The Rainbow of Terror: The Rebootquel
October, the month of screams, spooks, and scares, is upon us. You know what that means. In case you are new and are unsure allow me to explain: it also means a whole month of theme challenges created by yours truly. Yes, this is the sixth annual series of theme challenges I like to call the Rainbow of Terror. Some of you are probably wondering why I call this the Rainbow of Terror. Whenever I create these challenges I attach them to a portal (horror, poetry, fantasy, etc.), and these portals have a different color to them. Blue for poetry, purple for fiction, pink for LGBT, and the like. Thus this makes a rainbow. And since the main theme of each challenge is about Halloween and horror (which is my favorite genre), it has become a Rainbow of Terror.
Unfortunately, due to an error of Prose's side I cannot seem to load more portals when I try to create a challenge, so my portal choices are sort of limit. So sadly there won't be any challenges for portals such as Paranormal, Gaming, History, Six Word Story, and the like. Which is a shame since my Guess Boo challenges seem to be extremely popular each year. I've tried informing Prose and IT about this months ago but nothing has been done about it. However, I won't let a technical error stop my creativeness. There are 11 terrifying challenges that I believe you might enjoy, as well as send shivers up your spines.
I understand that horror isn't everybody's cup of tea. Hell, some of you probably don't even like Halloween for personal reasons. But the purpose of these challenges isn't so much to celebrate Halloween (although they kinda are). It is to inspire creativity. So you don't need to be a fan of horror or Halloween to participate in these challenges. You just need to have imagination. And you just need to give it a shot. I especially extend a hand out to all newcomers on Prose in participating in each of these challenges. This is a good way to get others to recognize your writing talents and to become part of this extraordinary community.
All challenges will end on October 28. Enter one, enter two, or enter in all of these fantastic and ghoulish horror/Halloween theme challenges. If you have any questions about these challenges or what I may be looking for in these challenges, please feel free to send a message and ask me any time. And, of course, don't forget to tag me.
Good luck, write on, and scare away. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
Title: The Greatest Horror Story Ever Told
Description: Give me the best horror story you can come up with. No word count or length restrictions for this. The one that scares me the most wins and gets a prize!
Word Count: Unlimited
Title: Horror Prompt
Description: Try to come up with a prompt or a synopsis for a horror story you wish to tell. This can be for a future novel, a movie, a show, a video game, a one shot or campaign for a table-top role-playing game, etc. Two to four paragraphs, if you please.
Word Count: 15-250
Title: Poems of the Fall
Description: This is for those that aren't a fan of the horror genre. Halloween is set in fall, probably my favorite time of the year. So instead of writing a spooky poem, see if you can write a poem about fall. Write about what you love about this time of year.
Word Count: 25-250
Title: Fairy Tale Terrors
Description: Rewrite a popular fairy tale but make it much more darker and twisted than the original.
Word Count: 15-1500
Title: The Science of Madness
Description: Write about a mad scientist whose latest experiment either goes horribly right or horribly wrong (depending on how the scientist sees it).
Word Count: 15-1500
Title: A True Rainbow of Terror
Description: Write a horror story/poem with LGBT themes.
Word Count: 15-1500
Title: Tear My Heart Out
Description: Instead of a traditional horror, write about someone falling in love with a monster and/or vice versa. The monster in question is your choice. A vampire, a werewolf, Frankenstein's monster, a grotesque alien, a serial killer, whatever you can come up with. Tell me if it ends happily or horribly. You are free to write in any style you so choose. If you want to turn it into erotica that's you're choice. Just make sure to add a content warning.
Word Count: 50-5000
Title: True Terror
Description: What's a ghost story or urban legend you may have heard about growing up in your community?
Word Count: 15-1000
Description: See if you can write a haiku or two about Halloween.
Word Count: 15-25
Title: Do you like scary movies?
Description: Are you a fan of scary movies? If yes, what's your favorite scary movie and why? Got more than one favorite scary movie, make a list. If you don't like scary movies, what genre do you prefer then?
Word Count: 15-150
Title: The Last Entry of the Last Person on Earth
Description: Imagine yourself as the last person on Earth (or so you believe). Humanity has been devastated by a cataclysmic event, such as a deadly plague, an alien invasion, the rise of a new dominate species, whatever you can think of. What would your last journal entry be?
Word Count: 100-1000
#themechallenges #halloween #horror #fun #writing #happyhalloween #RainbowofTerror
Harry Situation Re-Reviews: Dead Space
Dead Space is a third-person shooter science fiction survival horror game released back in 2008. It was developed by Visceral Games and published by EA. Set in the far future, you play as an engineer named Isaac Clarke (a nice homage to science fiction authors Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke) traveling to a large mining ship called the USG Ishimura to do some repairs. Unfortunately as you arrive you find that the entire crew has been killed and reanimated into monstrocities called Necromorphs. The only source of this outbreak comes a mysterious artifact known as the Red Marker, which was pulled from the planet and placed onboard the ship. You must fight your way and survive against the onslaught of necromorphs as you uncover secrets about the Red Marker and the Ishimura, as well as try and find your girlfriend Nicole, if she's still alive.
My very first experience with this game was when I first saw the trailer on TV. It is hands down the best trailer made for any video game. A lone ship (the Ishimura) is in deep space followed by creepy shots of dark corners and dead bodies with the creepiest rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" playing in the background, and once in a while it will cut to some violence. Definitely check it out when you have time.
I know I've already talked about this game before, but truthfully that review really didn't to the game any justice. There's a lot that I wanted to talk about but didn't give myself the space to write more about it. I love the Dead Space franchise flaws and all, and I really want to talk more about it. So with the franchise's spiritual successor, The Callisto Protocol, as well as a remake to the original game coming next year, I think it's time to talk about each of the Dead Space games. Or at least the main three since I haven't played any of the spin-off titles.
A major positive towards this game is the lighting and atmosphere. Much of the ship is in darkness, creating the most eerie atmosphere in space since Ridley Scott's original Alien. You're constantly looking over your shoulder and around every corner because you know that's when the Necromorphs are hiding and they'll pop up any given moment. They'll pop out of vents, they'll pop out of the doors, they'll burst through the walls. There's no such thing as safe on the Ishimura. This is how you do horror in a video game right, aside from having a bunch of monsters run out and attack you. The first 10-15 minutes of the game (which I'm sure most are familiar with) are without a doubt one of the most terrifying moments in the games. For me, the scariest thing about the game is the audio. This is what the game strives in. There's so much ambiance and background sound going on it creeps me the fuck out. Every so often you'll hear something moving around inside either the walls or the vents. Sometimes you'll hear a metal object get knocked to the floor and echo throughout the room you're in. You'll also hear Necromorphs in the background and you're not sure if they're close or far away. It really gets me on edge.
The second positive is the game's combat. Unlike in other survival horror games, the Necromorphs are not like traditional zombies. Body shots won't do anything, nor will shooting off their heads. If you want to put them down for good you gotta take out their limbs. How that kills them isn't exactly explained but in all honesty it doesn't matter. And the weapons you use are not really weapons. They're engineer tools - save for the plasma gun. The character you play isn't some space marine or super soldier, he's an engineer, so you use what you can. The right tool for the right job, as the old saying goes. You can only carry four weapons at time, but each weapon has an alternative fire option that can do some serious damage against enemies. So in reality if feels like you're carrying eight weapons.
The graphics are another major positive. This game was made back in 2008 and the graphics hold up very well today. Everything on the ship feels and looks very real like you yourself could be apart of this universe. It makes it feel very alive, despite the fact there are shit ton of dead bodies and Necromorphs everywhere. There are two key factors that make the game work: lighting and shadow.
There's also subtle attention to detail for Isaac's breathing. It changes depending on the situation. When he's running he'll sound fatigue. When he's running out of air in the vacuum of space he starts gasping. Even when he's injured he'll sound like he's short on breathe. It's those little details in sound that make me appreciate the game more and more.
I'm also in love with so much of the backstory and lore within this game's universe. For example, you learn that the USG Ishimura is out in illegal space and their main operation is to retrieve the Red Marker for a religious group known as the Church of Unitology. Think of them as a combination of Evangelist Christians and Scientology, but act way more cult like than the aforementioned. You can actually learn more about the backstory and the Ishimura's crew through a series of diaries and audio logs that are scattered throughout the ship. I must warn you, the audio logs are one of the most eerie things I've come across. A majority of them are about how some crew members have when crazy after discovering the Red Marker (which is one of its many sinister affects) or how the crew is desperately trying to stave off and survive the Necromorph outbreak. The most disturbing audio log involves a crew member dismembering his own limbs so he doesn't hurt anyone should he turn into a Necromorph. It's pretty fucked up and it keeps you up at night.
There are also plenty leave plenty of room and quiet time to do some puzzle solving. You'll need to do these in order to progress through the game. Some are pretty, others are pretty challenging. But what I like about these puzzles is that they serve as a welcome break from all the Necromorph-slaying you'll have to do throughout the game. Trust me, after the 50th Necromorph that's tried to kill you you could use a breather because this game doesn't offer a lot. Then again it isn't much of a breather if these fuckers pop in and disrupt your progress while you're working on a puzzle.
Now this isn't a perfect game, and there's definitely stuff to nitpick about. For example, I don't like how slow Isaac Clarke moves in the came. From running to melee attacks to even walking he feels stiff and sluggish. You could make an argument that it's the suit that's making him do that but I don't think that's the case.
The zero gravity sequences are also pretty lame. What you have to do is whenever you enter a zero gravity area you have to aim your weapon at an opposite and then press a certain button which will make Isaac jump across from room to room. The issue is it feels very slow and there isn't a ton of freedom in it. Also, the camera tends to get messed up when doing so.
You don't really get much character out of Isaac Clarke or any of the other characters in this game. Granted, Isaac Clarke is a silent protagonist, but this also means he lacks personality. I get that silent protagonists are meant to be avatars for ourselves as we immerse into this universe, but Isaac Clarke isn't us. We don't know why he's here. Okay, not true. We know he's here looking for his girlfriend, but why is he personally on the ship? Why wasn't he on the Ishimuru with his girlfriend at the time? How does he feel about the situation? How does he feel about his fellow crew members? Does he trust them? Does he trust anyone? Obviously, this is improved in the second game, which I'll talk about soon.
Overall, my thoughts haven't changed much the last time I talked about it. I do consider Dead Space one of the most terrifying games I've ever played, but what may scare me may not scare others. It is definitely a fun game. So don't play for the scares, play for the fun. If you want to try the game it is available on Steam and it's backwards compatible on all systems. Be sure to play it with the lights on.
-Lighting and atmosphere
-Pretty damn scary
-Lore and audio logs
-Lack of character development
-Zero gravity movement
Final Grade: B+
So those are my thoughts on Dead Space. Have you played this game before? What were your thoughts on it? Please be kind, leave a like and comment, and check out more reviews here on Prose!
#harrysituationreviews #videogame #gaming #opinion #EA #scifi #horror #survival #AGrade
Harry Situation Reviews: Barbarian
I know it's been a while since you seen one of my reviews. Thing was I was getting over COVID Omicron, followed up with a serious case of bronchitis and a slipped ribbed. Yeah, things haven't been going well for me health wise for the past month. But I'm fully recovered and got a new review for you all. Plus, I'll be taking some vacation time later this week so I can work on more writing.
Barbarian is a new horror thriller directed by Zach Cregger. It stars Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgaard, Justin Long, and Richard Blake. The film centers around a young woman (played by Georgina Campbell) drives to Detroit for an interview. She rents a house in a remote neighborhood only to find that it is already taken by a young man (played by Bill Skarsgaard). With little options she stays the night only to learn of the house's dark secrets.
I had no clue what I was getting into before watching this movie. I mainly went to see it because a friend of my couldn't stop talking about it. He really like this movie. And I have to admit, I really like it too.
All the actors do a stellar job in this. Georgina Campbell was great. Bill Skarsgaard is just fantastic. Justin Long - god, I haven't seen that guy in so long - was outstanding. Just fantastic job from the whole cast.
I think what I like most about Barbarian is that it isn't like traditional horror. It doesn't rely on cheap jumpscares or fake outs to scare its audience, or any of that other bullshit that modern horror tries to throw at audiences. It relies more on building suspense and tension. As soon as the characters explore the basement inside the house there is a wave of suspense that thrashes out at you, and you're on the edge of your seat the entire time. The horror comes from when you understand what's really going on in this house and it just makes you completely uncomfortable.
The music is also great. It really helps build up the suspension throughout.
The only issue I might have against the movie is its story structure. It starts off with Georgina's and Bill's characters meeting for the first time and talking in this rental house, and then later on it cuts to Justin Long's character doing something else, somewhere else. It's oddly bizarre.
This is one of the most bizarre horror film I've seen since Hereditary. I hate to keep this review brief but honestly I can't talk too much about the movie. I feel like if I get into any details I'd be spoiling the whole movie. This is one of those movies you have to see to understand. Overall, Barbarian gets my highest recommendation.
-Great suspense & atmosphere
-Not traditional horror
Final Grade: A
So those are my thoughts on Barbarian. Have you seen it? What are your thoughts on it? Please be kind, leave a like and comment, and check out more reviews here on Prose!
#harrysituationreviews #film #opinion #horror #thriller #suspense #house #AGrade
Is That You, Mother?
Mother has been away for some time now. I cannot frankly recall when she left, but I was rather glad when she did. She was an overbearing woman. Whenever she wanted something she would smack the wall with the butt of her cane, stirring up a cantankerous racket until her ungrateful demands were met.
BUNK! BUNK! BUNK!
Now it is just I alone in this old house, enjoying the peaceful bachelor life. Peaceful, until I heard that very sound mother would make from her bedroom.
BUNK! BUNK! BUNK!
I approached her door carefully. "Is that you, mother?" I stuttered. Slowly, I creaked the door open. There she was. The room was dark but I could make her out from the moonlight that shun through her window. My mother's decaying corpse laying in her bed as she once did, waiting to command me once more.
#horror #shortstory #flashfiction
Harry Situation Reviews: Prey
Prey is a new science fiction action thriller prequel released on Hulu featuring the feared intergalactic hunter, the Predator. The film is directed by Dan Trachtenburg, who is known for his critically acclaimed directorial debut 10 Cloverfield Lane, and stars Amber Midthunder, actress known for her roles in Legion and Roswell. It is also the first film in the Predator franchise to have been distributed by 20th Century Studios (I still refer them as 20th Century Fox) after their merge with Disney.
The film takes place during the 18th Century on the Great American Plains. A young Comanche warrior named Naru (played by Amber Midthunder) and her tribe suddenly find themselves as hunted for sport by the dreadlocked extraterrestrial hunter (played by Dane DiLiegro). Determined to protect her tribe against this highly evolved killer, she sets out to confront it, leading into the ultimate challenge of survival to determine who is the predator and who is the prey.
I'll be honest after the shit pile that was Shane Black's The Predator I had little hope for this franchise. Also, changing the title from Predator to Prey didn't help things either. It was like they were trying to be cute or something. But I still kept an open mind, hoping that this film was at least better than The Predator. And it certainly was. Like leagues better than that shitty movie. In fact, I dare say I really liked this new Predator movie.
First positive goes to Amber Midthunder's performance. She was outstanding throughout. She doesn't have a ton of dialogue but she expresses her thoughts through her eyes. And her character Naru is great. She's a problem solver and a skilled tracker, making her a worthy opponent against the Predator. You also understand why she's trying to prove herself, to her tribe, and to her brother she is a capable hunter.
BTW: if you're bitching about the idea of a person fighting the Predator with only a bow and arrow, keep in mind that's exactly what Arnold used to fight the Predator in the first film.
Speaking of the Predator I like how this Predator is portrayed. This big guy is named the Feral Predator and watching the movie I see why. This Predator tends to fight more hand to hand rather than rely on his technology, and his tactics tend to be more brutal and savage. I also get the feeling that this is a young Predator based on how unrefined the way he hunts and kills his prey. He also seems to progress from prey to prey at the start of the film, having killed a wolf then a bear and then finally killing a bunch of French fur trappers.
The kills in the movie are great too. These kills look like they do some serious damage. It's brutal. It's bloody. There's some great sound design that make them feel juicy. It's all you can ask for in a Predator movie. Although I did find it weird at times that when it comes to violence the film seems to cut from it, almost like the editors are trying to hide the violence and give it a PG-13 rating. Luckily the stuck to their guns and kept it R-rated (as it should be) and showed off some great, nasty kills.
But the biggest praise I can give is how it recaptures the intensity and the spirit of the original Predator film while maintaining its own identity. I think the problem with the sequels is that they try too hard to be like the original, in the case of Predator 2 and Predators, or they just went completely off the rails with the idea of Predators inject autism into themselves or whatever the fuck bullshit Shane Black came up with in The Predator. This film is its own thing while still harboring the same suspense and thrills the original had. It doesn't copy the formula, it makes something of its own property. It's a perfect blend of originality and paying tribute.
Now one criticism I do have against the film is that there are times where it does feel slow, mainly in the first act. We slowly follow the life of Naru and the Comanche in their day to day life while the Predator arrives and does his own thing. That's not to say that watching how Naru and the other Comanche do isn't important. In fact, it's actually pretty cool seeing life of the Comanche on the Great Plains and done so with great respect and representation. It's just that I'm on my couch wanting to see the Comanche fight the Predator and I don't feel I should wait half an hour for that to happen in what feels like a slow burn.
And going back to the Feral Predator I gotta admit I don't like the design. The face of the Feral Predator is way too rounded and somehow they made it uglier than the original. However, I can accept the fact that this is another subspecies of Predator different from the Jungle Hunter of the original movie, much like the Super Predators from Predators. I also don't like the biomask design either. The bone structure is cool, but it exposes too much of the mouth and mandibles. But that's just my personal gripe from as a longtime fan of this franchise.
Overall this is honestly the best Predator film we got since the original film, although that's pretty low bar if you compare it to the other contenders. However it is a solid entry to the franchise and the first film in a while that actually felt like a Predator movie (at least in my opinion). Honestly, I can definitely see this having a potential for more entries like this in the future. Like an series of anthologies where the Predators are hunting humans in different periods, like Feudal Japan or World War II. There's a ton of potential in something like this, as like as Fox/Disney finds the write people who are passionate about this franchise as the fans. The movie claims that this is the first time the Predators have been on Earth but that's technically not true. The Predators have been hunting humans for over a millennium. Humans are the ultimate prey. So there is plenty of room to show how far back the Predators have been hunting humans.
This prequel is a step in the right direction for good Predator movies. Let's hope they don't turn out to be ugly motherfuckers like The Predator.
-The Feral Predator
-Has the feel of the original
-Slow burn at times
-Feral Predator's design
Final Grade: B
So those are my thoughts on Prey. Have you seen it? What were your thoughts on it? What is your idea for a Predator sequel/prequel/story? Please be kind, leave a like and comment, and check out more reviews here on Prose!
Naru: "You think that I am not a hunter like you that I am not a threat. That is what makes me dangerous."
#harrysituationreviews #film #opinion #scifi #action #horror #thriller #Predator #prequel #Hulu
Here is my synapsis for a science fiction horror novel. Essentially the story will be set in the distant future where space travel is possible, along with mining on other planets and moons, and colonization on large space stations. One of these stations, Station 13-08, happens to be orbiting the dwarf planet Pluto and picks up a meteorite crashing into its largest moon Charon.
The meteorite exposes an alien structure underneath the creator and everyone gets excited. Multiple expeditions have been operated with more and more of the structure uncovered and documented. Unfortunately, ever since the structure has been exposed, some of the residents at the station have become mentally unwell. This includes insomnia, bad dreams, dementia, schizophrenia, and outbursts of violence. The cause is unknown. Perhaps its the structure itself. Or perhaps it has something to do with various parasitic organisms that seem to infect some of the colonists. What's the connection between the two? These are just a taste of the bigger mysteries at hand.
The story would mainly be told through diary logs given by different personal of Station 13-08. The idea of these logs was that being in deep space can take a toll on one's mental health, so writing a personal diary would help vent out any feelings. The idea came from audio logs and personal texts that are found throughout various science fiction horror video games such as Soma, System Shock, Alien Isolation, and Dead Space. In fact, the settings in those games also serve as the inspiration for this novel. It would have the right amount of horror, ranging from body horror to psychological horror to even cosmic horror.
#scifi #horror #idea #synapsis