I can’t believe I’m writing this, but we’ve reached a point where there’s almost too much great horror TV to choose from. Between “Ash vs Evil Dead”, “Scream” and “The Walking Dead”, horror fans have it pretty good. There’s one show that’s being looked over, though and at this point I’m confident in saying that it’s one of the best of them all – “The Exorcist.”
The show’s painfully formulaic first episode coupled with the fact that it airs on Fridays isn’t doing it any favors, but I’ve taken the time every week to watch it with my parents’ cable login online, and each episode has improved on the last markedly. There’s great twists, awesomely disturbing moments featuring insects (and of course vomit) and a genuine care for the original film that most modern re-imaginings wouldn’t take a second to think about.
I could go on all day here, but I already made a video with five of the biggest reasons you need to binge FOX’s “The Exorcist” as soon as possible. You can watch it below.
I realize half this country isn’t in the best of moods, and probably can do without additional negativity, but I’d be remiss to talk about how god awful this season of “American Horror Story” has become.
Weirdly, the sixth season of “American Horror Story”, dubbed “Roanoke”, started off with a whimper. But what it had going for it was the mystery behind it; it was captivating enough to keep this writer tuning in week after week. Co-creator Ryan Murphy then promised a major twist, which actually paid off quite a bit; when it was revealed that the first five episodes were a documentary, it changed how those episodes were perceived, giving them instant value. It was an earth-shattering move that would also up the ante for the following episodes, allowing the filmmakers to get their hands really dirty. Unfortunately, this is when the show fell apart and never recovered.
The season is only 10 episodes long, thankfully, which is why I’m toughing through this. I was hoping that it would eventually come together, but ultimately it’s a disaster that’s worse than any of the previous season finales (they’re all disappointing). I think that one thing is clear now: Ryan Murphy and his team of writers are not horror fans, and don’t understand the genre at all. “Roanoke” started as a typical “American Horror Story” drama, which is why it worked, but once they entered “our” territory, well, that’s when they dug themselves a hole they could never climb out of.
The second half of “Roanoke” is nothing short of mean-spirited trash, void of any social commentary or meaning. It’s bleak, cold, soulless garbage that aims to hurt the audience for the sake of shock value instead of telling a story. The past two episodes were a complete mess, dropping any effort to entertain by forcing audiences to watch nearly two-hours of people screaming, yelling and being tortured for absolutely no reason whatsoever. While the show seemingly delivers on its promise, it’s sloppy filmmaking at best that comes from a place of horror imitation instead of from those who love our genre (see: “American Horror Story: Roanoke” Paid Tribute To Cannibal Holocaust Last Night).
This may be harsh but I hate, no, no, scathe this season of “American Horror Story” and don’t wish it upon anyone. I think it’s time for Murphy and FX to hang it up, but unfortunately they’re now talking about mixing seasons into a super season that will, and I guarantee this, leave us all disappointed (again).
Here’s a look at the season finale boasting yet another unprecedented twist that will surely drop the ball…
Poor Taissa Farmiga. Poor, sweet Taissa Farmiga.
Series creator Ryan Murphy has been known to pay tribute to horror films past in “American Horror Story,” but last night we saw a tribute (or a rip-off, if you prefer to call it that) that we certainly did not expect to see. The latter half of “American Horror Story: Roanoke” has taken on a full-on found footage style, and last night homaged the original found footage horror film.
Long before The Blair Witch Project came along and made the sub-genre popular, director Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust played around with the docu-filmmaking style that wouldn’t become a full-blown sub-genre until many years later. In fact, the film was presented so realistically that many people, at the time, believed Deodato had actually killed his entire cast!
On “AHS” last night, the film’s most shocking moment was recreated.
The ninth episode of “American Horror Story: Roanoke” introduced new characters in the form of your typical found footage victims, one of whom was played by series regular Taissa Farmiga, and two of the adventurous pals were killed by their curiosity when the Roanoke ghosts captured them. They were tossed to the ground and, well, giant skewers were shoved through their butts.
Yes, Farmiga’s character and the character’s friend were turned into human shish-kabobs by the vengeful ghosts, and then posed much the same way as that ill-fated woman in Cannibal Holocaust. They were then set on fire and burned alive, taking that moment from Deodato’s film to a whole new level of shocking and horrifying. If there’s one thing “AHS” loves, it’s shock value.
We screen-grabbed some shots for you below, in case you missed it.
As we’ve noted, this season of “AHS” has also paid tribute to The Blair Witch Project.
In 2000, animation studios Pierrot and Aniplex created a TV anime series called Ghost Stories (Gakkou no Kaidan), which was directed by Noriyuki Abe and loosely based on a book series by Toru Tsunemitsu. The story is rather basic: A young girl moves to a new town, befriends some of the local students, and then finds out that pretty much the entire town has ghosts roaming throughout. Yes, there are more details to connect all the dots but that’s the gist of it.
Anyways, the anime pretty much failed miserably, which is why there was only one season that featured 20 episodes. According to TVTropes.org, Pierrot sold the rights to the show in a desperate attempt to avoid bankruptcy back in 2005. When ADV asked what conditions there were for the series, supposedly they only got these three rules:
1. The overall story should be intact.
2. It had to be lip synced correctly.
3. No names could be changed. [Source]
ADV took this as an opportunity to create something wildly different and, in my personal opinion, absolutely fantastic. It was something that I don’t think anyone anticipated, nor could they have. What they did was turn the story into one gigantic running gag line, making things up as they went along. Rather than follow the story perfectly, they kept the overall concepts but then radically changed the characters and their lines simply because they thought it’d be funny. Hell, there are even rumors that the first person in the office on any given day was the person who got to call the shots!
I have to warn you that some of the jokes are not “politically correct”, so keep that firmly in mind if you watch the below compilation. There’s a great description of what happened from voice actor Monica Rial that you can watch on YouTube where she even states that they wanted to be, “…equal opportunity offenders“.
Also, you can watch the first episode of Ghost Stories over at Crunchy Roll.
We’ve got a little something for every horror fan on your list!
One of the most iconic “weapons” in the horror genre’s history is Dr. Herbert West’s needle full of glowing green re-agent serum, which he initially hopes to use to bring the dead back to life. Of course, things don’t quite go as planned, and the re-animated corpses are, well, murderous monsters who mostly just want to kill everyone and everything in their path. Oops.
In the first wave of his officially licensed Re-Animator collection, Cavity Colors artist Aaron Crawford has turned Dr. West’s serum into a candle, and it’s the perfect gift for the Re-Animator fan on your list this year. The 12oz “Re-Agent” candle is made of 100% soy wax, and the lime green wax turns dark green once lit; when it dries up, it takes on a flesh tone. How fun!
The first edition is limited to just 300 citrus-scented candles, and they go up for grabs today, November 10th, at 5pm EST. You can grab one exclusively in the Cavity Colors shop beginning at that time, where you’ll also find the complete Re-Animator collection. Other goodies include two shirts, an ugly Christmas sweater, two enamel pins, and even an embroidered patch.
The Re-Agent Candle is guaranteed to bring you back to life!
Earlier this year, Trace wrote up a great selection of some of cinema’s scariest moments in non-horror movies. The piece collected several scenes that scared Trace and, frankly, I can completely understand why. Judge Doom is a creepy son of a bitch and the face melting scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark? Yeah, that gave me nightmares for MONTHS as a kid!
Since Trace offered his picks, I thought I’d come in with a few of mine to see if you all relate to them as much as you related to his! So, let’s get to it!Requiem for a Dream – “Feed me, Sara”
I personally feel that this movie is absolutely a horror film. While it doesn’t have a monster or specific villain, per say, it does tackle the horror of addiction and how it can absolutely destroy lives in the most terrifying ways imaginable.
The below scene comes when Ellen Burstyn’s character is in the midst of a complete hallucinatory breakdown and her world is crashing all around her. It’s the beginning of the end and it’s all because of her desire to fit into a red dress. Such a little thing became an obsession and destroyed her life. I honestly don’t remember a movie that punched me in the gut quite like Requiem For a Dream. I do know that I never need to see it again.Krull – That Fucking Spider
I know I’ve made it clear here before but just in case you didn’t know I fucking hate spiders! These little bastards, with their spindly legs and their freaky fangs, can just piss right off and never come back, for all I care.
This fear has been with me ever since I was a very, very young child, so imagine my revulsion and horror when I was watching the incredible fantasy film Krull and the below scene occurred. it was years before I could watch the movie again and even then I had to cover my eyes during this scene. Just finding it to embed it for all of you gave me the shivers.Gravity – Debris
We covered Gravity pretty extensively on here but I’ll be the first one to admit that it’s not really a horror film. Is it one of the most tense and anxiety-provoking movies in recent memory? Absolutely. And the below scene, where all the debris from the destroyed satellites comes flying at (and through) our main characters, really nails down that sense of helplessness and terror. After all, even if they escape that swarm of machinery, where can they go? They’re in freaking outer space!Pee Wee’s Big Adventure – Large Marge
I’m sorry, I thought this was a kid’s movie and not a damn HORROR STORY ‘ROUND THE CAMPFIRE URBAN LEGEND FREAKSHOW!
Tim Burton’s first feature-length film was a sign of the surreal and almost magical style that he would bring to titles such as Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice. It was also a sign that he absolutely loved horror and darker, more gothic elements. When parents took their children to see this movie, I doubt they were expecting the titular character to run into a ghost whose face goes all “oogedy boogedy” for spooky effect.
Say what you want but any kid that saw that movie will never, ever forget Large Marge.Return to Oz – Princess Mombi
In one sequel, we went from “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to “Sometimes I Get Electroshock Therapy”. Seriously though, how twisted and demented was Return to Oz, the sequel to the timeless classic Wizard of Oz? It’s a rather delightful fantasy film that isn’t a musical like its predecessor but boy did it go dark!
There is perhaps no greater example of how freaky this movie got than Princess Mombi and her hall of interchangeable heads. Even the Wheelers had nothing on this scene, which shows cases of heads all screaming at Dorothy after she steals the powder of life. And to take it over the top, that head that’s guarding the powder is Jean Marsh, who played Bavmorda in Willow, another unsettling and evil character.
With each flicker of darkness we see the silhouette get closer and closer…
This past summer was a great one for the horror genre, and one of the gems that hit the big screen was director David F. Sandberg’s Lights Out. Clever, spooky, and armed with a surprising amount of emotional depth – in his review, Trace Thurman called the film a “frightening study of mental illness” – Sandberg’s feature debut was one of this year’s pleasant surprises.
The film was based on Sandberg’s same-named short from 2013, which quickly went viral here on the internet, and if you dug it as much as we did, you might be interested in reading the director’s original 17-page treatment. Sandberg (@PonySmasher) shared the treatment over on Twitter this week, and included with it a creepy woodcut image he made of villain Diana.
As Sandberg noted, “A lot changed but a lot also stayed the same,” and the most interesting change from treatment to screen was in regards to the ending. In the film’s somewhat controversial finale, Sophie (Maria Bello) kills herself to rid her family of the demon attached to her, but in Sandberg’s treatment, it’s actually a police officer who accidentally shoots Sophie. Furthermore, Diana – a demon who feeds on grief and is essentially a physical manifestation of depression – attaches itself to Sophie’s young son Martin, possessing him much like Sophie herself.
Click the link to check out the original Lights Out treatment!
In the film:When her little brother, Martin, experiences the same events that once tested her sanity, Rebecca works to unlock the truth behind the terror, which brings her face to face with an entity that has an attachment to their mother, Sophie.
The King Kong franchise has been rebooted with Kong: Skull Island, which is the film that sets up both the Kong and Godzilla universe. EW just debuted the first look at the giant ape in the Jordan Vogt-Roberts directed feature that stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, John Goodman, John C. Reilly, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Wilkinson, Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins, Thomas Mann and John Ortiz.
The shot “comes from a point in the movie where you’re not quite sure who Kong is,” explains Vogt-Roberts, “what his purpose is, how people should be perceiving him. Through the folly of man, where our initial instinct is to attack anything that is not a known quantity, both sides jump the gun, Kong and the humans, and it kicks off a relatively messy engagement. At first, of course you’re going to perceive something like that as a terrible threat and monster — the physicality of him alone.”
Full plot details are being kept secret but the film is based on the premise of a team of explorers venturing on an island inhabited by giant monsters. The trailer, below, shows an all-out war that ensures.
More from Vogt-Roberts’ interview with EW:
…A big part of our Kong was I wanted to make something that gave the impression that he was a lonely God, he was a morose figure, lumbering around this island.
We sort of went back to the 1933 version in the sense that he’s a bipedal creature that walks in an upright position, as opposed to the anthropomorphic, anatomically correct silverback gorilla that walks on all fours. Our Kong was intended to say, like, this isn’t just a big gorilla or a big monkey. This is something that is its own species. It has its own set of rules, so we can do what we want and we really wanted to pay homage to what came before…and yet do something completely different.
There’s subtle nods. [The ’33 film] was black and white, so it’s really easy to assume that the fur on the monkey is black, but there’s actually a lot of forums and things that you read and there’s some real poster artwork where Kong’s fur skews more brownish, so we actually pushed his fur in more of a brown as opposed to the traditional black. It really was trying to create this feeling so that when these humans look up at him, they hopefully have a visceral response, saying to themselves, ‘That’s a God, I’m looking at a God.’
If anything, our Kong is meant to be a throwback to the ’33 version. I don’t think there’s much similarity at all between our version and Peter [Jackson]’s Kong. That version is very much a scaled-up silverback gorilla, and ours is something that is slightly more exaggerated. A big mandate for us was, How do we make this feel like a classic movie monster?
[Kong] was a movie monster, so we worked really hard to take some of the elements of the ’33 version, some of those exaggerated features, some of those cartoonish and iconic qualities, and then make them their own…We created something that to some degree served as a throwback to the inspiration for what started all of this, but then also [had] it be a fully unique and different creature that — I would like to think — is fully contained and identifiable as the 2017 version of King Kong. I think there are very modern elements to him, yet hopefully he feels very timeless at the same time.
A new international trailer for the upcoming action horror film Underworld: Blood Wars has come out and it offers up a lot of werewolves. Like, at least three werewolves*.
No, but in all seriousness the trailer does reveal that the Lycans are using new tactics to take on their Vampire adversaries and they’ve clearly become a bit smarter about their whole approach. Why go hand-to-hand against your enemy when you can use their weakness against them?
Kate Beckinsale once again returns as Selene with Theo James (Divergent) back as Selene’s ally David, reprising the role he played in Underworld: Awakening. British actors Tobias Menzies (“Outlander”, “Rome”) and Lara Pulver (“Sherlock”) take on the respective roles of a formidable new Lycan leader and a fiercely ambitious Vampire, and Charles Dance (“Game of Thrones”) again plays Vampire elder Thomas.
Rounding out the film’s stellar international cast are: James Faulkner (“Game of Thrones”), Peter Andersson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), newcomer Clementine Nicholson, Bradley James (A&E’s upcoming “Damien”) and Daisy Head (the upcoming Fallen).
Anna Foerster is the director of Underworld 5. Foerster, who previously directed episodes of the television series “Criminal Minds” and “Outlander,” is widely known for her work as cinematographer on epic blockbusters such as Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and White House Down.
The ten-week shoot took place entirely in the Czech capital and areas surrounding.
Underworld: Blood Wars comes out January 6th, 2017.
*I was never good at counting.
He promised he’d be your friend till the end.
Perhaps inspired by the success of this year’s FearFest, AMC has promised to air franchise marathons every Saturday night going forward, and in the wake of last weekend’s Alien marathon comes what they’re calling the Chuckython: an all-night marathon of (most of) the films in the Child’s Play franchise. Which ones you ask? Well, we’ve got the full schedule for you today.
Unfortunately, the original Child’s Play is not a part of the marathon, nor is direct-to-video sequel Curse of Chucky. We realize this is kind of a bummer, but you could always fill in the blanks with your own DVD/Blu-ray collection. The Chuckython kicks off at 6pm EST with Child’s Play 2, followed by Child’s Play 3 at 8pm, Bride of Chucky at 10pm, and Seed of Chucky at 12am.
Eight straight hours of Chucky. Sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday night!
Bret Easton Ellis and his unfiltered mouth is one of my favorite people in Hollywood. He gives no shits and it shows in his work. While he’s best known as the writer of “American Psycho”, “Less Than Zero” and “The Rules of Attraction”, he’s making his directorial debut on a forthcoming television series that dabbles in a cult.
It was reported this past summer that Ellis is directing “The Deleted”, a cult thriller that follows the disappearance of three seemingly unconnected people from Los Angeles, which triggers paranoia among a group of twenty-somethings who escaped from a cult a few years back.
We have it on good authority that “The Deleted” is going to be appease Bloody Disgusting readers in the goriest of ways, with a source telling us that there are scenes in which the walls are quite literally covered in blood.
Streaming video app Fullscreen has picked up the project and is planning an early 2017 premiere. The thriller will join a slate of original series and youth-skewing licensed fare available on the teen-centric app, which costs $4.99 a month.
Vine “star” Nash Grier leads the unknown cast.
We’ve teamed up with alt-hard rock band Chevelle to bring you the exclusive music video premiere for “Door to Door Cannibals”, which comes from their latest album The North Corridor. The video starts off with vocalist/guitarist Pete waking up in a strange hospital and running for his life. As he goes through the hallways, he passes rooms that contain strange, surreal, and terrifying denizens. The further down the rabbit hole he goes, the more the situation descends into chaos.
There are absolutely nods to Jacob’s Ladder in this video as well as, and this might just be me projecting, some dashes of the hospital scenes from the PC horror point-and-click game Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh. If creepy hospitals give you the shivers, avoid this video!
Drummer Sam Loeffler tells BD:
Pete, Dean and I wanted to do a sort of “nightmare/horror” type video for “Door to Door Cannibals,” so we spent some time brainstorming and kicked around the idea of a mental/experimental hospital we find ourselves in and can’t wake up from. We thought it could be killer if we added some messed up elements that would make Pete freakout and question reality on his way looking for an escape, including a few open doorways with questionable events going on inside. I think we achieved a grittiness that created a sense of urgency but still left us with a little bit of creepy tongue-in-cheek style that some horror films are known for.
You can pick up The North Corridor via iTunes.
Upcoming US tour dates (tickets available here):
Jan 13 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA
Jan 14 Ace of Spades Sacramento, CA
Jan 15 Knitting Factory Boise, ID
Jan 17 Knitting Factory Concert House Spokane, WA
Jan 18 Roseland Theater Portland, OR
Jan 20 Riverside Municipal Auditorium Riverside, CA
Jan 21 House of Blues San Diego San Diego, CA
Jan 22 House of Blues Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV
Jan 24 The Historic El Rey Theater Albuquerque, NM
Jan 26 Boulder Theater Boulder, CO
Giving homage to the “Lights Out” short that made David Sandberg famous, UK-based director James Mansell delivers his tech-horror version entitled “NightmARes”.
Put on a headset and step inside a frighteningly immersive environment, where all is not as it seems.
Its focus is on augmented relate, something touched on in season 3 of “Black Mirror”.
Seth Sherwood (Hellfest, Leatherface) is interested in adapting and turning it into an ‘augmented reality gone wrong’ horror story, but on a global scale.
BloodList founder/producer/manager Kailey Marsh is attached to produce.
Back in 2014 Dimension Films acquired 47 Meters Down, which stars Mandy Moore and Claire Holt as a pair of cage-diving sisters whose boat breaks away from them, leaving them in an observation cage trapped at the bottom of the ocean, surrounded by hungry Great Whites.
Dimension Films then announced a home video release (Aug. 2), while also renaming it to In the Deep, bizarrely the original title to this summer’s other shark survival film, The Shallows.
Just a week before its release the Freestyle Media acquired the film with plans to release in 2,500 theaters sometime in 2017.
THR reported that Entertainment Studios bought the finished film for seven figures from Dimension, adding that the move comes as the financially strapped Weinstein brothers have begun to sell off some of their films.
47 Meters Down is a new shark thriller directed by Johannes Roberts (The Other Side of The Door), and stars Mandy Moore (“This Is Us,” A Walk To Remember), Claire Holt (“The Vampire Diaries,” “The Originals”), Yani Gellman (“Pretty Little Liars,” “The Young And The Restless”), and Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket, The Dark Knight Rises).
“ ‘In The Deep’ dives into a world of two sisters (Mandy Moore and Claire Holt) who become trapped at the bottom of the ocean when a diving expedition to observe sharks goes horribly wrong. When the cable attaching the observation cage to the boat breaks and the cage sinks to the bottom of the ocean, the sisters must figure out a way to get back to safety battling injuries, lack of oxygen, and, worst of all, blood thirsty, great white sharks.”
Here’s a clip in which the girls drop a glow-stick and a shark appears to snap it up:
In theaters November 11, The Ring‘s Naomi Watts stars as a widowed child psychologist who lives an isolated existence in rural New England. Caught in a deadly winter storm, she must find a way to rescue a young boy, played by The Room‘s Jacob Tremblay, before he disappears forever.
Charlie Heaton (“Stranger Things”) and Oliver Platt (Flatliners, Lake Placid) also star in the thriller directed by Farren Blackburn and written by Christina Hodson.
“A child psychologist living an isolated life in rural New England is struggling to put her life back together after the loss of her husband. She’s a strong woman whose courage is put to the test when she’s caught in a deadly storm, trapped in her home, and cut off from the world around her.”
Here’s the film’s first clip in which Watts is frightened by something opening her door, only to be shocked when a hand grabs her from behind to silence her.
You can never have too much Sarah Paulson.
Believe it or not, the 10-episode season “American Horror Story: Roanoke” is already coming to a close next Wednesday night, November 16th. Tonight’s penultimate episode saw the series return of actress Taissa Farmiga, who played an internet journalist obsessed with the show-within-the-show, “My Roanoke Nightmare.” By episode’s end, Farmiga’s character was brutally butchered, Cannibal Holocaust-style, by the Roanoke ghosts, and so too was, well, everyone who was still living going into Episode 9. The only one who made it out alive? Lee Harris.
After eating a pig heart given to her by a mysterious woman out in the woods – the real life version of the character Lady Gaga played in the re-enactment series – Lee became possessed and went on a murderous rampage, essentially becoming the new Butcher. At the end of the episode, the cops “rescued” Lee, believing her to be the sole survivor of the gruesome carnage.
So what comes next? In a teaser clip shown at the end of tonight’s episode, we saw that Sarah Paulson will be playing her third character this season in next Wednesday night’s finale, and it’s one who is undoubtedly a familiar face to fans of the FX series. “Roanoke” will officially cross over with “Asylum,” as Paulson is reprising the role of Lana Winters in the Season 6 finale.
Allow Wikipedia to refresh your memory:
Lana Winters is a journalist who is committed to Briarcliff Manor under false pretenses by Sister Jude, for trying to expose its darkest secrets.
Check out the teaser below!
One thing Salem has always excelled at is not dawdling for too long on one singular storyline. Take Mary’s undercover mission into her son’s house. That is something that could have easily occupied half of the season, but Salem is impatient as ever and decides to have Mary’s ulterior motives discovered in one episode. This could have felt rushed in the hands of a less talented writer (the screenplay is credited to co-creator Adam Simon), but Salem somehow makes it work. “The Heart is a Devil” belonged to Janet Montgomery, and she brought her A-game.
Resurrection couldn’t be that easy, could it? While poor Mary Sibley was brought back to life in the closing moments of last week’s episode, it came with a price. Confining Mary to Salem for the rest of her life is a cruel plot twist for the character, but at least it ensures that she’ll never leave the show, right? Before she does anything (even bathe), she heads straight to John Alden for a quick lovemaking session. Their reunion was a touching one, and solidified their relationship as one of the more stable parts of the series, even if John is still lacking as a character (more on that in a bit).
It wasn’t long before Mary was put through the wringer again. The episode jumped right into her infiltration of the Dark Lord’s house, with quickly arousing the suspicion of his brother (apparently named the Sentinel). Screenwriter (and co-creator) Adam Simon did a commendable job building suspense with every scene in the Dark Lord’s house. The Sentinel is proving to be a more formidable opponent than the Dark Lord himself, and it was a nice callback to the pilot episode to have him be all of the bugs that crawled over Mary when her baby was snatched from her womb.
Oh, and he can pull giant millipedes out of his mouth and shove them in people’s ears to get the truth out of them. It’s a grotesque form of torture, but for some reason didn’t work on Mary. Her failure of the Dark Lord’s final twist was a good one (though it would have been preferable had the twist been that she actually did kill the right person), so it’s alarming to see that for once, Mary is in over her head.
John spends the majority of the episode drinking and sexing (see above). The sub-plot involving people flooding the town because of invading French and Indians was put on the backburner this week, with screen time favoring Mary. Because of that, John’s storyline didn’t get to evolve much in “The Heart is a Devil.” It will undoubtedly become a more central aspect of the season (and no doubt affect the Dark Lord’s master plan) in future episodes, but this episode seemed more focused on getting John out of the bar. It’s about as interesting as it sounds.
Shane West is a fine actor in other things, but he’s never fully succeeded at making John Alden a compelling character (the writing does him no favors either). Were it not for Mary’s feelings for him, he would be completely useless. One would hope that in its third season Salem would be able to make him more than just Mary’s love interest, but it hasn’t been able to do that yet. His scenes end with him training the local militia to fight off the refugees, so maybe that will lead somewhere, but when the Devil is in town, a war between mortals just doesn’t seem all that exciting.
One of the more interesting sub-plots of the week saw Cotton (poor, poor Cotton) wise up and start playing along with Anne’s game. It isn’t believable for one second that Cotton is actually turning a corner and falling for Anne again, but it’s nice to see the character stop acting like a whining child. You don’t make it out of Salem alive unless you play the game properly, and Cotton has just entered the playing field. Once again though, it’s all setup with very little payoff (unless you consider him taking a lock of Anne’s hair “payoff”). That is to be expected in the second episode of the season though, so the episode can’t be faulted too much for it.
“The Heart is a Devil” essentially served as Part 2 of the premiere. It finished moving all of the pieces into position to set up the rest of the season. While we got more Mary and a more satisfactory Cotton storyline, the rest of the episode failed to make much of an impression. That being said, it has set up enough storylines to keep you interested.
- Grossest Moment: Definitely that giant millipede crawling into Mary’s ear. The runner up was Tituba pulling the eyes out of that poor cat.
- Number of times Tituba was called a bitch: 2
- “What have you done to me now, Queen of Bitches?” -Oh how I’ve missed Mary’s acid-tongued barbs.
- “You conniving bitch.” -John Alden, upping his insult game.
- So what’s up with that boy who is actually a girl that kept trying to buy John a drink? She’ll probably be important later, right?
- Not a lot of Mercy tonight, but she did give Hathorne a wicked case of the boils. Go Mercy!
- Isaac is playing detective with Marilyn Manson’s mortician, leading him straight to Alice. Might he cross paths with Mercy soon? Methinks he will!
- I yelled “Take a bath first!” during Mary and John’s sex scene. So unsanitary.
- Sebastian’s face when he saw a very much alive Mary was priceless.
- “You lying filthy whore!”
- “Lay a finger on Cotton and I will paint these walls with your insides. That boy be damned.”
- “I’ve been alive, dead and alive again and right now all I want is to feel you inside me.”
- “Welcome to my bird’s nest. Do you see any birds you’d like to share a nest with?” -This was a terrible line of dialogue, even for Mercy.
- “As an unmarried man you cannot hope to understand the unbreakable bonds that hold a man to his wife.” -Was this Cotton trying to let John know that he was trapped? I couldn’t tell.