Posts Tagged ‘horror’

In honor of Halloween week, I give you my review of my new favorite comedy horror film. Ok, so I still love Cabin in the Woods above all others in this category, but it might be tied with Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, and Heathers.

movie poster

Detention (2011 or 2012 depending on what you’re looking at)

Starring: Shanley Caswell (Riley), Josh Hutcherson (Clapton), Spencer Locke (Ione), Aaron David Johnson (Sanderson), and a bunch of other people, including Dane Cook (don’t worry, he plays an asshole, so those of you who hate him can still hate him, and those of you who don’t will find him funny AND an asshole).

Directed by: Joseph Kahn

At a VERY basic level, it’s about a bunch of high school kids trying to survive a serial killer (Cinderhella) in their hometown of Grizzly Lake. It’s a horror comedy in the same vein as Scream, Cabin in the Woods, and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. I will warn you now – it is very fast-paced, and often feels as though whoever wrote it was on some serious hard core drugs as they came up with it, but ultimately I think it does a pretty damn good job of bringing everything full circle with appropriately placed foreshadowing woven in amongst all the randomosity and outrageous humor. That said, I don’t think it would work nearly as well if it was a slower-paced story. One of the reviews on Netflix says it perfectly: you know how some scripts are like sharks? They have to keep moving or they’ll die? This is definitely one of those scripts.

The writers/directors also had an obsession with the 90s. There is an insane number of 90s references. Also there might be time travel. Don’t think about it too hard, and it’s ok. Sometimes I think this is supposed to take place a bit in the future, or perhaps this is just a very strange school full of scientific geniuses. It’s hard to tell. But like I said, don’t think about it too hard and the crazy is just hilarious. I’ll give you the trailer, but I don’t think it quite does it justice as far as telling you what you’re really getting yourself into.

Really, it’s something like this:


Did I mention there’s also a Canadian who talks like every moment of his life is living a slam poetry performance? Or that there’s a very Freaky Friday subplot? There also might be aliens. Or someone who is part fly. If that’s not enough to get you intrigued, here are some of my favorite lines (many of which remind me of my favorites from Heathers) and images:

fashion victim

Riley: “Every morning I try to remember that I’m only the second biggest loser to walk Grizzly Hills High. First place goes to the drunk slut who screwed the dead mascot in 1992. But the 90’s are history, and so am I.”

detention 2011 riley

Gord the Canadian: “Yes, I like to start off by saying that this girl’s argument is ridiculous! Vegetarians who eat fish are hypocrites! She thinks that because fish feel no pain they don’t value their lives. Absurd!”


Clapton: I’d hide in a sporting goods store if zombies attacked.

Sanderson: Costco. Zombies don’t have memberships.


do the crane thing

These people must have had a ridiculously good time making this movie, if nothing else.

cast having fun

I am sure this movie has many flaws. But I thought it was well done and enjoyable for what it was: a horror comedy. Plus Josh Hutcherson is adorable. They did a good job of hiding who the Cinderhella killer was until the audience was supposed to know, too. I generally don’t like it when movies/TV shows try to do a bunch of things all at once, but somehow I think it worked for this one.

So, if you’re looking for something kind of scary and kind of ridiculous to watch for Halloween week, Detention is on Netflix! Enjoy!



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I was going to write this post about sequence stratigraphy and my thesis project, and attempt to explain it for non-geologists (or non-sedimentologists, for that matter), but I spent a long weekend doing nothing but sequence stratigraphy on a field trip this weekend, and now it’s 10pm and I just want to go to bed.

So, instead I will tell you about my new favorite show, The Fades.

the fades

It’s a weird mix of horror, drama, comedy, and fantasy/sci-fi from the BBC. I personally love things that cross genres like this does, and rather than being a clunky switch from one to the other, the writing is so good that they all blend together very well.

I must admit that I am only two episodes into this show, and it only has one season of six episodes. Yet I have no doubt that I will enjoy every second of the rest of it.

Our hero, Paul, is played by Iain De Caestecker (some of you may know him as Fitz in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and he’s super awkward and hilarious… and also happens to be our only hope for the future. Maybe. His role in the apocalypse (because of course, there is one) is not exactly clear. He is joined by his best friend Mac (Daniel Kaluuya), and his mentor-ish character, Neil. There are loads of other characters, and while the female representation is a bit skewed (half of them are already dead, and half of them only appear to be props for the main character… oh, and there’s the evil one), it’s well rounded enough for me.


It all begins when Paul and Mac ride their bikes around an abandoned building, and witness some gruesome weirdness…



Then something happens to Paul, and he has a vision of the future – basically an apocalypse that turned everything to ash. Probably everyone is dead. It’s not a pretty sight.

The plot revolves around the Fades – ghosts of people who have died who couldn’t move on for one reason or another (Natalie Dormer is one of them, and she’s pretty much amazing in everything she does, so I’m excited to see what they do with her character). If they stay in our world long enough, and become detached from their humanity, they become sort of feral and evil. Some people, called angelics (I think, I’m only on episode two, ok?), can see these ghosts, and the evil fades like to kill them. For the longest time, these ghosts couldn’t touch humans. But lately they’ve been snacking on live humans, and this apparently gives them the ability to make contact with things in the real world. This is the horror part.


So everything is extremely dire, and our fate appears to be in the hands of Paul, who is… a teenager…


So there’s horror, and death, and drama, and then… there’s a boatload of comic relief that mostly revolves around the fact that Paul and Mac are teenagers and really just want to find girls who will like them enough to have sex with them. Oh, and they LOVE making Star Wars and other nerdy references. I love this humor because I actually get all the jokes, and I am extremely guilty of nerd-dom.

Don’t get me wrong, though – the “juvenile” humor doesn’t overpower the direness of the situations they’re in, or the fate of the world, or the super creepy terrifying fades. Like I said before, it all blends together perfectly. I alternate between being terrified, grossed out, and laughing hysterically throughout the entire hour that I spend watching this show every night. This is some very well written and well-acted entertainment. Check it out. Have some fun.

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