Posts Tagged ‘Entertainment pulse’

The Entertainment Pulse: “American Horror Story” seasons ranked

Friday, November 17th, 2017

By Jack Greenwood

Staff writer

AHS fans were split this year, when show runner Ryan Murphy announced the new season was to be inspired by the 2016 Presidential election. Many fans were excited to see what direction the show would go, while others wanted an escape from the real life horror happening in our government.

On Tuesday, the new season concluded with an ending of true AHS fashion – lots of blood and death! But where does this new season rank amongst the others? Is AHS still able to deliver stellar seasons without the commanding performances of Jessica Lange? Here is where I believe every season ranks for now: SPOILER WARNING

7. MURDER HOUSE (1): Okay I’m probably in the minority for putting the opening season in the last slot but hear me out. This season was by no means bad – none of them are. The first season introduced us to the world of AHS and gave Jessica Lange a career resurgence. However, I have put the first season here because of its lack of development for its main two characters, Mr. & Mrs. Harmon. They remain the same type of characters throughout the whole series, the scarred heroes that we are led to root for. Aside from Lange’s character Constance and Evan Peters character, Tate, not a lot of characters evolve in this season.

6. ROANOKE (6): Roanoke introduced a brand new format to AHS fans. The series is told as if in a horror reenactment for the first half of the season before switching to reality-show-gone-wrong in the second half. While this season delivered plenty of gore and terror, I can’t help as see this season as all too similar to Murder House. A group of ghosts, trapped in a cursed house. I will admit, the format makes it original. But its similarity to the first season lands it here.

5. ASYLUM (2): Again, another opinion of mine that is probably in the minority. Personally, I loved everything about Asylum. Sarah Paulson joined the main cast and gave us Lana Winters, a character that we remember years later. Zachary Quinto and James Cromwell also joined and gave us a spine tingling villains. Let’s not forget Jessica Lange giving us the steely eyed Sister Jude. But one thing caused this season to be tainted for me: Aliens. The alien concept seemed so thrown in there and so unnecessary that its almost the only thing I can remember from this season. None of these seasons are bad, but if there is one that could’ve been perfect, it was asylum. So close.

4. HOTEL (5): Some consider this season, the first without Jessica Lange, to be its worst. I humbly disagree. Global pop sensation, Lady Gaga joined the main cast and gifted us with vampire heiress, the countess. The gorgeous scenery, neon lighting, vampire concept, allusion to H. H. Holmes and top rate performances by Gaga, Paulson, Peters, Angela Bassett, Denis O’Hare and Kathy Bates made this season better than expected. The only issue I had with this season, was that too much of the attention was laid on Det. John Lowe, played by Wes Bently. The character should’ve been a supporting character, and his screen time reduced. But other than that, this season doesn’t get the credit it deserves.

3. CULT (7): We finally reach our brand new season. This season brought in a plethora of newer faces including Billie Lourd and Alison Pill, both of which gave grade-A performances. But the one thing that made this season really work was the performance by veterans Paulson and Peters. These two have never been given a season the way Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates were, to have a story revolve around them. This season they finally got their turn and boy did they deliver. This season also was the first in which no supernatural creatures were introduced, a bold choice. It also gave stellar reenactments of several other cults including the Manson family and SCUM. Of course, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were also part of the plot, but done in small doses. Overall, this season was new and fresh and breathed new life into this series.

2. FREAK SHOW (4): The final season featuring Jessica Lange sent her out with a bang. No other season had this great of character development and storyline. There was not a weak cast member in the bunch, although newcomer Finn Wittrock as Dandy Mott was a standout, giving a nightmarishly brilliant performance. The season had plenty of twists and turns to keep you on the edge, all while giving great character back stories and even some song and dance numbers. This season is also one that is underrated and deserves to be at closer to the top. Aside from a finale that seemed rushed, this season was pretty close to perfect.

1. COVEN (3): Finally, we reach number one and to be honest no one should be surprised. Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates both won Emmy’s for this standout season about a Coven of witches in New Orleans. The season also brought in newcomers Angela Bassett, Emma Roberts and Gabourey Sidibe and gave us as supernaturally good a storyline as a true AHS fan can hope for. From the fight for power to be the supreme, to the crazy romances and witchcraft, Coven is never without surprises and plot twists. Not to mention, Frances Conroy and Lily Rabe also gave us their best characters in Myrtle Snow and Misty Day. This is the season that AHS came close to perfect.

The Entertainment Pulse: Jack Greenwood’s five must-watch Halloween movies

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

By Jack Greenwood

Staff writer

5. Halloween (1978)
In what would become an instant classic among horror fans, this 1978 cult hit launched the career of Jamie Lee Curtis and gave new meaning to the term “slasher film.” Michael Meyers is a mentally unstable child who is locked away after murdering his sister. Years later he returns to Haddonfield, Illinois and begins stalking and killing a group of high school students.

Why you need to watch: There is no denying that Jamie Lee Curtis is the ultimate “Scream Queen.” If you want a true classic slasher to watch, this film has a ton of jump scares, a classic killer, and that familiar Michael Meyers suspense music that will make your heart stop every time you hear it.

4. Halloweentown (1998)
Three children, Marnie, Dylan and Sophie, are never allowed to celebrate Halloween. Except, when their magical Grandma (who is actually a witch) visits them on Halloween night. The film is a Disney Channel classic that takes us on an adventure to save the fictional place known as “Halloweentown” a place where the creatures of Halloween live in harmony.

Why you need to watch: This film truly gives us back that magical feeling we had on Halloween as kids. You see all of the classic monsters that plagued your nightmares as kids, come back in a movie for the whole family. The late great Debbie Reynolds dazzles as the spellcasting Grandma Aggie, one of her most fun performances to watch. Overall, this film may not scare you, but it gives you back the Halloween you dreamt of as a child.

3. The Addams Family (1991)
The wonderfully spooky family everyone knows in some form or another, returns to us in a full-length feature film that delights. Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday and Pugsley welcome back Uncle Fester into their lives after his long disappearance. But is it really him?

Why you need to watch: Quite simply, they are the Halloween family. The creepiness of their house and interests is met with a humorous charm that is intoxicating for all audiences. Anjelica Huston is perfect in her role as Morticia Addams and the rest of the cast delivers memorable performances sure to leave you in the spooky mood.

2. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Many have asked the question “Is this movie a Halloween or Christmas movie?” Personally, I see no problem watching Jack Skellington all year round. But, for arguments sake, I say this is a Halloween movie. It brings us into another “Halloweentown”, this time darker, and at times, more disturbing. Watch the PuTg mpkin King as he attempts to take over Christmas and redefine Santa Claus.

Why you need to watch: First of all, this is Tim Burton’s best movie. Period. The man is a genius, but it would be hard to find more beloved characters or more enchanting songs about frights and fear. On top of that, the world of Halloween is brought to love in a beautiful animated stop-motion format that is simply haunting. This film brings all the thrills of a scary movie, while bringing the music and charm of a family movie.

1. Hocus Pocus (1993)
This movie is the most iconic Halloween movie of all time, and I will argue that until I die. Three witches, The Sanderson Sisters, are accidentally brought back from the dead and in an attempt to stay young forever, begin to steal the souls of the children of Salem. Max, Allison, Dani and Binx attempt to fight off their wicked curses and spells, all while the witches bicker and argue their way through a world full of surprises.

Why you need to watch: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy give us the gift of the Sanderson Sisters. These three witches, give us iconic comedy roles all while making us fear lighting another black flame candle. This film has gone on to become a cult classic, and gives us iconic lines “Another glorious morning… makes me sick!” and a song number by Midler (I put a spell on you) that is simply… to die for. This movie is Halloween, scary and frightful yet full of magic. But remember, it’s just a bunch of Hocus Pocus.