Author Archives: Ryan Roschke

Sarah Paulson Is the F*cking Supreme, and She Also Happens to Be a Stellar Director

By | October 18, 2018

This week’s episode of American Horror Story puts Sarah Paulson in a role she’s never before attempted: director. That’s right, the living legend slipped behind the scenes for “Return to Murder House.” I’m here to make it clear, she completely nailed it. And as if simply directing a stellar episode of AHS wasn’t enough, Paulson also revealed quite a few exciting tidbits about the whole ordeal in a new interview with Variety. For instance, she only had one week to psych herself up for the task.

Paulson revealed that creator Ryan Murphy had initially asked her to direct the season’s eighth episode but switched her to the sixth at the last moment. The switch-up meant she had just about a week to prepare. “I thought, ‘Don’t let your fear of failure stand in your way. It’s never worked for you before to shy away from something because you’re afraid,’” she said. “So I just thought I better heed his call.” Of course, Paulson said she’s a “gal who liked to be prepared,” so she crammed as much as she could into seven short days. This included taking a nine-hour course at the Directors Guild of America and rewatching season one, Murder House, in its entirety.

“Don’t let your fear of failure stand in your way. It’s never worked for you before to shy away from something because you’re afraid.”

Armed with her preparation and her own ideas for directing, Paulson descended on the episode with gravitas. She even added her own charm to the episode, like having Madison open the gates with magic and making Michael seem more childlike and innocent. “One of the things that Dan Attias said was, ‘You have to bring you. You have to bring yourself to this story. You have to bring that forward,’” Paulson told Variety. “And that is the same way I approach acting – I don’t try to shed my own instincts, I try to listen to them and be responsive to them, and so I thought, why would it be any different from a directing standpoint?”

Even with all the preparation, this episode in particular was quite the undertaking. “Return to Murder House” has a whopping 72 scenes rife with flashbacks, voice-over sequences, and more. As a comparison, episode five has only 28 scenes. Whew. “It was really overwhelming, and I think the only way I was able to do it was to just focus on the day at hand and to try and keep the long view in my side view mirror. I always had the story as periphery, in terms of the thing as a whole, but I could just focus on, ‘What was today’s work?’ Sometimes I think it’s too overwhelming to try and hold the whole thing at every moment of the day – like it would be for any aspect of life,” Paulson said. “But it doesn’t hurt to have Ryan Murphy with a megaphone behind you going, ‘You can do this, you can do this! You have to do this!’”

We can picture it perfectly.

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It Turns Out Tilda Swinton Really Is the Old Man in Suspiria After All

By | October 15, 2018

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino’s upcoming reimagining of the iconic horror film Suspiria. This remake has everything: weirdly intense dance numbers á la Black Swan, blood and suspense, vague sexual tension, and seemingly supreme performances from Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson. Oh, and there’s an old German man who seems to have materialized out of nowhere and, in actuality, is Tilda Swinton herself.

That’s right, if you’ve watched the unsettling trailer for the film, you no doubt noticed the older man who seems to somehow factor into the whole mystery of this strange, witchy dance academy. But how did I figure out it’s Tilda Swinton buried under an absolute mountain of prosthetics? I’ll give you a few reasons. For one, she’s a pretty prominent shape-shifter and has disappeared completely into many different roles over the years. (Remember her spray-tan nightmare woman in Trainwreck?!) And then there’s the entirety of the mystery itself, which seems to have unspooled in many bizarre and intriguing ways over the past year and a half. In order to get to the bottom of it, we’re going to have to explore every shred of evidence. Suit up, Watson.

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Shawn Mendes Sounds EXACTLY Like Freddie Mercury in This Incredible Queen Cover

By | October 15, 2018

Freddie Mercury, is that you?! On Oct. 12, Shawn Mendes released a new cover of “Under Pressure” by Queen. The song is a joint effort with Teddy Geiger, who has collaborated with Mendes on a ton of his songs, including “Stitches,” “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back,” “Lost in Japan,” and “In My Blood.” The cover is sensational, featuring vocals from both artists (can we talk about that falsetto?!), but the best part is that it’s meant to benefit a good cause: the Mercury Phoenix Trust, which aims to fight against HIV and AIDS. What a perfect way to commemorate the incredible life and career of Freddie Mercury. Check out the song ahead.

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Can Your Heart Handle This Supercut of Iconic Movie Jump Scares?

By | October 12, 2018

Whether you like it or not, a staple of modern horror movies (and even a few not-so-scary flicks) is the jump scare. You might be familiar: the building music, the mounting tension, and then the explosive jolt of sound and movement that makes your heart skip a beat. When it comes to all the best recent horror movies and all the terrifying films on the horizon, you can bet your ass you’ll encounter more than your fair share. If you look back through the years, though, it’s not hard to remember all the jolts you’ve felt. Luckily for all of us, one YouTube video stitches together a selection of the best and jumpiest scares to date. Watch at your own risk.

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5 Fast Facts About the Suicide Squad Sequel

By | October 9, 2018

The entertainment world has been buzzing about the impending sequel of Suicide Squad. Even though the next installment of the bad-guy epic isn’t on the official calendar of DC Comics releases, Warner Bros. has begun courting a director and breaking ground on the project. With so much up in the air, it’s easy to wonder what we do know about the sequel. We did some digging and scraped together as much confirmed and speculative information as we possibly could.

1. James Gunn Is Writing and Potentially Directing

Although David Ayer wrote and directed the first film, it seems Warner Bros. may be veering in a different direction for round two. The studio was reportedly courting Mel Gibson for the job at first, but in October The Wrap reported that Guardians of the Galaxy‘s James Gunn is in talks to write and also direct. Back in July a right-wing troll began circulating a number of Gunn’s old tweets, some of which included distasteful jokes about pedophilia. Despite apologizing, Disney fired him from his Marvel gig, so it would be interesting to see how he handles a film in the DCEU, instead.

2. David Ayer Likely Won’t Return in Any Capacity

In March 2016, The Wrap inadvertently confirmed the sequel during a seemingly innocuous news report. As almost an afterthought, the site mentioned that Suicide Squad 2 was already on Ayer’s 2017 schedule. Obviously things have changed since then, and Ayer is busy with the Training Day TV adaptation and the sequel to his fantasy-crime film for Netflix, Bright.

3. Most of the Original Cast Will Probably Return

The aforementioned report from The Wrap also mentioned that Suicide Squad‘s sequel was on Will Smith‘s schedule as well. Considering he was one of the biggest stars attached to the first film, it would make sense that Warner Bros. would want him to return as Deadshot. Jared Leto, Karen Fukuhara, Joel Kinnaman, and Margot Robbie are likely also going to come back, especially since the latter is locked in to play Harley Quinn in the Birds of Prey film. Rumored to be joining the cast is Dwayne Johnson, who would take on the role of Black Adam.

4. It Could Be Rated R

In Spring 2016, David Ayer talked about the sequel with MTV News. While the studio definitely aimed for a PG-13 rating on the first one, the second one is up in the air. Ayer remarked that an R stamp “would be worth lobbying for.” In light of the runaway success of 2016’s Deadpool, which made billions of dollars and became one of the most successful R-rated films of all time, an R-Rated Suicide Squad sequel sounds pretty appealing. Ayer is no longer involved with the project, but let’s hope the studio still decides to take it in that direction.

5. Jay Hernandez May Not Be Gone Forever

Even though El Diablo goes out with a pretty epic blaze of glory in the first film, actor Jay Hernandez told ComicBook that the character could still return somehow. “Of course there is [a chance he could return]! I’m not saying anything, just that it’s a possibility.” Considering Superman kind of sort of dies in Batman v. Superman but also seems to have somehow come back from the dead to appear in the Justice League films, nothing is out of the question.

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This Old American Horror Story Moment May Be a HUGE Hint About Michael Langdon

By | October 9, 2018

There I was, going back to where it all started: the first season of American Horror Story. I was trying to go back through the timeline to get the exact age of Michael Langdon. I landed on a scene in “Birth,” the 11th episode of the season. Vivien is about to leave the mental hospital, and the doctor is recommending an emergency C-section. I had a vague memory of Vivien mentioning how far along she is in her pregnancy, which would help me determine when Michael is born, and so on and so forth. Though Vivien does confirm she’s six months pregnant in the scene, I was actually more struck by something the doctor says in passing, to explain why surgery may be necessary.

“One of these babies has been developing at a rapid rate, to the point where he’s ready to come out and live on his own. And the other one seems to be getting weaker. Sometimes referred to as intrauterine omophagia, all the necessary nutrients are being devoured by the larger fetus . . . the ‘Alpha,’ if you will.”

If you haven’t already connected the dots, the fourth episode of season eight, Apocalypse, is all about a mythical warlock known as the “Alpha.” He’s basically the male Supreme, except he’s much more powerful than his female counterpart (Cordelia, as it currently stands). The episode is interesting to unpack, because it seems so clear that Michael is the Alpha. Then again, knowing he’s the Antichrist child of human and spirit, it’s easy to see why this whole Alpha thing may be a misdirect, and he’s just flexing his devilish abilities in order to appear as the Alpha, right? So, maybe he’s not the Alpha after all!

You could make a pretty strong argument for both, but this tiny season one Easter egg may be a big hint of the twists to come. I’m not suggesting that the writers knew this would be a whole thing way back in season one, but it’s definitely possible season eight’s writers decided to nod back to season one to drop a hint. After all, mythology and mystery run deep in the AHS universe. This is exactly the kind of thing Ryan Murphy would do. In this way, it could be that AHS is setting up a double twist. Maybe Michael really is the Alpha, but he’s not the Antichrist. Wouldn’t that be wild? Then again, there’s always the possibility that he could be both the Alpha and the Antichrist, and that they’re one and the same. Let’s hope we get some answers with next week’s episode.

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Stick Around, Because There Are TWO Postcredits Scenes After Venom

By | October 8, 2018

Warning: spoilers for Venom below!

Venom may not be your run-of-the-mill superhero movie in a lot of ways. After all, our hero is a monstrous alien creature that bites the heads off of innocent bystanders and screams in your head like a schizophrenic voice from another realm. Thankfully, though, it does have one thing in common with the bulk of entries these days: a postcredits scene! In fact, the film doesn’t just have one clip to keep you in your seat after the final shot; there are two delicious snacks to look forward to. If you missed the scene or you’re just morbidly curious, we’re breaking it all down for you right here, right now.

OK, so the first scene is actually more of a midcredits scene. At the very end of the film, while talking to Anne (Michelle Williams), Eddie (Tom Hardy) reveals that he’s thinking of getting back into investigative journalism and that he’s landed the interview of a lifetime. In the midcredits scene, Eddie rolls up to the San Quentin State Prison, just north of San Francisco. It turns out he’s booked for a little chat with a man by the name of Cletus Kasady, played by Woody Harrelson! Cletus is in solitary confinement, in some kind of cell that’s not unlike Hannibal Lecter’s near the end of Silence of the Lambs or Harley Quinn’s in Suicide Squad. Cletus grins and welcomes Eddie, who asks why he wanted to talk in the first place.

At the very end of the credits, we get a glimpse of Spider-Man! Except . . . it’s not the Spider-Man played by Tom Holland in the Marvel Comics Universe. It’s actually an extended look at Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which is set to hit theaters this Christmas. In the scene, young Miles (dressed in a makeshift Spider-Man costume) visits the grave of Peter Parker. When a mysterious man approaches, Miles accidentally knocks him out, then realizes he’s also wearing Spider-Man paraphernalia under his street clothes. Suddenly, he’s accidentally tethered to this mysterious man with his ultrasticky web, right as the cops show up. Thinking quickly, Miles slings his web, catching a passing subway train. Cue an epic chase through the streets of New York, with the cops hot on his (and the unconscious body’s) trail.

That’s about it! Both scenes are pretty cool in terms of payoff, so I’d say it’s worth waiting until the end. After all, that midcredits scene is almost certainly setting us up for a sequel. We haven’t seen the last of this symbiote.

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Oh, You Should DEFINITELY Know the Drag Queens From A Star Is Born

By | October 5, 2018

Many are hailing the latest iteration of A Star Is Born as the best one yet. Lady Gaga gives a raw performance alongside Bradley Cooper. The soundtrack for the film is absolute fire. There’s really not much to complain about. And if you ask me, one of the best aspects of the film is Jackson Maine’s accidental romp to a drag bar in the first 15 minutes of the film. That’s the impact of Lady Gaga, one of the most ardent LGBTQ+ supporters of the 21st century! But here’s a fun fact: the two drag queens who have substantial parts in the film have their own claims to fame.

As an avid RuPaul’s Drag Race fan, I immediately recognized the gorgeous painted faces of Willam and Shangela. Both drag queens are very noted RPDR alumni who have gone on to have great careers since. Shangela was first on season two, then season three of the show. She went on to appear on the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars, during which she almost took home the crown! Willam, on the other hand, appeared on the fourth season of RPDR but has had an incredible offscreen career since.

The best part is that both Willam and Shangela play themselves in the film. Willam is kind of a flirty mess (and I mean that in the most complimentary way), asking Jackson to sign her fake boobs. Shangela, on the other hand, is the hilarious, no-frills, no-bullsh*t queen we’ve always known her to be. For those of you who know the queens from RPDR, we can all just bask in the glory of their performances. And if you’re here because you didn’t know them before A Star Is Born, I highly recommend you go back and watch them shine on RPDR.

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Lady Gaga Lays Out How the Brain Locks Away Trauma – and Why We Need to Believe Dr. Ford

By | October 5, 2018

On Thursday night, Lady Gaga appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to promote her incredible new role in A Star Is Born. Interestingly enough, though, the two didn’t talk a whole lot about the film. After pouring Gaga a nice glass of Rosé, Stephen asked her if she wouldn’t mind talking about politics: how does she navigate the current fraught political stratosphere? Gaga seized the opportunity to bring up the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford against Brett Kavanaugh. Gaga spoke about sexual assault – she’s a survivor, too – and how the body absorbs it and locks it away and why we absolutely need to believe Ford.

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How Michelle Williams Deals With Her Own Anxiety

By | October 3, 2018

In many ways, Venom is set to buck the norm when it comes to superhero movies. Sure, it may have the same basic structure – hero develops insane powers, villain makes a lot of trouble, hero saves the day – but there’s so much more to the vicious antihero than meets the eye. This departure can largely be attributed to the interesting cast. Sure, Tom Hardy can pull off a slightly campy man-eating alien, but we also have Riz Ahmed as a supervillian and Jenny Slate as a morally questionable scientist. And then there’s Michelle Williams, who plays the brazen, bold Anne Weying aka Eddie Brock’s love interest.

It’s a one-two punch, namely because Williams has never acted in a blockbuster action, let alone a superhero, movie of this kind of scale before. What’s more, Anne isn’t your typical supporting woman, either; she saves Eddie Brock multiple times and she’s front and center fighting against the bad guys. Just ahead of the film’s release, we sat down with Williams to talk about everything. Why she signed up for the film, how she gave the character her own unique spin, and what we can expect in the inevitable sequels.

POPSUGAR: So what inspired you to take on this film?

Michelle Williams: [Pointing to a poster of Tom Hardy] That guy. He’s so talented in everything that he does. He does things that you’ve never seen before, but at the same time you really believe are happening or happened, which is such a rare quality. And I was just so curious about his process and how he got there, and if I could hang out in the ring with him and go the distance. So the idea of working with him was super appealing. The film was shot in Atlanta. It keeps me on the East Coast. It’s one of my directives. And I thought it would be fun for a change of scenery to do something that’s outside of my comfort zone and to just be bigger.

PS: Right, and a superhero movie hasn’t been in your wheelhouse before. How did it feel kind of settling into this?

MW: For me, I don’t have to don a special suit or anything. So, that part of it didn’t feel too intimidating. It was really just the kind of opening myself up to – when you make a movie, it’s not really just that you think, “Oh, my Gosh. So many people are going to see this.” It’s that you’re making it in front of so many people. The crew is 100 plus people deep. And so whatever you’re doing is being observed by more people than on the movies that I usually make. Could I feel comfortable in that environment? It was a fun challenge for me.

PS: Do you have times, even now, when your anxiety gets the better of you? What do you do when you’re kind of having trouble grounding yourself?

MW: Yeah. It’s funny. It’s one of the benefits of having been doing this for so long, being so many years into something. You don’t really know, but you’ve built up your own way of working. You’ve built up your own kind of a little toolbox of things that you can choose from when you’re stuck. Or when something’s not working, and you’ve gone after it a few times, and you haven’t grabbed it, and you’re starting to feel nervous about it. If you’re going to get there, you sort of draw into this little kit that you’ve assembled. It’s all experience-based knowledge. And also, the belief that, “OK, I’ve been in this situation before, and I’ve seen my way through it, so I’m going to give myself the faith that that will happen again. I’m going to let myself keep experimenting or keep failing until I get to an outcome.”

PS: That is so interesting. It’s like that saying: you’ve made it through every bad day you’ve ever had.

MW: Yeah! And I’m here, so chances are I’m going to survive another one. And I think really just the key is just be super gentle with yourself – as soon as you start taking up the whip and beating yourself up for not being where you wanted to be, or not doing what you wanted to be doing, it won’t help your cause.

PS: But sometimes that’s easier said than done, don’t you think?

MW: Well, if ultimately the goal is to fulfill your expectations or your desires, then you’ll do anything. You don’t want to stand in the way of it. It gets easier as you get older to not self-sabotage. It gets easier as you get older to just clear the path and let yourself walk down it without too much interference or desire for self-negation.

PS: Ah! I love that. I want to talk about Annie now. I noticed there’s a flip of the whole “damsel in distress” thing; Eddie’s kind of the damsel a lot of the time. How did it feel to kind of have that agency for your character?

MW: It was really important to me. I wanted it to feel like there was a gender swap, and I took that very literally. Like, that she literally wears the pants in the family! She’s off to work with her briefcase and her business suit . . . I wanted it to feel very much like it was a 2017, 2018 film, when a woman is empowered enough to stand up for herself and to demand to be treated better.

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Wait a Second – Did Michael Rescue Madison From Hell on American Horror Story?!

By | September 28, 2018

When it comes to American Horror Story: Apocalypse, we have a lot of questions that desperately need answers. But one of the most pressing pertains to the returning witches from Coven, specifically Madison Montgomery, Myrtle Snow, and Misty Day. As we well know, these three witches perish (all for the second and final time) in the season finale. Misty doesn’t make it back from Hell while performing the Seven Wonders “Descensum,” Myrtle gets burnt at the stake again, and Kyle murders Madison and hides the body with the help of Spaulding. So how is it that all of them are back in action for Apocalypse?

The most obvious solution is that Cordelia, the new Supreme, uses her extraordinary powers to revive her sisters. But it also seems kind of unlikely; Myrtle begs Cordelia to hold her accountable for her crimes against other witches, and Cordelia also admits that there’s no way to bring Misty back. As for Madison? Everyone assumes she fled to Los Angeles after storming out of the Seven Wonders trials. It would be a long time before Cordelia realized she actually died and needed to be revived – which brings us to another, much more interesting option: I think Michael Langdon had a hand in bringing these witches back.

In the preview for the season’s fourth episode, we’re clearly having a flashback moment. Michael, who has much shorter hair, approaches Madison in what appears to be a Bed Bath & Beyond type of store. Madison is a customer service representative, as evidenced by her uniform and name tag. When I first saw the preview, I was confused as to how or why Madison would be working this job. Wasn’t she a famous actress in Hollywood? I suppose there’s a chance we’re flashing back to before her career explodes, but she looks so similar to the Madison we meet in Coven, it seems unlikely. That’s when I realized that Michael must be visiting Madison in Hell.

Think about it: if you’re a spoiled, entitled, filthy-rich actress, then a dead-end job in retail would be the worst place to spend eternity. Dealing with horrible customers, cleaning up a messy sales floor, never clocking out, wearing unflattering clothes . . . these are all things that would make Madison Montgomery shiver in her Louboutins. It makes sense that this is her version of Hell. And Michael, who clearly has powers, who clearly worships Satan, who may very well be able to perform the Seven Wonders (and more), would certainly be able to pay her a visit.

This could also explain why Michael possibly stops by the Hotel Cortez as well – it’s the last-known whereabouts of human voodoo doll Queenie, who is also expected to reappear this season. As for what Michael would want with the witches? That I can’t answer. I’m guessing he began recruiting them as part of his plot to take over the world (or initiate the apocalypse). And truth be told, we don’t know for sure that Michael is against the witches. It’s possible they’re all on the same team. And even if they’re enemies in the present day, there’s a chance they forged an alliance once upon a time and that it’s since dissolved.

I’m shivering. This is why I love the new season of American Horror Story so much: the twists are surprising, the plot remains largely enigmatic, and the story has me on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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This Muppet Version of A Star Is Born Is Too Perfect Not to Be Real

By | September 19, 2018

Everyone rise – it’s time to give a standing ovation to Kevin T. Porter. This brave individual has edited together a new version of the trailer for A Star Is Born . . . using only Muppets. Yes, you read that correctly. In this fifth “remake” of the iconic Hollywood story, Kermit the Frog is Bradley Cooper, Miss Piggy is Lady Gaga, Fozzie Bear is Dave Chappelle, and I am exhausted. In the best way. Because it’s all so perfect. Please watch the video for A Star Is Boar – yes, that is the new title, thanks – above. It’s just what we needed to hold us over while we wait for the actual film (and its highly anticipated soundtrack) to drop.

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How Powerful, Exactly, Is Captain Marvel? The Answer Is VERY

By | September 18, 2018

With the release of the first Captain Marvel trailer, I am shaking and ready to be indoctrinated with the gospel of Carol Danvers. I’m not just excited because this is the first Marvel film with a female lead front and center, although that is a major sticking point (along with the ’90s-tastic setting and delightful Blockbuster cameo). On an even larger scale, this one badass lady may just be the key to saving the Avengers. Yeah, she literally may be able to undo the damage of the mighty Thanos.

How powerful is Captain Marvel, you ask? Well, with the full range of abilities she possesses, she’s quite the worthy foe. She has the powers of flight, enhanced strength, and durability and can shoot concussive energy bursts – that’s something we even get to see in the trailer. What’s more, she may have some of the abilities attributed to Mar-Vell in the comic books, since he will “be a mentor-like figure as [Carol Danvers] comes into her powers” in the film. (Jude Law will do the honors.)

That skillset packs quite a wallop: the ability to “metabolize solar energy and convert it for a variety of uses, including superhuman strength, the projection of photon energy blasts, and flight,” according to the comics. There’s also something called “Cosmic Awareness,” which could increase intellect and grant “limited precognitive powers and the ability to ascertain an opponent’s weakness.”

So there you have it. Truth be told, Captain Marvel will be more of an origin story, but once she fully realizes her abilities, she’s a force to be reckoned with. In fact, she may become one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel universe at full potential. And given her close relationship to Nick Fury and her sort-of appearance in the postcredits scene for Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos should absolutely be worried. The universe is in good hands.

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My Two American Horror Story Moms Looked SO Good at the Emmy Awards

By | September 17, 2018

Connie Britton and Sarah Paulson were at the Emmy Awards on Monday night in LA, making them the only two stars repping the cast of American Horror Story: Apocalypse. The two gorgeous actresses looked positively stunning on the red carpet, and luckily for us, they had a brief rendezvous to pose for pics. Paulson, of course, is on the nominations list for her sensational work on the show’s seventh season, Cult. Don’t worry, though: the newly arrived Apocalypse will promptly resume this Wednesday night.

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Anne Hathaway Checks – and Rejects – Her Privilege in Brilliant Acceptance Speech

By | September 17, 2018

This past weekend, the Human Rights Campaign threw its annual gala dinner in Washington DC. Among the night’s honorees was Anne Hathaway, who was recognized for her support of the LGBTQ+ community with the National Ally For Equality award. Anne has been on a hot streak for the past few years when it comes to being a political force and powerful advocate. She’s spoken out about women’s equality, she’s addressed fat shamers and body politics in Hollywood, and she’s even opened up about the toxic culture that, once upon a time, made her a villain of sorts in Hollywood. This new speech is just as incredible, and her message to the LGBTQ+ community is truly a standout moment, both for her and the community as a whole.

“Myths that are destroyed by the same thing that creates them: a community.”

It’s not just that Anne acknowledges her privilege as a white, cisgender woman – she does, for the record – but that she seeks to talk about the culture that created that privilege in the first place. She calls out the myth that “gayness orbits around straightness, transgender orbits around cisgender, and that all races orbit around whiteness.” She credits the LGBTQ+ community as the reason she is able to reject the myth and recognize that we believe it so willfully because it’s been in place for such a long time. In the same breath, she expresses a hope, in the future, that we can destroy it.

But perhaps it’s the moment in which she even pulls out of her speech and recognizes the game therein that really speaks the loudest: “I know I’m speaking in abstractions, and that there’s privilege embedded in my ability to do so,” she says. “I know that there are very real obstacles that block the path to true equality, and I know that removing them is easier said than done. But I know that myths that are destroyed by the same thing that creates them: a community.” That’s pretty powerful stuff. Watch the speech in full above.

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This 1 Fact About American Horror Story Is Either a Huge Hint or a Major Problem

By | September 14, 2018

Finally, the apocalypse has begun! (Wow, I never thought I’d write that sentence.) Now that American Horror Story: Apocalypse has launched with a dark and spooky premiere, fans are scrambling to figure out the game of the season. In the candlelit depths of Outpost Three – which may have been a male coven, previously – our uncertain cast of characters are slowly going crazy as the world remains uninhabitable. And with the arrival of our Antichrist Michael Langdon, who knows what the future may hold? Speaking of the future, I was doing some math about the timing of the season, and there’s something strange about the dates that’s just not adding up.

Back when we were scraping together details about the new season, creator Ryan Murphy dropped a hint about when, exactly, the apocalypse would be taking place. At one point, he revealed that we’d land about 18 months from April 2018. Having seen the premiere, and knowing it contains an actual 18-month time jump, Murphy’s quote can mean one of two things:

  1. The apocalypse begins in April 2018, and Murphy was referring to the time jump. This means the bulk of the season would feasibly take place in October 2019.
  2. The apocalypse begins 18 months from Murphy’s hint; the first half of the episode takes place in October 2019, then we leap forward 18 months, to April 2021.

OK, sure. Either way, that’s all fine and dandy – except for one thing. If you look over the full timeline for the American Horror Story universe, you’ll realize the scope of all seasons stretches until 2022. Yep, Hotel does go that far into the future; the last 18 minutes of the season finale take place on Devil’s Night (Oct. 30) in 2022. If you accept either of the above conclusions, both take place before the finale of Hotel. And, if it is indeed canon, that event has to have taken place in the universe, even in spite of season eight’s apocalypse.

So what does this mean? Well, for one, there’s always the chance it could just be a huge oversight. I mean, maybe it’ll just be a glaring plot hole, a black mark on the series as a whole. But it’s also worth considering the fact that this is a mystical and magical season. We have witches and demons wandering around. Is there a chance the apocalypse is somehow reversed through some magical event?! Is it not actually an apocalypse? We’re not sure just yet, but this could be a major hint at what’s to come. For the record, I hope it’s not a massive plot hole.

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How Ms. Venable Hinted at a Male Coven in American Horror Story: Apocalypse

By | September 12, 2018

Now that the American Horror Story premiere delivered the apocalypse promised in the trailer, we’re at the edge of our seats, wondering what might happen next. Our wild cast of characters are already going crazy after 18 months in Outpost Three, and the powers in place are quite mysterious and menacing. We’ll have to save Ms. Mead (Kathy Bates) for another time, because right now all eyes are on the shelter’s obvious big bad dragon lady: Ms. Venable. Sure, Wilhemina is, in the simplest terms, a masochist, but there’s one thing she said in the premiere that makes us think she may be something else: a witch.

Yeah, that’s right. I’m getting the feeling that Ms. Venable used to run a coven . . . and her subjects were all male witches. When Timothy and Emily first arrive at Outpost Three, she tells them a pretty particular fact about the space. “For many years,” she says, “it was an exclusive boys’ school.” Does that sound familiar to anyone? It sounds an awful lot like Miss Robichaux’s Academy For Exceptional Young Ladies, which is the front for the witch school in New Orleans run by Cordelia Foxx. There’s more evidence to suggest as much: I mean, this is a Coven crossover season, and this creepy, underground structure would certainly be a good space to foster the powers of young boys.

But wait! There’s more! If you look back at the 30-second preview – it was only meant to get us excited about the full-length trailer – there’s a flash of a moment when Cordelia, Myrtle, and Zoe seem to be entering the outpost. But if you look behind them, you’ll see a group of men all dressed identically . . . in rather colonial garb. Could these be the boys of the coven? Could Michael Langdon, who we know is the Antichrist and son of Tate and Vivien, be one of them? It all certainly seems possible, doesn’t it?

All we have right now are a few stray pieces of evidence. But rest assured, all will come to light in the weeks that lie ahead.

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The Cast of the It Sequel Is Finally Complete – Meet the Stars!

By | September 11, 2018

It’s been a while since the It sequel was confirmed (and titled It: Chapter Two), and there are a lot of things to figure out before the next part of the story comes to life.

Sure, we were all wondering when it would eventually hit theaters and what the plot would be, but die-hard fans of the novel know that there’s one piece of business that needs to be attended to first: the cast. As we move forward, the most important detail is a huge time jump; we’re going to leap forward 27 years, when Pennywise returns and all the “Losers” have grown up and moved away (except for Mike Hanlon, who stays behind as a librarian in Derry).

With such a big temporal leap, we were always going to need adult counterparts for each of the seven kids we meet in the first film. We even had some pretty strong opinions about casting, but obviously, Hollywood seems determined to pave its own way. It’s fine. Check out who’s in so far!

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How The Nun Manages to Pull Off a Stellar and Surprising Twist Ending

By | September 9, 2018

Warning: the following post contains complete spoilers for The Nun!

Going into a prequel movie like The Nun can be tricky. After all, we already know how it should end: the demon Valak, better and more ominously known as The Nun, will have to emerge victorious if it’s going to eventually move on to haunt Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) in The Conjuring 2. The characters of Father Burke (Demián Bichir) and Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) are doomed from the start. Without giving too much away (before I dive into a post ripe with spoilers, teehee), I was pleasantly surprised by the way the creative powers that be handled the story. If you’re curious about how they managed to pull off their twist, I’m outlining the entire ending below. This is your last chance to turn back!

OK, so you basically know the gist of the story: Father Burke and Sister Irene go to some remote part of Romania to investigate the suicide of a nun. Once they arrive, they meet the man who discovered the body: a laborer who calls himself “Frenchie.” From there, it’s a pretty quick turnaround to get them up to the haunted convent, and all hell breaks loose shortly thereafter. Their first night kicks off with scares: Father Burke gets buried alive, while Sister Irene gets terrorized by the demon.

The next day, Burke reads a bunch of books, trying to identify the nature of the demon they’re dealing with, while Irene interviews the surviving nuns of the convent. She learns that some crazy duke once opened a gate to Hell on these grounds, and they must pray constantly to keep the evil at bay. Burke learns that the demon is called Valak, and it means business. Cue nightfall.

After a particularly scary sequence, Burke rescues Irene in the chapel, and she realizes all the nuns she’s been talking to are long dead, mere specters or visions that are trying to help her solve the mystery. Also, Frenchie inexplicably shows up again at the convent to help them defeat evil. Irene realizes the gate to Hell, which they must close, is in the catacombs. The basement also contains a very important artifact, which they need to seal the gate: the blood of Christ, contained in a glass vial.

The three find the vial and of course get separated in the bowels of the convent. Valak sets sights on a human host to inhabit: Irene. Frenchie and Burke attempt to throw themselves at Valak to save the day, but they are quickly cast aside. All seems lost. Valak holds Irene down in a shallow pool of water until she drowns. This is the ending we expected, right? You’d think it’s the moment when Valak wins and possesses Irene’s body as the life drains out of her, then goes off into the world. But that’s not what happens!

It turns out Irene has put the blood of Christ in her mouth (ew?), and once Valak pulls her out of the water, she spits the blood right in Valak’s face. Valak recoils, horrified and burning from the blood, and the water all drains out of the room and into the gaping hole on the floor; it’s the original gate to Hell that they’ve been trying to close all along. Once Valak goes back to the depths of the darkness, the gate closes shut. It’s a surprising end that leaves the viewer a bit perplexed, because Valak was supposed to win.

In the aftermath of the terrible ordeal, the trio prepare to leave the convent for good. Irene asks Frenchie – he reveals his name is actually Maurice – if he’ll stick around, but he says he’s had enough of Romania. Suddenly, in a closeup on his neck, we see a small protrusion: it’s an upside-down cross, meaning Valak has actually possessed Maurice and not Irene. In a flashback, we’re led to assume that Valak jumped into Maurice right after strangling him and just before the whole water encounter.

The stinger at the end shows how Valak finally makes contact with Lorraine Warren: the demon eventually consumes Maurice completely, and Ed and Lorraine are on hand to assist in the exorcism. The rest is history.

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The Full, Unsettling, Heart-Stopping Trailer For American Horror Story: Apocalypse

By | September 4, 2018

The end is nigh. On Sept. 5, FX dropped the full trailer for American Horror Story: Apocalypse. Sure, we’ve already seen a conceptual trailer and tons of creepy teasers, but this is the first time we’re seeing all of our favorite returning characters in the flesh! As promised, it seems we’ll kick off with the end of the world, and things will only unravel from there. It’s a cabin fever situation, with plenty of characters trapped in one house, forbidden to go outside. We can’t wait to see how this pans out.

Oh, and by the way, if you’re scratching your head over the new trailer, we’ve got a full analysis just for you. Don’t say we never did anything for you.

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