Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Hope you all have a great Halloween! This is the costume I wore to work today. It looked pretty cool but it was really hard to eat with all that fake blood and glue stuck to my face. I only had time to watch two horror movies tonight: All Hallows' Eve and Halloween.

How are you spending your Halloween?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Game Review: The Simpsons: Tapped Out Treehouse of Horror XXIV Event

It's no secret that I love The Simpsons (see previous post) and I'm a total Simpsons: Tapped Out addict. I hadn't played it in a few months (I decided to cut back after spending countless hours playing it), but I wanted to check out the Treehouse of Horror XXIV Event. I had to delete five apps to have enough space on my phone for the update, but it was totally worth it.

The appearance of the game has changed to be more spooky for Halloween. Springfield is shadowy, leaves are falling, the trees are dead, there's eerie music with intermittent screaming and bats squeaking and ghosts float around town.

The ghosts are an integral part of the Halloween update. When you tap them (or a character possessed by one), you earn Ghostly Organofluid Outflow (GOO) and Gremlins. If you get enough GOO, you can win prizes:
GOO can also be earned through tasks with certain characters - the kids go trick-or-treating, Homer deals with ghosts, Marge tidies up ghosts and Mr. Burns eliminates ghosts. The Gremlins can also find GOO when you release them in your neighbours' Springfields.

There are also community prizes to be won when enough GOO is collected to reach the community target:
  • First Church of Lard Lad
  • Clawing Zombie
  • Ghost Bomb
  • Frog Prince
  • King Homer's Skyscraper

If the GOO prizes aren't enough, there are tons of other Treehouse of Horror content to purchase with money or donuts such as Boobarella, Bad Dream House, Devil Flanders costume, The Raven, Talking Krusty Doll, a pumpkin patch and more!

In addition to the prizes and the spooky atmosphere, there are a few other neat aspects of the update. In Halloween quest, "The Ghost in the Machine-based App", you build the Gypsy Fortune Teller Shop. And the ghosts of Maude Flanders, Frank Grimes (or "Grimey," as he liked to be called) and James Bont also make appearances.

If you're a fan of The Simpsons (especially Treehouse of Horror) and don't already have this app, you should definitely get it. Feel feel to friend me on Tapped Out at melhelwig847.

Monday, October 7, 2013

TV Review: The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XXIV

I always look forward to The Simpsons' annual "Treehouse of Horror" episode, but especially this week because I needed something to get my mind off the absence of Breaking Bad.

There has been a lot of hype surrounding "Treehouse of Horror XXIV" because Guillermo Del Toro directed the couch gag. It was released online last week as a teaser for the episode. I've watched it twice now and I still don't think I noticed all the horror references. While Bart writes "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" on the chalkboard, Stephen King is writing it on the wall of the classroom; Maggie is driving The Car; The Birds attack Mrs. Krabappel while sitting next to Hitchcock; Groundskeeper Willie is Hellboy; Carl is Blade and much more! It was the best couch gag ever made and a must-see for all horror fans.

Oh, the Places You'll Doh!
In this Dr. Seuss parody, Homer plays "The Fat in the Hat" and shows up to cure The Simpsons kids' mumps and take them on a crazy trick-or-treating adventure.

I'm not a big Dr. Seuss fan, so I didn't enjoy this much. The entire segment rhymes, just like a Dr. Seuss book, and it irritated me.

Dead and Shoulders

When Bart is decapitated, his head is attached to Lisa's body. Lisa controls all movement, but Bart discovers that he's in control when Lisa sleeps and plans to take over her body completely.
I hated this segment. I didn't laugh a single time and found it to be dull and unoriginal.

Freaks No Geeks

This segment is a spoof of the 1932 film, Freaks. In this version, Marge plays the trapeze artist and Homer plays the strongman. Many other Simpsons characters play freaks (Comic Book Guy is a snail and Barney is just a torso) but Moe is ugly enough to be a freak while remaining himself. Homer tricks Marge into marrying Moe and plans to poison him, then marry Marge to gain possession of Moe's emerald ring. When the freaks discover Homer's plan, they turn him into a human duck.

I really enjoyed this segment because I've actually seen - and like - Freaks. It also gave me the biggest laugh of the episode. Homer the Duck is sitting on the couch and says, "And that kids, is how I met your mother." Then the theme song from How I Met Your Mother plays.

Overall, this episode was a disappointment despite the awesome couch gag. Two of the three segments were pretty awful.

Bob's Burgers and American Dad both aired Halloween episodes tonight and I found them both to be funnier than this episode of The Simpsons.

Rating: 3/5

Here's Guillermo Del Toro's couch gag:

Sunday, October 6, 2013

R.L. Stine Book of the Week: The Haunted Mask

If looks could kill...


How ugly is Carly Beth's Halloween mask? It's so ugly that it almost scared her little brother to death. So terrifying that even her friends are totally freaked out by it.

It's the best Halloween mask ever. It's everything Carly Beth hoped it would be. And more.

Maybe too much more. Because Halloween is almost over.

And Carly Beth is still wearing that special mask....

My Thoughts: 

The Haunted Mask has always been one of my favourite Goosebumps books, mostly because it takes place on Halloween. It's much better than other Goosebumps Halloween books - Attack of the Jack-O'- Lanterns, I'm talking to you.  

Since the back cover synopsis doesn't give much away, I will enlighten you. Carly Beth scares easily and to get revenge on the two boys that constantly pull pranks on her, she buys the most terrifying mask she can find. But as Halloween night progresses, the mask changes her personality. She can't help scaring everyone she comes into contact with. Then, at the end of the night, she can't take off the mask.

Reading this again brought back lots of memories of trick-or-treating - the hunt for a good costume, jumping out and scaring friends, the candy. It isn't as scary as The Girl Who Cried Monster, or as gory as Welcome to Dead House, but it's still a good read - especially if you love Halloween.

The Haunted Mask was made into the first episode of the Goosebumps TV series. Unfortunately, it isn't available for streaming on Netflix, even though the rest of the series is.

There are also three sequels: The Haunted Mask II, The Scream of the Haunted Mask and Wanted: The Haunted Mask.

Rating: 4/5

PG Gore: I'm going to tear this woman apart! Carly Beth decided.

I'll chew her to bits! I'll tear her skin off her bones! Furious thoughts raged through Carly Beth's mind.

She tensed her muscles, crouched low, and prepared to pounce.