Ghosts of War


(Dir Eric Bress)

Review by Case Wright

What makes you you? Better yet, what’s the meaning of life? Lucky for you, I know the answer to both of these questions. You are your experiences. That’s it. The meaning of life is choice. You are a sum of your experiences and choices. Life is a series of choices from the lowliest earth worm going into soil or the sun to a person deciding to risk their life to save themselves or their own skin. Sorry, the meaning of life isn’t more exciting, but that’s it just the same. Choice after choice after choice is what life is and what makes you you are the results of those choices. You may now go about your business.

Ghosts of War was written and directed by Eric Bress for Netflix. I am very grateful to Eric Bress because without him we wouldn’t have Final Destination 2 or The Final Destination and that is a sad life indeed. FD2 is Super Awesome: there’s people sliced in half and trees that take your head off and death itself is really into Rube Goldberg machinations of killing you. Death is kinda bored and goes a little nutty.

Ghosts of War was a lot of fun. The ending was hard to watch, but not because it was poorly done; it was just pretty realistic. Also, GOW has Billy Zane that alone should make you watch it. I also liked that the film had both Brenton Thwaites and Alan Ritchson of Titans (See it on HBO Max), which is Breaking Bad levels of awesome! Yeah, I said it.

GOW centers around a WWII era platoon assigned to protect a house in France. When they arrive, they realize that the house quite haunted. Bress solves the why not leave the haunted house question by putting them into a loop, wherein, no matter where they travel, they are back at the haunted house.

There are some good scares and not just jump scares. It has the gross stuff that you loved in Final Destination 2, which must be a Bress signature. There’s at least three people who are immolated in this movie. If you miss the gore of Supernatural, this movie is for you!

Brenton and Alan both have some real stand out performances and make me want to re-watch Titans again because of it. Brenton and Alan play frustration, fear, and rage better than anyone I’ve ever seen.

On a personal level, I’m always watching how well people play Soldiers. This movie is VERY realistic. The characters talk like us, think like us, handle stress like us, and move like we really do. I could understand why and what they were doing at all times. It was amazingly accurate. I was very impressed and would recommend the movie just for its realistic portrayal of Soldiers. This movie accurately showed how Soldiers would react to a supernatural enemy. This doesn’t just happen. It was clear to me that the actors and director took care to do this correctly. It is appreciated.

The ending was a good twist and there were clever subtle clues along the way to lead you to solving the mystery. I would highly recommend this movie and hope to see Brenton and Alan work with this director again.

Prince of Darkness, Review by Case Wright


Speilberg had 1941, Lucas had Howard the Duck, and John Carpenter had Prince of Darkness. I’m not going to spend a whole review impugning the Master of Horror, BUT….this was really really really bad. When I was young, several months ago Pre-COVID (more on my COVID experience tomorrow- you’ll love it: there’s sweat, fever, explosive things, and I couldn’t smell any of it!) , I reviewed the Dracula mini-series and now Prince of Darkness (John Carpenter). You’re going to start thinking that I have a vampire fetish, but don’t worry Prince of Darkness not only does not have a Dracula figure; it’s unclear if it has much of anything going on at all. Imagine watching a movie called A Man Named John and John appeared briefly at the very end of the movie with no lines. You’d think that was really weird because you are a smart and discerning film consumer.

It starts out in Los Angeles in the 1980s, which looks like the LA of today, but it had MUCH less poop everywhere than today. Ahhh, progress. After the first 10 minutes of the film, I can tell you that: the Prince of Darkness is infact and evil alien who lives inside of a swirling Vitamix that looks alot the green juice they try sell me at the gym

– This is what the POD looked like for most of the film :

I always knew that the green juice smoothie was pure evil!!!

Jesus was also an alien and trapped the POD in the Vitamix above; furthermore, the Church was aware of it and kept it quiet in LA because they were Angels fans, a professor of physics at the local community college forced his physicist students to become Ghost Facers in exchange for a higher grade, and homeless people are murderers now.  I know these things because I got an expositioning that I shall never ever forget.  The students go to see the Eeeeeeevil Vitamix and get sprayed with evil juice and become really lazy zombies. This goes on for a LONG LONG time.  You’d think they’d just use tomato juice to get out the evil or some Shout, but maybe Shout wasn’t invented yet?

One of the physicists becomes possessed with POD and tries to reach into a mirror to release her more evil dad. Ok, why not? It’s a family affair, it’s a family affaaaaiiiirr.  Just as the evil is about to enter our world one of the physicists pushes the POD into the other dimension through the mirror taking her along with it. This was really dumb. Why not just shove the POD? She didn’t look very big. You’re also physicist; you could’ve made a lever or something. LAZY PHYSICIST!!! You never really got to know the POD or the physicists for that matter. It was like John Carpenter was willed an abandoned building and just wrote a script around that location because why waste a perfectly good abandoned building?! 

The biggest puzzle of all was why the main physicist quasi-hero couldn’t get his mustache to line up properly?  It’s like the left side of his mustache was trying to escape his face and was willing to leave the right side of the mustache behind- such a cowardly left-side mustache! 

 

Hmmm, I wonder if anyone will notice that I trim my mustache while tilting my head?

Thank you all! You get to learn about COVID tomorrow; it’s pretty pretty…. pretty… gross.

Dracula Part 3, Review by Case Wright (The spoilers you deserve!)


Happy Horrorthon! Part 3!!! Drac is back…..ALRIGHT!!!! So, I decided to break this up and give Part 3 its very own post! Dracula needs to face his inner-self and see what makes him tick and fear. Dracula is in the 21st century in an underground secret lab because…why not?! It kept the story fresh and there’s nothing fresher than seeing a private industry emulate bloated government spending.

He’s not there as long as you’d think because Drac got lawyered up and he fed on Agatha’s descendent, BUT she has cancer and it is poisonous to Old Drac. This creates a good plot twist and has a great payoff at the story’s end. This episode tries to plug in the ideas from the book into this modern twist. However, it wasn’t flawless; the Renfield character never really worked for me because the actor kept playing it for comic relief and thought he was in a Benny Hill sketch. Nina played it well. She represented the Information Age: the veneer of sophistication, but really it is just narcissism with an iPhone.

Nina gets into Drac and claims to not fear age or death, but that’s easy to say when you’re young, hot, and everyone wants to get into your britches. Then, once she got turned into a vampire and was burned into a horrible crisp, she couldn’t get staked fast enough! Nina does do more than just become the world’s greatest Roomba achievement; Nina allows Drac to have a mental breakthrough.

Even though Nina was not really as intrepid about death as she claimed, her purported fearlessness attracted Drac for a reason and Agatha 2.0 was going to find out why! Drac is a Veteran. He wanted to die in battle with honor, but he wasn’t able to do so. His continued existence is his shame. Instead of dying in battle, he feared death, forcing him to live as a monster coward. Therefore, his final act of forgiving himself was to drink the poisoned blood of Agatha 2.0.

Her blood, her love, her life, gave Dracula what he needed- Death. Dracula gave Agatha what she needed: to touch the mystical and, by doing so, she touched the face of God. See, I told you it was a love story.

Dracula Part 2 (Netflix), Review by Case Wright


Happy Horrorthon! Dracula is saaaaaaailing, sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be and he’s eating every one the boaaaat. This episode was almost a bottle episode. Dracula REALLY wants to go to England. I love meat pies too; I can relate! Drac spends the episode eating …. EVERYONE!!! Dracula, Food does not equal love!

Mmmmm Talking Fudge!!!

I enjoyed the episode, but it was kinda rediculous. Dracula was eating everyone and NO ONE really suspected him until the end? Really? Nah, couldn’t be the weird Eastern European guy whose cabin smells like rotting flesh. Really, just look at the guy! No suspicions?!

Dramatization:

SEE WHAT I MEAN!!!!

There are some interesting people on board, but really I just felt like they were kind of a distraction from the much more Frost/Nixon style debate between Dracula and Agatha. Their dialogue was masterful. It pulled you in and it was SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY – Enlightenment Vs Reason! We’ll sell you the whole seat, but you’ll only need the EDGE!!!!

It turns out that Agatha is Dinner. When Agatha awakens, she and the remaining snacks manage to blow up the ship and Dracula is off the coast of England. He’s next to a hole, a hole, a hole at the bottom of the sea! When he wakes, he walks ashore and it’s MODERN DAY with helicopters! I didn’t see that coming, but why not? This was fun!

International Horror Film: The Paramedic (dir by Carles Torras)


Eh, who cares?

“Really, Lisa Marie?  That’s going to be your entire review of this film?  Three words?”

Listen, I’ve been wanting to use those three words for a while.  Do you think it’s easy to come up with 500 words about every stupid movie that you see, especially when it’s not exactly a movie that really holds your attention?  Considering the importance that entertainment plays in our lives and the fact that there actually are good and interesting films being made, dismissing a forgettable film with “Eh, who cares?” is not only justifiable but it’s also perhaps the most honest review that one can give.

“Haven’t you always said that every film deserves a review?”

I may believe that but I’ve never been stupid enough to paint myself into a corner by saying it.

“Well, why don’t you at least tell everyone what the movie is about?”

Goddammit.

“Lisa Marie….”

Okay, okay.  It’s a Spanish film about this paramedic named Angel Hernandez (Mario Casas).  He’s a jerk, a total believer in all of that machismo bullshit.  He spends all of his time talking about how smarter he is than everyone else and he has a girlfriend named Vane (Déborah François).  They’re trying to have a baby but Angel has a low sperm count.  Angel refuses to tell Vane this because, to him, that would make him less of a man.

“So, it’s a film about toxic masculinity.”

Eh.  Kinda.  Anyway, as a result of an accident, Angel is confined to a wheelchair.  He doesn’t take it well.  He expects Vane to wait on him hand-and-foot while he does stuff like spy on her and hack her laptop.  Eventually, Vane leaves him for Ricardo (Guillermo Pfening) so Angel starts stalking her and, after he discovers that Ricardo has gotten her pregnant, Angel kidnaps her and holds her prisoner in his apartment.  He gives her an engagement ring that he stole from a patient and starts talking about how they’re going to get married and how they’re going to raise the child.

“It sounds like a Lifetime movie.”

It is kind of but …. eh.  A Lifetime movie would be more fun.  This is just another boring movie where a loser kidnaps a woman and holds her prisoner in his apartment while killing anyone who comes close to discovering her.  You would think that the villain being in a wheelchair would at least add some sort of curiosity value to the film but it’s all so predictable that it’s hard to care.  Hence, my original review.

“Were the actors at least any good?”

I guess.  I’ll give Mario Casas all the credit in the world.  He did a good job of bringing a really loathsome character to life.  I mean, everyone has had to deal with someone like Angel Hernandez at some point in their life.  Anyone who has ever been told that they don’t really understand what they need or what they want will be able to relate to what Vane goes through.

“So, the film wasn’t all bad.”

No, it wasn’t all bad but at the same time, there was nothing particularly surprising about it either.  I was never surprised by anything that happened.  It’s just kind of there.  You watch it and you shrug and you say….

“….eh, who cares?”

You got it.

Errementari, Review by Case Wright


Happy Horrorthon!!! What do you get when you have Basques, Demons, Blacksmithing, and Illegitimate Children? About 91 minutes of entertainment! The toughest part of this movie is getting the title spelling correct. I couldn’t tell if they were speaking their Euskadi language or Spanish. I remember this dialect when I ran with the bulls in Pamplona. I was 22, hard-drinking, and up for anything dangerous. Once you left the city, it all looked liked rural Massachusetts and this film captured that old world culture and better yet, you have didn’t see me at 22 vomiting Paella, making out with Brits and Argentines, or ACCIDENTALLY ending up in a brothel.

The story centers around the reclusive Patxi who is considered a crazy hermit who lives outside of town and Usue, an orphaned child, who lives with the stigma of her mother’s suicide. Patxi was a veteran of the Napoleonic wars. When France invaded Spain, he fought, was captured and sentenced to death by firing squad. In order to see his family again, he made a deal with a demon Sarteal – as you do. Demons, they’re always acting like pun crazy evil genie’s, twisting your wishes to make them terrible.

I would be able to handle such a wish. I would draft a wish document with supporting case law, retain counsel for a minimum of 2 grand to review the wish, and insist the counsel indemnify. Sadly, Paxti did not have my savvy. After he made the wish, he survived and went home to find that his wife thought he was dead, had a baby – Usue- with a lover, and in a rage Paxti killed the lover and the mom hanged herself. In response, Paxti blames Sarteal for his wife’s death, captures Sarteal, and imprisons him in his bunker outside of town. Poor Usue is left parentless because of Paxti.

Side Note: Screw Paxti. Yes, Sarteal’s evil and blah blah blah, but it was Paxti who did the murdering. Take some personal responsibility, Paxti! It’s like that song “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix. Joe is an asshat, but the Narrator is just as guilty. In Errementary, there’s no one else to blame! Unlike this story, Joe confessed that he was “gonna shoot [his] Old Lady and the narrator doesn’t do ANYTHING!!!” Why not say… Heeeey Joe, Where you going with that gun in your hand? Heeeey Joe, Maybe we should have a chat..take a breather…maybe up the meds a bit? Heeeeey Joe, you don’t down own your Old Lady and domestic violence is never acceptable! Heeeey Police, Joe’s got a damn gun and is threatening to murder his wife… yes… right now… he’s heading to.. where is that house honey? …. 72..yeah….7213 Robins Lane. Thank you.

The local kids are constantly taunting Usue and chasing her and, on one occasion, she’s fleeing bullies and goes where they will NOT follow- Paxti’s property. His home and property is riddled with traps, Christian crosses, and other warding. There appears to be a child in a cage that she sets free, but this in fact Sarteal- the demon. Sarteal attacks Paxti, but Paxti gets him back, and then Paxti bonds with Usue by torturing the demon with chickpeas. Yes, Chickpeas. Demons are all OCD if you throw chickpeas on the ground, they have to count them. It comes up repeatedly in the story. It’s a whole thing.

Sarteal is kind of funny actually. He’s a failed soul collector and has been in Paxti’s makeshift prison for at least 20 years. In town, a Tax Collector comes and convinces the townsfolk to enter Paxti’s property because there is supposedly gold there. The Tax Collector, however, is not who he seems (except to Libertarians!)- he’s a demon -Alastor – sent to collect both the Blacksmith’s soul as well as Sarteal who is in poor standing in Hell for being a screw up.

The townsfolk try to enter Paxti’s property, but get caught in Paxti’s many traps he set up to imprison Sarteal if he escaped. The Tax Collector convinces the townsfolk to believe that Paxti is holding or killed Usue on his property. They form a mob with torches…very 3rd Act Frankenstein. Usue wants to see her mom again; therefore, she makes a deal with Alastor to see her mom in Hell in exchange for her soul. Alastor takes her to Hell and Paxti’s sets out to rescue her. He goes to Hell with a Golden Bell because the chimes do things to demons….it’s weird.

The depiction of Hell on their budget was not bad. Paxti does manage to redeem himself. He sends Usue back to Earth and he stays in hell with his bell and to find Usue’s mom…it’s weird. I enjoyed this film A LOT, but mostly because of the live tweeting. So, my advice is to try to watch it in some way with friends!

The Car: Road to Revenge, Review by Case Wright


Happy Horrorthon! I warn you that this post might look …. weird. My Chrome version of wordpress has been possessed. There’s NO OTHER EXPLANATION! EVER!

The Car: Road To Revenge is a sequel to The Car from 1977…. MINDBENDER! No wonder I feel like having a key party and getting an orange couch… Dramatization:

This film was written after Death Race 2050 – ALT Title: Miffed Max: Budget Road, Reviewed like a boss! also by G. J. Echternkamp. I have to write that G.J. is a genuinely nice person and these are great genre films. I could easily see Bruce Campbell starring in a Echternkamp movie. Believe me, I have some ideas….G.J. …DM me. 😉 really! Car 2 is set in a dystopian future, but really it didn’t seem any worse than Seattle today. Car 2 had fancy cars, embattled police, and shitty local government, and lawlessness; if you threw in some drizzle, I’d be right at home.

The film begins with Caddock (Jamie Bamber) of Battlestar Galactica fame. He’s a possessive and corrupt prosecutor who is in an on again off again thing with Daria (Kathleen Munroe). Apparently, he gets an evil computer chip that everyone wants … for some reason. I never fully understood why they wanted the chip or why they’d kill Caddock for it. Did the chip have the recipe for Coca Cola? Were they hardcore gamers? Did it have the latest version of Microsoft Word?

Caddock puts the evil chip into his car and it does …. something. I wasn’t really sure what it did, but when the bad guys go after Caddock for it and kill him, the chip causes Caddock to possess the car. Caddock Car spends the rest of the movie avenging his own death and trying to get Daria to be his … Car Girlfriend? I wasn’t sure how that Daria/Caddock Car consummation would work, but I know she’d have to use plenty of Jiffy Lube or maybe they could MAACO out for a while. I’m not saying it would be a AAA session, but maybe they could get used to it and have a GOODYEAR or two.

Caddock’s murder/slash possession puts Ranier (Grant Bowler) on the case. By on the case, he basically drinks a lot and gets into the pants of Daria. Bad idea because Caddock Car is possessive is it like Daria’s all Meineke and tries to run over Ranier…a lot. Then, the movie gets…weird. The bad guys who want the chip, kill or try to kill A LOT of people to get the chip. Why? It will apparently improve their body augmentations and I don’t mean like the piercings on a Seattle Soccer Mom…. I mean Robotech stuff. Caddock Car manages to squish most of his enemies to death and I mean jump on a Capri-Sun when you’re bored at your kid’s soccer game squish.

Caddock Car eventually gets the majority of his revenge. I had trouble figuring out who to root for sometimes, but I guess it was Daria. She was pretty badass and eventually kills Caddock Car, but Caddock Car is avenging his murder…so, maybe him too. Anyway, Caddock Car gets driven into the bottom of a …lake? Quarry? Large above ground pool? I could not really tell where the car ended up, but it’s dead…or is it???

Happy Horrorthon!!!!

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Ep 3.6, (Dir. Michael Goi)


sabrina

I couldn’t totally tell if I was being entertained by this episode. I’m gonna say no because it’s taken me a week to write this. I have to review Sabrina in stages like getting oral surgery. They root canal you- Sabrina Season Opener, They put bone and hardware up into your gums – mid-season Sabrina, and finally you get a new fake tooth and it’s over- Sabrina Season Finale.

If it weren’t the live tweet sessions with Lisa, I would’ve lost it long ago.  Those banter sessions make the show pretty fun; it’s a shame that the writers and directors can’t achieve that on their very own. In that same vein, if Harvey gets to be any more boring, he’s just going to be recapping his favorite scenes from “How it’s Made” on the Science Channel.  Hey Sabrina, you know what’re swell? Diving Helmets!

At least in this episode, Sabrina didn’t have to find anything. FFS, every episode has been

I miss Nick. But, Sabrina the Town. NIIIIIIIICK!  Sabrina wait….

NO, I’ve to find Judas’ silver, a stop sign, and an Easter basket and have it back at the rec center by Midnight!

Meanwhile courtly intrigue, Caliban is proposing to Sabrina to be his Queen of Hell and he’ll prove he’s on the up and up by making a crappy spell to turn Roz back from stone.  To do this, Harvey has to give up the thing he loves most – his 19th Century Danish Coin Collection.  He actually had to kiss Roz and it would make her not want to have anything to do with him anymore.  They should’ve just had Harvey try express a fully formed thought- she would’ve rolled her stone body the hell out of Greendale lickity split! The kiss didn’t work because he supposedly still loves Sabrina.  Instead, they just capture Circe and she changes everyone back from stone. Oh well.

Hilda is super-gross and nearly full-on spider. She puts a glamour on and decides to hang out with Dr Cee.  Unfortunately, she losses her glamour and he sees all of her spiderness.  He does what any fiance would do and gets her some fast food.  Why not?  While he’s gone, she eats a guy who must be 90% balloon, given the blood splatter.  When he does return, Hilda corners Dr Cee, has him fertilize her eggs (somehow yeech), and kills him.  Hilda tells her sister to come and bring a gun and Zelda kills Hilda.  Afterall, Zelda used to kill Hilda once a month; so, Zelda puts Hilda in the resurrection plot device out front and waits for Hilda’s return.

Lastly, Lilith seduces father Blackwood so that she will have a Satan baby to keep Lucifer from killing her.  Why not?

This episode was not terrible, but not great.  It kind of made me sad for Hilda and the actress herself because she rarely gets to show any range.  In this episode, we find out that she has a broadway quality voice. Oh well, Lisa’s got the next one. Tag, you’re it!

The Things You Find on Netflix: The Stand at Paxton County (dir by Brett Hedlund)


The Stand at Paxton County, which is currently playing on Netflix, opens with an ominous title card warning us that what we’re about to see is “based on a true story.”

I may be alone in this but I find the term “based on a true story” to be fascinating.  It’s signifies that the film that we’re about to watch was inspired by something that actually happened but it’s not actually a recreation of that event.  It’s an invitation to watch and to try to figure out how much is true and how much is just a product of a screenwriter’s imagination.  “Based on a true story” is a real cinematic tease.

The Stand at Paxton County tells the story of Janna Connelly (Jacqueline Toboni), an army medic who is still haunted by her memories of serving in Afghanistan.  When her rancher father, Dell (Michael O’Neill), has a heart attack, Janna returns home to Paxton County, North Dakota.  What she discovers is that, after she left home, the ranch fell into disrepair.  Dell only has one ranch hand, a seemingly amiable doofus named Brock (Greg Perrow) and it doesn’t appear that Brock’s been doing a very good job.

When Sheriff Bostwick (Christopher McDonald) shows up to do a compliance check on the ranch, he finds a lot of problems.  When he returns with a cold-eyed veterinarian named Dr. Morel (Marwa Bernstein), Dell is informed that his ranch is in such disrepair that the sheriff can take away his livestock and essentially put Dell out of business!

How can the sheriff get away with this, Janna asks.  Dell explains that, years ago, the voters of the state voted down a proposition that would have given law enforcement the right to confiscate a rancher’s livestock.  However, a bunch of unelected lobbyists and left-wing activists went ahead and forced the law through the state legislature!  Now, the sheriff can pretty much do whatever he wants and anyone who tries to stand up for their Constitutional rights is subject to harassment and perhaps even murder!

While all of this is going on, Brock vanishes from the ranch.  It turns out that Brock is a professional bad employee who goes from ranch to ranch and goes out of his way to mess things up so that the ranchers lose their livestock.  The livestock is then sold to the highest bidder or sometimes the sheriff will just keep a horse for himself.  With Brock gone, Janna hires sexy Matt (Tyler Jacob Moore) to be the new ranch hand and then sets out to get justice for her father.

I had mixed feelings about The Stand at Paxton County.  On the one hand, I’m not a fan of the government regulation in general and I’m always happy to watch a libertarian-themed film.  Christopher McDonald’s smug and corrupt sheriff felt like a stand-in for all of the authoritarian-minded politicians and bureaucrats who have recently come out of the woodwork and used the COVID-19 pandemic to increase their own power.  (“Hey, it’s Clay Jenkins!” I said as soon as the sheriff showed up.)  So, on that level, I enjoyed the film.

Unfortunately, The Stand at Paxton County doesn’t just stick to criticizing the government for overstepping their authority.  Instead, it also portrays animal rights activists as being a part of a sinister financial conspiracy and that’s where it lost me.  It’s a lot easier to buy into the idea of a corrupt sheriff than it is to imagine the head of the PSCA sitting in a darkened war room and ordering his minions to torment one rancher, all so he can resell the rancher’s livestock.  That doesn’t mean that activists should be immune from criticism or that there isn’t a legitimate argument to be made that even well-intentioned regulations are vulnerable to abuse.  But the film’s portrayal of its central conspiracy just got a bit too cartoonish to be effective.  Once the villains went from being smug to being downright evil, it became impossible to take the movie seriously.  If the film had simply stuck to criticizing government overreach instead of imagining a shadowy conspiracy, it would have been a lot more effective.

The Stand at Paxton County has some lovely shots of the North Dakota countryside and Christopher McDonald is a wonderfully smarmy villain.  I always appreciate a film that has an anti-authoritarian subtext but The Stand At Paxton County is ultimately dragged down by its own heavy hand.

TV Review: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 3.4 “The Hare Moon” (dir by Viet Nguyen)


I have to admit that I groaned a bit when I discovered that the fourth episode of part 3 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was going to center around yet another holiday.  Seriously, how many holidays do these witches have to celebrate over the course of year?  This time, the holiday was the Hare Moon, which involves everyone dressing in white, going on a picnic, and not killing a rabbit.  The holiday itself doesn’t make much sense and, to the show’s credit, this episode opens with Sabrina telling her aunts that it doesn’t make much sense.

So, I wasn’t expecting much from The Hare Moon but, to my surprise, it actually turned out to be a pretty good episode.  At the very least, it held my interest and that’s more than I can say for the episode that came immediately before this one.  I think it helped that a good deal of this episode took place in the woods during the day, which meant that I could, for once, actually see what was happening without having to strain my eyes.  I know that I spend a lot of time complaining about how underlit and dark the majority of Sabrina‘s interior scenes are but I think this episode proved my point.  When I could actually see who was talking, it was a lot easier for me to actually care about what they were talking about.

The highlight of this episode came when, during the Hare Moon ceremony, the witches ran into the pagan carnival people, who were all celebrating a holiday of their own.  The interaction between the two groups was wonderfully awkward and, even more importantly, the carnival people seem like worthy adversaries to the witches.  The carnival people worship the Green Man and, by the end of the episode, they had delivered an ultimatum to the witches.  The witches can either worship the Green Man or they can die.  Since the covens powers have been weakened by a petulant Satan, the witches are momentarily at a disadvantage.

In other developments, Harvey and Roz decided to investigate the carnival on their own, which led to Roz getting turned into a statue and …. well, I mean, it’s Harvey and Roz.  If either one of them had a personality beyond Harvey being amiably stupid and Roz having an overprotective father, it might be interesting but they don’t so who cares?  Nick also ended up setting Satan free because Nick’s main reason for being on the show is to do stuff like that.  Of course, the Spellmans were going to free Satan anyway so that they could get back their powers but Nick decided to go ahead and do it so now the Spellmans are still weak and even more screwed than before.  Way to go, Nick!

Anyway, this was actually a pretty entertaining episode.  The carnival people are wonderfully sinister and Will Swenson was well-cast as their leader. Kiernan Shipka remains the show’s greatest strength and even Miranda Otto and Lucy Davis got a few good lines in this episode.  There was still a bit too much filler but all in all, this was one of the better episodes.  If only every episode was this good.