Showing posts with label horror books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label horror books. Show all posts

Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Haunting of Hill House Reviewed

I have just finished the Netflix television series The Haunting of Hill House that Esquire coined as a spookier version of This is Us.   Not exactly how I would describe it!

The Haunting of Hill House, Television Series, Reviewed

I should also note that it is available to watch on Amazon Prime in the US (not sure about other markets), so if you don't have Netflix you can still watch it.

The series is based on the 1959 Gothic horror novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson.   I had actually watched the 1999 movie The Haunting that was also based on this book and although the critics panned it, I enjoyed it as I love psychological horror movies.   By the way, the series is very different to the film so it doesn't matter whether you've seen it or not.

It has been very hard to get my husband to watch any suspenseful or psychological horror films with me over the past couple of decades so when I saw this series I knew I would have to watch it by myself.   I stayed up late at night watching it and I loved it.

The series runs through two timelines (which is where the connection to This is Us comes from), the first is of the Craine family's childhood as they live in Hill House as children before their mother commits suicide in the house.

The second timeline is of them as adults and they are brought together when their youngest sister goes back to Hill House to commit suicide.

Each episode reveals to us how the different family members were impacted by their childhood in the haunted mansion.   I found I was eager to keep watching the next episode.   The youngest twin Nell was haunted during her childhood by the bent neck lady and in the episode aptly named the Bent-Neck Lady there is a surprising twist that I wasn't expecting as to the identity of this lady.

I was a little disappointed by how the season ended, but if I'm honest I'm not sure that I would've been happy with any ending.

I think the actors were perfectly picked for their characters and acted their roles really well, I found myself completely drawn into the series.  I recommended it to my daughter and my husband told her that he didn't need to watch it as he'd listened to my commentary, ' don't go, oh you had to go there didn't you?', I do not recall having that conversation with the television, but it is very plausable!

If you can sleep after watching supernatural dramas that are full of suspense then I thoroughly recommend this one.   Apparently they are bringing out a second season based on another family and another house.   I'll be honest I probably won't watch that one as I feel like this was a one season show. 

Definitely worth a quiet night in and a big bag of popcorn.

More Television Series | Mini Series to Enjoy

If you don't fancy this television series I can also recommend the following shows (although please note I've only watched one season of Shetland):

Thirteen (2016 TV Mini-Series)Thirteen (2016 TV Mini-Series)
This mini-series starts with a young 26 year old woman running out of a house for a payphone and claiming to be a girl called Ivy who was last seen 13 years ago. Is it really her and what has happened over the last 13 years?

Good Omens 2019 TV MiniseriesGood Omens 2019 TV Miniseries
David Tennant and Martin Sheen are absolutely outstanding in this adaptation of Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman's book Good Omens. Even if you've never read the book you will love the writing and the chemistry between these two characters representing good and evil.

Upload, an Amazon Prime TV SeriesReviewing the Amazon Prime TV Series Upload
This dark comedy is based in the year 2033 where death doesn't always mean it's all over. If you have the money you can choose to upload your consciousness and memories into a virtual 'afterlife' where you can stay forever

Shetland Series ReviewedShetland Series Reviewed
Shetland is a crime drama set in the picturesque Scottish Shetland Islands, the main character is DI Jimmy Perez who's also a single father. The scenery is beautiful and the plots are full of twists which make them very watchable.

Reviewing Agatha Christie's the ABC MurdersReviewing Agatha Christie's the ABC Murders
The ABC Murders is definitely one of Agatha Christie's best novels, this adaptation does take some liberties that a purist may not like, but it is still an enjoyable mini series to watch.

The Widow Series ReviewedThe Widow Series Reviewed
This series starts with English widow seeing a news article where she believes she spots her late husband alive and well in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Of course this leads to her flying out to DRC in search of him, the series has twists and turns, suspense and action and is thoroughly recommended.

Reviewing Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan - The TV SeriesReviewing Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan - The TV Series
Jack Ryan is a character who was born in a novel by Tom Clancy, the son of a Baltimore cop and a nurse who serves as a marine before becoming a history teacher and finally joining the CIA. A few of the books were made into blockbuster movies and now we have a television series.

And Then There Were None - The Mini SeriesAnd Then There Were None - The Mini-Series
Based on an Agatha Christie novel this is one of her darker novels and is based in the 1930s around a nursery rhyme called 10 Little Indians/10 Little Soldiers. It will keep you guessing right up to the end.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Friday, August 14, 2015

The Call of Cthulhu Review

Review of The Call of Cthulhu:  The Call of Cthulhu is a thrilling short story about a creature that by merely knowing of his existence, places you in danger.
By BenduKiwi (Unknown) via Wikimedia Commons
Source: CC-BY-SA-3.0

If you like Edgar Allan Poe, you will definitely enjoy H.P. Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu."

My son introduced me to this author by suggesting that I read "The Call of Cthulhu."  I was so enthralled in this short story that I didn't put the book down until I had read the last word.

This is a review that will no doubt surprise my friends and follows because I don't normally like horror stories, but this one has a paralyzing effect on the reader and I was simply too mesmerized to stop reading.

Apparently I am not alone!



The Call of Cthulhu Short Story Synopsis

Written by Cynthia Sylvestermouse

 THE CALL OF CTHULHU AND OTHER WEIRD STORIES By Lovecraft, H. P. ( Author )Oct-01-1999 PaperbackCheck Price>The Call of Cthulhu is a thrilling short story about a creature that by merely knowing of his existence, places you in danger.  From the very beginning of the story, you feel as if you are being entrusted with a great secret that could cost you your life.  In the days that followed my first reading of this tale, I found myself glancing in dark corners with a certain "expectancy."

This story starts as a narration by Francis Wayland Thurston who was named as the executor of his granduncles estate.  His uncle, George Gammell Angell, died after an encounter with a unidentifiable dock worker.  In sorting through his granduncle's effects, Francis finds a bas-relief of a mysterious alien entity.  He was intrigued by this cast and conducts an investigation of its origin and meaning. What he finds is horrific!  It seems that an encounter with this "creature" results in mental illness or death.

Actually nothing could describe this story better than the very opening statements of the tale.  "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.  We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.  The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."

About the Author, H. P. Lovecraft

A True Literary Genius


Source: Wikimedia Commons
"Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 - March 15, 1937) was an American author of horror, fantasy, and science fiction, known then simply as weird fiction."

Like so many other great authors and artists, Lovecraft had a very limited following during his life.  His reputation as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century, has only been established since his death.

With so many products, books sold, and cult following status, it seems quite the shame that Mr. Lovecraft himself, never got to enjoy any of the proceeds and know the extent he has touched so many lives. 

Stephen King has called Lovecraft "the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale."

Not that I would have as much influence as Stephen King, but I must say that I honestly have never read more captivating tales than those that were written by H. P. Lovecraft.

Call of Cthulhu Games & DVD's

This short story has also inspired a role-playing game similar to Dungeons and Dragons.   If there are only two of you who want to play, don't worry there is also a boxed card game.   And for those of you who prefer a video game, fear not!   An Xbox game has been produced for you.

I have not seen any of the Cthulhu videos, but I do know there are a couple of different versions to choose available.

 Call of Cthulhu: Horror Roleplaying in the Worlds of H. P. Lovecraft, 6th EditionCheck Price Call of Cthulhu LCG The Mark of Madness Deluxe Expansion Card GameCheck Price The Call of Cthulhu
Collectors Edition DVD
Check Price
 Call of Cthulhu Rpg Keeper Rulebook: Horror Roleplaying in the Worlds of H.p. LovecraftCheck Price

 Toy Vault 12" PlushCheck Price

Cute Cthulhu?

There are actually quite a few "cute" Cthulhu puppets, plush and other toys also available.  Not everything is eerie or scary.

My own son carried a Cthulhu backpack for several years to school.  If you didn't know the story of Cthulhu, you would have just thought it was a funny green creature backpack.

He also has several of the Cthulhu plush, including a Cthulhu Christmas wreath.

The Cthulhu Birthday Cake


A few years ago,  I made a Cthulhu birthday cake for my son.   In true Cthulhu form, the cake split down the center and started falling apart before I could even finish drawing the image!

It was, as if, Cthulhu was breathing down my back.  I felt chills and an eerie sense of being "haunted."

Cthulhu Cake by Sylvestermouse

Weird, you say?   Absolutely!

My Personal Opinion of Cthulhu


Cthulhu is a work of literary fiction, but it is very easy for me to embrace the idea that there is a demon (my word) roaming this earth stealing minds, driving man to insanity or suicide.

I have noticed when I read other critiques of this story, that each one had a different emphasis.   I find it fascinating that we all read the same short story, but were "touched" in such a wide variety of ways.

Perhaps one of the reasons this short story has been so popular is because we can all define Cthulhu by our own established personal beliefs.   I would love to hear what you think about the story.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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