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.

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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…

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Katie Recommends

Best Three Christmas Horror Films Ever!

Christmas movie night

Today I am writing to share with you my top three Christmas Horror films.

Christmas Horror Story

I’ve talked about this before, Katie Recommends: A Christmas Horror Story. but it bares repeating. This is a great film!

Interwoven stories that take place on Christmas Eve, as told by one festive radio host. A family brings home more than a Christmas tree. A student documentary becomes a living nightmare. A Christmas spirit terrorizes. Santa slays evil.

Rare Exports

In the depths of the Korvatunturi mountains, 486 metres deep, lies the closest ever guarded secret of Christmas. The time has come to dig it up! This Christmas everyone will believe in Santa Claus.

Fatman

Fatman is a 2020 American dark comedy action film written and directed by Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms and starring Mel Gibson, Walton Goggins and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. David Gordon Green and Danny McBride serve as executive producers of the film. The plot follows an unorthodox Santa Claus who must fight off an assassin sent by a vengeful naughty kid.

Reviews - Books

Guardian Article: Chapter and curse: is the horror novel entering a golden age?

Shiny times

I know I don’t normally do this in our correspondence, but today I wanted to share an article from the Guardian that made me happy.

Horror fiction, says author Stephen Graham Jones, is booming right now. “It’s blooming, it’s blossoming. I mean, night blooms, of course, with a bloody centre. Probably some flies crawling over those petals.”

Jones, a Blackfeet Native American, should know: his terrifying tale about a spirit out for reveng, The Only Good Indians, swept the boards at last year’s horror fiction awards, taking both the Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson awards for best horror novel. Opening as Ricky is beaten to death by white drinkers at a bar, the novel moves back in time to show how he and his friends slaughtered part of an elk herd on their reservation as teenagers, including one pregnant elk. Now they are dying, brutally, as adults, while asking if their past is catching up with them.

Keep reading on theGuardian.com

Katie Recommends

Katie Recommends: Tales from the Gas Station

My favourite!

Today i am sending you something amazing.

Tales From the Gas Station 

Working at a dead-end retail job in the middle of nowhere can be hard. The long hours. The helpless customers. The enormous eldritch horror living deep below the building. As the only full-time employee at the 24-hour gas station at the edge of town, Jack has pretty much seen it all. But when he decides to start an online journal documenting the bizarre day-to-day occurrences, he unwittingly attracts the attention of much more than just a few conspiracy theorists. 

With the body count steadily on the rise and a dark, ancient force infecting the dreams of everyone around him, Jack will do everything in his power to stay out of the way and mind his own business. After all, he’s just a gas station clerk. It’s not like he’s getting paid enough to wage battle against the nightmarish aberrations plaguing his community. Besides, he already has his hands full attempting to manage all those mysterious lawn gnomes, the mutant raccoons, and the charming phantom cowboy who lives in the bathroom.  

Based on the award-winning creepypasta by GasStationJack, Tales from the Gas Station: Volume One is a love letter to the pioneers of classic horror tailored to a generation that grew up in the era of smartphones and WiFi.

Reviews - Films

Review: Midsommer

Rituals and pretty dresses

Today I want to write to you about the film, Midsommer.

Midsommer is a folk horror story that was released in 2019. It was written and directed by Ari Aster, who you may remember from Hereditary. Midsommer and Hereditary are both very similar in their ability to build and hold tension as well as the sheer depth of the atmosphere.

In these blogs I usually go heavily into spoiler territory but I’m going to avoid that with this film, just because the best experience you can have with this film is when you go in blind. While the strength of this film comes from its atmosphere and its ability to build tension and keep you up there for as long as it damn well pleases, that does diminish when you know exactly what’s coming. Though that being said this isn’t a film that relies on a twist its got wonderfully crafted characters, and well thought out settings, the story is a very strong one and when you rewatch it you’ll notice all the little foreshadowing hints that you might have missed on first viewing.

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Reviews - Films

Review: The Platform

A social experiment gone wrong

Today I am writing to talk to you about a film I only watched recently, The Platform. This was a very intense film and an interesting exploration of human nature, and the class system, it affected me more than I expected it to. The film came out on Netflix in 2019 and is Spanish, directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia.

It is described as a social science thriller.

Summary

Photo by Donald Tong on Pexels.com

Our main character, Goreng, who we experience the prison through, wakes in a concrete cell marked with the number 48. He has no memory of how he came there or any understanding of where he is. The situation is explained to him by his cell mate they are in a “Vertical Self-Management Centre”. It is later explained that Goreng volunteered to enter the prison, though others are incarcerated.

The ‘gimmick’ of this prison is that food, a veritable feast arrives on a platform that starts on the top floor and slowly moves down through the building. This means that the people at the top have access to all the food and the people below have less and less and less, those on lower floors will starve.

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Reviews - Books

Review: Watchers by Dean Koontz

Talking animals are awesome

Today I am writing to talk to you about Watcher by Dean Koontz, while this is not typically thought of as a horror novel, rather it is listed as suspense, I feel it works well enough as a horror to look at it here.

The book was published in 1987 and is credited as being on of the books that raised Koontz’s status to that of a best-selling author.

Summary

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

Our main character Travis is a former solider and retired real estate salesman, who has become depressed due to his previous life experiences and now feels that his life is pointless. While on a hike, he encounters a golden retriever which follows him, and they take an instant liking to each other. Travis takes the doggo home and calls him Einstein due to the pooch’s high intelligence levels. The dog does not speak but clearly understands English and can respond in such a way that his intelligence in unmistakable.

We also meet Nora, who is being stalked by a creepy asshole, Arthur. Eventually Travis and Nora meet when Travis rescues Nora from Arthur, with Einstein’s help. Travis, Einstein, and Nora become a family and Travis and Nora keep working to find better ways to communicate with Einstein.

However, through the story it is apparent that Einstein is afraid of something. That something is the outsider. Einstein and the Outsider are both genetically modified creatures, hence Einstein’s intelligence. However, where Einstein only had his intelligence modified the Outsider is an amalgamation of various animals with the soul drive to kill Einstein.

Federal agents are also in pursuit of Einstein, and finally they are also pursued by an assassin who was hired to kill those who know how to kill the Outsider but also wants Einstein to sell.

I don’t want to spoil the ending here, it’s best experienced first-hand. There’s a reason this book is credited with being on of the ones that made Koontz a best seller.

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Reviews - Games

Review: Pathologic

An amazing but also terrible game

Today I am writing to you about a game, it is a divisive game. A game that has been praised to hell and back by those that like it and pretty much outright ignored by the rest of the world. 

Rock paper shotgun has called it the best game you’ve never played. 

Yup, today I want to talk about Pathologic.

Pathologic is a 2005 survival game developed by Russian studio Ice-Pick Lodge. It was released in Russia in June 2005 to a strong positive response. It was then released to English audiences in 2006 to a less positive response, in large part due to a poor translation. A re-release with a new translation took place in October 2015 and currently a remake is in progress, with part of it being released in 2019. 

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