let’s break it down: IT chapter two (mini-review)

It’s been 27 years after the last encounter with pennywise. The Losers Club have built their own lives but after one call and a promise, they come back to their old town, Derry to settle the score once and for all. After the big hit of the first film, IT Chapter two created big expectations. Many of them saying it was their most anticipated movie of the year.  For this small review, I’ll divide it into three categories: good, alright and it could have been better. 


The casting couldn’t have been more perfect. Each of them perfectly represented how the losers club looked like as adults. Everyone shined in their own little way but strangely enough, Bill Hader ( Playing adult Richie ) was the one that steals the spotlight. Being the comedic relief of the film and each of his jokes made the audience laugh. Personally, he was my favorite thing that came out of this film. On the other hand, what little screen time Bill Skarsgård (Pennywise ) had, he gave us the creepy moments we wanted. When it came down to the cinematography aspect of the film, it had some great shots that portrayed eerie, creepy and claustrophobic feelings on the big screen. 


The introduction of the losers club all grown up was too fast-paced. When it came to them together as adults you don’t feel that big bond they had on the first film. Not giving a slight chance for them to foment that bond once again. Half of the film is told by flashbacks and I just felt that it didn’t bring a lot of new stuff on the characters development. If you’re gonna see IT, what would you want to see? Pennywise right ?? well he doesn’t appear in most of the movie runtime but rather he transforms himself into the characters nightmares. Leading up to my next argument: the monster designs. These designs try to give 80’s horror vibe but it just didn’t work for me because the CGI was highly noticeable to an extent that it just made the monsters look weird.

It Could have been Better 

The third act of the film felt cramped up. Tring to cover most of the details in a period of time and leading them up to make editing choices that could have been better in another way.  Sometimes , it felt that the purpose of the gory scenes in the movie was to fill some gaps. That if you would have taken it out, it wouldn’t affect the plot.

IT Chapter two certainly has its ups and downs. The cast is spot on and has great performances. However, the film heavily relied a lot on the use of many flashbacks to tell the story. Suffering from a small lack of originality. If you wanna know how the story ends and be entertained , I recommended this film.


SMALL NOTE: I personally haven’t read the book. My opinion comes exclusively from seeing the film.

WARNING: If you’re interested in seeing the film, there are some scenes were they use flashing lights and it could be triggering for some people causing them to have epilepsy.

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Radio Ambulante : El uso de sonidos para complementar la narrativa en “Los Cassettes del exilio”.(reseña Podcast)

¿Qué es Radio Ambulante? Es un podcast fundado por Carolina Guerrero y Daniel Alarcón con el propósito de narrar crónicas latinoamericanas. Combinando el periodismo narrativo y la investigación. Cada episodio toca un tema diferente. Ya sea derechos humanos, la política, estatus socioeconómicos, salud mental etc. En el episodio “Los cassettes del exilio” habla sobre el asunto de la emigración y el exilio.

Publicado en el 2017, este episodio narra la historia de Dennis Maxwell. Nuestro narrador viajó a Chile para visitar a su familia. El hermano aprovecho su visita para pedirle ayuda con su mudanza. Sacando las cajas del closet, el abre una caja y encuentra una colección de cassettes. El papá de él estuvo exiliado en Francia por una década y esto cassesttes se convirtió en la principal comunicación entre el padre y la familia.

Para lograr transmitir la historia a los oyentes y captar su atención, se usaron diferentes recursos y elementos que se destacaron a través de la narración. Haciendo que los oyentes tengan una experiencia diferente y que lentamente se sumergieran a la historia. Una de las técnicas que se usaron para poder seguir la narración y facilitar a la audiencia en la comprensión de la historia era las diferentes voces que se usaron. Es decir, además del narrador principal, cada personaje tuvo la oportunidad de hablar y narrar la historia. Por este medio, podemos tener una pisca de como era las personalidades de cada personaje. Ya sea las voces del padre, la madre y el hermano. Cada cual tenia una voz peculiar que lo destacaba.

Por el otro lado, hay resaltar como el uso de sonidos amplifica la narración. A través de la historia hubo sonidos leves que aumentaba la experiencia. Ya sea cuando la familia prendíala grabadora, el sonido de la cinta rodando o simplemente tocando los botones. No necesitabas que el narrador describiera cada acción ya que nosotros tenemos la habilidad de hacer la conexión del sonido con la historia.

Una de las escenas que se destaco fue cuando el narrador estaba hablando sobre el viaje imaginario del globo aerostático con el “abuelo”. Usaron el sonido del viento para simular que están en el aire; junto con la voz de un niño que te hace percibir que esta perdiendo el equilibrio por los vientos fuertes.  El ruido cuando raspas el hielo, simulando que están tocando la punta de los cerros. Para finalizar esta escena, se escucha los niños riéndose. Tan solo con estos sonidos podemos notar como los personajes se sentían en ese instante. Transmitiendo un momento de felicidad.

Otra técnica que se uso en este episodio es la música para crear ambiente. Al transcurso de la historia, el narrador emite diferentes emociones. La música nos deja saber como el personaje se sintió en el momento. Ya sea cuando el narrador contaba un evento triste; estaba acompañado por el sonido de un piano. Otro instante seria cuando el narrador emitía sentimientos de nostalgia; la música que lo acompañaba era una guitarra. Dependiendo como el narrador se sentía, la música y el instrumento variaba.

Los Cassettes del exilio” es una historia de como se construye una relación de padre e hijo a través de una grabadora. Formándose parte de su vida cotidiana. Los elementos que se usaron para contar la historia fueron los cambios de voces y los sonidos. Estos sonidos ayudaron a expresar los sentimientos del emisor (el narrador) al receptor (la audiencia). Además, nos ayuda a extender la información y la idea que se quería transmitir en la historia. A veces no tenemos que ver una imagen, sino nuestra percepción de sonidos y música nos puede abrir la mente e imaginarnos una historia.

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A deadly game of hide-and-seek with “Ready or Not” (Movie Review)

Resultado de imagen para ready or not movieWould you play a game of hide-and-seek on your wedding night? Young bride Grace did and paid the price. Ready or Not is a Thriller/ dark comedy starring Samara Weaving as a bride that marries Alex Le Domas, a man from a wealthy family. Le Domas family has a tradition of playing a game on the wedding night every time a family member gets married. But it’s not your typical game of old maid nor chess. Turning this long family tradition into a lethal game fighting for survival.

It’s not new within films to have a plot-driven by games. We have seen it on Saw, Tag You’re It and many more. But this movie takes the concept and gives us an original and fun story. “Fuck rich people!”, this line from the movie sums up the whole premise. With a hint of social commentary, Ready or Not takes you on a world of these close-minded characters and turns it into satire. On the other way around, the writers turned the ordinary problems with family and completely twist it into horrific situations. Sometimes in-laws could be a hassle but for Grace, it was a living hell.

Samara Weaving takes the spotlight from everyone else. She’s funny, violent and she got that charm that makes her stand out. Her character as the young bride is put in god awful scenarios that you just can’t help but cheer for her and pray she’ll get her revenge. Could she be the next scream queen? On the other hand, we have Adam Brody playing as her in-law and throughout the film, you can see he’s the only “sane one” of the rich family. But the movie leaves you wanting to know more about his backstory. Resultado de imagen para ready or not movie

The film doesn’t shy away with the gore. It’s bloody, violent and disgusting. There are scenes that could make your head turn around and not face the big screen. If you have a strong stomach go ahead and watch it. In addition, the movie is genuinely funny and has a pretty dark sense of humor and you’ll find yourself sadistically laughing. It’s written away where it has a perfect balance between horror aspects and comedy. Knowing when the time is right to throw a punchline.

Ready or Not is a wickedly fun and entertaining movie to watch. It makes you laugh with his macabre humor but makes your head turn away in the gory scenes. An action-packed movie with a lead heroine that the audience would certainly enjoy.

I give this movie 3.5 / 5 awful in-laws.

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is surprisingly frightening (Movie Review)

Resultado de imagen para big toe scary story
Illustration by Stephen Gammell

As you’re nervously walking around the scholastic fair; you stumble upon a book that captures your eyes. The cover is a clown with a gruesome grin. Even doe you’re scared,  it doesn’t stop you from opening it and flipping thru the pages.  You see a child with a sad expression digging in his garden. Suddenly he finds a toe. The child brings it to the house, thinking it’s a plum and eats it with his stew. It’s late at night and his parents are sleeping but he’s wide awake. “Then he hears footsteps and the creature comes into his room and yells at him saying “Where is my to-o-o-o-o-e?!“. Frighten,  you quickly throw the book away and leave the fair. The memory is ingrained in your memory until now.Resultado de imagen para scary stories to tell in the dark movie

Director André Øvredal and Producer Guillermo Del Toro brings your nightmares back to life with the film adaptation of Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.  The story takes back in 1968 America. Stella, a girl obsessed with monsters, and her friends for Halloween night they go to the abandon mansion of the Bellow family. They say that the house is haunted by Sarah Bellow. A girl who turned her misery into scary stories. But, who would have thought they could come to life?

Evil Dead, Oculus, Drag me to Hell; It’s a common trope within horror to use curse objects as the main theme. It certainly not an original story and we have seen it before but the director explores this element in certain ways. Being that the main source of inspiration is a children’s horror book, you’ll think that the film would have been made as an anthology ( such as the Twilight zone movie or VHS). But, they created a story wherein a clever way incorporated these shorts stories. The way that the story was told was not through adults but children as the main victims. Putting them in horrific situations.Imagen relacionada

The script was created by Del Toro and Dan & Kevin Hageman. Being that the film is based on a children’s book, they don’t dumb down the story to the viewers.  It’s creepy and disturbing when it needs to. With the help of the director, Øvredal captures the dark and eerie feeling that Del Toro wanted on the big screen. However, being that the characters are children, the dialogue felt cheesy at times.  On top of that, the pacing of the story was a little off. Mostly because we get an amount of character buildup and side story before the actual “scary parts” happen.

The highlights of the film were when scary stories come to life. The build-up and the payoff of the scenes were well executed by creating tension when was needed. On the other hand, you’ll recognize some of the childhood stories such as The Big toe, Harold the scarecrow, and others. Seeing the creatures on the big screen you can feel the essence of Guillermo del Toro all over it. Capturing the details of the once black and white illustrations and turning them into real-life gruesomeness.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a fun creepy movie. Even doe it’s a formula that we have seen before, its a solid story with unsettling creatures. It’s a perfect movie for young (and adults ) cinephiles who aren’t too keen on scary films but want to slowly introduce themselves to the horror genre.

I Give this movie 3 / 5 toes on a stew.

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Midsommar: Movie Review

Director Ari Aster earned a lot of attention in 2018 with his film Hereditary; a story about the deterioration of a family after a gruesome tragedy. Getting the most deserve praised by critics and the film community. After his debut film, he announced his next project Midsommar. It’s no surprise to be one of the most anticipated films of 2019.

The movie stars Florence Pugh as Dani. After a horrific tragedy, she becomes emotionally unstable and tries to find comfort from her emotionally distant boyfriend, Christian played by Jack Reynor. Dani learns that her boyfriend and his three buddies made plans to attend a festival in Sweden where it’s only celebrated once every 90 years and thus tagging along with them.Imagen relacionada

when it comes to writing a story, Ari Aster main focus is grief/trauma. Telling it in the most disturbing and horrific way possible. Ari continues to explore this on Midsommar with Florence pugh character as she tries to handle her emotions after her traumatic event. Showing instances of her having anxiety, panic attacks, and disassociation through the film. Ari also opens up a conversation about toxic relationships and how it can affect the psyche of a person.  How she was constantly sorry about her actions, always taking his side and being a victim of pure pressure. Watching this character struggle is not a good sight to see and makes you almost sympathetic.

On the visual aspect of this movie, it focuses on the senses. Beautiful bright colors, a lot of wides shots to show the scenery and the use of nature. One of the most interesting things about this film is the high contrast of colors with the actual story. Being such a dark narrative but using such vivid colors gives it such a twisted undertone to it that just makes you uncomfortable.

Resultado de imagen para midsommar horror Since the beginning until the end of the movie, you’re in this journey with these characters. Never knowing what’s gonna happen next. One of the tropes that help incite the state of confusion was flipped over shots, long shots, and wide shots. Another way was how they incorporated the theme of drugs within the story. How the characters where mostly drugged through the film. Enhancing the state of confusion by showing their psychedelic trips and incorporating it on the shots; using distorted images, brights colors and hallucinations.

Strangely enough, being a horror movie, it has funny moments. Will Poulter’s character is the comedic relief of this gruesome story. Personally, I didn’t felt that the jokes were forced, rather I was surprised by some of the actions and they even referenced a film for a punchline. On the other hand, Florence Pugh acting stands out by delivering the emotional punches of the movie. However, there were some characters that were just there without any resolve nor development. It felt that they were put in the story to help progress the plot.

Midsommar relies on disturbing imagery and an eerie score to provide tension. What I like about Ari as a director he discards the classics horror tropes and gives us an original way to make our skin crawl. He doesn’t shy away in showing us very graphic and gory scenarios to get a reaction out of the audience. If you’re a fan of horror you don’t wanna miss this out.

I give this movie 4 / 5 flower crowns.

TRIGGER WARNING: This movie contains themes such as suicide, substance abuse, and body gore.

Here’s my Hereditary movie review 






Mis dos granos de arroz sobre el documental After María

Al descubrir que el streaming service numero uno, Netflix, iba a tener un documental sobre el huracán María me tomo por sorpresa.  Finalmente, una oportunidad para compartir la lucha que los puertorriqueños tuvieron ante María. Pero al ver el documental, no puede evitar sentir emociones mixtas. After Maria , cuenta la historia de dos familias puertorriqueñas que se mudaron al Bronx con la ayuda de FEMA. Tocando el tema de la diáspora puertorriqueña a consecuencia del huracán María y como les afecta a estas mujeres. Ahora, al sentarme y analizar este documental ¿Qué podemos decir?

Claramente este documental le falta información y contexto. Raspando solamente la superficie de los eventos ocurridos. Claro, no podemos descartar que el documental si enseña la falta de servicio que FEMA les dio a estas familias. Pero, tenemos que aclarar que la culpa de que estas insatisfecho con el documental no lo tiene las familias. Hermanos, hay que recordar que también ellos fueron victimas del huracán. Ellos perdieron familiares y sus casas.  Cada cual tuvo su experiencia y el documental esta contando la realidad de estas familias.

Ahora, hay dos lados en la moneda. Mis emociones mixtas vienen de la falta de representación de quien nos quedamos aquí. El documental tuvo una gran oportunidad de presentar lo que vivimos, luchamos y perdimos, a cientos de personas que no tienen la mínima idea que paso en nuestra islita. Los meses que estuvimos sin luz y sin agua. Las veces que muchas personas pasaron hambre por que nada mas podían comer una vez al día.Las filas de mas de 3 horas para coger una bolsa de hielo, solamente para que se derritiera al día siguiente. Los cientos de personas que perdieron sus casas. Las casas que en el día de hoy todavía están decoradas en azul. Como las plantas eléctricas eran nuestro nuevo despertador. Ellos nunca van a saber que es “bañarse a cubito”. Donde pacientes murieron en los hospitales por falta de energía eléctrica y la cifra de muertos fueron más de 2,900.  Como un rollo de papel tolla fue un símbolo de denigración y burla.

El problema que tiene el documental es que carece del otro lado de la historia. Los que nos quedamos y la pasamos de caín. Es esa oportunidad de enseñar lo que verdaderamente paso en nuestra islita y no la aprovecharon. Solamente enseñando una porción pequeña de un grave problema. Sin embargo, les recuerdo que no podemos menospreciar la historia de estas mujeres solamente por que fueron diferente a lo nuestro ya que cada cual carga con su propia experiencia. El documental perdió una gran oportunidad de enseñar la realidad que nosotros vivimos. Solamente mostrando un lado de la moneda.


Aquí le adjunto un blog post sobre mi experiencia en el Huracán María : Click Here 


“Al otro Lado” Photography project

         “Al otro lado” es una colección de 10 fotos en la cual el enfoque principal son los puentes de Puerto Rico. Ya sean puentes modernos, colgantes o escondidos por la naturaleza. Cada uno tiene una estructura diferente que los hace único. Las fotos fueron tomadas en diferentes pueblos de nuestra islita; desde Quebradilla, Ciales, Caguas, Trujillo Alto y Bayamón.  La mayoría de las fotos fueron tomadas frontalmente para poder destacar la profundidad de campo y las líneas. Además, poder señalar la repetición de líneas en su estructura y su simetría.

       Esta colección de fotos toma un aspecto diferente sobre estás infraestructuras que nos han ayudado a movernos de un lado al otro. Sin ellos, nosotros tuviéramos un obstáculo grande en trata de llegar a nuestro destino. Es la simpleza de su función principal que contribuye en el desarrollo de nuestra economía y la sociedad. Estas infraestructuras se han entrelazado en nuestra vida cotidiana.  




Fotos tomadas por Ana Sofia Cintron Mediavilla