We Need to Do Something – Movie Review

We Need to Do Something 2021

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Hey internet, it’s me, Slick Dungeon. I’m back to review another horror movie. This one is streaming on Hulu right now and is called We Need to Do Something. If you haven’t watched it just a warning there will be some spoilers below.

We Need to Do Something is one of those horror films that basically takes place in a single location. A family of four is trapped in their bathroom after a tornado hits. They’ll need to survive until help can come from the outside but what is out there may be worse than what they are going through.

If you’re not a fan of gore this one will probably not land well with you. However, for all the gore shown in this film, it’s the things not shown on screen that are the most frightening. Like almost all of these types of movies, several characters are keeping secrets of one kind or another and at least one of them knows a lot more about what is going on than anyone else.

About a third of the way into the film there is a definite surprise and things take a decidedly horrific turn.

I was honestly very close to giving this one four stars because the acting here is phenomenal. Even when the incredible is happening, all the actors are perfectly believable. And a lot of the horror is subtle or hinted at which I always like. But for me, the reveal of what was actually happening was a bit underwhelming and not quite believable enough for me to go along with it.

I still think it’s really worth watching and there are absolutely moments that are likely to scare any audience. I found myself having a good time watching it, even with the few flaws it has. I imagine if others do buy into the premise more than I do they would put this higher on their list of good horror films.

If you’re in need of a good scare with quite a lot of psychological terror in the film, this one is definitely worth watching. I would sort of like to see this re-done but with a slightly different character point of view and I think it might be an even more terrifying film.

Have you seen this one? If so, how do you think it compares to other isolation/confinement horror films? Let me know in the comments!

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

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TV Review Archive 81 (Episode 3)

Archive 81

Hey horror fanatics it’s me Slick Dungeon, back to review another episode of the Netflix series Archive 81. Just a quick warning there may be spoilers for the first three episodes below so be warned before we get going.

The first episode set our story up with Dan being hired to restore videotapes found after a fire at a building called the Visser. Through these tapes we see the perspective of Melody who is doing a study of the residents of the building. The second episode ratcheted up the connection between the two characters by revealing *spoiler* Melody was being treated for mental health issues by Dan’s father. There is also the potential implication that the two of them possibly had an affair.

While watching these tapes Dan keeps seeing things that don’t make sense. He sees strange images at times, there is a song on the tapes he knows his sister played right before she died in a fire, and there seem to be times where Dan is almost talking directly to Melody.

In this episode, it gets weird. There are times as a viewer where we can’t tell if Dan is dreaming, hallucinating, or somehow actually seeing what it seems like he is seeing. We get more of the backstory of Melody in this episode and start to see that almost everyone at the Visser has something more going on than what it appears on the surface.

There is a subplot with a girl named Jess who seems to have some kind of seizures on a regular basis. While in real life when we would see this happen, we’d all probably have Melody’s reaction which is to want her taken to a doctor to be treated, this is a horror show, so there has to be more to it than that. There is a priest and Jess’ mother who seem to think exorcism is the right approach. There’s clearly some connection between the Visser, Jess, Melody, Dan and Dan’s father all happening at once but it’s still too early to say what it is.

I think one of the most interesting things about this series is that it’s kind of subverting the trope of someone being stuck in an isolated space where horror is happening. While Dan is largely on his own, and he knows this can be bad, the company he works for seems to have people watching him. They have cameras everywhere but they also have a groundskeeper woman who seems to know way more about what he is doing than she should.

This flips the script a bit because usually we want to scream at people to leave the location they are stuck in. Dan can actually leave, and does. But still, there’s something about these tapes and Melody that keep calling back to him. In addition, there were a couple of big reveals in this episode. I won’t get into them here just in case people haven’t watched this far but there was one story with Dan’s friend on the outside that really surprised me and again subverted expectations.

So far, this show is really clever and ratchets up the horror to a high degree without showing much gore or anything overly gruesome. I’m really curious where it will go next.

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

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TV Review Archive 81 (Episode 2)

Archive 81

Hey horror fans, it’s me, Slick Dungeon back to review the second episode of the hit horror series Archive 81 on Netflix. Be warned there will be some spoilers for episode one and two below. If you’re ready, set your camera down and take a look at the review below!

The first episode of this series did a good job of setting up a mystery with our main characters Dan and Melody. Dan is in our present while Melody is in our past. Melody was making a series of videos for an academic paper on a building called the Visser. Dan restores old film, video tapes, etc. for a career. Dan was hired by the mysterious group known as LMG to restore tapes recovered from a fire at the Visser.

This episode gets into strange territory, starting with a commercial for some kind of DNA tracing technology by a company called Wellspring. This also happens to be the name of the episode. The commercial was so realistic I honestly wondered for a moment if Netflix had suddenly begun putting ads in its shows.

The story moves forward with Dan restoring more tapes and us seeing flashbacks of Melody. On Dan’s end it’s clear people are watching him and he has limited access to the outside world. On Melody’s side she meets more of the residents of the building and let’s just say, they are far from normal. There definitely seems to be something under the surface that is out and out creepy. It’s too early to tell exactly what it is yet but definitely enough to make the viewer want to keep watching.

As the episode goes on we see more of a connection between Dan and Melody. They seem to be connected as Dan’s father has now shown up on the tapes. There is also a clear connection due to a song that Dan hears but is also showing up in the tapes with Melody.

Around the last third of the episode things get very bizarre for Melody and the threat of impending doom is palpable to the viewer.

This second episode is continuing the trend of having a pretty major reveal near the end. I’m not going to say what it is here but I can see why people have been binging this one. I’ll hold my judgement over the whole show until the end but so far the first two episodes have been well worth the time.

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

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TV Review – Archive 81 (Episode 1)

Archive 81

Hey movie fanatics, it’s me, Slick Dungeon, here to give a quick guide to the first episode of the hottest horror series on Netflix right now, Archive 81. There will be some mild spoilers below so be forewarned. I’ll be posting through the first season’s episodes but I have not seen past this first episode so let’s keep it spoiler light in the comments too okay?

Archive 81 is about an archivist named Dan who restores films, VHS tapes, basically any visual arts that use a film reel. He works for a film museum and one day he’s asked to restore an old VHS tape that has been damaged from a fire. We don’t know a lot about Dan other than he somehow lost his family and he at one point was, “feeling low” and has a friend who is concerned for his welfare. Soon into the episode the donor who asked for the video tape to be restored requests Dan come work for him in the Catskills where they have a collection of these VHS tapes. He’ll be secluded and on his own if he agrees though. The company hiring Dan seems a bit odd and the man who hires him seems to know way more than he should about Dan.

Of course, Dan agrees to go, and since this is a horror show, needless to say some strange things start happening. I don’t want to give too much of that away other than to say Dan is restoring tapes that focus on a building called the Visser. The tapes show him a woman named Melody who we can presume will be the focal point of the tapes and might provide clues as to what happened at the Visser.

It’s hard to judge a show from a first episode. Especially one that is meant to be totally bingeable and wants you to sit through eight hours of episodes. I still think it’s worth taking a look at each one on its own merits.

For a first episode, this one sets the tone quite nicely. There’s just enough odd going on that as a viewer you want to know what happens next. At the same time, it’s not giving so much away you see all the twists coming.

It’s clearly going to be weird but to my mind this whole series will end up making it or not based on the ending. I’m just going to say now if this has anything to do with aliens, I’m out. But so far, it has a lot of potential and I’d say it’s probably worth a watch.

Mysteriously yours,

Slick Dungeon

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Movie Review – Unfriended

Unfriended 2014 Film

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Hello people, it’s me Slick Dungeon! I’m back to review another movie for you. If you haven’t seen Unfriended from 2014 you may want to click away from your instant messaging apps, hang up from Skype and log off of Facebook so you can go watch the movie before I spoil the whole thing for you in this review. You have been warned.

For this review, I’m going to start with the good. The acting here is really solid and all the performances are more than believable. The idea of the movie is pretty clever. Basically, a teen girl was bullied into suicide a year ago. A year later a group of her friends are on a Skype call and weird things start happening. At first they blame one another but it’s soon obvious that it’s at the very least a hacker, if not something more supernatural trying to torment them. They use the technology of the time in a way where if that happened to you, you would probably be pretty freaked out by it. This did lend to some mystery and a few decent scare moments. I thought this was a good setup and was hoping for something good to come out of it.

Which brings me to the bad. Some of the problems of this movie are that you are basically watching a zoom call and people typing, editing, re-typing and all of the annoying things you see in a chat message in real life. This has the effect of being distracting and sometimes boring. There are also a ton of pop up windows, resizing frames, moving stuff around on the screen etc. that are just distracting and sort of pointless here. Some of this is actually a function of the fact that this was made in 2014 and it’s honestly kind of impressive how far we have come from then in the way of communication tools.

And like almost all good horror movies there is a twist at the end. I’ve got to say this twist was so obvious and telegraphed that I didn’t find it shocking at all. It’s pretty much what I expected. I think maybe in 2014 this would have worked but it doesn’t in my opinion now.

I feel like this would be an interesting re-make in the age of zoom meetings though and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was something out there like this that I don’t know about. Overall, this was an okay movie but I think the thing I found most horrifying in it was the video connection speeds and user interfaces we used to put up with. (shudder)

Digitally yours,

Slick Dungeon

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Censor – Movie Review

Censor 2021 Film

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Hey out there internet, it’s me Slick Dungeon back to review another movie for you. I found this little horror gem on Hulu called Censor. I’m going to give mild spoilers below so be forewarned.

In the 1980’s in Brittain there was what was called the “Video Nasty” controversy. Basically, there were a lot of low budget, mostly horror, films that were put on videotape but never went through the British version of what our MPAA would be. There was a loophole because video is not the same as film. This caused some controversy because this meant it was possible for kids to get their hands on some pretty gory stuff. And there were religious organizations who thought even watching this stuff could lead to real world violence.

I only mention all of this because it’s necessary to know a little bit about that in order to fully enjoy Censor. In the movie, Enid Baines is working at the British Board of Film Classification where they are going through a backlog of these videos. When Enid was little her younger sister disappeared and Enid was there when it happened. She doesn’t have a full memory of exactly what happened but Enid believes her sister could still be alive. One day while at work she sees a video with an actress that she is convinced is her sister.

I can’t go much further into the plot from there without spoiling things so I’m going to stop there with the description. However, I can say the film is deeply psychological and keeps you guessing. I imagine there will be a segment of viewers who don’t appreciate the ending but in my opinion it was cleverly done. There is some gore in this movie, some of which looks rather fake, and some of which looks much better. If you are averse to gore this would be one to skip. But if you can handle that sort of thing this is a great little film to watch. It’s well acted and has interesting twists to it.

If you’re looking for something with a bit of blood but that is also smart, definitely check this one out.

Cleverly yours,

Slick Dungeon

Slick Dungeon’s 2021 Recap

Happy New Year everyone! It’s me, Slick Dungeon, and I thought it would be nice to do a little recap of things that happened on my blog last year. I’ll give you a little glimpse into what is coming for next year as well.

2021 was an interesting year no matter how you look at it. A lot happened in the world and a lot happened right here on this blog. I made some plans, wrote some articles, completed some goals and left others unfinished. Let’s take a look at some of the significant things that happened on this blog last year shall we?

In terms of numbers I wrote 104 posts this year. There were 77 comments made by myself and other amazing bloggers and readers of the site. There were 875 likes, 3,781 visitors and a total of 5,766 views. So close to 6K! Oh well, maybe this year!

My top post by far was this one about the Top 5 Horror Tabletop Role Playing Games. I stand by my selection here and this helped October to be my best month for views with 1,124.

I gave away some free stuff. There were over 30 downloads of my 2021 Read-Watch-Play challenge and my 2021 Book Challenge. There were over 50 downloads of my 2021 Movie Challenge. And for those of you wondering, yes I will be publishing challenges for 2022 as well so I hope some of you will follow along with me on these. Keep watching this blog in the coming days for more on that. I was able to meet my 2021 movie challenge for myself. The books and read-watch-play were a bit out of reach for me last year but I’m going to really make the effort this year to make it through all of my challenges.

But the real hot ticket for downloads was my 10 Golden Rules of Dungeon Mastering for kids with over 300 downloads. I hope someone out there found them useful and was able to get a kid into role playing with some of that advice. It’s a fantastic hobby that has lead to a lifetime of fun for me and my son.

As far as content goes, I continued to review lots of books and movies. For books I did a lot of reviews for Reedsy.com which I think is a fantastic website and a great way to find excellent independent authors. Two of my favorite books from that site this year were from the Ravenstones Saga which I started reviewing in 2020 with Eirwen and Fridis. These books happen to be about talking animals but they are genuinely complex and interesting. There is as much political intrigue here as any fantasy series I can think of and I am really hoping that author C.S. Watts is able to complete the next entry soon.

I also really enjoyed the sequel to Gunmetal Gods by Zamil Akhtar. Conquerer’s Blood is a sequel but with all new characters and a new point of view. It’s an impressive follow up to the first book and I even got to do an interview with the author himself. He was very thoughtful in his responses and it was a fantastic experience.

As far as movies go, I reviewed all of the Evil Dead movies and otherwise watched a wide variety of things. I still need to finish watching the Saw movies but I did see the first two for the first time this year. I promise I won’t only review horror movies in 2022 but it’s a genre I enjoy a lot so there will be plenty of those to come.

I started a series of posts about the Marvel 616 universe. I am going to review every issue that I can, one by one, in order. I’ve made nearly 20 posts in the series and I have not come even close to starting to scratch the surface of the surface so there will be plenty more where that came from. I love the Marvel comics not just for the big name heroes like Spider-Man, The Hulk, and The Fantastic Four. I also love the weird stuff like Mole Man, Typeface, and Paste-pot Pete (who I still think has the most epic and fantastic super villain name of all time.) I have no idea how far I will get in this experiment but it’s a great excuse to read and reflect on comic books.

I also continued my series Kids Kill Monsters where I give advice on how to play Dungeons & Dragons with kids. I haven’t forgotten the series and more will be coming this year as far as that series goes. We still have a long way to go so if you have kids, I hope you’ll check these out and get your kids role playing. It’s an activity that is super beneficial for children and seriously fun for both kids and adults.

This year I found what I think is my favorite Dungeons & Dragons product of all time and it’s not even made by the makers of Dungeons & Dragons. It’s a magazine reminiscent of the Dragon magazine of the 1980’s and 90’s where a lot of us used to pick up advice, tricks, tips and adventures. The magazine I am talking about is of course Arcadia by MCDM. The best thing about this magazine is that there are a host of writers, artists, and contributors so the content stays fresh and is highly inventive. No matter what kind of Dungeon Master you are, there is something for you in each of these issues. And the art is mind-blowingly good. I don’t think I can oversell the artwork here so even if you don’t like a single word in the magazine, I promise you, there is at least one picture you will love. I’ll be reviewing more issues in the future. I even ran one of the one-shot adventures from the first issue and it was fantastic because my players were young enough not to see the twist coming and had to get really creative to deal with the situation. It was a ton of fun. I may do a blog entry all about that at some point as well.

I also wrote a short short story of my own this year which was then featured in Flashbang Volume II on DriveThruFiction. I really had fun with this and in 2022 I am planning on publishing some more things. I will announce all of it here and if you are interested, let you know how you can get your hands on your very own copies. If everything goes according to plan (ha!) there will be lots of goodies coming in the next 12 months.

The whole year was great on this blog. I mostly write this for myself as an outlet for some fun but I love to see that there are actually people who take the time to read and respond to what I write. If you are one of those people, thank you so, so, so much. I know there are a million other things you could be doing so again thank you. Also know that if I have ever liked or linked to your content it is because I really enjoy your blogs. It was a good year here in the dungeon in 2021 and I can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store for us all.

Gratefully yours,

Slick Dungeon

(Note: this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through this post I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you) – also note the affiliate links are NOT the MCDM links.

Movie Review – Beasts of No Nation

Beasts of No Nation

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Hello out there internet! I hope you are having a great New Year’s Eve, unless you are reading this somewhere that has already reached the new year in which case, Happy New Year! Well, I did it, I finished my own movie challenge for the year. My final challenge was to watch a movie that helps you see the world with a different perspective. For this part of the challenge I watched the gripping film Beasts of No Nation. There will be some mild spoilers below so fair warning for that.

Beasts of No Nation tells the story of Agu, a young boy who is thrown into a war far outside of his control. It starts with him doing things typical of a young boy. He plays games with his friends, doesn’t really enjoy school, plays pranks on his brother and is overall a good kid. He might be a bit mischievous but he doesn’t do anything terrible. The film escalates quickly as government soldiers come and kill a bunch of people in his town. Pretty soon Agu is separated from his family, his older brother and father are killed and he ends up wandering in the jungle.

Agu is then recruited into a sort of guerrilla army made up of mostly child soldiers. Idris Elba plays the Commandant of these rebel forces. He expects these child soldiers to kill anyone he deems an enemy and brutally kills people himself. Agu obviously doesn’t have much choice but to join up. Things continue to get terrible through the rest of the film for Agu and his fellow child soldiers.

Idris Elba, as usual puts in an incredible performance but the stand out star has to be Abraham Atta who plays Agu with a touching and personal performance that is outstanding. We’re with Agu from start to finish in this film and you simply can’t look away.

The film is gripping, heartbreaking, terrifying, and yet somehow hopeful. The movie helped me see the world with a different perspective. It’s not like I didn’t know about child soldiers being a huge problem in war torn countries but this film personalizes it in a way that I think only film can. It’s this kind of film that makes us remember why we have a need to tell stories. The fact that it is a fictional story doesn’t take away any of the truth of it.

Sincerely yours,

Slick Dungeon

Movie Review – Simon Sez

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Hello internet people, it’s me Slick Dungeon. I’m back again to review another movie for my movie challenge this year. This time it was to watch a movie with a rotten tomatoes score of 25% or less. The reason I recommend for people to watch movies with such a low rating is because sometimes these films can surprise you. You see things you might never see in any other film. So, to be clear, just because I gave this one star does not mean that you should not watch it. If you want to see something a little odd and interesting and wonder how this whole thing could have even happened this is still worth a view. Be warned that I am going to spoil this movie a bit but really, you have to see it to believe it.

Who would make a great spy for Interpol in a French town? The flashy and unmistakeable 6’7″ basketball player from the Chicago Bulls, Dennis Rodman of course! What, did you think it would be someone else? Ha! It’s not like spying is about quietly collecting information without being noticed or anything. And who would be the best partner for Dennis Rodman? Why foul mouthed comedian Dane Cook of course! You get to see him do an impression of a velociraptor in this movie because, reasons I guess. And where would be the best place for Dennis Rodman aka Simon Sez to base his secret spy operations? In a church with John Pinette and Ricky Harris who disguise themselves as monks but are also super hackers and tech guys who support Simon. Yes, they are the guys in the chairs for this movie. And finally, with such a big athlete you know there will be action scenes but this is the only movie where you can see Dennis Rodman play bocce ball! He misses because of Dane Cook so we see almost none of Rodman’s actual athletic skills.

The action scenes are slow and telegraphed and the trick car they use for one scene is such a hilariously dumb knock off of a James Bond vehicle that you just have to watch it to know what it does. Rodman is awkward in most of his acting and Dane Cook does no better. Only in 1999 could a movie like this have been made. It has a score of 0% on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus being – “Simon Sez no matter how starved you are for something to watch, there has to be a better option than this dreadfully misguided action thriller.” It’s absolutely misguided but I mean come on, you could see yet another superhero film any time you want. Seeing Dennis Rodman and Dane Cook parachute in a car onto a French beach? That’s a once in a lifetime experience. Just don’t expect it to be a good film.

Rottenly yours,

Slick Dungeon

Movie Review – John Wick

John Wick

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Hey dungeon crawlers it’s me. Slick Dungeon, back to review another movie off of my movie challenge for the year. This challenge was to watch a movie that is all action and no plot. I chose John Wick. There will be mild spoilers for the movie so consider yourself and your dog warned.

Okay to be fair, there is a plot to this movie but it’s about as thin as you can get. Keanu Reeves plays the titular character who is an ex-assassin. He’s lost his wife, he loves his car, and he has a puppy. He loves that car and he loves that puppy. His car gets stolen, his puppy is killed and he is pissed about that. John Wick then goes on a rampage of killing bad guys. He kills so many I literally lost count. They’re all bad though and they are willing to kill a puppy so in movie terms, they get what is coming to them.

Other assassins come after him and there is a really cool idea with these coins these assassins use in a sort of no man’s land hotel. But of course our anti-hero is who we want to win because, well that dog was really cute.

The movie is a wild thrill ride and a ton of fun. Don’t let the thin plot idea here fool you, the action is smart and cool and makes the movie a blast. This is one of those movies to watch when you are just in the mood for some fun action and not a lot else. I’ve always believed there is a place for these kinds of movies in cinema and this one is totally worth it.

Plotlessly yours,

Slick Dungeon