Driven by powerful performances in both the protagonist and antagonist roles, and bolstered by the equally as memorable cinematography and a beautiful score, Korean director Jee-Woon Kim’s 2010 horror/thriller masterpiece, I Saw The Devil, is perhaps one of the scariest films of the 21st century.

I Saw The Devil isn’t necessarily a horror movie in the traditional sense. It’s not trying to get you with jump scares, there are no ghosts or monsters or undead creatures, nor is its sole purpose to be a gore-fest with no interesting, discernible characters or memorable meaning to it like most other horror movies. I Saw The Devil is more closely related to films like Gone Girl or Se7en than it is the horror staples like A Nightmare on Elm Street or Halloween. I Saw The Devil is, in the most basic of terms, a murder mystery. All of that being said, I Saw The Devil is still one of the most effective horror movies to come out in recent years.

I Saw The Devil starts with a hell of an opening that effectively sets the stage for what’s to come in the following two hours. The first character we are introduced to, a 20- to 30-year-old woman named Joo-yun, is brutally murdered within the first ten minutes of the movie with most of the murder being shown on-screen. From here on out, the murders and tortures that take place just become grislier and harder to watch. The special effects work that was put forth in this movie for the gore is flawlessly executed and some of the most realistic effects work to date in the horror genre.

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Kingsman: The Secret Service kind of came out of nowhere for me. When I first saw trailers for it, it struck me as just another action movie where bros go to bro out over guns and babes.

However! Colin Firth is in it. And I cannot believe that Colin Firth would make that kind of movie.

On top of that, I also learned that it was based on a comic of the same name by Mark Millar, the dude who wrote Kickass and Marvel’s Civil War, the subject of the next Captain America movie. And then it was described to me as a satirical action film. Not just an action-comedy. All of these things stacked on top of my becoming more open to action films after watching The Man From Nowhere in my Intro to Film Studies course last semester (so so excellent). It deserved a chance.

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Hello, readers and welcome back! This week we will be talking about Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.

Nora is just your everyday sophomore in high school. She goes to class, she hangs out with her best friend Vee, and does normal teenage things. She’s never had a serious boyfriend, much to her best friend’s dismay. Nora just hasn’t found a boy she cares enough about to date, until Patch comes along.

Patch gets under Nora’s skin in a way no one else can. He seems to know more about her than even Vee knows. Is this guy stalking her? How does he know all these things about her? Nora is determined to ignore him. If she doesn’t respond to his advances, he’ll go away…right?

Then strange things start happening to Nora. She hits a man with her car and there is nothing to prove it but a tiny fracture in the windshield. She thinks she falls off a rollercoaster, but is safely buckled into the seat. What is happening to her and how is Patch connected to it? None of these weird things happened before he became a part of her life.

Nora soon finds out that there is more to Patch than meets the eye and trying to figure him out might be more than she bargained for. Life and death are hanging in the balance for Nora, but just who is trying to hurt her and why? Is Patch trying to help or hurt her? Find out in Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush.

That’s all for this week, check back next week for another book review. Happy reading, everyone!

— Sabrina Parr, Poetry Editor

Despite her status as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee remains a mystery to many readers. Lee has earned a reputation for being notoriously private, living in hermit-like seclusion for many years. However, her recent decision to release a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird has inspired me to re-examine this writer’s early life and career.

With an intense interest, I began an investigation into Lee’s life, uncertain of what I might reveal. However, much of what I uncovered seemed entirely expected. In her youth, Lee was regarded as a tomboy who fought with other children on the playground and talked back to teachers. Even well into college, she resisted conformity and never quite fit in even at Alabama University, where she joined a sorority.

Lee dropped out of law school in order to pursue her true passion–writing. But she spent a great deal of time working odd jobs in New York before ever being published. Finding herself in a most curious circumstance, the would-be author received a gift from a close friend of which many writers could only dream.

As a Christmas present, Broadway lyricist Michael Brown insisted on supporting Lee fully for a year so that she would have the opportunity to work on her first novel. By the end of this time, Lee had completed the manuscript for To Set a Watchmen, later retitled Atticus and then, eventually, To Kill a Mockingbird. An instant success, the book was widely acclaimed and even earned Lee a Pulitzer Prize the year after its publication.

Though perhaps what is most amazing about this story is that the book’s creation is owed almost entirely to the generosity of a seldom-acknowledged friend. In its own way, the coming-of-age story we have all come to know and love as To Kill a Mockingbird seems to be an uncanny sort of Christmas miracle. As a fan of the original novel, I can only hope that its sequel will be a compelling revival, though it certainly seems too full of all the exciting promise of an unexpected gift.

— Dominique Dusek, Assistant Managing Editor & Submissions Manager

Welcome, blog readers, to another installment of our weekly featured: Pick-a-Poem! Every Wednesday we feature a new poem from someone you may not have heard of before. Hopefully this adds some fun and interesting poetry to your day, and maybe you’ll discover your new favorite poet. These poems come from Poetry Daily, which is a great website that features a new poem every single day. Check them out if you want to discover even more new poetry. This week’s featured poem is The Girl with Antlers by Ansel Elkins.

According to the bio on her website, Ansel Elkins first collection of poetry, Blue Yodel, is going to be published in April of this year. This collection won the 2014 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. Her work has also appeared in publications such as AGNI, The Believer, Guernica, the North American Review, and the Southern Review. She has been the recipient of  the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship, and an American Antiquarian Society Fellowship.

The Girl with Antlers by Ansel Elkins

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Ringer (2011, The CW)

Binge-watching TV shows has become more of a lifestyle than a hobby for me because I hate cliffhangers. I am a true millennial in the sense that I’m incredibly impatient and need everything provided to me instantly – especially answers to plot points in television series. That said, I finally rewatched a show I had watched when it was on air a few years back, Ringer, and I was so glad I didn’t have to wait through commercials or days until the next episode aired.

Ringer is a concluded TV drama that lasted only one season, which I attribute to it being aired on a younger-viewer network. At the time of Ringer’s premiere, the CW was already talking about ending its front-running series Gossip Girl and was looking for a replacement. However, Ringer’s complex plot about murder and deception was not the right fit to replace Gossip Girl’s quick-witted sass and the Upper East Side drama of love affairs. Had Ringer been picked up by a more mature-audience based network, like ABC, it definitely would’ve hit its target audience and lasted much longer.

This show, though short lived, was thankfully aired in a full order of 22 episodes and also marked the return of the incomparable Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) to television.

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Editor’s Notes #160

Posted: March 22, 2015 in Editor's Notes

Hello, blog readers! We have a lot of posts to recap from the last couple of weeks, but I first want to thank anyone who submitted their work to the Jet Fuel Review recently. The spring reading submission is now closed. Our editors are hard at work and you should be hearing from them soon. In the meantime, feel free to check out the most recent issue of the Jet Fuel Review, or browse our past issues. Now, let’s see what our bloggers have been up to recently.

If you want some writing advice, check out these recent posts on the topic. In the past few weeks, I’ve written about the inner editor that we all have and how to best utilize it. To help you out even more with the editing process, I posted about some steps for editing. These might help you get started! Recently featured poems here on the blog include Morning by Alan Gillis and The Iraqi Curator’s PowerPoint by Philip Metres. If you want to learn more about another member of the Jet Fuel team, you can check out our most recent “Meet the Editors” post, which featured Bianca Apato, our Assistant Poetry Editor, Fiction Editor, and Special Section Editor.

Of course, our bloggers/editors have been posting a lot as well! Michael Cotter has posted two new installments of his “What Are You Watching?” series. He recently talked about “Younger,” from TV Land, and “Young & Hungry” from ABC Family. If you’re interested in finding some new shows to watch, be sure to check out his posts! In her weekly book review posts, Sabrina Parr has featured Rose Bush by Michael Jaffe and The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

Our film bloggers have also been keeping us updated on the world of the silver screen. Mike Egan recently posted his analysis of Kinji Fukasaku’s “Battle Royale.” Miguel Gonzalez wrote about one of Disney’s latest movies, “Big Hero 6” and the strides it has made for diversity. And Michael Lane has continued to write about the “Nightmare on Elm Street” sequels. Be sure to check out his latest post!

If you’re interested in phobias, Jessica Jordan has posted about a new one: hippopotomonstrosesquideliophobia. Want to know what that impossibly long word means? Click through to read Jessica’s full post! In Dominique Dusek’s latest “Before They Were Famous” post, she profiled one of the most well-known authors of this generation — J.K. Rowling. And, in something of a coincidence, Kelly Lyons’ most recent “Book Bucket List” featured the Harry Potter series!

I hope you’ve been enjoying our content here at the Jet Fuel blog. Stay tuned for more posts!

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan