’s life. Written by https://teaser-trailer.com
Remember that time you stepped off to the side in the store to take a kind of important call and you got so engrossed you took your eyes of your child for more than a couple of minutes? Yep. That’ was Halle Berry’s mistake in Kidnap. But boy, does she make up for it, if I may say, in spades.
Berry plays single mother Karla Dyson, who’s set up in the movie is done quite well. She works at a diner in a thankless waitress job, as demonstrated by one snooty patron, and is looking forward to a well deserved break at an amusement park with her son, Frankie. But what should be an idyllic afternoon between mother and son turns into the worst of nightmares, as Frankie is spirited away under his mother’s nose and she’s helpless to stop it.
The film is non-stop action. The moment Frankie is stuffed into that car, Halle Berry goes full tiger mom mode. Without stopping to call the police, she makes an attempt at stopping the kidnapping right away and chases the villain’s car in her minivan. This begins a cat-and-mouse game, which keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire movie.
The story is told from Halle’s point of view and that’s all the insight we need. In such an impossible situation, she knows the police will move too slowly and that it’s up to her to save her son. She digs deep down and finds the strength to chase her son and his kidnappers all the way into the Louisiana countryside.
Halle carries most of the movie, both in talking to herself and screaming in frustration at the kidnappers. As a mother, I felt her pain every step of the way. Not many people want to see a child in danger or hurt, and it was harrowing to see Halle’s near misses at getting Frankie back. Though the villain remains unseen for most of the movie, just the fact they’ve kidnapped a kid launches them into full-on villain status. There are no gray areas in this movie, and Halle is justified in the things she does.
It’s also refreshing to see a woman of color in a lead role in a thriller. Instead of playing the “girlfriend” or the “woman who sits home and frets”, she takes an active role in reclaiming her child. Digging deep for the reserves of power and ingenuity within her, there’s nothing she won’t do to get him back. I simply love how she goes all out in pursuit. No minivan ever has seen such action!!
For steady movie goers – you won’t see anything new in this movie. However, Halle puts a fresh spin on the “child in peril” movie and seriously owns some of the scenes in it. Is it a great movie? Not at all, but it is entertaining, and isn’t that what we go to the movies for?
All in all an effective thriller with great car chases and a heroine you can root for.
SPOILER FOR THOSE SENSITIVE TO CHILDREN IN PERIL
No children were hurt or harmed in the film. There are some scary situations, yes, but no children were harmed.
Title: Hell House, LLC (2015)
Five years after an unexplained malfunction causes the death of 15 tour-goers and staff on the opening night of a Halloween haunted house tour, a documentary crew travels back to the scene of the tragedy to find out what really happened. (from imdb.com)
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Well, well, well. The found footage genre isn’t completely dead.
If you’re a friend of mine on social media, you should well know I’ve never met a found footage film I didn’t like. Well, scrap that, because I realized, yes, I’ve met a few I didn’t care for at all. However, I am fascinated by the whole genre of found footage horror films and never pass up a chance to screen them….if I can take it. Some I won’t see because the gross factor is too high. But that’s blog post for another day.
Hell House, LLC is a little gem I found hiding on Amazon Video. Sidenote- I got the prime membership just for the shipping, but the Video area is kind of like your favorite Palmer Video. I’ve been finding quite a few cool films included with my Prime membership. Back to the movie.
The premise is quite simple: A group of friends put on haunted houses each Halloween season in New York City. This season, they decide to rent an old hotel. The Abbadon hotel in Abbadon, New York. Now, I’m pretty genre savvy, so I knew that Abbadon meant something or other, but was too lazy to reach for my phone to look it up. No matter, because I simply like watching the story unfold before my eyes. Why do research when surely the filmmakers will do it for me?
As a found footage film, this is one of the better ones. There’s not a ton of shaky cam or people yelling profanity at the camera, which is good. The movie opens telling us of an incident that happened five years prior, where people were killed/injured at the opening of the haunted house. It then circles back to before the incident, where the haunted house was being set up.
I must say, this film offered me quite a few scares from places I didn’t expect and had me covering my eyes at one point. It’s fun and it holds together, pretty much, plot wise. There is very little blood/gore – it’s not a slasher film, but I tell you, it’s creepy enough that I remember some of the scenes from it a few weeks later.
Recommended – have fun!
Rating – B
So, you call yourself a horror movie fan? Well, even as a middle of the road fan, meaning I won’t watch them at night, and if something is too gory or too much, I will turn it off to preserve my sanity. Given that, I’ve seen a lot of scary movies, but even I was surprised to find out some were remakes. Let’s take a look, beyond the obvious.
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
Yep, this sister vs sister thriller/horror was remade in 1991 starring real life sisters Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave. John Glover plays the part, I think, that Victor Buono played in the original. I’ve seen it, I’ve noted it, I’ve blanked it out. Nuff said. Here’s the trailer.
Timothy Olyphant, who I will always forever see as sexy salesman Danny Cordray on The Office, and Radha Mitchell do a great job in this remake of the 1973 classic. I don’t mind telling you, the trailer scared me. The image of people enjoying a nice day at a baseball game as a huge, zombie-like dude marches across the field carrying a bloody weapon….that’s horror, where the ordinary go so wrong, so fast. I haven’t seen the original, so I’m not sure how it measures up, but I can say it sure scared me.
Last House on the Left
As an exercise in 70s horror, I watched this. It was an awful experience because the movie was so good at being awful. The feeling of dread, of hopelessness and fear exudes from the screen after the two fun-loving girls meet up with that terrible crew. Once seen, it is not an experience I’d want to repeat, because the movie did so well at making its audience feel terrible. I won’t watch the remake.
David Cronenberg is a body horror master. In The Fly, he lets it all hang out. Ugh. I’ve seen both, but the remake is more stomach turning, and probably realistic than the original. Both movies, however, do have good points.
Yes, Steve McQueen was dreamy as a 40 year old high school student, but let’s be real. The original Blob depended more on suspense than gross out scenes. In the remake, it was a disgusting thrill to see the dude sucked down the drain by the blob. The telephone booth scene was also a good scare. Again, with what they had to work with, the original Blob was pretty good, but the remake’s special effects made a scary story much better.\
So what’s your vote?
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