September 11th, 2019

S4, Buffy desert, ep restless

media consumed

I've spent most of my time in the past week either poking at fic for deadlines or uhhhh going on YouTube music binges, as evidenced by my Billie Eilish post. But I've consumed a few other things as well.

Todd in the Shadows (YouTube reviewer). Speaking of YouTube binges, I spent the weekend catching up on about a decade of notable top 40 hits via this guy's "Best/Worst Hits of the Year" lists. I can absolutely tell which years I was listening to pop radio some (2012, 2015) and which years I really wasn't (most of the rest of the 2010s, honestly). He also has reviews on individual current hits pop songs; One-Hit Wonder series with history and follow-up to groups that got one hit; and Trainwreckords, about albums that basically ended their artists' career. His persona is a bit obnoxious at times, but he genuinely loves pop music and gets excited about people like Ariana Grande and Katy Perry, which I respect, especially in a nerdbro in a hoodie. He also tries hard to be fair to genres he's not familiar with, when he's occasionally faced with those; see his review of that time Loreena McKennit was in the top 40. He also manages to clear the low bar of not being terrible about gender and race issues.

In conclusion, a pretty fun way to spend a weekend; I have no regrets.

Ready or Not (2019). A girl marries into a weird, rich family who invites her to play a deadly game of hide and seek with them on her wedding night. From the trailer I thought this was going to be pretty silly, and it was, but it was silly in a smart way. Definitely on the comedy-horror end of horror. The cast is great (Andie McDowell! Melanie Scrofano! Allison's husband from Orphan Black!) and Samara Weaving was fantastic as the lead. A good mix of humor and suspense and gore, and I felt the ending was very satisfying, which IMO is the hardest part for most horror movies. Do recommend.

The Wicker Man, (1973). A classic horror(ish) film that I finally got a chance to see! A Scottish policeman comes to a small island looking for information about a girl who's been reported missing and gets ever more suspicious as the local residents keep stonewalling him. He also happens to be an extremely devout and devoutly-practicing Christian who is appalled and infuriated that the entire island has abandoned Christianity for paganism. I don't know enough about the Scottish cultural environment in the 1970s to know how this landed then, although from context I think it's clear our protagonist's religiosity is a bit of an outlier even among his peers, but as a citizen of today's world I have a really hard time finding nearly as much horror as he does in the embrace of paganism and abandonment of Christianity. He's pretty unbearable, honestly.

OTOH, I found it extremely interesting that the paganism of this island was reintroduced to it in the mid 1800s by the local lord at the time, who was educated and a scientist. I had a good convo with someone last night about whether the lord really believed what he was saying or whether it was solely a form of social control. Either way, that angle and Lord Summerisle himself was by far the most interesting part of the movie for me. (On a related note: young Christopher Lee! So young! So tall! I'm honestly not sure if I've seen him in any other role besides Saruman.)

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments welcome over there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)