Posts

Black Mirror Season Three Review and Analysis: Concept Over Character

Black Mirror Season Three, the first season to be produced exclusively for Netflix, exhibits a variety of achievements and missteps; and while there are some interesting concepts, its lukewarm delivery (despite one good episode and one particularly excellent episode) demonstrates that is has a ways to go to match the quality of other recent Netflix and horror/sci-fi television offerings.

Described by many as “The Twilight Zone for the tech generation,” Black Mirror dazzled British audiences in its first and second seasons, and then later picked up steam in the United States on Netflix. While loosely connected and existing in the same universe (with most episodes featuring a broken mirror or establishing shots focused on black mirror-like surfaces), each episode addresses an entirely different concept. This results in a wide spectrum of tones and atmospheres. The original episodes feature talented English actors and actresses known to American audiences, such as Hayley Atwell, Oona Chaplin, Domhnall Gleeson, and Jon Hamm, and Netflix chose to continue the tradition by hiring Alice Eve, Jerome Flynn, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Kelly Macdonald to fill important roles in the present season. Interestingly, despite featuring top talent, Black Mirror’s biggest issue so far seems to be a lack of characterization and character development. This stems from too much of a focus on the technology over the characters. read more

Stranger Things Adds Sean Astin, Paul Reiser, and Linnea Berthelsen to Cast for Season Two

As reported by Entertainment Weekly,  the sophomore season of Stranger Things will add a number of genre veterans to the Netflix sleeper hit.

Heading that list is Samwise Gamgee himself Sean Astin.   Co-directors Ross and Matt Duffer described Astin’s character as “a kindhearted former nerd who went to high school with Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper (David Harbour) and now manages the local Hawkins RadioShack.”

Paul Reiser, who portrayed ruthless businessman Burke in Aliens, will get another chance to play a character with seemingly good intentions in the form of Dr. Owens, “a high-ranking member within the Department of Energy on a ‘clean-up’ assignment, tasked with containing the events of last year.” read more

Casting News for Netflix’s Stephen King Adaptation of “1922”

While Netflix is currently in production on its adaptation of the King novel ‘Gerald’s Game, The Hollywood Reporter has announced that they have also casted the lead roles for their film based on the novella 1922 from the book ‘Full Dark, No Stars’.

The casting announcement lists Thomas Jane as the lead Wilfred James and Molly Parker (The Road) as his wife Arlette. This adds to the cast that already features Dylan Schmid, Kaitlyn Bernard, Brian d’Arcy James and Neal McDonough. read more

Stranger Things Set to Come Back with Season 2 in 2017

The producers of Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things have been teasing a second season over the past month and today Deadline reported the reality; the show will return to Netflix in 2017 with a new season consisting of nine episodes.

With no word on casting yet, it’s safe to assume that season two will be a continuation of the highly successful first season. Co-creator and writer Matt Duffer said, “There’s definitely some dangling threads at the end, it’s open-ended so that if people want it, if Netflix wanted it, we could explore that and continue the storyline.” read more

Kolchak: The Night Stalker Debuts on Netflix and Coming to DVD Again this October

Seminal horror television series Kolchak: The Night Stalker recently debuted on digital streaming service Netflix and will return to dvd this October. Kolchak, starring Darren McGavin as the intrepid investigator of all things that go bump in the night, will be released by Universal on October 11, 2016 and will feature all 20 original one-hour episodes of the 1974-1975 series.

Kolchak: The Night Stalker was the first “monster of the week” style program and was known for McGavin’s signature bumbling enthusiasm (and straw porkpie hat) and a host of guest stars such as Scatman Crothers, Antonio Fargas, Sharon Farrell, Dick Van Patten, Jamie Farr, Larry Linville, Jim Backus and others.   X-Files creator Chris Carter often cites Kolchak: The Night Stalker as the inspiration for his series and recently paid homage to the horror favorite of the 70’s in last season’s “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster” as part of the relaunched event series. read more

Stranger Things Second Season All but Confirmed by Netflix

Netflix’s surprise summer hit Stranger Things renewal was all but confirmed by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings when he recently told the British news outlet the Guardian that“we would be dumb not to”.  Stranger Things has captured a wide fan base, engaging both horror and science fiction fans and those that love the coming of age tales of directors Steven Spielberg and John Hughes.  The series, created by Matt and Ross Duffer, currently sits atop IMDB’s favorite television programs (above perennial favorite Game of Thrones) and also earned a certified fresh rating of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. read more

Stranger Things – Review

It’s been a really, really long time since I was captivated by a television show the way that I was, and am, captivated by Stranger Things.

After hearing the whispers about ST at my job a few weeks ago and then scrolling by a few people discussing it on the trusty old Facebook machine, my wife and I decided to give the show a whirl last week…we were both fascinated from episode one.

The show, set in Indiana 1983, opens with a scientist frantically scurrying down the corridor of a dimly lit lab toward an elevator. It’s clear that he is trying to escape from something and you can tell by the tension-filled score that something bad is on its way. As he finally makes it into the elevator and the doors begin to close, it seems like he might make it; that is, of course, until he’s snatched up by something on the ceiling. Immediately, the action music stops and we’re transported to the basement of a suburban home where four pre-teen boys are engrossed in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. read more

DARKNET Season 1 – Review

Darknet Season 1 – Review

By Lynn Sorel

Rating: 9 out of 10

Synopsis: A macabre web site called Darknet links the tales in this chilling anthology series whose protagonists face a range of unnamable horrors.

Darknet is a horror anthology web series designed for a 21st century internet mindset. Adapted from the cult Japanese television series, Tori Hada, by Vincenzo Natali (HAUNTER, SPLICE, CUBE) and Steven Hoban (HAUNTER, SPLICE, WOLVES, BLACK CHRISTMAS, GINGER SNAPS TRILOGY). Darknet offers snippets of people’s lives being interrupted by vivid instances of unexpected violence or shocking strangeness. Viewers become part of the Darknet, a mysterious closed network of disturbing imagery and stories that exist just under the surface of our ordered and safe society. read more