Saturday, April 16, 2011


I was only nine when the first Scream film came out in 1996. I'll never forget the first time I watched it. I rented it with my family and my dad had to leave during the movie to pick up my uncle. My mom, my brother and I were too scared to be left alone, so we piled in the car with him.

The first scene got under my skin, particularly when Casey says "I'm two seconds away from calling the police!" and Ghostface replies "They'll never make it in time." Which is a disturbing thought, especially since I lived in the middle of nowhere at the time.

After watching Scream, I became obsessed with it. In addition to watching it enough times to recite the dialogue, I did other obsessive things. At the time, my hair was very long and I got it cut into a bob, just like Drew Barrymore in the movie. I invented a game called "Scream" which I played with my friends and was basically just hide and seek except the seeker would "kill" you when found. And I had to go see Scream 3 in the theatre, which was a big deal for me because I rarely watched movies in the theatre as a child (I don't know where I was for Scream 2). I was only 12 at the time, so my best friend and I had to go with her grandpa and I felt like a baby, but I didn't care because I wanted see Scream 3 that badly.

So, 11 years after I sat in a theatre and watched Sidney Prescott try to get on with her life in the aftermath of the Woodsboro murders, I was psyched to do it all over again. And it was great to revisit Woodsboro and catch up with the characters. Sidney's just as tough as I remember, kicking ass against Ghostface, Dewey is just as dumb and Gale is just as bitchy and ruthless, doing whatever it takes to catch the killer.

Sidney (Neve Campbell) seems to have pieced her life back together and has written a self-help memoir, Out of the Darkness. She returns to Woodsboro for her book tour, on the anniversary of the murders. Meanwhile, Sidney's cousin, Jill (Emma Roberts), begins getting sinister prank calls. And then the murders begin. Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette) is on the case and his wife, Gale (Courtney Cox), is there to help.

While Scream 4 isn't as good as the first Scream film, it comes close and is definitely better than the other sequels. It has more gore than the previous movies - probably more than all of them combined. And more humour than the others, making me - and the rest of the audience - laugh out loud several times.

Scream 4 is more like a reboot than a sequel. Instead of focusing on Sidney, the storyline follows the new generation of teens, which are very similar to the original cast. There's Jill, the good girl (Sidney), Trevor, the creepy boyfriend (Billy), Kirby, Jill's hot best friend (Tatum) and Charlie, horror movie fanatic (Randy). This is probably the only aspect of the film that disappointed me. I was expecting the film to centre around Sidney, Dewey and Gale, and instead it's about a whole new set of characters. But the film is still entertaining and still includes Sid, Dewey and Gale, even if it doesn't revolve around them.

The film boasts an impressive cast, including appearances by Hayden Panettiere (Heroes), Rory Culkin (Signs), Erik Knudsen (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Adam Brody (The O.C.), Anthony Anderson (Urban Legends: Final Cut), Alison Brie (Community), Anna Paquin (True Blood), Kristin Bell (Veronica Mars), Shenae Grimes (90210), Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars), in addition to the actors I've already mentioned.

Scream 4 is a lot of fun and has everything you've come to expect from a film in the Scream franchise: a shocking opening sequence, creepy phone calls, a surprising ending and lots of self-referential horror humour. Definitely a must-see for Scream fans.

Rating: 4/5

Saturday, April 2, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Dreadfully Ever After by Steve Hockensmith

When Fitzwilliam Darcy is bitten by a zombie - or a dreadful, as they're known as in the book - his wife, Elizabeth, fears that he will succumb to the strange plague. Fortunately, Darcy's aunt - and Elizabeth's nemesis - Lady Catherine de Bourgh knows of a cure. But there's a catch: it's made in small amounts for only "those of special interest to the Crown" and is located in a heavily guarded hospital. The only chance Elizabeth has to save her husband is to go to London and attempt to obtain it.

I haven't read Pride and Prejudice (or anything by Jane Austen), or the first two novels in this trilogy: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or the prequel Dawn of the Dreadfuls. But you don't have to read any of these before Dreadfully Ever After to understand and enjoy it. I liked this novel so much that I'm sure I'll be reading the first two soon. Perhaps even Pride and Prejudice, but I don't think I'll find it nearly as entertaining without zombies.

The plot of Dreadfully Ever After has everything: action, romance, comedy, gore, duels, pranks, zombies, ninjas and more. There is rarely a dull moment. There's always a dreadful to slay, or a ninja to fight, or something comical happening...with the exception of a few chapters focusing on Mr. and Mrs. Darcy.

As I already shared, I haven't read Pride and Prejudice, so I'm not familiar with any of the characters. But in this novel, I found the main characters Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy to be pretty dull. Elizabeth didn't do anything but worry about Darcy, and Darcy only wondered why Elizabeth wasn't by his side. Luckily the other characters - especially Elizabeth's sisters Kitty and Mary - were funny and interesting.

Dreadfully Ever After is a fun read and I highly recommend it for zombie lovers. It is available now from Quirk Books, who have also published several other mash-up novels including Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Android Karenina and more.

Rating: 4/5

Friday, April 1, 2011

T-Shirt Bordello

I just got a package from the awesome website T-Shirt Bordello containing the items pictured above: an Amity Island t-shirt, an Amity Island keychain, a Zombie Care Bears t-shirt and Zombie Outbreak Barricade Tape. The t-shirts are 100% cotton, good quality (not too thin, soft to the touch) and I LOVE the designs.

They have tons of other cool t-shirts as well, and they're only $14.99 each! And if you buy 3, you get 1 FREE! Here are a few other designs I love:

A Nightmare on Sesame Street
Cthulhu Tequila
Camp Crystal Lake Counselor
Hello Zombie
And they sell more than just t-shirts. In addition to the aforementioned keychains and Zombie Outbreak Barricade Tape, they sell hats, mugs, glasses, ashtrays, wallets, a Zombie Survival Poster and Zombie Targets. Here are a few examples:

Bates Motel Mug
Winchester Tavern Glass
Overlook Hotel Ashtray
T-Shirt Bordello has a huge selection of t-shirts, and not just horror-related ones. Check out their website and see for yourself.