Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

“Creep”: When Would You Stop Recording?

Haley Huett

A&E Editor

 

I watched “Creep” for the first time in my best friend’s living room during my first Christmas break home from school. It was a movie she often alluded to, but I hadn’t seen it. That day, she had decided that I was watching the movie, whether I liked it or not. 

At first, I didn’t understand what I was watching or why she seemed to be so enthralled. She was a film studies minor at the College (now global media and digital studies) and the first few shots from “Creep” don’t lead you to believe it will be a particularly well-done movie. 

As I sat on the floor of her living room watching “Creep” on her computer, I remember wondering why I was watching it. As I sat through the first thirty minutes, I couldn’t figure out whether it was a horror movie at all. By the end, I was hooked. 

Now, I am a true believer in the beauty of “Creep.” A psychological horror, “Creep” is a found-footage film written by Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass, who play the only two characters, Aaron and Josef. 

Described as a mix of terror and comedy, “Creep” is just as campy as every other found-footage film before it. So many scenes are so objectively absurd that taking the movie seriously can be difficult.

Still, the beauty of “Creep” is its ability to slowly build suspense. While you’re laughing at the bizarre circumstances of the movie, you feel uneasy and suspicious. You know something bad is going to happen, and you know that there is something seriously wrong going on beneath the layers of innocuous everyday activities and (mostly) light-hearted conversations between the two characters. The problem is you can’t figure out what you think will happen. 

Something isn’t right and you know it. You find yourself asking, “How long would I let this go on if it were me? What’s my breaking point?”

“Creep” follows an amateur videographer, Aaron, hired off Craigslist by Josef. Agreeing to the film project, Aaron and Josef embark on the day together, but as the day winds down, it becomes clear that Josef may not be who he has portrayed himself to be.

Duplass describes it as a study of, “How you meet people and you don’t quite understand what’s up but you start to get signs.” “Creep” is about a creep. It’s someone who doesn’t quite understand the unspoken rules of social interactions and pushes people to the point of discomfort. It explores the psychological profile of a very strange, unsettling person and invites you to witness a strange and uncomfortable chain of events that you can’t quite follow. 

If you’re like me, you’ll start off asking, “What is this?” and end the movie with a soft, “Oh my God.”

So, if you’re looking to start your Halloween season with a good horror film, stream “Creep” on Netflix. It’s something you can watch alone or with a group of your closest friends, reveling in the absolutely bizarre and psychologically thrilling. 

We’ve all met a creep in real life. We’ve all known someone who rattles us and who makes us feel uncomfortable and uneasy. “Creep” is the conclusion to our unsettling interactions. 

What if that had been you?

TW: movie contains mentions of sexual assault and violence.

“The Expanse”: Why It’s Not “Game of Thrones”

Jonathan Logan

Editor-in-Chief

 

The joy of finding a hidden gem sci-fi show is exhilarating. “The Expanse” was a quiet show for its first two seasons when it aired on SyFy beginning in 2015, but it developed a really loud and loyal fanbase by the time it was halfway through the second season in 2017. This past winter saw the fifth season released on Amazon Prime Video where it, oddly enough, alienated some fans who believed the writers dwelled on petty belter squabbles or gave too much attention to a main character’s backstory when we thought we already had one.

At the same time season five was released, Amazon announced that season six was entering into production, but it would be the last season of the beloved show. Now, fans are frantically wondering whether or not this is a “Game of Thrones” (GoT) repeat, since the sixth season is reported to only be six episodes long. However, this seems unlikely since the authors of the books, which the show is based on, are also the writers and directors of the television series. “The Expanse” will not be “GoT” and the fans need to preview the final season with more optimism.

To set the scene, “The Expanse” is a mind-bendingly beautiful and sprawling story about humanity colonizing the solar system. Earth and Mars are constantly vying for control over precious resources located in the asteroid belt and outer solar system. However, the belters occupy this deep space beyond the inner planets and they are pissed, but rightfully so. Earth and Mars dehumanize the belters, viewing them as a disposable labor force that helps them to maintain the inner planets’ prosperity. By the end of season five, a maverick belter named Marco Inaros unites a small band of belter factions and launches a series of asteroids at Earth – some of which make landfall and kill millions.

The television series is based on the book series by the same name written by James S.A. Corey, which is a pen name for the real authors – Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. Abraham and Franck also write and direct the show. This is not the case with “GoT,” where the directors and writers had nothing to do with the book series titled “A Song of Ice and Fire.” Additionally, “GoT” ran out of book material, but “The Expanse” still has three books worth to work with.With the writers of those books at the helm of the show, fans have nothing to worry about.

The key remaining hope for season six is that Abraham and Franck will not try to cram the remaining three books into this final season. A best course of action would be to focus solely on the sixth book, since that is where season five left off and each season thus far has either broken a book into two parts or taken things one book at a time.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dominique Tipper, who plays Naomi Nagata in the show, hinted at the possibility of more seasons beyond Amazon’s final sixth season. The sixth book also gives a natural point of closure for the story thus far, since there is a 30-year time jump between the sixth and the seventh book. This might provide some problems for the current cast, but it could also be a fresh start away from Amazon.

Regardless of how you look at it, season six of “The Expanse” will not tank like “Game of Thrones” did, because there are multiple fundamental differences between the books they are based on and the directors and writers of each. The show is in good hands, and fans run the risk of creating too much hype or too many expectations if they continue to preview the final season with a “GoT” lens.

Bingeable TV Recommendations For Your Exam Season

Mahi Lal

Contributing Writer

 

One of my professors once told me to turn procrastination into planning, but I think we should turn procrastination into binge-watching shows because fall is upon us! While we watch the deadlines of a million assignments, exams, and projects swiftly pass by, why don’t we at least make it fun with Moira’s wigs, Lorelai’s ’90s fashion, and Winston’s pranks?

Shows that you have to watch (or re-watch) this season are “Gilmore Girls,” “New Girl,” and “Schitt’s Creek.” They are comfort food for the eyes. They appeal to all kinds of binge-watchers: those who want quality content, those who want something cheerful to play in the background while they do IS or rest in hammocks, those who are hopeless romantics, and those who simply want to snuggle in bed.

All coffee lovers are familiar with Lorelai’s raw humor and ability to make anyone fall in love with her. Who can’t relate to her wanting Luke’s coffee in an IV while waiting in Knowlton’s long lines? While Lorelai breaks stereotypes about single motherhood, Rory is someone we aspired to be when we were applying to colleges. Stars Hollow is that fantasy where people know no boundaries but provide solidarity for pet deaths and a home to a young, pregnant, 16-year-old Lorelai. A dose of “Gilmore Girls” can cure loneliness and you will find yourself humming the theme song everywhere!  

Set on the West Coast, “New Girl” navigates the journey of Jess, a quirky and passionate schoolteacher living with three men — Nick, Schmidt, and Winston — after her break-up with a longtime boyfriend. Although Jess is the protagonist, the show does a great job of centering different characters in its episodes. The show spotlights Schmidt, the successful but insecure best friend; Winston, the goofy and smart prankster; and Nick, the rock of the group who you will slowly but surely fall in love with. If you are looking for a sitcom with multiple seasons, low-stakes comedy, and of course, the growth of a broke, messy, bartender into a loving, caring, and sexy boyfriend, “New Girl” is your showstopper.

The Emmy-winning “Schitt’s Creek” needs no introduction. It has everything from good looks to an amazing cast to comedy, but its most prized possession (other than Dan Levy) is the growth of the characters from rich, apathetic snobs to emotionally competent individuals, and why wouldn’t it be? There is nothing like losing every ounce of luxury and moving to a dingy, rural town that makes one gain some perspective. What is beautiful about this show is its drama and trauma -free romantic storylines. The struggles are not glorified nor do they steal focus from the just-keep-swimming attitude while also acknowledging the pain and sadness of the characters. My favorite parts are the inside jokes and stories of Alexis, and if they make another season or do a reboot, it must be about how Alexis makes it in New York on her own.

Treading across different time periods, “Gilmore Girls”, “New Girl”, and “Schitt’s Creek” provide familiarity and hassle-free content. To know these characters for an episode is to know them for life. As I begin re-binge-watching these shows, I encourage all of you to find your own comfort shows during an in-person semester amidst a pandemic.

“About Face” is About Face(s)

Mekdes Shiferaw

A&E Editor

 

The Ebert Art Center opened its new fall exhibit, “About Face,” on Tuesday, Sept. 8. The exhibition explores the ways artists depict the human face. The inspiration for the exhibition came from the museum’s curator, Dr. Marianne Wardle, who had been pondering how to utilize the College’s permanent collection and work with broader disciplines on campus. In a discussion with one of the student gallery attendants, Emma Saxton ’22, a Neuroscience major planning to do her Independent Study (IS) on the neuroscience of faces with Dr. Herzmann, the exhibit took off.

In her previous position at Duke University’s Nasher Museum, Dr. Wardle had a three-year research partnership with neuroscientists, “to explore art, vision, and the brain, where they spent a year working on faces.” “About Face” features the works of William Paul Thomas—a sensitive portraitist who proposes that the viewer examines the “essential and inner emotional lives” of his subjects. During the pandemic, faces, which are usually our fundamental way of communication and identification, became political. As a new member of the campus community, Dr. Wardle explained, “moving here in January, I realized I had only seen all the new people I was meeting on screens or masked. I had not seen a stranger’s uncovered face in person in a long time!”  This exhibition celebrates the ordinary faces and the ways they can be extraordinary—through artistic interpretations and scientific insights about faces’ significance to human interaction. 

The exhibition was designed in collaboration with Brianna Lyman ’23, biology major. By focusing on the scientific aspect, Lyman chose which works to be featured as well as how they should be arranged. Further, she contributed to writing the exhibition texts and developed an activity guide to engage younger audiences with the exhibition. Currently, she is working on a “Learn More” online aspect to be rolled out throughout the semester as a guide to help people examine the (neuro)scientific aspect of faces. Lyman detailed her experience, saying that, “under the guidance of Dr. Wardel and Dr. Hertzmann I gained new knowledge in how our brains process faces neurologically and how social forces come into play. I also acquired real-work experience in the development and creation of an exhibit and family and student programs.”

For students looking to get involved, the museum has summer research opportunities where students work on a variety of projects for the permanent collection, updating the database to be more accessible. Additionally, with the College’s Pathways Programs, students interested in museum studies can sign up for the Museum & Archival Studies Pathway. The museum is working towards establishing an interactive online portal database where faculty and students will be able to explore and learn more about the selection on their own.

In connection with “About Face,” the museum will be hosting a student activity: Making Halloween Faces on Saturday, Oct. 23, 1-4 p.m. Stay tuned for the second exhibition after fall break, where artist William Paul Thomas will have an independent show titled “Beholden” where the viewer is asked to “look… intently.”

 

Bringing Music Back to Wooster

Haley Huett

A&E Editor

 

March 14, 2020, was the end of many things. It brought a six-month-long hiatus from school, the end of in-person programming, and a massive departure from the campus experience that students had anticipated. The College’s arts and music scenes were no different. Many groups had to shift their operations to abide by COVID-19 restrictions and relearn what it means to perform or share music, including the College’s radio station Woo9. 

This year, Woo91’s general managers, Annie Cohen ’22 and Margaret Jagger ’22, anticipate a return to the radio station’s former glory. 

Woo91 is a student-run radio station where DJs can broadcast over iHeartRadio. The station has programs for every listener: talk shows, music programs, sportscasting. They also host house shows and DJ events. Students can find a variety of genres ready for listening across the station’s platforms, Cohen says, “metal, musicals, indie/alternative, and classic rock to name just a few.” 

During the pandemic, with many DJs studying remotely and the school’s restrictions on in-person gatherings, the station began streaming over Mixcloud and featured an automated music collection over iHeartRadio. The previously in-person station, located in the basement of Lowry, remained closed for the year, as Woo91 found new ways to host events. Through streaming virtual music parties, the station found a way to provide, “a unique and fun experience the station might not have explored otherwise,” according to Jagger. 

Now, Co-General Managers Cohen and Jagger are hoping for the return of other Woo91 events outside of broadcasting. In the past, the station has organized house shows, collaborated with The Goliard, and provided music for campus events. With COVID restrictions being lifted, the College’s radio station is returning to its normal state of operations. 

Woo91’s first big step towards returning to normal came with Party on the Green this past weekend. There, Musical Director Erik Livingston ’22 MC’d the event, queueing up songs and getting students ready for the performances. 

DJ trainings are beginning soon for Woo91 in its new location in the Luce Hall basement and the station is planning on returning to live-streaming on its iHeartRadio platform. 

What makes Woo91 so special, Cohen says, is “getting to share my favorite songs with a wide audience,” and, “the community of DJs.” Emma Staggs ’24, a student-DJ, adds, “I love being able to share something I’m passionate about with people who care what I’m talking about.” 

If you would like to be involved in Woo9,  you can contact Woo91@wooster.edu or one of the co-General Managers, Annie Cohen (acohen22@wooster.edu) or Margaret Jagger (mjagger22@wooster.edu). 

If you just want to listen, the station can be streamed on iHeartRadio by searching “Woo91.” Currently, the station is working on an option for DJs to simultaneously stream on iHeartRadio and MixCloud to provide students with more listening options. To find Woo91’s station on MixCloud, search for woo91COW. 

Club and organization leaders, be sure to contact the station if you need a DJ for your events!

March 14, 2020 may have been the day that music died on Wooster’s campus, but Woo91 is bringing it back to life. 

Too Camp or Not Too Camp? Riverdale is the Question

Camille Carr

Contributing Editor

 

Last week, when talking to a friend about the new romantic relationship she was embarking on, I used a “Riverdale” metaphor. With serious conviction, I told her she needed to date an Archie and not a Jughead.

This same friend and I started watching “Riverdale” together during the stay-at-home orders, because why not? Little did we know, it would become an unshakeable obsession that now stands as a pillar of our friendship.

“Riverdale” is a CW teen drama with plotlines that are inconsistent at best and tone-deaf at worst. There have been murders, serial killer genes, multiple gang conflicts, secret siblings, musicals, prison fight clubs, romance and painfully obvious product placements. If you are a teen drama connoisseur like me, you will notice that “Riverdale” is the perfect combination of many popular teen dramas that have debuted since the dawn of the new millennia. It has a moody and mysterious writer-type narration like “One Tree Hill,” the deeply inappropriate teacher-student grooming and insidious mysteries like “Pretty Little Liars,” and high schoolers breaking into spontaneous song and dance like “Glee.” “Riverdale” has the typical smattering of love triangles, teen pregnancy and hypersexualized teens.

All of this being said, I do believe everyone should give the show a shot. Even when “Riverdale” is not trying to be funny, it leaves me gasping for breath after laughing so hard. And if laughing makes you live longer, what are you waiting for? Here are three reasons why you needed to start watching “Riverdale,” like, yesterday.

  1. Hiram Lodge’s Shenanigans

Talk show host Kelly Ripa’s husband Mark Consuelos has been the primary villain in “Riverdale” since season two. The seasoned soap opera alumnus is a major asset to the “Riverdale” cast. As a result, he is always the villain. To avoid making it too dull for viewers, the writers have done a great job giving his character, Hiram Lodge, an array of devious interests. This man has dipped his toe in making rum, framing teenagers for murder, investing in an illegal prison fight club, selling drugs, poisoning water reservoirs, bribing government officials, mining precious metals and building a private prison and using prison labor to mine for said precious metals. Not to mention, he’s also supposed to be in the mob?

  1. The Parents Are Hot

The parents on this show are so beautiful it’s unfair. Their parenting choices are sometimes questionable but they’re very beautiful.

  1. The Musical Episodes

These actors were not hired for their singing ability; the frequent use of autotune makes that pretty clear. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop the “Riverdale” writers from writing a musical episode into every season and having the characters put on a musical number at the drop of a hat. It does not take a karaoke night in the town of “Riverdale” for someone to start belting a contemporary hit or a popular show tune.

“Riverdale” is absolutely ridiculous, and I cannot say many characters are moral exemplars. However, I do believe becoming a “Riverdale” fan re-instilled an important lesson in me: Never take yourself too seriously or you might miss out on a really good time.