Lovecraft Country (A History of Violence) Episode 4 Spoiler-free Review

A Somewhat Disappointing 4th Episode But there is Still Plenty to Love in the Series

Hey Everyone, Slick Dungeon here back to give a spoiler free review of the fourth episode of the HBO series Lovecraft Country.

The first three episodes struck an amazing balance between family drama, the accurate portrayal of horrific segregationist realities in America and impossible monsters, magic and dangers. The fourth episode gives us… mostly an Indiana Jones style adventure.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still horror here and there are definitely moments of history, family drama etc. But most of it really is like something you would see in Indiana Jones. I’m not going to give away any more than that except to say that the series still has amazing potential and I think it will recover from this episode but I expect that when fans talk about the series in the future, episode 4 will be the one they say they could mostly have done without. Of course, if you are a fan of the show, you’ll still want to watch this episode as there are things that relate to the overall story that certainly happen. I found one side story to be particularly interesting and I have no idea where it is actually going.

The main action leaves a lot to be desired but as always the actors portraying the action are the best part of the show. They have all been able to pull off what would seem to be absurd to most of us while still keeping the feeling of their emotions on screen as real as it gets.

I’m looking forward to the next episode very much but if the show does have a few episodes like this one, it won’t turn out to be quite the brilliant show I thought it was. Here’s hoping for a better one next week.

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Cursed: Festa and Moreii (Episode 6) – #TVReview

Hey everyone, Slick Dungeon, here and I am back to review the sixth episode of the Netflix hit Cursed.

If you haven’t watched the first six episodes of the series, watch out because there are spoilers below.

This episode was largely a flashback episode. After the big reveal of the previous episode, this one was a bit slow paced but it definitely gave us some vital information about Merlin’s past. We also learn a few more things about the sword that everyone is trying to get their hands on.

Nimue is off meeting with Merlin but we do get to see a little bit of what Arthur is up to here. He and the Green Knight are getting to know each other and their relationship is strained at best. A new character hopes to learn from Arthur as a squire.

So far, I think this episode has dragged the most which is disappointing considering how good the last episode was. I know there was a lot of stuff they had to set up here to make future episodes pay off but I feel like this went a little too far in the character development area while ignoring the action. At least up until the end but I won’t give away here what happens.

There were a few more side moments involving Arthur’s sister and a couple of other characters but I think it’s still going to be some time before that pays off. While I am excited for the next episode, this one was definitely the slowest paced. I imagine that will change as we pass the halfway mark for the first season. Here’s hoping it gets a little more exciting.

Fantastically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Lovecraft Country (Holy Ghost) Episode 3 Spoiler-free Review

The Horror, the History, and The Surprises are STill Non-STop After 3 Episodes

Hey Everyone, Slick Dungeon here back to give a spoiler free review of the third episode of the HBO series Lovecraft Country.

This episode finds our heroes back home in Chicago, but that does not mean that the horror has left them. This episode has some particularly grisly horror in it so strong stomachs are recommended prior to viewing.

The episode was very engaging when it came to the historical aspects and the particular blend of horror, politics and pop culture. The soundtrack is downright incredible and the acting continues to be superb.

My only criticism of the show for this episode is that some of the effects didn’t hold up as well as in the first two episodes, but I won’t go into detail about that because I don’t want to give anything away. I will also say that despite the production value of some of the effects, the story is still able to throw plenty of horror at the viewer. That should come as no surprise to anyone considering that this is a horror show. But the ability the show has to increase tension is incredible.

There are not a lot of horror shows or movies where I feel actual fear but this may be one of the exceptions. The fact that such awful racist history has always existed in this country and the fact that there are still people who espouse those beliefs is horrifying beyond measure. Therefore the fear this show is able to exude is so palpable one can reach out and touch it. The first two episodes proved that nearly anything goes in this show and the third episode is no exception to that rule.

It’s amazing to me how well this show fits in American history, cosmic horror, literature, and present day all at once. It’s shows like these that prove that deeper understanding of the truth can sometimes only be achieved through fiction.

This show would be nothing if we didn’t care about the character’s fates and the unraveling mystery. This episode was superb at making us care about people’s lives even as completely unbelievable things occur all around them. I know that there is not a better horror show on television right now but after three episodes I am starting to think that there is not a better show period on television at this time.

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Lovecraft Country (Whitey’s On The Moon) Episode 2 Spoiler-free Review

Delights, Surprises, and Horrors Continue in the Second Episode

Hey Everyone, Slick Dungeon here back to give a spoiler free review of the second episode of the HBO series Lovecraft Country.

The first episode set the tone with an intriguing blend of science fiction, the horrible reality of segregationist America and extremely gory cosmic horror that does not let up. It can be easy for a show to come out of the gate with an excellent pilot episode and then quickly disappoint in subsequent episodes. Sometimes a great premise does not carry through the initial setup. I’m glade to say that Lovecraft Country comes nowhere near to falling into that territory.

The second episode sees our three heroes in a different setting than where they started the series with the odds somehow stacked even more against them. The acting in this series is top notch, to say the least, and in this episode we get Abbey Lee as Christina Braithwhite. She is no stranger to horror/science fiction films and she increases the mystery without ever becoming ridiculous.

In this second episode there are some spots that I thought needed some explanation but that may come later in the series. Overall, this show seems like the best horror show to appear in years and if the third episode can be as strong as the first two, this will become a major horror must see.

Predicting what will happen next as you watch the show is nearly impossible and that’s saying something for anyone who is familiar with cosmic horror. The show has a very unique blend, up to and including the soundtrack. While I don’t want to give anything away here, I will say, I was surprised by the wide range of emotions that I ended up feeling while watching the episode.

If you have not yet seen the first two episodes yet, you should do that as soon as possible. I have a feeling that the next episode is going to get even better.

Cosmically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Lovecraft Country (Sundown) Episode 1 Spoiler-free Review

Horror Fans Clear Your Sunday Night Because You Have Plans

Hey all, Slick Dungeon, here back with another review for you. I watched the first episode of the HBO series Lovecraft Country. I want to give you my thoughts on it, but I will keep it free of spoilers, so if you have not seen the episode, read away.

Lovecraft Country is a horror series based on the book of the same name by author Matt Ruff. After watching the first episode of this series, that book is going directly on to my to be read list. The story is about a young black man who travels across the segregated 1950s United States in search of his missing father. I won’t give away any more plot details than that.

If you watch the show, from the opening scene, you will realize that we are dealing with a story that could go just about anywhere. The horror involved in the series is both cosmic and human in nature, and it’s not certain at all which type of terror is more frightening.

The series is executive produced by big names like J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele. If you have seen the horror hits, Get Out and Us, you will be able to feel Peele’s welcome influence all over this project. It is both grounded in the horrifying reality of Jim Crow laws and the awful people who supported them while still delivering unimaginable horror that cannot be explained by the rational mind.

The main character reflects some of this in his interests, and there are some intriguing conversations about literature at the time. The show is intelligent, and if you are well-read in science fiction and pulp stories of old, this only becomes more enjoyable.

So far, this show is a master class in setting a tone and ratcheting up horror in unexpected ways. The performances of all the main characters are outstanding. Still, in this episode, Jurnee Smollett as Letitia “Leti” Lewis, Jonathan Majors as Atticus Freeman, and Courtney B. Vance as George Freeman shine brightest. They are entirely believable, and as an audience, it’s easy to get wrapped up in their stories.

It is hard to say where the series will go from here, although violent, gory horror is absolutely on the table. The show will undoubtedly continue to explore the dark racist territory of America’s past and intertwine it with things that go bump in the night.

While this is set in the 1950s, the show, like much of the greatest science fiction and horror out there, can reflect and relate to our times in a way that nonfiction cannot. The episode is all the scarier because, in 2020, we know how these things can turn out. This feels like a story that is necessary to be told, and as a bonus, if you love horror, this will knock your socks off.

If you do not have this on your watch list already, add it asap. The next episode releases on Sunday, and I already know what I will be doing that night.

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Cursed: The Joining (Episode 5) – #TVReview

Hey everyone, Slick Dungeon, here and I am back to review the fifth episode of the Netflix hit Cursed.

If you haven’t watched the first five episodes of the series, watch out because there are spoilers below.

While I have enjoyed the setup and visuals of previous episodes I think this one is my favorite so far. Nimue has found temporary safe harbor with the fey and with Arthur there, the inevitable love connection grows. A new threat is introduced as there is now another man claiming to be the Pendragon King and it is clear that he is absolutely ruthless and has an army to back it up.

Meanwhile, the Red Paladins are dealing with the loss of their abbey and still trying to regain control of the sword that is in Nimue’s possession. It turns out that there are people that even The Weeping Monk has no power over.

Nimue is trying to get word to Merlin that she has the sword. I don’t want to spoil how the meeting comes about or what happens in it but Merlin and Nimue definitely have an intertwined destiny here.

Merlin’s story in this episode is extremely memorable and I loved how Gustaf Skarsgard portrayed him here. He has quite a good range from humorous to menacing and can turn it on and off seemingly at will.

Also in this episode is the green knight and if you know the Arthurian legend as originally told, this is definitely a big deal. The character had been introduced in earlier episodes but it’s not until this one that we see him as the green knight.

The end of the episode drops a bombshell on us that I won’t spoil here but it has me quite excited to watch the next one.

Fantastically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Cursed: The Red Lake (Episode 4) – #TVReview

Hey everyone, Slick Dungeon, here and I am back to review the fourth episode of the Netflix hit Cursed.

If you haven’t watched the first four episodes of the series, watch out because there are spoilers below.

The fourth episode starts out with Nimue on the run, Arthur captured and headed toward the Abbey with the Red Paladins and Merlin off on a risky meet up. Arthur’s sister who we learned in the last episode is (spoiler) Morgana, has faked that she was attacked by Nimue and convinces the church that she is on their side. Morgana’s lover is not so convinced though.

This episode introduces several new characters to the series. Nimue meets an ally, Merlin talks to a quite memorable character, and a character from the first episode makes a reappearance. And for the first time The Grail is mentioned. This is important considering the legend of King Arthur.

At its heart this show is about the prejudices that humanity has toward the other. Fey creatures are slaughtered ruthlessly and punished by the church. This episode continues to explore that theme.

It’s clear that at some point our main characters will have to converge together once again. But for now they are scattered to the winds and pursuing their own agendas. I don’t want to get too much into what happens because I would rather not spoil the episode but the stakes increase here.

The beginning of the episode gets us right into the action but it does drag a bit in the middle. Stick with it though because the last third of the episode is really good and let’s just say that the episode title is quite appropriate.

Fantastically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Cursed: Alone (Episode 3) – #TVReview

Hey everyone, Slick Dungeon, here and I am back to review the third episode of the Netflix hit Cursed.

The first episode established the magical world we see and the second set the stakes higher. The third episode is called Alone but it could just as well have been called mistakes are made.

Heads up that there will be some spoilers in this review so feel free to watch the episode first if you don’t want that.

Nimue who was attacked in the last episode wakes up to find that she is in the Abbey which is full of the people who want to kill all of the Fey kind. Nimue, of course, is one of the Fey people and is in serious danger. To add to her troubles, Arthur has absconded with her sword. This sword is known as The Devil’s Tooth but we would know it as Excalibur.

Arthur does the thing he shouldn’t and tries to ask his uncle for his blessing to join a tournament. We get a little bit of the back story of Arthur here and find out that his father was honorable but died early and his uncle is a hard man. Arthur’s uncle does give permission for Arthur to fight but soon regrets it.

I don’t want to spoil what happens with Arthur too much but let’s just say he does not end up in a good position at the end of this episode.

Meanwhile, the Weeping Monk, knows that some Fey person is in the Abbey. Nimue ends up in the awkward position of having to save the life of the man who attacked her in the last episode. She uses Fey healing poultices which is quite dangerous considering where she is. We learn more about the Abbey and one of the sisters in it in particular. I don’t want to give away who she is but if you know the legend of King Arthur, it’s a pretty major name drop.

Meanwhile, Merlin still seems to be searching for the sword and in debt to whoever the Shadow Lords are. And the king, Uthor Pendragon is on the hunt for Merlin.

The whole episode ends on a bit of a cliff hanger.

I won’t say this is one of the best episodes so far but the events in it are important to the story and I am eager to see what happens next.

Fantastically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Cursed: Cursed (Episode 2) – #TVReview

Hey everyone, Slick Dungeon, here and I am back to review the second episode of the Netflix hit Cursed.

While most of us are waiting for The Umbrella Academy season 2, Netflix has been kind enough to drop a few excellent shows while we wait. In my opinion Cursed is one of the better ones. There won’t be many spoilers for episode 2 in this review, but I might reference things from episode 1 so if you haven’t, feel free to go watch that before you read this.

While the first episode did an adequate job of introducing characters and the idea that we are seeing the story of the Lady of the Lake, the second episode takes it up a notch and starts getting into the story.

Through a series of flashbacks we get to know the back story of Nimue and how and why she might be the one who is cursed. We also see Merlin’s continuing struggles to please his king. Additionally, the villain of the series is becoming more ruthless and dangerous toward Nimue and people like her.

A lot of the episode shows Nimue’s interactions with the sword she acquired in the first episode, as well as her developing relationship with Arthur. It’s still not clear to me by this second episode that the Arthur hanging out with Nimue is the Arthur, but he certainly could be.

The visuals continue to be stunning and the actors are all doing a fantastic job so far. They are able to walk the balance between being in a magical world but giving it enough realism that it doesn’t get ridiculous.

I think the main question being asked in this episode is who or what exactly is cursed. I’m not going to give you my opinion on that since I don’t want to give spoilers but let’s just say it’s a multiple choice answer.

I feel like this episode really got the story going and I’m looking forward to the next one. There are some mysterious characters we might get to know more about and there’s certainly going to be no lack of fantasy elements.

Have you watched Cursed yet? What do you think of it so far if you have? Let me know in the comments below.

Fantastically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Cursed: Nimue (Episode 1) – #TVReview

What’s going on out there internet people? It’s Slick Dungeon, back with a review for you all. I don’t usually do television series reviews, mainly because if I did, I would spend all my time doing that, and I can’t always commit to watching ten or more hours of content, then writing about it. But I am making an exception for Cursed on Netflix. I’ll review each episode, one at a time in the coming days and weeks.

I will be giving some mild spoilers for each episode but I will try to keep them light enough that they won’t get in your way of enjoying the episodes.

Cursed is a series that explores the Arthurian legend from a new perspective, that of the Lady of the Lake. The legend of King Arthur is one that has stood the test of time as it gets told over and over again, reshaped and reformed, always ending as a story that at its heart is about the hope of a good person to lead the world through hope. One of the pieces of that story is that there is a Lady of the Lake who gives, King Arthur, Excalibur, the sword that will help to shape his destiny. I’ve always wondered about the background of the Lady of the Lake, how she got there and why. This series is basically telling that story.

Some critics have compared the series to Game of Thrones or The Witcher. While I understand why they make this comparison, I don’t think it’s fair to this series to judge it by those. It seems that any time a critic watches a fantasy series, they are from now on, going to assume that the series is just trying to repeat the success of Game of Thrones. Certainly, I imagine, there will be plenty of palace intrigue, unlikely heroes, magic, and war in Cursed.

However, this is a different story. It’s clear from the start that unlike Westeros, this land is full of magic. The story will mostly center on one or two characters, rather than a huge ensemble, although there are certainly plenty of supporting characters. And while I think it’s possible this may have more similarities to The Witcher, this show is not that either. The legend of King Arthur is one of the earliest fantasy stories involving knights and kingdoms, queens, and lovers, and if anything, Game of Thrones would not have existed without that story preceding it. The Witcher is about a person who doesn’t quite belong in society but is still needed because of the actions he can perform. Cursed, at its core, is about an object. A sword that has as important of a destiny as all of the rest of the characters. What we get to see in the show is how the people around it are affected.

In the first episode, we meet Nimue. She is a young woman with magical abilities. It’s clear from the beginning that Nimue could easily lose control of these abilities and do real harm to people with them. This is in a backdrop where Red Paladins are hunting down and killing those with magical abilities. They are cruel and ruthless and seemingly unstoppable.

Nimue is expertly performed by Katherine Langford who is captivating from the first moment she is onscreen. Also appearing in this first episode is Gustaf Skarsrgard who plays the most famous magician of all time, Merlin. The two clearly have an intertwined destiny but I am sure that will play out more in future episodes.

In this first episode, we see the setup for the series overall and while I don’t want to spoil the episode, it’s easy to see how this will play out as a series. In this episode, it’s more about getting to know the characters and getting them into place so the story can start. Some good signs I see here are that the title character of the episode is highly engaging, the villains seem to be absolutely brutal and challenging, and Merlin remains, mostly, a mystery. When you are setting up the Arthurian legend, those things are vital.

The visuals of the series are gorgeous and there are moments where we are reminded of the source material, which is Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler’s book of the same name.

If the first episode is any indication, this will be an excellent series that should be judged on its own merits. not those of fantasy shows that have come before. At the very least, this is something any fantasy fan should watch, at least until the one I am most excited for hits, The Wheel of Time series.

Have you checked out Cursed yet? If so what did you think? Keep it spoiler-free but let me know in the comments!

Fantastically yours,

Slick Dungeon