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Pixie’s Christmas Binge Fest!

Published December 20, 2016 by vfdpixie

This Christmas, I could put out another Pixie’s picks for holiday viewing, but with the exception of Krampus or A Christmas Horror Story, it’s pretty much the same. See that list here, my review of Krampus here and A Christmas Horror Story here. Instead, I’d like to list a bunch of series that I’ve fallen in love with, and a couple that I’ve had no time to view. What better time to watch them then when you’re enjoying (or avoiding) family this holiday season? So here’s a list of binge-worthy shows to help you unwind with (or hide from) your favourite horror cousins, aunties and uncles this Christmas:

 

Channel Zero:  Candle Cove (Syfy)

Take 2 parts It, 1 part Twin Peaks, 3 parts The Children and give it a swirl. Strain the aforementioned inspirations and you’ll get a delectable and unique mixture of one of the most unsettling, genuinely creepy shows out there. Inspired by a Creepypasta called “Candle Cove”, writer Kris Straub has created a tense world where child psychologist Mike Painter (Paul Schneider), plagued by disturbing dreams and personal demons, returns to his hometown to revisit his twin brother’s disappearance.  When he arrives, there’s a whole lotta weirdness going on with the kids in town, and it harkens back to a local tragedy, along with a dreaded TV show that only children can see. Throw in some creepy puppets, truly intense scenes that will make your skin crawl, and fantastic, understated performances, and you have an instant horror hit.  The subsequent seasons will be based on other Creepypasta stories, so stay tuned for more uber-weirdness.

 

 

 

 

Stranger Things (Netflix)

If you are the last person on the planet that hasn’t seen this great throw back to 80’s sci-fi horror, I suggest you get a subscription to Netflix and hunker down to watch a really cool show.  The Duffer Brothers wrote and directed this story of three boys Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) desperately searching for their missing friend Will (Noah Schnapp). When they meet a mysterious and mostly silent waif of a girl they nickname “Eleven” (Millie Bobby Brown), their world changes forever. There is also a sinister government organization, an alternate reality and the missing boy’s determined mother played by Winona Ryder to provide us with plenty of chills and spills.  Season 2 is in the works, so you’d better catch up if you haven’t seen it yet!

 

 

 

 

The Exorcist: The Series (Fox or CTV)

Here is my review of this brilliant adaptation of a classic horror film to the small screen. You must see this!

 

 

 

 

Beyond the Walls: Au-Dela des Murs (Shudder)

This French mini-series is on my list to watch.  After inheriting a house from a man she doesn’t know, Lisa (Veerle Baetens) moves into the sprawling and somewhat derelict abode.  When she starts to hear noises in the house, she smashes through a wall to find a creepy and ominous world.  She’s taken on a psychological journey to deal with her past and bizarre present. The trailer alone had me.  With such beautiful and artistic scenes, I’m excited to see what director Hervé Hadmar has to offer.

 

 

 

 

Black Mirror (Netflix)

This was a show I got wind of last year, and was so enthralled with it that I had to watch it in one sitting. Here is my post on Season 1 and 2.   Season 3 is now available on Netflix. I’ve only watched 2 episodes, but it’s pretty much the same great writing and sly observations on society at large. Definitely a cup of very dark humor not to be missed.

 

 

 

 

Sense8-Christmas Special (Netflix)

For those of you who have been champing at the bit like I have to see more of this mind-blowing, multicultural, gender-bending, identity positive and incredibly produced show, champ no more!  The continuation of the trials experienced by a group of psychically connected individuals and the nefarious plot to control their powers will air on Netflix December 23rd.   This 2 hour Christmas special offered up by the prolific Wachowski sisters will be watched with glee by myself and the horror boyfriend!

 

 

 

 

Westworld (HBO)

Yet another classic film adapted for TV, but this one I haven’t had a chance to catch. I loved the 1973 movie, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the HBO series. With a stellar cast and what seems to be a stellar production, it seems I’m in for a treat!

 

 

 

 

The Fall (Netflix/BBC2)

This gorgeous contribution to the serial killer genre is a slow-burn creeper that really gets into your head.  Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan), is an unassuming father of 2, a grief counselor and serial killer.  Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) is the detective brought in to find him and soon becomes consumed with his horrific crimes.  The two circle each other as each makes progress with their obsessions, but only one can ultimately win.  Written and directed by Alan Cubitt who also penned episodes for Prime Suspect 2, Season 3 has just been released on Netflix, and not only is it a visual treat to watch, but the writing and performances are top notch.

 

 

I hope you enjoy your binge watching whatever your tastes may be, and have a wonderful and safe holiday season!

Merry Christmas!

Face Off Season 8 Episode 12: Creepy Dolls!

Published April 2, 2015 by vfdpixie

At the historic Bob Baker Marionette Theater, who’s namesake was a puppeteer with work in films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the last 5 artists got their Spotlight Challenge.  Keeping in mind the setting, McKenzie wanted them to create a character inspired by a classic doll.  They had 7 dolls to choose from, but their characters would have to be inspired by demonic dolls of Hollywood like Poltergeist and The Conjuring.  Their guest judge would be writer, director and producer Don Mancini, creator of the Child’s Play franchise and Chucky, the possessed doll that we all know and love!

Logan picked a voodoo doll.  His concept was a person who is turned into a voodoo doll by sorcery.  He wanted to have an infused burlap look to mimic the doll he picked, and Mr. Westmore told him to work on the edges of his burlap sculpt to make it look real.  Coach Rayce thought sculpting the burlap was not a good idea, but Logan disagreed until he re-thought his approach.  He ended up scrapping his original plan by the end of Day 1 and would have to start fresh the next day.  Rayce was happy because Logan saw that he had to be more deliberate and selective about his choices and work on his forms.  He created giant pin from foam tubing, armature wire and a clown nose to convey the voodoo doll concept.  At one point, Logan and Rayce were not meshing with the direction of the makeup, leaving Logan confused and frustrated.  He was not happy but did his best.  Even though he initially wasn’t proud of the makeup, his voodoo doll came out well.  It did look slightly scarecrow-like, but the pin was a great decision that Glenn loved because it told you what the character was.  The judges liked the overall vibe although Ve wanted a few more magical elements.  Don liked the Chucky-esque look with the stitched skin and Neville liked the colour palette.  He was safe.

Emily picked the rag doll who was ripped apart by the family dog, left in the rain and gets revenge on the family.  She got creative by using ropes of crepe wool to get texture for her chest mold.  Mr. Westmore suggested a loosened, hanging thread look for her button eyes.  The chest mold fell over as she opened it but only suffered a small crack that she could work with.  Her flat mold for a shoulder piece, however, cracked and she had to scrap it.  She created a jute dreadlock wig and Coach Laura’s suggestion to use a sanding machine to make it look matted helped out with time.  Emily used cotton to look like the stuffing was coming out of her doll that replaced the shoulder mold, and it all came together.  The judges loved the featureless but expressive face, and Glenn loved how the hair affected the silhouette and character.  Don thought it was spooky and sad, and Ve loved her crepe wool technique.  She was in top looks.

Adam took on a baby doll.  His concept involved a doll that was a portal for a tentacled, soul sucking demon.  Rayce felt both Adam and Logan should play it close to the challenge to avoid any slip-ups, but Adam wanted to go for it.  Mr. Westmore told him not to overpower the doll aspect and the point of the challenge with the monster concept.  Rayce warned him that the concept was not reading doll-like, but Adam stuck to his guns and wanted to push the boundaries.  His doll was pretty weird-looking.  The judges thought the face wasn’t realistic and the details were off.  The blacked out mesh eye looked like a bad pirate eye patch, and Glenn thought it was too big of a concept and not appropriate for the challenge.  Ve wanted a more rubber look and doll eyes, and Neville thought the concept wasn’t animated properly.  Adam was in the bottom looks.

Darla created a creepy porcelain doll.  The cracks in the porcelain would release evil, and Coach Laura suggested an exaggerated head to sell the creepy factor.  Mr. Westmore told her to branch out the cracks, and Darla ran with that advice by creating an infected look with intricate cracks all over.  She made a wig of messy dirty curls and since her face piece came out perfectly, she was able to apply it  quickly to concentrate on all the painting she needed to do.  She used Pax body paint and thinned-out alcohol paint to bring out the cracked aged look of porcelain, and she really focused on detail.  Her haunted doll with an enchanted mirror was amazing!  The judges loved the porcelain look and the wig, and Don thought it was “so freaking disturbing”.  Glenn noticed the larger head and thought it was thrilling, and Ve thought the sheen on the skin and the paint job was spectacular.  Darla loved her own creation as well, and it got her into top looks.

Julian got a ventriloquist’s doll made from a sacred tree by a witch.  Mr. Westmore advised him on how to make the mouth move like a real dummy’s mouth, and Julian found the task of sculpting wood and hair difficult.  Because the doll came from the 16th century, he had to create an aged paint look by using algenate for cracks, but was not happy with the outcome as it looked muddy to him.  It was creepy but the judges wanted more, especially with the paint job which was too much of the same tone.  Don though it looked like one of the zombie ghosts from The Fog, and they all wanted a better wood sculpt.  He was on the bottom as a result.

The winner was Darla!  I knew she had it in her!  The judges loved that she pulled off such difficult shapes and textures.  The person going home was Adam.  His design didn’t come together, and it was too far from the challenge, but Neville was sure he would be working soon. It’s coming down to the wire, and I am really curious about who will make it to the finale since Darla and Emily were my first picks, but we shall see!

Team Tally:

Team Laura:  Darla, Julian and Emily

Team Rayce:   Logan

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