PAX Prime 2014 Panel: Gatekeeping Our Digital Fantasies

Hi Y’all!

I thought I’d go ahead and share the full video of the panel I was on at PAX Prime 2014, called Gatekeeping Our Digital Fantasies. It was my first time ever speaking on a panel like this, so I was pretty nervous. Luckily my fellow panelists were all AMAZING! Thanks again to Simone, Keezy, Aina, Cora & Emmett for being such incredible, intelligent speakers and making this humble blogger look good.

5 Classy Vintage Horror Films

5 Classy Vintage Horror Films | As I mentioned in my Horror Block unboxing video, I’m something of a closet horror hound. I even used to write about horror and cult films for Film Threat, back in my past life as filmgurl. So, it should come as no surprise that I have a special place in my heart for Halloween and all the activities it entails, like dressing up, eating lots of pumpkin things and watching spooky movies.

However, I also know that not everyone likes having the daylights scared out of them. Harper Honey and Mia Moore have both compiled great lists of not so scary Halloween movies, so I figured I’d take a page from them and recommend some great classic horror films that are more about atmosphere than gore and jump scares.

Frankenstein (1931)

5 Classy Horror Films | Frankenstein Poster | This one is very near and dear to my heart. I have a great love of all things Frankenstein, from the novel to the many film adaptations (except for the Kenneth Branagh one, which is hot garbage). But this is the film that made me love classic horror. The high contrast lighting, the nods to Expressionism, Jack Pierce’s iconic creature design. It’s tragic and spooky and thought provoking all at once, and it was also one of the first horror films to have a sequel, which also happens to be the first horror comedy.

See also: Dracula (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

I Walked With A Zombie (1943)

5 Classy Horror Films | I Walked With A Zombie Poster | Producer Val Lewton is often credited with, if not creating then certainly mastering, the “psychological horror film.” Working with small crews and smaller budgets he used clever writing and fantastic directors to lift up the rather schlocky premises (often just a title) studio RKO saddled him with. This one stands out for the inclusion of actual voodoo rituals in what amounts to a fantastic tropical retelling of Jane Eyre.

See also: Cat People (1942), The Seventh Victim (1943)

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

5 Classy Horror Films | Rosemary's Baby Poster | Okay, so Polanski’s kind of a creep, but man does he know how to make creepy movies. This one’s definitely more on the psychological side of horror, but with Satanic cults thrown in just to keep you guessing. I dare you not to start feeling paranoid after watching this movie.

See also: The Omen (1976)

Black Sunday (1960)

5 Classy Horror Films | Black Sunday Poster | This is probably the goriest out of all the movies on this list, but it’s all in black and white, which definitely makes things classier. Said to be a favourite of director Tim Burton, the film features amazing cinematography, oodles of atmosphere and Barbara Steele’s cheekbones.

See also: Castle of Blood (1964), anything my Hammer Studios

The Haunting (1963)

5 Classy Horror Films | The Haunting Poster | Not the first film based on The Haunting of Hill House and far from the last, this one stands out for sheer classiness. It is also the template by a which all haunted house movies should be judged. Nothing is ever shown, and you’ll leave the film wondering what was real and what was imagined.

See also: The Innocents (1961), The House on Haunted Hill (1959)

What Are Your Favourite Vintage Horror Films?

Duel Otters Review + GIVEAWAY!

Duel Otters Review | Splash | Growing up with a brother and a sister but only one console between the three of us meant that much of my childhood was spent in never-ending three way tournaments of Doctor Mario or tag-teaming Bubble Bobble. When renting games over the weekend, preference was always given to games with a co-op option, it didn’t matter if it was competitive or multiplayer. Just as long as two out of the three kids were occupied at a time.

On mobile, however, most multiplayer experiences are enabled by WiFi or social networks, with each person playing on their own device, often on their own time. So when Thai proto-indie studio Exceed7 told me their 2 player competitive game, Duel Otters, was to be played together on one device, I was definitely interested.

Duel Otters Review | Player Select | Best suited to tablet sized devices, but probably still 100% playable on your average iPhone, Duel Otters is basically a series of competitive mini-games played with each person holding one end of the device. Each mini-game constitutes a round and the first to win three rounds wins the match. Rounds can either be assigned randomly, or selected manually at the beginning of each match. There is also a single player mode where you compete against an AI component, which is good for practicing, but the real fun definitely happens when competing head-to-head against your friends and loved ones.

Duel Otters Review | Game Selection | This initial release includes 7 different mini-games, ranging from a video game version of air hockey to counting games, to hot potato. There are also a couple of games where players have to rush to push items towards the other player, meaning that those with big fat fingers have an obvious advantage (Rick). All of the games are lightening quick, so expert reflexes and hand-eye coordination are a must. There are already plans for a further 7 mini-games to be rolled out in an update, with a sneak-peak included in this version.

Duel Otters Review | Dynamite | Rick and I were both shocked at how much fun we had playing the game, and I still break it out when we’re stuck somewhere waiting or have a few spare minutes to kill. Duel Otters would be an excellent game to break out while line waiting at a convention or at your next house party. The art is also super-adorable and fun and even the music drives home a carnival-esque sense of silly fun.

For a first effort, Duel Otters is remarkably polished and well designed, but most importantly it is extremely fun to play. The instructions on how to play the games can be a little obscure at times, but a little trial and error never hurt anyone, as long as your opponent agrees to play fair.

Duel Otters is available on iOS for $1.99 with an Android version to follow shortly.

However, the developers have kindly provided me with 7 (!) download codes for the iOS version to give away to my readers. The giveaway is open from now until midnight October 20th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway