Happy Halloween!

Hola amigos, and happy Halloween!

Below are some brand new halloween poems for you to enjoy, and a link to listen to the extra spooky episode of Sincerely, Jennifer x

I hope you have a spooky and safe Halloween!

Listen to the Halloween episode of the podcast HERE

Besos,

J x


AreyouAfraid-jenniferjuan


Are You Afraid?

Monsters in office,
on iPods, big and small screens.
Are you afraid, love?
Like and subscribe,
vote for them
and they crawl,
from under the bed,
at the dead of night,
through headphones,
slither into DMs,
and touch,
with teeth,
all over their body,
and ours.

Are they ashamed, love?
Only when we speak,
and a publicist shrieks,
that stocks are dropping,
and sales are shocking.
They’re strong and stable,
changing the world,
oh so capable,
until unmasked.
Suddenly, boys,
not men,
but boys,
who couldn’t help,
slight indiscretions,
but please support them,
while they “get better”.

What are we to do, love?
Like and subscribe,
to lifting the voices,
once afraid of being heard.
Send the truth to the top of the charts,
vote for the one who says “I believe you.”
Settle down,
at the cinema,
to watch those who don’t need to be shamed,
to be better.
My name,
is all of yours,
I approve this message.

-x-

The Presence

I’m crazy for you,
and the way you freeze the room,
to tell me, you’re here.

-x-

Basement

As you hold me,
late at night,
when the world is drained,
and distant,
I begin to wonder,
how many days,
you expect me to stay,
tied up in your basement.

-x-

Motherhood

From the second we were together,
I knew you’d be the death of me.
The dreaded double stripe,
and non connecting number,
given by a man I knew I’d never see again,
paled to the way you clawed at my insides.
Though I held you close,
until the day of your escape and ascension,
every second was hell.

I would scream,
for freedom,
release,
death,
and I could hear you,
gurgling and giggling in my guts,
as you sapped my strength,
and prepared to devour the planet.

-x-

Freddy, My Love

On our first date,
I trembled as you drew closer,
my pearls were ice,
against my neck,
as I traced and cherished each letter of your name.
Freddy,
my love,
you haunt my desires,
my hands, possessed,
wander under your dictation,
until I fill my home,
with the name that aches in my mind,
a masterful migraine,
a rapturous roar.
Freddy,
oh,
Freddy,
my love.

-x-

Cupcakes From Damien

He says he loves me,
and nobody could love me more,
and he has left cupcakes,
by the door,
so I can taste his passion.

He says he has baked
the day he first saw me,
and each sleepless night since,
underneath vanilla icing,
and left them at my door.

He says he longs for me,
and he calls every number I have,
an unrepentant bingo bastard,
until I scream that I won’t play,
and I don’t want his cupcakes.

He feeds his fantasies,
but I won’t let him feed me.

-x-

Are YOUR Children In A Cult?

She’s very “Saint Tropez”,
whatever that means.
A vaporwave vixen,
God’s girlfriend,
sending the good word,
through small screens,
and leading the children off a cliff.

-x-

Haunted

I didn’t watch a tape,
hunt for a haunted house,
or stare into a mirror,
while whispering your name,
into the icy night,
and yet,
every night,
you appear.
I lock my windows,
and doors,
pray that my heart will sleep,
as soon as my head hits the pillow,
so I won’t dream of you.

-x-

Bradley’s Girls

Bradley is my boy,
until he wakes up,
opens his eyes,
and falls in love,
all over again,
with everyone he sees.

A one woman man,
with a short attention span,
and a desire,
to keep us in a collection.
All of Bradley’s girls,
live in his heart,
and are a mangled mess at the back of his wardrobe.

-x-

Babydoll

Baby,
pay attention to me,
or you’ll see what I can do,
when you make me mad,
daddy,
when you make me blue.

You told your phone to forget,
the naughty nights,
away from home,
but Babydoll,
has a memory you don’t control,
and she’s still waiting.

Baby,
you better call me back,
or you’ll see what I can do,
when you make me mad,
daddy,
when you make me blue.

You ask Babydoll “forget”,
she shakes her head.
building a plan,
is Babydoll,
to punish the one who broke her heart.
Soothed by her seething.

Baby,
give me what I want,
or you’ll see what I can do,
when you make me mad,
daddy,
when you make me blue.

You beg back home, “forgive”,
maybe she will,
maybe she won’t,
but Babydoll,
isn’t in that mood, she wants to play.
Are you playing?

Baby,
I told you we’re not through.
now you’ll see what I can do,
when you make me mad,
daddy,
when you make me blue.

-x-

Heart

I went to New Orleans,
with you,
in my mind.
I had never felt such desire,
as when my eyes,
desperately draped themselves all over you,
and I knew,
you had my heart.

I drank your hair,
my blood,
and the light of the moon,
as the voices of the universe,
shook the ground,
until it pushed us together,
and I knew,
you had my heart.

You couldn’t resist dark, desperate passion,
that had been given wings,
and teeth, by a woman who warned me away.
My love circled your head,
and pecked until I could sit inside,
and I knew,
I had your heart.

When I was through,
crawling from your brain,
to do the walk of shame,
you clung to me,
and offered me a reason to stay.
Your lungs,
leaked through a hole,
in your chest,
but I couldn’t say yes,
though I knew,
I had your heart.

-x-

April Jane, And The Curious Case Of The Disappearing Dad

Screams at night,
that I first suspected,
came from the dolls,
at the end of my bed.

Fearless,
I scolded them.
“Don’t wake the neighbours.”
Back to sleep, I went.

Until more screams,
the dolls shrugged and wept,
as I rose from my bed,
and placed my ear to the door.

“HOW MANY?”
“I DON’T KNOW.”
“I’M CALLING THE POLICE.”
“I CAN’T LET YOU GO.”

A thud,
more weeping from the dolls,
and mother too,
I go back to sleep.

The next day,
dad went away,
to join Mum’s other friends.
I left flowers for him.

-x-

Dining At The End Of The World

We were so sweet,
hands clasped,
as we strolled
to the end of the world.

To run felt futile,
when I was happy,
to fade from life’s sky,
for the girl,
with a smile that all the stars envied.

You didn’t need to say a word,
I saw, before, when we ran,
the way the madness clamped it’s jaw,
around your dainty ankle,
and roared “No more.”

We strolled,
you hobbled,
to the end of the world,
where the madness took you,
and then, me,
ever so willingly.

We were so sweet,
when we ate each other whole,
dining at the end of the world,
with candles by our side,
and each other’s calves,
between our teeth.


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The best and worst of Horror on UK Netflix

Hola amigos!

As usual, I’ve been watching many diabolical things, in an attempt to discover something that frightens me more than the prospect of Brexit, and my streaming service of choice is Netflix. Netflix has a lot to offer, but tends to lack a lot of key horror titles, but I’m here to take you through some of the best horrors I could find, and some that you’re better off avoiding.


The Best

The Invitation

The_Invitation_(2015_film)_POSTER

A very convincing argument for never speaking to your ex again.

The Invitation is what I will show anyone that tries to convince me that my policy of completely erasing exes from my life is self destructive. Our hero, Will arrives at his gorgeous former home with his new girlfriend, for dinner with his ex wife. It is quickly revealed that the pain of their young son’s death caused Will and his wife to divorce.

Of course, people handle things in different ways, and at different paces, and to the rest of the world, Will’s ex wife Eden seems to be moving forward in her life, but underneath her smile and equally smiley husband (a sure sign that something is wrong in horror, would be an abundance of smiling) lies a very dark truth to how Eden has recovered so well.

Without spoiling too much (I know, I always do that!), The Invitation really looks at the idea of whether we as people are every truly capable of knowing each other, and knowing the true capabilities of those around us, as well as giving a definitive answer to whether the past really should remain in the past (brief spoiler alert, it definitely should).

Black Mirror

black mirror jennifer juan

The future is bright, but it scares the shit out of me.

Now, some wouldn’t consider Black Mirror to be horror, but I personally would. Perhaps not all of it is horrific (San Junipero says hello, and I’m crying all over again), but there are many horror aspects, and so one could argue it is a horror anthology, and, well, I am.

One of the most frightening parts of Black Mirror is coming face to face with how truly awful we have the potential to be. Why fear ghosts and creatures when monsters are walking past us every day, right? Charlie Brooker has succeeded in showing the reality of every day life and human nature, and how it can lead to chaos, destruction, and unfortunate pig related incidents.

I’d personally say that my favourite episodes were “National Anthem” and “Playtest” but I’ve never finished an episode and felt unsatisfied, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy them all.

Shutter

Shutter08poster jennifer juan

More trouble with exes..

Now, I’ve been very vocal about how disappointing western remakes of eastern horror can be (Death Note, I’m looking at you), but Shutter is definitely one of the better ones.

As Ben and his new wife Jane travel to Tokyo to start their new life as a married couple, they think nothing could go wrong. This is a horror movie, and so, of course, they are wrong. The trouble begins when Jane hits a girl with their car, and the girl vanishes without a trace.

They try, as people in horror movies often do, to forget about the situation and move on with their lives, but of course, that just isn’t going to happen, as Ben’s photographs begin to show signs of spirit photography, leading Jane to begin unravelling the mystery of Megumi Tanaka, and the horrific truth of her connection to the newlyweds.

As mentioned, it is one of the better adaptations of an eastern horror, and will certainly deliver more scares with less lazy crossover writing than some of it’s peers.

The Mist

The_Mist_title_card jennifer juan

Dreams, after all, are insubstantial things, like mist itself.

With the recent release of It, many of us will be looking for something Stephen King related to continue the scares after watching, and The Mist is the perfect option. The movie adaptation is a favourite among many horror fans, for it’s terrifying visuals, and breathtakingly bleak ending, and the television series does a great job of continuing the universe of King’s original story.

I must admit, I was hesitant to begin watching the show, as The Mist genuinely troubled me when I watched it, many years ago, on Sky Movies, when my mum was out of the house and couldn’t stop me, but I’m very glad that I put my self inflicted childhood trauma aside and gave it a chance.

With an impressive cast, and the opportunity to delve further into the story than the movie adaptation, it is definitely an enjoyable show for fans of Stephen King, and honestly, anybody else.


The Worst

Unfriended

Unfriended_2015_teaser_poster jennifer juan

Please, little girl, take this lollipop…

Unfriended was an ambitious idea, and so I will give them credit for that. Focusing the entire audience perspective on social media is certainly original, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was the right step. I applaud the originality but I feel the movie relied on that gimmick too much, and didn’t give proper attention to character development.

One of the key things with horror, is creating characters that people care about. If you I don’t care about the characters, why should I care when they die, or get damned to hell, or eaten, or whatever you’re doing to them. One of the curses of modern horror is reliance on jump scares or quirky gimmicks, to cover up that a story doesn’t make sense, or the characters are poorly developed, and Unfriended is definitely guilty of that.

I suppose the message of “Don’t cyber bully” is nice to see in a mainstream movie, but I couldn’t really get past how weak the writing was, and so the message was lost, for me.

The Green Inferno

The_Green_Inferno_poster jennifer juan

We get it, Eli, you’re really edgy.

If you’re ready for more poorly developed, unlikable characters, then you may enjoy The Green Inferno.

Now, as many of you may know, I am not the biggest fan of Eli Roth (although, I did think Hostel was great), and so perhaps I’m being a bit harsh, but honestly, for someone who is hailed as one of the brightest stars in the horror genre, I expect better, and The Green Inferno was a massive disappointment.

I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the most annoying parts of The Green Inferno, for me, was the mess of messages for the audience. It was so difficult to pin down who I was supposed to sympathise with, or if I was even supposed to care at all. A lot of the time, it felt like it tried to emulate the message of Cannibal Holocaust (We think that indigenous people are savages, but WE are the savages), but they also shoved a whole bunch of 4chan worthy shit on top that it was lost. We get it, Eli, you’re really edgy. We get it.

One of my problems with The Green Inferno was that, while admittedly it was a homage to Italian cannibal movies, and so would naturally have similarities to many existing ones, including Roth’s blatant main muse, Cannibal Holocaust, it didn’t feel like Roth did anything new with the genre, or the resources available to him. It felt like the kind of thing kids would make on windows movie maker, for a GCSE media class, but with a bigger budget, rather than feeling like a movie made in tribute, but with original thoughts and ideas behind it, so the whole thing just came off as lazy.

The only interesting or slightly likeable characters turned out to be the tribe, and so I wasn’t too bothered as they picked off most of the characters I was meant to be rooting for.

Roth also got overly defensive, when accused by Survival International of continuing to give a platform to negative stereotypes about indigenous people, saying “The idea that a fictional movie about a fictional tribe could somehow hurt indigenous people when gas companies are tearing these villages apart on a daily basis is simply absurd.”

I get defending things you create, to a point, but this seems like a case of a creative never having had to face major criticism before, maybe because the entire genre they dominate keeps telling them how clever they are, and how special they are, and then getting defensive when confronted with genuine criticism, because it hurts their ego.

He went on to say “The fear that somehow a movie would give them ammunition to destroy a tribe all sounds like misdirected anger and frustration that the corporations are the ones controlling the fates of these uncontacted tribes.”

The fact is, dehumanisation of marginalised people is what keeps them marginalised, and this is partly done by the media and entertainment industry, so, yes, while the movie didn’t drive the whole world to attack uncontacted tribes, it is part of the fabric of their dehumanisation, and to say that these things don’t influence or vindicate prejudiced people, who kill people who stand in the way of profit, is naive at best, and ignorant at worst, because they are only able to kill those people, because they have been so dehumanised that they no longer see them as people. Attacks on indigenous people are still a reality and while I wouldn’t say writers and film makers should never touch on subjects like this, they should at least try and be responsible, and not act like people being offended by their bad treatment of sensitive topics is unfair.

Eli Roth is a grown man, a grown man of 45 fucking years old. If he’s grown enough to make his little cannibal movie, he should be grown enough to defend it without shouting down people’s opinions, and throwing a tantrum because people don’t “get” him, and actually confront his work with criticism.


Besos,

J x

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Let’s Go To The Movies

Hola Amigos!

As usual, I’ve been spending copious amounts of time watching simulated murder on a huge screen, while eating popcorn, like the scumbag that I am, and I’m here to let you know what I’ve thought. Yes, this is exactly like THAT League Of Gentlemen sketch.

Contains Spoilers for The Belko Experiment and Raw.

Continue reading

The Bride Wore Blood

“We didn’t do anything, you’re crazy.” Her words still echoed in my mind and every time I heard them they sawed deeper into my heart. Every new hearing brought more blood, leaking from the woman he loved, until I collapsed. A wreck. A wonderful wedding wreck.

Heartbreak was exhausting. I’d run marathons, and I wasn’t shy of the gym, so you’d think endurance was my strong point, but I’d been shattered, from my only source of vulnerability. She had caved in my chest, and carved my beating heart to ribbons, decorating herself in the remains of my dignity, and staining my perfectly picked dress beyond recognition.

I looked up, helpless at my husband, as the night slipped away and the fantasy we had built was unmasked as nothing more than a a pitied game of pretend. He said nothing, as if I wasn’t owed an explanation, and her body simply belonged with his.

I was disgusted, and dropped from the cloud I’d been perched on for as long as I’d known him. My very own prince charming, introduced by the woman who would eventually steal him back, and where did this leave me? Floor bound and forgotten.

Of course, they didn’t mean to hurt me. Of course, they didn’t even know what I was saying. Of course, they denied it. Of course, he promised I was the only one he loved. Of course, despite saying that, he still fought for her life, as if she were me. Blood, leaking from the woman he loved, and the woman I could never be. Of course, I was crazy.

Crazy. Crazy. Crazy.

That’s what they’ll say, you know. Crazy. Crazy. Crazy. I know the truth.

Guilty minds leak details, and guilty hands feel cold as ice.

So do dead ones.


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Thought Provoking stories in your horror movies? It’s more likely than you’d think!

I know, I know. I’m late with my Get Out thinkpiece, but to be fair, it was released later here in the UK, and also this isn’t so much a Get Out thinkpiece, as a plea for the real world to stop treating horror movies as the annoying little sibling who doesn’t deserve to sit at the grown up table. Let us begin.

I thought Get Out was phenomenal (please don’t ask me how many times I had to type that word to get rid of the dreaded red line, I am not the best speller..), and one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in 2017 so far. Daniel Kaluuya has always been an actor I’ve enjoyed watching, since I first saw him on BBC’s eclectic horror comedy series, Psychoville. He continued to impress over the years, and really gave a stellar showing in Get Out, as the hero, Chris. The writing was clever and engaging, and the entire film was a blood soaked joy to watch, which is exactly what I want in a horror film.

la-et-hc-get-out-horror-peele-20161004-snap

Daniel Kaluuya, star of Jordan Peele’s Get Out.

As a child of an interracial relationship, and a participant in a few (well, considering I’m literally a mixture of two races, I think, biologically speaking, any relationship I have will be interracial, but I’m being pedantic), I am well aware of not only how great they can be, but also the sobering difficulties that interracial couples can face, outside of their own loved up bubble. It isn’t just obvious prejudice, but subtle “well meaning” issues. Of course, someone threatening to burn your house down, or kill you for being in a relationship outside of your race is noticeable, but there are acts of prejudice that will sometimes fly under the radar, and this film expertly and fearlessly exposes racist microagressions and opens up discussion of the full scope of racism, including the well meaning allies who still, however accidental play a part in racism, and of course, the “I’m not racist, but…” crowd.

It achieves this without being patronising to those who may want to help break down barriers and use their privilege to help people, in a way that The Green Inferno, Eli Roth’s cannibal holocaust edge lord, try hard rip off tribute attempted to do, but didn’t quite manage. The message was much clearer, didn’t sound condescending, and the conspiracy theories were at least well explained, related to the topic at hand and not just yelled out by a caged hipster. That makes a lot more sense if you’ve seen The Green Inferno, and if you have a few hours to spare, it’s on amazon prime, and while a bit crap, it’s kind of a laugh, even if it’s just for how seriously it takes itself.

Get Out is by no means the first horror movie to confront real world issues, but it’s massive success has opened up potential new viewers to all the great things horror as a genre has to offer, including but not limited to “woke” horror (and by that I don’t mean Nightmare On Elm Street), and sent a clear message to the bigger studios that not only is horror worth investing in outside of October releases, but that mindless horror isn’t the only profitable option.

Horror is, in my opinion a great genre to explore and discuss the harsh realities of life, because is there really any more realistic a picture of humanity than one of humanity in peril? The truth of who we are and why we are that way is easily exposed under the threat of death, whether it’s from zombies, ghosts, cannibals, or your unfriendly neighbourhood racist.

Zombie movies, as overexposed as they might have been in recent years are a great example of privilege in action. Working class people are normally the first victims in the apocalypse, because, well, they’re at work, surrounded by people, some of which may be zombies, and they don’t have helicopters, huge cars or boats to get away from the carnage. I can tell you right now, the second Z Day comes, I will be one of the first to go. I don’t drive, I don’t have a cool method of escape, and it takes me at least two hours of commuting on public transport to get home of an evening. I’ll be eaten before I make it past Bluewater. Meanwhile, those richer than me will have better means of escaping. Whether they’ll be anything left to escape to at the end of the day is anyone’s guess, but they’ll have a better chance than me. Is this fair? No. Is it the way life currently is for me? Yes.

MV5BYWMzMzgwMjItMGI1ZC00MGY0LTgwY2MtMWQ0NzQ2MDZiMDE0XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjExMDIwNzA@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,717,1000_AL_

The Rezort, one of the most recent Zombie movies to shine a light on the true price of not being able to afford safety in a disaster.

This is of course reminiscent of real life natural disasters, in which money can go a long way to preserving your safety, while the underprivileged don’t have the resources to have safeguards in place, or any way to help themselves when disaster strikes. While zombies might be a fantasy, the fact that in a crisis, large parts of the world’s population will be fucked over because they are from a lower economical standing and don’t have access to things that will help them is not.

The recent debate over women’s rights to their own bodies has also been covered numerous times in horror. Classic film Rosemary’s Baby is a harrowing look at the lack of autonomy women hold over their bodies. Not only is Rosemary sexually assaulted by a demon, her husband casually lies and states that he had sex with her when she was unconscious, to cover the fact that she was sexually assaulted by a demonic presence. During her pregnancy, her concerns are silenced and she is eventually forced to mother the Antichrist.

picture-of-rosemarys-baby-photo.jpg

One of the most iconic Mother’s in cinema history was the most unwilling.

While I’m not aware of cases of women being raped by demons, or forced to carry the Antichrist to full term, I am aware of cases of women being raped in the real world, and having their fears and concerns silenced, I am aware of women in the real world who are denied a choice on carrying a child to full term, and the fact that these realities are not just playing out on a screen, and are, in some sense real, should terrify us, but like many of the characters in Rosemary’s Baby, people will find ways to justify women being treated this way, or will just ignore it.

While many see Saw as a yearly money raising exercise for Lionsgate, the Saw series did contain a hard dose of reality along with it’s gore. There are people who think like John Kramer, and believe they have a right to play God because they are unhappy with people’s attitudes, there are corrupt police officers like Mark Hoffman who will use the power entrusted to them by their communities to commit crimes, and they’ll try and justify them too. There are people like Amanda Young, who are vulnerable, and can form great bonds with those that abuse them, whether it’s the one who enabled her drug habit, or the one who stuck a bear trap on her head and forced her to disembowel a man. These people may never see themselves as abusers, they may see themselves as saving their victim, but the reality is, Amanda Young was a victim of abuse, those that abused her, especially John Kramer insisted that it was her own fault. He insisted that he “fixed” her, he brainwashed her until she believed it. In the real world, this is called victim blaming, and while John suffered for it, many in the real world do not.

Shawneesmithjigsawtrap

Amanda Young, one of the many abuse victims who was blamed by her abuser for her own trauma.

I could go on about the horrific but quite realistic aspects of the long and winding Saw saga, but I don’t have all the time in the world, and the fact is, it may have handled some of them in a clumsy manner, but the series confronts many of the world’s injustices, and tells the story of many oppressed people through it’s long and bloody journey.

I’ve barely scratched the surface, and horror is a genre full of excellent commentary on the state of humanity, and what complacency to the issues of your fellow man can bring you, and while it is unfortunate that a lot of it is written off due to the storytelling devices used, it is my hope that in the future, horror will be taken as seriously as other genres, and the messages it contains will be given as much attention as other genres.

Besos,

J x



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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hola amigos,

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating the people in your life that bring you love, it doesn’t have to be romantic, because love can mean whatever you want it to mean.

I’ve written some short stories, which you can find below.

Besos,

J x

 

 


amor-amor-jennifer-juan

Our Sweet Love
Parking With Boys


Our Sweet Love

My wife had been oddly clingy. We had been together for almost twenty eight years, and as hopeful as I was for a resolution, the passion had been lost over the years, and we had resorted to going through the motions, for the sake of our daughter, Amber.

At first, I didn’t notice, I figured she had been trying to keep up the act for Amber, but after a few days of her having dinner on the table the second I arrived home, and begging me to stay home from work, I had realised something was amiss. It’s sad, as a man to admit that your wife being affectionate is a sign of trouble, but it is what it is.

I tried to enjoy her newfound sweetness, but in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but be suspicious. My worries truly began on a bleak Sunday. I had slept late, as I often did. I normally woke to the sound of the lawn being mowed, by the nice boy from number Thirty Four, who was saving for college. He went up and down the neighbourhood, every week, doing odd jobs with a friendly smile. However this week was different, I heard him and my wife in a heated discussion. I ran my fingers through my messy hair and approached the window. Below, I saw him leaning against the lawn mower, his smile replaced with a scowl, as she attempted to push money into his hand.

“Just go.” She insisted, looking round with concern, but seeming not to notice me above them. “You’re just making trouble.”

“He deserves to know what we did.” I heard him reply, and my heart sank. Backing away from the window, I fell back onto the bed, everything suddenly making sense to me. Tina had been unusually affectionate, and it must have been guilt. Some might think jumping to the conclusion of an affair is ridiculous, but it did seem plausible. I had seen her before, sat on the porch with a drink in hand, watching the young boy, hard at work. She would often make more work for him. He was constantly digging or carrying things for her, as honestly, my years of being able to help with that were far behind me. It was hard to deny that he was handsome, whereas I hadn’t been her type for years.

I was pulled from my self pity as the sound of the lawn mower kicked in, and I decided to just get on with my Sunday. There wasn’t much else I could do.

The day’s continued, with her seeming to regress to how she was when we first married. Kissing me often, morning seductions, playing the role of the doting housewife whenever she could, while I continued on auto pilot. Taking Amber to school, heading to the office and then arriving home for more lies. It felt fine. I had decided that if this was what it took to have a relatively enjoyable marriage, I’d take it for what it was and move on.

Or at least that was the plan. I was in my office later in the week, about to head out for lunch when my secretary approached me, to inform me someone was here to see me, and that it was apparently urgent. I groaned and sank back into my chair, motioning for her to show them in.

I sank back even further as the boy from Thirty Four walked in. For a moment, I felt slightly guilty about the fact I’d never bothered to learn his name, but that quickly disappeared when I remembered he had been sleeping with my wife.

He took a seat across from me, fidgeting and pulling at his shirt, as he spoke.

“I know this is weird, but…” His southern drawl annoyed me. I knew she probably thought it was charming, and it made me sick. He looked up at me for a moment, and I saw apprehension in his eyes, leading him to look back down and breathe deeply before continuing. “But there’s something you need to know.”

“I already do.” I said with a sigh. His head snapped up and he looked at me, his face painted with horror.

“Please, sir, I didn’t…” I rolled my eyes, letting his guilty rambles continue. “She made me..” I stifled a laugh, wondering how things had got to this point. “I needed the money, and she said it would only be once.”

“Get out.” I snarled. I don’t know whether it was the pathetic sound of his whining, or the fact he couldn’t man up and take responsibility for sleeping with another man’s wife, but he brought out an anger I’d never felt before. I watched him stand from the chair, almost laughing at the fear in his eyes. He stumbled to the door, but hesitated a moment. “How many times?” I asked, wishing I hadn’t a moment later.

“She only made me help a few times, but I know there were more.” He whispered, before running from my office. I spun in my chair, pouring a scotch and trying to ignore the possibility of how many it had been.

As I got home that night, I saw Amber playing outside with her dolls. A smile formed on my face for the first time in days, as I knelt beside her and kissed her gently on the forehead.

“Daddy.” She said quietly, not looking up from her dolls. “The man over there says Mommy did a bad thing.” My heart jolted as I suddenly realised just how widespread my wife’s reputation could be.

“Don’t worry sweetheart.” I muttered. “I’ll take care of it.”

But I couldn’t. That night everything went as normal. We had dinner, I read Amber a bedtime story and then went to our room, and sat in silence across from her in our bed, wondering why I’d ever promised to love and cherish someone who couldn’t do the same.

I had just managed to fall asleep when I heard the phone ringing beside me. I considered ignoring it for a moment, but then guilt got the better of me and I took the call.

“Hello.” I murmured.

“Baby, I didn’t mean to do it…” I sat up, panicked to hear my wife’s voice on the other end. Looking around the room, she was nowhere in sight.

“I know, just come home.” I wanted her home, truthfully. As angry as I was, and as many as there had been, I wanted her to be safe. Maybe because I loved her, maybe because I just didn’t want my daughter to grow up without a mother, either way, I wanted her home.

“I just liked the way they sounded, at the end, when they slowly slip away, after I…” she trailed off, and in a way, I was grateful. At the time, I thought that I could hear nothing worse than her describing how enjoyable cheating on me was, but now, I know there could have been, and was so much worse. “I didn’t mean to kill the first one, but I..”

-x-

Parking With Boys

Her mother had begged her to stay home, but AJ believed that trouble would find you if it wanted to, regardless of whether you were out in the open, or cowering under the covers at home, and as comfortable as her covers were, the lure of the night dragged her to her door and out of her mother’s sight.

AJ had heard her mother’s shrill words all through the movie, which had irritated Bobby. Bobby’s irritation irritated AJ, who had spent half her time at High School wishing he would notice her, and feeling overjoyed that now they were both “all grown up” (or as grown up as her mother would allow) that he finally had, and she worried she was blowing her big chance to finally make things happen with her wishful high school sweetheart.

“I don’t want something to happen to you.” She had sighed at her mother’s cautious cries, even rolled her eyes a little, but they bothered her all the same. Her mother had been overprotective ever since her father had died several years ago.

She knew there had been trouble, there always was, there always would be, but she didn’t understand why her life should be put on hold, just in case. Of course, hearing news reports of the recent spate of murders in the neighbourhood had sent shivers through her body, and made for a few rough sleepless nights, but she was young, and she was finally sitting in a darkened movie theatre, next to the possibility of happiness, so she cast it out of her mind.

As the movie ended, and a frustrated Bobby looked like he was losing interest, AJ took a deep breath, ironed out the skirt of her dress and decided that her life was going full speed ahead, whether her mother liked it or not.

“We don’t have to go home yet.” She whispered. She had meant to say it with a quiet but seductive confidence, like those glamourous girls in the movies, but it ended up as a hoarse whisper, and AJ thought it just her luck. Luckily for AJ, Bobby didn’t mind how it sounded, because it was music to his ears either way.

They rushed from the theatre, hands tightly clasped as they raced to his car. It wasn’t long until they were hidden away, on the edge of the forest, with only the sounds of the radio and their nervous breathing. AJ had never imagined that she’d be driven up the long and winding road to park with Bobby. The very notion seemed so out of reach to her, and she was sure that if it were to happen, it would have happened so long ago, and had abandoned all hope. Yet here she was, alone, in the car, surrounded by the forest, the night sky, and the anticipation of what was to come with the boy she’d spent her entire life dreaming of.

“Can we open the window to get some air?” He nodded, rolling down the window as he turned off the engine of the car, and the lights went out.

Bobby leaned over, and AJ did her best to look welcoming. She had so much going through her mind, and she was sure that looking nervous before a kiss would never be in style. She smiled, feeling his hand snake up her thigh as their lips met.

“And as a reminder, the fugitive people are calling “The Choker”, who the police believe is responsible for several murders in Astor and the neighbouring Barberville is still unidentified and on the loose.”

Bobby pulled her closer, and she moaned softly, both in pleasure at the way he kissed her, and in pain at the way the gearstick of the car was now digging into her leg.

“Is it scaring you?” He whispered, pulling away. “You don’t have to worry Amber Jane, I won’t let anything happen to you.” He ran a fingertip slowly down her calf, biting his bottom lip as he slowly traced her own with the other hand, letting his finger tip linger for a moment.

“Residents were shocked at the brutalised body of a young man, discovered this morning in Lake George Forest by a young couple walking their dog. His body was…” Bobby reached over and switched off the radio, inviting in an abrupt but welcome silence.

“That’s never gonna be me, you know.” He said, a smirk rising to his face, as he motioned to the glove box. “My dad got me a Model 36 for my birthday.” He looked into her eyes, and she remembered counting each time he glanced at her during school, always so hungry for more.

“You don’t have to worry Bobby.” She whispered, pulling him closer and kissing him deeply. In that moment, she didn’t think about her mother, the murders, or the victims. All she could think about was how long she had waited for that moment, and how much it meant.

As she broke the kiss, she felt flustered, and slightly embarrassed. She knew what men thought of women who took the initiative, and while she’d certainly like for Bobby to see her in a positive light, she’d never get the chance to kiss him like that again.

“My mother won’t let anything happen to me.” In that moment, she saw her mother, the ligature, her mother’s next victim, and all she could think about was how long she had waited for that moment, and how much it meant, as Bobby slowly slipped away.


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Things About Rings.

rings-poster

As a long time fan of the many adventures of Samara Morgan and her Japanese inspiration Sadako, I was incredibly excited to see Rings, and here are some thoughts on the latest addition to the series. I mean, I could call it a review, but it’s more fangirl whining, I don’t know.

It will contain spoilers for the entire series, so it is under a read more 🙂

Besos,

J

x

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Boo, bitch..

Hola!

I have written a little something (and a little something more) for Halloween, so I hope you enjoy my spooky stories, and the rest of your Halloween!

I hope your night is as sweet and wonderful as you… and a little bit weird, of course, as all the best nights are!

Besos,

J x


-x-


I love you, bye.

“I love you. Byeeeeeee.”

Lewis mouthed the final word along with Rose, her sweet smile fading to black as the video ended. His daughter sat transfixed beside him, her hand feeling blindly for the mouse to select the next video. She, like every other young girl was obsessed with Rose and her videos. An entire generation of young women was transfixed, and while many parents couldn’t understand why, they did their best to accommodate their children’s love for the star. Lewis was prepared to go the extra mile, for his only child, Hannah.

“No more.” He muttered, patting her head gently and ignoring the small moan of disappointment from Hannah. “We’ll see plenty of her later.”

“Special meet up! Special meet up!” He smiled, watching his daughter bounce in the chair beside him, in sync with her chants of excitement. The day had finally arrived when his daughter would meet her idol. It had been months in the making, and many hours of careful planning and hard work for Lewis, but it didn’t bother him. How could it? He wanted only happiness for his daughter, and he knew Rose could understand that.

“That’s right.” He stood from his chair, extending his hand to her. “And why do you get a special meet up?” He asked as she jumped down from the computer chair.

“Because I’m her favourite.” He nodded, leading her towards the basement, and unable to suppress a smile as he looked down at her bright eyes, sparkling with excitement.

He opened the door and could feel his daughter pulling at his sleeve, silently pleading for him to take her downstairs. He had teased her for weeks, warning that going to the basement would ruin her special surprise. Rose had replaced Santa in ensuring good behaviour from his child, but he had seen her, sneaking a look down the stairs of the basement, hoping to catch a glimpse of her idol, but just like Santa, Rose would only appear on one very special day, before vanishing from sight, and being nothing more than a dream.

As they slowly descended the staircase, a small whimper could be heard, and while any normal child would be frightened, Hannah didn’t seem concerned.

As they reached the floor of the dimly lit basement, an upturned water bowl at the foot of the stairs was the only thing visible, until Lewis reached up and switched on the light, and Rose, dishevelled and exhausted was finally visible.

Rose wasn’t quite herself, she usually accessorised so well, but ropes around her wrists and ankles wasn’t quite the look she’d usually go for. As Hannah ran to her, screaming with excitement, Rose’s hoarse voice could barely be heard.

“Please let me go.”


-x-


 

Stay Away

Jamie had never been a petty person, or so she told herself, and she had gone through life accepting what fate gave her, without being too concerned about clawing back something she felt she was owed. She was humble, not feeling entitled to anything, until of course, she, like many people do, day after day and mistake after mistake, she fell for someone she shouldn’t have. She had never been petty, but she had always been shy, and as you can imagine, this can cause all kinds of problems for someone who is struggling to navigate through a busy college corridor. As Jamie was knocked to the ground, an almost daily occurrence that she had just about accepted, the group of students continued on, as if she hadn’t been there at all. She began to collect her books, and strewn glasses, when another pair of hands joined her own. It was a cliché, she knew that, and she cringed every time she recalled the moment, but for the first time, she felt welcoming to what fate had given her, instead of disgruntled indifference.

She didn’t say a word to him as he helped her gather her possessions, and she couldn’t even push a thank you from her throat as he walked her to her dorm room. It had been embarrassing to simply point and nod, as if playing a ridiculously timed game of charades, but she was sure that if she opened her mouth in the presence of those piercing blue eyes (again, the girl loves a good cliché), that she would say something worthy of a restraining order. He told her his name was Bradley, and ever the mistress of her own bodily reactions, she sighed without meaning to, and almost slid down her own front door. Composing herself, she managed to tell him her own name, before he wished her well and sauntered down the staircase, and out of sight.

They talked more and more, or rather he talked and she smiled, and nodded, while fantasising their future conversations, before the present had even finished. In her reality, they were deeply in love. The kissing, the touching, the actual public proclamation of their love for each other, that was all a formality, because for Jamie, he said it (prepare for another cliché) with his eyes.

Unfortunately for Jamie, this was not the case at all. Bradley was a narcissist who enjoyed the sound of his own voice, and had finally found a quiet and appreciative audience for it. He didn’t view Jamie with any malice, of course, he was fond of her, even if it was just for the fact that she listened and responded positively to everything he said, which in Bradley’s eyes made her the very best a person could be, but he certainly wasn’t in love with her. However, Jamie had been raised on romantic films and poorly thought out advice pages from magazines, that told her that the second a man opens up and talks to you without hesitation, you ought to buy your mother a new hat, because you’ll be taking a trip down the aisle very soon.

As previously mentioned, Bradley was not in love with Jamie, and Jamie had barely been able to talk in front of him, so had no way of telling him that she wished he was, and so Bradley thought nothing of confiding in his new friend about his girlfriend, and the dilemma of how he should proceed with valentine’s day.

At first, Jamie was distracted by Bradley’s eyes, and his lips, and all sorts of things she had decided made him worthy of the alarming amount of clichés she used to describe him in her diary, but after a few moments, the gravity of his words, and the knowledge that another had already stolen the heart she had earmarked as her own came crashing through her fantasy, and left her again on the floor, with her books all over the place, and her glasses not only strewn out of reach, but crushed by the size twelves of fate. Self pity rose through her body and threaten to leak from her eyes any moment, and for the first time, she spoke without effort, quietly excusing herself, and running from his dorm room to hide in her own, with a tub of ice cream, and all of her regrettable diary entries.

She poured over them for hours, unsure of how she could have misread the signs so badly. If she was being honest, she hadn’t really listened to Bradley all that much, so it was pretty easy to ignore that he had a girlfriend, and if she was to be even more honest, she wasn’t sure that she liked Bradley for anything other than the fact he acknowledged her existence and had been raised with enough decorum to help someone pick up their possessions if they dropped them. Politeness and general acknowledgement weren’t quite enough to build a marriage on, and if that had been everything, she would have happily settled the matter and learned from her mistake, but fate hadn’t quite finished with Jamie yet.

She slept for a few hours, to try and rid herself of the tear induced headache, and awoke to a phone call from Bradley. At first, she thought about ignoring it, but while she didn’t listen to Bradley all that much, she enjoyed giving the illusion that she did, as it gave her someone to spend time with. They spoke, with her feeling free to for the first time, and when she was sure he was satisfied with the lie that she had left due to feeling unwell, as opposed to the truth, she agreed to meet with him ‪the next day and hung up the phone. She tried to sleep again that night, but couldn’t. She knew, deep down that Bradley wasn’t in love with her, and yet, the fact that he had called, the fact that he had worried enough to check on her after she left set her mind racing, as she imagined a scenario in which he was in love with her. She tossed and turned for hours, her heart saying that he could be feeling the same torment, and her head telling her to shut up and go to sleep. While she listened to her head and gave into sleep, she couldn’t resist dreaming of Bradley all night.

When she awoke, she heard knocking at the door. Gathering herself together, and covering herself up as best she could, she approached the door of her dorm room and opened it slowly.

“Jamie!” Bradley looked handsome, and Jamie wished she didn’t think so. She silently stood aside, allowing him in, and watched with a heavier heart than she would have liked as he sighed and fell down onto her bed, throwing his bag on the floor. “Oh Jamie, I need your help.” It was Jamie’s turn to sigh. She had awoken sure that her feelings for Bradley meant nothing, and that she could continue life as his echo chamber in exchange for having seats saved at lunch and someone to be with on lonely nights, but seeing him made her remember the concern in his voice as he called the night before, and left her clinging desperately to the idea he might in fact have deeply buried feelings for her, despite his girlfriend sitting atop his heart, swinging what Jamie was sure were long, tanned, beautiful legs. “My girlfriend is mad at me.” There it was. “She’s upset that we’ve been talking, and now she won’t speak to me.” Jamie tried to show concern, but an ugly part of her had surfaced, and enjoyed knowing that she could get at the ominous girlfriend, that she had grown to resent over the last twenty four hours. Jamie wouldn’t normally sink to this level, and preferred to get her kicks from high test scores, cat memes and pound a pint nights, but love, or at least very strong lust with a hint of bitterness had given her a new edge, and nothing could thrill her like the sadness of a perceived enemy.

“I could talk to her, if you want.” Jamie said, her voice laced with sympathy as she sat on the bed next to Bradley, stroking his auburn curls. “I could tell her that she doesn’t need to worry.” Bradley beamed up at her.

“I knew I could count on you.” He whispered, taking one of her hands in his own and kissing it gently.

Jamie wished things could stay as they were, Bradley snuggled close to her, without a care in the world, however, life wasn’t always easy, and sometimes, it was just ridiculous. This was one of those ridiculous times.

Jamie could barely believe when Bradley excitedly pulled his bag onto the bed and threw a spirit board in her direction, or when he babbled on about his dead girlfriend. The whole thing felt like a prank, but just in case it wasn’t, Jamie decided to go along with it. She realised that she had a great opportunity. She could simply tell Bradley that his “ghost” girlfriend was breaking up with him for good, and she would have him all to herself. It was a flawless plan, as far as she was concerned, and she couldn’t wait to get started.

She had decided to take a nap first, but as she awoke, she wished she hadn’t. She had slept a lot longer than she intended, and was dripping in what she hoped was sweat. Her sleep was a mess of nightmares, all revolving around Bradley’s ominous girlfriend taking her revenge as Jamie took her man. She tried to convince herself that she didn’t believe what Bradley had told her, and that it was all just a game, but she felt compelled to apologise to the spirit, in the hopes of getting a good night’s sleep.

She knew that she shouldn’t be alone, but Jamie didn’t have anyone else she could have invited along. Attempting to contact spirits wasn’t the top of the to do list for her small circle of friends, and so she tucked her hair behind her ear, did her best to fight past her nerves and took a deep breath, before opening her eyes. Everything was as she had left it before. The unlit candle on her left, a note pad and pencil on her right, and the spirit board, looming in front of her.

She took another breath, looking around at the well lit room and trying to force herself to laugh at her own paranoia. She had yet to summon or approach anything, and even when she would later try, there was no promise that any of it would work. The panic must all be in her head, she decided, taking another breath, and shaking off another shudder that the room had taken against her will.

She lit the candle, exactly as she had seen in the YouTube tutorial (they make those for EVERYTHING these days), and took another breath.

“Is anyone here?” There was silence. Jamie kept her eyes focused on the spirit board, as the coolness of the room edged down her spine. With every second, she was convinced that the whole story had been a prank. Bradley seemed relatively well adjusted, so it was unlikely that he truly believed his ghost girlfriend was desperate for a heart to heart over candlelight. After what felt like hours, but was only in fact a few moments, Jamie finally laughed to herself, and blew out the candle. She would mark it up to experience, and forget about Bradley, and his alleged ghost girlfriend. She packed the spirit board in it’s box, and left it outside of Bradley’s room before heading to bed, and hoping she would dream of something a little less strange.

She awoke early, when the darkness still lay outside, to see a single candle lit on her desk. She was positive that she had extinguished it before taking the board back to Bradley, but as she stood and examined the candle, she noticed the board was open on her desk. She tore her eyes from the scene, her body submerged in icy fear, and saw her door was still locked, as she had left it, and as she turned to the board, she couldn’t understand how it had appeared, unless of course, Bradley had been telling the truth, and a pissed off ghost wanted a conversation with her.

She watched in silent horror as the board spelled out a single word.

SIT

She fell into the waiting chair, despite desperately wanting to run, but unable to move an inch. She thought about praying but she wouldn’t even know how to explain this situation, or what kind of help to ask for. Her eyes followed the planchette as it continued to move.

STAY AWAY

She nodded, unable to say a word, and hoped the spirit understood that she had won. No man was worth this, at all. As she tried to find the strength to speak, she could see the spirit continue, and after taking a few seconds to figure out the words she was spelling out, she wished that she hadn’t.

YOU WILL DIE.

There was a knock at the door, but she didn’t dare move. The candle flickered as the planchette continued across the board, and while she recognised Bradley’s voice from the other side of the door, his words didn’t register in her mind, as it was too full of the spirit, and what she had to say.

HE WILL KILL YOU LIKE HE KILLED ME.


-x-


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The Road To Halloween continues…

Halloween is getting closer, and my favourite thing to do on the road to Halloween is to dim the lights and watch something frightening, in preparation for what should be the most frightening day of the year.

Gone are the days of me having to sort through my DVD collection (and previously VHS collection) to find something frightening, because Netflix has it covered, and they even have things organised by genre, which is already a step above my DVD collection (and yes, previously VHS collection).

I have already watched quite a few movies, so will include some of the best, and some of the worst on Netflix, to give you my thoughts.

This post may contain spoilers for the following movies:

February (The Blackcoat’s Daughter) (2015)

The Presence (2014)

#Horror (2015)

The Green Inferno (2013)

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Jen’s Spooky Soundtrack

October is here, and with it comes one of my favourite holidays, Halloween. I have always loved Halloween, because it brings together so many of my favourite things. Dressing up, scary movies, and of course, door to door free stuff, although, sadly, I’m now a little too old for trick or treating…

Today, I’m going to share with you a little of my Halloween playlist, that I use all through October, to keep me in a creepy, spooky mood.

Eve Was Weak – Betty Buckley and Linzi Hateley (From Carrie The Musical)

You may not even know that a musical based around the classic Stephen King book Carrie exists, sadly, the original production didn’t do so well, but it became a cult favourite among fans of both Broadway and the original book, and is now enjoying a revival, which honestly, would be what poor Carrie would want. Eve Was Weak is a stunningly spooky duet between Carrie White, and her terrifying mother, as Carrie pleads for comfort after a traumatising ordeal at school. The instrumentation is sinister, with lyrics describing fears that don’t just come out at Halloween, and giving a fresh perspective on the horrors Carrie faced outside of School, and building a perfect introduction to the tragic monster she would become, and the tragic monster that waited for her at home.

Main Titles – Charlie Clouser (From Dead Silence)


Charlie Clouser has become a well known name among horror fans, having composed some of the themes to many recent staples of the genre, such as Saw, American Horror Story, The Stepfather, and of course Dead Silence.

The theme from Dead Silence has always given me a Phantasm vibe, due to the similar use of the piano in the build up to the stunning crescendo that a villain like Mary Shaw deserves.
The Well – Hans Zimmer and Henning Lohner(From The Ring)


While Hollywood does have a tendency to tone down the scares when remaking foreign horror movies (I’m looking at you, John Erick Dowdle, Quarantine was a mess) Gore Verbinski’s remake of Hideo Nakata’s Ring was a refreshing take on the American – Foreign remake. While there were some plot changes, the intelligence and sheer dread of Ring was retained, and this was definitely helped, by the utilisation of a soundtrack by legendary composers Hans Zimmer, Henning Lohner and Martin Tillman. The Well is probably the song you hear when thinking of the movie, containing elements of the chilling antagonist, Samara Morgan, and a familiar melody that follows you throughout the movie, The Well will have you checking under your bed, and fearing any kind of water.
Ave Satani – Jerry Goldsmith (From The Omen)

The Omen is an iconic horror movie, and one of the defining moments of the genre, that demonstrated how truly masterful horror can be, when in the right hands. It’s Academy Award Winning soundtrack certainly doesn’t disappoint, with the satanic hymn Ave Satani being one of the major highlights. Paying tribute to everybody’s favourite bad boy, Satan, the lyrics are a clever inversion on traditional latin prayers and chants, creating the ultimate ode to the Anti Christ. I’m reaching for my rosary as I type…


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May Faves ❤️

mayfaves jennifer juan

Someone suggested this type of post to me recently, and it made a lot of sense. I’m the kind of person who is always looking out for new things, and then getting excited and obsessed with said new things, enough to warrant a blog post (but normally just resulting in me bothering my friends and relatives with inarticulate ramblings), and so, without further ado, here are some cool things I found in May.

Hush Jennifer Juan

Hush

Hush first came to my attention when Netflix sent me a notification about it being released. I love horror movies, but I have to admit, over the years, I’ve grown tired of the home invasion subgenre. A lot of recent efforts have too many similarities, which makes for good drinking games, but not for good movies. You can only watch a family that you haven’t learned all that much about, run around a house you aren’t familiar with, while screaming “Why are you doing this?” to a villain who will inevitably say, in the voice of Christian Bale’s Batman “Because I can.” before aiming something at their head so many times, before you start to wonder why you didn’t just stick with zombies. Zombies can be samey too, but at least there is occasional variety in the origin of the infection, and the gory ways in which it can be spread.

With all that in mind, the cover of Hush, a standard masked man behind a frightened woman did make me want to click away from the description and search for something else, however, a quick glance at the description renewed my interest. The lead character, Maddie, was a writer. She was also deaf.

Writers in horror isn’t all that rare, but deafness in horror movies is these days. It would seem that murderers, zombies and ghosts are only interested in attacking those without hearing impairments.. or, the more likely option, most film makers don’t consider that deaf people exist and could be in horror movies, because diversity is something that horror does seem to be a bit far behind in, hence why the minorities tend to die first, if they get to be in the movie at all.

Still, new film makers are emerging every day, and with them, come new ideas, new characters and new possibilities, that are championing a diverse list of heroes to battle against the monsters of the universe and save the day.

Unfortunately, I have the longest netflix watchlist known to man, but I got to Hush eventually, and I’m very glad I did.

The opening of the movie did a great job of letting you get to know Maddie, without distractions, a drawn out title sequence or a massive amount of conflict. Due to the movie not being overpopulated, you are able to form an attachment with the lead character and immediately root for her.

Every part of Hush seemed necessary. It was about building a connection between Maddie, and the audience, and then sending them both on a one way trip to thrillsville (I know that is the lamest thing anyone has ever typed). I found myself with Maddie, in every moment. Her horror, became my horror. The horror of the movie lies in the reality of Maddie’s situation. Anyone can find themselves at the mercy of a bloodthirsty killer who decides today is your last day. A lot of horror comes with conditions. You MUST move into a haunted house to encounter a ghost or demon that will mess with your life. You MUST watch this video tape to activate the scary ghost lady (or little ghost girl depending on which version you watch). You MUST mess around with this spirit board like a moron and then spend several days hiding under your bed from the consequences. Hush, like most home invasions moves away from that and examines how horror can enter the lives of people who didn’t go looking for it. Maddie didn’t do anything wrong. She didn’t ignore a warning on the television about an escaped convict, she didn’t go to an abandoned hospital to play Bloody Mary, she didn’t upset a self righteous terminally ill man with far too many traps just lying around to snare her with. All Maddie did was stay home and try to finish her novel. I do that all the time. Literally, tonight, when I’m in my jammies, snuggled up and trying to finish the bastard thing, a killer could just turn up at my door and decide he was going to terrorise me for the night. I genuinely don’t know what I would do if that happened, so please nobody do it.

One of the best parts of the movie is the commitment to not victimising Maddie due to her deafness. It is made very clear that this situation could be experienced by anybody else, and it is also made clear that Maddie can handle the situation like anybody else. If I was to guess at why deaf characters (or disabled characters in general) do not appear in horror very often, it could be that directors are not sure of how a deaf person would handle something like a home invasion, or a zombie apocalypse, or their child being possessed by a demon. The simple answer, as shown in Hush, is that they, like everyone else, would just do what they had to do to get through it. To see a disabled character, especially one that isn’t written off straight away as a burden or cast as the villain, purely because of their disability is such a huge step for modern horror, and can only bring more diversity to horror movie characters in the future.

Also Stephen King likes it, and that is a guy who knows his horror.

mua velvet lip jennifer juan

Halcyon

I’m not going to lie to you, I’m not a makeup expert (duh). I don’t even really know much about it. For a long time, I wore the exact same products all the time. I would purchase the exact same brown lip gloss and gold eye shadow, and that was about it. Someone once told me my lashes were too long for mascara, and I was too afraid of getting foundation wrong that I just didn’t even bother having a go.

However, after seeing make up tutorials (which I find weirdly relaxing) I figured I could branch out and maybe give some new things a shot. I thought it best to stick to some things I had a little knowledge of, and first started with lip products.

I don’t really follow trends and fashions (hence why I dress like an old woman cosplaying a toddler), but after some research, I discovered that Matte is in for lips. I meant to buy a matte lipstick (more on that later) but I ended up buying lip lacquer instead. I had actually mistakenly purchased a lip lacquer years before, when attempting to buy my usual lip gloss, and hated it, because it was incredibly drying on the lips, but this one doesn’t have the same effect. It has staying power, without making my lips feel like a desert, but dries quickly to leave long lasting colour, without sacrificing comfort, which is perfect for newbies like myself who may have been put off by fear of the unknown.

fancy fawn jennifer juan

Fancy Fawn

As previously mentioned, I am by no means a makeup expert. I wouldn’t even call myself competent at it, but I have a vague idea of colours that look cool with me. As mentioned previously, I used to stick to browns and nudes, and so I decided not to deviate too far from that when getting a lipstick. I went with Matte again, because they look cool, and also because after wearing glittery lip gloss exclusively for years, I thought it might be time to go for something a little more grown up.

Like the above lip lacquer, this lipstick boasts long lasting colour, along with staying power, but does take a little longer to dry, so you may wish to use a lipstick sealant with it. Again, it doesn’t dry out the lips too much, but I have taken the very helpful advice on the review section of their website to moisturise and prime my lips before application to avoid drying entirely. Application is simple, and quick, with beautiful, long lasting results.

mua undressed jennifer juan

Undressed

Well. I wasn’t going to give up glitter completely, was I? Admittedly, I am again a novice at eye makeup, it may not always look great, but I have a lot of fun with it.

Undressed includes a glittery gold shade (lion) that I’ve used variations of for years, so I can recreate my signature (I’m laughing as I type this) simple look, of you know, just putting some around my eyes and hoping for the best. It also includes several beautiful and subtly shimmering shades (come on, you guys know how much I love alliteration) that I can experiment with, and try to find something that is a little less “toddler who got into mummy’s make up box” and more “actual grown up with a handle on things”.

To get so many eyeshadows for such a small price was great too, as I’ve often thought makeup to be super expensive, and maybe for some brands it is, but this satisfies my needs for now, and didn’t reduce my bank account to tears, so it’s a win win sitch.

zoella sweet inspirations jennifer juan

Sweet Inspirations

I think the vast majority of us have a vague idea of who Zoe Sugg is. If you haven’t seen her YouTube videos, you may have read one of her books, or tried one of her products, or even seen her on Bake Off a while back. For those who have done none of those things, Zoe Sugg is a blogger who makes videos, writes books, has a beauty line, and also has a dog. I may have left something out there, but I’m sure you can forgive me, for Zoe has her (I’m sure well manicured) fingers in a lot of (probably home made) pies.

Zoe’s latest range of beauty products is the Sweet Inspirations collection. I’ve never tried one of her products before, so I wasn’t sure quite what to expect, but I had heard a lot about them, and about her, so when I saw them in the shops, I decided to jump on the bandwagon headed for…. no, I won’t add “ville” to another word. I just won’t. You know what I mean.

I’m very set in my ways about a lot of things (as you would have seen above) and I am trying to get out there and do more new things, but bath products isn’t something I’m ready to experiment with too much, so while I did stick with my standard Johnson’s Baby Bath in terms of that, I did decide to pick up the fragranced body mist.

It was quite an interesting experience, because I was surrounded by Zoe’s fans as I approached the display, all of which were very excited as the range had apparently been put out in stores earlier than expected. In all honesty, I haven’t been excited by new products from my favourite ranges for quite some time. Primarily because I literally buy the same things over and over, but also because my time is taken up by work, writing, and my own terrified ramblings about what the hell I’m going to do with my life, that I don’t stop to actually take a moment to get excited about something new. For a moment, even though I’m not a Zoella superfan, I took that moment, and I got excited about treating myself to something new.

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that it didn’t come in a fancy box. The packaging design of the entire collection is very elegant, and there was definitely potential for fancy box with fancy box art for a fragrance, but on the upside, it is more eco friendly to not have a box for a body mist. In the grand scheme of things, it was a good decision to go boxless.

There is a good amount in the bottle for the price, and the fragrance is long lasting. I put some on this morning, and it’s now mid afternoon, and it’s still here. It is macaron themed, as is the entire range, and is sweet without being overwhelming or sickly.

My grandma also loves it. I don’t know if this carries the same weight as Stephen King liking Hush, but she knows her fragrances as well as he does his horror, so you can probably trust her opinion.

jelly belly sours jennifer juan

Sours

Who doesn’t love a good jelly bean? I love jelly beans. I also love sour things, so naturally, sour jelly beans were exactly what I needed in my life.

Perfect for sharing, or for your own little jelly bean party (is that a thing? I’m making it a thing), these are delicious. My favourites are the sour cherry (the red ones), but they also contain sour apple, sour peach, sour grape, and sour lemon, so have something for most tastes. They are also gluten free, gelatine free, fat free and peanut free, if you wondered. I only know what two of those terms means, but I love a good list, so I enjoyed that little factoid on the back of the packet.


Well, that concludes that post. I hope you enjoyed it, and I’ll see you soon!

Besos,

J x

Find The Products Mentioned Above

Hush
Halcyon 
Fancy Fawn
Sweet Inspirations
Undressed
Sours

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