Katie Recommends

Katie Recommends: The Midnight Meat Train

Choo choo

Today I am writing to recommend a film that you might not have seen yet.

The Midnight Meat Train.

This is a film, starring Bradley Cooper and Vinnie Jones is based on a Clive Barker short story of the same name. In a nutshell, the film is about a photographer who is attempting to track down a serial killer who targets people on the subway.

Clearly, I’m trying to keep spoilers to a minimum here, but there’s a lot more to this story than a deranged person killing people on a train (though there is a bit of that too lol).

I may do a full spoiler-full review of this one as it’s a great film. It’s well worth your time.

Reviews - Films

Review: April Fools Day.

Day of fools

Today is the 1st of April! Which as you probably already know, means it’s April Fools Day.

April Fool’s Day is a day celebrated each year with practical jokes and hoaxes, it has permeated all aspects of work and life, and the horror genre has not escaped. With that in mind today I want to talk about the 1986 classic horror film, April Fools.

While this is a horror film it is a black comedy. It was directed by Fred Walton and centres around a group of college students whose vacation is disrupted by a killer.

Continue reading “Review: April Fools Day.”
Reviews - Books

Reviews: The Ballad of Black Tom

Lovecraft Inspired

Today I am writing to talk to you about The Ballad of Black Tom, which was written by Victor LaValle and published in 2016.

Being a Lovecraftian fan when I heard about this novella, I was all in there and it is safe to say that I was not disappointed. It is a reworking of Lovecraft’s “The horror of Red Hook.” But it builds on the original story and themes to explore racism, prejudice and isolation.

The novella won a slew of awards including but not limited to the Nebula and Hugo Awards.

Summary

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

The novel follows Charles “Tommy” Tester who lives with his sick father and runs schemes as a street hustler in Harlem in 1924. The first part of the novella is told from Charles perspective and the second is seen through the eyes of Detective Malone.  

Continue reading “Reviews: The Ballad of Black Tom”
Reviews - Films

Film: Antlers

Everyone loves a wendigo

Today I am writing to tell to you about Antlers, which is a film with a lot of symbolism.

It was released in 2021 and directed by Scot Cooper. It was adapted from the short story, The Quiet Boy, written by Nick Antosca.

Summary

Photo by Vincent M.A. Janssen on Pexels.com

The story takes place in a small town in Oregon, where a drug dealer, Frank, runs his meth lab out of an old mine. Frank is visiting his lab and he; his son Aiden and Franks meth pal are all attacked by a creature in the mine.  Frank and Aiden escape but meth buddy does not. However, Frank and Aiden are not well after the attack and return home to be locked in the basement by Franks other boy, Lucas.

Continue reading “Film: Antlers”
Reviews - Games

Review: Fatal Frame 2

When rituals go wrong

Today I am writing to you about Fatal Frame, in particular Fatal Frame 2. 

The reason I’m talking to you about the second game in the series and not the first is simply because the games storylines are not related and the story in the second game is better than the first one. It was designed to be a more interesting story purposefully due to people not finishing the first game (it was too frightening to finish lol, so a more compelling story was crafted, or so the rumour goes). 

Fatal frame is a survival horror game made by Tecmo and released on the PlayStation in 2003 and is widely considered to be among the scariest games ever made. 

The game follows twin sisters Mio and Mayu as they explore an abandoned village and experience encounters with the paranormal. 

During the game the player controls the protagonist Mio and must use a camera to defeat enemies and uncover the secrets of the village. There are two modes of gameplay, field mode and viewfinder mode. When in field mode, the player can examine items and search areas for clues. But when the camera is used, the game enters viewfinder mode, from where pictures of ghosts and scenery can be taken. 

I was hoping to talk about this game without spoiling anything major but found that it was impossible to talk in depth without ruining the game story wise. So, this is your warning, here be spoilers. 

Continue reading “Review: Fatal Frame 2”
Katie Recommends

Katie Recommends: The Suicide of Rachel Foster

Scratching an itch

I feel like I’ve been giving you a disproportionate amount of recommendations lately, but honestly, I can’t help it. I find something awesome and want to talk about it and share it. Sometimes I do this in the form of reviewing and other times I don’t want to spoil stories or put ideas in peoples heads when the best way to experience things is via your own lens.

Besides, one of the reasons I created this blog was so I could gush about awesome stuff. I was tired of seeing reviews that were primarily negative, even if they were fun. I’m a fan of looking for positives and enjoying things, enthusiasm rocks!

That justification aside, today I want to talk to you about the Suicide of Rachel Foster.

I love video games, they are one of my top three ways to relax and experience a good story. I think games are a fantastic medium for the horror genre as they are immersive and effective in a way that books and movies can’t always be. You can do things in a game that you simply can’t do with a less interactive medium.

I’ve been replaying a lot of the Dark Pictures Anthology lately (another recommendation if you’re interested) and they have gotten me hooked on the photo-realistic, story-based games. Honestly, the walking-simulator type games are my favourite kind of games in the horror genre. They really let you experience feelings of powerlessness and thus tighten the ‘horror’ aspect. I get frustrated when you play a ‘horror’ game but you play as a badass, just putting me against horror-themed enemies does a horror game make.

Looking to scratch my photo-realistic story-based game itch, I picked up a copy of The Suicide of Rachel Foster and really enjoyed it. Check it out on Steam.

Katie Recommends

Katie Recommends: Videogames!

Today I want to give you some game recommendations!

Today I am writing to share with you some amazing horror games that I think you would enjoy.

Resident Evil: Village

Take on the role of Ethan Winters and set out into a remote European village in search of your kidnapped daughter. Twisted lords, vampiric creatures and much more beside stand between you and salvation. 

The Evil Within 2 – Accolades

Take on the role of traumatised police detective Sebastian Castellanos and enter the surreal nightmare realm of Union – a once idyllic recreation of rural America corrupted by madness – in search of your daughter Lily.

Detention

Explore the abandoned Greenwood High School in Taiwan in a tragic twist on classic supernatural horror. Set against the backdrop of political turmoil during the 1960s, Detention is slow-burning and atmospheric trip towards horrifying realisation.

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water

The latest entry in the long-running Fatal Frame franchise, Maiden of Black Water continues the series’ eerie and ghostly brand of horror. Take on the role of three different protagonists as you explore the shrines of Mt. Hikami and solve its haunting mysteries.

Reviews - Books, Uncategorized

Review: The Turn of the Screw

A classic remade

Today I am writing to talk to you about a story that’s been adapted many times, I know that doesn’t narrow it down all that much lol. But this was recently adapted by Netflix, into the series The Haunting of Bly Manor (fantastic series, go watch it). At least it was partly adapted by Netflix in this series as the series was more an amalgamation of two of Henry James’ stories.

The story I want to talk to you about today is The Turn of the Screw.

This novella was released in Colliers Weekly in a serialised format in 1898, it was later collected in the same year by Macmillian and Heinemann.

Continue reading “Review: The Turn of the Screw”
Reviews - Books

Stories that hold a place in my heart

Story’s affect us all.

Stories can affect us emotionally; most good stories make us feel something. But they can also affect how we see the world, and help us form our opinions on ‘real world’ issues and problems. They can help us relate to people or situations we might not otherwise have ever experienced.  As a 30-something year old, white, English woman there are certain things I will never experience myself and absorbing a wide range of stories, told from different viewpoints and by a diverse range of people can help me understand those experiences better. I often find voracious story consumers to have higher levels of empathy.

Stories can also help us get through difficult times via escapism or by giving us the tools to handle our own challenges. As a massive fan of horror, I sometimes get confused looks when I explain to friends and family that I can take real comfort from stories they might find frightening. But any genre can do all of the above.

Stories come in many mediums, that’s why this website looks at books, films, videogames, online mediums etc. Today I want to talk to you about books. In particular my top five books.

There are some spoilers in today’s letter so make sure you are careful if you don’t want certain stories spoiled for you. I have done my very best to keep spoilers to a minimum though and have put warnings throughout.

So, without further delay and in no particular order…

Continue reading “Stories that hold a place in my heart”