On Smiley

I don’t feel good leaving negative reviews. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth. People strove to make a good movie, but they failed. I do feel that if I only ever review movies I like, that people will think I just like everything I see.

Smiley is a horror movie with an interesting sounding plot and little else. There’s a very modern, tech heavy, forced to be cool, feel. Apparently some internet users threatened the director’s life because it made certain chat rooms/web sites look bad. Don’t threaten someone’s life over a movie, especially a bad one. No one who saw this flick thinks any of it’s real or gave it a second thought. Come on.

Cons: 85 of the 95 minutes. Acting, plot, twist ending. Maybe it would have worked as a 10 minute short?

Pros: Interesting idea. They cast Roger Bart and Keith David in supporting/minor roles. Those guys are awesome. I’ve loved Roger Bart since his recurring role in the first season of Desperate Housewives (horror fans will recognize him from Hostel 2), and Keith David will always be in my heart for voicing Goliath from Gargoyles. The Smiley faced killer looked okay.

I’m going to go with .5 a star since I enjoyed the two recognizable actors. That’s out of 4.

This has been Elliot Arthur Cross reminding you that sometimes projects just don’t come together.


On The Keysmith at Barnes and Nobles

Hot on the trails of Amazon, The Keysmith is now being sold at Barnes and Noble as well. If you like paranormal horror stories with gay characters, give it a read on your Nook.

In other news, I signed a contract for another short horror story, Ghosts of the Riverview, set for release in August. I’ll post more about it closer to August.

As always, this has been Elliot Arthur Cross wishing you a pleasant evening.

On The Keysmith’s availability at Amazon

Are you like me and have Amazon gift cards from Christmas burning a hole in your wallet? What better way to spend them than buying a gay erotic horror ebook for $2.99?

The Keysmith is now available from Amazon.com! I’ll let you know when it lands on other retailers.

This has been Elliot Arthur Cross wishing you all happy spending. Good night.

On the fictionalized White House

Maybe I watch too much TV, but I’m starting to get confused with who’s in the White House depending on which show is on. I’ve been watching 1600 Penn and I just powered through a House of Cards marathon of 13 episodes in one weekend (thank you Netflix!). I never watched The West Wing, so I decided to give that a go.

Now I’m watching Josh Gad as the president’s son on 1600 and wondering how Martin Sheen will react to Kevin Spacey’s Machiavellian scheming. Doesn’t help that Parks and Rec. showed Joe Biden as the VP

You know what’d be fun? A prequel to House of Cards about Nixon.

This has been Elliot Arthur Cross taking a quick break from writing because I hit the 30,000 word mark on my Tanglewood Road sequel today.

On writing The Keysmith

This is Elliot Arthur Cross sharing a guest blog I wrote posted on the JMS Books Blog:

As a child of the 1980’s, I find a certain nostalgic inspiration from ’80s cinema. The Keysmith is my ode to the slasher movies of the period. There’s a fun atmosphere found in those cheesy horror movies. Although set in modern times with gay characters, there are certain beats and themes I included to give it a slasher feel.

I also appreciate supernatural stories in which there are rules. I hate omnipotent killers, be they human, zombie, spiritual, or otherwise. Freddy gets you in your sleep. Michael Myers attacks you on Halloween. Jason stalks campgrounds. But lately there’s been an infusion of The Grudge style paranormal stories in which the ghost just appears anywhere and can do anything. Without getting spoilery, I made sure to set up a rule in The Keysmith and stick to it.

Horror flicks in the ’80’s also taught moral lessons. Sex equals death. Drugs equals death. So of course I set up my tale with two twenty year olds heading to a stud’s house to sell drugs and score. You just know that’s not going to end well.

And once I succeeded in what I’d set out to establish, I realized that the story was only partially over. I was already envisioning what happens next and suddenly The Keysmith grew in size and scope on its own. I’m a major proponent of letting characters surprise authors. Sometimes I shut the laptop, close my eyes, and watch the story progress on its own before typing again.

In writing The Keysmith, I tapped into the anxiety I feel after watching an effective horror movie on a lonely summer night. What is that noise coming from upstairs? What if you’re not really alone? What if there’s someone on the other side of your bedroom door?

On The Last Exorcism

Sometimes I think I may be too jaded. When The Last Exorcism came out in 2010, I thought it looked stupid. This is from someone who loves horror movies and mockumentaries. It was probably the advertising. Wasn’t this the movie where the ads said, “Not sanctioned by the Vatican” ? Um, pretty sure all movies are not sanctioned by the Vatican. Like the Pope came out and said “Every Catholic should see Tron 2.” It doesn’t happen.

Though now I’m wondering what would happen if the retiring Pope and the new Pope disagree on a movie review. You’d have to go with whoever you think is infallibler.

The Last Exorcism (currently free on Netflix, which is why I bothered to give it a shot-good advertising with a sequel coming out soon btw) is about a Reverend who’s lost his faith (where have I heard that one before?) who lets a documentary crew follow him around on the last exorcism he plans on ever performing.

The opening really works. The humor is great, and isn’t that the best way to get you to care about characters? Make you laugh along with them? Of course the Reverend randomly chooses to visit a family with real supernatural shenanigans occurring (otherwise there’d be no movie). The humor slowly leaves as the horror takes its place. Very effective.

Cons: Hard to think of any, actually. The documentary angle doesn’t feel forced like others in the genre (Blair Witch). I would have liked a little more closure on the ending, but hopefully that’s where the sequel comes into play.

Pros: Everything. What a great cast lead by Patrick Fabian, who proves that you can spend twenty years in the industry and still get a break-out film. I would be shocked if we don’t see more from this fine actor. The only person I recognized was Caleb Landry Jones, who later played Banshee in X-Men. Here he’s the redneck brother of the possessed teen girl. What a fun role that must have been for Ashley Bell to play. There are twists that even though this film is a few years old, I won’t spoil.

I’m very eager to see the upcoming sequel and interested in if it can beat the found footage sequel curse that was Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows.

Overall I’d have to say 3.5 out of 4 stars.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross saying get out there and support the horror genre this March 1st by buying a movie ticket.

On my new web site

My personal web site is now up and running. After days of hard work, I have a basic, tolerable page. This is a work-in-progress and I hope to make it fancier in the months to come.

Meanwhile, have a look and enjoy 🙂


This has been E.A. Cross trying out a new sign off. Good night.