Tag Archives: horror


I wanted to see this thing straight away but didn’t get around to it until the weekend after July 4th. That’s about a month in so it was relegated to a very small theatre in the AMC 21 in Chicago, which resulted in me sitting closer to the screen than I have in years. I think it added to the effect.

This is horror sci-fi. Star Wars is sci-fi. The Shining is horror. Prometheus is both, with a somewhat shallow back story on the origins of life and failings of human beings. Screw the back story. This is an awesome futuristic action flick with tons of monsters, space ships, and evil humans.

The star is Noomi Rapace, from TGWTDT fame (Swedish version). She’s turned in to a must-see actor for me; anything she’s in from now on, I’ll see. Period. She plays scientist Elizabeth Shaw, who’s trying to find the origin of human life.


Rapace thrives in jarring, intense, uncomfortable scenes. The rape scene(s) in TGWTDT are such, but she went above and beyond in this movie for what I’ll call the semi-automated alien C-section. Yeah man, she had had to do some light programming via a touch interface to have an operating machine cut an eight inch incision in her abdomen, pull out a slimy, wriggling alien thing, and staple her back up.


This was difficult for her for various physical and emotional reasons. First of all, she couldn’t just pull up “C-section” from the menu because the machine was built for a man. Even in the future, I guess there are system constraints that prohibit having the whole surgical catalog in one app. It appears the current trend of declining memory chip pricing stops (or regresses) some time before 2080, making it cost-prohibitive to dump both male and female medical procedures on the same chip.

So there’s that. Then there’s the fact that Shaw was infertile up to this point in her life, so the joy of finally having a baby was quickly squelched by figuring out that it was an alien thing. That takes some emotional toll, which Shaw focuses on saving humanity.

Great stuff. I loved it.

It’s foreshadowed and hinted at, but you don’t really verify that this is an Alien prequel. It kind of slaps you in the face, though, when the man-squid creature rises out of a dead pre-human right before they roll the credits. Assuming it is a prequel, I’m not sure where Sigourney Weaver’s character Ripley comes in. It would have made it too easy to give Rapace’s character the name Ripley, but Ridley Scott didn’t go there.

I’m torn. Part of me wants to re-watch the Alien franchise, but that kind of puts things out of order huh? I’m going to sit tight until I find out what they are going to do with the sequel to Prometheus.

The Ruins

I haven’t read any sci-fi/fantasy/horror yet this year so it’s about time I do so. I saw that my sister read this book and she is a reader par excellence. I asked her about it and even though she didn’t say it was a must-read, she didn’t appear to hate it.

I would like to take this chance to give some props to Shelfari because I wouldn’t have known that she read it if I had not gone through her Shelfari bookshelf. Shelfari is a cool tool.

I’m not sure I have a good definition of the horror genre. For me, horror books have two ingredients; a supernatural evil and gore. This book has both, in abundance. It’s not necessarily in my wheelhouse, but I needed a change of pace.

It was fun, engrossing, tense; but it left me kind of empty. There isn’t much to reflect on as I sit here after the fact. I could sort through the character flaws of the people that got killed and try and figure out what Smith is trying to say about our times. But I won’t. I could think about the evil that pervaded the book and try and draw parallels to evil in the world today. But I won’t. I’m moving on with very little reflection actually.


The evil in this book is a plant – a vine with a thirst for humans and their excretions. So a bunch of young vacationers venture into the Mexican outback in search of a friend, and they end up getting surrounded by this vine. They can actually touch and walk through this vine because it seems the vine really can’t kill them until they get an open wound or let the vine into their body through some orifice. So as long as they are alert, they can survive the vine. However, there’s another problem beyond the vine that surrounds them. Outside of the vine’s perimeter is a tribe of Mayans who will kill them if they try to escape.

Without food and water, their days are numbered. It goes from bleak, to really bleak, to bleaker than you can imagine, to everyone is dead.