All posts by Jade

Likes movies, live gigs, bad puns, and Bucky Barnes.

Book Reviews: July 2021 Reads

Speculative fiction — fascinating sci-fi anthology Exhalation and the timey-wimey literary novel Before the Coffee Gets Cold — make up this month’s reads, warping reality as we know it. But before then, I’ll be starting off with two light reads that I am happy to recommend for YA fantasy fans.

The Aeriel Chronicles: A Flight of Broken Wings / A Call for Brighter Days (Nupur Chowdhury, 2019 – 2021)
4/5

Aerial Chronicles Novels

Book 1 is available for free on Amazon and Kobo. Book 2’s review is based on an ARC, kindly provided by the author.

Six centuries after a lost war against humanity, the Aeriels are back on Ragah to steal a powerful weapon that could prove deadly to their own race. Their return to Earth stirs painful memories for Aerial hunter Ruban Kinoh, who ​arms himself not just to protect his city but avenge his family.

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Movie Review: Fear Street Part 3: 1666 (2021)

Fear Street Part 3: 1666 (dir. Leigh Janiak, 2021) – After returning the missing hand to the burial ground, Deena watches the true history of Shadyside unfold through Sarah Fier’s eyes.

4/5

The tale of Sarah Fier is finally coming to an end. Through the eyes of Deena, Fier herself (also played by Kiana Madeira) is ready to reveal the terrible truth behind her dark history that intertwines with that of Shadyside. Travelling further back in time, Fear Street: 1666 takes us back to where the curse had first taken hold of their hometown.

Set in the 17th century, the stage is perfect for a pagan ritual to brew amid a superstitious folk. Quick to accuse Fier and Hannah (Olivia Scott Welch) of witchcraft because of their forbidden intimacy, the town soon finds their excuse to hang the women when a preacher goes mad and commits an unforgivable crime.

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Movie Review: Fear Street Part 2: 1978 (2021)

Fear Street Part 2: 1978 (dir. Leigh Janiak, 2021) – The story of Sarah Fier’s curse on Shadyside continues back in a summer camp in 1978.

4/5

Movie monsters tend not to stay dead. Slashers notoriously churn out sequel after sequel, allowing them to return unharmed and continue their slaughter fest in endless cyclical fashion. Unlike its genre predecessors, the Fear Street series has its narrative planned out right at the start. Rather than merely aiming for bloodier, the franchise has bigger plans, moving backwards in time in calculated steps towards its monster’s origins.

Part 2 follows the events of 1994 directly. With the help of her brother Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.), Deena (Kiana Madeira) has found the sole survivor — or the final girl, if you will — of the witch’s curse 16 years ago. She asks for the truth that could save her partner’s life. Reluctantly, C. Berman (Gillian Jacobs) accedes and revisits her traumatic memories at Camp Nightwing back in 1978.

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Movie Review: Fear Street Part 1: 1994 (2021)

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 (dir. Leigh Janiak, 2021) – A group of teenagers uncovers the secrets to the brutal murders that have been plaguing their hometown.

4/5

Halloween has arrived early on Netflix that has unleashed a full line-up of brand new horror films, from The 8th Night to A Classic Horror Story. Among which, it is the Fear Street trilogy that has most horror fans talking – and for good reason too.

Set in a trendy mall of 1994, the first instalment lets loose a costumed killer, who takes an obvious leaf from the Scream playbook in his familiarly choreographed murder. The killer is eventually shot to death and unmasked. But his lack of motive points to a bigger mystery at hand.

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Series Review: The Innocent (2021)

The Innocent / El inocente (by Oriol Paulo, 2021) – Mateo had been ready to start afresh after serving his prison term for manslaughter, but his past soon comes back to haunt him.

5/5

Fans of mystery thrillers would be remiss to overlook the films of Oriol Paulo. His slate of brilliant thrillers, including The Invisible Guest and Mirage, has consistently impressed international audiences with their unmatched suspense and some unexpected twists.

These aren’t the cheap surprise endings that exist solely for a few seconds of shock. Rather, his stories unravel with poise and perfect pacing, allowing us to savour each graceful reveal that fits into the puzzle neatly – like a modern-day Agatha Christie read.

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Movie Review: 76 Horror Bookstore – Tin Can of Fear (2019)

76 Horror Bookstore – Tin Can of Fear (dir. David Chuang & Hung Tze Peng, 2019) – An anthology of four horror short films.

4/5

There is no telling what you will get with movie anthologies. Taiwanese production 76 Horror Bookstore is no different. While adapted from web novels by the same author, the four segments share few similarities, mismatched in tone, style, and even subgenres within horror.

That said, this one starts off strong. Set in an old apartment building, Rent (4/5) conjures the disquiet that comes naturally with its unsettlingly mysterious history. All this spells bad news for its latest tenant, lone and unable to afford a different place. More disconcerting than her new home is her landlord, who seems to hoard secrets of his own. Not every revelation makes sense, yet this detracts little from the excellent build-up.

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