Spoiler-Free Review of “Marianne” on Netflix: Bone-Chilling Terror that will give you Nightmares and then some

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

Netflix has been bringing us some genuinely terrifying programming lately like The Ritual and The Haunting of Hill House, and it doesn’t look like they are stopping there, as they may have just released the scariest show I have seen in a while.  If you enjoy films and shows about witches and demonic possession, you are in the right place.

Marianne is a French horror series that was released on Netflix on 9/13/19.  The show features 8 episodes that are about 50-55 minutes in length each.  It stars Victoire Du Bois, Lucie Boujenah, and Tiphaine Daviot.  The series is in French, but you can watch it dubbed in English or in French with English subtitles.  I watched it in English and was able to get through the whole show without needing to switch over to subtitles.

The show follows author, Emma, who has had much success with her horror novel series.  The characters are based on nightmares Emma had when she was younger and when she finishes the book series, she begins to realize that the characters may actually exist in the real world, threatening her family and close friends, while desperately trying to release some kind of evil entity into the world. 

Whatever you do, be careful about saying Marianne’s name three times…you have been warned!

The Pros:

Marianne 9 22 4
Images courtesy of Netflix

This show will scare you enough to leave you with some serious nightmares.

I’m not talking about the typical jump scares we often see.  I’m talking about truly frightening moments.  There is a terrific build-up and suspense that seamlessly brings these moments to life.  The soundtrack works perfectly with these moments and you may want to consider watching this show with the lights on if you are not a fan of horror.  Seriously, I keep looking over my shoulder and I finished the show hours ago.

Terrifying characters and a well developed plot.

Before we even get to Marianne, you will notice a lot of discussion going on about the old woman she possesses.  I have to hand it to this actress, who has just completely traumatized me for life!

The plot moves fairly quickly, but once you get past the first three episodes, the rest of the show flies by, as it introduces more pieces to the puzzle, luring you in so much, that you may want to ensure that Marianne is not nearby.  The imagery is beautiful and I loved the concept of the pages from Emma’s book series appearing on screen.

The Cons:

Marianne 9 22 5
Images courtesy of Netflix

The switching of genres is slightly jarring.

As Emma returns home, we get a lot of fluff involving some drama with her friends and family that I could have honestly done without.  While some of the past flashbacks and revelations were necessary and interesting, other parts just kind of seemed forced and I almost felt like I started watching another show without realizing it.

I think part of the problem was that I didn’t really care that much about Emma’s group of friends.  There were some redeeming moments here and there, but other moments just felt filler and boring.

There was also the introduction of some comedy thrown in that felt out of place.  This sometimes made the show move slower and I’m still not really sure what the point of this was.  Luckily, the terrifying moments and plot reveals were enough to overshadow this.

So am I in or out? 

Marianne 9 22 6
Images courtesy of Netflix

I am in!  Sure, I may have nightmares for quite a while, but this show was genuinely frightening and unique.  We are left with a cliffhanger ending, so hopefully we will get a second season, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this show.

If you are a fan of horror, you will absolutely be entertained and the writer in me loved the idea of characters coming to life, really reminding us that words certainly have a lot of power and we can unleash anything we want.  Although we may want to slam the book shut on Marianne…

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Marianne 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! 

 

 

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Ranking the top 5 moments from “The Passage” season 1 episode 3: “You’re a Horror Show”

Happy Tuesday TV fans!  After watching Fox’s The Passage season 1 episode 3, Clark reminded us that “nobody gets over anything” and that “they say time helps, but it doesn’t.”  However, does that mean we stop trying?  Is it possible to save a lost cause?  Maybe not, but if we stop trying, do we lose our own humanity in the process?  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, “That Never Should Have Happened to You,” we get a glimpse into Shauna Babcock’s past, revealing quite a lot about who she was before Project Noah.  Meanwhile, Lila tries to get some answers, Lacey’s fate is revealed, Amy gets a new pen pal, and Brad comes face to face with Fanning.  My top 5 moments from The Passage season 1 episode 3 are:

5

“Why do you think she made that choice?”

After Shauna took a bite out of Simmons, the rest of Project Noah begins to discuss this behavior and what it means.  They quickly realize that this was personal for Shauna, as Simmons had been tormenting her for a while and she also chose not to harm the squirmy janitor.  So was it out of revenge or does Shauna have heightened intelligence?  The scientists on the team are eager to find out, but Dr. Lear reminds them that this will not “fix the nightmares problem.”  Clark does not want to rehash this; however, as he agrees that the threat should be eliminated and Shauna should be put down.  But is Clark able to deal with his own inner turmoil right now?

4

“You might be the most important little girl in the world.”

After Brad and Amy arrive at Project Noah, Amy is not reacting well to the doctors surrounding her.  Dr. Sykes tries a calmer approach and explains that Amy could save so many people and that she promises that nothing will happen to her.  But can she really make a promise like that?  It seems like Dr. Sykes is having doubts as well like Dr. Lear, but she understands that she can save millions of lives if she succeeds.  But can she deal with the consequences of the lives she has ruined?  I’m still looking forward to seeing her character explored further and I’m sure we will get there, but it’s clear that Amy has a major role to play here.

3

“What are we not gonna do?  Panic.”

During this episode, Brad promises that he will not leave Amy.  The bond between these two continues to grow and it’s really almost like Brad is now Amy’s father.  He even looks for monsters in the closet and under the bed, which is adorable, except we know that there are real monsters lurking within the walls of Project Noah.  Brad is determined to protect Amy, but is he a match for Fanning?  Perhaps he may need a little bit of help here.

2

“He’s gonna come for her.”

Later on, the janitor warns Brad that Fanning is going to come for Amy.  I’m not sure if Fanning recognizes Amy’s potential here or just wants to eliminate a possible new threat, but he is definitely fixated on her presence.  Dr. Lear and Brad somewhat join forces, as they try to figure out what Fanning wants.  Brad hilariously asks Dr. Lear, “Why don’t you just call them vampires?”  This is a valid point for sure.  I mean, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck…it’s science?  Dr. Lear is a scientist at heart and says there is no such thing as vampires, but he does realize that his old friend is very dangerous and communicating on another level with the other subjects and with people inside Project Noah.  We know that Fanning wants to be free and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal, but he now has Brad in his way.  At the end of the episode, Fanning finally appears in Brad’s dream and warns him to stay out of his way, but will Brad listen?

1

“Is it gonna hurt?  Not one bit…”

During the episode, we get an important glimpse into Shauna Babcock’s past.  We know that she connected with Clark when she was brought in and he gave her some false promises, which explains his obsession with her and why she may be invading his dreams.  We also get to dive deeper into Shauna’s past before all of this and learn that she had a hard life and was just trying to leave it all behind so that she could start over as a special effects make-up artist.  Shauna actually seemed to have some talent and was saving money so that she could start her dream.  However, her mother’s husband had been sexually abusing her for quite some time and it’s clear that Shauna was broken from this.  Later on, Shauna was horrified when she found out that her mother knew the whole time and she could not control her anger, as she unleashed it on both her mother and step-father.  Shauna’s past is revealing and heartbreaking, but it also explains a lot about her current situation now.  Shauna is the first subject to show such advanced intelligence and perhaps it is because she has always been trying to find something else within her:  a strength that cannot be smothered by others.  Later on, Clark is unable to go through with killing her.  Is it because he still cares about her or does he feel directly responsible for her current situation?  Either way, Shauna Babcock has not been eliminated just yet.

Overall, this was my favorite episode so far.  There are very few shows that can seamlessly intertwine character flashbacks with the plot so well.  Shows like Lost and Orange Is the New Black come to mind here.  The Passage has just achieved this as well for me.  These flashbacks connect you more to the characters, but it isn’t forced.  It elevates the show to something else…something meaningful and powerful, bringing you in that much more.  I am extremely impressed with The Passage so far and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Stay tuned!

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

**I would love it if you would take a moment to check out my Whizbuzz Book page via the link below for everything you need to know about my new book, The Search for Alice, including my author bio page and links to my website and social media sites!  Thank you!

My Whizbuzz Book Page

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!

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

5 Spoiler Free Reasons why you should watch “The Haunting of Hill House” on Netflix: A Worthy Horror Series filled with Bone-Chilling Moments

“I am home.”  But what if you share your home with ghosts and spirits?  I’m not talking about Casper here, but potentially dangerous and manipulative spirits that can haunt you for the rest of your life.  The Netflix series is based on the book by Shirley Jackson, which was also the inspiration for the film, The Haunting.  There were two versions of the film in 1963 and in 1999 as well.  The Netflix series follows a family who grew up at Hill House and flashes between the past and the present, unraveling the mysteries there.  Each member of the Crain family encounters something different, but they are all connected to the house in one way or another.  They desperately try to overcome their terrifying and traumatic past, as new obstacles and threats continue to surface in their present.

The show features 10 episodes and they are all currently streaming on Netflix as of October 12th 2018.  After watching all of the episodes in one weekend, I can tell you that the series was a pleasant surprise.  There were absolutely terrifying moments that will have you going to sleep with the lights on for weeks to come and other moments that were so incredibly heartwarming and unpredictable.  The show somehow successfully blends family drama in with genuine horror, giving me almost a Brothers and Sisters vibe, while continuing to provide me with frightening moments.  The acting is absolutely incredible and the writing and dialogue is somehow poetic, luring you in to Hill House completely.  Please note that major spoilers have been left out for your convenience.  My top 5 reasons to check out The Haunting of Hill House are: 

5

This show is genuinely scary. 

I’m not talking about the typical jump scares that almost seem unnecessary and essentially become predictable, as you can almost count down to the next moment that is meant to make you pop out of your seat.  The scares on this show are not forced and they seamlessly connect with the rest of the plot, which make them that much more terrifying in my opinion.  You may have nightmares about “The Bent-Neck Lady” like me, but the show will continue to provide you with worthy bone-chilling moments up until the very end.  I found myself needing to watch the show with all the lights on, even during the day.  It’s seriously that scary and even if you don’t scare easily, you will appreciate the way these terrifying moments emerge.

4

Something different.

While some fans have been apprehensive about the series following a different plot, this works to the show’s advantage.  It allows us to be presented with an entirely unique mystery in familiar territory and branches out further to form its own identity, separate from the novel and the films.  If you are looking for just another remake of the films, this is not the show for you, but I would encourage you to give it a try anyway because it is well worth the watch.

3

Episodes 3, 5, and 9.

While all of the episodes were brilliantly done, these three were absolutely incredible.  I will not spoil anything for you, but I would definitely recommend giving these three episodes your undivided attention.  While important plot points are learned during these three episodes, there is something so incredibly magnetic about them.  I found myself completely lost in the story during these three episodes in particular, unaware of anything else going on around me.  That’s how good they are.  Make sure you have your popcorn ready in advance!

2

The cast.

I was initially overwhelmed by the large size of the Crain Family.  We meet Hugh and Olivia Crain, played by Timothy Hutton and Carla Gugino, and their children:  Steven, Shirley, Theo, Luke, and Nell.  The show flashes back between past and present quite frequently and everyone in the cast was absolutely terrific.  I give standout performances to Carla Gugino, Kate Siegel (older Theo), and Elizabeth Reaser (older Shirley), but truly everyone was amazing.  You really believed that they were all family and found yourself connected to each and every one of them as the episodes continued.

1

The family drama works.

Part of what made me enjoy this show so much was the fact that I was completely connected to the characters.  I wasn’t willing to part with any character and I found myself rooting for them more than I normally would when watching a horror film.  The show does an excellent job of combining the terrifying and unexplained moments with the horror we deal with in everyday life.  I’m talking about unspeakable crimes that are committed, grief that we need to endure, addiction, and guilt that will eat us up from the inside if we let it.  The show seamlessly blends the supernatural horrors with these very real ones, connecting us that much more to the characters and the story.  While I initially thought that perhaps the show might have been better suited as a film, I quickly realized that this is not the case.  You would lose out on the connection to these characters and the mystery unravels in perfect tempo, leading up to a satisfying crescendo at the end.  While the series is not your average horror movie, it elevates to something more powerful and resonating.  You won’t be disappointed.  Ready to watch?

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on The Haunting of Hill House in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

**I would love it if you would take a moment to check out my Whizbuzz Book page via the link below for everything you need to know about my new book, The Search for Alice, including my author bio page and links to my website and social media sites!  Thank you!

My Whizbuzz Book Page

Stay up to date on upcoming premieres of horror TV series @ 12nightsofhorror.com/horror-series-coming-soon

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

Ranking the top 5 moments from “Riverdale” season 3 episode 1 season premiere: “The Calm before the Storm”

Happy Wednesday TV fans!  After watching the CW’s Riverdale season 3 episode 1 season premiere, we are left with some shocking moments, a new mystery, and so many questions.  Are you ready for season 3?  Here we go!  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In tonight’s episode, “Chapter Thirty-Six:  Labor Day,” Archie faces his trial and is tormented by nightmares before the big day.  Meanwhile, Jughead learns that it is not easy to lead, Veronica continues to clash with her father, and Betty is not a fan of her mother’s new outlook on life.  My top 5 moments from Riverdale season 3 episode 1 season premiere are:

5

“Have a terrific weekend!”

During Archie’s trial, we learn that there will be a short recess until after Labor Day, which gives Archie one last potential weekend of freedom.  Hiram Lodge makes it a point to wish Archie a terrific weekend, but Fred Andrews wipes that smug smile off his face literally when he punches him.  Even though this may not have been the wisest decision, Fred is not about to let Hiram say anything else to his son and he will not rest until he brings him to justice.  I have to admit that I was cheering for Fred in this moment.  Take that Hiram!

4

“Cheryl doesn’t miss.”

Oh Cheryl Blossom, how I have missed you.  Cheryl makes an entrance like no other and walks into Pop’s Diner, sporting her red leather Serpent jacket and red bikini top like a boss.  Cheryl announces that there will be an end of summer party at her house and lets us know that she spent three wonderful months with Toni.  Can we get some footage of that please?  Cheryl opens up to Toni during the pool party and talks about when Archie saved her in the river, revealing that she had lost hope and did something really stupid.  Toni proves to be a wonderful partner and is always there to support her and listen.  Toni embraces Cheryl’s hand, letting her know that she is there for her and I am happy that these two are finally getting the chance they deserve together.  Later on, Cheryl continues to steal the spotlight when she sports her bow and arrow, ready to protect her fellow Serpents.  Cheryl puts an arrow in the shoulder of a Ghoulie who gets a little bit too close to Jughead and reminds everyone, “I told you I was in the mood for some hell raising.”  After Penny threatens the Serpents, Jughead tells Cheryl to point the arrow at Penny’s head and reminds her that “Cheryl doesn’t miss.”  Seriously she’s like a super hero or something.  With everything else going on in this episode, it was great to see some moments reserved for Cheryl, but I am hoping to see her character develop even further this season.  She deserves it.

3

“You don’t have a daughter anymore.”

Tensions continue to run high in the Lodge family.  Veronica begs her father to change his mind and help Archie, but he tells her that “it’s simply beyond my control.”  Later on, Archie tries to tell Veronica that he doesn’t want her to wait for him, but she refuses to accept this and tells him, “I am not letting my dad take away the one thing that I love.”  Later on when Archie is taken away, Veronica learns that this is her punishment for betraying her father.  Hiram is cold and harsh with Veronica, but she refuses to back down and tells him, “You don’t have a daughter anymore.”  We know that Hiram will never hurt Veronica physically, but the fact that he can stoop to this level is monstrous.  Hopefully Fred, FP, and Tom Keller can come up with something before it’s too late.  Either way, my heart goes out to Veronica and I am hoping that Hermione will have a change of heart and get more involved.

2

“I didn’t kill anyone but I could have.  I have to take responsibility for that.”

During the episode, Archie is tortured by nightmares, as his guilt starts to overwhelm him.  When he is out with his friends for Labor Day weekend, he tells them that “this is the best last day of summer a guy could ask for.”  Jughead suggests that Archie make a run for it, but Archie feels guilty and responsible for so much and can’t run away from this.  When Archie learns that there may now be another trial, a deal is presented for him to confess to manslaughter and Archie immediately jumps up and accepts the deal, against the advice of his mother.  Archie doesn’t want to put his family and friends through this ordeal any longer and accepts his punishment.  Good thing Archie has some fresh ink, as he will need to look for some potential Serpent allies while in jail.  While I commend Archie for his courage here, I wish that he wouldn’t always act so quickly.  His mother knows what she is doing and this all could have been avoided, but we will have to wait and see if Fred can somehow prove that Hiram is behind everything.  No pressure Fred.

1

“The Gargoyle King.”

The season premiere gave us a lot of shocking and heartwarming moments, but a new mystery has presented itself.  During the episode, we detect Dilton, who is always off by himself and has been seeking out advice and help from Jughead.  Dilton begins rambling to Jughead about the Gargoyle King, almost warning him, but Jughead has to get to Archie’s trial.  When he returns home, he finds a drawing from Dilton that matches up with a map.  When he arrives at the marked spot, he finds several boys in front of some kind of ritual with carvings on their backs.  I have to say that I am absolutely baffled and I have no idea what will happen here, but it looks like Jughead has just discovered a new darkness lurking in Riverdale.  If that wasn’t shocking enough, we learn that Alice has been influenced by someone named Edgar.  Polly introduced Alice to him and so far it seems to be harmless enough, but it is absolutely screaming cult.  We also learn that Betty has been abusing prescription drugs and has lied about going to see a therapist, which is alarming.  At the end of the episode, Betty thinks she sees her mother and sister holding the twins above a fire and then collapses and begins convulsing on the ground.  While we can guess that she must have been hallucinating, Betty’s life is in immediate danger and I am extremely worried.  Earlier, Jughead reminded her that they are partners and I’m hoping that she will learn from her past mistakes and open up to him about her problems now.  She needs Jughead more than ever even though “The Serpent Queen is a Warrior Queen.”  Betty is strong, but her father’s actions may have taken a bigger toll on her than she is willing to admit.  Let’s hope that she will be OK because I can’t live in a world without Betty Cooper.  Stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Riverdale in the comments section below.  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