Monthly Archives: January 2022

Saturday is Horror Day #46 – The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

Rynn Jacobs (Jodie Foster) is thirteen years old. She and her father have just moved into a rental house in a small town in Quebec. But things are not as they appear to be. Not at all.




Rynn keeps to herself, going quietly about her business, which does not include going to school. She does everything herself, and her father is never seen, presumably busy.


Halloween night is her birthday, and as she is beginning a solo celebration, complete with birthday cake, an intruder arrives. Frank Hallet (Martin Sheen) is the son of the landlady, and he is quick to make his intentions quite obvious. Although he claims to be scouting ahead for his two children, who are trick-or-treating, he is more focused on how pretty Rynn is as he makes himself at home. Disgusted, she manages to get rid of him, but for how long?

The next day the landlady, Cora Hallet (Alexis Smith) waltzes into the house, making demands. Rynn stands up to her, and Mrs. Hallet quickly lets her know that she doesn’t care for the teen’s attitude. She wants to get something out of the cellar but Rynn tells her to come back. Obviously this woman is going to be a problem.


When the landlady’s next visit goes awry, Rynn finds herself in a dilemma. But a knight in white armor, in the guise of young teen magician Mario Podesta (Scott Jacoby) appears and she talks him into assisting her. Rynn also receives a visit from local policeman Ron Miglioriti (Mort Shuman). He asks to see her father, but Rynn puts him off. She puts off everyone who tries to see him. Why? Is he even there? What is going on in this house that she doesn’t want people to find out about?


I wasn’t sure what to expect from this film, as it was shot back in 1976. I was pleasantly surprised. Of course you have a great cast, with Jodie Foster and Martin Sheen. Sheen is very creepy as the would-be pedophile who is intent on having his way with a 13-year-old girl. Jodie Foster is excellent as Rynn, just trying to get by under very difficult circumstances. The wig threw me off a little but you get used to it. I guess it’s a story about survival, of doing what you have to do even if it’s not what you would prefer to do. But there are bad people in this world, and sometimes accidents do happen. And when there aren’t accidents, there’s murder.

Good production values, well directed and filmed, good story. Not very gory at all but very entertaining and well-paced. I enjoyed this and would recommend giving it a watch. I give this film a strong 4 Stars

Wednesday Briefs: January 26, 2022

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

Ancalagon: Chapter Seventy-five by Cia Nordwell

We’d shared some information I’d learned and what the team had compile so far, so there were more than a few murmurs when Bouncer made his little threat display. Of course, he’d promptly yawned and then lay down at my feet again right afterward. Lazy little shit caused problems and then left me to fix them.  

“Yes, he is dangerous, and he does have natural defenses that could harm others. But so do a great many aliens or creatures from their planets that accompany them among Galactic space. He cannot be separated from me.” In fact, now that I thought


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Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 13 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 13     

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: June 2, 2020

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy Manga/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes


Tanjiro and Genya find themselves facing demons who, when struck, divide!  Simply cutting their heads off is not going to work with these fellows!. Instructing Nezuko to assist Genya with one demon, Tanjiro goes after the other, determined to best him no matter what. Meanwhile, Tokito, the Mist Hashira, is in a position to help the swordsmith Kotetsu. At first he sees no reason to do so, until he remembers what Tanjiro told him, that helping others can often help you help yourself. So he decides to assist Kotetsu.

It seems that Nezuko is growing in strength. Tanjiro is determined to go to her and Genya’s aid. But he has to finish this demon first. Tanjiro discovers that his sister’s blood has some amazing abilities. Back at the village, Tokito and Kotetsu are up against Gyokko, attempting to save the village that is so important to the demon slayers. Assistance arrives in the form of Mitsuri, the Love Hashira.

With Nezuko’s blood strengthening his blade, Tanjiro calls upon the memory of another swordsman, one who came close to cutting off the demon Muzan’s head! But wait! There seems to be a fifth demon? Why can’t Genya see him? Genya tries but fails to cut off the little demon’s head. Will he allow Tanjiro to do what a Hashira cannot?

It’s interesting to watch how both Tanjiro and Nezuko are growing and developing in their abilities. Hopefully at some point they will be able to stop Lord Muzan himself and Nezuko will be able to become human again. The back story for Genya was bittersweet and revealed much about him. The demons in this volume are very interesting. I like how there is a great variety in the demons, each with a unique style, and none of them are slam-dunk victories.

Looking forward to the next volume!

Saturday is Horror Day #45 – Siren

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes


Jonah (Chase Williamson) and Eva (Lindsey Garrett) are to be married in a week’s time. Jonah’s brother Mac (Michael Aaron Milligan) decides they need to take Jonah on a last fling. Off they go along with Jonah’s best friend Rand (Hayes Mercure) and another friend Elliot (Randy McDowell). The strip bar they end up in is rather seedy, but Jonah doesn’t mind as he has no intention of doing anything wrong. But Mac is approached by a stranger who calls himself Mr. Nyx (Justin Wellborn) and he accepts the stranger’s offer of a lot more fun.

The four men follow their would-be host out in the literal middle of nowhere. Jonah and Rand want to turn around and leave but Mac insists. They finds themselves at a large and elegant manor. But things begin to get weird. They’d foolishly consumed from mushrooms given to them by Mac at the other bar, so they can’t be sure if they’re tripping or not. Mr. Nyx sends Jonah off for some private entertainment, then tells the others he is going to exact a price for this… in the form of a memory from each of them. He instructs them to look at their shoe. Rand is reluctant, but he is forced to obey.


Jonah finds himself outside of a shuttered room. He expects to see the typical strip tease/sex show, but when the shutter goes up, he sees a girl, Lily (Hannah Fierman) on the other side. At first nothing happens, but then she begins to sing, and Jonah finds himself lost in her song. After she is done, the overwhelmed Jonah leaves the room and tries to gain entrance to hers, only to discover she is padlocked inside. Realizing she must be the victim of sex trafficking, he determines he must save her, and goes back to the bar to enlist his friends’ aid.


Siren is a spin-off from the V/H/S series, and we see a couple of familiar faces here. Hannah Fierman appeared in the first film and Justin Welborn appeared as the magician Dante the Great in V/H/S Viral.  SIren is different from the others in that it doesn’t involved found footage or several stories. This is the story of a bachelor party gone horribly wrong.  As the title tells us, the creature in this film is a siren, but they have changed the definition (at least from anything I’m familiar with). This siren has vicious teeth and a long tail that does… interesting things.

I think Siren is sufficiently chilling to satisfy most horror aficionados, and has definite creepy vibes, 

 especially from Mr. Nyx. You might actually recognize Lily from the first film, with the guys in the motel room. Well, she’s back, but she’s under control now. At least until her knight in shining armor, aka Jonah, decides to come to the rescue. That should teach him to stick his nose in without learning the facts first.  Also, you know something terrible is going to happen when common sense tells you not to do something but everyone else seems hell bent on doing it. I think following a stranger into the middle of nowhere qualifies as definite stranger danger! On the whole, it’s a decent film although it could have been better. I’ll give it 3.5 Stars.

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 12 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 12   

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: March 3, 2020

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy Manga/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes


The upper echelon demons are gathering, no doubt to receive Lord Muzan’s latest instructions regarding the current situation. Apparently, they do not all get along, and even among so-called allies there is a certain amount of animosity and competitiveness as they attempt to curry Muzan’s faavor. Some of these demons are certainly less human than others and some are decidedly creepy. When Muzan announces the death of Gyutaro, Doma offers to gouge out one of his eyes as atonement for having brought Gyutaro and Daki to his lord’s notice. Muzan declines the offer. He tells them he sees them all as failures, having failed to live up to his expectations. The Ubuyashiki family is still alive and the blue spider lily has not been found. Gyokku claims to have information on the family’s whereabouts, so Muzan says once confirmation is obtained, he and Hantengu should go there.

Tanjiro awakens from what must have been a dream – or was it a memory – to find that he has been unconscious for two months. He asks after his friends and learns that Zenitsu awoke and was sent on a mission, and Tengen was up, but supported by his wives’ shoulders. Inosuke, on the other hand, was in bad shape. Tanjiro decides he must be hallucinating seeing  Inosuke on the ceiling, but it’s really him. Tanjiro inquires if a katana has come for him, as his was chipped in the recent battle. But all he has received is an angry letter from Haganezuka. It is suggested that Tanjiro go to see the swordsmith in person , and Tanjiro is surprised to learn how close the swordsmith village is. But getting there is far from straightforward.

On Tanjiro’s arrival, he learns that the swordsmith has disappeared and is being sought. Probably sulking, they assume, as that is often his way. Not because his sword has been damaged but because of what he perceives as his shoddy workmanship that allowed the sword to be damaged. While searching, Tanjiro encounters a rude Hashira bullying a small swordsmith, so he intervenes. Tokito, the Mist Hashira, insists on using the practice doll, although Kotetsu tells him it will break. But every action has its consequences, even selfish ones.

This begins the Swordsmith Village arc, and we are seeing the upper ranked demons in larger numbers than before. Their relationship to their lord is interesting to watch, and you know they are just jockeying for position in order to get closer to him. They’re feeling the pressure of his displeasure and will do anything to regain his favor. The swordsmiths are interesting. We see little of Inosuke this volume, and none of Zenitsu, but I’m sure they’ll be back soon. Muzan is an interesting study, cold-hearted demon that he is. In this volume, he was actually standing on the ceiling as he addressed them.  It’s always fun to watch Tanjiro battle, and he certainly has to keep his wits about him to defeat these foes. Hopefully he’ll be able to obtain the blood he needs to help cure Nezuko.

Great volume, looking forward to the next one!

Book Review: Monster: The Perfect Edition, Vol 7 by Naoki Urasawa

Monster: The Perfect Edition, Vol 7   

Author: Naoki Urasawa

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: January 19, 2016

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Horror/416 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes


As the news spreads that the serial killer long sought by the police, Kenzo Tenma, has been taken into custody, certain people listen with disbelief. Detective Suk is determined to go to Prague to speak with Tenma before he is extradited back to Germany, but runs into two other detectives, who inform him that his name has been cleared thanks to a journalist named Grimmer. Meanwhile, Detective Lunge, who is supposedly on vacation, is also in Prague, following various leads. He learns certain things which point away from Tenma’s guilt. Will he believe them? Or is he too obsessed with the idea that Johan is Tenma’s alter ego?

In the jail, Tenma is called upon to treat a fellow prisoner, due to the doctor being otherwise occupied. The prisoner knows who Tenma is and asks if he wants to escape with him, but Tenma declines. An attorney, son of an accused spy, is enlisted to aid in Tenma’s defense at the request of a number of people, including a group of his former patients who all believe in his innocence. He goes to see Tenma, who tells him everything, and decides to take his case.

After his own meeting with the attorney, Dr. Reichwein goes back to Eva and tells her she needs to cooperate with the lawyer in order to help Tenma. But she isn’t interested in helping him. She wants to see him suffer for the rest of his life for breaking up with her. She blames him for the way her life turned out, rather than blaming herself. Tenma receives a surprise visitor – Roberto, the assassin he shot the night of the fire. Roberto tells him he might kill Eva. Now Tenma has no choice but to escape in order to save her.

There is so much going on in this volume. The tension is rising, and it feels like we are close to the end, to the truth. So many burning questions. Will Eva change her mind and testify for Tenma, now that she realizes she actually saw Johan that night? How are we supposed to tell the difference between Johan and Nina, when he looks just like her when he’s in disguise? The secrets of the Rose Red Mansion are coming out.  The story with Eva and the detective was pretty interesting, I’ll have to admit, although I can’t stand the woman. Will Tenma’s escape lead to anything? What will Nina do? Guess we have to wait for the next volume to find out.

Wednesday Briefs: January 19, 2022

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

Ancalagon: Chapter Seventy-four by Cia Nordwell

Those words rippled in my brain. Peace. We all claimed to want it, to come in peace or welcome others in peace, but both Garjah and I were dressed in suits; that didn’t show a lot of trust in their peace. Then again, I saw armed guards in alcoves.  

Standard practice, but would aliens unfamiliar with the Galactic Council or Institute know that? Probably not. There’s too much at stake to go off on an intellectual tangent about how capricious peace could be. It was why I was a biologist; animals generally didn’t mask their behaviors. You might not know


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Saturday is Horror Day #44 – 1408, Honeymoon

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes



Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a writer who makes a living visiting and visiting/staying at haunted locations and writing about them, usually debunking them in the process. Once upon a time, he had greater literary ambitions, but this is what currently pays the bills. To finish his latest book, he travels, albeit reluctantly, to New York City to the Dolphin Hotel, where Room 1408 is said to be a place of great evil. Mike hasn’t been back to NYC since… well, just since. But one night can’t hurt, right?



When he calls to make the reservation, he is outright refused. But after threatening legal action, and finding a law that actually requires them to rent him the room if it’s unoccupied, he shows up, only to be greeted by the manager, Gerald Olin (Samuel L. Jackson). Olin tries to dissuade Mike, attempts to bribe him, but nothing works. Enslin insists on the room and nothing else. So that’s what he gets.


Olin gives him a dossier on the deaths that have occurred in that room, and quite a collection that is, including a number of suicides and many unknown deaths. Mike is undeterred and pries into every nook and cranny. But then things begin to happen, and he has to wonder if there isn’t some truth in the stories. The question is will he be able to make it out of this hotel alive?

1408 is based on a short story by the master of horror, Stephen King. If I read the story, it’s been too 

long ago to remember, so I can’t exactly compare the film to the story. However, thinking about this movie reminds me of something I saw in the Witcher TV series. Geralt makes a passing detrimental comment regarding Jaskier’s vocal abilities, and Jaskier insists that Geralt tell him how he really feels. Geralt says it’s like ordering a pie and finding no filling. That’s the feeling I get with 1408. Cusack and Jackson look good, and the special effects are slick and sufficiently spooky, but when you get insist, there is not substance.


There are actually a couple of endings. I only watched one. From what I read, the other is even more depressing. Honestly, there was never an explanation given for anything that happened, as if you’re meant to take it at face value and not question anything. But in my mind that is leaving out the best part of the story – the resolution. Were we meant to come away with the idea that Mike Enslin has evolved as a person since his arrival in this haunted room? That bearing witness to the suffering of others, and the knowledge of his own, has made him less smarmy and more understanding?

Do we sympathize with him because of the tragedy in his own life? And disregard the fact that nothing he goes through is explainable? Or is this just an excuse to let the special effects crew have a field day? I didn’t find the movie particularly scary, more weird. I’m sure the story is much better. I would suggest reading that instead. I’ll give this film a somewhat shaky 3.5 Stars.


Paul (Harry Treadaway) and Bea (Rose Leslie) are a young couple in love and on their honeymoon. They go to a remote cabin owned by Bea’s family. It’s the off season and no one else will be around. Ain’t love grand? While walking the area, they come across a restaurant. They enter the restaurant to see if it’s open, and a surly young man tells them to leave before recognizing Bea as an old friend of his. His wife appears and tries to warn them to leave but her warning is cut short by her husband in a rather forceful manner, leaving Paul more than a little confused.

Paul wakes in the middle of the night only to find Bea missing. Frantic, he searches the woods and finds her standing there. She startles at his touch, but then laughs it off as sleepwalking. Paul isn’t so sure, however. Suddenly he begins to mistrust her. It seems like she is lying about something… or everything. Wakened by a strange light in the middle of the night, he suspects Bea knows more than she is letting on. But he can’t put his finger on what that is.


Bea becomes more and more secretive… and Paul begins to wonder who she really is. At first, he thinks it’s her old friend Ben, but when he tries to confront him, Ben isn’t there and his wife Annie is also acting strangely. Can the two women’s actions be connected?


This was an interesting mix of horror and sci-fi. The best things about the film are the performances of the lead actors. I liked Harry Treadaway in Mr. Mercedes and Penny Dreadful. Rose Leslie is best known for playing Jon Snow’s Wildling girlfriend Ygritte in Game of Thrones. The atmosphere is chilling and suspenseful as two people who love each other dearly find themselves being torn apart by forces they can’t comprehend. The ending is unexpected and eerie. Definitely worth watching, I give this film 4 Stars.

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 11 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 11   

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: March 3, 2020

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy Manga/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes


Daki’s brother Gyutaro is fast, like a mantis. He’s proving to be difficult to kill, even with the combined efforts of Tengen, Tanjiro and the others. Thinking quickly, Tanjiro slices off his feet and keeps them from regenerating with the use of wisteria extract. But how long can such tactics work on this demon?

Tanjiro’s quick thinking and fast actions save the life of one of Tengen’s wives. The Hashira is grateful to him, and says he owes him one. Everyone tries to cut off Gyutaro’s head, but that proves to be trickier than they thought. And now Daki is back in action?  Perhaps they should cut off her head first… assuming they can.

Tanjiro refuses to give up, no matter how bleak things look. And they are looking pretty bleak. How many more will they have to lose?

In this volume, we get to see Daki and Gyutaro’s back story. No one is born evil, and neither were they. Sometimes people are born into difficult situations and they do the best they can.  Also, we get a glimpse into the relationship between Tengen and his three wives. This was a pretty good battle, and it was hard to know what the outcome was going to be. But since this isn’t the last volume of the series, it should be apparent that good must prevail.

Good volume, looking forward to seeing more of the mystery guest introduced on the last page!

Wednesday Briefs: January 12, 2022

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

Rose and Thorne 6 #6 (2.2) by Julie Lynn Hayes

“God, you’re the best Vinny.” His words reverberated warmly against my neck. “I just don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“You’d survive,” I assured him, even after he turned a skeptical eye toward me before straightening up. I was just being honest. Ethan was a strong man. His continued survival didn’t depend upon me. Me, on the other hand…

“But you don’t have to worry about it,” I hastily

Click here to read the entire Brief:

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