Board 8 > THE Snake Ranks Anything Horror Related (Vol. 5) *5th Anniversary* *RANKINGS*

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Snake5555555555
10/17/20 3:36:31 AM
#202:


70 Song of Horror (game) (17 points)
Nominated by: v_charon (1/5 remaining)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndyXfnUZBwQ

Importance: 2.5
Fear: 7
Snake: 7.5

Wait a minute, does classic survival horror live on? With flavor text, cheesy voice acting, fixed camera angles, and obtuse puzzles solved by backtracking? Please let it be so! Survival horror has been awash with throwbacks and homages over the past few years, that it can honestly be tough to keep up with. Remothered, Capcom's remakes, Back in 1995, any Puppet Combo game. I'm sure Song of Horror slipped under the radar for many people and it's understandable. Fixed camera games went out of vogue right around the time REmake first shipped. This is now a niche gameplay element, and I'm in that niche and then some. Song of Horror is an indie game, and yet designed like a big-budget original. The game looks amazing and its camera angles show off the world's rich detail that seems easier than it is to pull off. Games like Back in 1995 seem to use it just because that's how it was done (well, that game is a whole commentary on this genre, but still...) but Song of Horror delivers in a way almost NONE of the throwbacks accomplish, with flavor text on almost anything you can examine in the environment which is almost always my favorite part of any survival horror game, cameras giving you clear view and the exact information you need to figure out what you have to accomplish. One slightly disappointing aspect is that the game doesn't have combat, it's a hide-and-seek deal, which I don't typically mind but I don't think it suits the vibe the game was going for. That's not to say it's totally devoid of tension though, there's a darkness that serves as the game's main threat and you have to carefully listen for distinct sounds it makes, and it actually reacts to and gets smarter from player decisions. Listening at doors quickly becomes a prayer for safety, and what initially seems like a gimmick becomes something you dread over the course of your time spent playing. I don't have much to say about the story, but it does feature a ton of playable characters across 5 episodes with a perma-death element, and the Song of Horror isn't just an ominous title, it's about a real song that drives the listener mad when they listen to it, kind of like the Hanged King's Tragedy. Luckily the game has perfect sound design to go with this. This game is easily worth a shot if you love old-school survival, it's extremely well-made and just makes me feel like I'm home again.

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wallmasterz
10/17/20 11:17:41 AM
#203:


Ive only seen the original Evil Dead. I dug it, still need to see the other films and show. I hear theres a Jacksonville connection in the show.

Never played Song of Horror but Id like to check it out.

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Snake5555555555
10/17/20 11:42:23 AM
#204:


Yeah Jacksonville is sort of a running gag as a fantasy of Ash's.

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Snake5555555555
10/17/20 12:33:25 PM
#205:


69. Saya no Uta | Schizophrenia (17 points)
Nominated by: rwlh (2/5 remaining)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSSwtJEJVjU

Importance: 1
Fear: 8
Snake: 8

There's no other way to describe this track than as a musical representation of extreme agnosia, the condition the main character of Saya no Uta suffers from, which distorts his world into a hellish landscape of wriggling flesh and pulsing gore. Schizophrenia is an absolutely bone-grinding track, with a clear influence from grindcore bands like Napalm Death, stripped back & infused with the dark ambience of Akira Yamaoka. A static buzz emanates through the entire track, representing the agony of the mind as it struggles to interpret any meaning in its surrounding, and is actually closer to the real agnosia where the brain loses the ability to recognize an object or person totally. As Schizophrenia buzzes and grinds on, I picture in my mind jammed gears that eventually breaks away under its own weight, giving way to total emptiness. At around 1:30 all that remains is this heavy but distant guitar riff, as if we as the listener are struggling to find an escape, to focus on something, anything, to escape our self-loathing and torturous prison of our own mind. Any reprieve is over quickly as the buzzing returns, however making room for some melodic tones, which in game I feel is a representation of Saya, the only bright spot in your life among your nightmare scenery. It's an interestingly terrifying track, I enjoy its darker musical themes, and it's got a strange relaxing tone to despite its harsh sound. This is what I look for in horror music.

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Snake5555555555
10/17/20 4:15:21 PM
#206:


68. Haunted Mansion (Disney World) (17 points)
Nominated by: Jesse_Custer (1/5 remaining)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKVd-xwxgJs

Importance: 6
Fear: 3
Snake: 8

Haunted Mansion is one of the more famous Disney rides around. With its Gothic overtones and surprisingly creepy backstory, Haunted Mansion is a fan-favorite of adults and kids looking to be spooked no matter what time of year it is. Starting with its seating, I like how they look little ghost pods, really adds to the setting nicely in a simple way. The inside is a feast for the eyes with gorgeous architecture invoking a Victorian era mansion, lightning flashes illuminate paintings on the wall showing hidden skeletons, and ever further in we get this glorious shot of an MC Escher wet dream with staircases boggling the mind with their alien geometry. Compared to the Monster Mansion, the Haunted Mansion I think does have a more kid-friendly vibe though. The seance circle would still be enough to scare small children for sure, but dancing ghosts in the ballroom has a whimsy to it that's more inviting than repulsive, along with a full orchestra of horn-tooting ghouls, and Grim Grinning Ghosts has a bouncing energy to it no matter which you way you slice it. Finally there's an awesome bonus addition at the end which shows ghosts riding along with you in your cart. Creepy way to end it off! Just an iconic ride you can't go wrong with!

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wallmasterz
10/17/20 5:47:20 PM
#207:


I wouldve nominated Haunted Mansion but Jesse beat me to it. Im not a theme park expert but as far as dark rides go, its my favorite.

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Jesse_Custer
10/17/20 5:56:14 PM
#208:


I agree Haunted Mansion isnt that scary despite the horror theming. Oddly I find it to be relaxing to ride.
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Snake5555555555
10/17/20 6:05:34 PM
#209:


67. The White Chamber | Terror (Corridor Sequence) (17 points)
Nominated by: rwlh (1/5 remaining)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tTFJC5zl4U

Importance: 1
Fear: 7
Snake: 9

Another skin-crawlingly good horror track, it kicks off with the muffled moans of some unknowing being as a bubbling synth glides around ear-to-ear in the background, the percussion perfectly industrialized, rising in tension and intensity as the track marches on, until it reaches a straight-up manic pace, bound to induce panic in the listener to no matter who you are or what you are doing. At 3:19, it crashes to a halt though, leaving behind only the drones of madness, a sort of unknown terror in its static rumble, a single piano note stings every few seconds piercing the ear with pure, bleak emptiness. This track plays during the most disturbing part of the game, in a looping corridor and the insane rhythm & pace of the music gets more intense each loop. Again, much like Schizophrenia it suits the game and its themes like no other, a perfect electronic/industrial ambient track that really leaves the listener reeling once it's done.

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rwlh
10/17/20 6:29:19 PM
#210:


Glad you liked/like those songs! Schizophrenia is such a brutal song to listen to. I wonder how they would've done without an emphasis on the Importance scale, where they lost a ton of points.
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Snake5555555555
10/17/20 7:00:01 PM
#211:


So, we've just about reached the halfway point! Let's see what we have left so far.

Hope everyone is enjoying the pace of this project. Let me know if there's any surprises too, whether ranked or yet to come.

NFUN
1. 2020

Jesse_Custer
10. Dolls (movie)

Xeybozn
11. Ash vs. Evil Dead
12. Ode to Kirihito
13. World War Z (book)
14. The Terminator (movie)
15. Shia LaBeouf (song)

Great_Paul
17. The Invisible Man (1933)
20. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

GavsEvans123
24. Misery (Book)

Bane_Of_Despair
26. Ice Nine Kills The Silver Scream (Album)

Anagram
29. Garth Marenghis Darkplace (TV show)
30. Ars Goetia (Book)
32. Predator (Monster)
33. Conspiracy (The Next Generation)

BetrayedTangy
34. The Blood Test Scene (The Thing)
36. The Invisible Man (2020 film)
38. John Wayne Gacy

Paulg235
44. The first year of the COVID-19 Pandemic
45. Nosferatu (1978 Film)
46. The Nazi concentration camps of World War 2

Shonen_Bat
49. Fear itself
50. The Dark Fantasy genre
51. Immortality
52. Shadow Man Jack the Ripper https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vgyt-kiVwG4
53. Feeling like something is slightly off

Rwlh
54. Clock Tower | Dont Cry, Jennifer | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WxrXvDdKuw

Gall
59. ECHO (2017 game)
61. The King in Yellow (1895 book)
62. The Uncanny Valley

Johnbobb
63. Black Friday (musical) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bqt4_tHLSB4
65. Parasyte the maxim- (anime)
66. Control (video game)

Xiahou
68. Drag Me to Hell (2009 film)
69. The Mysterio moment in Far From Home

MetalmindStats
71. DOOM (1993 video game)
72. In the Mirror (Celeste song) | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXfHKEaDg4s

Inviso
75. Angela Orosco (Silent Hill 2 Character)
76. Spookys Jump Scare Mansion (Video Game)
78. Vashta Nerada (Doctor Who Enemy)

Murphiroth
82. SCP-106
83. The Evil Within 2 (Game)

Cavedweller2000
85. Mr X (Resident Evil 2)
86. Mr X (Resident Evil 2 Remake)
87. Five Nights at Freddys (franchise)
88. 1408 (film)

V_charon
94. Headless Horseman (general literary character)

PrinceKaro
96. Darkest Dungeon (video game)
97. Deadman Wonderland (anime)

RaidenGarai
101. Nancy Thompson

Wallmasterz
104. Resident Evil REmake
105. The Exorcist (1973 film)
106. Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima https://youtu.be/Dp3BlFZWJNA
107. Pinocchio (1940) Pleasure Island sequences
108. Jump scares (horror trope)

Dark Silvergun
109. Resident Evil Code: Veronica [Game]
113. Dark Souls [Game]

Handsomeboy2012
115. Among us (game)
117. Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
118. Kraken (monster)

Jcgamer107
124. Ending of Midsommar
125. Mystery Man scene (Lost Highway) - https://youtu.be/qZowK0NAvig
126. Death of John Edward Jones - https://youtu.be/WaIoXN-7FjM
127. Contagion (movie)

Trdl23
131. Baron Scarpia (Tosca)
132. Phyrexia (Magic the Gathering)

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Snake5555555555
10/17/20 10:43:19 PM
#212:


66. In the Mirror (Celeste song) (17 points)
Nominated by: MetalmindStats (1/5 remaining)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXfHKEaDg4s

Importance: 2
Fear: 5.5
Snake: 9.5

Of all the tracks in Celeste, none quite captures Madeline's anxiety & the physical & emotional damage of panic attacks more than In the Mirror. Right from the track's start, the synths flail out for rescue, buzzing endlessly in search of an escape hatch, and when none is found, ratting, erratic percussion steps in, as if to further increase the sense of frailty we feel in our emotions. Then, silence. From around 2:30 on, the track takes on a more serene quality, and can be interpreted in one of two ways. One, as a dulling of our senses, instead of letting our emotions out, we keep them locked away inside, our ignorance of them only planting the seeds for a total meltdown later on. Or, the much more comforting second option, as a breath, a calming meditation where the silence actually becomes a hallway for us to travel down, to seek out new information about ourselves and about our world, letting the light of our minds be our guide. Either way, there's something nagging at us, a small whisper at the back of our minds, the sum of our fears & anxieties quietly threatening to rip us apart at any moment. The wailing synth returns, but this time, there's the faint glimmer of a more hopeful tenderness to the backing melody, our motivation, no matter how small to keep up our drive and push on ahead no matter the cost. This is such a beautifully composed track, it's clear a lot of thought went into how this was structued and of course you can interpret how you want too! On just a musical level, I just love listening to it too, because once again even through its darker themes there's still something so peaceful about it, like I could just float away without a care in the world.

As an aside, the whole Celeste soundtrack is amazing and full of wonderful songs like this. There's even one inspired by Resident Evil save room themes, Quiet and Falling, which I thought was awesome!

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And it's gonna be a long October, and I don't have reasons to believe, in much of anything, alright
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v_charon
10/17/20 10:58:52 PM
#213:


Here's to my last thing standing going far I guess! I'm a little surprised still at the early exits for Alan Wake and SH4, though I'm pleasantly surprised at how well Song of Horror managed to finish. Very overlooked game, didn't deserve to be.
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Truly smilin'
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MetalmindStats
10/17/20 11:00:35 PM
#214:


Snake5555555555 posted...
Well, don't forget, I score importance on their influence in their particular media too, which can sometimes look a little inflated when compared to others. It just seems to me, as far as the medium of VNs go, Umineko is just gigantic. It sold like hotcakes, it inspired mangas, novels, an anime, a fighting game, the OST is popular, it's one of the few VNs at least to me that isn't niche and penetrated the mainstream to some extent.
I suppose that's fair. I feel like it hardly had an impact outside of Japan and on the horror medium, but I guess you're moreso ranking for generalized importance.

Xiahou Shake posted...
Absolutely exceptional write-up on The Lighthouse! It's easily one of my favorite movies to come out in a very long time. The performances for both of the characters are downright spellbinding, and the way the staunch opening sections of the movie completely decay into insanity alongside them is a one of a kind experience.
100% concur with this and jcgamer's post. The Lighthouse has stuck with me in a way very few other movies could possibly match, including many I enjoyed more.

On Badeline: I'm largely in agreement with your write-up, and I really like your thematic points. I think the key reason she's such an effective character is because of how effectively she subverts the evil doppelganger trope. Certainly, I'd say her story (that is to say, Madeline's story) needed the resolution it got, and I dare say Celeste wouldn't be half the game it is otherwise. Thus I find myself concurring most of all with Reddit user PeliPal's take that Badeline represents all that doesn't fit Madeline's ideal conception of herself. I think it's especially worth pointing out that Madeline's need to climb Celeste Mountain at the game's outset came from a distinctly unhealthy place, and she was unwilling to accept that truth at the root of Badeline's introduction.

Edit: I'll comment on In the Mirror later maybe because I've been working on this post on and off all day, just awesome that you liked it so much!

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Hylian hits dizzying heights others daren't aim for. He's the Celeste of Board 8 users.
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Snake5555555555
10/17/20 11:44:01 PM
#215:


That's interesting I totally didn't think of that subversion and Badeline coming from Madeline's unhealthy mental state but it definitely makes sense to me now.

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Snake5555555555
10/18/20 1:41:35 AM
#216:


65. Nancy Thompson (17 points)
Nominated by: RaidenGarai (0/5 remaining)


Importance: 6
Fear: 1
Snake: 10

AKA the best final girl of all time. Whilst Laurie Strode and Sally Hardesty may have held their own against formidable dangers, none took matters into their own hands quite like Nancy Thompson did. Hardly just a wimpy bystander, Nancy was an active participant who sought action against arguably the most dangerous slasher of all time. She learned survival skills, was spunky and firm with everyone from her parents to her best friends, and did everything in her power to stay awake by sheer force of will (and a few dozen cups of caffeine straight to the bloodstream). She is played to crisp perfection by Heather Langenkamp, who embodies Nancy's unbound teenage angst with a purpose hardly seen in the 80s slasher landscape, as her parents' divorce eats away at her innocence years before Freddy's claw graces the bubbles of her bathtub. If we look at Freddy as representing Nancy's coming-of-age, then her struggles with her mom's alcoholism and diminishing lack of faith in once-idolized adult figures frames Nancy's story as one forged in fire, in which Nancy is shown to be undeniably human, at once frightened and vulnerable, but using those negative feelings to empower her own sense of self-worth, preferring to face her problems head-on rather than let them languish inside the confines of her mind. These traits make Nancy a timeless character anyone can look up to, but especially remains a relevant, powerful feminist icon as the people surrounding her refuse to believe her "stories" about Freddy, eerily reminiscent of the MeToo movement and the struggles many women have in relating their experiences out of fear of being ridiculed or discredited. The battle of Freddy vs. Nancy is one based out of psychological warfare, and this expansive slate is a springboard for all matter of interpretations, which is what makes Nancy an endlessly compelling character and Freddy the perfect antagonist as a breeding ground for vigorous symbolism, complimenting each other and relating to the human experience like no other in the world of horror.

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Snake5555555555
10/18/20 3:46:48 AM
#217:


64 Parasyte the maxim- (anime) (17.5 points)
Nominated by: Johnbobb (2/5 remaining)


Importance: 4.5
Fear: 7
Snake: 6

Parasyte -the maxim- is a boundary pushing anime that takes the concept of body horror and carries it to its natural limits. Much like Evil Dead, I did notice plenty of more comedic elements too but in general, when it comes to plain grossing out the viewer, few do it better than Parasyte here. The series stars Shinichi Izumi, as parasites from space come down to Earth and take over humans like Body Snatchers. One of these parasites targets Izumi but fails in his total assimilation due to not being able to enter through his ear, instead taking over his right hand and giving Izumi a sort of unwanted super power. A large portion of the series deals with Izumi coming to grips with his parasite (who he names Migi) and the close bond they share, but also the change in personality Izumi exhibits due to this power. When it comes to the monster design, Parasyte shines beautifully. These are some of the most gruesomely realistic monsters in an anime, and when combined with their human hosts, it gives each encounter a sense of gravitas and originality that makes each unique encounter incredibly memorable. I will admit though, when it came to the main plot and Izumi's interactions with his typical supporting cast, it didn't quite grip me as much. Any moments not spent on the anime's disgustingly gorgeous parasites was time wasted to me. Still, it's anime I would absolutely recommend for any hardcore body horror fans out there, it's easily one of the best in that department.

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Snake5555555555
10/18/20 1:11:56 PM
#218:


63. Among us (game) (17.5 points)
Nominated by: handsomeboy2000 (2/5 remaining)

Importance: 5
Fear: 6.5
Snake: 6

Among Us absolutely exploded in popularity recently, as all of you probably already know. A game based on deception, backstabbing, and argumentative friendship-shattering, Among Us perfectly captures our modern times, the game serving as the perfect stress relief to the isolation & quarantine of our COVID-infested year. I don't think that's wrong to say either. Among Us first came out in 2018, to little fan-fare. I had actually heard of it back then, but paid little mind to its cheap-looking Newgrounds aesthetic & uninteresting gameplay. Cut to 2020, and now this game is everywhere. The game was streamed by Sodapoppin back in July and the rest was history, the game simply latched on like a parasyte and absolutely gripped the world with its epic saga of tasks and ejections. If you deny its horror elements however, the most easy comparison to make is with The Thing. Much like the titular alien, if you're the impostor, it's your role to assimilate as a crew member, and to make others trust you as you take them out one by one or sabotage the systems of the real crew. When dead bodies are discovered though, this is where the game becomes the blood testing scene of the Thing. Emotions will flare, anger will rise, and to survive you MUST be ready to argue for yourself no matter which side of the deck you fall on. In a way, Among Us is the natural succession to Mafia, another popular online game in the argument genre for years, given an upgrade that incorporates the elements of skilled play & survival of a battle royale, a kid-friendly graphical style that's easy to produce and ensures all ages get in on the fun (SEE: Fall Guys as well), and made totally accessible for anyone with a smartphone & internet connection. Among Us was the social outlet we needed this year, proving that some games, given the time and affection they deserve, will always come along at the right time and become a smash-hit under the current circumstances.


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BetrayedTangy
10/18/20 1:32:14 PM
#219:


I'm honestly impressed with how much fun it still is, has definitely been a great distraction to the shitshow that is 2020.

Also Snake you should totally play it with Board 8 sometime we've had some really fun games.

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Snake5555555555
10/18/20 1:40:32 PM
#220:


Yeah I'll have to keep that in mind!

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Snake5555555555
10/18/20 2:29:19 PM
#221:


62. Pinocchio (1940) Pleasure Island sequences (17.5 points)
Nominated by: wallmasterz (4/5 remaining)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGxvnroYgt4

Importance: 5.5
Fear: 6
Snake: 6

Imagine your most cherished fantastical place as a child. It has everything you ever wanted, full of entertainment and wonder, treats & sweets galore, a total dream where nothing bad or painful ever happens to you. Now imagine if that place was actually a total alcohol-fueled smoke den which feeds & preys on your untapped & unchecked desires, transforming you into a shadow of your former self, a monster even. Wait a minute, that's not very subtle is it? In one of Disney's earliest and darkest strokes, Pinocchio introduced countless generations of children to the terrors of alcoholism and tobacco addiction, turning the children who spend too much time with these vices into literal jackasses. There's your god damn PSA right there. Hell if that's not even the darkest part though, as the Coachman participates in literal child human trafficking bringing children to the island in the first place to sell them into slavery. Jeesus. EXTREMELY in spite-of this, the Pleasure Island sequences are impeccably animated with tons of bright detail and centerpieces such as a gigantic clown, and the sequences are framed with some comedic integrity too, as boys scramble into the rought fighting pit or climb over each other World War Z style to literally chomp at the bit for cigars, before an Animal House rager becomes the party to end all parties. I guess much like the island itself, it really makes you forget the darker elements behind it all. But can someone explain to me why they chose to name a nightclub after this?!

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Inviso
10/18/20 2:34:49 PM
#222:


I love Identity, if only because the "And Then There Were None" style of plot isn't done nearly enough nowadays. Hell, we barely get murder mysteries, let alone murder mysteries that whittle down a cast until only a few remain, paranoid of one another's intentions.

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Inviso
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Xeybozn
10/18/20 2:55:15 PM
#223:


Pleasure Island is scary and all, but I can't get over it how little sense it makes for such a place to exist. Kidnapping children, taking them to a super luxurious party island, and magically transforming them can't possibly be the cheapest way to get some donkeys to sell. And while you could argue that getting rid of problem children is a nice benefit, it's also a very inefficient way to do that. Why not just breed donkeys, throw the kids off a bridge, and enjoy your awesome private island?
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Snake5555555555
10/18/20 2:56:11 PM
#224:


It would be awesome if the Knives Out sequel was more akin to something like And Then There Were None.

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Snake5555555555
10/18/20 4:56:45 PM
#225:


61. Conspiracy (The Next Generation) (17.5 points)
Nominated by: Anagram (3/5 remaining)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03QKSjBiG2c


Importance: 3.5
Fear: 7
Snake: 7

One of several moving moments of horror in the Next Generation, Conspiracy presents itself as a techno paranoia-thriller, chock full of its own noir signatures to craft a mystery as compelling and horrific as anything found in film. It probably has one of the scariest climaxes in television, as the parasitic (okay I swear I didn't plan the last few found entries in the ranking to be related to assimilating parasites) beings even infiltrate the upper echelons of Starfleet Command, and Picard is served a meal of worms in a stomach-churning event of dread and disgust. I like how the episode expertly builds up suspense, and shows Picard at his most serious and untrusting, and though it's always pretty obvious who has the parasite, what those characters perform under their influence is unpredictable. The episode is especially notable for its fantastic special effects, including the terrific shot of the exploded head on the chair up above, an effort it won an Emmy for. The episode ends with a chilling cliffhanger, as we left in limbo whether or not the parasites' message will reach its intended targets and notify their brethren the location of Earth. For fourty-minutes, Star Trek condenses its themes into a digestible short horror film, in which its implications and sense of anxiety makes it a stand-out in the series' canon.

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wallmasterz
10/18/20 6:29:25 PM
#226:


As a Jags fan, shouldve gone with this as a nom.



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Snake5555555555
10/19/20 2:12:46 AM
#227:


60. Ode to Kirihito (17.5 points)
Nominated by: Xeybozn (4/5 remaining)


Importance: 4.5
Fear: 6
Snake: 7

Ode to Kirihito is a magnificent manga that blends the unique elements of medical drama with a werewolf story, well-regarded for its unique and influential panel layouts and as a predecessor to creator Osamu Tezuka's later more straight-laced doctor serials. What I like most about Kirihito is it never sacrifices one aspect of its story for the other. Main protagonist, doctor Kirihito Osanai, battles a viral infection that turns humans into dog-people, before becoming infected himself. Kirihito's relationships are compelling, and the series mainly explores themes of identity and self-discovery, along with the corruption and pure greed of the medical industry. Kirihito is often used, abused and exploited for his monstrous appearance, serving as an allegory for personal growth through tragedy and hardship. I love the artwork throughout the series, it's so sparse and dramatically lit, clinical yet imaginative, it leaves just enough to the reader's interpretation, never Junji Ito levels of pure terror but its horror is one that's approachable, subtle, relevant, and human. It is touching and heart-wrenching and I recommend it to any fans of horror manga.

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And it's gonna be a long October, and I don't have reasons to believe, in much of anything, alright
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Snake5555555555
10/19/20 1:01:10 PM
#228:


59. Control (video game) (17.5 points)
Nominated by: Johnbobb (1/5 remaining)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F74LLDhAhhI

Importance: 5
Fear: 5.5
Snake: 7

Control is Remedy's latest flawed masterpiece, a graphical marvel to behold with influences from modern day Internet horror culture, crafting a shared universe with ease, connecting to their other games & franchises in a way that feels totally fresh & original. Control builds on the team's previous efforts in Quantum Break, incorporating psychic and time-bending powers to use in combat. Combat can occasionally feel floaty and weak, but once you start building up your characters and really incorporating all your abilities, you'll feel like a god, wreaking havoc on unsuspecting foes throughout your playthrough. Control has clear nods to SCP culture and of course Remedy's ever-prescient Twin Peaks influence carried over from Alan Wake, especially prevalent in its red lighting & extra-dimensional spaces. Instead of the SCP Foundation, you play as Jesse Faden, the new director of the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC, sounds familiar, huh?), which studies paranormal entities and phenomena that threaten to invade the fabric of our reality. Though the main antagonistic force of the game is known as The Hiss, which is reminiscent of the Dark Presence in Alan Wake (in AWE it's revealed The Hiss were a product of Wake's writing), there are also "Altered Items", normal items altered by paranormal activity, which is a verrrry SCP-type concept. I'm glad there's a game pushing SCPs more into mainstream, I feel like this is the first video game to truly be influenced by that in the same other games and films have been taking cues from Lynch and King for an untold number of years. Control has maybe the most impressive graphics I've yet to see in a video game too, a total beast that barely runs on the current hardware, incorporating ray tracing and photo-realism that truly brings the paranormal straight to your living-room with unmatched fidelity. I actually haven't played this game fully yet, but its incredible lore, world-building, fluid gameplay, and immense graphical prowess has proved to be a slow but surefire success, and as the game only increases in popularity and influence, the sky seems to be the limit for Remedy as I think they have struck a gold-mine here they would be wise to continue.

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And it's gonna be a long October, and I don't have reasons to believe, in much of anything, alright
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Snake5555555555
10/19/20 3:03:17 PM
#229:


58. Phyrexia (Magic the Gathering) (17.5 points)
Nominated by: trdl23 (1/5 remaining)


Importance: 2
Fear: 8
Snake: 7.5

Phyrexia is a nightmare world, melding flesh & technology into one, a hellish world of 9 spheres each worse than the last. The Dante's Inferno connection is obvious, but it's how Phyrexia reinterprets that old reliable concept that's admirable here. Each sphere is a lurid malformation of real life, reexamining existence through the lens of industrial evolution run rampant, in a world where excess is an unknown word and anything short of bio-mechanical dominance is unacceptable, offspring is produced in cold, unfeeling factories and seen as expendable in this dooming march of so-called progress. It's every nightmare people had of Victorian Era industrial revolution condensed, the roaring of thunderous machines becoming our new language, a maze of steel pipes and steam-stacks replacing our creature comforts for economic greed, represented by the controlling head of Yawgmoth and the governing demon body, raining oil and rusted husks killing off the environment and any sense of freedom, health, or peace. It's a terrifically scary world, a bleak reminder of how easy things can deteriorate if people don't stand up for what's right, all realized in amazing artwork and solidly-thought out writing.

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And it's gonna be a long October, and I don't have reasons to believe, in much of anything, alright
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Snake5555555555
10/20/20 2:25:12 AM
#230:


57. Spookys Jump Scare Mansion (Video Game) (17.5 points)
Nominated by: Inviso (2/5 remaining)
FREE TO PLAY: https://store.steampowered.com/app/356670/Spookys_Jump_Scare_Mansion/

Importance: 4
Fear: 6
Snake: 7.5

Spooky's Jump Scare Mansion, formerly known as Spooky's House of Jumpscares, is an interesting meta-commentary on the state of modern day horror games, while still being a fun game and creepy game in its own right. Back in 2010, the state of survival horror was weird to say the least. The industry still reeled from the influence RE4 had, and classic survival horror with fixed camera angles was deader than disco, instead a new hybrid of shooter-horrors like Dead Space & Alan Wake dominated the landscape. Many decried this advancement in gaming, but there were alternatives. Penumbra: Overture, made by Frictional Games, helped influence a new breed of horror games, one where combat was completely taken away from you, truly emphasizing enemy avoidance. Frictional's own Amnesia: The Dark Descent would follow-up and refine this style to diamond perfection, and that game's explosion in popularity would bring with it a whole decade of horror that would explore, expand, and exploit the genre to its limits with games like Outlast, Slender, Observer, Soma, countless others, and of course Spooky's. Spooky's central idea was the satire of this gameplay evolution (or devolution to some), a response to how these games were often built around one central method of fear delivery, that being, you guessed it, the jump scare. In particular, I feel like the game was aimed at Youtubers like Markiplier or PewDiePie who occasionally seemed to have forced overreactions to these horror games, but was nonetheless an ouroboros cycle that fed into the popularity of both parties.

I love the structure and tone of Spooky's; great satire is after all always built first on the respect for the original works. There's a reason films like Shaun of the Dead, Cabin in the Woods, & Scream have endured for as long as they have. Spooky's gets its hucks out of its system quickly, peppering the player with cute, smiling cardboard cut-outs almost daring you to scream in terror, but quickly launches at you what the game calls "specimens", genuinely horrifying monsters that chase you through the many rooms of the maze-like mansion. Despite the drastic shift in tone, Spooky's undercurrent of comedy remains, with your host Spooky wishing to be feared and trolling the player with certain "gifts", arcade minigames, cartoony vibe, and files commentating on a character's wish, nay hope, he is the main protagonist (he's not). All of this adds up to be a pretty unique experience even if it does get a little repetitive as it goes on, and on, and on, and on. People who are averse to horror games will still find this pants-soiling, but for those more in the know, it really becomes a way to meditate on the tropes that make horror games function the way they do, poke fun of overused cliches, and have an atmospheric, scary-good time on top of it all too.

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And it's gonna be a long October, and I don't have reasons to believe, in much of anything, alright
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trdl23
10/20/20 3:54:21 PM
#231:


The Phyrexians are among my favorite "villain race" in all of fiction. They're like the scariest parts of Star Trek's Borg mixed with fantastic metaphysics and pure religious zeal. It is their sacred duty to spread the Phyrexian Scriptures, to unite the flesh with machines, to assimilate all before them. There is no compromise despite their sentience and sapience; they truly believe they are in the right through their own horrific beliefs.

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E come vivo? Vivo!
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Snake5555555555
10/20/20 6:20:50 PM
#232:


56. ECHO (2017 game) (17.5 points)
Nominated by: Gall (2/4 remaining)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i51x6-8GqkA

Importance: 2.5
Fear: 7
Snake: 8

ECHO is a game that totally escaped my radar, and I'm sad it did. Boasting some incredible AI, Echo dares to ask the question, "what is a harder challenge to overcome than yourself?" ECHO has some incredible visuals for an indie game, sporting a clean, sterile look, presenting this grandiose environment of a palace that feels forbidden, much like the Bible's Garden of Eden, where you feel wrong for even thinking about touching anything there. ECHO uses a system of light and darkness; during lighted sections, the AI will record each and every one of your actions down to the pixel, but during darkness, you're free to act without consequence. The game becomes a push-and-tug of progress and keeping in mind your actions will make the game harder for yourself, an existential dilemma that makes you examine your actions like no game before it. The game's story is rather vague honestly the game feels more like a proof-of-concept than anything, but unfortunately the game was a mega flop and the stuido was closed down. It was created by former Hitman developers and there may be a movie in the works, but who knows. I'd love this AI adapted for future projects though if at all possible!

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And it's gonna be a long October, and I don't have reasons to believe, in much of anything, alright
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jcgamer107
10/20/20 11:09:05 PM
#233:


Spooky's Jumpscare Mansion is one of the most effective horror games I've ever played, in part because of how straightforward the mechanics and settings are (partly why PT is so effective as well).

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azuarc wasn't even home. he was playing Magic the Gathering at his buddy's store, which is extremely easy to verify
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Snake5555555555
10/21/20 12:06:28 AM
#234:


Very true, and there's definitely some PT DNA in Spooky with the repeating hallway section.

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And it's gonna be a long October, and I don't have reasons to believe, in much of anything, alright
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Snake5555555555
10/21/20 1:41:47 AM
#235:


55. Black Friday (musical) (17.5 points)
Nominated by: Johnbobb (0/5 remaining)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bqt4_tHLSB4

Importance: 3.5
Fear: 6
Snake: 8

We come to our second musical on our list, and one I enjoyed a little more than Guy, in part due to its more memorable musical numbers and greater emphasis on horror. With most of the same cast returning from Guy, I was expecting a little rehash of the first with a Thanksgiving theme, but despite this technically being a pseudo-sequel, there's very little focus on prior characters and instead focuses on a whole new group with quirks and characteristics of their own, but still portrayed by the same actors. The conceit here is that on Black Friday, a new toy, Tickle-Me Wiggly, is getting released, poised to be the sold-out craze of the holiday season. It's obviously a parody of Tickle Me Elmo, or Beebo for you Arrowverse fans out there, and yeah Black Friday horror stories have been kind of done to death, with comments on our shopping insanity and consumerist practices pushed to perfection on shows like South Park, but Starkid captures this craze from a unique angle, that of the more cosmic sense, while injecting their love of musical dramatism into it as well. In fact, I feel like characters are way more fleshed out here; while Guy used caricatures to frame the ridiculousness of its horror, Black Friday deals much more deftly with the the pressures of being a single parent, dead-end jobs with an escape rope seemingly just within reach, and high-school flames lost and rekindled. I don't mean to make it sound like Black Friday is all about dread and doom, there are some especially laugh out loud moments with a cheesy Christmas high school movie musical parody, and a snooty entitled woman who truly gets some of the best zingers in the entire production. However, this whole story being framed with this Cthulhu-like entity just adds a whole layer of seriousness that feels more mature and a step-up from Starkid's previous effort, as enjoyable as that was. Now, fill those cookie trays up and pass Kris Kringle the ball! (god how is that still stuck in my head?)

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And it's gonna be a long October, and I don't have reasons to believe, in much of anything, alright
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Snake5555555555
10/21/20 3:00:12 AM
#236:


54. Ash vs. Evil Dead (17.5 points)
Nominated by: Xeybozn (3/5 remaining)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Yq3jeOmxSk

Importance: 3
Fear: 4.5
Snake: 10

I didn't truly love or even like Evil Dead until I watched this show, and it was on a random whim to boot. There are several aspects of this show that make it a better experience though than all Evil Dead films combined. First it starts at the root of all good productions, the characters. Bruce Campbell, through decades of experience, has honed his Ash Williams to this sometimes lovable, always an asshole person pining for his glory days but struggling with the realities of age, reputation, family, and friendship. Ash is quite simply put, a loser, thirty years passing with little progress in his life and nothing to show for his past heroics but a stumpy hand and whole trailer's worth of bad memories and PTSD. It's not all lost though! Ash vs. Evil Dead introduces two amazing supporting characters, Pablo and Kelly; Pablo is sort of Ash's protege, and he looks up to Ash as a father figure and hero. Kelly is on the surface your typical snarky, tough female lead, but Dana Delorenzo absolutely fuels her character with an inner sense of darkness, tragedy, and sense of longing to be accepted even by two weirdos like Ash and Pablo. These two characters are what makes this show more than just another Ash vehicle used to make him say his famous catch-phrases. The show actually re-contextualizes Ash's adventures as really an avoidance of life's problems & issues, a refusal to grow up and reach maturity especially where it matters most. Pablo and Kelly are really reflections of what Ash wants to become, and over the course of the series, he does learn, he does mature, and he does finally, truly grasp his ultimate responsibility.

So, what else makes this show awesome? Its increased emphasis on horror and most importantly, various styles of horror. The Evil Dead films always had a love for body horror and Lovecraftian themes, but Ash vs. Evil Dead also incorporates psychological tension into its narrative too. In Ash's home town, everyone sees him as a murderer, not believing in the Deadites, and this visibly hurts and tears Ash to pieces. Figures from his past routinely come back to haunt him, he really cannot catch a break and it's easy to feel bad for him. Evil Ash returns too, giving Ash a real showdown with his psyche this time, as his worst traits are on display and is a genuine threat, notably with little to no humor revolving his character, a rarity for the series. In perhaps Evil Dead's darkest franchise moment, Evil Ash even kills several students at a school dance which is just undeniably chilling. Pile that on top of the large amounts of gore and blood throughout the series, and you can see the show straining the limits of good taste, but its most disgustingly great triumph is a battle in the morgue against a Deadite, as, among other things, Ash ends up in the butt of a cadaver that's literally shitting as Ash gets pulled in with a tentacle. It's as fucked-up as it sounds, those without a strong stomach will not last! I love it though, this is what I feel Evil Dead has always wanted to be, just an onslaught that incorporates all definitions of the word "horror", but just always ridiculous enough and ready with a one-liner that are you laughing your ass off as you barf into the nearest trash can.

Lastly, we have the comedy, the last missing piece that makes this show a masterpiece. Though I touched a little on how it seamlessly blends its horror with its comedy, this is truly as black as black comedy gets. From Ash's attempts at a burial with the wrong religious symbolism, to Deadites using dead people as puppets, to Ash hitting a bong moments before the most important battle of his life. Simply put, if the show thinks its funny, the show puts it in. I'm generally not a fan of juvenile humor, but Ash vs. Evil Dead always seems to do it in a way that's charming and never gets annyoing, and always making sure to juxtapose and tie it in with character development whenever it can. This is comedy with a purpose, elevating itself above typical expectations and not just childish for the sake of being edgy (okay, except for maybe the morgue scene. Still love it though!)

Ash vs. Evil Dead was the best horror show of the decade no one watched. Once again it ended on the verge of apocalypse with no conclusion. How fitting. However, if this is truly the last we ever see of Ash, so be it. Bruce, Raimi, and everyone else involved deserved a show as fantastic and artfully crude as this gem of a series, the perfect follow-up to the three cult hits that could, a piece of TV-pushing horror that gleefully and unashamedly reveled in its own blood, chainsaw in one stump and boomstick in the other, making us all rethink as to what a piece of media bearing the Evil Dead name could be.

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And it's gonna be a long October, and I don't have reasons to believe, in much of anything, alright
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Johnbobb
10/21/20 11:11:07 AM
#237:


Snake5555555555 posted...
. Now, fill those cookie trays up and pass Kris Kringle the ball! (god how is that still stuck in my head?)
It's been a year since the musical came out and that song is STILL stuck in my head

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Khal Kirby, warlord of the Super Star Khalasar
PSN/Steam: CheddarBBQ https://goo.gl/Diw2hs
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Snake5555555555
10/21/20 1:42:21 PM
#238:


53. Garth Marenghis Darkplace (TV show) (17.5 points)
Nominated by: Anagram (2/5 remaining)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlPZAfylOUY

Importance: 3.5
Fear: 4
Snake: 10

I first discovered this wonderful little show last October, and I'm so happy that I did. Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is a multi-faceted send-up of 1980s medical soaps, B-movies, police procedurals, and horror anthology shows, all with a sheen of consummate unprofessionalism, low-budget EVERYTHING, and an ego maniac author at the center of it all. Darkplace presents itself as a "lost" 1980s horror medical drama that was never aired due it being too extreme for the network. Each episode is hosted "in real life" by Garth Marenghi, author, dream weaver, visionary, plus actor, who opens up each chiller reading excerpts from his books, before launching into a pretentious explanation on what makes the following episode the best piece of media you ever watched. Darkplace is actually the show-within-the-show, but interspersed are interviews from the cast and crew into the delusional meaning and making of each half-hour horror masterstroke. What makes the show so engaging is that everyone is a character, both in the actual drama and in those interviews. I do wonder if first time viewers would've been able to guess this wasn't actually a real lost show back in the 1980s, since everyone does such a fantastic job at giving their talking head interviews that it feels incredibly authentic, along with Darkplace's production values. Darkplace uses real film stock from the 1980s, real clothing, real analog music tracks, it does everything in its power to take you back to the 1980s, and it did it before it was cool. Look, I struggle to give this series its proper justice, and explain what makes its poorly-cut, badly scripted, and misogynistically written characters so god damn hilarious to watch. It's written to be bad, and that's one of the toughest things to pull off correctly, along with a real under-current of darkness found in its interviews and charming cheap effects that can occasionally come across as frightening, like when you were a kid, stayed up too late and watched something you shouldn't have. I just beg you to watch this show and see for yourself what makes this so special, and screw my disorganized, ranting thoughts!

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And it's gonna be a long October, and I don't have reasons to believe, in much of anything, alright
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Anagram
10/21/20 2:42:55 PM
#239:


Aw yeah go my darkplace.

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Not changing this sig until I decide to change this sig.
Started: July 6, 2005
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jcgamer107
10/21/20 4:34:56 PM
#240:


PLUS actor

I love Darkplace. The jokes come so fast, especially in the first few episodes, and the cast is great. Glad you gave it a personal 10.

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azuarc wasn't even home. he was playing Magic the Gathering at his buddy's store, which is extremely easy to verify
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Snake5555555555
10/22/20 12:15:05 AM
#241:


52. Shadow Man Jack the Ripper (18 points)
Nominated by: Shonen_Bat (4/5 remaining)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vgyt-kiVwG4

Importance: 1
Fear: 8
Snake: 9

Jack the Ripper needs no introduction. His stalking presence and unsolved murders still haunt the world over to this very day, and thus, a theme such as this one suits the famed murderer perfectly. The dulcet, saccharine tones of this reversed Moonlight Sonata haunt the listener, fueling their paranoia, it may even encourage you to look over you shoulder once or twice. It also ties into the twisted mentality that is Jack the Ripper's psyche, a damaged mind crying out in melancholy but lashing out with violence and killing instead. A harsh melody bashes each ear drum, left to right, right to left, always panning, always just out of eye-shot, stalking you like the great lions of the Savannah. It's quite a simple track, but in terms of theming Jack's character and its easily prodding tone, there is great terror in its simplicity, much like Jack's murders themselves.

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And it's gonna be a long October, and I don't have reasons to believe, in much of anything, alright
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Snake5555555555
10/22/20 5:12:12 AM
#242:


51. The Mysterio moment in Far From Home (18 points)
Nominated by: Xiahou Shake (1/2 remaining)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPsWGyPwQec

Importance: 3
Fear: 6
Snake: 9

This is an easy top 5 scene in any Spider-Man movie, perhaps even the best. It is visually inventive, a perfect two-hander on one side, showcasing Mysterio's immense talents in illusory psychological warfare, and on the other, our hero at his lowest point, pushed to insanity right before the final act begins to kick into gear. This is how you use a villain in a superhero movie. Far From Home is built on this pillar that Peter somehow has to live up to his hero and father figure, Tony Stark. Enter Quentin Beck, this grandiose hero, who, for all intents and purposes, mirrors the look and powers of Stark with a more magical sheen to them. Parker of course latches on to this, and even from the very beginning, Beck is playing him and feeding into Parker's weaknesses. This scene doesn't just come out of nowhere to be a flashy action sequence with no purpose, Beck possesses an intimate knowledge of what makes Peter tick, from his timidness in working with Nick Fury to a classic Spider-Man staple, the complicated relationship he tends to have with his loved ones & friends. He even morphs Stark into a literal zombie, manifesting into what Peter believes to be his ultimate failure, this ghoul haunting him even beyond the grave. However, even more interestingly, I find Mysterio puppets us just as much as he does Peter, relying on our intimate knowledge of cliches in these superhero movies, and especially the MCU, we know so well. The Fury fake-out works because we are used to Fury pulling these sorts of survivability stunts constantly, & in the MCU we are used to the villain being captured and taken away only for them to escape again at a later point. The scene holds a mirror up to us a fan of comic book movies, with classic Spider-Man iconography like MJ being dropped off a bridge practically being a twisted version of fan-service at this point. Much like how Mysterio uses his illusions to trick the general populace into believing his heroics, he makes us as an audience see what we want, or rather, expect to see in a Spider-Man film, and that's just amazing meta-commentary if you ask me. This scene is simply awesome, Gyllenhaal and Holland both turn in amazing performances here, and there's so much gorgeous detail put into every effect. If you ever want to see Mysterio done justice outside of comics, look no further than here.

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Bare feet on the tile with my head up in the clouds
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Snake5555555555
10/22/20 1:39:59 PM
#243:


50. Clock Tower | Dont Cry, Jennifer (18 points)
Nominated by: rwlh (0/5 remaining)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WxrXvDdKuw

Importance: 2
Fear: 6
Snake: 10

Clock Tower is the one horror series in gaming that I feel truly captures the tone of slasher movies, mainly Italy's giallo movement but in the American canon too, especially the Halloween films and secondary slashers like The Burning's Cropsey. The Argento tones are obvious here, taking subtle cues from the theme to Suspiria, but where Argento and his Goblins tend to be more of the progressive nature in their themes to emphasize the complexity of their narratives, instead Don't Cry, Jennifer opts to meld those mystery-thriller influences with the more paranoia-induced, plodding, stalking edge of themes from Myers, Voorhees, and Krueger. Clock Tower's most well-known track is actually the theme of Scissorman, despite what you may assume from the title, and those Psycho-esque stings right at the start of the track let you know pure terror has entered the area. You can just imagine Scissorman, cornering Jennifer in a corner, and creepily saying this track's title as he repeatedly and menacingly opens and shuts his weapon of choice. The song is pure synth, a deep bass that crackles with a pitch drop, as pounding kick-drums simulate the same reaction a quickening heartbeat would have. It is however, the string melody, dominant and ever-present, that truly grips you as synth straight-forwardly dazzles just lightly over top of it, this is truly a slasher theme now, you can just feel the dead, icy-eyes of the Scissorman inching ever towards you even if you can't see him yet. Don't Cry, Jennifer's strong motifs and influences make this a top ten video game track ever for me, and despite its actually quite simple compositional structure, it's a track that's hard to ignore due to its incredibly striking sound. When you don't even have to play the game to get what a track is going for, then the music has certainly done its job.

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Snake5555555555
10/22/20 2:38:21 PM
#244:


49. Contagion (movie)(18.5 points)
Nominated by: jcgamer107 (4/5 remaining)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sYSyuuLk5g

Importance: 6
Fear: 7.5
Snake: 5

#sorelatableguys

Okay, so I wonder why this movie blew up so much over the past year? Contagion has oft been lauded as one of the most scientifically accurate looks at a pandemic as far as film goes. I mean I don't really know anything about that. I just thought this movie was okay at best. Soderbergh is an incredible director, and he uses mutli-link narrative to craft a truly ensemble experience, but watching this movie is very akin to watching the news, it is truly as technical as everyone says. Its clinical approach is frightening in its reality, it's easy to see why this movie got a rebirth this year. It's what I always say, watching horror is the best remedy for facing real-lfie equivalents. I wouldn't call this a very entertaining watch though, and paradoxically is what makes it as striking as it is. It's film unafraid to just say, "these are the facts: people are easily susceptible to mass hysteria, misinformation, and are just unhygienic in general. Here's what happens when all three of those traits goes into melting pot." Its coldness and detachment to human emotion is its greatest strength, and sure that won't make for a fun, thrilling watch, but more a sobering one, in a way it's beyond entertainment value and more a wake-up call we should've listened to way before 2020 ever rolled around.

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Bare feet on the tile with my head up in the clouds
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Snake5555555555
10/22/20 4:19:11 PM
#245:


48. Darkest Dungeon (video game) (18.5 points)
Nominated by: PrinceKaro (1/4 remaining)


Importance: 5
Fear: 7.5
Snake: 6

Never before has a game tackled the psychological toll of adventuring much like Darkest Dungeon has. It's the closest game to Koudelka where I felt like survival horror elements really tied into the gameplay of a turn-based RPG roguelike. While there's always an inherent survivability element to these games, Darkest Dungeon uses the mechanics to directly tie in to what the protagonists are feeling. Every character, no matter how tough or powerful they may seem, falls victim to their fleeting mental states, when put up against the Eldritch Abominations of the various dungeons. The game sports an Affliction System, which ensures your characters never get so strong that they can just blow through a dungeon. This system will cause heroes to literally flee from battle, or become so masochistic they become a danger to themselves and others, or become so selfish they literally don't listen to your commands. This is simply put some of the best gamification of Lovecraft's themes ever. This system is supported by the game's incredible art direction. DD of course incorporates the tentacles and pulsing flesh masses associated with Eldritch lore, but its use of decaying, Gothic architecture and dark fantasy creatures pushes this hopelessness and despair on you just as much as the characters. These feel like places no human was ever meant to step into, and along with the challenging gameplay, pushes you through a grueling adventure that's unlike any RPG you'll ever play. If you're feeling tired of that same old JRPG, Darkest Dungeon might just be the cure for you.

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Snake5555555555
10/22/20 9:45:01 PM
#246:


47. Dolls (movie) (18.5 points)
Nominated by: Jesse_Custer (0/5 remaining)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFaNbnLGRoM

Importance: 4.5
Fear: 6
Snake: 8

An ambitious film released right around the time killer toy movies really started booming, Dolls was directed by Stuart Gordon, who previously cut his teeth on the Lovecraft thematic duology of Re-Animator and From Beyond. Despite the bloody, gross bombast of those films, Dolls is a rather laid-back film in comparison, classy in its atmosphere but still schlock in its doll executions and crass comedy. The premise is, a little girl and her complete asshole parents (well, father and stepmother) seek refuge in a mansion after their car breaks down. Classic set-up. The mansion is full of intricately designed dolls, and Judy, the little girl is given one, a Punch doll (Punch and Judy, ha ha ha.) Anyway the plot is super-contrived, as vagabonds keep coming in and being invited with no further consideration, like these two awesome punk girls and a kind of dweeby guy named Ralph. It is kind of just an excuse to have more jerks to murder, but whatever because the scenes of stop-motion dolls are incredibly well put together. Each doll is uniquely designed and oh my god, the motion on these is simultaneously scary and charming at the same time. Kind of like what Puppet Master would become, these dolls aren't inherently evil, they are only used to punish those who do bad deeds. They listen to Judy especially and she is able to tell them to not kill Ralph even as he is kicking them like nobody's business. At the heart of the story, Dolls becomes a surprisingly touching allegory for childhood and the importance of keeping a youthful spirit alive, and how being raised with strife and anger will only cause to cycle spin forever out of control. This movie can be admittedly goofy at times, there's a lot of sexual puns for some reason, but the doll scenes are definitely amazing and worth a watch just for that. Pretty short movie too. All in all, a great time, especially if you're looking for one of the more entertaining killer toy movies out there.

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NFUN
10/22/20 9:53:43 PM
#247:


my last nom is going out in the next five

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Snake5555555555
10/23/20 3:05:52 AM
#248:


46. The Evil Within 2 (Game) (18.5 points)
Nominated by: Murphiroth (1/5 remaining)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7JbFBq4NAo

Importance: 3
Fear: 6.5
Snake: 9

With The Evil Within, it was finally Shinji Mikami's chance to return to the horror genre and correct, so to speak, the sins of his own creation, Resident Evil 4 by making survival horror, well, itself again. Results were mixed. While I personally loved the game and think it's one of the best of the decade, unfortunate letterboxing, sticking too close to the template laid down by RE4 (ironically), and an overly mind-bending plot caused even some to mark it as irredeemably awful. Yet, sales were still decent enough to net a sequel: The Evil Within 2. An absolutely remarkable upgrade in almost every way, this felt like the survival horror classic Mikami was just in reach of making. Though he was only producer/supervisor on this one, the groundwork he laid in TEW1 transformed itself into a sprawling open-world nightmare, with much stronger characters, and a reworking of its combat for a smoother blend of stealth and action. Leave your RE4 comparisons at the door, TEW2 has definitively become its own beast now, featuring a compelling loop of exploration scavenging, stealth that threatens to go wrong at any second, and much more horrifically frightening enemies and set-pieces that will constantly leave your jaw dropping. In particular, there's a greater emphasis placed on the crossbow and its use as a stealth Swiss-army knife, with potential for trap planning and enemy prediction. All in all, it's a much deeper and more satisfying system than the more blunt-forced approach of the first game.

What else makes this game better though? The storyline and characters. It's much easier to follow this time, and though it is kind of a rip off of Silent Hill, making STEM this sort of purgatory of symbolism and therapeutic release for Sebastian, it at least makes since STEM is the direct consciousness of the user after all. And hey, if you're going to copy, might as well do it from the best. Basically, Sebastian's daughter Lily died in a house fire, and he is told she is still alive and in STEM. He's taken against his will and put into STEM, which is simulating a typical United States town known as Union. Its here that the game's initial primary villain, Stefano, dominates the proceedings. I can best describe him as the Joker if he was a pupil of Mark Jefferson and became a snooty photography major, but he's got so much more depth than that too. He was a war photographer who lost his eye the exact moment he caught on film the visage of an exploding man, causing a descent into insanity and obsession with capturing people at the very moment they cease to be. During his boss fight, he will try to capture you on film and slow you down long enough to frame your death in the artistic way he so desperately desires. With him is the Obscura, a camera-headed abomination he crafted out of the remaining corpses of his victims. This stand out creature will stalk and hunt you through several chapters of the game, its image invoking the provocative nature of Hans Bellmer's mannequins but squarely attached to Stefano's distorted sense of artistic merit. After Stefano's exit, I do think the game becomes a little weaker, he really could've been the main antagonist, but I also enjoy the Harbinger, the corrupted alter ego of one your own long time allies, and Anima, the game's Japanese influenced long-haired ghost, always a welcome, creepy addition to the game's events. I won't spoil the final boss, but rest assured it has an incredibly awesome design that ties well into some of the game's more weirdly sterile and pure white areas.

It's not a perfect sequel though. In general, the town of Union is forgettable, and I struggle to remember locations in this game besides some of Stefano's arenas and endgame locales. The Evil Within 1 had so much awesome Gothic architecture and village, the disgusting, unholy bile of an insane asylum slaughter house, your serene save haven tended to by the lovely Tatiana (she's just as lovely in TEW2, don't get me wrong), a Resi-style mansion, a creepy ass mannequin factory, what happened with Evil Within 2? Graphics appear to be downgraded at least to me, and honestly a lot of the fear factor was lost here, due to everything just feeling so similar to each other and way too clean. An easier to follow story also did not equal a better story for me either. The first game was like simulating the complexity of losing one's mind, a perplexing maze of torment, tragedy, and sinful trepidation, and playing it during a time when I was actually depressed and feeling totally directionless in my own life hit so symbiotically with me. The Evil Within 2 lacks that psychological edge that made the story stronger than just the summation of its plot.

Still I can't deny The Evil Within 2 is the better game. It's a lot more enjoyable to play, the psychological horror was traded off for a downright iconic (or he should be) antagonist, the score is amazing yet again, and newer players will be able to jump into this one without much of a problem. If you slept on this game, and let's face it, you probably did, give it a shot, because it's a modern day survival horror classic with new and old sensibilities that was finally able to say it truly stood shoulders, and maybe, even surpassed its distant relative, Resident Evil.

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jcgamer107
10/23/20 4:24:01 AM
#249:


Contagion has aged better than maybe any other movie. I like the seriousness with which they approached what at least some of the filmmakers clearly understood was a very possible global catastrophe scenario, down to specific details. The soundtrack really fits the tone - cold and echoing, maybe to reflect the deserted public spaces, or the indifferent nature of nature and biology.

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rwlh
10/23/20 10:02:35 AM
#250:


I love Don't Cry, Jennifer. Like you said in your writeup, the stings are the big selling point in the song, but what also really resonates with me is that rolling percussion around the halfway point, like Scissorman is rumbling around in your head, the fear driving you slowly to madness. Very good stuff.

I'm really glad you liked the music nominations. Your writeups are very detailed and engaging.
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Snake5555555555
10/23/20 1:55:10 PM
#251:


jcgamer107 posted...
Contagion has aged better than maybe any other movie. I like the seriousness with which they approached what at least some of the filmmakers clearly understood was a very possible global catastrophe scenario, down to specific details. The soundtrack really fits the tone - cold and echoing, maybe to reflect the deserted public spaces, or the indifferent nature of nature and biology.

It's so true, that's why I think my personal gripes with it aren't really that important. I also really liked the soundtrack!

rwlh posted...
I love Don't Cry, Jennifer. Like you said in your writeup, the stings are the big selling point in the song, but what also really resonates with me is that rolling percussion around the halfway point, like Scissorman is rumbling around in your head, the fear driving you slowly to madness. Very good stuff.

I'm really glad you liked the music nominations. Your writeups are very detailed and engaging.

Yeah I believe they are timpani drums, and great description of them too! I appreciate the kind words about my write-ups too!

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