Hereditary_Collette.0.png(Toni Collette is traumatizingly terrifying in her latest role in Hereditary)

Writer-director Ari Aster understands that horror and fear are very subjective, they are different for everyone else. When viewers watch his debut, Hereditary, most understand that they are in the hands of a filmmaker who has a considerable passion for his work.

Toni Collette plays Annie Graham, a strained mother of two, who works as an artist and creates miniature homes and lifestyles. When Grahm’s mother dies, her daughter, Charlie (Milly Shapiro) starts acting strangely by making disturbing sculptures made from dead animals. She also inhabits an odd clicking noise with her tongue that haunts you.

British journalist and film critic, Anthony Lane, wrote for the New Yorker, “The scariest thing in “Hereditary,” a movie well supplied with fear, is a noise. It’s the one that you make by flicking your tongue down from the roof of your mouth: klokk. Most of us rarely do this, unless moved by a desire to mimic the hoofbeats of a horse, but Charlie Graham (Milly Shapiro), a non-smiling girl of thirteen, klokks with unnerving frequency.”

Shapiro’s film debut makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Strange things start happening around the house and Collette is the first to sense a presence in it.

The family is on edge the duration of the film when halfway through it, Charlie’s brother Peter (Alex Wolff) is a stoner teenager who accidentally kills her in a jaw-dropping scene that was seared into my brain.

The experience assaults you.

Collette’s performance in the film deserves an Oscar. However, these genres are often frowned upon by the academy though she was nominated once before for her role in the Sixth Sense. She could get it again.

She finds the perfect balance between complete insanity and realism. By the end of the first act, she passed her breaking point.

My whole body was tense, and my mouth stayed open, I had goosebumps multiple times. This movie was done incredibly well.

Ann Hornaday, a movie critic for Washington Post, wrote, “Creepy, creepy, creepy. Writer-director Ari Aster makes an impressively unnerving debut with “Hereditary,” a meticulously crafted horror thriller…”

If you’re going to watch this film, watch it with your children or someone who is easy to scare. It is evilly fun to click your tongue while your kids are in the basement to hear them scream and fly up the stairs!


def8ecd4-4945-4d66-9a2e-66243d4d5a2d-148383_5653(Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey) and Joe Wilson (Camilla Luddington) in season fifteen of Grey’s Anatomy)

 Love. Bombs lodged in chest cavities. Death. Bullets firing from loaded guns in vaginas. Incredible narrative.

These are few of the things you will find watching Grey’s Anatomy.

Showrunner, Shonda Rhimes has become a television genius since she gave birth her baby Grey’s Anatomy. She has now created other shows and made an entire empire for herself. Shondaland.

Rhimes created a fantasy world of medical interns competing to be top surgeons in all different fields ranging from neurosurgery, trauma, and pediatrics.

The show circles around Ellen Pompeo, Pompeo acts as Meredith Grey, the strong-willed head of surgery who loses her estranged mother to alzhiemers disease. Grey also falls for her attending, Derek Sheppard (Patrick Dempsey) and has an affair with him which destroys his marriage and he, in turn, married Grey.

Grey’s mother, Ellis Grey was a legend in the surgical field. There are awards and acknowledgments named after her studies and accomplishments.

Grey forever lives in her shadow.

Grey becomes close with a few of her fellow surgeons. Since these surgeons are continually working at the hospital, they mesh into a family unit, and some get a little freaky in the on all rooms.

 Sandra Oh played Grey’s ‘person’ on the show until she took a job at a hospital in Zurich and left the show. Oh had been on the show since the series pilot along with Justin Chambers who plays Alex Karev who is Grey’s other best friend. Karev has a hard-headed rebel with a temper up until season 14 when he put another surgeon in a coma and almost lost his license and went to prison. Karev is now a married man with a brilliant general surgeon wife played by Camilla Luddington.


 For the majority of seasons in the series, the chief of the hospital was Richard Webber( James Pickens). A black man who has issues with alcoholism and love.


 The show reveals in its later series that Richard and Ellis had an affair when Grey was young in which they produced a love child named Maggie, whom they gave up for adoption. Maggie appears on the show as a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon who yearns for family and gets two sisters when she finds out about Meredith.

Meredith always thought she was an only child until she met her sister Maggie(Kelly McCreary).

 Not long after she finds out about Maggie, Sheppard dies in a tragic car accident, leaving Grey a widow.

 Rhimes explained her reasoning for killing the main character’s husband to press at the Television Critics Association tour. “What were the options? Derek was going to walk out on Meredith and leave her high and dry, and what was that going to mean? That was going to suggest that their love was not true, that the thing we said for 11 years was a lie, and McDreamy wasn’t McDreamy,” Rhimes said. “For me, that was untenable. Meredith and Derek’s love had to remain Meredith and Derek’s love. So as painful as that was for me as a storyteller, the only way to preserve what felt true to me was that Derek was going to have to die in order for that to remain honest.”

The show overwhelms viewers with emotion and tragedy unlike no other from dead babies to dying grandmas. You cannot watch this show with dry eyes.

“A lot of catastrophes have gone down over the course of Grey’s Anatomy’s thirteen seasons, but the two-hour opener for Season 14 proves that the most gnarly wreckage happens when base emotions collide.” Amanda Bell a critique from TV Guide.

 The show is now on its fifteenth season. No end is in sight for viewers. However, when Grey’s Anatomy comes to its inevitable and dreadful end, Rhimes will have more levers up her sleeves to get our waterworks flowing.



THE HATE U GIVEAmanda Stienberg as ‘Starr’ in her outstanding role in The Hate U Give

Through the subsequent deaths of Terence Crutcher, Jamar Clark and Philando Castile, the deaths of black males by police remain pressing and urgent.

Angie Thomas told a timely tale in her novel, “The Hate U Give” after the shooting of Oscar Grant rattled her. Grant was an unarmed black man shot dead on New Years Day in Oakland 2009.

That same year Thomas began to write the story of a young black woman standing up for her friend whom she witnessed get killed by an officer.

The book was a New York Times Bestseller.

The title comes from a tattoo that read ‘THUG LIFE” on the rapper, Tupac Shakur’s abdomen. Shakur, a brilliant man, and Black Panther descendant said that the words were actually an acronym standing for The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everyone”

English writer and film critic, Peter Bradshaw said: “The Hate U Give has a fierce storytelling grip.”

Film producer, George Tillman Jr., created a film adaptation which follows Starr Carter (Amandla Steinberg) after she witnesses a white officer shoot and kill her black friend, Khalil (Algee Smith), Carter struggles with how to respond, because she and her family are from the projects themselves. Her father is wrapped up in gangs, and his rivals aren’t too happy with her doing interviews on tv about the tragedy that had received national attention like most of these unthinkable deaths.

The cast impresses. Russell Hornsby, Carter’s reformed gangbanger father, wants to influence the neighborhood positively, and Regina Hall, her mother, wants an entirely different life for them. The film’s loving, stable family dynamic is conveyed in a scene where Carter’s father makes her and her brother memorize the Black Panther Ten-Point Program. He proceeds to teach them how to respond when they are stopped or questioned by an officer.

Starr’s boyfriend, Chris (K.J. Apa), is white and she struggles with the complexities it causes for their relationship. Carter also struggles with her friendships as it seemed her white friends didn’t understand what she was fighting for.

It pushes Carter away.

“The brilliance of the construction of the film is how it forces us to see everything through Starr’s eyes,” said film critic and arts reporter, Eli Glasner.

The protests that Tillman staged in this film are goosebump worthy. You will clap, you will cry, you will feel as if you are there holding a sign or at least want to be.

Writer and editor, Jimi Famurewa said (The Hate U Give) is “A sophisticated adaptation of a hugely important book that adeptly handles its daunting themes, and provides a platform for a star-making performance from Amandla Stenberg.”

The necessity for unity and the cease of death by officers wasn’t just spoken in this movie, it was proclaimed, loudly, by megaphone. Literally.

Paul Joseph Smith Part II

My dad, whom I am just like was a professional boxer his entire life until he fought Antonio Tarver. (Antonio Tarver is most known to me for killing my dad’s career and starring in Rocky Balboa.) I say this to say again, I am most like my dad, a fighter. When I felt that spit on my back I didn’t know or care who did it for sure, but let me tell you – I spit back, good and long on to everyone. Then I ran up those stairs and everyone followed me.

I remember getting outside and not seeing Jay. I just kept running. I heard Jay scream “Yo, Gambino, get her in my car!!” I do not know Gambino, never seen him before and I still haven’t. I was suddenly in the air and thrown in a car and the car was then locked.

At this point, everyone knew I was in the car and were trying to get inside it and trash the car entirely. About 15-20 people were picking up logs and hitting the car, cracked the windshield. There was a huge brawl outside between Jay, Fred and these people as they were doing this to Jay’s car! I’m still thankful these people heard sirens from miles away and dispersed because Jay and Fred were able to get in the car and drive me the hell home!

But that was just that. I was hurt, I went home and showered and just continued on with life.

Fast forward – three weeks later.

 It’s about eleven in the morning on a Sunday. I don’t remember what I was doing but I got a phone call on my cell and it was my friend Sarah. Sarah was the girlfriend of Paul’s best friend, she and I were still close.

Me: Hello?

Sarah: Paul’s dead.

Me: What?

Sarah: I don’t know what happened but Paul’s dead.

 I had to call his mom. I tried the house phone first and Paul’s little brother answered. I told him to tell his mom to call me once she got home but then I tried her cell. How do you wait to tell someone their son is dead?

Me: Where are you?

Paul’s Mom: At the market.

Me: K, call me when you’re home I have to tell you something.

Her: No, tell me now.

Me: I can’t. Call me when you’re home.

Her: Tell me now.

Me: I don’t know what happened but Paul died.

Her: What did you just say?

Me: Paul died.

 She wasn’t going to hear me anymore. All I heard was her distance herself from the phone and scream in agony.


aleciaPaul as an adolescent pictured with his younger sister Alecia.

She didn’t even know what happened. All she felt was the pain.

About twenty minutes later I get a phone call from Amy…


 That’s all she kept screaming into the phone. I didn’t get any information other than that she wanted to call a truce and bring her son over to meet his sister.

When she arrived she had brought about six friends and she had two black eyes, bruises, and goose eggs all over her forehead.

The kids met for the first time and Amy and her crew left.

The truce lasted about three hours. Amy had already told Paul’s family and everyone who cared for him that it was my ‘boyfriend’ Fred who killed him.

This was the first time I found out how he died.

Fred had stabbed Paul to death.

To this day I don’t know how it started. I don’t know what happened. All I know was that my love had died. And death is so fucking final.

I watch crime shows daily wishing there was a special on what happened to Paul. All I’ve ever known is that he’s gone and there is no bringing him back.

It turns out Fred had run away to Brampton after the fight and when he got news from Jay that Paul had died, he came back to Kitchener and turned himself in. He was sentenced to seven years after being charged with manslaughter and was out in four years. Still, nowhere to be seen.

For years, I was to blame for this. There was no one else to blame. The world ganged up on me and swore that I had schemed to kill the love of my life with my ‘boyfriend’. Little did these ignoramuses know that Fred was the furthest thing from my boyfriend and I still had no clue what had happened.

And I’m the one who has to explain to my daughter why and how her father got taken away from us.

10391802_101906093166701_2167641_n.jpgKaleesa with Paul at three months. The only photo Paul and Kaleesa have together.

November 2009 was just horrid and nearing the end of it was when we said goodbye to Paul. After the service, his mother and I were the ones to say goodbye to him last. The last people to touch his skin, his afro, glide our fingers over his eyebrows. When I kissed his forehead goodbye, my tear landed on his forehead and his mother told me later that day that when she kissed his cheek, my tear was still there and she just couldn’t bring herself to wipe it off.

10391802_102099993147311_5349272_n.jpgKaleesa and her aunt Alecia at Paul’s funeral.

The story continues with more blame, death, and heartbreak. It took six years for the reality of Paul passing to actually hit me. I still get a smack of the reality of it some days.

10391802_101969886493655_2907220_nPaul and I. Spring 2007.

Mental Health in relationships

  From young, we are taught terms such as, “crazy” or “weird”. These terms can be used so freely that we end up missing the mental illnesses that one may actually have. For example, if you are in a relationship with someone who may act ‘crazy’ – are they actually mentally ill?

 I was in an abusive relationship with a young man for years where I thought he was crazy, it wasn’t until his father was diagnosed with schizophrenia and I broke off the relationship that I realized how bad everything really was.

  Schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder that distorts the way a person thinks, acts, and perceives reality. People with schizophrenia often have problems functioning in society, at work, at school, and in relationships.

  In this relationship I dealt with the following from the other person:

Lack of emotion and empathy:  They had a hard time understanding what I would experience or share in the relationship. To him – I was delusional.

Insomnia: The individual did not sleep at normal times and would share this habit with me by calling all hours of the night for phone conversations. You would also find them up reading, watching television, or on the computer all hours of the night because they are frustrated and cannot sleep.

Unexplained Hostility: This would result from the frustration of being wrong or told something they didn’t necessarily want to hear which would cause sudden anger and even violent outbursts which led to beatings.

Lack of Hygiene: You may shrug this off as typical lazy behaviour people with schizophrenia often neglect basic hygiene like not brushing teeth, wearing the same dirty clothes day after day, and refusing to shower.

 Lack of Work History and Ethic: I dealt with abuse expecting to be the sole breadwinner and if I didn’t I was told I was inadequate. Many people with schizophrenia have difficulty keeping a job so they rely on others or crimes for income help.

 This mental health workshop shed light on how I felt about the situation. I no longer see this individual as the horrid abuser I thought he was but as a young man who may need help. I won’t be able to deliver that but I am at least shedding light on the topic for others.

Paul Joseph Smith

My passion runs deep. I get it from my father – as I get most of my traits from him. If I hate, I hate IMMENSLEY. If I love, I love so deeply. I learned this about myself during time spent with a young troubled man who loved me just as passionately as I loved him. But not all love stories end in true love and fairy tales.

This one ends in betrayal, blame and murder.

I was only seventeen years old when I was leaving the mall after shopping. I had just moved out of my first apartment and got last month’s rent back – so I bought a lot of clothes and an expensive phone. As I walked to the bus stop I heard ” HEY AMANDA V! COME HERE! “. I turned to see a young man I had never met before, but I most definitely knew who he was. Everyone did. He was Paul Smith aka ‘Yung P’. Standing at 6’4 with an afro that only made him taller and facial hair that grew like weeds – he was fucking beautiful. It was spring time and he was wearing sunglasses, he didn’t take them off until our second day of hanging out and when he did… those eyes!! His eyes added even more beauty to his face. I knew in some way shape or form id be with this young man forever.


For two and a half years we were by each others side. The first summer was so much fun. Everything was so new. He had many friends who I was able to get to know, we all became a crew. We partied, we fought, we were somewhat troublesome and reckless – but hey – we were teens. Paul had siblings, all younger than he. That summer I met two of his brothers and his very foreign and sweet father. I practically lived with them as Paul and I never left each others side. His youngest brother – who he looked out for the most, was usually around or in the house with us. And we became close too, nicknaming each other characters from the cartoon Arthur. He was Francine and I was Patty. Everything just worked.

Nearing the end of the summer – Paul and I started fighting – physically, it was never too drastic, but it was definitely a telling sign of the future. We had gotten our own apartment and for some reason (I forget now) it was being renovated so we gad to stay somewhere else and we decided to stay at Paul’s best friend’s house in town. That December things started to get toxic and Paul beat me up pretty bad – I had no choice but to call my trusty grandfather to come get me in the middle of the night. He made sure the police met him there. After the police searched the building and unit for Paul after seeing the damage he had done, he was arrested and charged and taken off to the station. He was only in jail for a few weeks and in that time, I tried to move on by talking to other boys not even thinking that there was still a chance with Paul and I. Paul came out of jail and his family had a get together with drinks to celebrate as he was in jail over the Christmas holidays. At this get together he had relations with a family friend (we will call her Amy) and she fell pregnant with his first-born son.

Within days of this secret conception and Paul being released he contacted me, he missed me. I went to see him at his father’s house (which was clearly forbidden as we had a no contact order) we made up, apologized over and over to each other and decided to continue our love story.

Weeks later a friend informed me that Amy was pregnant, and she was happily proclaiming to the world that she was having a baby with my boyfriend. I asked him if it was true and he said he wasn’t quite sure. Who knew if it was his baby or not yet right? I was in denial and I’m sure my denial put him into a position to be in denial himself a bit too. But he never left my side and we lived with each other during Amy’s pregnancy. Of course, this made Amy upset as she thought Paul would live with her and help her full time but that just wasn’t the case. And then his son was born, and he was beautiful. I supported him in being a father (even though I still had my doubts). A month before his son was born I fell pregnant myself, with a little girl, we got a new place and made memories, he chose a name for our daughter and we waited for her.


Two days before I was due he asked my brother to drive him to see his son as Paul knew Kaleesa was going to be here in days, he wanted to spend time with his son before being consumed with taking care of a newborn. Paul left only to get into some kind of legal trouble (to this day I still don’t know what happened). All I know is that Amy bailed him out of jail and made sure that he followed ALL court orders. including no contact with me, his girlfriend, who just gave birth to his daughter. My daughter Kaleesa was born at the end of June and we did not see or hear from Paul until the 21st of July. I went through excruciating pain the whole month and although my daughter was so precious and beautiful it still burned me to know that he wasn’t experiencing it. and it burned me even more to know it wasn’t his choice to be away from us.

He finally found a way to manipulate his assurity so that she would let him step out sometimes overnight and he started to spend more and more time with Kaleesa and I, but he still had to remain living under her roof and rules. This caused turmoil, pain in my soul. We fought. And one September day we fought so bad in front of Kaleesa that I had no choice to call the police and stop speaking to him for good.

We hated each other – with so much fucking passion and love – we hated each other. I still don’t think anyone could understand what I mean. It was just how Paul and I were.

Almost two months went past, we did not see him. it hurt but I lived through it and took care of our daughter.

One night in November I decided to go out with a close friend of mine named Jay. Jay had always taken me out and showed me a good time. This night he was already at a bar with his friend Fred whom he left at the bar while he came to get me. When I arrived at the bar I was disappointed to see Paul, Amy and some of their friends. I knew there was going to be trouble, so I kept to myself and stayed with Jay and Fred. Jay went outside for a cigarette and since I wasn’t too familiar with Fred I followed Jay outside. As we walked up the stairs to exit the bar Paul was standing there with another female and as I walked past them I felt someone spit on my back…