Ghostbusters Remake: Why I Won’t See It

The Ghostbusters remake trailer premiered a couple of weeks ago and confirmed every fear I had. This topic has been controversial since its announcement and with good reason. From the cast to the writing, the trailer alone suggests remake tragedy. As far as I’m concerned, I hope it bombs, so they stop trying to destroy well-loved movies.

The All-Woman Cast

Those who are not excited about the cast are not necessarily sexist. I’m a strong, independent, hard-working woman. I support my family and am a good mother. I support nearly every fight for better pay, treatment, career advancement, rights, etc. And I hated the idea the all-woman cast. But it’s not about them being women; it’s about Hollywood taking advantage of us.

In Hollywood, woman power has become a trend. I love the idea of an all-woman cast if done for the right reasons, but in this situation, Hollywood executives saw an opportunity to capitalize on 1) women and 2) a successful franchise. It’s like they said, “Oh, women are cool right now, so let’s make them Ghostbusters and see how much money we can make off of them.” That insults me.

The trailer even suggests they dumbed the characters down, made them goofy and not funny. Where’s our sharp wit? Where’s our ability to handle things rationally? Not in this trailer.

The Writing Stinks

“You’re a brilliant engineer.” … “No one’s better at quantum physics than you.” Why do we need to say that? Why can’t writers allow the audience to assume roles and intelligence? We don’t have to spell out everything in a movie. The Ghostbusters remake is certainly not the only movie with this problem. Most modern movies say too much and explain things unnecessarily because the people writing them should not write movies. If you’re targeting women, guess what? We are smarter than that.

On another note, the trailer is not funny. I’ve watched it 10 times and never once smiled. They ripped out the wit, sarcasm and dry humor, and added vomiting and awkward banter. Note to Hollywood: Vomiting is never funny. Ever.

Also, why are they making fun of The Exorcist? I love The Exorcist; it still scares the crap out of me, but why is it appropriate to include it in Ghostbusters? In the trailer, they poke fun at one of the most intense movies in horror history, and as a fan of The Exorcist and horror in general, that is not okay with me.

Gotham Meets Ghostbusters

Many people are criticizing the ghosts’ appearance. I’m okay with some of the CGI, and Slimer looks good. However, most of the ghosts flying or walking around downtown make it look like Gotham City from the first Batman franchise. The ghost in the striped pants (watch trailer) made me roll my eyes. Also, there were very few floaters in the original. It wasn’t a sideshow of neon lights and CGI.

I’m Over Remakes

We had a blast this past Halloween comparing originals and remakes, but I noticed we did not review anything after 2010. Remakes in the last few years have, for the most part, sucked. Poltergeist, The Fantastic Four, Point Break, all decent/good originals, all remade in 2015 and not well received. If a remake does well, it is because it is well written, directed by the best person for the job, and cast well. A movie will not make a good remake just because the original was popular. For example, would the Halloween remake have succeeded if M. Night Shyamalan had directed it instead of Rob Zombie? No.

There’s my rant. I will not see the Ghostbusters remake, and I’d appreciate Hollywood stop trying to destroy some of the best movies of my generation. If you don’t have an original idea or can’t produce a ‘good’ movie, then maybe it’s time you get out of the industry.

If you haven’t seen it, here’s the trailer. Take note of the dislikes:

How to Investigate Weird Noises: 7 Tips from a Horror Fan

Learning how to investigate weird noises could potentially save you from almost every horror movie scenario possible. Let’s face it, weird noises happen. And although it may not seem the best idea to investigate them, sometimes we must.

how to investigate weird noises
I’ve investigated dozens of weird noises over the years. I used to hear things from the basement and would have to go down there at night. Usually, it was just something outside or the dog, but I couldn’t rest until I knew everything was safe. I’ve made some mistakes, but I want to share my expertise on how to investigate weird noises:

Decide How to Investigate

Most times when you hear a weird noise at home, it’s nothing threatening. Why wake up loved ones for nothing or put them in danger? Go it alone at home. You can laugh at yourself and avoid embarrassment when it turns out to be a branch scratching a window. However, if you are in a horror movie setting – including hospitals, graveyards, and creepy cabins – never go alone. The more people you have around you, the better.

Grab a Weapon

Once you hear the noise and decide to investigate, pick a weapon. It should be easy to carry and use. One of my favorites is a working LED flashlight. These are typically made of metal, easily weigh 1 lb., and serve two purposes: You can see from a distance and bludgeon something if needed. You will find these at any major retailer for about $20. Also, make it easily accessible. For example, don’t store it in the basement.

Breathe Through Your Nose

If horror movies teach us anything, it’s what not to do. Take a moment and take deep breaths through your mouth. You’ll notice two things: you’re really loud and will eventually feel light-headed because you’re not getting enough oxygen. Breathing through your nose allows for maximum oxygen intake, so you don’t pass out and controls your adrenaline/heart rate. It is much quieter, so your ears can listen for noise. You need to find the source of the weird noise and listen for anything else.

Walk Slowly

This one comes naturally for most people. After all, you’re a little freaked out, so you’re not likely to go running through the house yelling AH-HA! Walk with intent, and keep your eyes open. If possible, wear quiet slip-on shoes in case you have to run. This rule changes if you have to go up and down stairs. I’m a fan of the element of surprise when it comes to stairs. For example, get downstairs fast and make noise. Most basement stairs squeak, so you’re going to make noise anyway. I vote for loud and threatening as opposed to quiet and squeaky.

Turn on Lights

When entering a room, turn the lights on first. Flip the switch, so you can see whatever is in there and feel quick relief. Leave the lights on when you leave the room. This will give you more visibility as you investigate and eliminate places for the source to hide. Pay attention to the lights as well. If one is turned off later, you’ll know something is wrong.

Do Not Talk

“Hello, is anyone there?,” said no one ever in real life. It’s common horror movie knowledge that the person who asks, gets slashed. Not talking aloud allows you to breathe easily, keeps your ears open, and doesn’t reveal your location. Having an internal dialogue is fine, but don’t talk to yourself aloud or yell for the source to reveal itself. You want to find it, not let it find you.

Run, Run, Run

So, you’ve finally made it into the basement only to find a zombie or ghost. Run. Run away fast. Don’t walk up on it. Don’t talk to it. I don’t care if you know them. Chances are if they are in a corner, they are bait. Run and never look back.

Stay safe out there, and feel free to share your comments below!

*The purpose of this post is for entertainment. If you think there is an intruder, use common sense and call for help.

Supernatural: Then vs. Now

Attention Supernatural Fans: I mean no harm. I know the show has surpassed popularity no one thought possible, however as a fan since season 3, Supernatural has betrayed me.

supernatural then vs now
Photo: itwikipedia.org

It’s been awhile since I’ve discussed Supernatural and my love/hate relationship with the show. I have not seen a full season since season 9, but I have seen episodes from all of them, even the most recent wrestling one.

That’s what sparked this post. As I watched the overly dramatic episode that I thought would be fun and pay homage to the greats, I thought, “Wow. Supernatural used to be so good. What happened?” I feel like the writers and producers have betrayed the show’s origins and ripped away what made it special. Let’s take a look at Supernatural Then vs. Now: (contains spoilers)

The Plots

I loved Supernatural’s main plots – whether it was finding their dad or defeating Lucifer – but the plots after season 6 aren’t as appealing. Seasons 7-11 have been heavily focused on “biblical” characters and plots, which has made the show less fun and interesting. With seasons 7-8 I enjoyed everything except for the main plot, and season 7 really lost my interest when they killed off the beloved Bobby. The early plots were simple at their core. They focused on natural good vs. evil, family relationships, and supernatural lore. All wins. However, once season 8 started, it focused the Men of Letters and characters who aren’t really interesting or relatable. The current plots are slow, boring, and convoluted.

Stories Within the Plots

This infuriates me. Supernatural has crossed a line with me in its current season. It has betrayed many of the major-minor characters by placing them in situations they would never have allowed five seasons ago. Cas, one of my favorite characters, has been possessed or accepted to serve as Lucifer’s vessel. No. Crowley is beaten and worn down and looks like a hobo. Um, no. Some speculate that Crowley will become human and start hunting. Really? The Darkness (Amara) threatens the world’s fate, but Dean can’t fight her because he’s in love with her. Sigh. And on and on.

The Boys

Sam and Dean aren’t the same. Sure, they’ve matured and been through everything imaginable, but their characters have become dry. In the early seasons, you appreciated Sam’s independence and struggle. Dean was somewhat unstable but always did what was right. As you watched the early seasons, both have relatable qualities that engage the audience. Now, they’re pretty much the same person. There’s no passion, and any brotherly conflict feels written. Since season 8, the characters actually feel like fictional characters instead of real people. The “this feels real” feeling you get when you watch the earlier episodes is priceless because you are on the adventure with them. Now, and since season 9, you’re just watching. And it’s not even interesting.

Misc. Issues With Supernatural

Aside from these issues, there are tons of little things wrong:

  • The first few seasons had amazing soundtracks, and now the music is just TV music.
  • The “fun” episodes – some of my favorites – do not exist. I’ve watched several that start strong, then half-way through, they go dark and grim. The show isn’t fun anymore.
  • Where’s the lore? Why are we learning about WWII and the Nazis? Oh, that’s right. The Nazis practiced dark magic because that makes sense.
  • Skeazy hotels no longer serve a purpose. They live in the Men of Letters bunker (yawn). No more Dean enjoying vibrating beds; no more picking up ladies; no more fairies in microwaves.
  • It’s now a drama. This hurts me the most. I don’t watch dramas because I like my entertainment to make me laugh. The world is serious enough, so I need fun, humor, and creativity. Supernatural hasn’t had that in a long time.

This will probably be my last Supernatural post that discusses current episodes or recent seasons. It is with a heavy heart that I say I will probably stop trying to watch it. I still love many of the seasons, but it has taken a direction that no longer interests or entertains me. I think I’ll stick to the reruns.
Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments!

Today’s Teens Wouldn’t Have Survived the ’80s and ’90s

As a parent to a teenager, I am fully qualified to write this post. It’s necessary to do so, or I may explode on one of today’s youth. This week, I watched the timeless ’90s classic Jawbreaker. A deliciously wicked mix of pretty iconic ’90s teen actors and girl-hate, complete with social statements, murder and Marilyn Manson.

Watching Jawbreaker got me thinking though. As I struggle with my own teenager to do simple things like homework, I am reminded that teens in the ’80s and ’90s had it hard. We were caught between an evolving world while trying to maintain our innocence

RavenRant

Here are five reasons why today’s teens would have “literally” died in the ’80s and ’90s:

Lack of tech

I love the meme that says: Respect your parents because they survived school without Google. Preach on. Not only that, but teachers nowadays also give students digital resources to study and do their work. Most of us had to go to the library (gasp!) to research and use a computer. Some of us – those really lucky – had computers at home, but dealt with slow Internet connections and printers that freaked out the night before a paper was due. There were no cellphones, much less ones that did work for you. Texting and social media didn’t exist. If you wanted to reach someone, you called or paged their beeper. Even less of us had those.

As far as entertainment, we had a TV and maybe a video game console. We read books. We played outside. We got sunburned from staying out too long because there was nothing else to do. We couldn’t – and most didn’t want to – waste time staring at a screen all day. Sure, technology makes much of our tasks easier now, but teens need to get a grip and do something else. It’s not rocket science; maybe get off the devices and do something productive.

We were a lot tougher

I had to get my first job when I was 10 years old. I didn’t have a choice because I wanted something important that my parents couldn’t afford. My first job was mowing yards and washing cars. I used a push mower, and the back incline was at a 45-degree angle. I weighed all of 65 lbs., but I pushed that mower side to side on that hill every week. When I was 15, I started at the store and remained there until I was 26. I essentially grew up at work.

Many of our parents couldn’t afford to buy us whatever we wanted. We got a couple of things for holidays, and we appreciated them. Way more than teens today do. And we dang sure didn’t get a $300 phone and $700 bucks worth of games, clothes, music, etc. In high school, most of my friends had almost full-time jobs, and we had to have them to help support ourselves and families. We had and wanted to become self-sufficient.

The world did not revolve around us. Ever.

The absence of social media meant we could not – and never would be – the center of attention. We were all equal. Sure, there were cliques, but you knew who your true friends were and you helped protect others. We cared about life. We knew hurt and sorrow. I knew four people in high school who died in tragic accidents, but we didn’t disrespect them by posting horrible comments about how much we hated them or go on about how big the loss. We were private, and we respected each other. We had a sense of comradery and looked out for one another. The world owned us nothing, and we had to depend on ourselves.

No Re-dos

I was blown away a few weeks ago when I found out kids can retake tests they fail (in Nashville). What?! Retakes?

I feel this is a disservice to students. First, there are no retakes in college. Secondly, there are no retakes in life or work. If you fail, you fail. It’s that simple. Teens in the ’80s and ’90s made a ton of mistakes, but most of us turned out fine. We made mistakes, partied, lied to our parents, they busted us, and we paid the price. It made us smarter too because we had to think of creative ways to get what we wanted. How do you change or improve yourself if you can just redo your mistakes? That goes against reality in ways I don’t even have words to express. Shame on the administrators who approved that process in order to achieve higher test scores.

Censorship Didn’t Exist

I was young when Tipper Gore went on her censorship crusade and eventually got the “explicit language” warning on albums. Did that stop me from buying those albums. Of course not! Did it stop people of age buying me CDs with those lyrics? Of course not! The music scene in the ’80s and ’90s was raw, expressive and full of protest. Much of it was passionate and spoke out against wrongdoings. We weren’t sheltered from the real world, we lived in it and could relate to the music.

We watched the O.J. Simpson trial and verdict in our classrooms (I was 13 years old). We followed trials that accused Michael Jackson of child sexual abuse (11 years old). We were there when Bill Clinton faced his adultery mistake with Monica Lewinsky (15 years old). We lived through the Columbine High School tragedy (17 years old) and watched the world in turmoil during the Gulf War (8-9 years old). Our parents didn’t keep it from us; they educated and better prepared us for the world that we live in now.

With all that said, I applaud all of you who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s. Thanks for reading and becoming the people you are!

Valentine 2001: 14 Reasons Why It’s a Solid Slasher Movie

Valentine (2001) has worked its way up my list of favorite slasher movies. I never make a big deal about Valentine’s Day, but it shocks me that so many people hate this movie. Valentine 2001 came out in the same year as some better horror movies – such as 13 Ghosts remake, The Devil’s Backbone and Jeepers Creepers – but Valentine is still a fun slasher and worth a watch.

In honor of Valentine’s Day and to challenge all those who hate it, here are the reasons why it doesn’t suck (contains spoilers):

Valentine-2001
Photo: playonlinemovie.com

Boys will be boys. The male characters in this movie are hilariously bad people. Valentine sends a very strong message that finding Mr. Right is almost impossible. Throughout the movie, the girls are trying to find dates, and the pool is filled with egotistical d-bags. That’s the dating world, but the movie doesn’t send a hopeless message. It essentially says it’s ok to be single.

Everyone can relate. The movie starts at a dance with a nerdy, unpopular kid trying to ask several girls to dance. He faces constant, and most times, vicious rejection. We’ve all been rejected, so it speaks to a large audience.

Most of the victims receive creative Valentine’s Day cards. These cards are some of my favorite cards ever and add a nice touch. For example, “Roses are red. Violets are blue. They’re going to need dental records to identify you.” Not only are they creatively twisted, they’re funny.

You don’t feel bad for any of these characters. Sometimes, you feel like certain people should survive a slasher. Not in this one. Most of the characters are shallow and selfish, and most of them get exactly what they deserve.

Valentine keeps you guessing throughout, and there’s a fun little twist. It doesn’t end like most slashers, and the surprise is well worth the watch.

All 90s and early 2000s horror movie fans will love the cast. There are several actors you know from other movies. The Valentine cast includes: Denise Richards (Wild Things), Hedy Burress (Cabin by the Lake), Katherine Heigl (Bride of Chucky), Marley Shelton (Planet Terror, Scream 4.)

Listen to the music because the soundtrack rocks. For all you heavy rock fans, you’ll love hearing Deftones, Orgy, Manson, Rob Zombie and Linkin Park.

Everyone has distinct personalities and issues. One thing current movies lack in general is good stereotyping; there is a reason stereotyping exists. In movies, it often pokes fun at them, and the same is true here. You have the pretty girl, the sweet girl, the chubby girl, the awful artist, etc. All the actors play their parts well.

Never underestimate the nerd. You know who the killer is from the go, but who is he/she 10 years later is the big question. They quickly dismiss the nerd because he “could barely operate a water fountain, much less an intricate revenge plot.” Think again.

The main girls die in the way they rejected the nerd at the dance. I love this. For example, when asked to dance, Paige (Richards) says she’d, “rather be boiled alive.” Guess how she dies.

It fills a niche of horror that has been heavily dominated by My Bloody Valentine, which is hands-down my favorite Valentine-related slasher, but Valentine 2001 isn’t trying to be a great movie; it’s trying to be fun. I enjoy the holiday-themed horror movies, and Hollywood doesn’t do many Valentine’s Day ones, so it’s refreshing.

No one wants an Oscar, including the writers. The dialogue is quick and feels very real. When two characters converse, it feels natural. The writing leads to some sub-par acting, but that’s the beauty of the movie. It’s easy to laugh at the characters and easily recognize the actors enjoyed making it.

Everyone can pick it apart. I rewatched it recently for this post, and at one point I thought, “Who’s house are they in?” There’s a scene where the main girls are in a random house for questioning, and you have no idea whose house it is because you’ve seen where everyone lives, and it’s not there. In another scene, a girl answers the door and looks down before she’s supposed to. It’s those little things that make a movie more entertaining, and Valentine is a great movie to watch alone or with your best friend.

If you love a mindless slasher, check out Valentine 2001. Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments, and Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

History Meets Horror in Nightmares in Red, White & Blue

This week I came across Nightmares in Red, White & Blue, a documentary that discusses horror movies and the history that inspires them. Nightmares takes a Marxist approach to the horror genre and how these movies are influenced by history, and how society receives these events and horror movies.

Nightmares Red White Blue Review
Photo: dvdtalk.com

The Government Inspires Horror

This is not a political view point. This is an observation from the movie. Since the 1920s, filmmakers have used horror to speak out against the government. According to Nightmares, people in power have been a symbol of horrific things: poverty, war, starvation, violence. Horror films speak out against those trying to harm us.

For example, in the 1920s, a “monster” may have been a disabled veteran. Government + war = disabled vet who appears as a “monster” to society. Horror filmmakers have also used government entities and events, such as Hitler’s reign and the Holocaust, as inspiration. Or Sci-Fi horror to speak out against government/alien conspiracy theories.

I learned a lot by watching some of the greats discuss their own experiences during these eras, and explain how they used horror to release their fears and tastefully speak out against them.

Evil Lies Within

In the documentary, John Carpenter says there are two types of evil: The evil out there (Universal monsters) and the evil within (eg: human ego and pride). Carpenter says, “it’s in our own human hearts. And that’s a harder story to tell.”

I found this interesting because if you think about your favorite horror movie, there is an inner evil within someone. Whether its a Mayor who’s unwilling to lose tourism money (Jaws) or a killer seeking revenge (Freddy, Jason, Michael), the evil lives within someone. The overall message is people are evil; anyone can snap; and that is scary.

Nightmares Red White Blue Review
Photo: Huffington Post

Today’s Horror Punishes This Evil

This isn’t directly stated, but when Saw was mentioned, I realized today’s horror movies only set out to punish people. The horror genre stays true to its roots and speaks out against social wrongdoings, but instead of the attacking the government, now it feels like horror movies attack the people.

It Follows was one of the big movies in 2015, and the “monster” was an STD. It Follows punished those who are irresponsibly sexually active. The modern teen horror movie has turned into a digital stalker (Unfriended). Teens are punished for spending too much time connected and enjoying others’ humiliation via social media. Sinister and Insidious punishes the working parent. Instead of staying home to care for their kids, parents are busy with their own agendas or aren’t home. And the list goes on.

Other Highlights

I don’t want to give too much away, but you’ll probably see all your favorite horror movies mentioned. Nightmares in Red, White & Blue covers everything from the early 1920s to the mid 2000s. Many experts are featured, and they reveal why they made a movie or what message they wanted to share. Nightmares is fast-paced, and you’ll learn a lot about how American history influenced the genre and what people were feeling at the time.

PS: Nightmares in Red, White & Blue is free on Amazon Prime streaming right now. If you check it out, let us know what you think in the comments below!