S3 Ep9: Our Time Vanished

Hayley and Kayli are slowly learning just because a movie is in Netflix’s Top 10, doesn’t mean it’s any good. This week the girls review The Vanished: a tale of two parents in search of their daughter who went missing on a Thanksgiving camping trip. A classic thriller – should be pretty good right? Tune in to find out exactly why Kayli would sell her soul to go back in time. The drama.

Let us know if you loved this movie and any other movies you would like us to talk about at: pressedpodcast@gmail.com

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S3, Ep8: A Candy-Coated Revenge Story

This week, Hayley and Kayli grabbed some popcorn and watched Promising Young Woman. This sugary revenge tale follows Cassie, who is haunted by her past and decides to teach some “good guys” a lesson. Is this a “man-hating, girl boss” type of film or is this a dark comedy, thriller masterpiece? Grab your candy of choice, dim the lights and get ready for one hell of a ride!

Let us know if you loved this movie and any other movies you would like us to talk about at: pressedpodcast@gmail.com

Follow us on Instagram at PressedPodcast!

S3, Ep7: We Got Soul!

New Year, New Pressed! This month, Hayley and Kayli are talkin about movies! Since we’re still stuck inside for this neverending quarantine, we thought it would be nice to let you know what movies are worth your time. We’re kicking off this month with 2020’s Soul, starring Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey. Is this film a step in the right direction for diversifying animated children’s films or is this a rehash of The Princess and the Frog? Tune in to find out all of the juicy details!

Let us know if you loved this movie and any other movies you would like us to talk about at: pressedpodcast@gmail.com

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The Best of 2020

Well, we have made it to 2021! We know everyone is ready to give a middle finger to 2020, but we aren’t done yet. It’s time to discuss the absolute best, the cream of the crop, the *chef’s kiss* of 2020! Hayley and Kayli are excited to share with you their highlights.

Hayley

Last week I ranted about the worst Internet trends of 2020 but to end things on a much-needed better note, I thought I would share my favorites.

Tik Tok

I know exactly what you’re thinking – Didn’t you just say last week you hated Tik Tok or something? That would be halfway correct. I only slandered the ridiculous dances, but I am respectable and give credit where it’s due. Tik Tok has skyrocketed as one of the most used apps of the year and for good reason. There’s something for everyone: cooking, comedy, and even horror. The platform has allowed a space where anyone with a phone can make content and can be seen. I was skeptical at first, mostly because of the amount of young people on it, but I grew to love it and found myself scrolling endlessly.

This You?

Another internet trend I love from 2020 originates from one of the OG apps: Twitter. If you are unfamiliar with this app, you can express your thoughts and emotions in 280 characters or less while also being able to share photos and videos. The best part about this platform are the replies and comments to original posts. The “This You” trend is when one user gives a statement or thought and internet sleuths go searching and find this person said something to contradict themselves in the past. The sleuths then comment and say “This You?” to expose the user and it leads to some pretty funny interactions. See the example below for some clarification:

Twitter also took advantage of this trend to call out BLM bandwagon supporters who previously made comments that contradicted the movement. There’s nothing like exposing hypocrites.

The Mirror Challenge

Creatives everywhere were able to showcase their work during the quarantine as they had much more time on their hands. Once challenge involved taking a large mirror outside to take artsy photos out in nature and posting to social media sites. Not only where these photos beautiful but it was a way for people to connect and share their work.

In general, the amount of art I’ve seen pop up during 2020 increased and I must say I wasn’t disappointed. It’s nice to see the trend of creativity come back in style.

2020 was definitely one for the books. All we can do is push forward and try to navigate the new year the best we can. I can’t wait to see what internet trends the youths come up with next.

Kayli

Although 2020 was the shittiest of shitty years, I actually enjoyed a lot of things (when it comes to books, movies or tv shows that is). So, for this blog going over the best of the best, I’ve decided to gush a little bit more on my favs. Let’s get started!

Books

2020 was by far the best reading year I’ve had in a long time. I fell back in love with reading and found some really great books! One of them being Confessions by Kanae Minato. This was by far one of the most shocking books I’ve read this year, merely for the fact that at the end of each chapter I gasped out loud like an extra from Pretty Little Liars. This is about a teacher confronting her class about the murder of her young daughter. It’s a short read that was adapted into a movie that I’m super excited to check out. The only thing I will say is that each time a chapter starts, there’s like a recap of what happened previously. That got a little tiring, but it didn’t stop me from being shocked or enjoying the ride.

The next book on my list is When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole. Y’all, I devoured this book in one day. I could not put it down! I was so intrigued with the story line and couldn’t wait to figure out how things would end. This one is about a historical black neighborhood that has fallen victim to gentrification. We follow two perspectives, one of them being a young woman who was raised in the neighborhood and the other being a young man who just moved in. The way Cole was able to use gentrification as a horror element was amazing! I will say that Cole is known for her romances and it definitely showed in one spicy scene, but other than that When No One is Watching was a great thriller that I highly recommend!

The last book I will talk about is The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune. Ughhhh this book was just so wholesome that even thinking about it now makes my tiny heart swell. We follow Linus Baker who is a case worker at the Department in Charge of Magical Youth and is tasked with going to an island that is home to some pretty interesting children. I don’t want to say much more than that because I think it’s a better experience if you don’t know too much going in. This was such a great book that I highly recommend to anyone who needs a little pick me up.

Movies

Since going to the movies is not really an option at the moment, I watched a lot of movies on VOD that were quite surprising! One of them being The Call (2020) on Netflix. This is a foreign, dark fantasy about a woman who goes back to her childhood home and starts receiving some interesting calls. I know that’s pretty fucking vague, but you just have to go into this one without knowing too much in order to enjoy it. I really enjoyed the concept of this one, but the ending was a little shaky for me. Even with that, I still think this one is worth a watch!

Another movie I want to highlight is One Cut of the Dead (2017) on Shudder. This is a foreign, zombie film. Need I say more? Yes? Okay, well this is a zombie movie with a twist. I know that’s not much more but trust me, not knowing what this movie is about was the best way to watch it. I think this was such a creative way to show your classic zombies. So, if you’re a zombie connoisseur, add this to your watchlist to spice it up!  

TV Shows

I didn’t really get hooked to a lot of shows this year. I don’t know if it was quarantine or what, but I just got super bored with any show I started to watch. Except for these two, obviously. The first one is Love on a Spectrum on Netflix. This is a docu-series following a group of people who fall on the autistic spectrum and their journeys to find love. This show was so heartwarming! There’s nothing like watching people fall in love to really hit you in the feels. As someone who doesn’t have any personal experience with autism, it was really great being able to learn more about the spectrum. I highly recommend it!

The next show I’ve fallen into a love-hate relationship with is The Boys on Amazon Prime. The Boys is all about a group of regular-degular people deciding to teach a lesson to the superheroes who are kind of starting to terrorize the city rather than save it. Now, I’m not a huge fan of superheroes. I think the whole genre is a little played out, if I’m being honest. However, I do like it when they switch up the stories a little bit and show a flawed side to our infamous heroes. That’s where I really enjoy The Boys. I think it does a great job showing how human these superheroes can be. I mean everyone has a bad day, right? But it does a little too good of job showing how flawed these heroes are to the point where I absolutely loathe some of them. If my only complaint about a show is that I hate a character that is complete garbage, then I think they’re doing something right.

All in all, I’m ready to throw away 2020 and bring in 2021! I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year. Fingers crossed that this year is at least slightly better than the last. Stay Pressed y’all!

The Worst of 2020

This year was full of ups and downs and then more downs and even more downs. As we’re wrapping up 2020, Hayley and Kayli have decided to use the next two blog posts to talk about the worst and best of the year. As you can tell by the title of this blog, get ready for us to rant about some of the not-so-great moments of 2020.

Hayley

This year has been one for the books – full of ups, downs, and cringey Internet trends brought on by quarantining. What’s a better way to wrap up this horrible year than to review my top 3 worst Internet trends of 2020? Since these are trends I might be in the minority here – but I think it’s important to call out some of the shenanigans we endured this year.

Viral Tik Tok Dances

My first nominee goes to the awful Tik Tok dances with basic dance moves, creepy smiling, and a way too many damn moves. I didn’t go one day without seeing the same routine done a million different times to a song I was sick of hearing. My love for Savage by Meg thee Stallion and Say So by Doja Cat quickly flew out the window when I heard them 100 times a day. Tik Tokers even remade dances to songs that ALREADY had dances like The Wobble by V.I.C. 

Just deplorable. 

Until Tomorrow Trend

I pulled this trend out of the depths of my memory because this was how unforgettable and weird this was. People would upload an embarrassing photo of themselves on Instagram and whoever liked it within the 24 hours the image was up was sent a chain-like DM saying they had to do the same thing – or else. 

What in the 2011????

I didn’t realize I would still be threatened by ominous chain-mail via Instagram in 2020 but, hey, I guess that’s on brand for this crazy year. I did enjoy looking at people’s crazy photos but once everyone joined in my feed just flooded with weird old photos and I was no longer entertained.

Push-up challenge

This might have been our lowest point. We “challenged” each other to randomly exercise??

Instagrammers all over the country posted stories of themselves doing a set amount of push-ups while tagging their closest friends to do the same. Why, you ask? I have no clue, the last thing I want to do while browsing Instagram is to be pressured into physical activity. 

I’ll stick to the shot challenge thank you very much. 

We have to give ourselves some slack because this was a strange year so, naturally, we did some strange things. No worries though, next week I will highlight some of the better trends we came up with in 2020 to end things on a better note. 

Stay Pressed!

Kayli

This year I spent a lot of time reading and watching TV, which is why I thought it would be appropriate for me to talk about the worst book, movie, and TV show I got my hands on this year. I’ll try to keep this as spoiler free as possible, but no promises!

The Graveyard Apartment by Mariko Koike

I picked up this book for the group read during the Spooky Smart Bitches readathon. I was really excited about this one because of the premise. We are following a family that moves into an apartment complex that is located next to a graveyard. Slowly, all of the residents begin leaving the complex because of some spooky goings-on (cue spooky music here). Now, I looooooove a ghost story. Every time I read a horror book that doesn’t end in a supernatural twist, I am a little disappointed. Even with the supernatural element this book was a dud. I didn’t think it was possible for a ghost scene to be boring, but the Graveyard Apartment proved me wrong! Not only that, but the ending was super bizarre (not in a good way, unfortunately). All in all, I do not recommend this one unless you enjoy boring ass ghost stories!

Knock Knock (2015)

Ughhhhhhhh. This movie was by far the worst thing I watched this year, well tied with The Babysitter: Killer Queen. Knock Knock is about a supposedly happily married man being seduced by two rando women and paying the consequences. My biggest issue with this film is the message. At first it seems like your standard “men are trash, and they’ll cheat on you in a minute” type of film. Then it takes a weird turn where it seems like a job fit for Benson and Stabler, if you catch my drift. There’s also a scene where the husband (who is played by Keanu Reeves) has a five-minute monologue about free pizza. Eli Roth has definitely scarred me for life but not in the way I appreciate! I wouldn’t recommend this movie to my worst enemy, and I have a lot of those.

The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020)

Okay, let me clarify my feelings about this show before I get cancelled. I don’t think this was the worst show of 2020, but it was a huge disappointment for me. I just watched the Haunting of Hill House this year and absolutely loved it. I put if off for so long because I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to the hype, but boy was I wrong. I was super excited about the Haunting of Bly Manor, but it was just so much slower than Hill House. The twists were pretty obvious, the backstory episodes dragged and the whole season was just so boring and dull. It felt like the whole story revolved around Dani stomping around Bly. Also, it took me so long to finish the show that the ending didn’t have a huge impact for me, but that’s my fault. I think the best way to watch Bly Manor is by not watching Hill House first, or understand that Bly Manor is just a slow, slow, slow burn.

We know that 2020 was rough for a lot of us and our hearts go out to all of you that had a tough year. Not to jinx 2021, but fingers crossed that it’s somewhat better. Stay tuned because next week we’ll be talking about the best of 2020. Stay Pressed!

S3, Ep6: Corona Christmas

We hope your Holiday Season was as good as it could be given the difficult past year. Hayley and Kayli give a life update and go over Christmas shopping and what it could mean for your personal data. The girls also talk a little about Covid-19 and the upcoming vaccine everyone is so excited to take.

Pressed about something? Email us at pressedpodcast@gmail.com.

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S3, Ep5: What You’ve All Been Waiting For

We know – last week’s episode must have had you all worried for Hayley’s fate but no worries, its all the magic of storytelling. Hayley and Kayli worked hard to produce their first ever audio skit just in time for Halloween night. Join us this episode for a behind the scenes look at what it took to make the skit as well as the inspiration for the story. The girls also have a special Pressed on the Internet topic where Hayley rants for 15 minutes and Kayli listens like the great friend she is.

Pressed about something? Email us at pressedpodcast@gmail.com!

You can also find us on Instagram and YouTube at Pressed Podcast for more brilliant content.

Halloween Chronicles 4

Happy Halloween all you ghouls and goblins! I can’t believe how fast this month went by. I’m spending this Halloween watching some spooky movies in my spooky pjs. You know, living the life! I’m excited to fit an extra hour in on this spooky day and spend it getting scared! This past week I finished 3 books and watched 3 movies. Let’s get to it!

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Rating: 3/5

Through the Woods is a graphic novel made up of 5 different stories that depict dread, fear, and loneliness. There’s not a lot I can say about this novel since it’s made up of short stories, but I will tell you the imagery in this is just beautiful! Carroll uses colors in such a wonderful way that it really helps convey the message of each story. I recommend this one just for the visuals alone!

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Rating: 4/5

Before we get into this one, I will say that this book is about sexual assault. So if you are sensitive to that topic, I would strongly suggest that you skip it. The Night Swim is told in two different perspectives, Rachel and Hannah. Rachel hosts a podcast “Guilty or Not Guilty” where she discusses different true crime cases. This season takes Rachel to a small town where a rape trial is currently underway, which she plans on covering in full detail to allow the audience to come to their own conclusion. While Rachel is covering the trail, she receives a letter from a fan of the show, Hannah, asking for Rachel to look into her sister’s case. Hannah claims that her sister was assaulted and murdered, but the case was considered an accidental drowning.

The Night Swim was such a great exploration into the topic of rape culture and sexual assault. The way the story was told with both perspectives and the podcast episodes covering the case, really kept me engaged. I think Goldin did a terrific job portraying such a hard topic. I would recommend this to anyone who is okay with the subject matter.  Also, the audiobook of this is full cast and I highly recommend listening to it!

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power

Rating: 3.5/5

In Burn Our Bodies Down we are following Margo, who has a strained relationship with her mother but yearns for a family. One day, Margo finds a number for her grandmother and embarks on a journey of discovering herself and uncovering her family’s secrets.

I think this book is best experienced blind, which is why I’m being vague. I also recommend reading the book, unless you like listening to someone whining for 10 hours. Anyways, this is the second Rory Power book I’ve read this year and I enjoyed the mystery behind this one much more! In Wilder Girls, I felt like the mystery’s explanation was very heavy handed, but Power’s did a better job this time around. Burn Our Bodies Down was a fun family drama with some horror elements, and I enjoyed the ride. Recommend if you want some spooky farm vibes!

Sleep Tight (2011)

Rating: 2.5/5

Sleep Tight is a Spanish film following an apartment caretaker who loves making people miserable. This movie was a damn trip, but not in the best way. The caretaker’s devious deeds are awful and disturbing to watch unfold, but his motives are never really explained. Maybe that is the scariest thing, knowing that people don’t need a reason to be cruel. But in a movie, I need a little more closure to truly enjoy the ending. If you love creeps, I would definitely recommend this one to you!

Antebellum (2020)

Rating: 2.5/5

I’m not even going to try to tell you what this one is about. I think going into Antebellum without knowing what is going to happen, is the best way to experience this one. I honestly don’t even know how to explain my feelings about it either. I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it. I think it’s because I figured out the twist way before it was revealed, and the whole time I was just waiting for confirmation. I don’t know if I recommend this one or not, but if you have $20 bucks to burn go ahead!

The Frighteners (1996)

Rating: 2/5

The Frighteners is an acid trip of a film. It’s a cheesy movie about a psychic who uses his connections with ghosts to go around town staging hauntings. However, he notices that there’s a new ghost in town killing people and it’s up to our psychic to unravel the mystery. This is more of a background movie rather than a “let’s bust out the popcorn and chill on the couch” movie. I say this because the plot is just a mess, but the characters are messier! If you want some cheese in your life and a messy group of characters, go ahead and pick it up!

Well this was a fun exploration into all things spooky and scary! I hope you found some things to keep you up at night this October. Thanks for reading! Happy Halloween!

S3, Ep4: Spooktacular Times!

Happy Halloween! Since we’re all stuck at home this year for Halloween, Hayley and Kayli decided to spend this last episode of Hallowpressed by talking about some movies they watched this spooky season! Hayley was very disgusted to learn that Kayli’s childhood wasn’t spent watching some of the Halloween classics like Hocus Pocus and Halloween Town. So this year, Kayli did just that. Was her childhood lacking or are these classics actually a waste of time? Who’s to know! They also introduce a new segment “Would We Survive” where Hayley and Kayli place themselves in different horror movies and figure out if they have the guts to survive. Stay safe and stay spooky y’all!

Pressed about something? Email us at pressedpodcast@gmail.com!

You can also find us on Instagram and Youtube at PressedPodcast for more spooky entertainment.

Your Destination

Hey there you spooky cats and kittens! We hope you’re ready to get scary because Hayley and Kayli found an app that is going to take them on a wild ride. “Your Destination” is an app designed to take you somewhere new and all you have to do is have an intention. But what if the intention was “scary”? Would it truly be a terrifying experience? Listen to find out!

Sound Effects: https://www.epidemicsound.com

Music: YouTube Audio Library

Halloween Chronicles 3

Wanna hear something spooky? October is almost over! I can’t believe how fast this month has gone by! I mentioned in my first post that I was planning on reading 13 books this month, and at this point I don’t think I’ll be able to read all of them. Who would’ve known reading 13 books in a month was going to be difficult?? This week I was able to read 2 books and watch 4 movies. So let’s get started!

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Rating: 4/5

Lock Every Door follows Jules, who’s having a rough time in good ol’ NYC. The day she was laid off was also the day she found out her boyfriend was cheating on her. Now, she’s staying on a friend’s couch trying to find a job. That’s when she sees a promising ad for an apartment sitter. During the interview, Jules learns that if she is able to follow the rules of the apartment complex for three months, she’ll be paid $12,000. Getting paid that much for just living in an apartment? Doesn’t sound sketchy at all! Jules obviously doesn’t think so, as she decides to take up the position. However, things start getting strange as Jules begins to settle down in the apartment.

This is my third Riley Sager book I’ve read this year and it was a good time! I devoured this book in 2 days! I was just so excited to figure out the mystery of this apartment building alongside Jules. My favorite trope, in both books and movies, occurs in Lock Every Door and that is the main character researching. I love following a character into a library or having them google articles about their new home. It makes me feel like I can put the pieces together like a little detective! An interesting tidbit in this book (that isn’t a spoiler) is the mention of a Blue Moon on Halloween. Now, a Blue Moon is when a Full Moon happens more than once in a month. If you didn’t know, this year in real life there will be a Blue Moon on Halloween! When I saw this being talked about in the book, I flipped out! Like biiiiiitch! What’s going to happen this Blue Moon??? Overall, I highly recommend any of Riley Sager’s books! Each one has been intriguing and a fun time.  

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

Rating: 3/5

The Sun Down Motel is told in two separate timelines: one following Viv in 1982 and the other following Carly in 2017. Viv worked the late-night shift at the Sun Down Motel where most of the guests are ghosts rather than paying customers. Then one night, Viv goes missing. She starts her shift at the Sun Down and disappears, leaving her purse and car behind. Having this great mystery hanging over her family for 35 years, Carly decides to try to figure out what happened to her Aunt Viv. The best way for her to do this would be to work the exact same shift Viv worked the night she went missing.

Now, I really don’t know how to feel about this book. For whatever reason, this one didn’t keep me as enthralled as the previous book did and it took me a lot longer to finish it. Also, I figured out everything before the reveals. I don’t know if that is necessarily a bad thing or not. I mean it is cool to have the clues there for you to solve the mystery, but if you figure it out too soon then the book seems to drag. However, this is one of the first books I’ve read in a while where ghosts were actually acknowledged and played a role in the mystery. It was cool that the characters believed one another’s experience, instead of the classic horror trope where no one believes that ghosts could possibly be the reason behind the weirdness. Overall, I did like the Sun Down Motel and enjoyed reading a paranormal story this Halloween season. I recommend it if you’re a fan of true crime.

The Cleansing Hour (2019)

Rating: 1.5/5

The Cleansing Hour is a hot ass mess of a film. It follows two friends, Max and Drew, who decided to create a livestream called “The Cleansing Hour”. Each livestream shows Max performing an exorcism on some poor soul. It turns out it’s all fake, like most things on the internet. Then one day when their “possessed” guest is a no-show, Drew’s fiancé fills in. Then things get real!

Okay. I hated it! This is an interesting concept, I guess? I mean it isn’t original to say the least, but I love possession stories which is why I decided to give it a chance. Here’s my issues with the film: I hated all the characters, the story was a mess, and the ending was predictable. Also, the footage from the livestream looked so bad! They didn’t even have the decency to film their livestream in 1080p. The audacity!  I don’t really have anything positive to say about this film and I don’t think it is worth your time. But if you’re bored and want something cheesy to watch, go for it!

Impetigore (2019)

Rating: 3.5/5

After an inciting event, Maya is forced to return to her home village and uncover her family’s secrets. Okay, I know that is super duper vague but I think this one is best experienced not knowing what’s going to happen. I will not be spoiling it, but I do have some opinions to share!

Impetigore’s opening scene is the best one I’ve seen this spooky season! It was intense, sudden, and just a perfect way to start a horror movie. I will say that the rest of the movie isn’t as strong as the beginning, but that is not to say that I didn’t like this movie. Impetigore was my introduction into Indonesian horror and it was an experience that I really enjoyed. I can’t wait to explore more from this director and Indonesian horror in general! Highly recommend!

The Stepford Wives (1975)

Rating: 3/5

Joanna and her family move from the big city of NYC to the quiet town of Stepford. Trying to be neighborly, Joanna and her husband get involved in the community, but things are run a little differently in Stepford. You know what? That’s all I’m going to say about this one! Let’s keep it vague, baby!

This is another film I watched with my family that came out during the year my mom was born. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from a 70s movie, but I was pleasantly surprised with this one! Now, I was able to guess what was going on way before anything was revealed. I still had a lot of fun watching it and the ending was a little creepy! Overall, if you don’t mind a slow burn from the 70s, I recommend this one!

Phantom of the Megaplex (2000)

Rating: 2/5

Phantom of the Megaplex follows Pete Riley, a hard-working teen, who has a job as assistant manager at a movie theater that is supposedly haunted. Oooooo. The night of a huge movie premier, things start going terribly wrong. Almost as if someone was trying to sabotage the premier. Could it be the Phantom?? It’s up to Pete and his siblings to figure it out!

I’ve never seen this movie growing up, but my boyfriend was very excited to re-watch it. I didn’t have as good of a time watching it as he did, and I’ll tell you why. This movie was STRESSFUL! The whole movie is just Pete struggling to keep the Megaplex together. So many disasters kept happening and it was just pure chaos. I can see how little kids could enjoy it. However, there was a secondary plot line in this movie that felt a little weird and slowed the movie down a bit. Basically, we’re following Pete’s mom on a date with her boyfriend. During the date, the topic of marriage comes up and they discuss (in metaphors) about if they should make it official. The secondary plot would’ve bored me as a kid, if we’re being honest. Overall, I don’t think my childhood was lacking because I missed the Phantom of the Megaplex.

Well, October is almost over and I still have a ton of things I want to get to. Will I be able to read and watch everything I have on my list? I guess we’ll see! Keep it spooky y’all!

S3, Ep3: We’re Here for the Boos!

Don’t be scared, but this week’s episode is all about ghosts! That’s right, this episode is all about the history of ghosts and why we may be so open to believing in them. With shows like Ghost Adventures and plenty of ghostly Tik Toks, it can be easy to dismiss these transparent fiends but maybe there is more to it. Also, we decided to take a “trip” to South Korea and learn more about what they find scary by discussing some popular horror movies. So, take your seat, buckle in and let’s get spooky! haunting

Pressed about something? Email us at pressedpodcast@gmail.com!

You can also find us on Instagram and Youtube at PressedPodcast for more spooky entertainment.

Resources:

Halloween Chronicles 2

Hey, hey, hey my witches! I know this post is coming a few days late, but I needed to wrap up a few things before I could write up this blog. This week had some ups and downs and some disappointments. I finished 3 books and watched 4 movies, so let’s get into this mama jama!

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

Book Rating: 3.5/5 Movie Rating: 2.5/5

I’m Thinking of Ending Things follows a couple on a road trip to the boyfriend’s parents’ house. This is the first time the girlfriend is meeting his parents and should be excited. However, she is thinking of ending things with him. Will this road trip and visit cement the fact that she should cut ties or is there some redeeming quality to staying with her boyfriend, Jake?

I know this doesn’t sound scary, but creepy things definitely take place during and after the trip to Jake’s parents’ house. I have read the book before, probably about 3 years ago. Then I saw it going around booktube and heard Netflix was picking it up to turn it into a film featuring Toni Collette (LOVE HER), so I thought it was a perfect time to reread this one. Let’s start with the book.

Like I said, I’ve already read this book and I remembered how confused the ending left me. This time, I was able to pick up on a lot more and understand the ending a bit better. I also decided to pick up the audiobook because I heard it was creepy, so it was a nice addition to the reread. I will admit, the book wasn’t as creepy or unsettling as I remember from the first time, but I still think it had some solid elements. I love creepy people, and boy was there an abundance in this book, but I also love seclusion. Something about being trapped in the middle of nowhere with a person you don’t really like is just *chef’s kiss*. This book isn’t very long so there isn’t much I can say without spoiling anything, but I do recommend going into this book as blind as possible.

Now, let’s talk about this movie. Man oh man, was I looking forward to watching this. I had such high hopes for it because I remembered how unsettled this book left me when I first came across it. Plus, Toni Collette! I know I already talked about her appearance in this movie, but after watching Hereditary I am always super excited to see her in any film. Unfortunately, this isn’t a true adaptation and I really wish it was. They decided to go the route of “love letter” to the book rather than a play-by-play, which I didn’t have an issue with at first. They do spend a lot more time at Jake’s parents’ house in the movie than they did in the book, but I enjoyed the visit sequence. I thought it was a twisty, fun ride. However, the ending really didn’t do it for me. The ending of the book is dark, eerie, and confusing. While the ending of the movie is bright, musical and still confusing. I don’t think you truly grasp what is going on by just watching the movie, but it does hint at it. With that being said, I do recommend reading the book before watching the movie.

If you don’t mind spending most of the time inside the head of a character or long conversations, I definitely recommend both the book and the movie. But overall, I enjoyed the book much more.

The Return by Rachel Harrison

Rating: 2.5/5

The Return follows a group of four friends after a traumatic incident: one of the girls, Julie, goes missing during a hike in a national park. However, two years later she reappears on the porch of her home without any memory of what happened. The girls decide to spend some time together by booking a long weekend at a quaint hotel. Everyone is happy to see Julie, but they can’t shake the feeling that something isn’t quite right.

This book wasn’t one of the 13 books I wanted to read this month, but I saw the audiobook and decided to give it a go. I really had no idea what this book was about when I picked it up, but the mystery intrigued me enough to finish it. Unfortunately, majority of this book is about the three girls talking about Julie and how weird Julie is being and if they should ask Julie about what happened when she went missing. It was a little draining to get through, if I’m being honest. However, the ending was a trip! I had no idea where this book was going, and the ending really did surprise me. I just don’t think it was enough payoff to trudge through these girls constantly saying, “I love you” and “sorry” to each other. All in all, I liked how weird this book got and would probably pick up another book by this author!

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Rating: 4/5

My Best Friend’s Exorcism follows two friends, Abby and Gretchen, from the beginning of their friendship to the time things got really weird their sophomore year of high school. And by weird, I mean one of them may or may not have gotten possessed by a demon. Dun, dun, duuuuun.

This is the second book I’ve read from Hendrix, and I loved it! His writing style is so immersive, other’s might complain that he can be a little too specific, but it really puts you in the mind of the characters you’re following. I’ve been through high school and I know how fragile friendships can be, especially when drama ensues. So, to experience that sensation of such hurt, betrayal, and confusion really just made ya girl feel some type of way! Also, each chapter name is a song from the 80’s and listening to them while I read just enhanced the reading experience for me. I had a good time reading this one, but I didn’t love it as much as I did The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. This one is a little slower as it builds up the friendship between the girls, but I still really enjoyed where the story went. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to relive high school but with a touch of demon possession!

Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017)

Rating: 3.5/5

Tigers Are Not Afraid is a dark fairytale about Estrella who has recently found herself orphaned because of the cartels that plague her city. She finds herself joining a group of kids who have also experienced the same loss Estrella has, and together they fight for their survival.

This movie was heartbreaking, but just so endearing. These kids we follow are going through things that no child ever should, but the way they care for each other makes my heart swell. The fairytale aspect of this movie is an interesting one. I don’t think I’ve seen a movie weave fantasy into such a dark tale so beautifully as Tigers Are Not Afraid did. I normally don’t seek out sad movies to watch, but I feel like this one was worth stepping out of my comfort zone. I highly recommend Tigers Are Not Afraid but prepare yourself for some heartbreak.

Spiral (2019)

Rating: 2/5

Spiral follows Malik and Aaron, a gay couple moving into a new home in a small town with Aaron’s daughter in 1995. This is your classic creepy neighbors story, where things get weird fast when the new family starts to get acquainted with the neighborhood.

I saw a lot of comparison to Get Out when reading the reviews for this movie, and I can kind of see the comparison. Malik is the only person of color we see on screen, plus Malik and Aaron are the only gay couple in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, this movie just got messy. I think they started out pretty strong with subtle things happening, but there was some stuff that just wasn’t thoroughly explained. This movie does include one of my favorite tropes, which is a character doing research montage. However, the pieces of the puzzle they tried to feed us during this montage didn’t quite fit together. That’s not to say the ending didn’t explain things, it did loud and clear. Just the way we got there, seemed a little rushed. I do think they were trying to accomplish something similar to Get Out when it comes the social commentary aspect, but it came off a little heavy handed. Overall, I don’t think I can recommend this one unless you’re looking for a Get Out wannabe. Oof, that’s coming off a lot harsher than I meant to be but thems my feelings!

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Rating: 2.5/5

This movie a crime noir piece following the story of a sinister preacher who preys on the lives of a widow and her children. That’s it. That’s the movie.

This October, I am watching horror movies with my grandma, mom and brother, which gave me the idea of watching a movie from each year we were born. Doing my research, this movie came up several times as the best horror movie from ’55. I don’t really know how I feel about this movie, to be completely honest. I don’t watch a lot of older movies, so I’m not sure what to compare it to. I think it was an interesting attempt to show the contrast between the corruption of the adults vs the inherent innocence of the children. I liked the preacher character, I thought he was a great mix of charming and unsettling. However, things started to dissolve in terms of the plot towards the end of the movie. It started introducing new characters and following them, rather than wrapping up the story line of the original family we were initially following. It also took me two days to watch this movie because I was just so bored by the concept. Maybe that just speaks to me being an uncultured swine. Who’s to know!

So far, October has been very interesting. I’m excited to broaden my horizon when it comes to the horror genre, but hopefully this week is a little spookier. Keep it spooky, y’all!


S3, Ep2: Happy HalloPRESSED!

Do you find yourself sitting at home, sad, because you have no idea what you’re doing this Halloween? Look no further ghouls and goblins, Hayley and Kayli discuss what Halloween is going to look like during the middle of a pandemic. From CDC Halloween guidelines all the way to Haunted Houses with a side of social distancing, we’re your one stop shop for everything you need to know. The ghouls also give their favorite spooky recommendations and let you know which horror films to look out for this year.

Pressed about something? Email us at pressedpodcast@gmail.com!

You can also find us on Instagram and Youtube at PressedPodcast for more spooky entertainment.

Resources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween

Illinois becomes only state to ban haunted houses

http://www.driveboohalloween.com/

http://www.reindeermanor.com/dallas-haunted-house-attractions.html

https://www.screamhollow.com/

Halloween Chronicles 1

Hey there, you spooky ghouls and goblins! We have finally reached the best time of the year: Fall! Not only does the weather, usually, get cooler but it is the perfect excuse to devour all things creepy and crawly. This year, I have decided to chronicle my Halloween adventures and share them with you! Hopefully, I’ll be able to put some spooktacular things on your radar. I am going to try to read 13 books and watch all of the creepy movies and tv shows I can get my grubby hands on. Now, I don’t think this has to be said but just to cover my ass: I am NOT a movie critic or professional book reviewer. I just want to share my opinion and feelings about my favorite genre, horror. Let’s get started! This week, I was able to read one book, watch 2 movies, and watch one tv show.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Rating: 3.5/5

Before I get started on this review, I just wanted to give you some context. This year, I have made a resolution to finish every book I have started. You see, I’m really good at not finishing things so I wanted to try my hand at actually finishing a book! Wow, a concept! I started this book back in mid-September, but I was soooo not in the mood to read. Which is why I didn’t finish this book until the beginning of October. With that being said, let’s get into my actual thoughts about this book. Spoiler free, of course.

This book is set in 1950s Mexico, where we are following debutante Noemí who has received a very strange letter from her distressed cousin, Catalina. You see, newlywed Catalina has moved out to the middle of nowhere with her new man, but married life isn’t as cracked up as it seems to be. She claims that she is hearing voices and seeing things in her new home, High Place. She also thinks she may be getting poisoned by her new family. With that information, obviously Noemí decides to pay her dear cousin a visit and get to the bottom of this mysterious letter. Upon her arrival, Noemí is immediately concerned about her cousin. Things are definitely not what they seem to be at High Place.

Now, I will not lie to you; this book is a little boring. I don’t know if that is just because I read this during a reading slump or what, but I had such a hard time staying interested. That being said, this book is still very creepy. The atmosphere of High Place is weird, the family is weird, everything is weird. I enjoyed the creepy and weird elements this book had, but it just wasn’t enough to keep my attention. When it comes to Noemí, I really enjoyed her character. She’s young and still trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life, which I can relate to. I loved following her and trying to figure out the mystery of High Place. I gave this book a 3.5/5 because I thought it had some great elements. We have a creepy house and a creepy family, but also, we have dreams playing a strong role in the story. I really want to reread this book without taking so long to finish it. I want to give this story the chance it deserves. Overall, I think this is an excellent choice for anyone looking into a slow burn, creepy house story.

Scare Me (2020)

Rating: 3/5

This 2020 Shudder original film stars writer/director Josh Ruben and Aya Cash swapping scary stories in a cabin during a power outage. Now, this was an interesting movie to kick off spooky season and I still don’t really know how I feel about it. This film was more of a commentary on horror than a horror movie. The characters were very aware of the tropes, the storytelling and the types of writers that pervade the horror genre. It was a fun way to explore a genre that I absolutely love. I loved how the stories were told in this film, they were able to morph imagination with reality in a really unique way. However, this movie really dragged. I mean it isn’t the longest horror movie I have seen, but I was definitely counting down the minutes until it was over. I ended up rating this film a 3/5 because it was such a unique take on horror commentary. The characters were a bit much at times and it felt a little long, but the way the stories were told really saved this movie. I recommend this if you are looking for something unique and goofy.

The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020)

Rating: 1/5

This sequel follows the first Babysitter film two years later. We are watching Cole try to cope with his experiences in the first film, while everyone tries to convince him it didn’t happen. When he finds out that his parents are planning on taking him to a psychiatric high school (are those actually real?), he decides to ditch school with his crush and go to a party on a houseboat for the weekend. Once he arrives, he realizes that all of the people he defeated 2 years ago have come back from the depths of Hell and they want revenge.

Oof, did I absolutely despise this film! Wow! What a dumpster fire. Okay, let’s back up. So the first film, I actually really liked. I wasn’t expecting to like The Babysitter because it had some actors in it that I thought were kinda annoying. However, I didn’t mind them! I thought it was a fun, quirky movie about a Satanist blood cult. What a fun time! Now, Killer Queen is a different story.

I hated everyone in this movie. They were all so annoying and no one was funny. I don’t think I laughed once! This movie’s plot was simple, basically the exact same thing as the first one, but the way the story was told was so messy. I mean, they tried to do these “flashbacks” for the people that came back from Hell to show why they were a part of this Satanist blood cult. But those were so poorly done, I didn’t know what they were about. I mean I couldn’t tell if it was from the past (like before the first film) or if it was their experiences in Hell. I was confused. Honestly, I don’t understand why people like this film because I was losing brain cells watching it. I can only hope that the rest of October will only go up from here. I rated this a 1/5. I would give it 0 stars if I could. Cole’s 3-piece suit that he wore deserves negative stars.

Halloween Wars

This show is a freaking must! If you love cooking competitions and Halloween, you need to watch Halloween Wars. This Food Network show is about 6 teams composed of a pumpkin carver, surger artist, and cake artist competing for $50,000. Each episode they have to combine their skills to create a horrific Halloween masterpiece. This show is so entertaining to watch! I love the drama, the creations, and the spooky vibes. I highly recommend this show if you want to watch some amazing creations come to life!

Well, this was definitely a very interesting start to October. I can’t wait to dive into some more spooky shit! I hope that y’all have a spooktacular month and for God’s sake please don’t watch The Babysitter: Killer Queen. Save yourself!

S3, Ep1: Back to Our Scheduled Programming

Hayley and Kayli are back! You’re favs give a much needed update and also discuss a few current events. They also mention a few things pressing on their minds and introduce our favorite time of year: Hallowpressed!

Pressed about something? Gmail us at pressedpodcast@gmail.com!

Don’t forget to check us out on Instagram: PressedPodcast

S2, Ep30: BLM: An Important Conversation

This week Hayley and Kayli shift to a more serious tone and talk about the recent developments within the Black Community and the protests across America to fight against police brutality. We know this topic is hard but it is one that needs to be had in order to create a better future for those who have been generationally oppressed. Stay tuned to also hear their thoughts on the Doja Cat and Lana del Rey situations as well as “cancel” culture.

Where to donate (as discussed): https://www.allure.com/story/black-lives-matter-where-to-donate

Pressed about something? Contact us here: pressedpodcast@gmail.com

Check out our Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pressedpodcast/

S2, Ep29: Leave Adele ALONE!

What do Adele, OnlyFans, and Tik Tok all have in common? They’re the topics of this week’s episode! With every day seeming the exact same, thanks to us never leaving the house, we decided to turn our attention to what the Internet had lost their minds on as of late. Like is the mass celebration of Adele’s weight loss fatphobic? Why is OnlyFans so popular? And what is going on with Tik Tok now? Tune in to this week’s Pressed on the Internet!

Check out our Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pressedpodcast/

Pressed about something? Contact us here: pressedpodcast@gmail.com

S2, Ep28: Scary Stories to Tell During Quarantine

Is it a good idea to talk about creepy things during a time of a worldwide pandemic? Probably not! But that’s not going to stop Hayley and Kayli. This week, the girls decided to find something other than the current state of the world to talk about and naturally they stumbled across something spooky. Kayli found some “creepy” stories about the future, while Hayley found some true crime mysteries that are still unsolved today.

Resources: https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/31/18029534/verge-halloween-ghost-story-ai-tech-dystopia https://listverse.com/2019/11/24/mysteries-still-unsolved-2019/

Music: www.purpleplanet.com

Check out our Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pressedpodcast/

Pressed about something? Contact us here: pressedpodcast@gmail.com

S2, Ep27: Stir Crazy

Quarantine has us doing things we wouldn’t normally do, but we can’t tell if that’s a bad thing or not. With all of this free time on our hands it’s hard not to fall into the black hole of entertainment: Tik Tok. That’s right, this week Hayley and Kayli have some hot takes on everyone’s favorite time-waster app. We also talk about some reality tv shows we’ve been watching lately, because why not? During this time of quarantine, it can be easy to feel like you are not doing enough. You don’t have to come out of this time having a whole ass business. It’s okay to indulge in some trashy reality tv to escape our current one. The only important thing is to stay safe.

Check out our Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pressedpodcast/

Pressed about something? Contact us here: pressedpodcast@gmail.com