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I discuss a number of things about deleted scenes, having written the article in the form of a “q-and-a.” Some of the questions I ask include: “What are deleted scenes? Why do they exist? What do they tell us about a movie (its production, its internal history, etc.)? Do they affect the plot of a film?”

Textual Variations Newsletter Link:

I discuss the characteristics that distinguish iTunes from similar digital media platforms such as Netflix and Amazon to make a case for it being the next best thing after physical media. This includes the presence of bonus materials on iTunes film releases and the ability to download iTunes purchases.

It is the first of what I hope to be a series of posts that discusses iTunes and/or Apple TV as a means of watching movies and television.

I def-ly think Alien is a horror movie but I don't think all sci-fi movies are horror films. I think a lot depends on the emotional intent of a picture. Alien clearly means to consistently scare the audience, whereas 2001 is not interested in this, though it certainly can come off as creepy and unsettling, esp. due to Kubrick's style. My general take on things is that horror, sci-fi, and fantasy can easily intersect but can also be separate genres with their own unique entries.


The Fantastic Horror Series Remains Criminally Underappreciated

Season 4 poster: Dracula looms in the background as the Van Helsings take a stand; image courtesy of Syfy.

In the era of Peak TV, there are many quality shows that unfortunately do not receive the recognition they deserve. One such recent series is Van Helsing, a serialized post-apocalyptic horror fantasy inspired by the comic book series Helsing, which itself was arguably based on Bram Stoker’s gothic horror classic, Dracula.*

* Please note that the show has no connection to the 2004 movie of the same name.

Though the series has attracted a loyal cult following over the four years it’s been on the air, it never became a ratings hit, nor…


At “2:00,” Servant slows down to become a devilishly good horror film.

Screencap: The first time Dorothy visits Leanne at 2am; image modified by author.
  • Original Airdate: February 5, 2021
  • Written By: Tony Basgallop
  • Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
  • Plot Summary: As she interrogates Leanne about her son’s whereabouts, Dorothy starts mysteriously waking up at 2 in the morning.
  • Logline: At “2:00,” Servant slows down to become a devilish horror movie.
  • Grade: A

One of the neatest tricks that the first season of Servant pulled off was slowly but surely shifting audience empathy from Dorothy to Sean. When the series began, it was easy to see Sean as the lesser of the two…


Why the Chris Weitz film deserves a director’s cut

Official Poster; image courtesy of Warner Media.

It is hard not to wonder if the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which is inspiring positive critical and cultural re-evaluations of the panned 2017 superhero movie, could potentially lead to a new wave of alternate cuts on HBO Max. After all, these versions, especially those of the “director’s cut” category, can be very profitable for film companies and very good for their cultural standing with audiences and filmmakers.

In this series of posts, I will look at certain titles from the Warner Media catalog that could potentially receive and…


Aunt “Josephine” brings Season 2 to a strong yet frustrating conclusion.

Screencap: From the Season 2 trailer, image modified by author.
  • Original Airdate: March 19, 2021
  • Written and Directed By: Ishana Night Shyamalan
  • Plot Summary: Leanne’s aunt Josephine arrives to make Dorothy confront “the truth” about Jericho and take Leanne back for good.
  • Grade: A-


As I watched the second season of Servant, I couldn’t help recall another surreal and stylish series that had aired about a decade previously on NBC — Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal. In their respective first seasons, both shows introduced viewers to a dark and serious mystery story that, at its core, revolved around an ambiguous, potentially supernatural main character. …

Mikhail L. Skoptsov

Brown University graduate with a PHD in Modern Culture and Media. Critic and scholar of film, television, and new media. https://textualvariations.substack.com/

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