Today in supernatural horror / video nasties history: on July 29, 2013 Possession debuted on DVD in the United Kingdom.
Here's some fan art!
Today in supernatural horror / video nasties history: on July 29, 2013 Possession debuted on DVD in the United Kingdom.
Here's some fan art!
writing is so fucking cool. and horror is so fucking cool. i want to do more shit with horror. i have an original novel idea relating to it but i might want to do more stuff in fics with it just to sort of explore it but fuck dude. horror is so fucking cool.
using my scary dog privileges to sleep tonight <3
Escape Room: Tournament Of Champions
“Escape Room: Tournament Of Champions” is a fun grander version of the first film.
Zoey is trying to put the trauma of the escape room behind her, but realizes she won’t be able to until the people behind it are brought to justice. She knows that their base of operations must be located in Manhattan, so she asks Ben to accompany her to New York. Ben is hesitant because he’s put the trauma behind him and is trying to look forward, but reluctantly tags along with Zoey. At New York, Zoey and Ben don’t find the Minos base of operations, but is robbed by a random junkie. They chase the thief into the Q train, but lose him. When the train derails, they realize that they’re in the game once more.
The first film took a popular concept, the escape room, and put a horror twist on it. They were creative with the room designs and knew how to keep the stakes high without resorting to gore. The sequel-baiting was excusable at the end because it teased at a bigger mystery that I presumed was going to be explored in “Escape Room: Tournament of Champions”. I was wrong. Unfortunately, this franchise has pulled a fast one once again. There is no deeper dive into the Minos organization. Instead, the ending is once again a tease for more to come. I think it’s a little frustrating to me because they already pulled it once, I excused it, and then they did it again on the good will of audience members supporting their movie for the promise of answers. Still, the creativity is not lost on this film. There are bigger and better rooms this time around and a lot of the suspense had my theater audibly gasp. It was hard not to hold my breath because this film knows how to expertly create tension with implied violence. This film also does the bare minimum to expand the world, introducing different survivors of different escape rooms, each with different themes connecting the participants. I thought that was a cool idea that expanded this universe. When I heard that there were other escape rooms that revolved around different themes when it came to the victims, I starting coming up with theories about these escape rooms being a show with themed episodes. If you liked the first film, there’s more of what you loved in this film. Still, if the next film does this sequel bait shit, I’m done watching. They’re going to keep leaving these movies on cliff hangers to make us pay for the next hit.
Watched on July 28th, 2021
Author’s Notes OH YEAH GUESS WHO’S FINALLY STOPPED PROCRASTINATING ON FINISHING THIS. IT’S ME. AND I’ve been writing this WAY before the Dead Space remake got announced, so hell yeah.
Madness Combat - Between ringing and focus Rating: Mature. Word Count: 9837. (ALMOST 10K GODDAMN) Warnings: Canon Typical Violence, Canon Typical Horror (Dead Space), Horror, Body Horror, Psychological Horror, Brief Hallucinations, Brief Unreliable Narrator Moments (Very brief!),
Summary. Extraction team Deimos and Sanford receive a peculiar update to their simple rescue mission. Hank J. Wimbleton has been transferred from the Mars Prison Institute to the Titan Memorial Medical Center, located within the Sprawl.
It should still be a piece of cake, right?
Deimos looks at the mission update on the screen with a squint and groans, one hand scrolling through the details in his speed reading. “Hank got relocated to Titan?” He says with indignation as he highlights the section. “Titan Memorial Medical Center, Psychiatric Ward. How the heck did he go from Mars Prison Institute to Titan Psych Ward?”
“Beats me,” Sanford says once he’s set down the screwdriver. “I’ll bet Doc ran interference. It’s easier to break in and out of a psych ward than a prison.”
“Usually,” Deimos agrees, though he reads over the update again, leaning closer to the holographic display. “But this is the Sprawl, and uh… This doesn’t look like Doc’s handiwork.”
“What do you mean?”
He reads the update yet again, readjusting himself on his seat as if it’d calm the disquieting feeling in his guts. There are no codes within the message, neither secret passwords nor encrypted files regardless of how many times he scans it with steganography tools and unpackers and his whole arsenal of programs, standard and personal, and something in him insists on calling the man to completely verify it.
But Doc has been busy helping out that fellow back on Earth, in Nevada, and it’s not like Deimos can just call him at- a quick look at the clock and mental conversion later- 6am Earth time. He’s been on the receiving end of the whole ‘Annex Technologies is an important business and front to maintain’ spiel by the sleep deprived man far too many times to hear it again so soon.
Still, the message is clear as it is simple. The mission hasn’t changed, only the location has been updated.
He stares at the highlighted words. The disquieting feeling in him stirs.
“Deimos?” Sanford’s voice registers through the silence and Deimos turns his head to face him.
His partner is staring with slight apprehension, his explosive charges forgotten on his table at the moment, and Deimos wears his best laziest grin and reaches for his pack.
“Uh? Oh, yeah,” he mutters around the cigarette in his mouth, flicking his modified gloves to create a small fire to light his smoke. After a brief drag, he says, “It’s, um… It’s nothing. Don’t worry about it.”
He receives a skeptical glance that tells him Sanford’s not buying it, but he’s not going to push it. Breathing deeply, Deimos walks over to the navigation console to update their destination.
“So,” he begins with a lightness he doesn’t feel, “now that we have more time until we get there, how about a rematch? I bet you twenty I’ll win this time.”
Thankfully Sanford grins in response. “Raise it to thirty and we’re on.”
“Heh. Roger that.”
Sanford tugs at the modified Security RIG neck guard for the nth time ever since they successfully docked with the Titan Station, and as always it doesn’t loosen from the tight fit around his throat. He represses another groan, yet huffs all the same. After all those tweaks, they still couldn’t solve the problem that’s plagued this model ever since its conception.
Ahead of him, Deimos leads the way through the emptier corridors, maintenance vents and rare personnel with fabricated evidence so perfect it may as well have been authentic, coupled by fast words and his own additions from time to time.
They’ve been on the longest route for a while now, having to favor stealth and infiltration over direct charge as most of their missions go due to the sheer number of civilians in that half-baked station. It doesn’t bother Sanford as much as it bores him, even if the change of pace is appreciated every now and then, and they’re still armed with pulse rifles, pistols and plenty of ammunition just in case.
It’s been going well. Surprisingly so. He estimates if they keep it up, they’ll be halfway through to the Medical Center soon.
And that’s when their hacked comms crackle with interference and something rumbles in the distance, faint as a light earthquake accentuated by the groan of metal.
“W… what the...?” Deimos mutters and activates the wrist display, quickly typing on it.
Meanwhile Sanford tries to readjust the frequency of his radio, almost catching comprehensible words through the jammed mess. Two words are repeated consistently enough through the channels to be understood. Outbreak and Panic.
There’s another burst of radio static, the noise raking through his ears and it goes silent. Besides him, Deimos grunts with clear confusion as the display glitches from a fast paced command terminal to a blank slate. “Hey- Hey, hold on, what...” he mumbles, smacking the wrist components with his free hand. The display glitches again, but it doesn’t switch back. “What’s the deal with this?”
“I don’t know, Deimos,” Sanford responds and grabs the heavy duty pistol from a side holster. It packs a punch despite the simple look of the black gun, designed to imitate the appearance of standard Security Divet pistols. “Let’s be careful. I’ll bet there’s going to be a lot of trouble soon.”
“Ya think? I really don’t like this,” Deimos says and takes out a pistol as well.
Sanford takes the lead this time, pistol pointed at the floor with his finger resting on the guard. They advance slowly, listening to the metallic rumble and others increasing in frequency as they go, from comms static to faintly recognizable crash of glass and…
They both take cover near a metal wall as the sounds of frantic steps echo through the empty corridor, ragged breathing distinct even from a distance. His ears pick up another sound increasing in volume as well, running faster than the boots against metal tiles and a horrified shout rips through the air with a, “Help! Someone- Someone please help-”
The voice chokes, gurgling on something and a discordant shriek scrapes against his eardrums, wet noises filling in the background to the sharp shrills.
They share a look, nodding once at the same time. Sanford takes out and stores his glasses, while Deimos puts away both visor and headset, and both deploy the Security RIG’s helmet on and jump out of cover, pistols at the ready.
Behind his helmet, Sanford stares wide eyed at the sight.
It takes a bit for his brain to process what he’s seeing. Bathed in blood under the corridor’s lights is a humanoid shaped thing- A human. The slowly turning head reads as human despite the coils of intestine bursting through the abdomen as small arms, despite the actual limbs arching overhead with a length protrusion of bone reflecting light similar to a metallic blade. Their- Its- The lower jaw hangs by mere threads of muscle fiber, tongue bitten in half and somehow still drooling. There’s something wrong with their neck-
“What the fuck?” Deimos whispers. “What the fuck-”
Sanford shoots, his partner jumps at the sound and the bullet hits its shoulder and it staggers from the impact, but there’s no flinch of pain.
The bone blades shine layered in red under the lights as it fully turns and stomps towards them, and the motion is enough motivation for them to start shooting properly. While it falters from each hit, it still keeps advancing, growling and snarling and Sanford changes his aim from the center body of mass to the legs.
“Legs- Hit the knees!” he shouts, distantly aware of the ammo count on the display quickly decreasing, and Deimos shifts his aim. The constant firing on the thing’s knees dismembers the limbs from the body and its bladed arms flail at the air as it falls.
It stills, but Sanford reloads with a hurried precision despite his intense focus on the thing’s viscerally human-enough form. The moment the spent magazine hits the ground, it twitches and he resumes firing even before it starts to crawl on the tips of its bones and intestine arms and bleeding stumps, his partner following suit as they aim at the elbow joints and the bladed arms come off but it still keeps crawling slower and slower until it stops, chunks of its skull gone and yet he can count all of its remaining teeth at this distance.
Sanford exhales, a little shaken. His pulse drums against his ears, but his aim is still dead center at the… body. The state of it irks a part of him, tattered clothing barely hanging on to it, especially as he reloads automatically. Nearly two full magazines- four, counting Deimos’- to gun it down after shooting out the limbs.
“What the hell is that?” Deimos asks, one foot slightly nudging the oozing head, hanging jaw long gone.
“I… I have no idea,” Sanford responds. Another sound echoes through the distance, either an agglomeration of tortured metal or an actual roar, he doesn’t know. It forces a brief shudder out of him all the same. “Just that it’s time to go. Come on.”
They proceed down the corridor at a tighter pace this time, passing by the mangled, definitely human remains of the unfortunate one eviscerated by the monster.
Deimos stops by the remains, his expression hidden behind the RIG helmet, and Sanford waits.
After a while, they continue on.
Sanford keeps his focus straight ahead, changing from the pistol to the pulse rifle.
The situation worsens exponentially after the first encounter, Deimos finds.
From the somewhat battered, dilapidated station around them, they begin to stumble upon more blood, trails or smeared or in footsteps or blood drops from fresh to an hour dry, upon chunks of fresh, still warm meat and the phantom presence of someone who’s just left with panic in their throat. The rooms lose their weathered charm to a griminess not previously found in general, a mess after mess after mess that only spirals further into a worse version than before. All of it outlined by the soundscape which blends inanimate with living groans of pain in various forms. Metallic to desperate. Cracking to anguished. Rumbling to ringing.
He doesn’t know when, but they began to run at some point or another and still within the longest route as they haven’t encountered any other monster besides the first one. There’s enough scraping of bone and flesh to clue him in that their numbers are also increasing exponentially, traces of it accompanied by or accompanying a gut wrenching scream that rings endlessly in his ears.
Even the smell of blood, busted guts and rotten flesh has taken a liking to punch him in the nose anytime he retracts his Security RIG helmet, and he barely has the time to smoke as they go.
And they go. They go through corridors, hallways and destroyed rooms, lights becoming less and less frequent while gashes against the metal panels and even fire start to become a common sight. The entire station shudders with random, ringing, dispersed detonations and half-sent, half-received announcements from the system or jacked radios alike. Certain words become common in the strangled lines: Dismember, Outbreak, Panic, Dismember, Evacuate, Lockdown, Exit, Dismember, Order, Sector, Outbreak, Dismember, Dismember, Dismember.
The word has lost meaning in his head, as if the ringing repetition broke its metaphysical outline into a conjunction of syllables barely holding onto substance. Still, the message is clear as it is simple.
They need to dismember those abominations, or they don’t stay dead.
He makes sure to remember that when their luck runs out and they run into a room infested with those things.
It turns out there aren’t just the neck-crushed, bone bladed arms with mini intestine hands twisted people. No. There are long armed, spine exposed versions whose legs and intestines end in a sharp bone tail that rings whenever it scrapes against metal. There are child sized, constantly jumping jackasses with tails shooting bone spurs at them. There are human carpets with exposed organs flopping about at the tip of their fingers with proboscis in their faces, violating previously only dead bodies into more monsters of any type.
There is a ringing in his mind that he can’t smoke away.
They stumble into an empty lobby of sorts. Deimos doesn’t really care about the name of the place other than the number of the sector they’re in, and he swears this is the last time he’ll ever agree to the longest route to anything afterwards. But they’re close. They’re very close.
So close, in fact, that he points out, “there might be a shortcut nearby.”
Sanford nods, still checking the room for any hidden creatures. He asks through the RIG’s comms, “how long until we get there?”
“If you mean the hospital, this shortcut should lead us directly to a side staff entrance. If you mean the shortcut itself, then it’s right about the corner down a west hallway,” Deimos says and bites lightly on his cheek. It’s been a bit since he’s had a smoke and the ringing isn’t helping to curb the need. “So right past this room over there.”
He picks up a magazine from the floor and promptly drops it after a closer inspection, sighing with some frustration. Despite how they’ve been able to find some ammunition boxes and magazines scattered around, most have been incompatible with what they have. There’s only so many plasma energy batteries he can pick up by accident until he snaps and rigs some sort of affront to gun design to use them.
He walks past the half-empty Rivet magazine and approaches the door to the aforementioned room, briefly glancing at the ammo display on his rifle. Sanford rejoins him shortly, shaking his head slightly as he gets into position.
With one last glance at Sanford, Deimos nods and opens the door. Nothing jumps at them, lights working without issue besides the slight tint of red illuminating the wrecked room. Blood drips from the ceiling and walls, outlining the rivets embedded at random like a disordered star chart as they enter with pressed caution and proceed to the left hallway.
Dull thuds echo through the busted vents, as if scuttling right at their heels the faster they go with distant screams becoming more distinct in their almost, barely human tones, ringing deep into his head.
Once they turn the corner, the elevator doors are as recognizable as the bright orange circle displays LOCKED hovering in front of them and Deimos grits his teeth, grimacing under the helmet and he puts his rifle away to bring out his portable terminal, shoving in the jack into the door’s panel with more force than necessary. The interface blinks with the accepted credentials, revealing a near endless mismatch of green and red lines with far more warnings than he has bullets left.
“Crap, I need a minute,” he tells Sanford through comms, speeding through the scattered code. “The system’s a mess. It’s been tampered to hell and back.”
“Tampered?” Sanford asks over an increasing shriek quickly silenced by rapid shots.
“Someone either personally screwed with the system around this sector, or got a virus to rearrange everything just like our buddies all around this damn place.”
He disentangles the relevant sections back into something functional, the holographic warning sign at the edge of his sight flickers from orange to blue to orange, pistons and electronics hissing with a metallic shriek of their own. Line after line after line, so focused he barely notices something grip the back of his neck guard and pulls him down with a sudden lurch and he shouts.
Above him, his eyes barely catch onto a long glistening tendril retracting from where it had smashed against the locked doors and he scrambles on his ass, letting go of the terminal to arm himself as he turns.
“You good?” Sanford asks, tone distracted as he reloads and once Deimos finishes turning he sees the reason for it.
At the corner bend a new monstrosity stands tall and gaunt, a disproportionate skeleton made of tendrils of flesh with gaping holes where the organs should have been. It leans forward, stepping over the various limbs on the floor with a deep, hollow moan mixed with a shriek and they open fire at its leg. Their concentrated fire tears through the base of the leg at its hip and it careens forward, long clawed hands askew.
But as it nears the ground, it dismantles itself into a scatter of divided mobile limbs. Muscle tendrils readjust in a flurry reminiscent of spider legs, each limb crawling about like frantic roaches.
Deimos’ focus goes wide, trying to track the unhinged blurs advancing on them. He shoots after the hand nearing his partner on the wall followed by a foot. By the edge of his sight, Sanford turns sharply with his rifle pointed towards his way and a shout rips through his comms, “Look out!”
He doesn’t have time to look as something smashes against the back of his head, warm tendrils coiling around his neck tight like a garrote of flesh and it pulls.
He stumbles back, his rifle clatters against the metal tiles and he grips at the appendages strangling him. “Sh-Shoot it,” he gasps between breaths, feeling the hold tighten and the mass behind him swings to the side, howling at his ear, “shoot-”
The butt of a rifle hits the thing with such intensity that Deimos gets pushed back alongside it, the howl devolves into a ringing screech just as he sees Sanford reel back and strike with a fist. It connects with more force, pushing him further backwards until his back hits the wall, but not enough for the creature to loosen its hold and it screams at the top of its non-existent lungs, the tendril around his neck vibrating with the high frequency and muting his own shout of pain.
“San-” he tries and a final punch interrupts the shriek with a crack, but his mind still rings. The tendrils don’t let go even as they twitch around him, being ripped away as his partner grabs the broken head and throws it far, far away from them.
Besides them, the elevator doors dings open.
They shamble inside after he disconnects the jack and grabs his pulse rifle, breathing heavily. Deimos retracts his helmet, his free hand frantically grabbing his pack from his pocket. He bites down on a cig as fast as physically possible, faintly aware of the less than four sticks remaining, and he lights it without preamble to take a deep, slow drag despite the soreness around his neck.
“I hate this,” Deimos says as he breathes out the smoke, feeling his heart jumping in his chest and the ringing doesn’t lessen. “I hate this so much.”
Sanford approaches after the elevator doors close, twisting open a small med pack. “I know,” he says with a calming tone, retracting his own helmet, “I know. Let me see.”
Deimos tilts his head up as he smokes, baring his throat and neck as much as he can considering the uncomfortably tight Security RIG around him. The mint-like smell of the med gel hits him before the gel itself gets slathered over his neck, cold and then blessedly numb. He asks, “How does it look?”
Something gurgles in response.
The sound shocks his pulse and he snaps his focus at his partner, the cigarette in his mouth drops as his jaw hangs open.
The ringing in his mind heightens with horror coursing through his veins. Sanford’s face is an exposed visceral wound, skin flayed open to reveal facial muscles, cartilage, bone and teeth and it all begins to rot in place. Dark, spoiled blood drips from between the muscle fibers, tainting the flesh and overtaking it with decay. His face collapses inwards as if his skull became hollow, gurgling again in semi coherent syllables layered between interrupted shrieks and Deimos blinks-
And Sanford’s face is back to normal, a few beads of sweat trail down his forehead with some curls of hair plastered against the wet skin. There’s no blood. No rotting cavity where his face would be, no exposed muscles and bone and teeth with a phantom gurgling at the back of his throat. Just as there are no gasping whispers or nonsense shrieks in his ears, but the ringing-
Deimos tastes the ash of the cigarette filter and he refuses to blink. His very core refuses to do so, afraid to see the phantom image against his eyelids.
Sanford opens his mouth to ask something just as the elevator jostles into a stop. The doors open with a ding. “Looks like our stop,” he says, turning around and putting his glasses on his face. “You good?”
“Mhm,” Deimos grunts back, one hand throws the burnt filter to the ground. “I’m… I’m good.”
The ringing doesn’t stop.
They reach the Titan Memorial Medical Center soon enough, hacking past the quarantine lockdown side staff entrance. The building itself is dark, most lights failing and emergency backup lights non-functional. Medical equipment and furniture are strewn around in different states of wrecked, from mostly intact to smashed beyond recognition. The smell of blood and decay mixes with the antiseptic air like oil to water, clinging to his lungs.
Sanford looks at a nearby board with pinned notices. One paper in particular asks how many people would be interested in participating in someone's birthday party, and a dozen or so names are scribbled underneath it in just as many different handwritings. He frowns when he reads the date.
"So," Deimos says and Sanford turns his attention to his partner. The RIG Holographic Display is active at its largest setting, open to a map layout of the hospital. "We're around here," he points at a location, then waves his hand at another part, "and we need to get to the Psychiatric Ward, which should be around… There."
'There' turns out to be closer than he had initially suspected, yet that is according to the direct route the map has calculated. Sanford leans a bit to the side, peeking at the destroyed corridor illuminated by his shoulder flashlight that the map recommends to go through.
"That path isn't happening," he says, looking back at Deimos. "We'll have to do a detour from the look of things."
"Gotcha," Deimos says and minimizes the display.
Sanford lets Deimos take the lead, keeping his eyes on his partner and his RIG status. Although it’s completely blue, his gut instinct roils at the sight with uncertainty. He knows he hadn’t imagined that miles distant glassy eyed look, that sudden paleness in his partner’s skin or the shaken undertones in his voice. Even now he sees the barrel of Deimos’ rifle shake every so often.
This station is getting to them. It’s been a constant assault to their senses in various forms, from the incomprehensible gargle of sounds and the oil-like feel of the air to frequent attacks from things that are still human enough, be it in their shape or remnants of clothes or vocal chords moaning and shrieking alike.
Even his own mind feels frayed at the edges, worn by small flashes of things at the edge of his perception. They last as short as a blink, flickering through symbols to murmurs to shadows followed by a twinkle of bright light. Almost like a star.
It reminds him of a distant lullaby.
Sanford shakes his head, cautiously walking over some strange organic growth overtaking the space between tiles. He doesn’t know where that thought came from and he needs to focus.
And so he focuses. He focuses through the corridors and hallways and rooms, through the eerie silence held taut by tension and the unmistakable feeling of being watched. Their own breathing pulls at that tension, straining with each faint thud in the walls or distant rumbling. The station is getting to them just as it’s getting to itself, falling apart at the seams with an incomprehensible inanimate rattle that is more felt in his bones than heard.
He shudders from the echoes all the same.
The next room they enter is an ambush.
The certainty of it is distinct, from the stillness in the air down to the way Sanford knows they’re being ambushed the minute the door behind them with a heavy clank. If he closes his eyes and pretends hard enough, it could almost be the same as being ambushed back on Earth against normal human thugs.
But he doesn’t. He keeps his eyes peeled and his pulse rifle ready as the air shudders with the shrieks of tortured vocal chords, and instead of doors and covers, the attackers come from the ceiling and vents, falling onto no legs or too many, ruined clothing falling from their forms, no longer fit to human shapes and much less to things that no longer could be called human.
It still unnerves him, something deep within him tenses at the sight of the human features twisted beyond comprehension. Still, he keeps his distance as both of them shoot the creatures down.
Their numbers have been increasing, he notes belatedly counting the variety of unmoving bodies versus the ones still rushing at them, scrambling out from the vents like an over eager nest of deformed ants and beginning to reach them despite how many die in the process.
Sanford dodges out of the way of one, punching back against another as he reloads and finishes it off by shooting out its legs and dismembering the child-sized three-tailed thing across the room. A metallic rumble to his right alerts him far too late that he’s standing next to a damn vent and something rams into him.
He staggers backwards, feet scrambling to regain his balance alongside the need to gain distance between the monster while withstanding the recoil of both the impact and this shitty gun, and Deimos gasps behind him, the first syllable of a shout overthrown by sudden clack of claws and bone against metal and dread pierces his heart right in his chest.
His body reacts by instinct, because Sanford doesn’t think to turn from a monster to another rushing closer on shambling feet and arched bladed arms. He doesn’t think for his feet to tense, trying to jump back. He doesn’t think for his finger to press on the trigger. All actions are automatic. All are horrifically slow in contrast to the sharpened bone tip descending upon his face. There’s no need to calculate the speed in which the creature is charging versus his own response time. The answer to that is as clear as day.
What he thinks is how much it’ll hurt.
The tip of the bone blade skims into his eyebrow, knocking off his dark glasses and something bursts.
Warm viscera splatters against him and the monster howls, blades pushed back by the impact of sudden, unending gunfire coming from behind him. It staggers, the offending arm long gone and the other rips away from the main body riddled with holes, bucking under its own weight, and the shooting doesn’t stop. Chunks of the creature fly from its barely recognizable shape, breaking apart under the incessant barrage.
Just as sudden as it began, the shooting stops, replaced by the constant clicking of an empty pulse rifle. Across the floor is only a conjunction of meat, bone and gore, a vague meaty vestige of something Sanford could only guess to have once been living from the remnants of bone blades sprawled nearby.
The area around his left eye burns sharply, his own blood dripping down his chin. He turns, looking at Deimos still pulling the trigger even though the ammo display blinks orange at zero.
“Deimos,” Sanford calls. The clicking doesn’t stop. He tries again, louder than the noise, than the racing pulse in his ears, “Deimos.”
Deimos stops, and his helmet begins to retract. As it does, one hand reaches to his back pocket and brings out the pack of cigs while the other lowers the rifle. His face is ashen with sweat gathering near his temples, eyes wide and aimed at where the monster used to stand and unblinking. His hand taps the box, brings it to his mouth and lowers it, lips parted slightly revealing sharp canines if he were biting on something.
The cold in his heart spreads through his veins, a shudder coursing through his body as Sanford watches his partner flick his modified gloves and keep the small light near his mouth, then wave it away after a second.
“You okay, Sanford?” Deimos asks and his attention pins the man where he stands stock still, even as his wide eyed gaze goes through Sanford himself. He breathes in, fingers curl around nothing near his mouth and he exhales slow and steady, chucking disconcertingly with something that desperately wants to be a lazy grin. “That was close.”
“...Yeah,” Sanford says, and he doesn’t know if he should reach to grab his glasses or not. If he should move at all. The cut near his eye stings. Staring at that grin stings, and it’s fractured at the edges and breaking further and further and something in him whispers to make it whole. “Yeah. Let’s go, come on.”
He hesitates, feeling the attention but not the weight of eyes on him, and slowly reaches down to grab his broken glasses from the floor.
The moment he picks it up, the burning attention goes elsewhere and he immediately deploys the RIG’s helmet, somehow able to breathe the garbage, plastic-scented filtered air as if it were the freshest thing in this damned station.
They need to finish the mission and get the fuck out of there.
Focus, he reminds himself. He needs to focus.
Sanford walks straight ahead, ignoring the way his feet stumble every so often. His hands cramp with how tight his grip on his rifle becomes.
Reaching the Psychiatric Ward happens with little fanfare, which in Deimos’ opinion is great considering the definition of fanfare has become constant, intense delimbing of once-human beings via concentrated gunfire. On the other hand, he hadn’t been expecting to include mines in the list of hazards within a hospital of all things.
The mines aren’t on their trajectory in specific, and he hasn’t been paying attention to the hacked frequency in comms as it’s more white noise than comprehensible words to eavesdrop to. It might be related to a termination order and the wanted poster in that one screen, but no matter.
Their destination is one mislabeled in the official maps and blueprints of the building, a temporary storage area turned into makeshift cryogenic stasis cells for transport of criminals or under the table deals for the ones no one would miss.
Under normal circumstances, Deimos thinks the knowledge of this sordid deal would twist something in him, scratch at years old and buried wounds he himself has moved on from. Under normal circumstances, he would have argued with his partner about the worse ones. Just one or two. Not like anyone would miss them. But all they find is blood trails and remnants of something he knows to once have been human, even if the pieces are unrecognizable as anything but, strewn about near broken cells and stasis pods, blood splatter of various kinds painting pictures of a common theme he’s all too familiar with in that damn station.
They eventually find their objective at the farthest corner of the room, shoved out of the way amongst various other tables and carts. Scrawled across an opaque and active stasis cell is the designation H-J-W, and Deimos connects his hand terminal to the control panel, reading over the code and the unstable integrity warnings.
“Alright big guy,” he says, typing fast after isolating the relevant section, “c’mon, we’re getting outta here.”
The locks open with a pneumatic hiss, the opaque blue glow of the stasis faltering and flickering off. He nods to Sanford, who tugs open the stasis cell’s door revealing… nothing.
“Uh,” Deimos mutters, blinking hard. “What the-”
A shriek cuts through the relative silence, echoing with a pitch deaf choir over a loud clatter of metal crashes and yelps as the screams cut off. They glance towards the direction of the noise, then at each other and nod.
Walking through the corridor with wide, hurried steps, they approach the source of the noise. The ringing in his mind quietens the closer they get. Deimos and Sanford share a brief look, only a foot or two away from a door barely muffling a sharp crash followed by an inhuman screaming. They nod, rifles at the ready and Deimos reaches towards the door.
The door slides open to the death throes of a wailing monster, muscles twitching reflexively as it falls without its limbs, and standing amongst the carnage of meat and bone is the man of the hour. Hank J. Wimbleton.
At least that’s what part of his brain recognizes. Even wrapped around a civilian white RIG, green pilfered surgical mask and cap, and stained from head to toe with rusted red and black, Hank’s silhouette is distinct against their flashlights which only adds to the sheer shock of his right arm pulsating abnormally. The limb has grown somehow, bursting through the medical RIG jacket and its own skin like wet newspaper with white bone spurs growing through the meat, or adorning the limb with near chitinous bone plates covering large sections where the skin must have fallen apart.
His clawed hand, Deimos faintly notices, is still gripping tightly around a ripped shoulder. The creature on the floor twitches one last time.
“About time,” Hank growls, voice rougher and winded than the last time either of them had heard it. He lets go of the limb, looking around. The RIG spine status blinks red as he turns.
“Hey, I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but we got a little bit held back on the way,” Deimos says with a wide gesture to the dead dismembered monsters around the dark room, though his eyes flick between the arm and Hank. “What the hell happened to you?”
“Woke up to something trying to stab me,” he says. “Dodged it. It got my arm. Killed it. Arm’s been like this ever since.”
“How long has it been like this?” Sanford asks.
“Unbelievable,” Deimos mutters and activates his wrist display. At the edge of his sight, Sanford throws a large med pack at Hank’s direction. “Well, you haven’t been doing so bad by yourself. I’ll get the ship to redock nearby, and we’ll be outta here.”
While Deimos remotely activates the ship’s autopilot, Hank sighs with muted relief upon injecting the meds through the civilian RIG and approaches them. While he was already someone tall, whatever happened to his arm must have made him taller somehow as he looms rather than stand. The stolen surgical mask and cap don’t fit him quite right, but they do their job well enough that his expressions are a mystery to the hacker.
“Six minutes,” Sanford repeats, shifting slightly, “and it’s been constantly changing or got like that and stayed put?”
“Constantly.” The arm convulses, skin ripping apart with wet sounds as another section of it falls to the tiled floor. Hank huffs with more annoyance than pain. “It’s obnoxious.”
“Do you feel like attacking us like everything has been trying to here?”
Hank turns sharply, staring down at a dark corner as if he had heard something. Despite having used a large med pack, the RIG’s bars are only three-fourths full. He answers with a distracted tone, “...no.”
“I feel like this is something you might want to elaborate, buddy,” Deimos says as he finishes inputting the coordinates. “If it’s constantly changing, how long until you do feel like attacking us from outta nowhere? It’d be best if we chopped it off before it could reach your brain or something.”
Something quick gleams in Hank’s exposed eyes and Deimos steps back by instinct, tense at the sudden change in posture from distracted to full attention. “No,” Hank rumbles, the bone spurs on his shoulder twitch with warning clicks, “we’re not cutting off my arm.”
“Deimos has a point, Hank,” Sanford says and steps forward, his grip readjusts on the pulse rifle with a notable click. “Even if we don’t cut it off, we still need a way to slow it down somehow.”
“Then call Doc.”
“Can’t,” Deimos says with a huff. “Remote long range comms have been out of the picture ever since this outbreak started. I’ve tried to make a dent in the jam and got nothing, but if we can get to our ship I should be able to ring him up.”
“And our options are still limited,” Sanford adds, but he removes the pistol holster with some heavy drop pouches attached and offers it to Hank. “If you don’t want us to remove that arm, fine. But you’ll have to stay ahead of us in case you lose it, and we’ll need to hoof it as fast as possible. What’s the shortest route to the ship, Deimos?”
Hank grabs the holster and attaches it to his patient RIG while Deimos opens the map again, tracing a route with his fingers.
“The shortest route possible is through the maintenance vents,” he outlines the path, “and we’ll need to breach some walls to get to the dock. Otherwise we’ll have to detour.”
Sanford sighs and begins scouring through the room. “Great. I didn’t bring anything strong enough to pierce through reinforced hulls. I’ll need to rig some upgrades to my charges. It shouldn’t take long, a hospital isn’t the worst place to find what I need and I’ve seen some hydrazine canisters around. How many will we need?”
“Two,” he says and his partner yells an affirmative response from another room in his salvage, leaving him alone with Hank.
Hank who has walked towards the locked maintenance vent door, looming over it with something resembling patience. The arm shakes again, its own arteries writhing right under the skin, and Hank doesn’t react to it other than send him a flat stare.
“This isn’t Mars,” Hank states.
“Yeah, it’s not. We’re in the Sprawl,” Deimos says. “For some reason there was a last minute change and you got transferred mid-flight from there to here. It messed up our original rescue plan too, and that's before everything went to hell.”
“I didn’t ask,” he says and Deimos rolls his eyes, making sure to roll his head alongside the gesture to get his point across. The older mercenary doesn’t bat an eye.
“How did you even get captured?” Deimos asks just because.
“Well, I think it does,” he pushes. Hank doesn’t respond, audibly or visually, as if that’d be enough to stop him, so he continues, “hear me out, what if we do find whoever is responsible for your capture out here or a similar situation? It’d be good for us to know so we can avoid it.”
The mercenary turns away and Deimos considers that a win.
Sanford returns with the two charges, the strapped hydrazine fuel canisters bright red in contrast to the small sized packets. With a nod, Deimos approaches the panel and jacks in his hand terminal, making short work of opening the maintenance entrance.
Deimos bows slightly with a sweeping gesture towards the tunnel, tilting his head a bit to better showcase his toothy shit eating grin. “After you.”
Hank isn’t amused.
In Hank’s opinion, the Sprawl’s vents are surprisingly comfortable in comparison to his repertoire of vents. They are better than Mars standards, actually breathable unlike the ones on Earth, and not to mention more spacious than most other ships he’s had to raid and destroy. There’s just enough room that he’s able to fight back if needed, even with his unaccounted new height and arm length.
It’s a pity he hasn’t been sent on a mission in the Sprawl before. He would’ve enjoyed stalking targets through these.
A few feet behind him, his teammates struggle to transverse through the vents like amateurs. He has to wait for them to catch up every now and then, even with the predetermined distance between them in case whatever is happening to his arm goes to his head.
Not that they would be able to fight back if he decided to attack, although it’s not like he’d want to do so either. These two are useful, and it’d be annoying to find other semi competent teammates.
Either way, his arm is just his arm. It sends surges of searing heat whenever it rearranges itself through his body, yet the changes remain within the limb and no more, and the pain is so minor it’s harder to remember it hurts at all.
The flash fever spikes and restrained shaking are still obnoxious however. Those he can do without. The last thing he needs is for his aim to become crooked by an involuntary spasm, throwing out his shooting and distracting him from his surroundings.
And getting distracted is what got him in this situation in the first place.
His attention snaps back to reality at the faint, then increasingly louder scuttle of limbs and bone against metal and something in him growls deep in response, the bone growths on his right shoulder clicking. His right hand closes carefully into a fist, mindful of the claws, while he arms himself with the pistol with his left.
From the weight alone he can tell this pistol won’t do much against these things, but chip damage is still damage and he misses the kickback of a gun. There’s only so many enemies he can tear apart with his own hands until the novelty runs out, and he’s nearing that limit.
The other two stop their crawling, either noticing the upcoming creatures or noticing him prepared for them, Hank doesn’t care.
He keeps his focus at the right corner bend of this plus sign shaped divergence in the vent. From deep within the dark, the scuttling grows louder and two pairs of glowing eyes emerge from the shadows and he opens fire.
The flashes of each shot reveals a duo of legless human monstrosities crawling forth, eyes shining in with intensity in contrast to the dark, crusted black-green skin and meat composing their shape. They advance with little difficulty from the shots, the smell of decay reaches him first even through his mask and one leaps at him, jaw opened past the point of dislocation filled with needle like teeth.
His clawed fist hits against the side of its face, smashing its whole body along with the impact and stuns it with far more efficiency than bullets. The pistol ammunition display glows orange and he whips it against the screaming monster, hitting its face aside with two strikes and throws it with as much strength as he can against the other still approaching, his focus shifting back to the one closer to him.
A distant shriek gets interrupted by a clatter of metal hitting flesh, confirming the pistol landed as intended just as the one in front of him recovers and pushes him back with a wide swipe of its claws. It continues its relentless strikes, forcing him further and further away until the distant one rams into him with a leap and he grunts, gritting his teeth from the impact.
“Damn it!” the hacker’s voice crackles through the RIG audio link, barely louder than the incessant screaming filling the vent. “Hank, try to find another way to the south entrance of the shuttle emergency bay. We’ll meet up there!”
Any other words the hacker might have said are lost in the scuffle, with the creatures leaping and ramming him further and further away from the original path until they all fall at a sudden drop. Hank kicks one of the things grappling him away, receiving enough lift to reach the other that had managed to stabilize itself with a strong hold on its tail.
The sharp bone tip flails with another shriek and it leaps into another tunnel, the momentum drags his body alongside and his limbs readjust swiftly to the cramped area, the metal shaking dangerously at the brink of collapse but it holds.
Once he reorients himself, he lets go of the tail to grab an upcoming claw to his face. Its wrist bones crack within his vice hold and he heaves it against the side of the vent, impaling its shoulder against a broken girdle and tugs as hard as he can. The arm rips bit by bit, worsening by its own thrashing until it’s fully dismembered and the thing howls, thrusting forwards with its mandibles wide open.
He shoves its own arm in its way, feeling the teeth sink into it and he lets go of the limb to punch its forehead. The impact dislodges the arm from its mouth with a confused shriek and he grabs onto its skull with his right hand.
His grip tightens, feeling the skull break slowly under his palm but the creature shrieks and lunges sideways, shoving his arm wide and he responds with a palm strike to its temple from his other hand, smashing it against the cramped walls. It screams, the remaining clawed arm reaching towards his face and he yanks at a broken pipe with his right hand and swiftly pins the offending limb down in its elbow joint, retrieving his normal arm from its face and retreating backwards as fast as possible.
It chases him with failed leaps, ignoring the way its arm rips apart with each try, lurching stronger and stronger while the awkward angle gives him little leeway to retreat other than shimmy back. With a final lunge punctuated by an ear piercing screech, it throws itself against him fully, ramming his side with the force of a tram and the vent jolts. A metallic groan pierces his ears and the vent breaks around them.
Hank tumbles out of the vent, wrestling the creature’s pointy bits away from him and he shoves it underneath him in their fall just before impact. Its ribs or monstrous equivalent crack under his weight as it cushions him, wailing mindlessly in its thrashing.
He recovers faster than it can react and takes hold of its tail, ripping it from the deformed hip bones with one sharp tug with his right arm. It thrashes by reflex rather than pain, thrusting its freakishly long and thin canines as a bite in his direction and he uses its own bone tail tip to pierce it through its head with a shove. He gets on his own feet and stomps it immediately at where the neck connects with the skull with enough force to sever it from the rest of the body in a burst of blood.
The creature goes limp and he kicks it away for good measure, breathing heavily and assessing the damage. There are new tears and stains across his shitty patient RIG, but he doesn’t feel any worse than before.
He looks up at the vent and grits his teeth. Too far, no way he can get back through it. As he begins to look around the room, someone gasps nearby.
His attention snaps to the source of the sound. Inside a reinforced glass room, next to a blue terminal in stand-by someone stands wearing pristine white, with the exception of a blood red emblem on their shoulders and breast pocket. They regard him with slack jawed surprise despite how the rest of their face doesn’t move, as if the facial muscles were frozen. Something shrieks in the distance.
“Hank Wimbleton,” they mutter and approach the glass with slow, wide steps and eyes shining with wonder. “We have theorized your possible… affinity to the Marker, but to see it manifested like this...”
Hank doesn’t respond, keeping his eyes on the person. He would’ve remembered if he had met them before solely due to their stupid collar. The person continues muttering regardless of his lack of response, as if watching him through a microscope. “It is unfortunate the outbreak happened before we could properly transport you out. And even though the servants got you, you’re still lucid.”
“It would not do us well if you were to die in this station,” they say and walk backwards, yet never taking their eyes off of him. One hand types on the terminal and as they press enter, a door across the room hisses. Its display goes from orange to blue, unlocked. “While our main priority is Project Oracle, we are well aware of your rescue operation. Go on. Live for another day. We will meet again.”
They wave him away with one hand as if they were half-heartedly chasing out a cat. The shrieks echo again, louder.
Hank goes to the door, not breaking eye contact until it closes again and he turns around and runs. Even bathed in the dark, two floors up and three hallways away, he can still feel their gaze boring into his skull.
Deimos shifts again, hands tense around his pulse rifle and hand terminal, biting his cheek with more force than he should. The ringing has returned and he’s forgotten to scavenge for a new pack of cigs. His fingers go from the trigger guard to the trigger itself, tapping with the anxiety rolling in the back of his throat.
They’re so damn close to getting the hell out of there. They’re literally one door away from their ship. One set of locked doors.
One meager set of locked doors they can’t bypass yet because of their mission.
“I hate this so much,” he mutters through gritted teeth. “I hate everything about this damn place.”
He puts away the hand terminal to rub his eyes, but freezes once it comes into his field of view. The ringing grows sharper than his quickening heart as he stares at his hand. Dark and bloodied bone plates cover the limb, the RIG’s cloth tattered and ripped as if it had been clawed through from the inside out. The tips of his fingers have elongated into claws and they start to shake, vibrating in place and he can’t feel his arm-
Deimos blinks and his hand is normal again, encased in the reinforced plating of the dark blue modified Security RIG. Sweat drips along the side of his face and he releases a shaken breath.
“Where is he?” he asks, trying to focus on his own voice rather than the ringing.
"Who knows," Sanford responds, "but he'll be here. You know how efficient Hank is."
"In assassinations and raids, yeah, but-"
Something thumps at the ceiling and both of them tense, and the sound dispels the ringing which gives way to every other sound, every other feeling, becoming more real to his mind. The quick pulse in his throat, the uncomfortable Security RIG around him and the smell of stale ship oil, faintly mingled with blood.
He looks at Sanford, his skin pale and glistening with sweat, and the man nods. Both of their aims converge at the vent at the ceiling, rifles at the ready.
There’s a heavy crash and the panel bulges outwards, shaking almost as if it were growling and it breaks. A flash of white and black lands in front of them, heavy enough that the impact travels up their boots with a loud metallic clatter of the panel hitting the ground and Deimos keeps his aims at it, finger twitching against the trigger only for he to hastily let go of it when the figure- when Hank doesn’t attack.
“About time,” Deimos snarks with relief and hastily unlocks and power walks through the wide doors before Hank can respond.
Their ship is parked facing a dark blue gunship, and Deimos has never felt more relieved to see their patched floating garbage can in his life. With a sweep of typed commands on his wrist display, their ship opens and lights go from dim to active stand-by, and he hurries inside, hearing Sanford and Hank follow shortly.
But as soon as Hank enters and their ship closes, the dark blue vessel behind them unlocks at the same time as the other door leading to the emergency shuttle bay opens. Two men in strange high collared white uniforms walk in, dragging a struggling woman between them.
“Help! Someone help-” she screams and stops with a yelp as the men stand still, staring at them with suppressed shock.
Deimos can see them mouth words at each other, still staring directly at them. He leans forward over the navigation console, trying to look closer but their eyes don’t move as he walks, remaining fixed at something. He presses a hand over the reinforced window and tracks their focus. The strange men aren’t staring at them, in specific.
They’re staring at Hank.
Sanford steps forward, slamming a hand against the glass with a shout, “Look out!”
Deimos turns his head back just in time to see the men look behind them, their backs wide open to a pair of human flying carpets pouncing with muffled squeals. The woman escapes their hold in their shock, her terror resonating as a strident note with the creatures’ shrieking and a heavy hand clamps itself on his shoulder and he jumps, turning his focus to Hank.
“We need to go,” Hank says, flat as graves.
“But I didn’t-”
An eerie knowing glint goes through the older mercenary’s red eyes. “She’ll be fine,” he says with a tilt of his head and unmistakable gunfire goes off in the bay. “Let’s go.”
As Hank walks away, Deimos looks back out to someone in a Patrol RIG blazing through the creatures within the room, wielding a plasma cutter of all things against them and Deimos has to admit that may have been a better gun to use rather than their pulse rifles.
Once the person goes through the wave of creatures, the faint glow of the RIG link has Deimos open his terminal, moved by an impulse he has no name for.
An alarm shrills through the emergency shuttle bay and Deimos begins to type as fast as possible on his terminal, eyes zipping through lines trying to locate a specific frequency.
“Warning: Security lockdown. The hospital bulkheads are protected from unauthorized overrides by a stand-alone fuse relay.”
The Patrol RIG guy walks over to a control panel, ripping the cover off with his bare hands and Deimos finishes the command, tapping into a rough and slightly accented voice through quickly stabilizing static, “-going to have to force the airlock-”
“You’re not going to have to force anything,” Deimos cuts in, his finger still on the enter key. Two startled gasps go through their RIG link frequency. “Get your ass into that gunship of yours. I’ll take care of it.”
“Why? Who are you?” the officer asks.
Deimos looks at the corner of his eyes for a brief moment. Sanford seems more confused than disapproving, while Hank doesn’t seem to care. He begins to type in the code to lift the lockdown for the area. “Just someone who’s really sick and tired of this place. C'mon now, I don't want to stay any second longer than I need to.”
"Please, Gabe, let's go," the woman says and the officer relents, hurrying into the gunship.
"What are you doing?" Sanford asks over his shoulder and Deimos mutes his mic for the moment. "Deimos, this is still a stealth mission. No witnesses?"
"It's just these two, Sanford. It's not like anyone would believe them, or like they're going to recognize us."
"And if they do?"
Deimos hems, still typing. "We'll burn that bridge when we get to it."
"You know that's not how that saying-"
He turns on his mic again, startling the couple in the gunship. As the final lines are typed, he begins a countdown. "Lockdown lifting in three, two, one..."
At the unsaid zero, the lights within the bay turn red with a faint alarm echoing through the room. The bolts on the shuttle door open with their respective hisses, items not fixed to the floor and monsters crawling from the vents fly out in the sudden depressurization. Besides him, Sanford mans the navigation console and their thrusters thrum in the liftoff.
"Thank you," the woman says through the RIG link, voice rough from overuse and a tide of emotions. "Thank you so much."
"No need to thank us," Deimos responds, and Sanford sends him a flat stare. "Just, uh… forget we were ever here. You never saw us. We never saw you."
"Lexine, please, I- 'We'?" the officer asks and Deimos stifles a groan. "Who is 'we'?"
“Nobody,” he says, and then fiddles with his connection to the hacked RIG link. Static and white noise interfere with the feedback, crackling loud and irritable. “Oh no,” he says, piloting their ship out of the hull, “the jam’s getting worse. Oh no. How terrible. Bye!”
Deimos cuts off the comm link entirely, speeding through and out of Titan Station as fast as this garbage can can handle. The farther they go, the realer the relief in his veins feel, out of the invisible pressure over his mind.
Thank fucking god.
After a while, Deimos looks to Sanford and starts, “why didn’t we think of plasma cutters?”
“I did consider it,” Sanford says, cleaning his rifle and discarding the filthy piece of cloth to reach for another one. It might be easier to disassemble the entire thing and pass it through an ultrasound cleaner at this rate. “I didn’t mention it because we wouldn’t have been able to find one, even less two.”
“Hey, listen,” Deimos gestures sharply as he turns around on his seat, his cigarette dangling from his lips. “I coulda rigged something up. Have you seen how many plasma batteries there were?”
“Yes, I saw.” And between the two of them, Sanford’s the one who had managed to find more compatible ammo for their guns. Which, speaking of, he turns to Hank who has been staring out into space. “Hank, where’s my pistol? Or my holster?”
The mercenary shrugs, his bone growths click in tandem with the gesture and Sanford bites back a sigh.
“Oh right, your… arm. We need to call Doc,” he says and turns to Deimos. “Hey, Deimos-”
“Not it!” And his partner walks out of the pilot’s seat.
“What, what?” Deimos asks, then points at the mutated arm on Hank’s side. “I’m not going to explain that after all that. You do it. Just click the call button, it’s already prepared.”
“Wait a minute, how long has it been prepared?”
But Deimos continues walking out of the room, waving carelessly at his general direction. “I’m on a break!”
The door closes behind him and Sanford groans, dragging both hands over his face and knocking his glasses askew. After readjusting it, he walks over to the pilot’s seat and looks at the button.
Sanford sighs, and presses it. The long range comm connects after one ring.
“Uh… Hey, Doc. About the mission...”
Today in horror / slasher movie history: on July 28, 1962 Psycho debuted in South Korea.
Here's some Norman Bates art to mark the occasion!
“Escape Room” is a fun PG-13 version of more famous and gruesome horror movies.
Zoey is a gifted student who has a hard time speaking up. Jason is a wealthy day trader who is rude and cocky. Ben is a middle school dropout who works at the back of a grocery store. Amanda is an Iraq War veteran with PTSD. Danny is a video game enthusiast who can’t keep his mouth shut. These people have all been invited to solve an escape room together for a cash prize of $10,000. They quickly realize that they have to work together in order to survive.
The sequel for this movie is out in theaters, so I decided to give this movie a watch. I’ll admit, back when the posters for this movie was coming out in late 2018, I didn’t pay much attention to it. I thought it would be one of those forgettable teen horror movies that tries to cash in on a half-baked gimmick. When the movie had its run in theaters and passed, it didn’t re-enter my mind until I saw the trailer for the sequel. After watching this film, I can’t say that I was wrong about my prediction about this movie being just another teen horror movie. Still, this movie is enjoyable to watch. The biggest attraction for this movie has to be its escape rooms, which should be given the title. There are rooms that stand out more than others in terms of set design, but all of the rooms are pretty solid. The characters in this film are pretty much one-dimensional caricatures, but some of the actors still shine. Taylor Russell, who plays Zoey, does a fantastic job capturing that shy, quiet, smart girl. Everything from her cadence to her mannerisms were on point. Jay Ellis, who plays Jason, does a great job at being that charming asshole. Logan Miller, who plays Ben, had me hating Ben to caring for Ben with ease. I could see why people were mad about the ending of this film. It gives a half answer to bait a sequel, which would’ve felt scummy for people who didn’t get a full movie. Since I watched it knowing I’ll watch the sequel a few hours after, it just got me excited to watch the next one.
Watched on July 28th, 2021
when im blue da be dee ba do
Making my friends watch Midsommar tonight >:3c
Today in horror / monster movie history: on July 28, 1971 Willard debuted in San Francisco.
Here's some art to mark the occasion!
Brand New DDLC Tonight at 8PM BST! 💖
Keep your eyes open, y’all 👀👀👀
RUPERT GRAVES in
Damage (1992) dir. Louis Malle