It's Complicated; or, Why I Never Formally Reviewed It and Chapter Two

No matter what version of It you look at, It is a narrative driven by irrational fears. For example, I fear ever picking up a Stephen King novel that runs more than 800 pages again. It, the novel, is one of those texts that turned me into a fan of Stephen King’s short stories. Contained to a single story in a small format, King limits his ideas and cast of characters into twisted vignettes of life and anxiety defined by past trauma. In a meandering long form novel, he just keeps introducing more characters and more ideas that start to contradict each other until nothing makes sense.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Review (Film, 2019)

Director André Øvredal broke out in the horror scene almost 10 years ago with Trollhunter. A masterpiece of monster horror, Trollhunter tells the story of a group of young people researching a series of bear murders in the woods. The truth is far more unbelievable: ancient trolls are real and a genuine deadly threat to any human who spots them. Part ensemble comedy, part effects showcase, Øvredal crafts a monster movie driven by believable characters and suggestive use of special effects to make the giant monsters seem real.

Midsommar Review (Film, 2019)

Content Warning: Midsommar features graphic images of suicide and focuses heavily on clinical depression.

Horror can be a challenging genre to write about. I’ve spent my career as a writer trying to elevate the level of discourse surrounding an often neglected genre. I’m not the only critic working this way, and there are wonderful writers all around the web and in print who have taken this style further than I ever could. Yet, as someone known for writing about horror in a thoughtful way, the challenge comes when a cultural touchstone film rubs me the wrong way.

Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer featuring The Legend of Zelda Review (Game, 2019)

Game developers Brace Yourself Games are responsible for the 2015 rhythm game Crypt of the NecroDancer. This roguelike rhythm game combines traditional dungeon-crawling adventure gameplay with music to create an experience that was described in many reviews as a musical Legend of Zelda game. You fight through various levels of a dungeon, battling enemies by moving towards them on rhythm and collecting powerups and weapons to help you on your journey toward the big boss fight.

73rd Annual Tony Awards

The 73rd Annual Tony Awards happened last night. This is my favorite awards show because it is a celebration of the art form I grew up in and have worked in for most of my life. The Tonys offer a glimpse into one of the creative work for one of the best cities for theater. Is NYC the end all, be all? No, of course not. It is, through Broadway, the city that established itself as event viewing for a nationally broadcast awards show. Any opportunity to people have to experience theater is a great opportunity to get keep building support for this medium.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu Review (Film, 2019)

Pokemon Detective Pikachu poses an interesting challenge when it comes to a review. The film is incredibly well produced, but the actual bones of the film are not good. Even for a children’s film, the plot is pure nonsense. I enjoyed the film for what it was while also realizing the…creative limitations of the film.