The Haunting of Bly Manor — Mike Flanagan’s follow up to The Haunting of Hill House — is framed around the art of storytelling, specifically the campfire delight of unravelling a good ghost story, the kind that gets under your skin and makes you jump at shadows. The show opens with a rehearsal dinner for a young couple about to get married. As family and friends sit around with their after-dinner drinks, they begin talking about the possibility of ghosts, leading inevitably to the telling of stories.
Continue reading “Ghost Stories Can Be Love Stories: The Haunting of Bly Manor”
The Jersey Devil
Written by Chris Carter, directed by Joe Napolitano
Season 1, Episode 5
While driving down a wood enshrouded road in 1947, a family is surprised by a flat tower. The father gets out to fix the tire — when something comes out of the woods and drags him off into the dark.
The next day, a team with dogs searches through the woods for the missing man. They find him — partially eaten.
They also find something else, a creature said to be tall as a house. They begin shooting as it rushes toward them. A cacophony of gun fire.
Continue reading “The X-Files Rewatch: ‘The Jersey Devil’”
Written by Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, directed by Daniel Sackheim
Season 1, Episode 4
A family camps by a seemingly peaceful lake. A young boy and a teenage girl sleep by a campfire, while the mother sleeps within the camper nearby. Inside the van, the mother is suddenly jerked away by the violent shaking of the camper and a blinding white light. She scrambles to reach her children, who she hears calling for her outside. Grabbing the door knob, her hand is instantly burned by the hot metal.
Outside, her son tells her that Ruby (his sister) is gone. The woman calls out for the missing girl — eventually tilting her head back and screaming her name up to the sky.
Continue reading “The X-Files Rewatch: ‘Conduit’”
Written by Glen Morgan and James Wong, directed by Harry Longstreet
Season 1, Episode 3
Yellow eyes peer out from a sewer drain, watching a business man walk unaware to his car. When the business man arrives at his office … something follows.
The wires in the elevator twitch, as if being climbed. The screws on a tiny vent turn, letting something inside.
The man enters his office and closes the door behind him. Watching from the outside, we see him thrown against the closed curtains — a struggle so violent, it cracks the wood of the office door.
Blood drips onto the generic carpet, splatters every surface inside. The screws of the vent slowly spin themselves closed.
Continue reading “The X-Files Rewatch: ‘Squeeze’”
Written by Chris Carter, directed by Daniel Sackheim
Season 1, Episode 2
Police surround a house in a suburban community in Idaho. Mrs. Budahas rushes forward, because it’s her house. An officer stops her and explains that her husband broke security and stole a military vehicle. The police bust into the house and investigate, finding Mr. Budahas huddled in a corner, shaking and covered head to toe in unusual rashes.
In D.C., Scully meets Mulder in a busy bar, where he presents the case of Col. Robert Budahas, who was a test pilot at Ellens Air Base in in Southwest Idaho. He notes that Budahas disappeared (after the incident mentioned above) and that his wife has reported this to the FBI as a kidnapping — and yet, the FBI de-prioritized the case shortly after receiving it. Since the case has, as Mulder says, “a distinct smell to it, a certain paranormal bouquet,” they’ll be traveling to the “Spud State” to investigate.
Continue reading “The X-Files Rewatch: ‘Deep Throat’”
The original Unsolved Mysteries began in 1987 and continued for 11 seasons before being cancelled in 1999, being aired first on NBC and then for two years on CBS. It was later resurrected by Spike from 2007 to 2010 (something I wasn’t aware of until just now).
The episodes features a host, who presented stories about cold cases, paranormal phenomena, and conspiracy theories — related through a combination of reenactments and interview segments from witnesses, officers, and other folks. At the end of each episode, viewers were urged to to get in contact with Unsolved Mysteries if they have any new information about the case.
Netflix has now rebooted the show, which launched on July 1st. The reboot features a slightly altered format, eschewing the host in favor of diving directly into the story. It also focuses more on interviews from witnesses and officials than on reenactments. As a result, this new iteration of Unsolved Mysteries foregoes sensationalism, feeling more grounded than what I remember.
Continue reading “‘Unsolved Mysteries’ Strives to Provide Hope”