By Bailey Morrison
The Netflix original “Anon,” directed and written by Andrew Niccol, revisits a very common theme among Netflix releases – the danger and implications that technology has in an increasingly modern world.
This 2018 release imagines a world where every human being’s memory is recorded in real time and therefore allows the government and police forces to know exactly when and where a crime is committed. While the premise is fairly unoriginal, the film still manages to tell a gripping story of law, justice, and the pursuit of the truth.
This sci-fi film asks the question: If you can’t trust your own eyes, what can you trust?
The camera work in this film truly makes the storytelling compelling with jump-cuts and POV shots that create suspenseful moments that will keep the viewer interested.
The film stars rom-com aficionado Amanda Seyfried and Clive Owen of “Children of Men” as the lead characters. The two veteran actors portray their characters very well and the on-screen chemistry is believable, if not at times uncomfortable due to the nature of their relationship. Seyfried’s deviation from the typical films she stars in is a breath of fresh air.
While this film isn’t incredibly scary, and is at times predictable, the pacing and world-building make this a movie that is worth tuning into this Halloseason.
By Andrew Willoughby
Arts & Features Editor
Have you ever wanted to embody the victims in a cheesy teen slasher film? Me neither.
Then I played “Until Dawn.”
It’s the type of game that begs to be played multiple times.
You play as each member of a group of teens on the anniversary of the disappearance of two of their friends. The writing is often corny, but the game knows this and uses it to its advantage, as it draws its influence from classics such as “Friday the 13th” and the “The Evil Dead” series.
The game plays like a more polished version of a Telltale game. The choices you make open up different paths for the story to follow and may cause major characters to die.
Performances are solid, as the actors understand the blatant cheesiness of the script. Hayden Panettiere of “Heroes” and Rami Malek of “Mr. Robot” and “Night at the Museum,” chew their virtual scenery wonderfully.
Now that “Until Dawn” has been inducted into the “Playstation Hits” collection, it’s seen a permanent price drop to an extremely reasonable $20. And for the Halloween season, it’s currently on sale for $5, so now there are hardly any excuses not to explore Blackwood Mountain.
By Noah Barnes
“Little Nightmares” is a puzzle-platforming horror game, developed by Tarsier Studios. It’s definitely not the longest or most challenging horror game – it’s satisfying enough to keep you going through what makes it shine, its uncanny atmosphere, settings, and visuals.
You play as Six, a little girl trying to make her way out of The Maw, a massive underwater lair, filled with creatures and captives. The Maw is filled with a variety of locations, all of which manage to fit the game’s aesthetic.
The style of the game is akin to the animation of “The Nightmare before Christmas” and “Coraline.”
Every level is lit both creepily and beautifully, with a color palette that manages to find a perfect spot between overboard and minimal. “Little Nightmares” relies on visuals as opposed to dialogue to tell a story, and it does an amazing job of making the experience entertaining and eye-catching.
By Tessa Jillson
Asst. Arts & Features Editor
Everyone has heard of the film “The Conjuring,” a movie based on the true story of a haunted Rhode Island farmhouse and the family of seven who are afflicted by an evil spirit that resides there.
If you are looking to further creep yourself out this Halloween, “House of Darkness House of Light: The True Story” by Andrea Perron, one of the seven family members burdened by the house, recounts the deeply traumatic experiences of living there.
The book explores the philosophical aspects of life and death and although it is beautifully and poetically written, some of the descriptions can be insanely eerie and disturbing – You may just have to put the book down and take a break.
Perron said she didn’t intend to write a terrifying book. “It is a spiritual journey. It is an odyssey,” she said in her AuthorHouse Publishing interview.
Besides the sinister portrayal of the evil spirit, Bathsheba, Perron does a good job depicting the peaceful and ideal atmosphere of the countryside farmhouse, using pictures throughout the book to draw in the reader.
This memoir is filled with life lessons and may just change your perception of life in the process. If you are willing to lose your sanity, I recommend delving into this trilogy.
By Brennan Atkins
“It Follows” is a 2015 horror film directed by David Robert Mitchell that takes a new spin on the classic phrase, “You can run, but you can’t hide.”
The story is about a teenage girl named Jay, and her whole life is changed when she discovers that some being (unofficially referred to as it) is following her, and it’s not going to stop.
The rules of this being are simple – it is passed on through sexual intercourse and it doesn’t stop hunting until the current victim passes it on to someone else. It can look like anyone, and is invisible to everyone except past victims and the current one. It can only walk slowly, but that makes it even more terrifying when you realize that it will never stop. No matter how far you are, how fast you get there, it will show up.
This movie is filled to the brim with beautiful shots, amazing music, and great acting as well. Its concept, while simple, drives the movie and really drags the audience in.
I think it’s because there’s some genuine primal fear in not being able to stay in one place. Never being able to be comfortable, or to have a moment to relax is scary, and this movie plays up on that.
By Thom Duda
“The MISSING: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories” is a game that follows the titular J.J. as she searches for her girlfriend on an island off the coast of Maine after a storm.
A series of bizarre events signals a change in the protagonist, including being struck by lightning and the appearance of a deer-headed doctor. J.J., reduced to a smoldering husk of burnt flesh and flames, suddenly begins to regrow her skin with a healing ability comparable to Marvel’s Wolverine.
Of course, J.J. is not a near-immortal Canadian berserker who shrugs off pain easily.
The shrieks and whimpers of extreme pain punctuate every blow struck against J.J. as the player leads her across the island to find Emily, all the while solving puzzles and avoiding a strange demon wielding a giant box cutter.
Whether lighting a dark cavern as a literal human torch or traversing a tunnel as only a head, J.J.’s journey offers a contemplative experience to those willing to endure.
By Gordon Rupert
The movie “Alien” is a sci-fi suspense film that should be a case study in how to use the presence of nothingness to your advantage.
It is not until after the crew of the spaceship Nostromo is awakened by an unidentified signal during their journey back to Earth that we meet the title character.
“Alien” is not a horror movie. It has few horror elements, and while there are scenes that are grotesque and gripping, it simply doesn’t have all the essential elements.
However, the movie manages to make great use of its distant, isolated space by drawing out time that leaves the viewer anticipating the next attack.
From camera angles, minimalistic usage of sound, to a very spare usage of intense, memorable scenes, the audience is either completely engulfed by the action on screen or sitting on the edges of their seats. A new kind of film was spawned by this movie, and it isn’t hard to see why.
“Alien” is best watched in a dark room with several other people, and no distractions.
By Robert Johnson Jr.
Interim Asst. Arts & Features Editor
Seven years ago, back when I needed my mother to verify my M-rated game purchases, I took a sudden fascination with the “Dead Space” series by the now defunct Visceral Games.
I, unlike most people, bought the sequel not having played the first one beforehand, craving a new way to expand my newly acquired, more “adult” gaming palate.
It led to the best decision of my teenage years.
“Dead Space 2” is the continuation of Isaac Clarke’s trials and tribulations on the USS Ishimura, and his investigation into the double-helix-shaped Markers and the ghostly presence of his late wife, Nicole.
The game is a dark and intimidating survival horror adventure with the perfect blend of third-person shooting action and, as a result, “Dead Space 2” became one of my favorite games of all time, shooting its way into my heart.
Resource management plays a major role in the player’s success and staying on your toes is one of the biggest components to ensuring one’s survival.
Trust me: you do not want to be in a situation where you are only stuck with your melee attacks.
Even the kindest-looking objects Isaac encounters can scare the player, thanks to the intelligently placed jump scares in moments of calm.
“Dead Space 2” is a game that truly needs to be experienced, for it is one of the smartest games of the last console generation. I highly recommend you get this game.