Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cassilda Carcosa - making sense

It's that time of year again as the rumors for Halloween Horror Nights 2015 start to fly back and forth. While many people don't bother with speculation, For some of us (including myself) it is half the fun! Every year we get many "clue givers". Many of them are looking for attention or trolling just to send the fans into a frenzy. But there have been a handful who have been very accurate.

Of course Dr. Jimmy is always there with his video clues and hints on other social media sites. But the majority of these hint droppers are anonymous. People such as Emeric Belasco, Autumn Wind, the Ifrit, and the newest to the bunch Cassilda Carcosa.

Cassilda (who's name is a allusion to "The King in Yellow") came on the scene last year dropping very convoluted and intricate puzzles for each of the houses that was to be at HHN last year. But what made her stand out is that she also droped hints at who she was and also Jack's return. Jack was rumored to be back last year by the fans but it turned out he wasn't. Universal did tease that he would be back this year however in a video towards the end of the event.

Cassilda dropped her clues one after the other until the full reveal and even gave us a audio file as a clue. However, there was a last minute house change (after she had already dropped the hints for the nixed house) and she mysteriously vanished. Naturally, we all felt she was just a well-informed fan and we moved on. I did speak with a member of A&D last year and they informed me they did not know who she was.

Whatever you think of her, Cassilda is back this year and already dropping clues on a new Facebook page. So, if it turns out she is is canonical, (and not just a extremely obsessed fan with too much time on her hands) let's break down her clues and make sense of who she says she is.

The first clue was called Who am I? The text alludes to the movie/novel "Something Wicked This Way Comes" by Ray Bradbury.

The line " I see nothing and I see all" implies the dust witch whose eyes and mouth were sewn shut but could still see and do other many powerful things.

"We are of the fall" Implies The autumn people who ran the dark carnival headed by Mr. Dark aka the tattooed man.

Who am I? Pt2

Fellow shipped with Odd = Oddfellow as in the Carnival that Jack was a part of and eventually took over in 2007.

Stripped of beauty/eyes and mouth hushed/Never seeing but always knowing seems to hearken back to the first clue about the dust witch.

Indentured to the dark man could be a reference to selling one's soul or it could be a reference to Jack,OddFellow, or Mr. Dark in Something Wicked This Way Comes.

The below image was found and it appears the clue references Dr. Oddfellow.

My thought is "Cassi" was either tricked into becoming or willingly agreed to become a dust witch by Oddfellow. Indentured sounds negative so I don't think she ultimately wanted to or perhaps didn't realize what she was getting into.

Who am I? Pt 3

The picture is Oddfellow's cane of souls and the swirly thing over it is reminiscent of a soul trap. In HHN cannon, the soul cane is explained to keep it's owner alive long after they should have died.

Chaotic Prince = Jack.
Ruthless Retribution = Jack killed Oddfellow and took over his circus as revenge for having him murdered when he was a human. (Jack is now the "God of Chaos")

Forever bound to the vessel. Cane of souls... soul trap. I think it refers to the cane. she is bound to serve whoever holds the cane. Which Jack was in possession of before he went into the Lantern in 2010.

I shall see his restitution. She will see Jack brought back. Based on the context of the clue the only he is the chaotic prince. That would appear to be her endgame... That is until this last audio clue she gave. It's still being worked but the sentence "She's not who she says she is" means what? She isn't Casiilda Carcosa? That probably goes without saying it isn't her real name. She isn't a dust witch? Maybe. She screwed up which house was nixed last year so maybe she isn't the all powerful psychic witch she claims to be.... Or she just can't see the final outcome.

She wants to she Jack come back? Perhaps her end goal isn't just Jack? Maybe Jack is only a means to an end. She is bound to serve him but she doesn't have to like him. He killed her original master Oddfellow. Maybe she seeks revenge? The line in the Clue "something much worse" may support the idea that Jack is a means to an end for bringing something worse than him back. Could she really be Ignatia Himmel or Gabriel Fell?

 So that's all we have so far. As I write this people are trying to decipher her last audio clue. Is it legit? Who knows? At least they are good time wasters that (at least last year) pay off with clues to HHN. Will we see this story arc come to fruition? In my opinion I would love to see some kind of back story for the 25th anniversary and this is just as good a way to tie it all together as any. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pedictions of Horror Nights to Come

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”
― Humbert Wolfe

With roughly 5 or 6 house treatments done its not too early to think about Halloween Horror Nights right?

Regardless of your answer, I wanted to get my speculation out for this year before any real info starts flowing. Of course I get my info from the usual sources: informants, rumors, trends, formulas, divination, and various deals with dark entities.

In the past few years of this “New Age of Horror”, there has developed a certain formula one can use to predict the direction HHN will go each year and, to an extent, predict the houses that will be seen. Caveat emptor applies, however, as my views are my own and in no way connected to Universal directly.

Multiple factors must be taken into account when predicting HHN’s content. These factors include (but are not limited to):  Synergistic IP’s being release the year of the event, Nostalgic IP’s that have not been used, popular ideas in the current limelight, and previous successful original content that is prime for a sequel. That is a lot of words that basically boil down to what gets bodies in the park and lines the coffers at the same time.  After all, Universal is in the Makin’ money business. And cousin, business is a-boomin'.

So without further ado Let me get into the meat and potatoes of speculation. The first aspect up on the docket  are the Synergistic IP’s being released this year. This one almost seems like a no-brainer.  Since 2009, Universal has been doing this. The Wolfman, The Thing, The Walking Dead, Evil Dead, and Dracula Untold were all Universal pictures coming out the same year.  In fact, Dracula Untold’ s code name Was "synergy".

There is one movie this year that fits all criteria for an excellent synergy candidate and that is Crimson Peak. It’s a Universal Picture, It’s stylistic (would you expect anything else from Guillermo del Toro?), and it is currently set to be released October 16th. To a lesser degree the Victorian style of the movie would mostly likely allow them to reuse old props from Castle Vampyre, Body Collectors, and even last year’s Dracula Untold.

Of course barring Crimson Peak (or even in addition to) you have the Poltergeist reboot coming out in July.  It is not a Universal picture but money always talks. However Poltergeist’s predecessor may fall into the second category of nostalgia.

The nostalgia aspect has always been there but they have been playing the card the last two years blatantly with American Werewolf in London and Alien vs. Predator. It seems to be working well from them. The original Poltergeist has been on the table several times and word has it was almost a house a few years back. It would fit the criteria for huge nostalgic draw and also as a synergistic property for the new movie even if it did not resemble the new one in anyway.

Aside from Poltergeist, rumblings of a new deal with NLC for Freddy, Jason, and Leather face have been prevalent.  Any or all of these would make sense as they all have huge nostalgic value in both the movies as well as in the original houses. 2007 was very “house strong” and the big three were huge crowd attractors. Not to mention their tie the hinted icon Jack. However, with the Friday the 13th reboot pushed back to next year, Jason is probably a bit premature to fit into the next category of what’s in the current limelight.

This category is a bit ambiguous. The general populace is very fickle and currently, other than The Walking Dead, the biggest popular horror tend is American Horror Story.  This has been a rabid fan request since the attempted deal a few years back. Universal and the creators of AHS failed to reach a deal though due to, what has been said to be, creative differences. Mainly, the creator’s of AHS wanted more extreme scenes than Universal was comfortable with having for a PG-13 event. So will it happen at all? Maybe. There are a few factors I’ll talk about later that I think might allow AHS to grace HHN with its presence. 

Other than AHS and TWD, Krampus has been very popular of late. Yes we’ve already had the dark Christmas house (Psycho scareapy  : Home For the Holidays) but we haven’t seen it told from the supernatural aspect in Orlando. Of course you have the Krampus movie coming out in December of this year but who knows how good that will be? (It is a Universal Picture however) Hollywood had a Dark Christmas/Krampus scarezone last year and it has been reported that it was very popular. That throws Krampus more into the field of previous successful original content that is prime for a sequel.

This final category has a wealth of options. There has been a lot of previous original content that is ripe for reboot. I think Krampus fits the bill for an original transplant. But, if I had to make an educated guess as to returning houses, I would say Catacombs and Nightingales are two good candidates with the latter being more likely. The reason I say Nightingales is more likely is because it was intended as a “female body collector” franchise.  It was designed so that they could put them in any type of war. Catacombs, while good, would be much harder to continue the story.

That wraps up all the categories I have listed out. Throw in a few new originals and you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. However, there is one more major factor to attribute to this year. That of course is the 25th anniversary. How will that play out in this new age of horror? My personal opinion is, aside from marketing with Jack and probably a best of house, I don’t think it will hold much sway other than to make the event bigger.

The “go big or go home” aspect is why I feel AHS (among some other ideas) would be prime for this year. But how do you fit an R/NC17 house into a PG13 event? Simple, you make an upcharge extreme house.  Fans have been clamoring for and extreme house and AHS to happen for years. Plus, Universal already proved last year they could easily staff 9 houses with TWD being roughly double the size of a normal house. But why stop there? Bush gardens has done the up charge house for years now. How do you top what you should have already been doing? Simple Go Big! Instead of one upcharge house do multiple houses.

In that light, the possibilities become vast. AHS, as previously mentioned, would be easier to greenlight. Not only that, Last year’s LT interactive teaser could easily be implemented with a smaller crowd. TWD would be easier to implement again if they have more leeway to one up last years’ house.  Maybe by adding a “lights off” flashlight tour of the house or laser tag. Both ideas are popular but hard to implement in the massive conga lines. I might even expect them to throw one or two originals in there as well to round it off to the biggest and most over the top event they have ever done. Logistically, I would think an upcharge of that scale would have to be housed at IOA. Thus bringing another fan boy dream back… the double park event.

 So those are my predictions. As stated before I am not affiliated with Universal. I just keep my nose in the air and my ear to the ground. So take it all with a grain of salt. Regardless, I think it is safe to say they will make it a year to remember and I look forward to seeing how the event shapes up in the next few months. Happy anniversary!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

All Around The World.

Doodle of the day largely based off memory.
Query: Do those who actively follow this page like seeing the process (i.e. sketch, ink, color) or would you prefer to just see the finished product?


Saturday, January 17, 2015