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KillStar Cat Lady Apparel

Posted by Gothic.net on March 12, 2019

KillStar has a fun new series of lace-up tunics with cat themes. I love that they have sizes ranging from XS all the way through 4XL. The whole collection is made of black soft jersey, which is a sort of T-shirt material. The long tunic style can be worn with jeans or leggings or stockings for the more daring. Or just lounge around the house in it. The lace up back and low neckline combine to allow you to adjust how fitted you’d like to wear it and how much cleavage you’d like to show. Keep your feline’s tastes in mind.

KillStar Black Cat Lace-Up Tunic

KillStar Black Cat Lace-Up Tunic

KillStar Black Cat Lace-Up Tunic

New Gothic Men’s Coat from Punk Rave

Posted by Edwina Caustic on March 11, 2019

The incredible designers at Punk Rave have struck again. Their newest item of men’s apparel is a three quarter length black coat. This fitted piece is made of polyester in varying textures, with a few cleverly placed appliques and edges with a bit of a military-inspired feel. The dark-haired gothic gent they have modeling the coat shows it off to elegant effect.

PunkRave Goth Men's Coat

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Happy D Day 2U Releases Today

Posted by Edwina Caustic on February 14, 2019

Releasing this film the day before Valentines Day has that certain je ne sais quois sense of humor which I expect from its creative team. Is it date movie or a forget VDay flick? You’ll have to decide. I’m predicting it will be both creepy and funny.

Jessica Rothe leads the returning cast of Happy Death Day 2U, the follow-up to Blumhouse’s (Split, Get Out, The Purge series) surprise 2017 smash hit of riveting, repeating twists and comic turns. This time, our hero Tree (Rothe) discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead.

Jason Blum once again produces and Christopher Landon returns to write and direct this next chapter, while Happy Death Day executive producers Angela Mancuso and John Baldecchi are newly joined by EP Samson Mucke (Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse).

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Sharp Objects Dirt

Posted by Gothic.net on July 16, 2018

So far, HBO does not disappoint in their adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects book. The second episode is called Dirt and dives into a funeral for a murdered girl and Camille Preaker, played by Amy Adams, working on overcoming the pains and contradictions of the small town life she escaped and is now forced to confront again. Also, Elizabeth Perkins looks marvelous.

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HBO Adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects

Posted by Gothic.net on July 9, 2018

I always recommend reading the book, so I’m going to recommend you read all of deliciously dark writer Gillian Flynn’s oevre. That said, who couldn’t be excited about Sharp Objects being adapted into an HBO miniseries starring Amy Addams Adams. I love the way Amy Adams emotes as an actress, so I always want to spell her last name Addams, but that is not correct. Here are some sneak peek images from episode one. Tune in to HBO to see it all.

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Speculating Saw: Deep Deconstruction of the SAW Franchise

Posted by Cat Voleur on September 20, 2017

saw movies

The infamous Saw franchise started back in 2004 and was immediately met with mixed reviews. For the most part, they’re the sort of movies that you love, hate, or love to hate, and people usually form pretty strong opinions about them. Regardless of personal views about the films, it’s hard to deny the massive impact that they made in the horror community, as this is possibly the most influential modern horror franchise in current existence.

What this article is going to do is take a look at each of the Saw installations as both individual movies and as part of the series, and then highlight some of the key points which will include a synopsis and then the strengths and weaknesses of that particular feature. I will warn you now of course, that this will reflect my own personal views on the series as the writer of the article, and there will be more than a little editorializing. Everyone is of course entitled to their own opinion, and I think it’s the different opinions about this franchise that make it one of the most interesting horror topics to discuss. That being said, let me tell you right now that I love each and every single one of the seven Saw movies, because even in the films that for whatever reason(s) didn’t work, they all had concepts that made you think, which is something I look for not just in my cinema, but in all entertainment. A strong, intriguing concept is one of the most important elements in a movie to me, and that puts me solidly on the side of loving these films. So, as a fan, I’m pretty excited to tear these apart analytically.

SPOILER WARNING: This article is an analysis of the Saw series, both in its parts and in its entirety and there are a ton of spoilers. If you haven’t seen them and are intending to, you should go watch them right now before reading any further.

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Saw:

My biggest problem with the first movie was, believe it or not, advertising. When I first started seeing previews for this back in 2004, I was already an avid horror fan, and this looked like the stupidest concept for a movie in the whole world. Between the trailers I had seen that were just random clips of a man trying to saw his foot off, and the posters with the phrase “He doesn’t kill his victims; he makes his victims kill themselves.” I was convinced that this had to be one of the worst horror movies ever, and I vowed never to see it. It wasn’t until a year later when trailers started coming out for the second one that my interest was piqued, and even then I was hesitant to watch the first one.

I am so glad that I did, because it was not at all what I was expecting. Due to its reputation for being the goriest movie of the year, I was surprised at how mild the violence was. The concepts were chillingly graphic, but very little of that was actually shown in the film. In fact, this movie plays out almost more like a psychological thriller than like a horror movie. The slogan that had given me so many doubts about the film was actually derived from one of Dr. Gordon’s quotes in the movie: “Technically, he’s not a killer. He’s never killed anyone. He finds ways for his victims to kill themselves.” In the scene, Dr. Gordon is trying to explain Jigsaw’s motives with the limited information he has on the subject. In the movie it makes sense and is a fine quote, but when paraphrased and then taken out of context, it just sounds terrible.

The motive behind Jigsaw’s games is so much more intriguing than a deranged man forcing his victims into violent suicides, and is in fact one of the more interesting aspects of the series. In each installment we get to find out a little bit more of his reasoning behind putting people through these “games” “tests” or “traps” depending on how you prefer to view them. We’ll get into more of that later of course, but for right now let’s take a closer look at the first movie in particular.

The movie shows two men in a room, each of them chained to opposite walls, with the corpse of a man in the center. One man (Adam) we learn, had been hired to take pictures of the other (Dr. Lawrence Gordon) and neither of them have any recollection of how they got there. As the movie progresses, we learn more about the situation at hand. This is part of a test. To win his personal game, Dr. Gordon has to kill Adam before 6:00, or he will be left for dead and his wife and daughter will be killed. Through flashbacks and conversation, we learn more about the previous victims of the “Jigsaw Killer.”

A lot happens in between the beginning and end of the film, it takes a few twists, but the biggest of course is at the end when the “corpse” in the center of the room stands up, pulls off his makeup, and reveals himself to be Jigsaw. This had to be one of my favorite movies of all time, because there was just this moment where it all clicked in. We had seen that man in the flashbacks, as he was Dr. Gordon’s patient. Zep, (who is assisting Jigsaw as part of his own test) has already brought up how interesting he was, and they also mention in one of the crime scene investigations how he likes to get front row seats to see his games play out in person. All the hints are there if you’re paying attention, but they were written in subtly enough so as to not be obvious.

The movie doesn’t spell out his motives for you, but you’re left with the impression that he simply wants people to appreciate their lives, as he’s been diagnosed with terminal cancer. You’re left not knowing the ultimate fate of either Adam or Lawrence (who we get to watch saw off his own foot in order to escape the room and get help.)

This movie worked. It worked as the start of a series, it worked on it’s own, and I can honestly say I think it’s one of the most underrated horror films of all time. The writing was incredible, it was paced excellently, and it was so much more than I ever expected it to be. The lighting and the scenery were outstanding, and even though it barely scratched the surface of the concept, it was captivating enough that I was hooked right away.

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Saw II:

The man being testing in this movie is our main protagonist, Eric Matthews, whose son has been missing for a number of days. He successfully tracks down Jigsaw, who we now know to be Jon Kramer, but can’t take him into custody because he sees that his own son is in one of Jigsaw’s traps, and continues to watch him through the monitors that Jon has set up for the occasion. He notices in short order that all of the people in the group test with his son, are people who he has sentenced to prison under false pretenses.

Jigsaw tells him straight at the beginning that his son is in a safe place, and all Eric has to do to pass his test is talk to him for long enough, which gives us a real insight into the nature of some of Jon’s less obvious games. Of course, Eric has a tough time doing that as he watches people getting picked off one at a time on the monitors.

We also get to see the test that Eric is watching on the monitors. It features 8 people who are all locked in a house. They will be released from the house in 3 hours, but are breathing a deadly toxin that will kill them within two hours unless they find an antidote. There are antidotes hidden around the house, but of course they will all come at a price. Among the victims of this trap is not only Eric’s son Daniel, but also Amanda (who we were introduced to in one of the flashbacks in the first movie. She was one of the first people to survive one of Jigsaw’s games.)

Eric eventually snaps, not being able to take it anymore, and he forces Jigsaw to take him to the house on the monitors. When he gets there, it’s revealed that the house is already empty, Daniel isn’t there, and the game that he had been watching on the monitors was pre-recorded. We learn that Daniel was in a safe back in the room where Eric and Jon had been talking. All Eric would have had to do was just talk to Jon for long enough, exactly like he was told.

Again, this movie worked. The directing was incredible, as was the writing, and again, the shock value was great. We also get some very interesting information for the overall story that the series is telling. Amanda was not just in the trap because of self harm, as she originally claims. She is working as Jon’s apprentice, and the end of the movie ends on her capturing Eric, and explaining how she will take over for Jon when he dies to carry on his legacy, which of course has strong implications for the upcoming installments.

I also need to take a moment to note the interesting backstory information that we get here in regards to Jon’s inspiration for his “tests” and how he got his name. After being diagnosed with the terminal cancer we learned about in the last movie, Jon drives himself off a cliff in a suicide attempt. He gets impaled, yet he still manages to survive. He’s baffled at how his body is simultaneously dying and still strong enough to survive an injury like that. After surviving, he vows to spend whatever days remain to him “testing the fabric of human nature.”

I think this is just beyond fascinating. Normally in movies, the killer is either motivated by a self-righteous sense of purpose, or is curious about how humans react under extreme situations. Jon Kramer, or “Jigsaw”, is both. Yes, he wants to help people in his own sick way, and yes he wants people to survive his games and come out the better for it, but it’s a morbid curiosity that makes him take each test to such an extreme. He simply wants to know what people are made out of.

We also get a more clear idea of how he gets the title “Jigsaw Killer.” This refers to the fact that he cuts a puzzle piece out of all of the deceased test subjects, to symbolize that they were missing what he views as the “most important piece of the human puzzle; the survival instinct.”

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Saw III: This was my personal favorite out of all seven. I think the writing was phenomenal, it was gross, it was shocking, and it definitely made me think, which I already mentioned is a huge selling point for me.

Early on, the topic of Amanda’s traps gets talked about in the film. Her traps are designed in a way that the people being tested cannot survive, even if they manage to do what the challenges ask of them. This goes against Jon’s mission statement of giving people a new life.

The movie then transitions into the tests of Lynn and Jeff who are playing through their games simultaneously. Lynn is charged with the task of keeping Jigsaw alive while Jeff (though she’s not told who he is at the time) gets through his tests. Amanda locks a collar on her neck that will detonate if Jon’s heart rate monitor flatlines, so if Jon dies, she dies. Jeff on the other hand is charged with numerous tasks of forgiveness, where he must endure a personal loss to help save the life of someone who was involved in the drunk driving accident responsible for the death of his son.

We see Amanda’s tension grow higher and higher as the movie progresses and she comes ever closer to the reality of living without Jon. Toward the end, she kills Lynn, just as Jeff is reaching the end of his tests and coming into the room. It is then that we learn Jeff and Lynn are husband and wife. Jeff kills Amanda instantly for shooting his wife, and then we get to the big twist ending, where we learn that the whole thing was actually Amanda’s test, not Lynn’s. Jon wanted to test her again before he died to see if she could follow the rules of the game no matter what, to see if she was worthy to carry on his work after he died. Of course, by shooting Lynn who completed her challenge, she broke the rules, failing her challenge and paying for it with her life.

Jeff has then gotten to his final test. Jon tells him that all he has to do to pass is forgive him for the pain that he has caused Jeff’s family that night. Jeff kills Jon which in turn detonates Lynn’s collar. We then find that Jeff’s daughter has also been taken, and Jon was allegedly the only person who know where she was at, leaving another cliffhanger aspect to the film.

This movie was a turning point in the series for two main reasons. The first is obviously in regards to plot. With Jon and Amanda both dead, it left it’s audience wondering how the series would be continued. The second is a bit more subtle in that it didn’t affect the story of the franchise, but rather the tone of it.

The Saw movies already had a reputation for being overly gory, which I’ve already mentioned, was misleading since neither of the first two were particularly graphic. That can not be said for the third installation, which was definitely not a film for anyone with a weak stomach. Three is arguably the most graphic film in the series, but from this point on in the series, they all earn their title of “gory”, leaving nothing to the imagination. Whether this was a good or a bad change is up for debate, but I have to say that I’m glad it happened here.

The continuity in the films falters after the first three, and I’m glad that they at least brought in the excessive gore before all the changes in the story, because otherwise continuity would be have been an even bigger issue. That being said, I think they might have gone overboard a couple of times trying to gross out the audience. (Particularly in three, which I believe was the biggest drawback of the movie.)

Still, this movie worked. It was a good film, as I already mentioned I adore the writing, the visual effects were disgusting, but even when the gore was over the top the special effects team really pulled it off. The story had the definite shock factor that I had at this point come to expect from the Saw films, and I was very pleased with this installment overall.

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Saw IV: This was the film where the series started to fall in part in my opinion. It pains me to say this not only because I think the storyline for this one had a lot of potential, but also because like the previous two Saw installations it was done by Darren Lynn Bousman, who is one of my favorite directors. I still love most of his work to pieces, but this movie was a trainwreck, and is without a doubt my least favorite of the series.

Part of my problem with this movie (and the fifth movie for that matter) was casting. Normally I do my best to overlook things like that, which have so little to do with the story, but it really got to me in this case. Agent Mark Hoffman (played by Costas Mandylor) and Special Agent Peter Strahm (played by Scott Patterson) simply looked too much alike. They had drastically different rolls in the film, yet it I often got them confused. This actually bothered me a little more in the fifth one than it did here, but this movie was the hardest to follow on its own, so the extra confusion was just unwelcome.

Confusion is also the reason that I disliked the editing in this movie. The story is complex, which is a staple of the films in this series, but unlike with the previous (and in fact later movies) the information is not presented in a way where you necessarily understand it the first time watching. I had to watch it multiple times before it really sank in and made sense, and even then it required a lot of thought.

The movie opens on Jigsaw’s autopsy, which is chronologically the last thing to happen in the film. While that’s supposed to be part of the big twist (that and of course the identity of the new Jigsaw) what it actually does is make the already complex timeline of the film more confusing.

While overall the film was the biggest let down of the series, it did have a lot of really interesting information that despite not being presented well, was vital to the series and very important to Jigsaw’s history. It’s in this film that we learn his terminal cancer and experience with suicide were not the only things fueling his desire to test the fabric of human nature in such a violent and disturbing way. He was also motivated by his wife miscarrying his son, Giddian. We also learn of Jon’s fascination with the Chinese Zodiac which explains some of the symbolism in the previous films. The pig mask that we see most often worn by Amanda, was to honor his son (who should have been born in the year of the pig.) This also became part of the ritual, as his first victim was abducted at a Year of the Pig Festival. I think it was really interesting to see Jon abduct someone in a decorative pig mask in this film after seeing him work with the hyper-realistic (and far more frightening) pig mask that he’s used in the previous films.

We also get to see Jon’s first trap, and more interestingly, his first victim. The man’s name is Cecil, and he was the addict who accidentally hit Jon’s wife (Jill Tuck), causing her to miscarry. This trap is more simple than anything we’re used to seeing by Jigsaw, and it was interesting to see the sort of things he started with. Another interesting thing to mention is that we see the iconic puppet that Jigsaw uses as a proxy in his videos. It was originally meant as a gift for his son, and it’s only later that Jon adds the mechanical factor to the doll and makes it exponentially more terrifying.

The main test in this film is that of detective Rigg, who is head of the SWAT team whose members keep dying off in Jigsaw related events. For this reason, he has become obsessed with the case (and finding the still-missing Eric Matthews), and the aim of his test is to rid him of the obsession. Each of the traps he encounters on his journey bring him a little closer to understanding why Jigsaw does what he does.

The thing I liked most about this movie was that in spite of its many faults, this one definitely made you think about the moral code that Jon lived by and used to guide his tests. While the people in traps from the previous films were placed there for not appreciating what they had, the people in this film had all done something wrong. They weren’t being tested for things like infidelity or substance abuse, but rather for things like rape and child abuse. The people who Riggs sees in these traps are bad people who have done something wrong to hurt others. This is of course not to say that they deserve what they get, but it does get one thinking about the morals and the flaws in the judicial system that let people get away with things like this. It also really gets you thinking about your own morals, because as you watch these particular tests, you find yourself not rooting for the victims as you might have in some of the previous traps.

Rigg is told early on that Eric Matthews is still alive and will have 90 minutes to save himself. Much like in Saw 2, all detective Rigg has to do is spend enough time away. Eric’s trap will end at the end of the 90 minutes, but of course the detective misunderstands the game and does his best to get there before the timer runs out. This results in the death of all the people involved in the trap except for Mark Hoffman. Throughout the whole movie we see him “trapped” in the same contraption holding Eric, but at the end he remains unharmed. It is then that he releases himself and identifies himself as the next Jigsaw.

The twist would have been much more effective had the timeline not been so confusing to figure out, but it still left us with a lot to ponder and, more importantly; it gave us a new Jigsaw killer to carry on the series with.

This film did not work. It certainly didn’t work on it’s own because it was entirely dependent on us knowing the story up to that point. It makes sense that you’re going to be confused if you jump in in the middle of a series, but I think that the other movies would have still been somewhat self sufficient if you had no idea what was going on. That was certainly not the case with this movie. This one also didn’t work as part of the series (at least not very effectively) because while all the information was there, it was jumbled up and confusing. The best thing that we can say it did to really further the story, was assure us that there was someone to carry on Jigsaw’s work, and let the audience know that there was more to come.

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Saw V: This was a decent addition to the franchise as it went back and explained a lot of the story that was confusing people in 4. It also had an interesting story for the people involved in the main trap. I didn’t like it much as a movie on its own though, simply because while it didn’t have any glaring problems like 4 did, the writing was a little underwhelming, there’s not much development in the Jigsaw storyline (since it mostly just goes back and explains the information we got in 4) and the stories just didn’t tie together very well. It had a lot of interesting things, but the writing was a lot sloppier than what I would have hoped for, and had come to expect from the Saw movies.

The film features a group test of 5 people who have all played a key role in a fire that took 8 lives. One person dies in each of the first three test rooms, as it is the shared belief of the victims that the tests are designed to pick off one person in each test. Of course, in the final room, they realize that all of the previous tests were made for five people, and that had they worked together not a single one of the tests would have been fatal. It was an interesting story, and it really was told well.

The rest of the movie goes back and tells about how Mark Hoffman got involved with Jon’s work. He wanted to kill a man named Seth Baxter, who got away with the murder of Mark’s sister, and he thought a good way to avoid suspicion was to pin the killing on Jigsaw. He sets up a trap for Seth that was impossible to escape and of course, the murder is attributed to Jon, who doesn’t appreciate taking credit for what he views as inferior work. He ultimately blackmails Mark into becoming his new recruit.

Strahm meanwhile is figuring out that Mark has been the accomplice that they’ve been looking for, but his obsession causes him to fail his test (much like with Rigg in the fourth film.) When he dies, he is of course pinned with being the very accomplice that he was trying to catch.

Again, it wasn’t a bad movie, and my biggest issue with it was simply that the stories were so minimally connected to one another, so it just seemed lacking in comparison to the others. That being said, it was still entertaining and furthered the overall story of the series. I’d definitely say that it worked better as an installment of the franchise than as a movie on it’s own.

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Saw VI: This was disappointing to me in many of the same ways that the fifth one was. I thought both storylines were really good, and while they seemed to connect a little more in this one than in 5, it still wasn’t as tied together as I would have liked. What I really did like about this one was the story of the people being tested, because once again it really made its audience think about morality.

The victims in this movie are chosen for having done something wrong (much like the victims in 4) only these people aren’t breaking any laws, they’re doing their jobs. The two people from the beginning are loan sharks who have ruined people’s lives because of their work. All the victims in the main game work for a health insurance company, which provides for some interesting social commentary.

There have been a lot of different takes on the issue of health insurance companies both through movies and television, but this was my personal favorite. Of course, it is the least factual which has its drawbacks, and the consequences are illustrated to an absurd degree, but I still think that as an eye opener and as a story it was effective.

The main test is performed by William Easton, an executive for the health insurance company who develops an equation to determine who they will consider for coverage. Of course, we find out this is the same man who declined coverage for an experimental cancer treatment for Jon. He passes through a series of tests that put his morals and his equation to the test.

Ultimately, we learn that the test wasn’t his however, and his fate lies in the hands of the wife of a man who was denied coverage as well. This was intended as the big twist, and while it was written in a way that could definitely have been shocking, I feel like this was a little easier to see through than the surprise endings of other films.

This movie tried to connect William’s story to the part of the story that dealt with Jon’s work being carried out, but this was done a lot sloppier than anything from the first three movies. William’s sister (who we see is also in the main trap) has written a book on the life of Jon Kramer for her own gain, and there are also the obvious ties to Jon’s backstory. William of course had a run in with Jon as well, but they’re just not as connected as I would have liked for them to be.

Mark in the meantime, struggles to keep his involvement with Jon Kramer and the more recent Jigsaw killings away from the police, who are almost on to him. He barely escapes, and even then he only does so by murdering a number of people when they learn the truth. We also see Jill trying to carry out the last request of her husband by testing Mark, a test that is supposed to be fatal to him but he manages to escape.

While overall I was disappointed with most of the story, I really liked some of the things we learned in flashbacks. For instance; Amanda didn’t fail her test because of emotional stress, she failed her test because she was being blackmailed by Mark. She had been with Cecil on the night that he forced Jill to miscarry, and Mark threatened to tell Jon about that if she didn’t shoot Lynn (knowing full well that she was being tested and that this would prove fatal to her.)

It had many of the same pros and cons that the fifth one had, but I think it did more to further the overall story and it was also more entertaining as a stand alone piece. It was one of my favorites after the original three.

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Saw 3D: The Final Chapter: I think that as an independent piece, this was my least favorite (other than 4) but as an ending to the series it was actually pretty effective. It opens with three members of a love triangle stuck in one of the traps. The woman has been sleeping with both of the men, and while I think this is a really weak motive for being chosen, I did like the opening overall. Unlike all the other traps, this one took place in a display case, right out in public, which there was of course a massive audience for. I think it would have been more effective if they had either carried the public theme throughout the other traps in the movie, or at the very least explained how it was set up. It seemed completely unconnected to everything else in the film, but it was very shocking, which was a good way to start off the final Saw movie.

In this film, we see the tests of a man name Bobby, who has written a book about his experience surviving a Jigsaw trap. This was a scam, as he had never been tested by Jigsaw prior to writing this book, but he is being tested now, along with all of the people who helped him with this illusion (even those who did it unknowingly.) While his story was fake, we do get to see into the lives of those who actually survived the killings, which was a very interesting addition to the film, and retroactively added a sense of depth to the story. We get to see how people were really affected, and the different reactions to Jigsaw’s tests.

It also lets us see Lawrence, who we have been wondering about since the end of the first movie. He did survive, and we get to see him briefly at the support group meeting, which was nice after not knowing what happened to him for so long.

One of the biggest complaints that I have about the movie is the set of traps that Bobby goes through in his test. They don’t seem particularly inventive or difficult in comparison to those that we’ve seen in previous movies. It’s not just the traps that Bobby goes through (because this could be explained away by the fact that Mark is the weakest engineer out of all those who have ever been involved with the Jigsaw killings) but also the ones that we see in the flashbacks of the survivors who are introduced in this film.

There’s also a bit of a contradiction here, as there were a lot more survivors at the meeting than there should have been. I didn’t worry about it too much, figuring that there were also a lot of family members of victims, but it still sort of negates a lot of what was implied in the first movie about the recent start of Jigsaw’s tests, and there’s not really a logical place to insert the new survivors into the timeline where it makes a lot of sense. That aside, I still really liked meeting new survivors and seeing the support group.

As the movie progresses, we see that Bobby is in charge of rescuing the people who helped him with his scam, and he ultimately is unable to pass a single one of Jigsaw’s tests, proving himself unworthy of being called a survivor after all. In the meantime, we meet Investigator Matt Gibson, who is working on the word of Jill Tuck to try and stop Hoffman.

The twists in this movie are extremely underwhelming where the traps and backstory are concerned, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the ending. After going on another insanely implausible killing spree where he kills Detective Gibson, Jill Tuck and just about everyone else in the department, Mark Hoffman is brought down by three people who are wearing pig masks. While we don’t learn the identities of two of the figures, one pulls off his mask and we see that it’s none other than Dr. Lawrence Gordon. We then learn that he not only survived, but has been helping Jigsaw since the end of the first movie, performing medical procedures when they were needed in the tests. (Explaining how the key got behind the man’s eye in the opening of the second movie for instance.) He then leaves Mark for dead in the same room where he had his test, bringing the series full circle, which I for one felt was a very satisfying end.

I also have another marketing complaint for this one. It was called “Saw 3D: The Final Chapter” and as you can imagine, it was released to theaters in 3D. Now, like with many 3D movies, bits of the movie were obviously shot in a way that was supposed to be impressive with the 3D effect, but the special effects for the film seemed to be completely banking on the fact that you were seeing it in 3D. This was fine in the theater, but the DVD was only ever released in 2D, so, I’m sure you can see my issues with that.

Some story issues and major effects issues aside, I think that overall the movie did justice to wrapping up the film, and it did tie up a lot of loose ends while adding new information and giving us a more realistic connection to the survivors. It maybe didn’t work as well as some of the other ones, but I think it also deserves a little more credit than it got.

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So, with the seven movies covered, the only thing left to talk about is the series as a whole. Like the individual movies, the series had its ups and downs, but as I said in the beginning of this article, I’m a huge fan. I think it was worth watching just for the concept alone. I think if you enjoyed the first couple, then even the later ones which are not as good are worth watching just for the new information you get about the characters.

There’s also the fact that this series made a huge impact on other horror films. The “creative death apparatus” genre as I like to refer to it (more commonly referred to as “torture porn”) was practically defined by the Saw films. We have Saw to thanks for many movies that have been released since then, such as Gag, Are You Scared, Vile, Captivity, and countless other horror titles that were clearly inspired by this franchise.

Hopefully this has illustrated some of the opinions that other Saw fans have, and has made those who hated the series consider some of the finer points of the franchise in a new light, but either way, thank you guys for reading.

Last Day to Support Bloody Men

Posted by Edwina Caustic on September 11, 2017

Rubén Gerardo Alfaro Moreno a.k.a. Myrkky Photography is known for his horror special effects and male portraits. Well worth a follow on his Instagram. Today is the last day to back his Kickstarter RED – Male portraits by Myrkky Photography. I wish the Kickstarter had a video because I’d really like to see the blood splashing in real time, although the book does include some behind the scenes fun. Happily it appears he has completed initial production of the book and just needs to print it now, so this is a Kickstarter you can back knowing your coffee table will be that much gorier asap. Check out more images on his Kickstarter now.

Myrkky’s RED is titillating and disturbing collection where men are seen as both violent and vulnerable. In the series of photographs, one wonders whether the subject is a sexy male victim or the perpetrator of a gruesome crime. Either way, each photograph focuses on the emotional load behind RED: all of the subjects are deeply human: which do you see? When one feels emotional one is in a vulnerable state, and at the same time, there is great strength in their maleness, a contract that is often unseen, and perhaps uncomfortable to see.

Art Should Always Inspire: Exclusive Interview with Painter Vaughn Belak

Posted by Ed Grabianowski on September 8, 2017

Blood in the Air Crows

Vaughn Belak‘s artistic creations draw you in with a luminous, large-eyed gaze, spatters of shadow and light creating an alluring blend of fae mischief and gothic gloom. His upcoming collection, Dodging Knives and Throwing Bullets, will give art fans a close look at not just Belak’s art, but also the mind of the artist.

Ed Grabianowski: Your artistic style has really crystallized into a very iconic, recognizable form. As your work evolved over the years, was there a particular moment when you realized, “This is it, this is my style”?

Vaughn Belak: Not that I can pinpoint but I am keenly aware of an artist’s need for their own voice. What I think a lot of people comment on first in regards to my work is the speckled effect I use. That truly has become a part of my personal fingerprint. In my mind what I’m doing with the spatter is attempting to frame a moment. If you’ve ever watched an old black and white film where there’s a musician or a singer in a darkened, smokey room on a stage where you can see the dust particles in the spotlight….that is my spatter.

EG: Can you tell me about the techniques that you use to create your art? What role does digital technique play in your work?

VB: I very recently switched over from conventional brush work to airbrush as my primary tool. I use acrylics, inks and charcoal as my mediums. As far as any digital stuff I’d say primarily just in my sketching. Recently I have been doing all of my primary sketch work on a tablet in Procreate. This helps me to be more fluid and to make more choices before I get into the paint. I guess it helps me remove all the bad choices before things get permanent.

EG: The dark fae characters you portray have so much personality to them. Do you have your own mythology or backstory about them? Have you ever considered expanding on that aspect, whether through a graphic novel or short stories?

VB: Thank you. Those pieces were part of a solo show I did called “Changeling” a few years back. In that show I wanted to explore some mythologies I’d never really read about before. Primarily the Huldra. Huldra are similar to satyrs in appearance but female. Very aggressive and insidious creatures. The dark fae in the series I wanted to be strong and have more menace to them than an average fairy type image. They are not very nice beings in my world. I have been approached by people to illustrate books about darker myths but have yet to find a good fit stylistically. Totally open to the idea though. Darker the better.

EG: What can fans expect to find in Dodging Knives & Throwing Bullets?

VB: My hope is that they find some inspiration. Art should always inspire. There is some personal stuff in the book that speaks to how I came to where I am in life at this moment that I hope can inspire as well. This book is a dream come to life for me and a few years ago I was unable to see any future from the bottom of the bottle I was in. Art saved my life in a very literal way. It truly is a form of magick that when used in certain ways can bring about miraculous things.

EG: Are there any movies that you like to watch to set the mood or put you in the right frame of mind for your work?

VB: There is an animated film called Rock and Rule that inspired most of my recent work. Particularly the song My Name is Mok sung by Lou Reed. This film has been a part of my world since I was a kid and there is so much I love about it. Post apocalyptic Ziggy Stardust rat world meets Mad Max. Check it out.

EG: Do you ever attend horror conventions or other shows where people can buy originals or prints of your work?

VB: I will be at Spooky Empire in October here in Orlando. I’ve been getting more involved with the convention world and you will certainly see me there more. I feel most comfortable somewhere in between the horror and comic book worlds. My primary outlet is selling my work online. Most of my audience has found me on Facebook and I use that as a storefront as well as a way to connect with friends/fans. The thing I am most excited about right now is the Kickstarter for my book Dodging Knives and Throwing Bullets. This is a total dream come true moment for me here. Thank you so much, Gothic.net and everyone for all the years of support leading up to this book!

Two of a Kind Poe Arsmem Vampira Impling Edgar Lily Munster Nossy Nosferatu Faun Look and Listen Dark Princess Red Fae

Game of Thrones: The Dragon and The Wolf

Posted by MD Weems on August 28, 2017

Holy epic dragon fire my friends! I know this episode wasn’t as action packed as last week, but for a season finale, man, did they leave us with so much shit to worry about for a year. So let’s dig right into the recap of HBO’s Game of Thrones: The Dragon and The Wolf, season 7, episode 7:

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We begin in King’s Landing, where the Unsullied are standing at the ready while Bronn and the soldiers are getting ready for an attack. As Bronn and Jaime watch, the Dothraki come riding in at the ready. We zoom out to see Euron Greyjoy’s fleet just overwhelming the ocean around King’s Landing – while Jon, Davos, Tyrion and the others come sailing up on just a few ships. The hound goes below deck to check on their cargo, tapping on the box and hearing the undead inside go nuts.
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Our group is led to the arena where the Targaryens once fought their dragons and are met by Bronn, who has his own soldiers along with Brienne and Podrick. Podrick and Tyrion are happy to see each other after all this time. And we have some wonderful words between Bronn and Tyrion – again proving why I absolutely love both of these characters. The Hound and Brienne walk together for a bit, exchanging some words about how they last met and how Arya is doing. You can tell the Hound is actually glad to hear Arya is alive and at Winterfell. One of the soldiers asks what’s in the box, and the Hound tells him to fuck off.
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Inside the arena, there are tents set up and everyone is told to go in and wait. Bronn and Podrick exit so the “fancy people can talk” according to Bronn. Noticing they are surrounded by Lannister soldiers, the Hound tells Tyrion what a great idea this was. Finally, Cersei, Jaime and the others come in. But still, no Daenerys. After everyone is seated, Cersei is obviously irritated that Daenerys isn’t there. Once they are all seated, the Hound sees his brother and heads right out into the center of the area as his brother steps out to meet him. You can see that there is some pity in the Hound’s eyes as he sees what they’ve done to his brother – even though he hates him.
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And in grand fashion, comes our beloved Daenerys on her favorite dragon, making one hell of an entrance. Once she’s off her ride, he flies off to play with his brother – obviously showing the others there is only two dragons here now. Cersei makes a quip about how they’ve waited for a long time, even though they haven’t, and Daenerys apologizes to her for being late. As Tyrion steps out to start talking, Euron steps up too and makes some jokes about his height. Finally, Cersei tells him to sit down. Tyrion tries to talk a bit more and Cersei just is her normal bitchy self. Finally Jon gets up and interrupts.
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Then the Hound brings up the box with their prize. It takes him awhile to undo the latches and he finally just kicks the box over. The walker inside comes running out, right at Cersei. The Hound grabs its chain barely before it gets to her. Jon shows her that you can’t kill them when the Hound cuts it in half and it continues to try to attack him. He then shows her that you can burn them by burning one of its hands or kill them with dragonglass as he stabs it and kills it. Qyburn is obviously fascinated with this whole thing. Tyrion sees that this really has an impact on Cersei – which is what he wants. Daenerys tells them there is an army of these things and when Jaime asks how many, and she tells him, his face just falls.
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Euron gets up and tells them that this is more than he bargained for and he’s out. The undead lying there looks a lot like the brother that Euron killed to gain control of the Iron Islands. Cersei tells Daenerys that she’ll agree to the truce to fight against the monsters. Of course, then she says that she’ll only pull her armies back if Jon, the King in the North, agrees that he won’t take sides. He tells her no, that he’s already pledged his loyalty to Daenerys. Cersei doesn’t like this and takes off. Brienne tries to get Jaime to talk to Cersei. Daenerys gets more than a bit angry that Jon couldn’t have lied a little. Then Tyrion tells them he’ll go talk to her.
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Outside Cersei’s chambers, Tyrion is led in by the Mountain. Jaime is waiting. He tells Tyrion that Cersei kicked him out for trying to talk to her about it. Then Tyrion goes in. He and Cersei have a chat about how he’s destroyed their family and so on, then he tells her to just have the Mountain kill him. She doesn’t of course. They talk a little more and he figures out she’s pregnant.
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Back at the meeting site, Daenerys and Jon are talking. Daenerys tells him about what this place was used for and how the dragons grew smaller as they left them in there to rot. Then they also talk about how Daenerys can’t have kids and she tells Jon who told her that. Jon asks her if she ever thought that maybe the old hag was lying to her. Tyrion strolls back in and Cersei and her group are right behind him. Daenerys and everyone is amazed. Cersei tells Daenerys that she won’t stand her armies down – instead, she’ll have them march north to help fight against the undead. Anyone else remember when Cersei said she’ll befriend Daenerys and then stab her in the back? I do.
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Anyhow, at Winterfell, Sansa is getting another push from Littlefinger toward either having Arya killed or imprisoned. He does everything he can to set the two girls against each other. He tells Sansa his little “game” he uses to figure out people’s motives, thinking up the worst in everyone. He convinces her that Arya is there to kill her and take over her spot as Lady of Winterfell.
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At Dragonstone, they are talking about how they are going to go north. Jon wants Daenerys to sail with them to show a united front. Jorah tells her to fly on her dragon, that one arrow can ruin all they’ve worked for. Jon convinces her that a unified front is better and she agrees. Jorah doesn’t like this. As they leave the ready room, Theon hollers at Jon to wait for a moment. Theon tells Jon that he’s sorry for everything he’s done and Jon says that he can’t forgive him for everything because it’s not his place, but he does for things that Theon has done against Jon. Theon tells him that he has to go save Yara and Jon agrees.
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Theon goes to the beach where the remainder of Yara’s fleet is about to take off. He tries to convince them that they have to go save Yara. The Captain makes fun of him and tells him they are sailing off somewhere safe instead. Finally, he hits Theon as Theon keeps on telling him they are going to go get Yara. He then beats the crap out of Theon but Theon won’t stay down. Theon gets up and tries to tackle the captain. The captain tries to knee him in the nuts, but Theon doesn’t have any now – so he kind of just laughs and then headbutts the guy. Dude crashes to the sand and Theon gets on him and is beating the shit out of him. When he finally wins, he tells the others they are going to go get Yara and they all agree.
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At Winterfell, Sansa is on top the wall and tells one of the guards there to have Arya brought into the great hall. He goes to get Arya. Then we see Sansa and Bran seated at the table as Arya is brought in. There are guards all around the hall. Sansa and Arya keep solemn faces as Sansa reads the charges of murder and treason, with Littlefinger watching, smiling. Until Sansa says that the charges are against him. Of course, then he does his best to talk his way out of it, even trying to command the Vale knights to take him out of there at once. They refuse. Sansa sentences him to death and Arya just casually walks up and slits his throat as he’s begging for his life on his knees. While I’m glad he finally got it, I’m sad to see him go at the same time.
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Back at King’s Landing, Jaime is meeting with his commanders to get the armies ready to go north. Cersei comes in and tells them she needs to talk to Jaime. Once they leave, she asks what he’s doing. Then she says that she has no intention of helping Daenerys and to let the monsters fight it all out while they wait. She then says that they’ll deal with what’s left. She tells him she bought a mercenary army of 20,000 soldiers, horses and elephants. He tells her they won’t help if they are an ocean away. She lets him know that’s actually why Euron left – to go get her army – and that he still wants a queen. Jaime tells her that he gave his word he’d fight and she says that he’s betrayed her. He tells her that if that’s true, she needs to have the Mountain kill him. She even nods to the Mountain who draws his sword. Jaime says “I don’t believe you” and walks past the Mountain and out the door. It seems that both of her brothers have now abandoned her.
As Jaime is riding out of King’s Landing, he puts on his glove over his golden hand. Snowflakes fall on his glove and then we see the snow moving into the huge city.
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Finally! Sam arrives at Winterfell and goes to see Bran. Bran tells him that he knows Jon isn’t Ned’s son and that he is a Targaryen bastard. Sam then tells him that no, the grand maester of the time recorded where he married Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. So, Jon is actually a legitimized Targaryen named Aegon. (For those that don’t know the books, Aegon was the first conqueror and is one of the most powerful names the Targaryen’s give their sons.) On a side note, if you look closely in the flashbacks where Bran sees Lyanna and Rhaegar getting married – it totally is Daenery’s brother as the actor there. Ew.
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In the meantime, Jon goes to Dany’s quarters on the ship. Should be pretty easy for anyone to guess what’s going to happen at this point – Jon and Dany finally get naked. While everyone has been waiting for this, I’m still a little creeped out that she’s his aunt. Again, ew. Poor Tyrion is down the hall, watching Jon go into her room, with a weird look on his face.
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At Winterfell, Sansa and Arya are standing on top of the ramparts. Arya tells Sansa that she is the Lady of Winterfell and basically that she did the right thing. They have a touching moment finally and both agree they miss their dad, quoting some things that he used to say about winter and how a lone wolf dies while the pack lives.
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Then we see Bran under the tree, using his ravens to watch the Wall. Tormund and Beric are watching from the Wall as the army of the dead moves out of the trees and then just stops. One of the knights is riding just a badass undead horse. Then the horn is sounded and everything stands still.
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Then the sound they all fear – the Night King on his new mount, the undead dragon. Shooting blue flames at the Wall, the dragon begins to attack the ramparts and wipes them out. Tormund screams for everyone to run! The Night King blasts through the Wall and men start to fall off the stairs as they are trying to escape. Finally, the dragon manages to damage the wall enough that it actually crumbles and falls as the undead army just watches.
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Now, the undead army just starts walking all chill through the huge hole as the Night King flies past the rubble and into the north.

And that leaves us waiting almost a year to find out what happens in the final season. I’m gonna be pissed if they just killed off my favorite wildling and no one knows.

Game of Thrones: Beyond the Wall

Posted by MD Weems on August 21, 2017

Holy crap guys and gals! I know that I’m seriously traumatized after tonight’s Game of Thrones. I’m not gonna waste any time jumping into this one. Here we go with the recap of HBO’s Game of Thrones: Beyond the Wall, Season 7, Episode 6.

Note – My World of Warcraft playing friends, you will LOVE this episode and hopefully the screen shots I’ve grabbed for you. Everything beyond the wall is straight out of the game, from undead bears to the Death Knight’s bone dragon with the ice blue eyes. My WoW nerd brain was just cheering at seeing these things in a real life view.

We start with a long drawn out view of the epic table in Dany’s ready room which fades into the area beyond the wall. All snowy, icy and nasty, our wonderful rag tag group is trudging along. Jon asks Gendry if he’s ok, and he says that he’s never been north before or seen snow. Some humor from Tormund about how the south smells like pig shit and I’m reminded why I love the huge ginger. Then some advice about keeping warm and funny crap turns into Jon and Tormund talking about fighting. Tormund tells him he’s spent too much time with the wildlings to ever bend the knee. However, he also says that the King Beyond the Wall never kneeled either and look how many people got killed because of it.

Thoros asks Gendry if he’s still mad at the Brotherhood and Gendry tells him hell yeah, they sold him. He says that she wanted to kill him. The Hound makes fun of him a bit for whining like a girl, er, “whinging”. Thoros gives Gendry a swig of his magic potion in his flask and they march on.
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Jon tells Jorah the first time he ever went north of the wall. He tells Jorah his dad was a good man. Jorah asks if Jon was there when he died and Jon said he wasn’t, that he was a prisoner. But, Jon says, they killed all the bastards who killed him. Jorah tells him that he can’t think of a worse way to go, especially since the Night’s Watch was his whole life and he would have died for any of those men. Then they talk about Ned Stark and how he was a good man but still wanted to execute Jorah. Jon tells Jorah he’s glad Ned never caught him to execute him.
Then Jon pauses to give Jorah Longclaw back, the sword the elder Mormont gave to Jon. Jorah holds it lovingly and tells Jon he brought shame to his house and that his father gave the sword to Jon. He hands it back to Jon and tells Jon it will serve him and his family for generations to come.
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Back at Winterfell, Arya is standing on the balcony overlooking the square. Sansa comes up and they talk about how she remembers their father never allowing her to train with the boys. Then one day, she found Bran’s bow just left on the ground and started shooting it. She said she only had the one arrow and shot it over and over for a long time, until she hit the bullseye. She said that when she did, she heard clapping above her and looked up to see their dad, and he wasn’t angry at her for it. Then Arya brings up the scroll after telling Sansa that she knows she helped kill their father.
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Sansa tells her that they forced her to write it, but Arya doesn’t believe her. After some harsh sisterly words, Sansa realizes that Arya was there when Ned was beheaded. Sansa asks why she didn’t do something to help their dad and Arya tells her that at least she didn’t betray her entire family. Then Sansa gets mad and tells her that she should be on her knees thanking her for saving Winterfell. Sansa tells her that Jon had lost the Battle of the Bastards except the Knights of the Vale came to the rescue because Sansa asked them to. Then they both go through how horrible their journeys were to this point – not in full detail of course, but as sisterly ‘one ups’.

Sansa asks what she’s going to do with the letter and asks where she got it. Arya realizes that she’s scared. She’s not scared that Jon will be mad, she’s worried the Northern Lords would read it and rise against her. Arya pushes it in her face. You can see Littlefinger’s influence on both girls here as he’s worked them both to his advantage.
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Back beyond the wall, and our group is moving right along. Tormund and the Hound have some funny back and forth, with Tormund telling the Hound he heard he was mean and the Hound telling Tormund he hates gingers. Tormund tells him gingers were kissed by the fire, just like the Hound. Then they talk about that, ‘er Tormund does, but the Hound just normally replies ‘fuck off’. Then Tormund tells the Hound about Brienne and how he can’t wait to get back there. The Hound love this, and so did I, it was so funny. Tormund wants to make babies with her, giant babies that will take over the world.

Beric and Jon talk about Ned Stark and how the red woman brought Jon back. He says that the Lord of Light brought him back 6 times. Then they talk about how neither knows what the Lord of Light wants, but maybe it’s enough that they have to fight for life, even though the dead will win in the end. The group comes to a stop as the Hound sees the arrowhead-shaped mountain that he saw in the flames. He tells them they are getting close.
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At Dragonstone, Daenerys is telling Tyrion that she likes that he’s not a hero. She says that heroes do stupid things and they die. She tries to hide the fact that she’s mad and worried about Jon. He tells her that all of those heroes fell in love with her and she blows it off. The conversation shifts to Daenerys meeting Cersei if all goes well in the north and they bring back a walker. They then get into a huge talk about traps and trust and how Daenerys is worried about Tyrion’s loyalties. Then he tries to tell her that he’s worried about her getting hurt. He pushes the fact that he saw too many arrows almost hit her already and just one would end everything she’s worked for. He continues on that she needs to think about a successor to carry on what she’s started. Of course, she doesn’t like this one bit. She tells him that they’ll discuss it after she wears the crown.

Back beyond the wall, the group is caught in a major snowstorm and sees a huge bear in the distance. Gendry sees that the bear has blue eyes. Their scout takes off running like hell and out of fucking nowhere comes the bear and just obliterates the poor guy!
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(I know the screenshot isn’t the best, but holy shit, even with slow play software, I couldn’t get anything good because it’s so fast.) An epic battle ensues with the bear and it takes out a ton of their ‘extras’. I have to admit however that I seriously need a flaming sword in my life after seeing them light this undead bear on fire.
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Finally, it ends up getting Thoros because he tries to save the Hound when the big dumbass just stands there. The Hound stands there and almost lets Thoros get killed because he’s suddenly a coward. Instead of taking him back to Eastwatch, they cauterize the wounds and get him up and moving again and the group is on their way.
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At Winterfell, Sansa is telling Littlefinger about the note and Littlefinger is obviously denying it. He again boosts her confidence in the fact that she’s the ruler of Winterfell. He pushes that she’s been ruling wisely and that some of the lords prefer her over Jon. She then reminds him that the lords of the north are like weathervanes and she doesn’t trust them. Littlefinger tells her that Arya won’t betray her family and Sansa tells him she doesn’t know what Arya will do. Littlefinger then tells her that Brienne could help since she’s sworn to help both girls, Sansa could tell her that Arya might hurt Sansa and maybe put her in the middle of the girls’ fighting. He puts Sansa in the position that she knows Brienne would have to defend or stop the fighting between the girls.
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Beyond the wall again, Jorah and Thoros are talking about how drunk Thoros was when they charged the breach on Pyke. They laugh about how drunk he always is yet how he scared the shit out of the Ironborn. You can see at this point that Thoros doesn’t have long in this world. They come up a hill and Tormund has them stop. He and Jon sneak up to a rise and see a small group of walkers down below. They know this is their chance to grab one. They set a trap by putting a burning fire where they know the group will come to it. The leader of the walkers stops and so do the others. They’re led by one of the knights of the Night King.
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The group charges out and attacks the small band of walkers. They aren’t doing very well until Jon slices through the knight with Longclaw. Once he dies, all but one of the others do. They figure out that if they kill the one who made them, all of the low level walkers will die as well. They capture the only one left and it lets out a crazy huge scream. The group pauses and sees a massive wall of snow/walkers/insanity headed toward them at a run. Jon screams that Gendry has to run back to the Wall and get a raven to Daenerys asap. Gendry says that he’ll stay and fight but Jon says that he’s the fastest and he has to go NOW. Gendry takes off running and the others do the same. Tormund has Gendry leave his hammer behind so he’ll be faster.
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The group runs out toward a rock outcropping and freeze as they realize they are on a cracking lake that isn’t going to hold their weight. The horde is right behind them. They run toward the small rock outcropping in the middle as the horde surrounds the area. One of their ‘extras’ gets caught by one of the horde and that extra weight causes the ice to buckle under them. Our group is safe for the time being as the horde stops when they realize they can’t go any further. Gendry is running his ass off up and down the hills they just came through. Just as you think he’s going to just keel over, he sees the wall.
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Back at the outcropping, the walker they captured isn’t happy to be tied up. Our group is freezing as night hits. However, the horde still is kept at bay from the ice. Then we see Gendry fall in the snow and cannot get up. At least we hear the comforting sound of the gate rising and Davos is out there to get him. He’s screaming at him, where are the others?! Gendry tells him they have to send a raven now.
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In the morning, our group is still alive on the outcropping. The walker is still growling in his head bag. The Hound gets up and kicks him and the thing screeches. They find that Thoros is dead. The Hound starts to drink the rest of what’s in Thoros’ flask and Beric takes it from him. Jon says that they have to burn the body and they pour the rest of his liquor on Thoros and then use a sword to burn him. Jon says that they have to survive to take that thing back. He says that Daenerys is their only chance. Beric says no, there’s another chance – to kill the Night King. He points his sword up the hill at the Night King and his four remaining knights. Jon tells him he doesn’t understand. Beric says that the lord brought him and Jon back maybe just to kill the Night King.
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Again to Winterfell, Sansa has a raven that is inviting her to King’s Landing. She’s telling Brienne about it and she sends Brienne to King’s Landing. Brienne tells her that she’s worried about leaving Sansa there with Littlefinger and offers to leave Podrick with her. Sansa gets all pissy and tells her that she doesn’t need protection any longer. Sansa dismisses her very coldly as Brienne is trying to warn her about things there at Winterfell.
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Now we see our favorite dragons, laying in wait for Daenerys as she walks up. Tyrion is telling her she can’t go save Jon – they obviously got Gendry’s raven. Daenerys tells Tyrion that she already listened once when he told her not to do anything and she’s not just standing by again. She gets on Drogon and flies off, the other two in tow. She leaves Tyrion standing there on the cliff, watching her go.
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Beyond the wall, the Hound really needs to be shanked for this move. Apparently bored, he picks up a rock and throws it at the waiting horde. He lands a good hit right in the jaw of a particularly nasty looking walker, which knocks the whole jaw off. (I laughed, it was pretty funny.) However, his second rock falls short, but doesn’t fall through the ice – telling the whole horde that it’s now safe to go get their prize. The group realizes that the Hound just screwed them and get up and ready to fight.

Now, I’m gonna pause here and put in another screen shot of this dude because it’s so epic that it means the Walking Dead really better step their game up in October. They are now on notice.
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Ok, back to the story – our group is now in a crazy battle of nasty walkers coming at them across the ice slowly. At least they are coming at a rate where they can slice the majority of them down quick. The Hound finally gets smart and busts the ice, but it’s frozen enough that it doesn’t matter. Soon, they are almost overrun and Jon yells at them to fall back. Then my favorite Tormund goes down in a heap of walkers. Jorah slices them back as best he can. He gets all the walkers off and then ‘ole half-face starts pulling him into the water. Finally, the Hound cuts his cowardly shit out and saves him. They are all pushed into a little group at the top of the rock and pretty much know they are dead.

Jon stands watching the battle in slow motion – just like the Battle of the Bastards – knowing they are fucked.

And finally, the show brings something in just in time again… just like the Battle of the Bastards – Daenerys on her dragons.

I know I said the pirate battle was epic, but this is way better. I dare say it’s even better than her lighting up the Lannister army. I’m on the fence about that one however.
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She just absolutely decimates the walkers and I’m cheering. She lands Drogon by the group and they throw their prize and themselves on the dragon. Jon fights off a last group of walkers that’s about onto the rock.

And here is the part you pucker your butt and your whole body for: the Night King pulls one of their huge ice spears, walks right through the fire and throws it.
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He hits one of the dragons and kills it.

I cried like a baby.

Daenerys has a look of utter disbelief on her face and looks back to Jon who’s yelling for them to go without him. She’s unsure and stays just a little bit and Jon gets pulled into the icy water by a group of walkers. She sees the Night King grab another spear and she takes off – this spear barely misses her favorite, but they get away. They almost lose Jorah as Drogon moves to avoid the spear. She looks back to see the horde closing in on the ice where Jon went under. It looks like all she can do not to cry.
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The Night King gets on his horse and he and the horde start to move away. Then out of the ice comes our boy Jon. You know he’s not going down that easily. He gets out of the water and barely is breathing because he’s frozen. The horde starts to notice that he’s moving, actually getting up and has his sword at the ready for them. They turn to head his way and then riding right through them to save Jon again is Benjen Stark. He’s swinging a wicked firey bulb. He grabs Jon, throws him on his horse and sends him off. Then Benjen goes into the horde swinging. Jon rides off toward the gates, half dead.
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At the Wall, Daenerys and Jorah are standing on the lookout as the others are finishing loading the ship. Dany’s dragons are flying, and screaming – I assume at the loss of their brother. Jorah tells her they have to go and she waits one more minute. As they finally turn to leave, the horn sounds and a horse rides out of the woods. Now, we see Jon in a bed on the ship and they are almost chipping his icy clothes off his body. Daenerys sees all the crazy scars from all the stab wounds when he died.
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At Winterfell, Sansa sneaks into Arya’s room and looks for the scroll. She finds a bag under the bed and when she opens it, she finds Arya’s faces. Arya comes in and Sansa demands to know what the faces are. Arya tells her a little about her training and then tries to play the game of faces with Sansa. Sansa won’t answer the question and keeps wanting to know where the faces are from. Arya finally tells her that they are faces she took. That with anyone’s face, she can look like them, talk like them, etc – and all she’d need is Sansa’s face to be her. She takes the dagger off the desk and seems to be threatening Sansa, who looks like she’s about to cry or poop herself. Then, she just hands the dagger to Sansa and walks away.
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Daenerys is sitting by Jon’s bed when he wakes up. His first words to her are: “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” He tells her he’d take it back if he could, that he would never have sent the raven. He takes her hand as she tries not to cry. She said if she hadn’t gone, she wouldn’t have seen and now she knows. She tells him that the dragons arer her children and the only ones she’ll ever have. She then says that they will destroy the Night King together. He calls her Dany and she thinks that the last person who called her that was her brother. He tells her that she’s his queen and he’d gladly bend the knee but he can’t. She tells him to get some rest.

One last time to the north and the army of the dead is pulling the body of the dead dragon out of the water.

Yeah, you know what’s coming next.
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The Night King walks up, kneels and touches his nose. The camera pans around and the eye flips open, that crazy ice blue.
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