Joey King

The Act: Final Episode (Review)

The Act: Final Episode (Review)

Well, friends, the series has come to an end and it still leaves us with will there be a season 2? This episode ironically titled Free, has Gypsy convincing those around her (Mel, Lacey and her absent father) that she is innocent. With Dee Dee corrupting her from a young age, it is clear that you can tell that even though Gypsy knows right from wrong, she still has a mind like a child.

Gypsy starts to realize the harsh reality of how the world is especially without her mother, and being in prison is the worst way to find out how the world works. In her mind, as she is portrayed, she sees how tragic her situation is but does not grasp that this will not clear up and go back to normal. She is also learning that those she looked up to are now unsure if they can trust what she says. Take Lacey for instance. Gypsy is now relying on her friendship and hopes that she will visit her. Lacey is torn and wants answers, but it is unsure of what to do in this case, as she feels like she is to blame since she showed Gypsy the website to where Gypsy met Nick. Mel (Lacey’s mother) shows up for a visit which Gypsy was expecting to see Lacey. Mel along with the other neighbors was into Gypsy and Nick getting the death penalty. After talking to Gypsy, you can see that Mel is still trying to process if Dee Dee was abusing Gypsy, and if she could walk the whole time, then she should have walked away from the situation.

Gypsy’s lawyer is trying to prove that there was abuse and made up illnesses but will need to gain access to her medical records which only next of kin can obtain for her. She reaches out to her father for the records, and by her surprise, he visits her and explains that he tried being a part of her life. You can see the hurt in her eyes as she does not want to believe it because she wants to believe that everything her mother told her was correct. 

The kind of good news for Gypsy is that they are doing separate trials between her and Nick because she has a case with her medical records alone that will allow them to go into her home life and see how she lived under her mother’s care. Nick, realized that he is in this alone and will be serving a full-time sentence. 

 

This whole case leaves you torn; you are not sure which side to take and who deserved what, even if they were to it deserve something they cannot take matters into their own hands to end Dee Dee. There has been news circulating that there may be a season 2 which I believe may about Gypsy more, but there has not been any talk if it is going to start filming; hopefully, when news hits, we can update further if there is a follow-up season. For now, I want to hear your thoughts and opinions on how the show portrayed this tragic case.

Posted by Sarah Gregory in Categories, HORROR HISTORY, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
The Act: Episode 7 Review

The Act: Episode 7 Review

We are coming to an end with this series, and episode 7 titled Bonnie and Clyde put most of the re-enactment into perspective and will leave your heart in your stomach. 

We see the two “love birds” on the bus which left off from episode 6 on their way to Wisconsin where Nicholas lives. His annoyed and no filtered mother (Juliette LewisNatural Born Killers, Whip It) picks them up, and it is clear that Nick did not inform Gypsy that he told his mother she was staying in a homeless shelter and needed somewhere else to go until she gets back on her feet. When asked about her situation with her mother, you can tell Gypsy was starting to feel the guilt as she told her lies. 

Upon arriving at the house, Gypsy takes over the room like she’s Nick’s housewife and more like how her mother would take care of her.  She starts panicking and getting worried that no one will find her mother, but Nick has a plan. They decide to post a status on Facebook to let everyone know that something was going on with Dee Dee. Being subtle, they wrote, “ That bitch is dead.” With a stir of comments flooding, Gypsy is wondering what is taking so long, but she doesn’t have to wonder much longer, she never disabled her location on Facebook.

Gypsy’s neighbor and friend Lacey gets an unsettling feeling after seeing the status and heads over to Dee Dee’s house with her mother to make sure everything was okay. It didn’t take long for the cops to appear and for them to be on the search for Gypsy, her neighbors are worried since her wheelchair is left behind and they know how “sick” she is. 

Nick’s mother has some suspicions on Gypsy’s behavior, you can see it in her facial expressions, but she does nothing more than encouraging her to try to make amends with her mother. The more that gets brought up, the more it sends Gypsy into a panic leading for her and Nick to fight outside. A little while later, police lights can be seen through the window. Amid their fear, they hide in the closet together where Gypsy tells him that they will both tell the truth because they did nothing wrong and that everything will be okay. 

With Gypsy and Nick being in separate interrogation rooms, Nick is very open and honest and starts telling the truth that he was the one who stabbed Dee Dee; he would be diagnosed later on with being on the autism spectrum, also unclear if he has multiple personality disorder. Gypsy, on the other hand, denied all questions and it seemed that she was silently pointing her finger at Nicholas.  

What comes to a complete shock with how this episode ended, was when the whole world saw that Gypsy could walk at the start of her trial. It is like everything went silent and you can hear the gasps from everyone who had no idea that she has been living this lie her whole life.

This all comes to an end this Wednesday May 1st on Hulu. All episodes are still up for those of you that are not caught up yet. 

Posted by Sarah Gregory in REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, THRILLER, 0 comments
The Act: Episode 6 Review

The Act: Episode 6 Review

Get ready for everything to go into full circle cause this episode titled A Whole New World will put a lot into perspective for you as I know it did for me. Dee Dee is not only portrayed as a controlling, obsessive woman, but we all grow to dislike her, except for this episode passionately. It puts into the light as to why she is the way she was. The event starts with hearing Dee Dee scream; you already know the killing has begun, and then it takes us back to 1991 where Dee Dee was giving birth to Gypsy, and her mother was present. Being a parent, in general, can be very tough but being a first-time parent is nerve-racking at first, and it’s clear that Dee Dee’s mother Emma (Margo Martindale) oversteps her daughter by taking control of taking care of Gypsy since day 1. 

It seems from day 1 of having Gypsy that Dee Dee has a strict schedule. She goes with what a doctor told her and sticks to it and doesn’t switch it up not even with a mother’s intuition or “mother’s know best” motto. She was deemed to be not capable of being a mother because her mother pointed out her flaws even to go as far as to let the cops take her away in front of Gypsy. (At least that was how it was in the episode, a source says Dee Dee was pulled over and arrested but was not in prison for six months). That’s right; the overprotective “perfect” Dee Dee was arrested for check fraud. Her mother could have helped her but stated that she needs to learn her lesson especially taking ownership as a mother.

Let’s jump back to Gypsy and Nick. They are seen at a motel and decide to pack up, so before they head off, they go to a restaurant where Gypsy is full of anxiety even taking medication that belongs to her now deceased mother. When the police show up, Gypsy panics even more.  There was a small interaction with the officers when her prescription falls off the table, and the one officer picks it up for her, also looking at the name and calling her Claudine (Dee Dee). After the interaction, they hurry from the restaurant to come up with a new back up plan on what and where to go next. 

Dee Dee is now back from prison and is trying to build a bond with Gypsy, but her mother is standing in the way of that. Emma falls ill, and it seems that Dee Dee is purposely not taking care of her for a reason. To get rid of a controlling aspect in her life (sound familiar?). And now we jump back to Bonnie and Clyde. You can see the wheels turning in Gypsy’s head like she knows how big of a mistake she made and that she doesn’t seem too involved with Nick anymore—romantically that is. Like she wishes she could take this back, her feeling free from her mother’s control isn’t what she thought it would be. 

We bounce from Bonnie and Clyde back to a young Dee Dee panicking when Gypsy falls off the trampoline, she’s already a nervous first-time mom primarily when her mother uses to override her and her parenting, so now it’s full throttle. Not letting Gypsy do normal kid activities, kids fall, and they get up, but with her constant panicking and being over worried, it was already a sign that something more would escalate eventually from this. This is how it comes to an end, it all goes full circle in this episode. 

I had constant anxiety, and my heart was outside my chest watching this series, anticipating on what is yet to come, even from closely following this case I still can’t fathom on what Gypsy endured during her whole childhood. So many questions to ask and so many unanswered.

Posted by Sarah Gregory in BRUTAL REALITY, HORROR HISTORY, HORROR NEWS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, NEW RELEASES, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, THRILLER, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
The Act: Episode 5 Review

The Act: Episode 5 Review

We are getting closer and closer to the end of the series and in episode 5 titled “Plan B” things get very heated. We start this episode in 2015 with Gypsy engaging in cybersex with her “boyfriend” for two years, Nick. They create this fantasy where they escape into it, Nick having Gypsy call him ‘Victor ‘ his alter ego who saves Gypsy from her evil mother from all the bad she puts her through. Gypsy interrupts and comes up with a plan, she booked him a bus ticket and will convince her mother to get out of the house so the two can finally meet and that he can make a good impression on her mother. 

It skips to Nick working at his pizza job to start saving up so he can make this visit with Gypsy happen. It shows a quiet and shy Nick learning how to put the pizzas in the oven but dropping them every time. While his boss is patient with him, it seems that Nick lacks the confidence and gets frustrated inside to where he is seen standing outside in costume yelling for customers to visit the shop as if that’s the only simple task he can handle. 

It now pans to a very tired and sick Dee Dee who snaps at an anxious Gypsy who is over talking and begging her to go anywhere rather it be Disney or the zoo. Dee Dee apologizes for the outburst and settles to take Gypsy to the movies to see Cinderella. You can view all the anxiety in Gypsy; all she wants to do in her 20s is be free and have a relationship other than with her overbearing and over-controlling mother. With each argument and any put down that Dee Dee does to Gypsy, you can see it in Gypsy’s eyes, the exhaustion and her willing to do anything to get out of her mother’s wrath. During another video chat with Nick, she informs him to wear the nice shirt that she sent him and where to meet them along with how to make a perfect impression. 

The day is here, and with Gypsy knowing on who she will be finally seeing she wants to look her best. What her mother has in mind, dressing her adult daughter in a Cinderella dress and wig. As much as Gypsy refuses she still puts on the dress, in her mind she’ll look like a princess for her Prince Charming. Once arriving at the theater , Gypsy asks her mother if she can have a treat like sharing a soda to where Dee Dee snaps. As they pick their seats, Gypsy keeps looking her shoulder in anticipation and Dee Dee begins to notice how fidgety she is and even questions her about it. Nick enters and sits behind them, trying to start a polite conversation, however Dee Dee calls him out and moves Gypsy away causing Nick to walk out. Gypsy questions her mother asking why she has to talk to people that way and then excuses herself to the restroom in hopes of finding Nick. 

Once Gypsy heads to the restroom, Nick meets her there. Finally, the two can embrace, get to touch whom they fell in love with the last two years of talking. Taking longer than usual, Dee Dee gets restless and goes to search for her daughter, upon arrival to the locked door, she can hear soft moans and laughter inside. Feeling uncomfortable, Dee Dee heads back to the movie to which Gypsy arrives around the ending of it. Nick attempts again to hold the door for them and to start a conversation to where Dee Dee completely snaps. Both Nick’s and Gypsy’s facial expressions say it all. They grow cold.

With how Gypsy and Nick are beginning to execute their plan, it seems that Gypsy starts to reconsider, especially when Dee starts to apologize, you think the apology would be about her overreacting, but it’s more about how she didn’t give Gypsy a treat at the theater. Symbolism plays a big part at the end of the episode. Especially when it comes to the final scene with Gypsy going to the hunting store in the mall to purchase a knife; she even goes as far as to ask the guy behind the counter to what he would recommend. Red paint was dripping, red handle on the knife.. only leads to one thing — Dee Dee’s fate.  

Posted by Sarah Gregory in REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
The Act: Episode 4 Review—House Of Tortured Souls

The Act: Episode 4 Review—House Of Tortured Souls

This article contains Spoilers so if you have not seen this show yet; I suggest you start catching right up.  In this weeks episode titled Stay Inside, it starts in 2013, two years after the events from episode three. It shows a handsome man mowing the lawn and a curious Gypsy staring out the window. Dee Dee catches her daughter swooning over the man and whisks her away to bath her.

While bathing her 19-year-old daughter, you can see that Gypsy is very tired of being treated like a child. While bathing Gypsy is getting out of the tub to be dried off, she ends up getting her period. You can tell with her smirk that she showed no remorse as it is natural while Dee Dee is upset that she did not have the time it right and has to clean it up. 

After the morning events, Dee Dee goes to the doctors. It turns out that the real sick one in this situation is Dee Dee herself, who has type 2 diabetes and her doctors are very concerned with her high blood sugar which they try to control it with insulin. It seems that Dee Dee had some sick enjoyment in getting Gypsy to do her injections for her and to have her daughter take care of her health as a grown woman. Her deteriorating health still does not stop on how she belittles Gypsy.

Let us jump to the next part—- Gypsy’s “18th” birthday. Gypsy brought up about how she is finally happy that she knew her mom keeps changing the year she was born, her mom keeps sticking to her story and ends it quick by bringing out her present, two guinea pigs. To me, even though there is no age to own any pet, a guinea pig seems like what you would give a small child. As an 18/19-year-old girl, there are plenty of other wants. However, Gypsy being ever so sweet and excited over her new pets, she sneaks out on the porch with one of them where Lacey her neighbor spots her and visits her.

It is tough to shelter a young girl, especially a teenage girl who is hormones are going wild. Moreover, with Lacey befriending Gypsy and including her with typical teenage girl gossip, the main topic that came up that had Dee Dee boiling inside was: boys. Lacey introduced Gypsy to a Christian dating site, Gypsy’s face lit up like the 4th of July when she saw all types of boys looking for “love.” When a weak Dee Dee found out, she confronted Lacey, and in the midst of it she passed out in the road. 

With Dee Dee being sick and not properly caring for herself, she receives a phone call to talk to a Gypsy for her birthday. Dee Dee lies about it explaining Gypsy does not know about her birthday since she may not have many left with a procedure she will need soon. Dee Dee is trying to keep control over Gypsy, and with Gypsy being an adult with rights to decide unless proven otherwise… Dee Dee becomes manic as she realizes she may not be able to get away with this from everThe final scene takes us to the mall; Gypsy convinces a very ill Dee Dee to sit down to rest, in that process is where Gypsy takes herself to the store to buy herself a laptop. The laptop means one thing… internet dating. With Dee Dee not feeling well, she pages Gypsy over an intercom, and they go home. Gypsy creates an online dating account and soon meets Nicholas Godejohn (Calum WorthyDr. Dolittle 3) who helps Gypsy discover her dark sexual side and introduces her into BDSM. Gypsy takes a liking to him as he is charming and accepting of her. One night when Gypsy fell asleep, Dee Dee discovered the laptop and smashed it. Gypsy wakes up in a panic and fights with her mom; in that process, Dee Dee ties Gypsy up to the bed. The amount of verbal, physical, and emotional abuse that she endures will make your stomach turn. 

This show so far has been a wild ride. You feel for Gypsy the entire time, hoping someone out in public would catch on or get some sense that something is not right. Each episode is full of anxiety as you watch it and I cannot get enough. 

Posted by Sarah Gregory in HORROR HISTORY, HORROR NEWS, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
The Act: Episode 3 Review— House Of Tortured Souls

The Act: Episode 3 Review— House Of Tortured Souls

It’s Wednesday and that means one thing, a new episode of The Act airing on Hulu. The episode this week is called “Two Wolverines”, written by Robin Veith and directed by Adam Arkin, this episode takes a dressed up Dee Dee and Gypsy to a costume convention. Both Gypsy and her mother stumble across some charming men and it also strains their relationship even more, especially with all the lies Gypsy is told one more specifically would be her true age. 

Gypsy has a few secrets of her own in this episode. Let’s start off with arriving at the costume convention, Dee Dee let the lady know that Gypsy was 14 or 15, and since she was older than the age where you can get in for free, the lady sympathized with Gypsy and let her in for free as their little secret. Gypsy caught on to her mothers mistake of saying she was born in 1995 when she thought 1993. Dee Dee quickly dismisses Gypsy’s questioning and the pair head off where Gyspy is approached by a men dressed as Wolverine.

With how sheltered Gyspy is, it’s not surprising that she develops a crush on Mr. Suave who literally swoops her out of her chair. Thanks to Mr. Wolverine, Gyspy musked up courage in hopes of getting out of her mothers web of lies and creates a secret Facebook account without her mother’s knowledge along with buying a prepaid phone at the gas station. She even did the math to figure out she’s 19 years old, she also puts that in the note she wrote to her mother when she attempts to run away. Her mother is a controlling monster, who is doing everything in her power to control Gyspy more in fear that Gyspy will expose her to the world.

Only three episodes in so far and it’s just incredibly hard to watch. I have so many theories and questions as to how did anyone remotely close to this family allow it to get this far? It’s just baffling to me. So please, check this out on Hulu and catch up in time for the 4th episode which comes out Wednesday April 3rd. I would love to know everyone’s thoughts and theories. 

Posted by Sarah Gregory in REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
The Act (Hulu series) First 2 episode Review—House Of Tortured Souls

The Act (Hulu series) First 2 episode Review—House Of Tortured Souls

I am obsessed with true crime and as soon as I saw that The Act was being made into a series on Hulu, I was all ready to watch it in anticipation. The Act is a true crime anthology series that premiered on March 20th and focuses on the real life of Gyspy Rose Blanchard and the murder of her mother Dee Dee Blanchard

The 8 episode series was created by Michelle Dean and Nick Antosca. It stars Patricia Arquette (Medium, A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Holes),  Joey King ( Ramona and Beezus, Slender Man), Chloë Sevigny ( Lizzie, American Horror Story, Zodiac), AnnaSophia Robb (Soul Surfer, Race to Witch Mountain, The Reaping), and Calum Worthy ( The Big Year, Bodied).

The first episode of the series focused around Gypsy (Joey King) and her mother Dee Dee (Patricia Arquette) who just moved into a new neighborhood and you can already tell how different they are. Gypsy is a young teenage girl in a wheelchair and has every illness you can imagine, well at least that’s what her mother has said and is telling everybody. They become acquainted with all their new neighbors, especially with Lacey (AnnaSophia Robb) and Mel (Chloë Sevigny). Lacey befriends Gypsy by giving her a makeover and you can tell that for once Gypsy felt “normal” and it’s hard to do with her overbearing and paranoid mother always at her side. At a get-together, neighbors can be nosy and pushy and you can see the nervousness and tension that Dee Dee has as she explains all of Gypsy’s illnesses and allergies. She spends every second of every day at Gypsy’s side and even within the first episode, you can see how it’s deteriorating Gypsy from the inside out as well as the neighbors starting to sense that something doesn’t seem right. 

The second episode focuses on Gyspy receiving the “Child Of The Year” award which makes Dee Dee feel like she’s mother of the year. Before the big award ceremony,  Gypsy has her teeth retracted which causes one doctor to be very skeptical about Gypsy’s condition. Every antic Dee Dee causes like refusing the removal of Gypsy’s feeding tube, sparks the doctor suspicion to where she calls CPS. Without giving more away from this episode, you can already see how intense and odd this case is. Makes you squirm and yell at your TV for the doctors to wake up and see that Gypsy is suffering in an abusive situation from her mothers doing

I highly recommend checking this series out. There are 2 episodes right now on Hulu and the 3rd episode airs on March 27th. Check out the trailer then make sure to tune in every Wednesday. 

Posted by Sarah Gregory in ANTHOLOGY, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Slender Man (2018) [SPOILERS]

MOVIE REVIEW: Slender Man (2018) [SPOILERS]

Slender Man - Real Story / Image: Chicago TribuneI had the pleasure of seeing Slender Man over the weekend, and I was very impressed with the outcome of the movie. As a horror movie lover, I have very high standards for how the movie should turn out. Slender Man, in this case, intrigues me. For those who may not be familiar, Slender Man (also known as a creepypasta Internet meme) is a tall, very unnaturally thin man with a featureless face who wears a black suit. He is known for stalking, traumatizing, and abducting children. There was even a panic in Wisconsin back in 2014 when two 12-year-old girls took their best friend into the woods and nearly stabbed her to death in order to summon Slender Man. Out of respect for the families, some theaters in nearby counties are not showing this movie.

Spoiler Alert Nosferatu

Slender Man (2018) / Image: IMDbThe start of Slender Man was pretty fast-paced, one which I enjoyed instead of waiting the 1-1/2 hours for the story to pick up. It shows the chemistry between four best friends Wren (Joey King), Hallie (Julia Goldani Telles), Chloe (Jaz Sinclair), and Katie (Annalise Basso). One night, the girls went to hang out at Katie’s house. They had overheard the boys in school talking about summoning up Slender Man , so they searched online and found the video and various images — including Slender Man (Javier Botet) himself. They eventually laugh it off even though he was lingering on their minds. A week after they summoned Slender Man, Katie goes missing on a class field trip. Eventually, her three friends realize that she was participating in online occult practices hoping to be taken away by Slender Man in order to escape her reality of living with an alcoholic father.

Slender Man (2018) / Image: IMDbThe girls do some investigating and find out that they can get Katie back in exchange for something that means the most to them. They decide to venture out into the woods hoping to see Slender Man, but cannot make eye contact at the same time. Eventually, each girl makes contact with him while Wren becomes obsessed with research in order to put an end to this once and for all. The result is that the only way to end this once and for all is to surrender to Slender Man, which ends up being the only choice they have in order to save Hallie’s younger sister Lizzie (Taylor Richardson) who summoned Slender Man. In the end, the camera zoomed in to a picture of the four girls with Lizzie narrating about her sister’s experience, thus showing how the myth of Slender Man creates a vicious circle among teenagers who summon him up out of curiosity.

All in all, the acting was a little unbearable but I do give credit to director Sylvain White for staying on track with the storyline and to Javier Botet who made the movie as the titular Slender Man. The beginning started off strong and the graphics alone were believable and well done. Midway it felt like the movie should have ended a few times, and it dragged a little until the end. Overall, I grade Slender Man a C.

Posted by Sarah Gregory in MOVIE REVIEWS, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, REVIEWS, 0 comments