July 2, 2016

Dark TV to Watch on Long Summer Nights

I really, really miss watching new episodes of True Blood on summer evenings with friends. I might go back and re-watch a few seasons courtesy of Amazon Prime, which is kindly airing the first six of seven seasons.

Meanwhile, I am looking for a nice dark show or two to keep me occupied during these long hot summer nights. I want something new to watch, not just reruns of old dark shows (other than my foray into re-watching True Blood).

Here are a few of the current dark options open to us this summer:

Scream, the Television Series

Scream, MTV's television series based on the Scream movie franchise, premiered its second season on May 30. New episodes air on Tuesdays. There appear to be about seven new episodes remaining. This probably won't be my #1 pick for something to watch, but if I need to kill time or need some background noise while I'm blogging, I might go for it.

Let's check out the Season 2 trailer:

Scream, Official MTV Website

Scream, the TV Series Official Facebook Page

Scream, the TV Series at IMDB

Scream, the TV Series, on Reddit

Scream, the TV Series Official Twitter

Scream, the TV Series at the Scream Wikia


Stranger Things

Stranger Things Season 1 premieres on July 15, on Netflix. It stars, among others, goth poster child Winona Ryder. The show is being compared to a cross between Stephen King and Steven Spielberg. It seems to be getting a lot of good press and buzz, so I'm eager to check it out.

"When a young boy vanishes, a small town uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one strange little girl."

Stranger Things Official Page at Netflix

Stranger Things Official Facebook Page

Stranger Things, at IMDB

Stranger Things, on Reddit

Stranger Things Official Twitter

Stranger Things on Wikipedia


Dark Matter

This Canadian science fiction show is apparently getting even darker. It doesn't venture too far into horror territory, but definitely has some creepy moments. Season 2 premiered tonight, July 1. It's often compared to Stargate, apparently.

Dark Matter Official Page at SyFy.com

Dark Matter Official Facebook Page

Dark Matter, at IMDB

Dark Matter, on Reddit

Dark Matter Official Twitter

Dark Matter, at Wikipedia

The Dark Matter Wiki


Dead of Summer

"It's the 1980s, school is out for the summer, and when Camp Stillwater's dark, ancient mythology awakens, what was supposed to be a summer of fun soon turns into one of unforgettable scares and evil at every turn." Dead of Summer Season 1 premiered on June 28. New episodes air on Tuesdays on the Freeform cable channel (formerly ABC Family). If you (surreptitiously, of course) liked Pretty Little Liars, you'll probably enjoy this. Initial reviews say it's "campy horror," which works for me!

Let's check out the trailer:

Freeform's Official Dead of Summer Page

Dead of Summer Official Facebook Page

Dead of Summer Fan Site

Dead of Summer Fan Site

Dead of Summer on IMDB

Dead of Summer Official Twitter


Thirteen

The first season of Thirteen premiered on June 23 on BBC America. I checked it out and was really intrigued. I'm looking forward to watching the second episode later tonight when I'm done with this blog post. The main actress is doing a fabulous job. This is more a miniseries than a series - it has only five episodes.

"26-year-old Ivy Moxam steps out of an ordinary house, on an ordinary street, on an ordinary day. Ivy hasn't been seen for thirteen years, she was kidnapped in 2003 at the age of thirteen." Peek at the trailer and see what you think:

Thirteen Official Page at BBC America

Thirteen on IMDB

Thirteen, at Wikipedia


American Gothic

Ok, there's nothing "gothic" about this show. It is, however, a bit dark. It's a murder mystery drama - not particularly my favorite genre, but perhaps some of you enjoy this sort of thing. I do like serial killer shows and films, though, and admire actress Virginia Madsen, so I will give this a try.

"American Gothic enters on a prominent Boston family reeling in the wake of the chilling discovery that someone in their midst is linked to an infamous string of murders. As shocking secrets from the past and present are revealed, their mounting suspicion and paranoia that one of them is a killer threatens to tear the family apart."

American Gothic Season 1 premiered June 22 on CBS. New episodes air on Wednesdays.

American Gothic Official Page at CBS

American Gothic Official Facebook Page

American Gothic at IMDB

American Gothic Official Twitter

American Gothic at Wikipedia


Preacher

I had a nerdy friend who simply adored the Preacher comics, talking about them often over the years. I wonder what he thinks of this show - I should chat with him and ask! Preacher Season 1 debuted on May 22nd on AMC, and new shows air on Sundays. Dominic Cooper stars.

Preacher Official Page at AMC

Preacher Official Facebook Page

Preacher at IMDB

Preacher Official Twitter


Wayward Pines

I've been (mostly) enjoying Wayward Pines. It's sci-fi, not horror, but definitely has dark and depressing moments. Also, the "Abbies" growl a lot and my dogs get scared and run out of my living room! I watch it while working on blog posts or developing classes for Dark Side University. Season 2 of Wayward Pines started on May 25th. It airs on Fox.

Check out the "First Look" at Season2:

Wayward Pines Official Page at Fox

Wayward Pines Official Facebook Page

Wayward Pines at IMDB

Wayward Pines on Reddit

Wayward Pines Official Twitter

Wayward Pines Wikia


Outcast

Outcast Season 1 premiered on May 23rd on Cinemax. It's a horror drama series based on the comic by Robert Kirkman (of The Walking Dead fame). TV Guide calls it "the rare horror series that's actually scary."

Check out the trailer:

Cinemax offered up the first episode on YouTube:

Outcast Official Page at Cinemax

Outcast Official Facebook Page

Outcast on IMDB

Outcast on Reddit

Outcast Official Twitter

Outcast on Wikipedia


The Strain

The Strain is a vampire series based on the book by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. It returns (season 3) to FX on August 28. This show is actually too scary, violent and gory even for me! I can't watch it!

Here's the trailer for Season 3 of The Strain:

The Strain Official Page at FX

The Strain Official Facebook Page

The Strain at IMDB

The Strain on Reddit

The Strain Official Twitter

The Strain at Wikipedia


Happy viewing!

--Copyright 2016 Dark Side of the Net

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May 22, 2016

10 Best Writers Retreats for Dark Authors in 2016

Lately I've been ruminating over my failed attempt last year at NaNoWriMo. (To be fair, I was super busy teaching and administrating over at Dark Side University so had little time to write!)

I still have a fiction book I'd love to complete, and a non-fiction book or two sketched out. With my busy family responsibilities, business, Internet blogs and related hobbies, friends to socialize with and pets to care for, my writing time often gets interrupted. I've been fantasizing about taking just an old typewriter (no phone! No laptop!) with me to a cabin somewhere and sitting down and just WRITING.

Whether or not this is a realistic fantasy, I've been enjoying daydreaming about some of these fabulous locations. Writing in a castle? Could I afford it? Would I actually write, or just gape at the gorgeous decor and stroll about the beautiful grounds instead of writing? Nonetheless, let's enjoy an afternoon of fantasy and check out some of the darker available writing retreats available this year. None of them are geared towards dark or horror authors, but the locales would certainly lend themselves to darker inspiration.

1. Creativ Castle, Europe


"Write your next book in a castle." Sounds lovely, doesn't it? They advertise their castles as "a luxurious space for creatives and writers." Derek and his wife are attempting to raise funds through a Kickstarter to purchase a castle to be a permanent retreat location. For now, you can join them at a rented French castle in November during NaNoWriMo.

http://www.creativcastle.com/


2. The Horror Writer's Workshop - Transylvania


August 7-14, 2016 in Bran, Transylvania.

This would be incredible!

"THE HORROR WRITER’S WORKSHOP, TRANSYLVANIA is honoured to invite Brian Evenson as guest instructor for the seven day workshop and retreat in Transylvania, Romania from August 07-14, 2016. The workshop will take place in the a quaint, award-winning hotel situated in the mountains of Bran, overlooking Bran village and Dracula’s castle. Along with daily lectures and workshops, you will be given personal attention to your writing, including one-on-one tutorials and comprehensive critiques by our guest."

I can't imagine how much it would change one's life, not just as an author, to participate in this. I can only think it might take me quite a while, once I was back home, to process what I'd just experienced on this trip!

http://www.workshopwriters.com/

Horror Writer's Workshop - Transylvania, on Facebook


3. Ardtornish Estate


Located on the West Coast of Scotland. Not a writer's retreat, but how fabulous would it be to rent one of the Victorian apartments or cozy cottages while writing your novel? One would be there to write, not engage in the diving, snorkeling or sports pursuits on offer. However, the walking opportunities surely would be conducive to deep and inspiring reflection.

http://www.ardtornish.co.uk/

The Ardtornish Estate, on Facebook


Stanley Hotel Writers Retreat


October 20-23, 2016 at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.

This Indigogo-funded writer's retreat is apparently a go! (It makes me a bit nervous that the event doesn't have an official Facebook page as of yet!) You could stay overnight and write at the hotel that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining! This is meant to be an informal, casual writing retreat where you can get lots of writing done, not a convention or conference with tons of meetings.

Stanley Hotel Writers Retreat at IndieGogo


4. La Muse Artists and Writers Retreat


One, two, three, or four week retreats in the mountains of southern France. You can rent an individual room, book rooms for a group event, or stay in the Mews or a cottage. They try to keep rates affordable so writers and artists can afford to stay long enough to get a good amount of work done. This place is not a castle or chateau, but is surrounded by so much picturesque countryside, it makes up for it.

http://lamuseinn.com/


5. Camelot Castle


Stay in a private family home in Cornwall, England. You can rent a room with a four poster bed, desk, and a view of the Atlantic and the ruins of King Arthur's Castle at Tintagel. Sounds fabulous to me! Then again, I might fall prey to staring dreamily out the window all day instead of actually writing.

However, Buzzfeed claims this castle is owned by a Donald Trump superfan who is also a Scientologist. Thought you should know!

http://www.camelotcastle.com/


6. Winchester Mystery House Writers Retreat, San Jose, CA


August 11-13, 2016.

R.J. Cavendish put together this Indiegogo funded writers retreat. Note that you wouldn't be staying overnight at the actual Winchester house, but at a mansion about 20 minutes away.

Winchester Mystery House Retreat, at Indiegogo

Winchester Mystery House Writers Retreat, on Facebook


7. Rocaberti Castle Writers Retreat


October 7-12, 2016, in Figueres, Spain (near Barcelona).

This writers retreat especially emphasizes screenwriting. "You’ll be part of a small and exclusive group of a maximum of 16 writers at the retreat. Through focused, practical presentations in the mornings, afternoon mentoring sessions, evening social events—and with a mentor/writer ratio of approximately 1:4—you’ll learn how to tell your story on the page and on the screen, and be one step closer to seeing your dream come to life!"

http://rocabertiwriters.com/

Rocaberti Castle Writers Retreat, on Facebook


8. Writeaway in France


September 25-October 2, 2016, Chateau du Pin in France.

Nothing particularly dark about this writer's retreat - I probably wouldn't bring a bloody or gory horror novel to read aloud from in group sessions.. scaring off the poor other writers. However, how cool is this locale? Writing in a 15th century chateau.. I am swooning!

http://www.writeaways.com/writeaway-in-france/


9. Ballyhannon Castle, Ireland


If castles in France and Spain don't tempt you, how about this one in Ireland?

The castle sleeps 10 people. It's not a hotel, so you have to cook for yourself. Unless you're rich, you probably don't want to rent this all by yourself. What a fabulous writer's retreat you could concoct here to share expenses and inspiration with likeminded authors!

http://www.ballyhannon-castle.com/

Ballyhannon Castle on Facebook


10. St. Peter's Abbey, Saskatchewan, Canada


At these three-week writers retreats, held by the Saskatchewan Writers Guild, you stay in the guest rooms of the abbey. This is another instance of a writer's retreat not specifically seeking out dark authors, so you won't be comparing notes on your gothic romance or horror novel with the other authors. As a bonus: "A reference library specifically designed for writers and artists is set up in the lounge of the Abbey Guest wing."

St. Peter's Abbey

Saskatchewan Writer's Retreats


Hope you enjoyed daydreaming about writing as much as I did today! Now I really need to go sit down and do some actual work on my novel, retreating merely to my quiet backyard today!


--Copyright 2016 Carrie Carolin, Dark Side of the Net

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December 14, 2015

Dark Games: Revisiting Silent Hill in All Its Twisted Glory

Today's walk down dark gaming memory lane is brought to us by guest blogger KaitiKat, an avid videogamer hailing from the bleak Northwest. Her first childhood trauma came from playing Silent Hill alone at home in the dark. Today she wants to share a look at Silent Hill resources and websites on the dark side of the net.

SILENT HILL OFFICIAL PAGES:

Konami Silent Hill


This is Konami's Silent Hill Official Page.

https://www.konami.com/shop/silenthill/

Silent Hill Facebook Page by Konami

Silent Hill Heaven


The best resource for Silent Hill, not official by Konami but a highly regarded fansite.

http://silenthillheaven.com/

Silent Hill Heaven on Facebook

Silent Hill Heaven on Twitter

Silent Hill Wikia

Normally, I wouldn't include a wikipage, but the Silent Hill Wikia is a great starting resource for the beginner or even for someone like myself.

http://silenthill.wikia.com/


SILENT HILL FORUMS AND COMMUNITIES:

Silent Hill Memories


One of the largest US Silent Hill communities. This site has information such as news updates, walkthroughs, and forums.

www.silenthillmemories.net

Silent Hill Memories on Facebook.

Silent Hill Memories YouTube Channel.

The Silent Hill Community Forum.

Alchemilla Hospital

Silent Hill Forum

Slightly older than the latter, but still reliable community for Silent Hill fans.

http://alchemillahospital.net

Alchemilla Hospital on Facebook

Alchemilla Hospital on Twitter

Alchemilla Hospital's YouTube Channel

Alchemilla's Hospital on Tumblr

Silent Hill Paradise

Large UK fansite with many resources to Silent Hill merchandise and news updates.

Silent Hill Paradise on Facebook

Silent Hill Paradise on Twitter

This site is a constantly used forum, great for any FAQs.

http://silenthillforum.com/

Silent Hill Historical Society

This large fan site provides the latest news and other resources.

SH Historical Society on Facebook

SH Historical Society on Twitter

SH Historical Society YouTube Channel

My Silent Hill

Large fansite full of news, art, and music.

http://mysilenthill.com/

My Silent Hill YouTube Channel

My Silent Hill on Twitter

Reddit Silent Hill

Reddit is probably one of the best places to connect with Silent Hill fans to discuss the game/movie further.

https://www.reddit.com/r/silenthill/

The Silent Hill Office of Tourism

Just for fun, this site is a creative fansite that has some Silent Hill resources and facts. It's a very old website.

http://www.visitsilenthill.com/

The Silent Hill Office of Tourism Facebook Pagei

SILENT HILL FOREIGN FAN SITES:

Silent Hill France

French website for SH.

http://silenthill.fr/

Silent Hill Germany

Germany's site for SH.

http://silenthill.hu/

Silent Hill Germany on Facebook

Dark Games Forum Germany

This is a German forum for general horror games.
http://www.diplompsychopath.de

Nightmarish Dream Russia

SH fansite in Russian.

http://nightmarish-dream.ru/

Nightmarish Dream on Facebook

Nightmarish Dream on Twitter

Nightmarish Dream on YouTube

Silent Hill Italy

SH for Italy.

http://sito.silenthillchronicles.it/

Silent Hill Apocalypse

Silent Hill Apocalypse or "The Italian Otherworld", is another Italian fansite.

http://redrumrealm.it/

GAMER RESOURCES:

GameFaqs-Silent Hill

Kotaku-Silent Hill

PC Gamer-Silent Hill

Games Radar - Silent Hill


SILENT HILL MOVIES:

Silent Hill by Sony

The most direct place to get the Silent Hill Movie and a brief description.

http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/silenthill/

Silent Hill IMDb

Best informational resource for the Silent Hill movie.

http://www.imdb.com/silenthill

Silent Hill: Revelation Official Website

This is the second Silent Hill movie's official website which has all you need as far as the gallery and story.

http://www.silenthill3d.com/

Silent Hill Revelation Facebook Page


MUSIC FOR SILENT HILL:

Silent Hill Best Soundtracks From The Legend Akira Yamaoka

Silent Hill Media X

It's an older website, but it has lots of Silent Hill music and environmental sounds that were in the game.

http://www.silenthillmedia.net/

Fungo's (Owner of Silent Hill Media) YouTube Channel


SILENT HILL FANFICTION:

Silent Hill Fanfiction at FanFiction.Net

A large database with all sorts of Silent Hill Fanfiction.

https://www.fanfiction.net/game/Silent-Hill/


Since the announcement of the "Silent Hills" game, the franchise has been revived once more, thus many sites are very much up to date. Some things I did not have specific websites for such as art, cosplay, easter eggs, etc. They all have their own niche in links I previously mentioned. Happy hunting! Don't forget to run away from Pyramid Head.

--KaitiKat

-- Copyright 2015 Dark Side of the Net

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