“We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”Stephen King
Is that why we watch murder mysteries? Not only to test our observational and deductive skills, but to explore, process, and cope with the unthinkable horror of murder?
Last year I watched ITV’s Broadchurch because it starred David Tennant (Doctor Who, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Hamlet, Casanova, The Escape Artist, The Decoy Bride, etc. ), the murder mystery part was a lovely bonus.
No spoilers, but this British murder mystery had so many twists and turns I started to feel dizzy, and the amount of red herrings almost seemed a little fishy. By the end I thought maybe I knew who had committed the murder, but in the case of murder mysteries I’m always delighted to second-guess myself.
The murder, the unfathomable death of a child may have appeared to be the focal point of the series, but the interactions between the people of this small town where the real story.
When I heard FOX had picked up Broadchurch and were adapting it under the name of Gracepoint I was intrigued. Even more so when I heard they were bringing along one of my favourite doctors, David Tennant to reprise his role of a burned out policeman, this time with an American accent.
While I was waiting for the October 2, 2014 première I borrowed the digital copy of Broadchurch from Netgalley.com (for the low price of an honest review), written by Erin Kelly (Minotaur Books), adapted from the TV series. Thankfully just as absorbing as the series. A gripping read, full of the same tension, suspense, and the essential elements of a delicious murder mystery.
1. A murder victim.
2. Emotionally damaged sleuths; we don’t just want them to investigate murders, we want to get into their dented psyches and try to figure out what makes them so good at getting the bad guys.
3. Great plot, subplots and more subplots, the more subplottery, the better.
4. A bunch of lying suspects. Of course, usually only one of them is lying about murder, but they’re all lying to cover up their dirty little secrets.
5. A setting to die for. I want to be submerged in the setting, to feel like I’m there; whether it’s a small town, big city, boat, train, plane, or space, I want to be where the characters are.
The very first sentence transports you to the small town, “One road in, one road out. Broadchurch isn’t on the way to anywhere and you don’t go there by accident”~Erin Kelly…and you need to stay until you’ve uncovered all its murky secrets.
So, all criteria met for brilliant crime drama on any continent.
I’m glad to know series creator and writer Chris Chibnall (Doctor Who, Torchwood, United, Broadchurch) and director James Strong came across the Pond to bring Broadchurch to the coastal California town of Gracepoint (though filmed in British Columbia, Canada).
The cast looks amazing, David Tennant, now Emmett Carver (Alec Hardy in Broadchurch), joined by Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Kevin Zegers, Josh Hamilton, Michael Peña, Kendrick Sampson, Nick Nolte, Jacki Weaver, Kevin Rankin, Virginia Kull and more as family, friends, and neighbours become suspects in a horrifying crime that threatens to tear the very heart out of the sleepy little tourist town.
Also excited to know Broadcurch will be returning for a second series, with David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Arthur Darvill, Jodie Whittaker, etc. plus some exciting new add-ons.
Critical clues await those who must solve a horrifying crime, and bring peace and justice to a town torn apart.
I have a new addiction and how!
The Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has a hit in the fearless and funny Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. This Whodunit from Down Under is a beaut.
I love a good murder mystery and if you think the private detective genre had seen it all, it’s never seen anything like Miss Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis). Independent, open-minded, of a certain age, caring, compassionate, rollin’ in the dough, swanky, and a private detective to boot!
I have to praise the costume designer, Marion Boyce. This won’t happen often, you may notice a lack of fashion in my writings, but I practically drool over the Roaring Twenties costumes in this series; they’re exquisite, almost like a character unto themselves. If I ever became rich, I would probably dress as if I was in the 1920s all the time.
If you’re a fan of murder mysteries this show is the real McCoy. I don’t want to be spoon-fed killers or their motives; I want to get there myself. Thankfully Deb Cox and Fiona Eagger using Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher novels as a guide let their audience be clever and find out who did what to whom.
Miss Fisher collects people as she collects adventure and clothes.
Her long-suffering and invaluable companion Dorothy “Dot” Williams (Ashleigh Cummings).
The handsome, intrigued and exasperated Detective Inspector John “Jack” Robinson (Nathan Page).
The boyishly eager Constable Hugh Collins (Hugo Johnstone-Burt).
The always handy and never ask too many questions Bert and Cec (Travis McMahon and Anthony Sharpe).
The prudish heart-of-gold Aunt Prudence (Miriam Margoyles).
The sharp as a tack and streetwise ward Jane (Ruby Rees-Wemyss).
The spirited and always drinking spirits doctor Dr. Elizabeth “Mac” Macmillan (Tammy MacIntosh).
The enigmatic and undaunted Mr. Butler (Richard Bligh) – he’s delightful.
Plus a host of amazing guest stars.
Together they roam the jazz clubs, mansions, and back alleys of Melbourne, finding adventure and trouble.
Series 1 & 2 were the bee’s knees, now we just have to wait for Series 3.
I went through a phase in my teens and early 20s when I was Australia crazy. I’m clearly still continuing my love affair with Australia; I hope they like me back at least a little so it’s not too stalkery. There were times I may have lapsed into an Australian accent, when I wasn’t belting out Men At Work songs, er, again, most likely in an Australian accent. Books, TV, movies, I just couldn’t get enough of Australia. Seriously, my The Man from Snowy River addiction almost required an intervention. Even typing the words Phar Lap makes me want to cry. Muriel’s Wedding https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/11/16/muriels-wedding/, don’t even get me started.
I had this cerulean blue (insert X-Files Pusher reference here) Australia sweatshirt that I wore so much it eventually turned to rags. The only picture I could find of it is in black and white and for some reason I’m leaning against a big dirty hoe. I’m sure there’s a story to that if I could remember it; I’m guessing it was a fun weekend. When I wore that shirt I was inevitably asked, Have you ever been to Australia? I would answer, Someday. Someday has yet to arrive, but it’s on my rather rusty bucket list.
I got through the whole post without saying G’day…D’oh!
As dark satire goes, Heathers is in a league all its own. Easily dismissed as a teen angst flick, its depths are much darker and deeper.
Heathers is about how easily you can fall and still think you’re standing.
This sinister comedy spotlights issues of bullying, teen suicide, and the dangers of peer pressure.
Underlying theme? How completely self-absorbed people can be. How spoiled and narcissistic. Where they see their own world and issues, but have no wider vision of how other people are feeling, or suffering, or what they need.
Slater and Ryder are beyond compare and repair.
Severe, jagged, funny, pathetic, edgy.
Hard to believe it’s been 25 years.
Released in 1944 (although filmed in 1941 due to Cary Grant’s availability) this film has withstood the test of time. Based on Joseph Kesselring‘s play; both the play and movie are ghastly joys, in their own ways.
Josephine Hull and Jean Adair portray Abby and Martha Brewster, Mortimer’s darling Aunts who also happen to be serial killers for a good cause, “It’s one of our charities”. They’re like the Dexter of their day. Their explanation of their murderous ways? They stop the suffering of lonely old bachelors by poisoning them with arsenic, strychnine and “just a pinch of cyanide” disguised in elderberry wine.
Uncle Teddy (John Alexander) who believes he’s Teddy Roosevelt unwittingly aids the Aunts by digging graves in the basement, thinking he is digging locks for the Panama Canal and burying yellow fever victims. Hull, Adair, and Alexander reprise their 1941 stage production roles.
Mortimer, whose ultimate dysfunctional family causes no end of headaches explains to his hapless new bride – “Insanity runs in my family, practically gallops!”
I still got chills.
I know there have been creepier, more gruesome and violence horrors films since, but nothing will replace this spooky classic.
The reboot of this film series is set to come out in 2014 or 2015. I can’t see how or why they would redo this.
After all, Family Guy did such a fantastic parody in 2006 (Season 4, episode 26) with Petergeist, it was almost difficult to watch the real Poltergeist without giggling. I’ll never look at clowns the same way again.
Does anyone remember the Poltergeist curse? Fuelled by real skeletons being used in the climatic scene, as well as Dominique Dunne’s murder, Heather O’Rourke’s death, and several other incidents the legend of the curse grew, which equals great publicity.
2nd was bad, the 3rd horrible.
So the only real curse was trying to milk a series, gee, not like Spielberg’s ever done that …cough, Indiana Jones, cough, Jurassic Park, cough, cough.
Note, no one died in this movie, not one character, even the family dog, E-Buzz survived (I don’t think we can count the canary at the beginning).