Spoiler-Free Review of “Ju-On: Origins” on Netflix: Stomach-Turning Terror

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

If you thoroughly enjoy the horror film franchise, Ju-On or The Grudgeyou may have been counting the days until the release of the streaming television series, Ju-On: Origins.

Ju-On: Origins is a Japanese horror series that premiered on Netflix on July 3rd 2020. It features 6 episodes (28-30 minutes in length). The series is available with subtitles or dubbed in English.

It’s difficult to present fans with something truly unique and different when coming from such an extensive franchise, but the series manages to bring us back to the beginning. We witness several timelines involving a house with unexplainable connections to horrific acts of violence and murder, as a paranormal investigator tries to obtain as much information as he can to get to the truth.

This show has the potential to truly terrify you with a satisfying binge-watch, but does Ju-On: Origins do enough to step out from the shadows of the films? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Ju On Origins Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

The anthology style works.

Since there are only six episodes and each one is actually pretty short, the anthology style works well. We learn about several different characters who have all entered the house in question throughout the late eighties and into the nineties, presenting us with connections and a real mystery.

The series is supposed to represent the true events that actually inspired the franchise and this particular style allows Ju-On: Origins to branch out and form its own identity.

Moves away from jump scares/tropes.

I don’t know about you, but there are several moments from The Grudge movies that still don’t sit well with me. I’m constantly checking under the covers and that sound still haunts me to this day.

The series takes a different approach and moves away from the jump scares that we are all accustomed to. Rather, it leans more on some disturbing scenes of gore and a slow burn approach, revealing that sometimes cruel and unthinkable acts of humanity may actually be more terrifying in the end, which gives the audience something to truly think about.

While the show didn’t really scare me, there were some moments that really made my stomach turn. Seriously, I skipped breakfast today just because of it.

The Cons:

Ju Origins Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

Slow moving at first.

There are only six episodes, but things really didn’t pick up for me until episode 4. Once the mystery started unraveling more and more, I became more invested and I was actually really interested in some of the character connections and the reveals.

It would have been great if the show had this same feel from the very start, but there are moments in each episode that have that shock value to grab your attention.

Not for the faint of heart.

As I mentioned earlier, there are some real disturbing moments of gore featured in the series. However, there are also some scenes that are extremely difficult to watch and I hope that Netflix considers adding a few advisories to these particular episodes that show a violent sexual assault and an extremely disturbing scene involving a pregnant woman.

As of right now, Netflix codes the show as being for mature audiences, featuring violence. However, I think that extra advisories should be added for episodes 1 and 4. Please be aware of these scenes during your watch.

So am I in or out?

Ju On Origins Netflix 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m about 50/50 on this one. I think that true fans of this franchise will thoroughly enjoy the series. If you are a horror fan looking for something quick to binge-watch, it only takes about three hours to get through all of the episodes.

The show does have some interesting qualities and I really did become more invested during episode 4, but I think we could have captured this feel from the very beginning and some of that was missed with the slower pace.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Ju-On: Origins in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek is out now! I hope you enjoy!

READ IF YOU DARE…

Dash and Seek is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Do you love horror series? Of course you do! Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon. It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

5 Guilty Pleasure Thrillers to Enjoy while Staying at Home

Happy Throwback Thursday! Staying at home has really allowed me to enjoy a lot of new television series and movies. However, there are some old favorites that I wanted to return to. Netflix has recently been releasing some guilty pleasure Lifetime-like thrillers such as Secret Obsession and Dangerous Lies, which really got me thinking about some of my own personal favorite guilty pleasure thrillers.

While nothing compares to watching these films for the very first time, there is this rush I get whenever I watch them. Sure, some of them are somewhat predictable and have outrageous plots, but that’s why I love them. They are the perfect films to binge-watch staying at home while enjoying a nice glass of wine and a snack…or two.

Either way, these films will certainly provide you with some edge of your seat tension to shake things up while staying at home. Please note spoilers have been left out for your convenience. Enjoy!

My top 5 Guilty Pleasure Thriller films of all time are:

5

Red Eye

Red Eye
Image courtesy of HBO

Released in 2005, Red Eye stars Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy and is directed by Wes Craven. A lot of people forget about this movie, but I actually saw it in theaters and loved it!

Synopsis: Hotel manager, Lisa boards a plane and sits next to a charming stranger. Things seem to be going well until the stranger reveals that he has an ulterior motive for sitting with her. The plane ride is filled with unexpected twists and turns.

I have probably seen this movie over twenty times and while I know the plot very well now, I just can’t stop watching it. It’s over the top sometimes and predictable in certain moments, but the film pulls you in and brings you back to those edge of your seat moments without skipping a beat.

Where to watch: HBO demand

4

Sleeping with the Enemy

Sleeping with the enemy
Image courtesy of STARZ

Released in 1991, this film stars Julia Roberts and Patrick Bergin. Before I had cable TV, this movie was always on as the Saturday night movie on The WB. I used to watch it all the time because I didn’t really have many other options, but I quickly became obsessed. It’s actually one of my mom’s favorite movies and I still think twice about keeping my towels in order. Watch out for that music…

Synopsis: An abused wife fakes her own death and tries to start her life over, but her husband attempts to track her down to make her life a living hell.

Where to watch: STARZ demand

3

A Perfect Getaway

Perfect Getaway
Image courtesy of STARZ

Released in 2009, A Perfect Getaway stars Milla Jovovich and Steve Zahn. This thriller has one of the best twists I have ever witnessed. Sure, I know the twist now, but I still love watching this movie. It has some really great stars in it, including Timothy Olyphant and Chris Hemsworth! Plus, the movie takes place in Hawaii! You can’t get much better than a vacation trip gone wrong when you’re stuck staying at home.

Synopsis: A newly married couple travel on their honeymoon in Hawaii, but quickly realize that they may be hiking with a dangerous threat. Secrets are revealed and their survival is put to the test.

Where to watch: STARZ demand

2

The Call

The Call Halle Berry
Image courtesy of Amazon Prime

Released in 2003, The Call stars Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin. I absolutely adore this movie! I have probably seen it more than all the others on this list and Halle Berry is beyond amazing as 911 operator, Jordan. This movie screams guilty pleasure thriller. It is fast paced and has a shocking ending that will leave you completely satisfied.

Synopsis: After a young woman meets her demise while on the phone with 911, Jordan is traumatized. She sticks to training new 911 operators, but when a similar call comes through from a young woman, she is forced to push her demons aside in order to try and save her before history repeats itself.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime with add on, VUDU, FANDANGONOW

1

Double Jeopardy

Double Jeopardy Movie
Image courtesy of STARZ

Released in 1999, Double Jeopardy stars Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones. This is my go-to movie and probably the one that first got me interested in this guilty pleasure thriller genre. While there are certainly a lot of movies that fall into this category, there’s really nothing like Double Jeopardy. It stands in a class of its own and always will for me.

Synopsis: You can’t be convicted for the same crime twice. Ashley Judd’s character, Libby, eventually learns this when she is wrongfully convicted for the murder of her husband. After being released, she tries to track down her son and starts to learn that she may have been intentionally framed for her crime. Libby decides to get revenge while her parole officer tries to stop her.

Where to watch: STARZ demand

Which guilty pleasure thriller films do YOU enjoy most? 

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts on these movies and your favorites in the comments section below. Thank you so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

Main promo smaller

A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek is out now!

PLAY IF YOU DARE…

Dash and Seek is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Do you love horror series? Of course you do! Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon. It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

 

 

 

 

Ranking the “Final Destination” movies from Best to Worst

“In death there are no accidents, no coincidences, no mishaps, and no escapes…”

Since I’m running low on new programming for television, I thought it would be the perfect time to go back and binge-watch some movies as well. I don’t know about you, but I used to be obsessed with the Final Destination movies and still am. After spending some time re-watching all of the movies, I thought it would be the perfect time to rank the films from best to worst.

Whether it’s a cringe-worthy death scene, a mysterious song selection, a perfectly placed Easter egg, or the brilliant and chilling presence of Tony Todd’s William Bludworth, each film certainly has a lot to offer, but there are some that just stand the test of time a little bit better than the rest.

Please note spoilers are ahead.

Without any further delay, let’s find out exactly how I ranked the Final Destination films and why.

1

Final Destination

Final Destination Netflix
Images courtesy of Netflix

Most of us will agree that the first movie of a film franchise is usually the best and the same holds true for the first film of the Final Destination series. Final Destination was released in 2000 and stars Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, and Kerr Smith. Hello 90’s dream team!

After boarding Flight 180 with his classmates, Alex Browning (Sawa) has a disturbing vision and sees the plane explode. After detecting several more clues, Alex has a meltdown and asks to be let off the plane, causing several of his classmates to exit as well, as we soon discover that his vision comes true. To make matters worse, the survivors each begin dying in the order they were originally meant to.

I love the first movie because we are uncovering the mystery behind death’s plan right along with the characters. We don’t know what is happening exactly and we don’t know who will survive, which keeps us on the edge of our seats the entire time.

Standout death scene:

Final Destination Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

While Tod’s strangulation in the shower is still the most difficult one for me to watch, there has to be something said about Billy’s (Seann William Scott) decapitation in front of the train. This death is shocking because it happens right after Alex intervenes to save Carter, revealing that a death can be skipped.

At the end of the film, it looks like our three main characters have made it safely to Paris, but death circles back around to claim some more victims, leaving us with a gruesome and shocking ending.

William Bludworth did remind us that there were no escapes…

2

Final Destination 3

Final Destination 3 Netflix
Images courtesy of Netflix

I don’t know about you, but I have always been extremely afraid of roller coasters and that was before this film was released. Final Destination 3 was released in 2006. It stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ryan Merriman, and Amanda Crew.

Wendy (Winstead) experiences a lifelike vision, which may be the most horrific one out of all of the films. She demands to get off of the roller coaster and some other passengers end up following her, but her boyfriend does not make it off the ride in time, suffering a cruel fate with the rest of the passengers.

The third movie really channeled the first film well and out of all of the films, I think that Alex (Sawa) from the first film and Wendy (Winstead) from the third are the most compelling characters. Their visions are well placed and they really pay attention to the clues without just stumbling around asking why this is happening to them.

Standout death scene:

Final Destination 3 Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m not sure how one can ever forget the infamous tanning bed scene. Looking good does have its price, as Amber and Ashley suffer a toasty death while jamming out to “Love Rollercoaster.” These characters really need to pay attention to the song selections more…

Similar to the first film, Wendy and the other survivors realize that they can skip the order of death, but once they are all on the same train together, all bets are off as we witness a gruesome and violent end of the line…

3

Final Destination 2

Final Destination 2 Netflix
Images courtesy of Netflix

The sequel rarely holds up to the original, but I thought that Final Destination 2 gave us a valiant effort. Released in 2003, the film stars Ali Larter, A.J. Cook, and Michael Landes.

After Kimberly has a vision of a horrific car accident, she gets out of the car and avoids a tragic fate. After detecting the signs and doing some research on the original Flight 180 incident, she decides to track down the only survivor, Clear Rivers (Larter).

A newspaper clipping reveals that Alex did eventually die, which was disappointing, but I appreciated that we at least got one main character for the sequel. Only, Clear ends up in a padded room in a mental institution, but decides to risk it all to help Kimberly and the others.

Standout death scene:

Final Destination 2 Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

That elevator decapitation scene still has me taking the stairs whenever possible…

The sequel does a good job of continuing the mysterious plot while introducing some new elements. When Kimberly and Officer Burke meet Bludworth with an introduction from Clear, we discover a new twist in the design. New life can defeat death, which gives our main characters a way to actually live out the rest of their lives. Although, it doesn’t look like the ripple is done with everyone…

4

Final Destination 5

Final Destination 5 Cinemax
Images courtesy of Cinemax

After “The Final Destination,” we were lucky enough to receive a fifth film in the franchise, which was released in 2011. It stars Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, and Miles Fisher.

Final Destination 5 Cinemax 3
Images courtesy of Cinemax

When Sam goes on a work retreat, he has a gruesome vision of the bridge collapsing, leading to the familiar plot we know so well. Tony Todd is back and better than ever as Bludworth, revealing to our new group of characters that taking someone else’s life can somehow even the score with death.

We still don’t know why Bludworth knows so much about death’s plan and although theories have been shut down about his character actually representing death in human form, it’s unclear if he is a villain or an ally, but he is the face of these movies and I adore him! More please!

Standout death scene:

Final Destination 5 Cinemax 2
Images courtesy of Cinemax

Probably the standout death scene of the entire film franchise for me. I never do too well with anything involving eyes and this scene really made my skin crawl. Poor Olivia thinks she is about to finally see the world with new eyes, but ends up undergoing a beyond disturbing system failure during her surgery.

Even though the take a life strategy seems to be paying off, we get another fantastic twist at the end of the movie and discover that Sam and Molly are now on Flight 180, making this movie actually a prequel.

Final Destination 5 Cinemax 4
Images courtesy of Cinemax

We get a fun montage during the credits with some of our favorite death scenes and of course another look at the fabulous Tony Todd. While not my favorite film, I thought this one bounced back from the worst film of the series, which we are about to jump into.

5

The Final Destination (Final Destination 4)

Final Destination 4 Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

I guess the 3D aspect of this movie was somewhat cool, but there were a lot of things that went wrong in this movie. The Final Destination was released in 2009. It stars Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten, and Haley Webb.

After Nick has a vision of a race track accident gone wrong, we get some 3D clues thrown our way that hit us over the head a little bit too much. I personally really enjoyed the small hints along the way. The songs or the pieces of paper or shadows floating by added to the mystery of death’s plan. However, Nick had a vision every single time he had a clue with one of these obnoxious 3D bursts of images, which didn’t sit well with me.

The acting is also absolutely horrific in this particular film and it’s the only film without Tony Todd. I’m so glad that he returned for the fifth movie because that was a mistake that needed to be rectified.

Standout death scene:

Final Destination 4 Netflix
Images courtesy of Netflix

That escalator scene was pretty brutal along with the explosion during the 3D film.

Overall, this movie was very underwhelming for me although it had a few moments of potential thrown in.

So, what’s next for Final Destination? Well, there have been talks of a “Final Destination 6,” although it will probably be some time until we get an actual release date. Fingers crossed!

Where to watch the Final Destination films: As of April 2020, films 1-4 are streaming on Netflix and Final Destination 5 is available on Cinemax demand.

Which films did YOU enjoy most?

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Final Destination in the comments section below. Thank you so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural? Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery? Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon! Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well. I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

 

 

The 2020 Mid-Season TV Premieres I am most looking forward to: Bring on the new episodes!

Greetings TV Fans!  As we approach Mid-January, some of our absolute favorite shows will be returning with new episodes and we can also look forward to some brand new shows as well that have a lot of potential.  Looking to find out when they all start?  You came to the right place!

While some of our favorite returning shows already have 2020 premiere dates announced, others are still giving out a TBD 2020 response, as I vigilantly keep checking to see when they will be premiering.  It looks like we have several new shows with a lot of potential and some of our returning favorites seem very promising as well.

Without further delay, the 2020 Mid-season TV premieres I am most looking forward to are:

The Outsider

The Outsider HBO
Image courtesy of HBO

Premiere date:  January 12th 2020

Where to watch:  HBO

Based on Stephen King’s novel, this series will follow the murder investigation of a young boy, which leads a seasoned cop to question everything after discovering some supernatural forces and threats along the way.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 3)

Sabrina Netflix
Image courtesy of Netflix

Premiere date:  January 24th 2020

Where to watch:  Netflix

Sabrina Spellman is back and we can’t wait to see what she does next!  Will she finally find a balance between being a mortal and a witch or will she lose herself to dark magic completely?

The Stranger

The Stranger Netflix
Image courtesy of Netflix

Premiere date:  January 30th 2020

Where to watch:  Netflix

Adam Price seems to have it all.  That is, until a stranger approaches him one night and reveals a shocking secret that will change his life forever.  This new mystery thriller looks binge-watch promising for sure!

Katy Keene

Katy Keene The CW
Image courtesy of The CW

Premiere date:  February 6th 2020

Where to watch:  The CW

A spin-off of Riverdale Yes please!  Oh wait and it stars Pretty Little Liars’s Lucy Hale?  I’m in!

Locke & Key

Locke and key Netflix
Image courtesy of Netflix

Premiere date:  February 7th 2020

Where to watch:  Netflix

Based on the graphic novel, this show follows a group of siblings who move into Keyhouse after their father is murdered, which leads to some creepy findings of their own.

Homeland Season 8 (Final Season)

Homeland Showtime
Image courtesy of Showtime

Premiere date:  February 9th 2020

Where to watch:  Showtime

It seems like it’s been quite some time since we’ve last checked in with Carrie Mathison, but it’s about time.  I can’t wait to see how it all ends!

The Haunting of Bly Manor (The Haunting of Hill House Season 2)

The Haunting of Bly Manor Netflix
Image courtesy of Netflix

Premiere date: TBD 2020

Where to watch: Netflix

The second season of The Haunting of Hill House already looks extremely promising based on the premise.  Much like the AHS anthology, we will see several of the stars return from season one as we are welcomed into a new story, which will loosely follow The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.  Can’t wait!!!!

Cursed

Cursed Netflix
Image courtesy of Netflix

Premiere date: TBD 2020

Where to watch: Netflix

A fresh take on the Arthurian legend starring 13 Reasons Why’s Katherine Langford?  I’m definitely in!  This show is based on Frank Miller’s novel and will center around the Lady of the Lake (Nimue) story in a re imagined way.

Lovecraft Country

Lovecraft country HBO
Image courtesy of HBO

Premiere date: TBD 2020

Where to watch: HBO

A Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams team-up seems too good to be true, but that’s what we have here for this highly anticipated horror drama.  Based on the novel by Matt Ruff, this story follows Atticus Black, who is searching for his missing father.

Westworld (Season 3)

Westworld HBO
Image courtesy of HBO

Premiere date: March 15th 2020

Where to watch: HBO

Season 3 will bring us into a whole new world and if Aaron Paul is around for it, I’m in!

Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere Hulu
Image courtesy of Hulu

Premiere date: March 18th 2020

Where to watch: Hulu

Starring the talented and amazing Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, this limited series will follow the fears of suburban mothers, which may give us some Big Little Lies and Desperate Housewives nostalgia for sure.  I’m in!

Stay tuned for reviews, recaps, and top five moments!  I don’t know about you, but I am very excited for new episodes to return and I am really looking forward to exploring these new promising shows!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post the shows you are looking forward to premiering in 2020 in the comments below.  I always love discovering new shows and that’s where you come in!  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Final Chapter Blog

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

 

 

Ranking my Top 10 Television Shows of 2019: Which Shows Made The Cut?

Greetings TV Fans!  I hope you all had an amazing holiday and I wish you all the best for the upcoming New Year!  As we get closer and closer to approaching 2020, I thought it would be the perfect time to count down my Top 10 TV Shows of 2019. 

While some returning shows continued strong, others fell off slightly.  Meanwhile, some other new shows completely captivated my attention, paving their way into my top 10.

**Please note some spoilers are ahead.**

Without any further delay, let’s get to my list!

My Top 10 Television Shows of 2019 are:

10

American Horror Story:  1984

AHS 1984 FX 1
Image courtesy of FX Network

Who doesn’t love the 80’s?  The first half of the newest season of AHS was so much fun.  The music was to die for and it really gave us this campy comedy horror vibe that also presented us with some fun throwbacks to horror movies we all know and love.

Emma Roberts did a fantastic job leading the cast and we got plenty of twists and turns along the way.  While the second half of the season fell off for me, I still was entertained, rooting for my Final Girls to kick some ass!

9

The Punisher (Season 2)

The Punisher Netflix 1
Image courtesy of Netflix

So I am a huge Jon Bernthal fan and I really think that he plays this role to perfection.  Bernthal is always a little rough around the edges, but that’s part of his charm and he is so believable as Frank Castle.  I absolutely loved the first season of the show and while I anticipated that this show would be canceled after season 2, I knew that it would provide us with a lot of action and it did!

8

The Purge (Season 2)

The Purge USA 1
Image courtesy of USA Network

Last year, The Purge (season 1) was my absolute favorite show of the year.  I am a huge fan of the movies and I didn’t go into the series with very high expectations, but it was bloody fantastic!  It’s hard to live up to something so spectacular and while season 2 fell slightly short for me, it still was such an entertaining watch.

The new characters were great and I loved the inside look into the NFFA.  Fans got a chance to see a world outside of Purge Night, which was so interesting.  They presented us with so many new layers, while sprinkling in some super fun cameos and Easter eggs too!

7

Riverdale (Season 3)

Riverdale CW 1
Image courtesy of The CW

Riverdale is definitely one of my favorite shows, but after all of the Black Hood dark twists in season 2, season 3 got a little bit weird.  We entered the world of Gryphons and Gargoyles and learned about The Farm, which was really bizarre and confusing, but there were still so many moments that kept this show going strong for me.

The Midnight Club flashback episode was fantastic and Cheryl Blossom was pretty much born to star in the Heathers musical episode, reminding me why I love this show so much!

6

The Walking Dead (Season 10)

TWD AMC 1
Image courtesy of AMC

I have been watching TWD since it first started and I loved the earlier seasons so much.  The show fell off for me along the way and I often felt like I was watching out of obligation.  However, the second half of season 9 and the beginning of season 10 made me a true fan once again.

The Whisperers are fantastic villains and we are finally getting some screen time for some of our favorite characters.  I mean, who doesn’t love seeing Daryl and Carol making friendship bracelets for one another?  Keep it up, TWD!

5

Unbelievable

Unbelievable Netflix 1
Image courtesy of Netflix

Not the typical type of show that I usually watch, but I heard really great things about this show and decided to give it a try.  There were some parts that were difficult to watch, but the performances were so real and inspiring.  I could not stop watching this show and I thought it was so thought-provoking and important.

4

Killing Eve (Season 2)

Killing Eve AMC 1
Image courtesy of AMC/BBC

While season 1 allowed us to really focus on Eve’s quest to take down Villanelle, we got to really know Villanelle in season 2.  Jodie Comer’s performance was beyond fantastic and I was so excited for her Emmy win!  The dynamic between Eve and Villanelle took some unexpected turns in season 2 and we were left with a major cliffhanger at the end of the season, but this show is so addicting and I can’t get enough!  More please!

3

Stranger Things (Season 3)

Stranger Things Netflix 1
Image courtesy of Netflix

I am a huge fan of Stranger Things, but I was slightly underwhelmed by season 2.  However, season 3 came back with a bang, giving us so many fun 80’s moments. Some of our favorite characters truly got to shine and we also got some fantastic new characters that I welcomed with open arms.  I think season 3 may be my favorite now, but I was so entertained by the watch and I can’t wait to see how it all ends!

2

Game of Thrones (Season 8)

GOT HBO 1
Image courtesy of HBO

I thought that GOT would pretty much be a given as my favorite show of the year, but the final season took some interesting twists that I’m still debating over.  That being said, the performances were brilliant, the action was intense, and we also got some heart-warming moments in the midst of the heartbreaking ones.

I loved seeing Arya’s “Not Today” moment and Jon Snow’s reunion with Ghost was very special for me.  This show will always be one of my all time favorites and overall, I was thoroughly entertained.

Drum roll please…

1

The Witcher

The Witcher Netflix 1
Image courtesy of Netflix

This show was such an unexpected and pleasant surprise.  Even though the show started off a little slow, it kicked things up a notch and quickly became my favorite show of the year!  The characters and performances were beyond fantastic.  The action was out of this world and the dark magic was so intriguing.

This show was fast-paced, fun, and addicting.  I never thought that I would even like this show and it somehow blew all of the other shows out of the water for me.  Cheers to The Witcher!

The Witcher Netflix 2
Image courtesy of Netflix

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and comments about your favorite television shows of 2019.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Final Chapter Blog

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

 

 

 

 

Dark Ditties Presents ‘The Witching Hour’ (Episode 4): Spoiler-Free Review

The Witching Hour is here!

The fourth installment of Dark Ditties blends campy horror humor with some cringe-worthy terror that may seep into your own nightmares. Samantha has been dreaming about a dark and mysterious entity named Tyberius Krane. Not knowing where else to turn, Samantha seeks assistance from a tacky over-the-top paranormal investigations show called, ‘The Witching Hour.’

The mock paranormal show is on the verge of cancellation and it’s clear that they will do anything to hold on to viewers, but things take a dark and unexpected turn when a real supernatural threat emerges after meeting with Samantha.

Fans of Supernatural may thoroughly enjoy this feature length episode, which gave me a Ghostfacers nostalgia. The cast of the mock paranormal show is outrageous and silly, but that adds to the campy horror charm. It’s not all fun and games; however, as we are presented with some genuinely scary moments that will have you on the edge of your seat. Tyberius Krane will give you chills, as we dive into the mystery behind him throughout the episode.

The cast and characters are fantastic and I thought that the effects and musical score really elevated the series, bringing to life a chilling and entertaining episode of horror. While the plot may seem predictable at times, the humor sliced it with new vitality. The show brings you plenty of gore, laughs, and terrifying scares.

A fresh take on horror that is well worth the watch!

Look for Dark Ditties episodes on Amazon Prime!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Dark Ditties in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Do you love horror series? Of course you do! Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon. It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

Spoiler-Free Review of “The I-Land” on Netflix: “LOST” Fan Fiction Gone Wrong

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

So I casually turned on Netflix yesterday and a trailer popped up for The I-Land.  I immediately felt like it was a cheesy LOST ripoff, but the LOST fan in me was beyond curious, so I gave it a whirl and I ended up watching the entire show in one day.  At first I thought that the show was meant to be a spoof, but I quickly learned that the show was trying to find an identity for itself, although I’m not sure it ever quite found it.

The I-Land is coded as a limited series and it features 7 episodes that are about 40 minutes in length each.  It stars Natalie Martinez, Kate Bosworth, Ronald Peet, and Sibylla Deen. 

Several strangers wake up on a deserted island and don’t remember anything about who they are and how they got there.  Tempers immediately flare and mysteries start to unlock, attempting to give us LOST meets The Matrix.  The strangers quickly realize that the island is extremely dangerous, but perhaps the biggest threat lies among them.

The Pros:

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Images courtesy of Netflix

Lots of twists and sharks…did I mention sharks?

The show does provide us with a lot of unexpected twists and turns, bringing us along for the ride.  I love shark movies so I’m always up for some toothy predators and the show continues to provide us with some twists until the very end.  Not all of them are satisfying, but they did keep my attention.

The cast.

I’m a huge Kate Bosworth fan and Blue Crush is one of my go-to guilty pleasure movies.  After all, it’s a cruel, cruel summer.  I also enjoyed Natalie Martinez’s performance in Into the Dark’s “Down” episode on Hulu, so I was excited to see her on this show as well.  The cast had a lot of potential, but a lot of that potential was stifled by some poor dialogue, but I liked their performances and characters enough to care about what happened to them…at least somewhat.

The flashbacks.

The flashback pieces were actually really interesting and I wish the show had spent more time on this rather than on some of their outrageous plot shifts.  In particular, K.C.’s flashback (Bosworth) was probably the most interesting part of the show and I don’t understand why these flashbacks didn’t start occurring until the show was almost over.  They could have been introduced and sprinkled throughout the show, which would have probably prevented so many viewers from tuning out after watching 1 or 2 episodes.

The Cons:

I Land 9 16 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

A really poor imitation of LOST.

The first episode literally opens with the main character’s eye opening, as she takes in her surroundings and sees the island.  Does this sound familiar?  That’s the exact opening of LOST and the similarities don’t stop here.  We get a failed attempt at some kind of love triangle and the fade-out music sounds a lot like the soundtrack behind LOST, which honestly just irritated me.  The show is actually different from LOST, but these obnoxious ripoffs will not help viewers tune in more if that was the goal.

The dialogue is atrocious.

I mean really atrocious.  “Hey, you seem like a bitch…no you do!”  “How do you think we got here?  I don’t know.”  Seriously it was like pulling teeth during certain parts and I don’t know why the most animated conversation involved a character’s right to sunbathe.  Good thing those sharks broke up the party.  I was cheering for them at this point.

The show is all over the place.

Once we get to episode 3, we start learning about the secrets of the island and we get more of a sci-fi feel.  The first two episodes were so bad that I almost didn’t care at this point.  However, since there were only 7 episodes, I continued to watch and we did get some interesting moments.  I just don’t understand why we waited until the very end of the series to bring in some of these more worthy elements.

So am I in or out? 

I Land 9 16 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

Unfortunately, I am out on this one.  The LOST fan in me is extremely annoyed and angry, but I’m mostly out because this show actually had a real glimmer of potential.  If the show had focused more on introducing us to the interesting flashbacks, they may have actually kept their audience.  The talent of the actors was completely wasted on this and the twist at the end was not very satisfying.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The I-Land in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Blog

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

What to Watch on TV this Fall: The 2019 Fall TV Premieres I am Most Excited For!

Greetings TV Fans!  As we enter into the Fall season, some of our favorite shows will be returning with new episodes and we can also look forward to some brand new shows as well that seem to have a lot of potential.  Looking to find out when they all start and where to watch them?  You came to the right place!

While some of our favorite returning shows already have 2019 premiere dates announced, others are still giving out a late 2019/early 2020 vague response, but it looks like we have plenty of shows to watch in the meantime!  Without any further delay, the 2019 Fall TV premieres I am most looking forward to are:

American Horror Story: 1984 (Season 9)

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Image courtesy of FX

Premiere date: Wednesday, September 18th 2019

Where to watch: FX Network

Welcome to Camp Redwood!  Who doesn’t love the 80’s?  The ninth season of AHS looks like it is going to provide us with a lot of slasher fun and nostalgia.  While Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters will not be on the newest season (sigh), we do have some fan-favorites returning, including the wonderful and brilliant Emma Roberts.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Season 14)

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Image courtesy of FXX

Premiere date: Wednesday, September 25th 2019

Where to watch: FXX Network

I mean, who doesn’t love laughing along with our friends from Paddy’s Pub?  The gang is back and I can’t wait to see what schemes they come up with next.  After Mac’s moving dance performance, anything is possible!  Perhaps another Charlie Kelly episode?  There is plenty of Charlie work to go around after all.

Evil (New Series)

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Image courtesy of CBS

Premiere date: Thursday, September 26th 2019

Where to watch: CBS 

I don’t know about you, but I am definitely down to watch another show with Luke Cage’s Mike Colter, but it looks like he will be trading in his super hero strength in order to investigate demonic possessions and other supernatural threats.  I’m in!

Light as a Feather (Season 2, Part 2, episodes 9-16)

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Image courtesy of Hulu

Premiere date: Friday, October 4th 2019

Where to watch: Hulu

Light as a feather…stiff as a board.  I never get tired of hearing that and I’m hoping that the second half of season 2 can bounce back and provide us with some spooky haunting fun.  This show is extremely addicting and there are constantly new twists and turns so I personally can’t wait!

The Walking Dead (Season 10)

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Image courtesy of AMC

Premiere date: Sunday, October 6th 2019

Where to watch: AMC

It’s time to silence the Whisperers once and for all, but what threats will emerge next?  As we approach season 10, we know that this will be Michonne’s last season, but what does that mean for her character?  I can’t wait to find out!

Riverdale (Season 4)

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Image courtesy of The CW

Premiere date: Wednesday, October 9th 2019

Where to watch: The CW

After that cliffhanger ending in season 3, it looks like we will have a new mystery to dive into for season 4, which centers around one of our main characters.  What secrets will emerge next?  Stay tuned!

Nancy Drew (New Series)

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Image courtesy of The CW

Premiere date: Wednesday, October 9th 2019

Where to watch: The CW

It looks like I will be busy on Wednesday nights indefinitely!  Nancy Drew is one of my favorite book series of all time and this new series looks like a dark and grown up version, giving me some Riverdale and Pretty Little Liars feels right off the bat.  I’m in 100 percent!

Supernatural (Season 15) *Final Season*

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Image courtesy of The CW

Premiere date: Thursday, October 10th 2019

Where to watch: The CW

How will it all end for the Winchesters?  After that cliffhanger ending in season 14, it looks like our favorite hunters have a lot of work to do, but luckily they have some backup in our favorite angel, Castiel.  What can we expect for the final season?  I’m not sure, but I would love to see some fun nostalgia sprinkled in with some returning guest stars.  It will be beyond difficult to say goodbye, but I know that the series will end the way it is intended to and I’m looking forward to watching these final adventures with Sam and Dean.

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

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Image courtesy of Netflix

Premiere date: Friday, October 11th 2019

Where to watch: Netflix (to be released at a later date on AMC)

So I initially didn’t think to put this on the list since it is technically a movie, but how can I leave out one of my favorite series of all time?!  Jesse Pinkman is back and Breaking Bad fans everywhere can rejoice, as we finally get to find out what happens next in the story!

The Purge (Season 2)

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Image courtesy of the USA Network

Premiere date: Tuesday, October 15th 2019

Where to watch: USA Network

What happens on Purge Night doesn’t necessarily stay on Purge Night.  I love The Purge movies and when I first heard about the television series last year, I really didn’t go into it with high expectations.  Well I was in for a huge surprise, as this show became one of my favorite series of the year.  It’s fast paced, surprising, and a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see what happens in season 2 as we follow a brand new group of characters.  Are you ready, citizens?

Castle Rock (Season 2)

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Image courtesy of Hulu

Premiere date: Wednesday, October 23rd 2019

Where to watch: Hulu

The Stephen King anthology series was another bone-chilling and haunting surprise for me last year and I have been waiting quite some time for a premiere date announcement for season 2.  Well it looks like we are in luck, as new episodes will return right before Halloween, which certainly seems fitting.  It looks like we will follow a new story and a new group of characters in the mysterious town of Castle Rock, but I am hoping to get some Easter eggs or connections to season one.  We shall see!

Shameless (Season 10)

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Image courtesy of Showtime

Premiere date: Sunday, November 10th 2019

Where to watch: Showtime

We said goodbye to fan-favorite, Fiona Gallagher for good last season, but can season 10 keep the Gallaghers relevant?  Let’s hope so!  While I am disappointed that Fiona will no longer be on the show, it looks like we will need to turn our attention to Lip, especially now that he is going to be a father.  The laughs never fail on one of my favorite series of all time and I can’t wait to see what the Gallagher family does next!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to comment on any TV Premieres that YOU are looking forward to watching in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Dreaming of Wonderland Series Blog

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

 

Spoiler-Free Review of “Mia Morris’ Diary” Series: A Vampire Mystery Sprinkled with some Campy Horror Fun on Top

“I want you to believe…to believe in things you cannot.”  A modern retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mia Morris’ Diary is a web series released by Black Cat Film Productions currently streaming on YouTube.  It is inspired by The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Notes by Christine, and The Cate Morland Chronicles.  The series follows Mia Morris, who has been leaving video diary messages for her boyfriend, who is currently studying abroad.  However, a lot of spooky things begin to happen, as a vampire becomes drawn to Mia and her close friends, luring them into danger and darkness.  Mia reacts to everything that is happening and tries to make sense of it as best she can, but there are some things that simply cannot be explained.  As she continues to uncover the mystery surrounding her, Mia’s world is turned upside down, as she starts to question everything and everyone around her.  Do vampires really exist and what do they want with her?

I was very excited to watch this show, which is now available to stream all 22 episodes on YouTube.  If you love binge-watching like me, then this series is the perfect option for you.  Each episode is only a few minutes in length, which is actually really great.  You can pick up right where you left off without missing anything, which is sometimes difficult to do during most television series.  I love being drawn into a series immediately and the pilot episode allowed me to do so, providing us with some setup, but also introducing us to the mystery right away so that we crave instant answers.  While some episodes contain welcomed fluff, others are eerie and hypnotizing, inviting us into the story.  I found myself playing Nancy Drew along with Mia to uncover the mystery and unmask the villain.

Mia Morris' Diary YouTube

The lead actress provided us with a believable performance and I thoroughly enjoyed when all of her friends came together to make sense of the madness.  Think the Scoobies from Buffy the Vampire Slayer There was just the right amount of campy horror fun mixed in to balance out the drama behind the vampire seduction.  When I started the web series, I felt that it had a lot of potential.  However, the series can be somewhat slow moving at times in the middle.  I would have liked to have seen more scenes involving the group coming together to solve the mystery, but that’s just because I really enjoyed that dynamic.  Overall, I think that the show is worth a stream if you find yourself craving some vampire mystery fun.  I mean, who doesn’t love a good vampire story?

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Ready to check out the series?

Mia Morris' Diary

Watch Mia Morris’ Diary Now!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Mia Morris’ Diary in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

 

 

 

The 2019 Mid-Season TV Premieres I am most looking forward to: Bring on the new episodes!

Greetings TV Fans!  As we approach Mid-January, some of our absolute favorite shows will be returning with new episodes and we can also look forward to some brand new shows as well that have a lot of potential.  Looking to find out when they all start?  You came to the right place!  While some of our favorite returning shows already have 2019 premiere dates announced, others are still giving out an “early 2019” vague response, as I desperately keep checking to see when they will be returning.  Without further delay, the 2019 Mid-season TV premieres I am most looking forward to are:

The Passage on Fox (January 14th)

Riverdale on The CW (January 16th)

A Discovery of Witches on Sundance NOW and Shudder (January 17th)

Supernatural on The CW (January 17th)

The Punisher on Netflix (January 18th)

Shameless on Showtime (January 20th)

SMILF on Showtime (January 20th)

Broad City on Comedy Central (January 24th)

The Walking Dead on AMC (February 10th)

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix (April 5th)

Game of Thrones on HBO (April 14th)

Stay tuned for reviews, recaps, and top five moments!  I don’t know about you, but I am very excited for new episodes to return and I am really looking forward to exploring The Passage and A Discovery of Witches, which are two of my favorite books!  

Do you love horror series?  Of course you do!  Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon.  It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals! 

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post the shows you are looking forward to premiering in 2019 in the comments below.  I always love discovering new shows and that’s where you come in!  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

When Kallie Bennett, a jaded teenage girl plagued by her alcoholic mother and her peers molded out of sheer bubble gum perfection, chases after Alice in Wonderland herself, she ends up lost in her own version of Wonderland, which forces her to face her utmost fears and introduces her to familiar characters with a dark twist. Among these characters is Ches, a gorgeous vampire with a conflicted conscience, who becomes Kallie’s guide and blossoming love interest. She also crosses paths with Queen Hartley, a manipulative witch who has the power to strip away one’s memories and imagination, which brings a bone chilling new meaning to “off with their heads.” In The Search for Alice, Kallie starts to realize that her Wonderland is just as frightening as her own reality and that she cannot always run away from her problems. She must figure out a way to defeat Queen Hartley and return home before it is too late, but she soon learns that escaping Wonderland means leaving Ches behind forever.

Want to read more?  You can click the link directly below for a free preview.  Thanks for your support!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice is available here!

The Search for Alice Cover