The Inner Circle is made up of the lovely Michael Patrick, and his companion, a pet cheetah named Paladin. Yes, you heard me correctly. Head on over to The Inner Circle to check them out! You won’t be let down.
Let us begin.
It’s 11:43 PM
Once again I was out and about doing a little movie hunting. Unlike many websites, I review movies that I buy. No studio sends me anything and I don’t have a YouTube channel where I do vlogs.
Nope, I do this the old fashioned way, I either find short films on YouTube or Vimeo that catch my attention or I go shopping at Family Video, Goodwill or wait for Dollar Tree to drop a shipment of titles. The rule is I can’t spend more then a 1.50 on any title. I also try not to review “blockbusters” or major mainstream releases.
I really loved the comment that my fellow blogger Heidi left on my “The Night Crew” review.
“Your blog always clues me in on stuff I haven’t seen.”
I guess that is what is fun about doing this series here, sharing the unknown with folks who like movies as much as I do.
So while I was looking for titles, I ran across this IFC Midnight release called “The Dead Room.” Now while I have found some great IFC releases, their horror branch hasn’t really been that good so far. The cheetah and I watched one a few weeks ago called “The Abandoned” and were both disappointed by it,it just wasn’t as good we normally see under the IFC banner.
But “The Dead Room” was vastly different and much,much better. It restored our faith in the IFC Midnight label.
“The Dead Room” is from New Zealand and that makes it stand out right there. The only horror I have either watched or heard about has been from Peter Jackson and that was eons ago.
The plot has a small team of ghost hunters being asked to investigate a home where a family was scared so badly they simply ran out without looking back. The team is led by Scott (Jeffrey Thomas) who believes science plays a critical role in exploring the paranormal,Liam (Jed Brophy) who supplies the tech gear and expertise and Holly (Laura Petersen) who is a psychic.
The team has worked together as you see them interact with each as they each set up the house,rigging it with detectors and sensors. Holly can’t detect any presence at first as they settle in.
“The Dead Room” is a slow burn tale…meaning there isn’t a lot of action going on, director Jason Stutter (also co-wrote the story w/Kevin Stevens) decides to ratchet up the suspense little by little.
Why this works so much better then most “haunted house” stories are Scott and Liam are much older then the usual youthful characters that cast in these films. Thomas and Brophy shine because they add a sense of realism here. Not taking anything from Petersen,her turn as Holly is very good as well,the chemistry of the three leads is a real plus here.
When the spirits start making their presence known, Holly wants to bolt while Liam is starting to feel uneasy as well. Scott’s observation about running right after they have met the goal of their life’s research is dead on. You spend years hunting and then panic at the first real sign?? It’s a nice touch by Stutter and Stevens drives that emotion home.
Running away was never in his mind, he wants to see what he has hunted his entire life.
I will have to say the ending wasn’t the best, several plot holes pop up that could have been explained a little better with just a bit more time. The Dead Room clocks in at a fast 78 minutes. I think Stutter could have fleshed out the ending a little better by adding 10-12 minutes of story including adding a origin.
The DVD contains no extras and that is pretty disappointing as most IFC releases have good extra features. But overall,the cheetah and I enjoyed this fun film from New Zealand and we give it a paws/thumb up.
Thanks for reading….if you have a suggestion of a small unknown film that Paladin and I should check out, please leave a comment below!!
Then one of my biggest influences passed away, and my life took a turn to carry on old paths and forgotten dreams…
These are the moments that made, (and almost broke, but ultimately…well, you’ll see) CardCastles in 2015.
CardCastles 2015 Highlights
We started off small and quietly. I shared about fears in Ashes over at Stories That Must Not Die, and reposted it here since the story tied in to some past thoughts shared.
There was a l o v e theme.
Then, I was blindsided by change. The future of CardCastlesInTheSky hung in the balance. A former large part and driving force of my site used to be the gallery. By clicking on the gallery you used to be taken to my Twenty20 Store where my designs could be purchased in many forms. Just shy of three years I decided to part ways with this company due to a shift in ideals.
That new variation of an old design brought some more attention to my artwork than ever before. It started to shock me, really. It brought in a lot of art lovers and new followers and readers to the site. By the end of the month, we even had some celebrity readers and fans in the music industry.
I felt like I was in some strange dream.
We spread acceptance.
My dear friend and Stories family member Matticus shared an important discussion topic over at Stories and we shared it here as well. You can read that post here~> in the end, it’s just an opinion
There was a photo journal of a trip to NY and you all loved it. Those were among some of the most popular posts that month.
Soon after the stats jumped even more.
This was only mirrored in other posts throughout the months. We shared more at Stories and I passed it on here. Now it was just a matter of waiting for our friend to return home and join the rest of her friends.
New readers poured in all finding me through common interests. I started to make detailed reports combining the Statistics here with the CardCastles Twitter and Google Analytics. The results gave me insight on what people came here for and how to plan for the future of things here.
Then some hurtles started to show themselves, and it was almost like something could be felt in the air.
We had lost somebody dear to us, and for a while, it all didn’t make sense.
Friends along with the Stories team mourned this loss and gathered together.
We wore blue to stand with our friend in some form. I wrote about my own experience the day of the funeral in Sleepy Sundays: Old Friend. The piece remains one of the most complemented renderings this year.
I lent my artwork over to Stories so Matticus could vent his feelings of grief. He was the mouthpiece for the rest of us that only echoed his feelings.
Then something happened through that grief.
A family was solidified. A community rallied around that family, and they slowly lifted us up.
The request for this piece set into motion the beginning of self-employment. My first steps out on my own as an artist, free from any former companies. You can read the story behind that here. ~>Paint On the Walls
From that point I was fully and officially out on my own with this art business. This freelance thing has been uphill (and stressful, but mostly uphill) ever since.
I started getting more interest and emails asking about features and guests, so we set plans in motion for July.
Myself and guests shared horror-inspired works in honor of film legend, Wes Craven.
New York Comic Con
I took a trip to see friends and ended up with one of the greatest experiences of a lifetime. This group of buddies that have become some strange family, all knew each other for close to five years. There’s a few crazy stories how we all got to know one another and they all involve gaming, of which we are avid fans.
The stars must have aligned because the one year I was able to go, the developers of one of our favorite games were hosting a panel.
The entire time blew my mind. Warframe liked our tweets about it too!
October was liberating and therapeutic any many ways. 31 Nightmares brought in so many new people I’m planning on resurrecting it next year. Here’s how crazy it went with numbers:
October yielded 11.7 thousand impressions. I’d say we left quite a mark!
Out of nowhere I started getting requests for my services. Book illustration, logo design, book covers, animation, intro videos, website design, you name it. I was so excited and overwhelmed by it all I may have said yes to too many things.
This was all, however, a blessing in disguise. It’s teaching me to plan better & manage anxiety.
I got to joke around with one of the stars of one of my favorite shows.