Friday, February 14

I'm Dating A Woman In Horror (WIHM 2020)


I'm Dating A Woman in Horror Pt.1

By: Theresa Dillon

Okay, so this year I decided to try something a little bit different for Women in Horror Month. Thanks to YouTube channel Girlfriend Reviews (go subscribe now and thank me later), I decided it would be fun to sit down with my significant other, Josh, and ask questions about our relationship.

This may sound corny but I love our relationship. I love that we’re independent individuals who appreciate and support each other’s interests. Mainly, I’m a horror fan and he’s a sci-fi/fantasy fan. We’re both nerds in our own ways but there is a stigma around female horror fans. And since Josh has indulged in my horror tendencies for 5 years, why not ask what it’s really like dating a female horror fan. Is it dark and vile like some in society think? Is it overbearing and weird? Or is it something special?

This is a special 2-parter feature because I don’t know how to ask short, easy questions. Thank you, Josh, for being a willing participant. All of his answers (albeit short because he is a man of few but powerful words) are 100% from his mouth. I told him not to hold anything back and to be completely honest, even at risk of hurting my feelings. What you read is 100% us.

And if after reading this first part you feel all twitterpated, come spend your Valentine’s Day weekend with other horror fans at our first screening for Women in Horror Month – Knives and Skin. It will be playing Saturday, Feb. 15th at 7:30 p.m.

We’d love for you to join us!

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Interview between Theresa Dillon (female horror fan) and Joshua Anderson (male sci-fi/fantasy fan)

Theresa Dillon (TD): Okay babe, are you ready to do this?
Joshua Anderson (JA): (Laughs) Yeah, I think so.
TD: Okay, don’t stress and just be 100% honest. Take a deep breath.

Question 1 - What’s it like dating a female horror fan?
JA: Well, I get to enjoy being introduced to good movies I’ve never seen before.
TD: Yes, it’s really fun to show you some of my favorites yet to get your opinion. And I still have so many to show you!

Okay, Question 2 - What are some of the qualities you like and dislike?
JA: I like that you’re willing to try new things often.
TD: True, I’ve tried some sci-fi that was definitely different but some that really opened my eyes too.
JA: I dislike going to events or conventions.
TD: I knew you were going to say that! (Laughs) I do appreciate it when you do come even though it’s not your favorite.
JA: You’re welcome. I like supporting you.

Question 3 - Do you ever feel intimidated by me?
JA: No, you’re not very intimidating. You’re very gentle and sweet.
TD: Aw, thanks, babe!

Question 4 - Do you think I’m weird with some of the horror I like to watch?
JA: No, not at all.
TD: Good answer, now go tell my mom you feel that way. (Laughs)

Question 5 - The first movie I remember watching with you that I was like “Uh-oh, let’s see how this goes” was VOICES. After watching that film together, what was your initial reaction/thoughts about me?
JA: I thought it was really exciting and very enjoyable. It was out of my normal realm of interests and that was a good thing.

Question 6 - What’s it like attending conventions or events with me?
JA: I enjoy seeing all the interesting people. It’s not something I would’ve ever gone to on my own but I enjoy watching you do it.
TD: I do really enjoy doing events and panels. It’s the people in the horror community that are just some of the nicest, most fascinating people I’ve met.

Question 7 - Not that I want to pigeon-hole women in categories in any shape or form but, out of the society-based dating categories for women, how would you rank women horror fans? What are some of the common characteristics you’ve noticed?
JA: You’re sweet and tender. You’re not creepy like society sometimes claims.

The last question, are you ready? Overall, do you feel like a happy, confident man in our relationship?
JA: Yea, of course.

TD: Great answer. I feel like a confident woman in our relationship and I think we’re awesome. Thank you for answering my Part 1 questions babe. We’ll dive into Part 2 next week.

Downhill Review

Downhill
Dir: Nat Faxon and Jim Rash
Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Will Ferrell, Zach Woods, Zoë Chao, and Miranda Otto

Take a moment the next time you are on vacation, at the amusement park, the beach, or any place where families gather to relax and partake in fun, and look through the crowds of smiling faces for that one family that is in the midst of a bad day. Where the kids are having complete meltdowns, and mom and dad are barely holding it together as years of unresolved past arguments and quarrels rise slowly to the surface. If it’s not happening to you, it’s a fascinating sight to see.

“Downhill”, a remake of the 2014 Swedish film “Force Majeure” from director Ruben Ostlund, takes a look at a vacation-from-hell scenario for a family on a skiing trip in a foreign country. Directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who last helmed the 2013 film “The Way Way Back”, compose this version of the film with a lesser emphasis on mechanisms like masculinity, the line that divides fear and cowardice, and relationship inadequacies. Instead, the writing and directing team focus on the surface situation of ‘flight versus fight’ and allow the strengths of their actors, Will Ferrell playing more reserved than normal and Julia Louis-Dreyfus controlling the tone with her anxious and irritated demeanor, opportunity to control the blending serious dramatic themes with awkward comedy moments.

Billie (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Pete (Will Ferrell) are taking their two young kids on a skiing trip in Austria, they are staying at a luxury resort tailored for adults. Pete, from the moment they arrive, seems distracted by his phone while Billie is doing her best to make the vacation fun for everyone. While eating lunch at an outdoor restaurant, a controlled avalanche is initiated by the resort; as snow rolls down the mountain it begins to look more and more threatening to Billie and Pete, just as the snow crashes into the restaurant, Pete grabs his phone and runs away from Billie and the children. Once the white dust settles, Pete returns as if nothing happened while Billie is holding her children and trembling with fear.

Faxon and Rash pace their film with a swiftness, moving into the primary conflict of the movie with ease and then focusing on the ramifications of the event between Pete and Billie with a string of interesting and amusing scenarios. While this helps keep the narrative moving it also stifles some of the thought-provoking interactions and internal conflict that Billie and Pete are experiencing about themselves individually and one another collectively. “Downhill” doesn’t pursue the depth that “Force Majeure” explored, instead it examines the superficial emotions, the surface anger and frustration that Billie feels and the outward denial and selfishness that Pete exhibits. While it doesn’t ruin the experience of “Downhill”, it does display a lack of emotional connection between the married couple. 

Julie Louis-Dreyfus is very good throughout the film, her comedic timing works well when her character is annoyed but also adds a nice bit of charm as things begin to progress more complicated. Will Ferrell pleasantly provides some restraint in his needy and selfish portrayal of Pete. While Ferrell is good, though there are few moments that don’t work for the character, such as a long scene involving Pete recalling his time as a single man after being offered a drink from an attractive onlooker. 

“Downhill” isn’t interested in finding pathways to deeper intellectual topics, however, that doesn’t mean it isn’t any less interesting watching two people struggle to patch the worn pieces of married life amidst awkward encounters and cringe-worthy scenarios.  

Monte’s Rating
3.00 out of 5.00

Sonic the Hedgehog Review


Sonic the Hedgehog
Dir: Jeff Fowler
Starring: James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Ben Schwartz, and Jim Carrey

♪ SEGA ♪

It was the early 90’s and the next-door neighbor kid had a birthday party. As he tore at the wrapping paper the words “Sega Genesis” was revealed underneath, along with a small box featuring a blue hedgehog named “Sonic” pointing one finger up in the air. The kids rushed to find an adult to hook everything up and quickly the video game was ready to go, with a long line of neighborhood kids patiently waiting for their turn. The moment I pressed start, the addiction was immediate. Go fast, collect those rings. 

“Sonic the Hedgehog”, directed by Jeff Fowler, takes the little blue hedgehog out of the video game, away from the cartoons, and into the real world with this live-action crossover that finds an animated Sonic escaping from his world and onto Earth. However, it hasn’t been an easy journey for the video game icon; as the first trailer dropped almost a year ago the internet reaction towards the composition of Sonic was met with negativity, persuading Paramount Pictures to redesign Sonic before the film release. Bigger eyes, shorter legs, less human qualities…the redesign was a return to something closer to the original video game. Did it make a difference? Who knows? But the internet flexed their opinion and filmmakers answered. That part might not be so good for the artistic process but we’ll save that conversation for another article. 

Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) is looking for a place to call home after being forced to leave his planet. Earth is where Sonic resides now, living inside a cave and near a small city policed by Tom Wachowski (James Marsden). Sonic, still learning and developing abilities, creates an energy burst that calls the attention of the government and their contracted scientist Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). Quickly, Sonic is being hunted by the villainous Dr. and his robots and is forced to work with Tom to find a way out of trouble and off of planet Earth. 

For all the work done to redesign the fast hedgehog, equal time should have been paid to finding something new to do with the story. Instead, “Sonic the Hedgehog” is a cliched, formulaic combination of ideas that tries to impose elements of new friendships, embracing uniqueness, and standing up for something/someone you believe in. While these narrative elements are easy to find throughout the movie, cue the change to soft music and the closeup camera work of cartoon eyes welling with water, the emotion behind it just feels generic. 

Still, there is fun to have in this film. Sonic is mischievous and while his antics can be frustrating they are also somewhat entertaining, such as an ultra-slow-motion fight scene that has Sonic manipulating every little element to get the upper hand amongst the chaos. Also, and perhaps the primary reason to watch this film, is the return of Jim Carrey to the style of comedy that made him a star in the ’90s. Carrey’s manic, wild-eyed, arrogant, rubber-faced Dr. Robotnik is fantastic throughout the film. 

“Sonic the Hedgehog” is fun if an altogether fleeting weekend family film that will provide a few chuckles for parents and enough laughs and amusement for younger viewers. They might even pay their parents a few more minutes of attention when they dust off the old Sega Genesis for a family fun night. 

Monte’s Rating
3.00 out of 5.00