Author Archives: kristipetersenschoonover

Peele’s film US gets released today!

A family is terrorized by strange beings in Jordan Peele's latest film, US.

A family is terrorized by strange beings in Jordan Peele’s latest film, US.

Jordan Peele’s latest psychological thriller, Us—about a family terrorized by strange beings—gets released today on Blu-Ray, DVD, and 4K. It is also available to rent on VOD. You can pick up the hard copy here on Amazon here, or rent the VOD on Amazon here.

Dark Discussions US collage

Hear what we have to say about Jordan Peele’s film US on DARK DISCUSSIONS. Photo collage by Philip Perron.

Dark Discussions covered and reviewed this film shortly after it came out. After you see the film (if spoilers bother you, then definitely wait until you’ve seen it before listening to the episode), you can hear what we said about it on Stitcher, Itunes, and here: http://www.darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_378.html

Personally, I loved Get Out, but I thought Us was even better. I’m hoping to see more films from Peele. I love his sensibility and layering, and I have to be honest—Us had moments that scared the crap out of me. If you’re looking for a disturbing thriller with depth, this should fill the bill. Enjoy!

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Happy Father’s Day! Adventures in the ice cream freezer case

Friendly's Butter Crunch Ice Cream

The carton of Friendly’s Butter Crunch ice cream I found in Shop Rite in Brookfield, CT on Father’s Day in 2013.

When I was little, my dad used to love to take me out for ice cream. Most of the time it was the Carvel down in the North Street Shopping Center, or the Carvel on Route 7 in my home town New Milford, or the Swensen’s in Plumtrees Plaza off Exit 8 in Danbury. But the best place, the really special one that we only got to go to on special occasions, was the Friendly’s—because they had my favorite flavor of all time, Butter Crunch.

Butter Crunch—sweet and buttery with chunks of something like toffee in it—wasn’t as popular as its relative, Butter Pecan. Even when it was a “new” flavor, it was rare if you found it someplace other than Friendly’s.

On Father’s Day in 2013, I was having Read the rest of this entry

HELLNOTES calls THE SHADOWS BEHIND “incredibly smart writing”

Hellnotes Reviews Masthead

Hellnotes, a major reviewer of horror fiction, film, and art, has reviewed my latest short story collection, The Shadows Behind, and given it a rave! Reviewer Elaine Pascale has written: “The stories within tell of lingering loss via imaginative and incredibly smart writing. Schoonover writes of grief and regret that follows like a shadow, and the stories in this collection will remain like a shadow for some time after you finish reading…the writing is intelligent and the themes transcend genre. Add this book to your summer reading list.”

I am SO EXCITED about this! You can read the full review here: https://hellnotes.com/the-shadows-behind-book-review/

You can get your copy of The Shadows Behind here: http://bit.ly/shadowsbehind. Or, if you want a signed copy, reach out to me through my Contact Page or in the comments and I’ll get in touch with you about making arrangements.

Reflections on the Chernobyl disaster

Overlooking the burning reactor

From left, Stellan Skarsgård (Shcherbina) and Jared Harris (Legasov) watch Chernobyl’s Reactor 4 burn in Episode 1 of HBO’s miniseries CHERNOBYL.

We all have those moments in our lives when the world at large encroached upon us; moments like 9/11, the JFK assassination, or the Challenger explosion. Those moments that, when we are asked to talk about them around the office water cooler, we begin describing with the words, “I remember exactly what I was doing … ” or “I remember exactly what I was wearing … ”. For those of us not directly connected to any of these tragedies, some of those moments are just that: moments we’ll never forget.

Others become watershed.

I was 15 years old when the Chernobyl disaster occurred, and it was exactly seven days after Read the rest of this entry

A trip through time: The Bronx Zoo’s DINOSAUR SAFARI

Dinosaur Safari Green Screen Pic

I think this is hilarious. We’re being chased by a Tyrannosaurus and we look like we’re on a cruise.

I’m going to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, because nothing ruins an adventure like knowing every damn little thing about it beforehand (it’s really not an adventure if that’s the case). However, I’m going to include a couple of my favorite photos and share some details, so if you’re planning on visiting the Bronx Zoo’s Dinosaur Safari this summer and want to stay completely in the dark, I’d advise skipping the rest of this post (except scroll down to “A word on buying tickets.” That stuff you’ll want to know). Read the rest of this entry

Lines on the Loss of Lou Squeglia

Our family 2010

In happier times, Thanksgiving, 2010 at my house: Clockwise from left, my cousin Maryanne (Lou’s daughter), my brother Chuck, Uncle Lou, me, and Auntie Del (Lou’s wife).

My uncle on my mother’s side, Louis Squeglia, passed away on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. He was 95. I was tasked with writing the eulogy and thought I’d post it here.

Five-star General Douglas MacArthur, who played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II, once said that “the best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself.” Louis Squeglia was a fine example of the truth in these words, and they were what he lived by: he considered himself a lucky man, and he wasted no time reveling in it.

Like MacArthur, Lou served in the U. S. Army in New Guinea from 1943 to 1946 as a Radar Crewman. His stationing there resulted in a connection to the Battle of Luzon, the initial conflict of MacArthur’s Philippine Campaign, which would eventually result in the liberation of the islands.

If you asked him what he thought of those trying years in the South Pacific, he’d tell you the reason he was losing his hair was because of the heat and his helmet.

“But I’m lucky,” he said, “that I didn’t lose more than that.”

In the next breath, he’d tell you Read the rest of this entry

Looking for something different? Try a Water Lantern Festival

Lanterns float in foreground of pavilion

Photo by Jen Connic.

For hundreds of years, there have been lantern festivals in Thailand. There are two, but the one that features krathongs (water lanterns)—is called Loi Krathong, which in 2019 will take place November 13. There are many stories behind the centuries-old festival’s origins, but it’s meant to thank the Water Goddess for a successful rice harvest (read more about that here: https://www.discoverydcode.com/dcode/articles/how-to-enjoy-thailand-water-latern-festival/)

Lanterns around the lake

Just so you can get an idea of how many lanterns were around the edge of the lake. Photo by Nathan Schoonover.

Here in the US, many set water lanterns afloat for Read the rest of this entry

Join the DARK DISCUSSIONS crew in Mystic, CT, July 26 – 28!

DD at Regal Cinemas Waterford 9

The crew and fans of the DARK DISCUSSIONS podcast get ready to see THE MEG at the Regal Cinemas Waterford 9 in Waterford, CT at our annual meet-up in August of 2018. From left: co-host Abe, listener Kevin, listener Leo Pond (also host of THE DORKENING podcast), co-host Eric, co-host Phil, me, listener Pam and co-host Mike.

Wanna watch a movie and attend a taping of Dark Discussions? Now’s your chance! Read the rest of this entry

Off to the Cape to write…

The beach near our rented house.

The beach near our rented house. It’s my understanding that portions of this beach are reserved for the piping plover, a shore bird whose populations have suffered because of human activity on the beaches, and I did get to see some, which, as a novice birdwatcher, was a real thrill!

I’ll be up in Cape Cod this week for some much needed quiet time.

The writing life can be crazy, because no matter what anyone Read the rest of this entry

Malicious Monsters: The Jackalope

Jackalope Real

This jackalope may look adorable, but according to legend, it’s a vicious beast.

In the summer of 2011, I needed an escape. I ended up going to see my sister, who lived in Austin, in my first-ever trip to the state of Texas.

Long story short? I fell in love with Texas. In an absolute, complete, I-see-no-wrong kind of love. The smell of burnt asphalt and cactus blossom laced with a kiss of mesquite. In Hill Country, woods and mountains not much different from Connecticut, but with the occasional surprise of a cactus thrusting from a blanket of past autumn leaves. The joy of watching over a half a million bats emerge from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. The 108 degree heat, hot glazed pecans at the HEB, and people who will absolutely talk to a total stranger without looking at him like he has five heads.

Austin Jackalope

Me at The Jackalope, a dive bar with incredible burgers on 6th Street in Austin, Texas. There’s a challenge associated with the giant jackalope that stares at you the second you walk in—you have to have a drink in your hand to climb on. It’s not easy. Trust me! To visit The Jackalope’s website, visit here: https://www.jackalopebar.com/downtown To read about my adventures at the bar when I visited in 2016, visit here: https://kristipetersenschoonover.com/2016/05/23/i-met-a-real-jackalope/

But during that brief visit, there was something much darker happening: Read the rest of this entry

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