Stranger Things 2 Ep. 5 - "Dig Dug" - Dread Central
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Stranger Things 2 Ep. 5 – “Dig Dug”



Welcome back to Dread Central’s daily recap/reviews of the second season of Netflix and The Duffer Brothers’ “Stranger Things”. You can find our recap/review of the previous episode right HERE. Now let’s get to it!

The previous episode of “Stranger Things 2” ended with good old sheriff Hopper digging a hole in a pumpkin patch and then falling right the hell into it. This new episode “Dig Dug” begins with Hopper stuck in this new labyrinth of blue underground tunnels and getting spit on by weird Upside Down plants.

The hole Hopper fell through then covers itself up above him, leaving Hopper super screwed.

Cue awesome synth opening credits.

One of the (stranger) things we’d like to point out at the top of this article is that this episode is the first of two directed by Andrew Stanton (Finding f*king Nemo). Just a cool note in our eyes.

Back to the actual episode, we begin with Nancy and Jonathan getting a hotel room for the night so they can fuc– plan the next stage of their tape-recorder attack on the big bads in the energy planet on the hill.

Nancy and Jonathan sit in separate beds, like this way the Dick Van Dyke show, and talk about girlie things such as feelings and whatnot. In fact, the conversation gets so “girlie” that when Nancy quietly asks Edward Furlong’s clone “What happened to us?” I dry cried like Mike’s little blonde sister that the series has seemingly forgotten existed.

Elsewhere, Will Byers springs up from his bed after having just experienced a nightmare, and I fully expected him to scream out, “Kiss her, Jonathan!” but instead he says Hopper is going to die or some shite (fat chance) and then rush off to draw more pictures. Cut to Hopper alone in the tunnels not worried at all that sentient cave-vines are out to do him harm. The man even smokes while he’s down there. Trust me, don’t worry about Hopper. He’ll be fine.

Next, we meet Lucas’ family, who are already much more lovable and interesting than Lucas as evident by even this quick scene. Lucas’ adorably bitchy little sister smoothers waffles with syrup (her and Eleven will really get along when they meet, huh?) and Lucas’ dad gives his son the funniest dad-look I’ve seen outside of this meme.

We then join Dustin as he orchestrates an elaborate ruse to convince his mother that their orange and fat cat just ran away from home and wasn’t, you know, eaten to death by his pet Lovecraft monster.

Speaking of Dart and Dustin, we are then treated to what we have no issue calling the best scene that has ever been presented in this Netflix original series. Here Dustin dons all the hockey pads he can find and slaps down a trail of Bologna slices in an attempt to lure Dart in the backyard and slapshot him into the cellar.

In fact, Dustin running through the house dressed like Goldberg from The Mighty Ducks, spouting an endless repetition of the “s” word is our favorite thing we’ve seen on TV this year. Yes, even better than Agent Dale Cooper’s return to “Twin Peaks”. Well, maybe not. But it’s close.

Now, being that the show’s writers know they have just created pure television nirvana with the Dustin vs Dart scene, they only felt that it was fair to then hit us with a prolonged scene featuring Eleven.

In this scene, our curly-haired hitchhiker shockingly switches things up and spends the scene holding her hand up to things and bleeding from the nose. This character’s going places I can feel it. Maybe we’ll get her holding up TWO hands and bleeding from BOTH nostrils by the end of the season. Finger-crossed.

All jokes aside, Eleven finds her birth mother and goes for a visit. The chick from A Horrible Way to Die and Alien: Covenant doesn’t want to let Eleven in because the child might be dangerous (or a Girl Scout). So Eleven mind-opens the door (bleeding slightly from one nostril) thus making the chick who got yoked by piano wire in You’re Next reason the little kid is harmless and should be welcomed into her home – with her invalid mother – with open arms.

Meanwhile, Nancy and Jonathan head out to the middle of nowhere to meet up with everyone’s new favorite character Murray Bauman played with whip-smart comic timing by Brett Gelman. We seriously love this guy. And is it just us or does he remind you of a character that would be on The Simpsons? Not sure why.

Murray takes the teens inside his conspiracy theory lair and shows them his massive “What the sh*t happened to Barb” board. Nancy and Jonathan then let him know they are about to blow his mind and we cut away to Mad Max showing up at the arcade. Turns out her favorite game “Dig Dug” (natch) has crapped out. Sucks. But being that Max and Lucas had a fight the last episode we realize that this has all been an elaborate ruse – now on Lucas’ part – to get Max alone.

Once in the backroom of the arcade, Lucas tells Max everything. The whole shebang. And guess what? Beverly Marsh 2.0 doesn’t believe a word of it. Way to go, Lucas. Mike would have sold the sh*t out of that story and had Max crafting spiked bats out of arcade games within minutes. Where is Mike by the way? Oh, yeah, the drawings.

Mike and Joyce put together the final pieces of Will crayon-map and now know where Hopper is! Kinda. Actually, the map makes no sense to them and so they have to wait for good old Samwise boyfriend to show up and decipher the puzzle. Which he does! Duh. Because we all know how much Mikey Walsh loves a good treasure map.

With Dart now locked up in the family cellar, Dustin goes on the hunt for his buddies. Any one of them will do. Turns out he can’t find a single one of them so in what is possibly the greatest set up since Freddy met Jason, it seems Dustin and Steve Harrington will be pulling buddy cop duty from here on out. Bring it on.

Meanwhile, Eleven realizes her catatonic mother wants to speak to her, so she mind-travels into that pitch black nothingness and confronts her. Turns out momma Eleven got pregnant and then Pvt. Joker from Full Metal Jacket stole her baby. Mamma Eleven then goes on a shooting spree at her local sinister energy plant on the hill and gets her entire personality electroshocked out the back of her head.

In short, Eleven’s mamma is a badass. Like Pam Grier in the 70s badass. Let’s see that spin-off.

We then cut back to Nancy and Jonathan at Murray’s house of crazy where they finish telling him everything. The whole shebang. And being that it’s Nancy’s adorable-ass that tells the tale, not Lucas, Murray believes every word, unlike Max. I smell a team up coming our way. And possibly the world’s creepy three-way. We’ll see.

The episode then wraps up with Joyce, Mike, Samwise and Will going to the pumpkin patch of doom and rescuing Hopper from a bunch of vines. The government goons then show up like they were scheduled and proceed to burn the whole tentacle mess to the ground with blowtorches. But that doesn’t go so well.

Turns out Will is super connected to these vines (and thus to all the other Upside Down entities, right?) and starts convulsing like Linda Blair from the second half of The Exorcist. I see where this is going…

We then cut to credits on what just might be our favorite episode of “Stranger Things” thus far. The episode was funny as hell, fast-paced (relatively) and gave us our first true introduction to Brett Gelman’s sure to be classic character, Murray Bauman. What more could you ask for?

Needless to say, we’re excited as hell about the next episode “The Spy”. Not only are we set to get more Andrew Stanton-directed awesomeness, but this episode left us with the promise of Steve Harrington and Dustin Henderson becoming the new Riggs and Murtaugh of Hawkins.

We cannot wait.

Check back with us tomorrow for our recap/review of “Stranger Things 2” Ep. 6 – “The Spy”

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AHS: Cult Review – Clowns, Cults, Politics, and Peters



Starring Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Billie Lourd, Cheyenne Jackson, Frances Conroy, Mare Winningham, and Allison Pill

Created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk


It’s here. We’ve reached the end. The newest season of “American Horror Story” has ended and now we are here to provide you guys with our season review of AHS: Cult.

Spoiler free.

To start things off let me say I’m not the world’s biggest fan of “American Horror Story”. It breaks down like this: I enjoyed the absolute hell out of the first season of the series (“Murder House”), couldn’t get through “Asylum” (I know, I know, I’ve tried), dug “Coven” for what it was, really enjoyed “Freak Show”, and again I couldn’t get into “Hotel” or “Roanoke”.

That’s the story of me and “American Horror Story”. Plain And simple. But what did I think of the new seventh season of the notorious horror anthology series? Let’s find out.

Back when the seventh season of AHS was first announced (then going by the title “AHS: Election”) I was immediately intrigued by the new season because I heard it would not include any supernatural elements. Like the fourth season, “Freak Show”.

Now I’m a fan of ghosts and weird creature-men with drills for d*cks, don’t get me wrong. But the series has thus far relied almost exclusively on horrors of the supernatural variety (other than “Freak Show”) so this major change of pace was again welcomed by this guy.

Instead of vampires, aliens, and witches this season relied on terrors of the mind. Psychological fears and anxieties. The horrors man does to man. Deep issues.

Oh, and clowns. Like a lot of clowns.

But just because this new season didn’t include anything supernatural, that doesn’t mean the 11-episode season wasn’t filled with twisted visuals and horrifically disturbing acts. No, sir. This season boasted some showstoppers including S&M, gimps, and a house of horrors that wouldn’t be out of place in a Rob Zombie flick. It was all good.

But let’s backtrack a bit here.

Allow me to rundown the season’s plot for those who may be unaware. “AHS: Cult” tells the tale of a world post-election night. The literal dawn of Trump’s America. In one corner we have Sarah Paulson’s soccer mom, trying to fight through life with a series of crippling phobias (including clowns, holes, blood, and being a good person).

And in the other corner, we have Evan Peter’s angry, white (blue-haired) male, looking to seize Trump’s new position of power to bring about the end of… Actually, I want this to be a spoiler-free season review, so I’m just going to say the dude’s got big plans.

Like Manson-size plans. Let’s leave it at that.

With these two characters established, the new season then proceeds to send them spiraling into a collision course of political sabotage, intrigue, and clown-based nope, nope, nope-ing that can only end with one – or both – of them dead as Dillinger.

Overall “AHS: Cult” belonged end-to-end to Mr. Evan Peters. The young actor has continued to show his striking range from season to season of Ryan Murphy’s horror show and this season was no different. Peters’ turn as not only Kai, the blue-haired leader of the titular cult, but as infamous leaders such as David Koresh, Jim Jones, and Charles Manson – to name a few – owed this season.

I can only hope he doesn’t pull a Jessica Lange and opt-out of more AHS next year.

Speaking of top performances, “AHS: Cult ” showcases some other chilling and memorable turns with Alison Pill’s strangely vulnerable, put-upon wife character being the best next to Peters in my eyes. This actress needs to be in more films/TV!

Along with Pill, actress Billie Lourd killed it time and time again. The “Scream Queens” breakout star and Carrie Fisher spawn was yet again a highlight in her second Ryan Murphy series. Bet she has the starring role in next season. Mark my words.

Add to that, the season also boasts a handful of fun cameos, including John Carroll Lynch’s return as Twisty the Clown, Emma Roberts as a bitchy reporter that will do anything to end up on top, and Lena Dunham as SCUM Manifesto writer Valerie Solanas. The cameo cast killed it and I wish they would have been present for more episodes. What are you gonna do?

On the sour side of the season, I didn’t dig Sarah Paulson’s character. At all. But I’m sure that was the point. Right? I’m still not sure. But, boy, I wouldn’t even want to be stuck in line behind her at a Starbucks for three minutes, let alone spend the better part of this season’s 11-hours with her and her whiny bullshite. Urgh.

That said, she pulled it out by the finale. That’s all I’ll say.

In the end, I enjoyed this season as much as – if not more – than any other of the series. “Murder House” will still no doubt go on as my favorite season of the series, but “AHS: Cult” will rank third after season one and “Freak Show”.

While I was on the fence about the season after three episodes, the show ended up ditching Paulson’s character (and/or shifting her arch) after a lull so the episodes picked up quickly. Whenever the season turned its focus back towards Peters (in whichever incarnation he was playing at the time) the show got better and better. Every time.

Not a bad way to spend my Tuesday night for the past 11 weeks.

Bring on season 12.

  • American Horror Story: Cult (2018)


The seventh season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story was Evan Peters’ show all the way through. The young actor pulled out all the stops time and time again to make what may have been a lackluster supernatural-free season a winner.

User Rating 4.43 (7 votes)
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The Axiom Review – A Stylish and Clever Slice of Independent Horror




Starring Hattie Smith, Zac Titus, Nicole Dambro

Directed by Nicholas Woods

The Axiom is an ambitious, well directed, impressively acted and stunningly shot independent horror film that has just a few, teensy little flaws holding it back from greatness (and therefore will have to settle for just being really, really good, instead).

The first thing you realize when watching The Axiom is that this is a beautiful film. Everything is framed and shot in a lush and stylish manner, but one which is always tonally appropriate for the scene.

The second thing you’ll notice, and keep noticing as the film plays out, is that the movie really struck gold with this cast. Not only is there a total lack of the sort of stilted and unnatural acting seen in countless other microbudget horror affairs, but the performances are genuinely fantastic across the board. The main characters are believably chill and relatably normal in the early scenes, and the acting remains just as impressive once things start getting a bit more… intense. It’s not often that an independent horror film has so many good performances that it makes it hard to pick the movie’s acting VIP, but that is undeniably the case here. Taylor Flowers delivers what is probably the showiest performance (and does it very well, indeed), but the entire cast really is quite good.

The central premise of the film is both interesting and original, and touches upon the real life fact (given some recent attention in the ‘Missing 411’ books and documentary) that a lot more people sure seem to go missing out in the woods than seems reasonable, while simultaneously weaving all sorts of folklore, fairy tales and urban legends into the mix. It’s also clever in the way that it very naturally reveals aspects to the relationships between characters that serve to later – or sometimes retroactively – explain some of the more questionable decisions they make or attitudes they display. While that may sound like screenwriting 101, it’s surprising how many films fail to do this. The Axiom rewards the viewer’s attention in other ways as well, with many aspects of the movie that initially feel odd or unnatural receiving reasonable explanations (within the context of the movie) by the end. It’s not quite as challenging (or as rewarding) in this regard as, say, something like Session 9, but it does add a nice layer of complexity to the storytelling.

The film’s score, by Leo Kaliski, is also quite good. There may be a moment here or there where the music hits an overly familiar beat, but overall it not only fits the movie’s tone, but does quite a bit to help set that tone as well.

The only thing that I don’t feel the movie quite pulls off – and I’m trying to be vague here, because I feel like the less you know going into this film, the better – is some of the makeup effects work. The gore stuff is very well executed, but some of the other stuff feels like it was crafted with the intention of shooting it in a more… stylized manner. Instead, filmed as it is here, the result is sometimes less than impressive and can fail to make the impact that the movie seems to be implying that it should. And while some of what the makeup effects lack in execution is made up for with the ingenuity and creativity of their design, it’s still a bit of a shame when they don’t quite pull them off because, aside from a few niggles that I have with the writing, the effects are the only aspect of the film that occasionally fails to live up to the high level of technical proficiency that The Axiom otherwise demonstrates.


  • Man, the acting in this movie is really good. The dialogue may stumble once or twice, but these actors always sell it anyway.
  • Give back Mia Sara’s DNA, Hattie Smith!
  • If you’re going to put your female lead in shorts this small, I hope you’re not sensitive to viewers unleashing a nonstop parade of “Has anyone seen my pants / OH GOD WHERE ARE MY PANTS!” jokes.
  • “You just pop this here ‘Blair Witch Stick Person / Anarchy sign’ sticker up on that there windshield of yours, and them park rangers? Well – heh heh – they won’t bother you none, no sir.” Hmmmmm…
  • The film really is shot amazingly well – better than a lot of mainstream releases. Cinematographer Sten Olson has a real future ahead of him.
  • As does writer / director Nicholas Woods, for that matter. Any director who can get this level of quality out of their cast and crew on their first ever film is someone to keep an eye on.
  • “I’ll make a run for it and get help,” says the female lead, and I’m like “Yeah, let her go – she has no pants to weigh her down.”
  • The gore effects in the movie are both realized and utilized very well.
  • Welcome back to horror movies, “I’ll be right back” dialogue spoken unironically by and/or to ill-fated characters.
  • The Axiom


In the end, The Axiom is a solid and entertaining flick that manages to wring a level of quality and originality out of the somewhat tired “Don’t Go in the Woods” horror subgenre not seen since 2012’s Cabin in the Woods. The cinematography and acting are hugely impressive, it features a nice, unnerving score, the premise is original and captivating, and the whole thing moves at a nice pace that helps keep the film’s flaws from dragging it down.

User Rating 4.14 (14 votes)
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The Dollmaker Short Film Review – Welcome to Heebie Jeebie City!



Starring Perri Lauren, Sean Meehan, Dan Berkey

Directed by Alan Lougher

The loss of a young child drives a mother to take a set of unusual measures to preserve his memory, and all it takes is one call to The Dollmaker.

When the short film by Alan Lougher opens up, we see a rather disturbing image of a little boy inside a casket, and the sound of a grieving mom speaking with an unidentified man in the background – he’s requesting something personal of the child to help “finish” his product, and it’s not before long that mom has her little boy back…well, kind of. What remains of the child is the representation of his former self, although it’s contained within the frame of a not-so-attractive doll, and the boy’s father isn’t a believer in this type of hocus-pocus (or the price to have this constructed, either). The doll comes with a specific set of instructions, but most importantly, you cannot spend more than one hour a day with the doll, or else you’ll go mad thinking that the soul inside of it is actually the person that you lost – sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

Well this is just too good to be true for Mommy, and as the short film progresses, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens to her mind – it’s ultimately a depressing scenario, but Lougher gives it that creepy feel, almost like visiting a relative’s home and seeing their dearly departed pet stuffed and staring at you over the fireplace – HEEBIE-JEEBIE CITY, if you ask me. All in all, the quickie is gloomy, but ultimately chilling in nature, and is most definitely worth a watch, and if I might use a quote from one of my favorite films to apply to this subject matter: “Sometimes…dead is better.”

  • Film


Ultimately chilling in nature!

User Rating 3.41 (17 votes)
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