Crossed 50K last night. So glad, ’cause I was hoping to be done before the holiday! 🙂 Good luck to every one else who is participating. Hang in there…
Crossed 50K last night. So glad, ’cause I was hoping to be done before the holiday! 🙂 Good luck to every one else who is participating. Hang in there…
Yay, it’s October! Which means it’s that time again. Time for shorter days, cooler temperatures (in theory, anyway), and pumpkin spice everything.
It’s also time, incidentally, for me to publish some new stuff!
Yes, as you can see from the adorable covers (once again created by my awesome husband, Steve) they feature vampires. And romance. And donuts. And more romance!
This pair of short novels contain parts one and two of a complete story (although part one can be read as a stand-alone). They feature a cast of young characters (early to late twenties) living in the Houston suburbs when their normal, everyday existences are rudely intruded upon by a vicious member of the undead.
I don’t know about you, but I personally enjoy all different varieties of romance novels and vampire books (and donuts :)). These books in particular, I would characterize as “New Adult Paranormal Romantic Comedies,” or maybe “Romantic Horror Comedies.” They’re fun, light-hearted stories intended to be fairly quick reads, and which will hopefully entertain you, warm your heart, and leave a smile on your face.
If this sounds like something you might enjoy, I hope you’ll head over to my official website, elizabethmyles.com, and read the full blurb and an excerpt for The Sharpest Kiss. If you like what you read there, BOTH books are now available for purchase here and here, for the special, limited-time introductory price of only 99 cents each!
OR you can read them for FREE with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.
So, grab them today!
As always, thank you so much for your continued support of my creative endeavors. It means the world to me.
My sincerest best wishes (and a Happy October to you),
The list of stuff I’ve been digging on lately. 🙂
I’ve mentioned before my affinity for digital comics. Well, I’ve been reading a lot of X-Men books lately, at Steve’s suggestion. They’re one of his favorite titles.
I’d read a few X-Men books in the past, but lately I’ve been on more of a kick. Which is good, I guess, since we’ve got plenty of issues for me to choose from (the suggested reading order he wrote up for me me is quite lengthy. Ha.)
God Loves, Man Kills was the basis for the film X-Men 2, and Days of Future Past was the inspiration for the movie of the same title. I liked both movies, but I thought both books were even better!
2) This guest post on Becoming Minimalist, about gratitude:
This pretty much speaks for itself, so I’ll just leave the link here:
I liked this quote:
“Think of something in your life that you tend to take for granted. It can be as simple as running water or groceries in your fridge, or that you get to listen to music you enjoy or read books that inspire you. Now consider, for a moment, what your life would be like if you didn’t have it?
Especially at times when I find myself caught up in thinking about how something is not quite right—flight is delayed, garage door is broken—I remind myself to pause and think: Imagine life without this. It doesn’t mean I don’t ever want anything or wish for something to be better, but this simple exercise fills me with deep gratitude for the many amazing things that do fill my life, and it offers a helpful way to prioritize where I spend my emotional energy.”
3) Amazon giveaways
Last month, I hosted a couple of giveaways on Amazon. It was so much fun I knew I wanted to do it again, so for my birthday, I gave away a bunch of books. There were winners for everything but one copy of The Princess Diaries, so I’m re-listing it again :). Check it out here:
See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: The Princess Diaries (Kindle Edition). https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/2a9c6dd164ae8cd6 NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of May 18, 2018 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.(Claimed! :))
I’m also giving away a copy of The Lunar Chronicles coloring book, because I think it’s cool and I sort of wish I had one. Ha.
I’ll post the giveaway link when Amazon sends it to me). (Edit: This giveaway was over so soon, I didn’t have time to post the link! Congrats to the winner :))
Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that anything I write is particularly similar to any of the stuff I’ve given away. These are just books I really like, by authors I think are talented. They can be counted as influences of mine, I suppose, and definitely as recommendations! 🙂
These giveaways have been a lot of fun for me, and I think I’ll probably continue to host a few throughout the rest of the year.
4) My birthday
I turned 41 last month!
It was great. 🙂
Steve and I usually like to celebrate one another’s birthdays all month long, so…we did a lot of stuff. We attended several screenings of some of my fave horror and sci-fi movies (The Brood, Videodrome, Nightbreed) at The Alamo Drafthouse, and he also took me to see Jonathan Davis perform when he came through here on his solo tour! So fun. I’m excited for JD’s new album! Only a couple more weeks to go.
On my actual birthday, we went out for breakfast doughnuts and then to see The Avengers: Infinity War, which of course was awesome.
Then we went out for my fave meal, pizza and beer for dinner (Because I am classy like that. Ha). I had a great time. Steve sent me these gorgeous multi-colored roses.
5) Chips and Cheese Chili Casserole
Okay, this is probably one of the easiest recipes ever, but it is so, SO GOOD. I always joke that I could probably eat a whole pan in one sitting. I like it so much, this is what I chose to make myself for my birthday meal (a few days before my actual birthday…like I said, we tend to stretch out the celebrations to an inordinate degree around here :)).
I think this casserole would be great for a pot-luck, particularly if you made it a day ahead because it tastes even better after it’s been sitting in the fridge all night.
Probably not the healthiest thing you could ever eat, but also not the worst for you. The recipe says it’s gluten-free and with all those beans, it’s got to be high in fiber, right? So there’s that!
FWIW, the recipe says there are all sorts of different ways you can make this casserole, and I’m sure that is true, but…the first time I made it, I used (1) 15 oz. can of black beans, (1) 8 oz. can of tomato sauce and (1) 14.5 oz. can of Amy’s brand Medium Chili, and this combo was so tasty, I have never bothered to change it. I think ONE time I tried it with a different kind of vegetarian chili and I just didn’t like it as much, so…these are the ingredients I normally stick with. I also like to use Kraft Triple Cheddar “Creamy Melt with a touch of Philadelphia cream cheese” in this, because it adds more tartness and pairs well with the sour cream (I think). Try it and see!
5) Craft beer
I’m not sure how Steve and I initially got into drinking craft beer, but it’s become sort of a hobby for us. We’ve been lucky enough to visit a ton of breweries around the state, as well as a few in other places.
Recently we went to Family Business Brewing Company in Dripping Springs, which is co-owned by Jensen and Danneel Ackles. The name is a nod to “Supernatural” – “Saving people, hunting things…the family business.” 😀
Their IPA, Cosmic Cowboy, was so good! I’m not into this craft beer stuff enough to know all the ins and outs about every different style, but I do know what I like and I am definitely an IPA fan. The hoppier and more bitter, the better IMO.
The day after the Family Business tour, we did a 5K at the Rentsch Brewery in Georgetown, and their beers were really good, too. (This is the Double Dry-Hopped IPA, which was pretty amazing). The race was fun — nice weather for it!
6) Concerts with my husband
There was a time in my twenties when I remember being really burned out on going to concerts. I’m not sure why, but they just didn’t hold much appeal for me anymore. Then Steve and I started going to more and more live shows again, and now I love them.
We’ve been lucky enough to see tons of bands perform over the years. This past week we saw Mastodon. They’re hugely talented and put on a fantastic show. This was especially cool because we’d made plans to see them twice before and both of those shows had ended up being canceled. They said they hadn’t played here in two years! So, yeah…it was great to finally catch them again.
Okay, I think that’s all I’ve got for now. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!
I’ll add each giveaway link to this post as it goes live over the next few days. Xo – Elizabeth
See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: The Princess Diaries (Kindle Edition). https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e9e4ce88f0cb151b NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Apr 30, 2018 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules. See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: The Abandon Trilogy: Abandon, Underworld and Awaken (Kindle Edition). https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/8234e49a9b4a4729 NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of May 3, 2018 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules. (This has now been claimed. Congratulations to the winner! :)) See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: This Lullaby (Kindle Edition). https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/7d68fc163f1c6a43 NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of May 4, 2018 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules. (Claimed :)) See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: The Gentleman’s Scandalous Bride: A Sweet & Clean Historical Romance (The Chase Brides Book 7) (Kindle Edition). https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/6c5882672f492fd6 NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of May 5, 2018 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules. (Claimed :))
No one won the Princess Diaries giveaway, so I’ve relisted it :).
See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: The Princess Diaries (Kindle Edition). https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/4826d907485bed23 NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of May 8, 2018 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules. (Ended :))
(Kindle photo by Pexels)
In honor of my birthday, which is this month, I’ve decided to give away some stuff :). Namely, popular books by some of my favorite YA authors (but there may be other things as well).
If you’re in the US, head over to https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e9e4ce88f0cb151b for a chance to win: The Princess Diaries (Kindle Edition). NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Apr 30, 2018 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.
(This giveaway has ended, thanks! :))
I’ll be listing other giveaways throughout the week, so check back if you’re interested. And as always, thanks so much for all of your support. It means the world!
When I made my last ‘Friday Favorites’ post, I hope I didn’t give the impression it would be a weekly feature here on the blog. Because it clearly hasn’t been. Because I am the world’s laziest blogger :/.
I’ve tried to figure out why this is (the blog-related laziness, I mean), but I still don’t know what my problem is. I guess most of the time I just prefer to spend my writing time on whatever piece of fiction I’m working on at the moment. What can I say? It’s more fun to spend time in fantasy-land than to re-cap reality :).
Nevertheless, here’s a short list for this week (as before, in no particular order):
1) Skillet Lasagna
I found this recipe on Pinterest years ago, and have since made it, oh, about a hundred times, give or take.
I like lasagna, but it can be kind of time-consuming to make, what with all the layering and then waiting for it to bake all the way through and what-have-you. With this recipe, you basically just cook the lasagna in a big skillet on the stove, which is much faster. Including prep, it only takes about half an hour. Very easy — and very delicious!
Because I don’t have an oven-proof skillet, I cook my lasagna on the stove-top and then transfer it to an oven-proof dish before completing the last step, which is to stick it under the broiler to melt and brown the cheese. If you have an oven-proof skillet, this recipe will be even easier for you, because you will be able to just pop the whole thing under the broiler and then serve it straight out of the skillet!
Regardless of the extra step I have to take, though, this is still an incredibly easy dish for me to put together, and it turns out great every time. It tastes so good and looks so pretty, it’s perfect for when you have guests over, or for a special occasion. Just serve it with a salad and some bread and maybe wine, if you’re into that. In fact, this is what Steve and I ate on Valentine’s Day this year!
Btw, since I’m vegetarian, I obviously don’t use the ground beef called for in the recipe :). I usually use soy crumbles (like Boca or Morningstar Farms), but I have also omitted them altogether before, and just made cheese lasagna. You could probably add some spinach and other finely chopped vegetables to this, to make it a veggie version, but I’ve never tried that.
2) Lightly dried basil
This one sort of ties into the last one, since that recipe calls for fresh basil.
I don’t use fresh basil all that much, so when I need it, I usually just buy one of those little pre-portioned cellophane packages from the produce section at the grocery store. Yes, they’re expensive, but if I only need fresh basil every once in a while, and we eat all of it when I buy it, I don’t think it’s too big a deal to purchase it this way.
However, I recently saw this at my grocery store, and gave it a try: Gourmet Garden “lightly dried” basil.
The 0.42 oz package contains “a large bunch of roughly chopped organic basil, lightly dried (just enough) to last for 4 weeks once open.” One TBSP of lightly dried basil equals one TBSP of fresh. When added to foods, it “refreshes during cooking,” and tastes more like fresh basil than dried.
This is cool for a couple of reasons, namely that it costs a lot less than those pre-portioned packages, and it lasts a lot longer. Once you open the container, you’ve got a month to figure out how to use up the rest of it. I like to add it to pasta sauces and sprinkle it on pizza, in addition to finding other recipes that call for fresh basil (here’s another one I like — Chicken Parmesan Bake).
Someday maybe I’ll get around to cultivating a fresh herb garden, but until that happens, this is a useful alternative for me :).
3) Meal Planning
Okay, so I don’t actually enjoy planning meals all that much. But I do enjoy the results, which are: a quicker trip to the grocery store, a lower bill when I check out, and of course a week’s worth of meals, which keeps me from having to scratch my head over what we’re going to have for dinner every day.
I know there are a lot of posts about how to meal plan out there, but FWIW, here’s how I do it:
I try to keep our meals varied throughout the week, so that we don’t end up eating all pasta dishes or whatever. Usually, I make one Italian-inspired dish, one Mexican-inspired, and so on, and I usually try for at least one vegan meal, as well. Fridays are almost always pizza nights. We used to order out but then I learned how to make my own. Steve and I both like mine just fine, so this is what we eat now. It took me a few tries to get the hang of working with the dough, but I’ve now made so many pizzas, I could probably do it in my sleep ;).
4) Star Wars comics
Okay, switching gears a little bit…I recently caught up on a bunch of digital issues of Marvel’s currently ongoing Star Wars comic that Steve and I had amassed, and I have to say, this title is so good!
I’ve read up through issue #44, I think, and pretty much every story has been great, or at least entertaining. I think the writers have done an awesome job capturing the personalities of the original characters, and so much of the art work is great, too!
We’re no longer subscribed to the title (because we’d fallen so far behind on reading them, we decided to just quit for a while and give ourselves a chance to catch up) so it’ll be a while before I read any more of them. But assuming they remain this fun to read, I’m sure I’ll continue buying and reading the collections as they come out!
5) X-Files Season 11
Is it just me, or has this current season been really great? Like, way better than the last one?
Like I’ve mentioned before, I don’t really watch much TV anymore, but The X-Files is my all-time favorite show, so of course I’ve been watching the newest episodes! I think they’ve been pretty wonderful so far, and it’s kind of sad to me that the latest one to air might be the last one ever.
I love Mulder and Scully’s dynamic this time around. They are behaving a lot closer to the way I imagine they would at this point, after so many years of working together and being best friends (and sometimes more). Scully’s a lot more relaxed and confident, no longer badgering Mulder over every little thing, but instead just trusting his instincts and accepting his quirks. For his part, Mulder seems a lot more…tired. Lol. But after everything he’s been through, it totally makes sense. He seems more relaxed and comfortable in his own skin, too, not as obsessed and intense as he used to be. In short, they both seem grown up and wise, but still pretty bad-ass when it comes to stopping bad guys.
Also, since I have shipped Mulder and Scully f-o-r-e-v-e-r (are they my OTP? Quite possibly), I’m super pleased with where that aspect of their relationship has sometimes gone this time around.
So sad to see this end! But then again, for ages I didn’t think there would ever be any more episodes at all, so I’ve already gotten way more than I bargained for. Thanks, Chris Carter and company, for making more for us die-hard X-philes!
Okay y’all, that’s all I’ve got to ramble about this time. Hope you have a magnificent weekend!
*GIF found on youreadarkwizard.tumblr.com
Hi friends, I hope you’ve had an awesome week!
I’ve decided to try out a “Friday Favorites” feature here on my blog this year. It’ll be a short list of things I’ve enjoyed throughout the week or in the recent past.
I figure this will not only allow me to share a little more about my day-to-day life, it will also work as a sort of gratitude exercise for me, helping me to stay focused on positive things.
I think my personality naturally leans toward the gloomier side (I’ve mentioned before, how depressed I was when I was younger), and while I’ve become a lot more cheerful over the years, it’s much easier for me to stay upbeat when I focus on the good.
And maybe some of the things I post about will be useful for you, too! 🙂
So, here we go, in no particular order:
1) A clean pantry, freezer, and fridge
Last week I decided to clean out my freezer, fridge and pantry. None of these areas ever gets too bad, honestly, because I try to keep on top of such things, but still…I knew both could use a bit of straightening and cleaning, and there were a few older items lurking in each that needed to come out.
I felt so much better after doing this! Especially since it reminded me of some of the dry and frozen goods I have squirreled away…which in turn helped spur some ideas for upcoming dinners – always useful when it comes time to write up the meal plan for the week!
2) Awaken with JP
I learned about this YouTube channel by listening to The Minimalists’ podcast. They had JP Sears on as a guest at one of their live events. I’d never heard of him before. Because I live under a rock. But now I’ve watched/listened to a bunch of his videos and think they’re all pretty funny.
Btw, I personally think gift cards are awesome, both to give and to receive. But the video still made me lol :).
3) Thank you notes
Steve and I spent some time over the weekend writing thank you notes for everyone who donated to our recent fundraising efforts on behalf of the Houston Food Bank (unless I didn’t have your physical address, in which case I messaged you! :)) Writing thank you notes is something I often put off, but after I do it I’m always glad I did. It reminds me to be grateful to have people in my life who care about me and support what I’m doing. So I guess you could say I’m grateful to have something to be grateful for!
4) Digital comics
I never really read too many comics growing up, just stuff like Richie Rich and Archie when I was little. A few years after we got married, though, Steve got me into reading more grown up things…like superhero titles ;).
I’m so glad, too, because I love comics, now!
As a writer, I feel I can learn a lot from how tightly these stories are paced, and how efficiently they are told, with as few words as possible. Plus, they are just plain fun to read. And now with the advent of digital comics, it’s easier than ever to collect a whole bunch of titles without needing an extra closet (or two) in which to store all those long-boxes!
I like to read my comics on the Comixology or Kindle apps, using my Amazon Kindle Fire. These past few months a lot of Marvel titles have gone on sale on Amazon, and I’ve been tearing through them. Particularly the Deadpool catalog. So funny!
5) Target runs w/Steve
I only go to Target every once in a while, when there’s something specific I need from there, so it always feels like kind of a special occasion to me. I like to wait until Steve’s off work so we can go together. It’s just more fun that way. Probably because after we’re done shopping we usually sit and have a snack and some conversation in the little concessions area up front.
This last time we went, I was pleased that a couple of the things I needed were on clearance, and that I remembered to use a $5 gift card. My bill ended up being only $27. This isn’t so unusual these days, but there was definitely a time when I would have spent waaay more than that, and probably on things I didn’t need at all. It still surprises me sometimes, how much my attitude toward shopping has changed, but I
like love it, and so does my bank account. #ThanksMinimalism!
6) Jessica Smith TV
Jessica Smith is another YouTube discovery. I’m not even sure how I first heard of her; probably YouTube recommended one of her clips. All I know is, I quickly became hooked on her workouts. They’re so simple, yet not necessarily easy. There are no complicated moves and usually no jumping involved, yet somehow she always makes me “sparkle” (her nice word for sweat) like crazy. But I also always have fun! These are a great way to break up the week’s workouts, on those days when I don’t run.
You can watch a ton of Jessica’s content for free on YouTube, but she also has a digital store with a mind-boggling array of professionally-produced discs and digital downloads available for purchase.
Oh, and I didn’t even mention the cute pup, Peanut, who cameos in most of Jessica’s videos. This may just be what other work out videos have always been missing: an adorable French bulldog. ‘Cause how can you go wrong with one of those? Answer: you can’t.
Steve and I and a friend of ours are doing a group-read of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi epic, Dune.
It’s one of my all-time favorite books, and I’ve read it twice before, but it’s been a long time. I’m loving it all over again! Not to mention it’s bringing back lots of memories.
In some ways, I really hate thinking about my younger years (because, again, I was often in a dark place back then), but Dune is a pretty good memory for me. I was probably thirteen the first time I read it and back then, the story completely captured my imagination in a way nothing else ever had before. I remember being blown away by the realization that someone could a write a book like this, with such a detailed background, its own language and history, etc…it definitely inspired me to want to make up my own fantasy/sci-fi world, too!
Maybe someday I still will ;).
Also, how awesome is this retro cover?! I love it.
8) Pretzel buns
I know pretzel bread was sort of everywhere a few years ago now, and now…not so much. But just because they’re not trendy anymore doesn’t mean they aren’t still delicious! Steve and I had some this week, with homemade veggie burgers.
These buns were store-bought, but maybe sometime I’ll try to make my own.
There was that one time Steve and I made pretzels and they turned out alright, so this is not completely outside the realm of possibility!
Okay, y’all, I think that’s it for now. What have you been loving lately? I hope you’ve had a wonderful week, and that you enjoy your weekend! Love,
It’s official, The Real You has been out in the world for an entire year now!
I know; How did that happen?!
2017 Flew by SO QUICKLY.
But it was an incredible year.
Watching this little book truck along and find an audience over the past twelve months has been amazing. Thank you so much for buying and/or reading. Really. 🙂 🙂 🙂
To celebrate The Real You’s birthday, the follow-up e-novella, A Very Merry Carreen Halloween will be FREE all day tomorrow, Friday, January 12th.
There are also giveaways for paperback copies of Fear and Laundry and The Real You going on right now, over at Goodreads.
These will likely be my last giveaways listed for a while, so if you’re interested in trying to win one of these stories in physical format, now is the time to pop on over and enter!
Good luck — and thanks again, you guys. You rock!
I hope everyone’s having a lovely holiday season! 🙂
Things here are great. I’ve spent most of the day baking cookies, which is always fun.
I thought I would take some time out to share a few of my favorite Christmas decorations with you all. I always enjoy seeing everyone else’s!
As with everything else, I try to keep things simple when it comes to how heavily we decorate around here. These days, we pretty much stick with just the tree and a few outdoor lights. The apartment we moved to this year doesn’t have a balcony, though, and our windows aren’t really visible, so…Steve strung the lights inside, instead. I love the effect, and kind of wish we could leave them up all year :).
We’ve been using clothes pins to hang our Christmas cards from the lights as they arrive.
Here’s our tree. It’s fake and I bought it at Target for twenty dollars seventeen years ago. I’d say I’ve gotten my money’s worth!
And now for a few of my favorite ornaments.
A couple of cute Santas:
Winnie the Pooh is very popular around here.
I also have a lot of baking themed ornaments. A lot of these are from the Hallmark “Season’s Treatings” collection, but I don’t have the whole set.
This year I also hung these pot-holders on the fridge. I’m not sure what year they’re from, but they’re pretty old. They were my grandmother’s.
And last but not least, my star tree-topper, which came from the Dollar Store the same year as the tree, 2000. Not bad for a two dollar purchase!
What are some of your favorite holiday decorations? Have you had them forever and a day, like I have? 😉
Happy holidays, y’all!
Can it really be time for another one of these posts already? Where has the year gone? Sheesh.
Anyway, here it is: my annual list of the top ten horror movies Steve and I watched during our October challenge. (Previous lists can be found here: 2014, 2015, 2016). All descriptions are from either Amazon or the IMDB. I do not own any of these images; posters are from all around the ‘net.
Yes, for the first time since I started compiling these lists, I wound up with a tie!
I’ll start with The Shallows.
A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy (Blake Lively) is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills.
I debated including this film on the list because I’m not sure if it’s really a horror movie or a thriller.
(Side note: This was true of a lot of the movies we watched this year, actually. I’m starting to think Steve and I have watched every horror movie out there. We’re now having to expand the criteria for this challenge to include anything remotely scary or creepy in any way. I think sharks are frightening, so it counted.)
I feel as though it’s a fine line sometimes, between a sort-of-tame horror film and a really intense/bloody thriller, if you know what I mean?
Anyway, the IMDB lists this one as both, so…Aside from the climax, which I won’t spoil, I thought it was entertaining and I enjoyed watching it.
On a stormy night, passengers on the last train out of London begin to panic after coming to a sudden halt. They soon realize there’s something dangerous lurking in the forest, and it’s stalking the besieged train and picking them off one-by-one.
Howl was quite an entertaining movie, too, albeit completely different. Definitely a horror movie! This one is about people trapped on a train while…something prowls around outside, trying to get in and eat them. You can probably guess what that ‘something’ is just from the title and from looking at the poster, but…I won’t mention it here in case it’s considered a spoiler :). Just allow me to say I’m a fan of these particular creatures, so I may be a little biased here, but I thought this one was a lot of fun.
A loving father dons a clown suit for his son’s birthday party, only to realize that it’s cursed.
I know what you’re probably thinking. An evil clown suit? C’mon. I thought that, too, at first but I was pleasantly surprised. This was a very solid horror film, and I was impressed with the way it perfectly straddled the line between being scary and funny. I wouldn’t have minded if it was a straight-up horror comedy, TBH, but it wasn’t. The inherent humor in the clown-centered premise isn’t ignored, the film doesn’t take itself too seriously, and there were certainly laughs, but from the moment the dad, Kent, (played by Andy Powers), realizes he is stuck inside the suit and no matter what he does it will not come off, you start to get genuinely creeped out and anxious on his behalf. And of course from that point on, things only get worse for poor Kent…
After a car crash, a woman wakes up in a survivalist’s bunker. He claims to have saved her from an apocalyptic attack but, growing suspicious of his motives, she’ll have to escape to discover the truth in this heart-pounding new thriller from J.J. Abrams.
Another one I’d probably classify as a thriller, or maybe sci-fi, but once again, the IMDB lists horror as one of the genres so we’ll go with that :). Everyone in this did such a great job with their performances. A nail-biter through and through.
Confined to an asylum for the criminally insane for the past four years, Nica (Fiona Dourif) is wrongly convinced that she, not Chucky, murdered her entire family. But when her psychiatrist introduces a new group therapy tool — a “Good Guy” doll — a string of grisly deaths plague the asylum and Nica starts to wonder if maybe she isn’t crazy after all. Andy (Alex Vincent), Chucky’s now-grown-up nemesis from the original Child’s Play, races to Nica’s aid. But to save her he’ll have to get past Tiffany (Oscar-nominee Jennifer Tilly), Chucky’s long-ago bride, who will do anything, no matter how deadly or depraved, to help her beloved devil doll.
I’ve enjoyed all of the Child’s Play franchise and this installment was no exception. It was very weird, but in a good, kinda mind-bending way that worked for me. There were just so many elements here that I enjoyed: seeing Nica, Andy, and Tiffany/Jennifer again, as well as the multiple Chucky dolls. Yeah, there were unanswered questions but overall, a fun movie.
Diehard metal-head and struggling artist Jesse (Ethan Embry) moves with his wife (Shiri Appleby) and daughter (Kiara Glasco) to a rural Texas town, unaware that the house they got for an unbelievable deal comes with a grisly history. Their dream home turns into a nightmare as disturbing demonic occurrences culminate with the appearance of Ray (Pruitt Taylor Vince), the home’s former resident who’s destined to do the devil’s bidding.
Well, I love metal and I love horror so I guess it’s not all that surprising that I’d like a horror movie about metal fans–and which features metal music on the soundtrack.
This was a good, creepy haunted (sorta) house movie that easily held my interest, but what I really liked about it were the performances by all the actors (even though I totally did not recognize Ethan Embry until the credits rolled. I’m still not entirely convinced that was him. When did he morph into a completely different dude?) The relationship between Jesse and his daughter, in particular, felt realistic and sweet.
A woman starts exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior after asking her husband for a divorce. Suspicions of infidelity soon give way to something much more sinister.
I’m sort of cheating with this one, I guess, because I’d seen it multiple times before, but…it’s one of my favorites and IMO doesn’t get enough attention, so I’m putting it on the list :). Also, this viewing was special because it was on the big screen, at the Alamo Drafthouse. To say I was surprised they decided to screen this is putting it mildly. I was even more surprised I’m not the only person who showed up!
I first stumbled upon this movie completely randomly. Steve and I were in a Tower records, I think (so yeah, you know it was a long time ago) and we came across this DVD…actually a two-pack with Mario Bava’s Shock. So we bought it on a whim.
I loved both movies, particularly Possession, but Steve didn’t care much for either one. So Possession became one of those movies (like Mulholland Drive, Brazil, or The Man Who Fell to Earth) that I’d watch whenever he was out of town, so as not to subject him to the weirdness. Ha, ha.
I’m not even sure what it is about this film that I like so much, other than that it’s just so hard to look away from. And it certainly isn’t predictable. A lot of it doesn’t make sense. It does remind me a little of Hellraiser, though, in some respects. If you watch it, you’ll probably see what I mean. Not that I recommend watching it. Please don’t blame me if you do!
After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his vanished sister Heather, James and a group of friends head to the forest believed to be inhabited by the Blair Witch.
Was this movie necessary? Nope. Was it surprisingly creepy and fun to watch? Yep.
I’m not generally a fan of hand-held/found footage movies and am hard-pressed to watch them…unless Eduardo Sanchez was somehow involved in their production. All of his movies are cool.
The latest installment in the very fun Hatchet franchise. Good, old-fashioned, old-school horror with loads of gore and humor mixed in. Felissa Rose cracked me up so much in this! And it was especially cool to see this movie in the theater, with director Adam Green in attendance.
Two girls must battle a mysterious evil force when they get left behind at their boarding school over winter break.
This was slow-paced and understated without being pretentious. Not too heavy on the gore (although there are a couple of sequences) but very heavy on the creepiness. And how impressive is Kiernan Shipka? She did a great job in this film. I knew while I was watching The Blackcoat’s Daughter that it would most likely make this list because I was enjoying it so much, and I knew for sure it’d make the list when I kept thinking about it the next day, too. If you like stuff like Rosemary’s Baby or The Lords of Salem–movies that really crank up that building sense of dread–you might dig this.
1) The Void
Shortly after delivering a patient to an understaffed hospital, a police officer experiences strange and violent occurrences seemingly linked to a group of mysterious hooded figures.
It’s kind of funny to me that this wound up being my number one movie this year, for a couple of reasons. To begin with, it was the very first one we watched, on the last day of September. We decided to include it as a bonus movie on “day zero” because Steve had already seen it before, but I had only seen half. Because I’d fallen asleep the first time we watched it! Not because it was boring or anything; it was just really late at night. And I’d taken a Zirtec. And had a couple of beers.
We’d gone to see it as part of a double feature (with In The Mouth of Madness) at the Alamo Drafthouse and it was freezing cold in the theater, so between movies, Steve, being the sweet husband that he is, went out to the car to get me the travel blanket we carry around in there. Well, I snuggled down under that thing and…boom, out like a light by the second half of the movie. I felt really bad! But yeah, I made it up by watching it again and this time staying awake for the whole thing. Turns out I’d missed all the craziest/best parts. This was an insanely weird film that was right up my alley. If you like Cronenberg, Lovecraft, The Thing, and you know, stuff like that, you should give this a try; it’s really cool.
Honorable mentions this year go to:
I didn’t put them on the list because I’d seen them both multiple times before. Hellraiser is my fave, and I felt like I’d already used up that chip by including Possession ;).
Okay, so that’s it; another year down. The full list of movies we watched can be found on my husband’s blog. All links in this post are his. Hope y’all enjoyed your October!