Dread by Shah Wharton #BookReview

Title: Dread | Author: Shah Wharton | Pub. Date: 10/28/2014 | Pages: 95 | ASIN: B00OZ2RK5W | Genre: Apocalyptic Horror | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 2 out of 5 | Source: received from the author for review consideration


A deeply unsettling collection of British horror stories including one psychological horror, one post-apocalyptic horror, and one black humour / satirical horror. All are UK based.  

The cover is beautiful but doesn’t really evoke the feeling of ‘dread’ that the book proclaims. I do like the way the ‘R’ is blued out to make the “Dead” more visible. Dread is a collection of three novella-length pieces: A Slow Burn, Rosa and Bella’s Journal of Decline and The Dead Party. I can’t say that I loved the book. The writing is very awkward at times but in The Dead Party it seems to even out a bit.

A Slow Burn: Waking up after what Bernie assumes was a wild party she finds that it has, in fact, been days and the world is no longer the same. 

I did like the idea of the cause of the apocalyptic happening. It was a bit different and interesting. The people, however, left quite a bit to be desired. The little girl that Bernie runs into wavers between sounding like a thirteen year old and a well-spoken adult. I have yet to meet a thirteen year old that uses the phrase “I’m no fantasist!” Bernie herself wavers between vaguely sympathetic to mildly annoying. I can’t really say what my main issue with the story was without giving away much of the ‘surprise’ ending, so I won’t. Suffice to say the other two survivors Bernie and Sarah run into might very well be the most unobservant people on earth. Ever.

Rosa and Bella’s Journal of Decline: Rosa is keeping a journal of her innermost thoughts after an ‘event’

This story confused the heck out of me. I at first thought that it was a continuation of the first scenario but from a different point of view. I gave up on that idea a page or two in. I’m not clear whether any event actually happened or if Rosa is just slowly (or not so slowly) going insane. Actually, that was the one thing I liked about it was that uncertainty. The main issue with it was that Rosa’s inner monologue was a bit boring at times and jerky. There were some things that could have been cleared up without ruining the atmosphere of not knowing what was real and what wasn’t.

The Dead Party: After The Dead Party is voted into office zombies now rule the U.K.. And will eat anyone who gets in their way.

This story bumped it from a one star read to a two star read for me. I liked this story very much. It was a little sad but also funny as hell. The main character was great and very likable. Her internal monologues were funny and quite accurate. Why are the ‘elite’ considered to be the worthy survivors? I also loved her ‘flying’ incidents. The zombies were also presented in an interesting and entertaining way. The writing was much more even as well. It would have been interesting to get a view of what the other countries thought about the new ruling party.

While I can’t say I particularly enjoyed Dread (except for The Dead Party) once the author smooths out some of the more clunky writing issues I really think she could create some decent fiction. Her takes on some of the subjects were creative and original. 


Press Release: Sightings


in High Octane Pictures’



Sightings Movie Poster

Writer-director Dallas Morgan’s unnerving supernatural thriller Sightings premieres on VOD this November.

Dante Basco (Hook, Bad Ass 2 : Bad Asses), Kevin Sizemore (Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462), and Boo Arnold (Nashville) star in a pulse-pounding cornucopia of Stranger Things, Signs and Jaws, arriving November 7.

When former Sheriff and skeptic of the paranormal, Tom Mayfield (Boo Arnold), encounters three dead bodies on his TX ranch, he must enlist the help of his conspiracy-theorist brother-in-law (Rawn Erickson II), a local surveillance expert (Dante Basco), and a renowned cryptozoologist (Stephanie Drapeau), in order to uncover who or what is behind these mysterious events.

While being pursued by the local detective (Kevin Sizemore) as a lead suspect for these deaths, Tom is forced to reconsider his preconceived ideas of what lies beyond our planet.

Ultimately, he must mend the estranged relationship with his daughter (Tahlia Morgan) and come to grips with the truth of his missing wife (Tiffany Heath), as he discovers the importance of community in survival and the belief in the unseen.

From High Octane Pictures, the studio that brought you Clowntergeist and The Answer, comes another workout for your goosebumps, Sightings out 11/7.

Sightings Trailer

My thoughts: Sightings could be good. I was grabbed by the “JAWS meets STRANGER THINGS” in the title. That’s just such a weird mashup that I had to watch the trailer. And when you see the Bigfoot-y thing stomping outside the house in it, it sets your mind to wondering. I kind of want to watch it just to see exactly what the alien looks like when it’s revealed. With the allusion to Jaws, there’d better be some satisfyingly terrifying teeth involved!

I don’t know – what do y’all think? Would you watch Sightings?

If you’re a fan of the whole alien sci-fi horror sub genre, what’s your favorite film?

Horrors! A Full Year of Horror #25

Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror

06/24/2017 – 06/30/2017

The horror short-short isn’t easy to master, but more than 100 of the genre’s critically acclaimed authors & hottest up-&-comers have taken a stab at it in Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, an anthology that contains a short tale for every day of the year. Steve Rasnic Tem, Wm F. Nolan, Tom Piccirilli, Yvonne Navarro, Peter Atkins, Brian Hodge, Martin Mundt & 166 others give you short, sharp shocks.

If you missed the first post you can find it here.


Step into my parlour said the GracieKat to her readers and let me tell you some tales.






Like a Charm David Niall Wilson

Exiting a bar Lucky finds three guys beating up an old man and drives them off. As a thank you the old man gives Lucky a charm in the shape of a bird. Maybe Lucky’s luck will change soon, after all.

I generally liked the story but it’s full of stereotypes about country people that are a little insulting.

A Likeness of MeDawn Dunn

John thinks he got lucky when a woman invites him back to her place to see her paintings. Experiencing an odd feeling of deja vu he suddenly knows the awful truth.

I really liked this one because I love creepy paintings. Especially when the line between creation and creator becomes blurred.

The Little Black DogLinda J. Dunn

A little girl’s dog runs off when her parents make a stop. The new owners find Blackie and give her a new home. Blackie’s just a little thing but it’s appetite is a little larger than the new owners think it is. Of course, you can’t ask them, they’ve disappeared.

I loved this story and the twist at the end is great. I thought at first that Blackie might be a werewolf but the answer is a little more…galactic.

Little ManScott M. Brents

A little boy tells the neighbor about the strange little man he found in the woods. A little creature he killed and now he’s scared he’ll get in trouble. Even though he doesn’t believe him the neighbor says it’ll be ok.

For such a short story it was kind of all over the place. So it was kind of meh.

Lopez Benjamin Adams

A wrong number in the middle of the night for a man named Lopez turns into a bizarre mystery for a couple.

I didn’t really get this one at all. It was a little confusing whether it was a conspiracy or a case of mistaken identity.

Lost Pao Jessica Amanda Salmonson

A you boy named Pao wanders away from his home when he’s young and returns as a young man speaking cryptically. Then he turns into a monster.

A good folk tale type of tale but a little blunt and short.

Love Sat Alone on a Foggy PierTerry Campbell

A man out hunting a ghostly lady on a foggy night meets one but doesn’t realize it. so he keeps coming back, hoping to meet his own Lady of the Lake.

Favorite of the Week:
Kind of slim pickings for this week. I did really like Love Sat Alone on a Foggy Pier by Terry Campbell. I like a good ghost story, especially one with a bit of a romantic element. Scratch that, a mysterious romantic element.

Join us again next week for another round of chilling tales.

Twilight Zone Tuesday – People Are Alike All Over

People Are Alike All Over

Sam Conrad – Roddy McDowall
Marcusson – Paul Comi
Teenya – Susan Oliver
Martian #1 – Byron Morrow
Martian #2 – Vic Perrin
Martian #3 – Vernon Gray

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War of the Worlds: Retaliation Review

Book cover for War of the Worlds: RetaliationWar of the Worlds: Retaliation

1898: Martian tripods lay waste to Earth’s cities. The world’s armies are unable to stem the tide of destruction. When all hope appears lost, common bacteria kills the alien invaders. From the ashes, the human race uses the technology left behind by the Martians to build new, advanced weapons.

1924: Armed with their own spaceships, tripods, and jet fighters, the nations of the world are ready to take the fight to Mars. George Patton, Erwin Rommel, Charles de Gaulle, and Georgy Zhukov lead their troops in battle across the red planet to end the alien menace once and for all. But the Martians have one last, desperate plan to try, and if successful, it could mean the end for all humanity. – Goodreads

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Featurette! Sir Ridley Scott Speaks on Phoenix Forgotten

Several of you expressed interest in seeing Phoenix Forgotten after I posted about it on Sci-Fi & Scary last week. Well, I’m happy to bring you a bit more information about the movie. This time you get to hear about it straight from the mouth of Ridley Scott himself!

PHOENIX FORGOTTEN was produced by RIDLEY SCOTT (The Martian, Alien, Blade Runner), WES BALL (The Maze Runner franchise) and T.S. NOWLIN (Pacific Rim: Uprising, The Maze Runner franchise) who also co-wrote the film. JUSTIN BARBER co-writes and directs in his feature film debut.

Movie Cover for Phoenix Forgotten

Based on the shocking, true events of March 13th, 1997, when several mysterious lights appeared over Phoenix, Arizona. This unprecedented and inexplicable phenomenon became known as “The Phoenix Lights”, and remains the most famous and widely viewed UFO sighting in history.

PHOENIX FORGOTTEN tells the story of three teens who went into the desert shortly after the incident, hoping to document the strange events occurring in their town. They disappeared that night and were never seen again. Now, on the twentieth anniversary of their disappearance, unseen footage has finally been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition. For the first time ever, the truth will be revealed…


What do you guys think about Phoenix Forgotten after watching this featurette?

Click here to see the original post on Sci-Fi & Scary and watch the trailer!

Power Rangers (2017)

Title: Power Rangers

Synopsis: A group of high-school students, who are infused with unique superpowers,harness their abilities in order to save the world. – IMDB

Tagline: Back to Action!

Trailer: Power Rangers

Release Date:  03/24/2017 | MPAA Rating: PG-13 | Skulls: 4 out of 5

Power Rangers Review

I have to admit. I was a Power Rangers addict in my early to late teens. I first got hooked on it when I watched it with my nephew…and then without. When I had my son I refreshed my love of it. I don’t pretend to be a Power Rangers expert but I have an abiding affection for it. So, it set my geeky little heart all a-flutter when I saw the trailer for it. It was also a good trailer. It showed just enough to make you want to see it and not too much.

Power Rangers started in the early nineties (1993), ran for quite a few seasons and with different variations. The show itself was pretty basic. Some kind of monster would show up, the Rangers would morph, kick some bad guy butt, rinse and repeat. They did start adding a bit more story as the show went on but the formula remained pretty much the same. It caught some flack because some kids were trying out the moves on each other and it was “extremely violent”. Never mind the fact that the show stressed teamwork, friendship and loyalty.

I really wasn’t expecting much, to be honest, even with the cool trailer. I was very pleasantly surprised. More than pleasantly surprised.

I loved it.

The story starts out normally. The usual detention Breakfast-Clubbers are thrown together by chance and after a mis-guided explosion at a gold mine they find the Power coins. That’s when the fun begins. Afterwards they start noticing they’ve changed. They discover a buried spaceship, which tells them their purpose and what they’ve become. They are now the Power Rangers and have approximately eleven days to save their town (and the world) from Rita Repulsa, who (coincidentally) has also been re-awakened.  Then the fun really starts

The acting was quite good, much better than I expected. The relationships were pretty realistically portrayed. They weren’t instant friends nor instant antagonists. There was also no insta-love or love triangles for which I was profoundly grateful. There was also no petty bickering or cattiness between the two female leads which was very refreshing.

There were a few cheesy moments but I expected a little cheese and it was good cheese. The difference between generic slices and real chedddar.

There were some very unexpected twists and parts that actually surprised me. I mean, really surprised me. I’d love to say more but why spoil it for you?

One thing I’d also like to mention is that the PG-13 guideline is well-earned. There were some moments that were very intense and one or two made me cringe a bit. Not cringe, as in it’s terrible and hokey, but a cringe as in it was a little hard to watch.

And the villain? I’m not going to say much but don’t go in expecting the doofy Rita Repulsa of old. This chick is scary. And pretty awesome looking.

There were many a part that made my geeky little heart flutter. There were a few in-jokes here and there that were balanced perfectly. Not too many, so as to make it nothing but referential humor. The dramatic parts were balanced quite well with the more comedic and action parts. I was afraid it would go ‘Godzilla’ on me. Too many people, not enough action.

I was a tad bit leery early on with the way a couple of the car chase scenes were shot. They were very choppy and quick so I was worried that the action sequences would be the same. I needn’t have worried. They were great! I loved The Zords. If there hadn’t been people sitting in front of me I may have squeed a bit.

In wrap-up it was an awesome nostalgia to indulge in with my son. It’s always nice to have a nerd-out together every now and then. For some younger viewers some of the scenes might be a bit too intense, though.

4 Skulls out of 5


Red vs. Blue: The Ultimate Fan Guide (Sci-Fi Series Guide)

Red vs. Blue: The Ultimate Fan Guide


In Red vs. Blue: The Ultimate Fan Guide, the series creators at Rooster Teeth bring together more than a decade’s worth of ephemera and behind-the-scenes information. Inside you’ll find:

– Character dossiers
– Character-driven lists, including “The Wisdom of Caboose”
– Charts and statistics mapping out character, world, and episode trivia, such as how many times Simmons has sucked up to Sarge over the course of the series
– The best Red vs. Blue quotes ever of all time
– Alternate stories and unexplored character arcs
– Spotlights on the Red vs. Blue cast and crew, who share unique anecdotes, behind-the-scenes stories, and insights into the award-winning series
– Shooting scripts, including cut lines, deleted scenes, and trivia
– More than 200 full-color images       (It helps when there are pictures – Caboose)
– And more

  The thing I love the most about Red vs. Blue is that you don’t need to be a Halo fan to enjoy it. I am a gamer but I’ve never really played Halo. I found out about Red vs. Blue the old-fashioned way: My nephew watched it, showed my son and after my son tied me to a chair and made me watch season 9, I was hooked. Now we have them all and we’re eagerly awaiting season 15.

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Battleship Review (Sci-Fi Thriller)


Synopsis: A fleet of ships is forced to do battle with an armada of unknown origins in order to discover and thwart their destructive goals.

Tagline: The battle for Earth begins at sea.

Release Date: May 18th, 2012 | MPAA Rating: PG-13 | Coolthulhus Earned: 5

Trailer: Battleship

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Blackout by Tim Curran #BookReview

Title: Blackout | Author: Tim Curran | Publisher: Darkfuse | Pub. Date: 2014-8-19 | Pages: 234 | ASIN: B00KQUHZ3O | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Date Read: 2016-2-13 | Source: Kindle Unlimited


In the midst of a beautiful summer, in a perfectly American suburban middle-class neighborhood, a faraway evil is lurking, waiting to strike the unsuspecting residents.

First come the flashing lights, then the heavy rains, high winds, and finally a total blackout. But that’s only the beginning…

When the whipping black tentacles fall from the sky and begin snatching people at random, the denizens of Piccamore Way must discover the terrifying truth of what these beings have planned for the human race.

Cover for Blackout

Blackout Review

Blackout had been on my TBR for what seemed like forever. I’d read the synopsis somewhere a couple years ago, and was fascinated, but I could never find the book in any of the stores or library around me. So, when I finally discovered it in the Kindle Unlimited selection, I was over-the-moon happy. I grabbed a drink, curled up in my reading spot on the couch, and prepared to immerse myself in potential greatness.

Curran has a serious talent for painting a creepy, utterly disturbing picture. He makes you believe that it could happen. You feel the disorientation of the main character as his whole world is flipped upside down. You’re thrown off balance by the behavior of the tentacles, as something about them just doesn’t quite make sense. However, settings and atmosphere aside, his characters could use a little work. Some of the reactions and general behaviors just really did not seem correct.

Blackout actually borders on being ‘too much’, but never quite crosses the line into outright campiness. I thoroughly enjoyed 90 percent of the story, engrossed in this nightmarish situation that had developed for the residents of Piccamore way, and was looking forward to an absolutely epic ending that would would finish off this horror tale with a dramatic flourish. I mean, its this beautifully creepy mix of The Mist and War of the Worlds, so I just expected something awesome.

…and then I actually read the ending. There wasn’t anything necessarily wrong with the ending, mind you. The twist at the end was actually kind of unsettling and definitely gross and added a new level of nightmarish to the tale. It was, however, a little empty. I felt like I’d been drug through the mud along with the main character, only to suddenly be thrust out of the story right at the best part and forced to watch how it ended from a distance. It was one of those endings that leave you feeling completely unsatisfied and vaguely disgruntled as you close the book.  It brought my overall opinion of the book down significantly.

I still intend to read more of Curran’s work though. So I guess that says something!

Need to read it yourself? Buy Blackout now on Amazon.com