Friday, October 11, 2013
NICKELODEON'S ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK? SEASON 3
The show is like the show "Tales from the Crypt", it had good scary stories, scary moments and was a lot of fun. The show's prologue and epilogue took place in a secret spot in the woods with a group called "The Midnight Society" that would sit around the campfire and tell scary stories and even sometimes stop the story for a few seconds to make comments or ask questions.
David and Kristen's family have moved and now there's an opening for two new members to join "The Midnight Society". Betty Ann has someone but the persons not ready to tell her initiation story yet. Gary has someone new and it's his little brother Tucker(Played by the same kid who did the voice of Carlos in "The Magic School Bus" and played Gabe in "Goosebumps :Return Of The Mummy"), will he tell a story good enough for him to join? "Submitted For The Approval Of The Midnight Society", here's my review on...
THE TALE OF THE MIDNIGHT RIDE
A boy named Ian moves to the town of "Sleepy Hollow" and he doesn't seem to fit in. However, he has a love interest named Katie and a bully named Brad who's jealous of Ian moving in on his ex girlfriend. Ian meets the Ghost of Ichabod Crane and points him to the right direction and while succeeding at saving Ichabod's ghost from the headless horseman, the headless horseman is now after Ian.
I love this stories modern take on "The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow". While acknowledging the legend and being faithful to it's sources there are lots of modern twists on the story. For example, Ian is a modern day Ichabod, Katie is the modern day Katrina and Brad is the modern day Brom and not only are they similar to the characters, their names are some what similar to the characters too. By the way the acting from the kids playing the characters are good. Ian is also the new guy in town like Ichabod, there's big annual Halloween party, Brad dresses up like the Horseman like how people feel that Brom is the Horseman, there's a huge chase at the end and there's even a Pumpkin thrown. I really love this clever modern take on this classic story.
The Headless Horseman can be really scary at times and he's just how you know him, I have to say he makes a really scary entrance when we first see him. The chase is thrilling and makes you wonder if the characters going to be Ichabod's replacement. Speaking of Ichabod, Ichabod's ghost is a little creepy too and not only does he really resemble the character, the actor who's playing him played the voice of Mr.Ratburn in the TV show "Arthur", this should have been Kiki's story. The cinematography brings that dark and Halloween look and I love the set designs for the old looking "Sleepy Hollow" at the beginning of the story.
People have argued that Tucker's story is modernizing an original story and using a famous horror monster as the villain. While being true have any of you watched the other previous episodes. "The Tale Of The Twisted Claw" was a modernized version of "The Monkey's Paw". In "The Tale Of The Midnight Madness", they used "Nosferatu" as the main villain and I never hear any complaints about any of these two episodes and nor do I think the "Midnight Society" characters care. I say welcome to the club Tucker and please make one of the puns that you would use in "The Magic School Bus".
Gary's little brother has been causing mischief with the dust. Really I'm beginning to wonder what's the big deal with the dust? Is it magic or is cocaine like my favorite critic Doug Walker implied? I mean Gary's little brother did put the dust in a zip lock bag and it does look more like cocaine than dust but I digress. Betty Ann's friend is still not ready to tell their initiation story and every ones bummed that their friends are moving. Kiki has a story about moving. "Submitted For The Approval Of The Midnight Society", here's my review on...
THE TALE OF APARTMENT 214
Stacy and her divorced Mom move to an apartment building. Stacy is having trouble making some new friends but that all changes when she meets a kind old lady in an apartment right by her. One day, Stacy broke her promise on an important day to visit the old lady and later that night as she comes to apologize to her, she's gone and her apartment is empty. What's going on?
Our main character Stacy is a good character and plays the typical young teen that moves to a different area that we can all relate too. There's nothing really special about her character but she's not bland and the actress who's playing her is doing a good job. As for the supporting characters such as her Mom and the manager, they're decent and have a good amount of screen time. However, her other friend Angela has very little screen time and is bland but she is the reason why Stacy broke her promise, so thank heavens that she's not pointless.
Now for the Old lady. Well just by reading the plot, it's pretty obvious of what her character is, a ghost. Just by what's going on at her Apartment, you can tell right away that she's a ghost. Is she a good ghost or a scary ghost. Well she's very humble and seeing her and Stacy together is a really good and sweet relationship. However, after her broken promise, she starts haunting her and I will admit those moments are pretty freaky. It's the cinematography that makes those moments freaky and my favorite sequence is the circling shot when Stacy finds a picture.
It's a predictable episode and most of the characters aren't that interesting but it's still a good episode. There are some nice heartwarming scenes and a few very freaky scenes as well. I also love that this episode is a follow up to the first episode of the season, then being just some kind of regular episode and the topic is the seasons important theme and that's moving away from friends and trying to make new friends.
Betty Ann finally brought the persons she's sponsoring and that person is a girl named Sam, who every male in group has the hots for...except for me(What you didn't realize by my review and writing style on this show that I'm not apart of the "Midnight Society", I'm their stories critic). Anyway it's a stormy night and I have no idea why their parents let them out or not even aware that they might of sneaked out of their homes. Well now to see if her stories good or not but hey if I don't like it that doesn't mean she's not getting in. "Submitted For The Approval Of The Midnight Society", here's my review on...
THE TALE OF WATCHER'S WOODS
Two girls named Kelly and Sarah, get lost in the woods and are trapped in "Watcher's Woods". Sarah is captured by three hikers that disappeared in the woods and Sarah is being followed by the watcher. Can the two get out?
Our two girls share nearly the same exact personality as the two girls in "The Tale Of The Lonely Ghost". I guess I wouldn't mind it so much since I've seen the same two characters from "The Tale Of The Twisted Claw" and "The Tale Of The Prom Queen" and those characters are at least different in age and personality but these two feel like bland cardboard cut outs from "The Tale Of The Lonely Ghost" with nothing interesting about them at all. Oh and their acting doesn't save these characters either.
The woods is really creepy and the cinematography makes you feel that these characters are trapped. The Watcher seems like a good villain but is sadly a wimp that's just scared away by a lighter when he could just take it away from her. The three missing girls are creepy but I feel like they're as over the top as Dr.Vink in "The Tale Of The Phantom Cab" and if you remember my criticism on Dr.Vink in that episode then you know how I feel about these characters.
Speaking of "The Tale Of The Phantom Cab" this episode feels like a copy of it. Two kids get lost in the woods, are met by not so scary villains, have to free the souls trapped in the woods and you get the rest. Only huge difference is it's better than "The Tale Of The Phantom Cab". Sure we get bad actors and not so scary over the top villains but it has a good atmosphere, decent effects (with the exception of a few bad ones),a creativity storyline (even if it's a copy of "The Tale Of The Phantom Cab") and has some thrilling moments. Sam you did a better job then Frank with your story, even if your story sucked the group would still let you cause your hot.
Tonight it's Tucker's turn to tell a story but instead of him being there, he's calling the group to tell his story. "Submitted For The Approval Of The Midnight Society", here's my review on...
THE TALE OF THE PHONE POLICE
Two kids named Chris and Jake are two kids who like to prank call but Jakes sister tells the two a story about a kid named Billy Baxter being taken away by the Phone Police. The kids keep getting a phone call from Billy Baxter and are trying to figure out what this is all about. While trying to figure out who the caller really is, one of them gets taken away by the phone police and it's up to the other kid to save him.
This story while having a good idea of scaring kids who like to prank phone call people, is really a confusing and puzzling episode. Sure it has some good scary moments including a scary climax of being chased by Police officers, a scary phone call and a scary ending but instead of being simple and straight ford like most episodes with a few good twists, this episode confuses you to the point where you begin wonder what the heck was I just watching. I can take stuff like this in a horror film or a horror TV show because it raises the questions and keeps older viewers interested but for kids, I don't know they'll probably be more confused and bored by the episode, rather then being entertained and scared by it.
The acting really sucks. The two kids are not just bad actors but their characters are the same duo, one's an Ahole while the other is just trying to be good. Not only is the formula getting old but these two are really really bland. The sister that tells them the story can't act at all and the scene when she has no memory of Jake is really poorly acted out. By the way, don't you just love the scene where she pours some kind of beverage in her cup, walks around with it and dumps it all down the drain.
The villain is just some old fart down where the files are and is I guess, the chief of the Phone Police. His character is not scary, he can't act and really doesn't do much. The police are just police, their enough to frighten kids from Prank Phone calling but that's it. Oh and Billy Baxter, we never see him or meet him which is a huge downer who feels like a pointless character in the long run.
The story is too confusing for kids, the acting sucks and the characters suck. However I will say it's worth watching cause granted it has some decent scary moments and I do like the stories message.
Tonight it's Betty Ann's turn to tell the story and Tucker is excited to hear a story from her cause she always tells good ones. Yes she has, well if you don't count "The Tale Of The Nightly Neighbors" and "The Tale Of The Sorcerer's Apprentice" but she's still legendary for scaring us and telling the best story in the whole show "The Tale Of Laughing In The Dark". She brings a Doll and Tucker is unimpressed. So is her story going to be a hit or is it going to be as cliched as "The Tale Of The Nightly Neighbors". "Submitted For The Approval Of The Midnight Society", here's my review on...
THE TALE OF THE DOLL MAKER
A little girl named Melissa spends her weekends at her Aunt and Uncles house on the country and she would also hang with her dear friend Susan. One weekend, she finds out her friends parents have moved and her friend Susan has disappeared. She sneaks into her friends abandon house, finds a strange looking Doll House and a wooden door and is now trapped in the Doll House with Susan as they both slowly turn into dolls.
Our main character Melissa is a very sweet character and I enjoy the many things she does to solve the mystery and rescue her friend. The actress who played her is good and she makes the character lovable. Her Aunt and Uncle are lovable as well and when ever you see them worry about Melissa going into the house, you get nervous, know their hiding something and just gives good build up to the climax.
This episode has brought me a lot of suspense. The build up to the Doll House is so good that you just curiouser and curiouser about what's going on. The make up for Susan slowly turning into a Doll is really good and I must admit it's really frightening. I also love how Susan acts when she's a Doll, you feel bad for her while at the same time get chills from her. Another thing I love is the set design for the Doll House because it actually looks like an actual Doll House then an old house. I also love the design for the door. I guess the only huge criticism I have with this episode is when Melissa finds out she's slowing turning into a Doll, it only lasts for a few seconds and is ignored through out the rest of the climax. Other than that, it's a solid episode(No Pun intended).
The acting's good, the set design and scenery is good and above of all, the stories suspense and tension just builds and builds. It's one of the most suspenseful in the whole series.
Frank is hitting on Sam, wishing she'd act more like a girl. Seriously, what's so hot about her, why didn't you guys hit on Kristen, was she too beautiful and girly for you or did you think she and Dave had a thing. Tucker is being annoying, not that his first story wasn't good but if you knew he was annoying why let him join or heck why did Gary tell him about the group I thought it was a secret? Betty Ann's going tonight and she brought a book as a symbol to what her stories about. "Submitted For The Approval Of The Midnight Society", here's my review on...
THE TALE OF THE BOOKISH BABYSITTER
A babysitter named Belinda is a strange babysitter who makes ever kid she sits happy. Her next assignment is to watch over a stubborn boy named Ricky, who's hooked on TV and video games. Belinda has him read a story but instead of reading one book, he reads a couple of different books without finishing any of them. As a result, the villains from the books are brought back into the real world and it's up to Ricky's imagination to stop them.
Belinda is one of the greatest characters I've ever seen on the show since Sardo. Just picture a mix of Willy Wonka, Miss Frizzle and Mary Poppins and you'll get an idea of what kind of character she is. She acts weird, strange and you know she has the day planed out for Ricky, and while feeling weirded out by her, you still love her and know she only means well. Ricky is the same old Ahole kid who starts as one and becomes nice in the end. The actor who plays him is ok but let's just say he can use a few more tips on acting.
The monsters in the episode are cool, some are scary, while some are over the top. The Knight that tries to kill Ricky looks very threatening and terrifying to young kids. The witch keeps catching you off guard when you least expect her which I'll admit are scary moments. With that said, the Witch is way over the top as the three hags and just like the Queen Of Hearts cameo in "The Tale Of The Final Wish", I swear she's being played by a man who's dressing in drag. Finally we have the Ghost, who's so big, dark and scary looking with that whaling noise, I can picture lots of kids crapping their pants. By the way the movie that Ricky's watching is "White Zombie" starring Bela Lugosi and IT'S NOT "NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD" AS IMDB SAID!
So the characters are good, the monsters are creepy.As for the episodes moral, does it inspire kids to read books? Well I don't know, personally I think it will scare them from reading them then encouraging them but then again it has a really good ending and makes the accomplishment from reading a book feel rewarding. I can't say if this is a good or bad episode but personally I love it and I do find it an inspiration to read books.
Gary pranks the group with an old robe and hat that evil mystical monks use to wear. He puts on the robe to tell his story. "Submitted For The Approval Of The Midnight Society", here's my review on...
THE TALE OF THE CARVED STONE
A girl named Allison moves into a new town and has no friends. Luckily, she buys a magic carved stone from Sardo that sends her back in time to her house in 1892 where she makes a new friend named Tom. However, an evil powerful Monk named Brother Septimus (Frank Gorshin) is after the stone, so he can travel through time to kill people.
Allison is a lovable and relatable character and the actress who plays her is ok, not great but ok(By the way, what kind of accent does she have?). The kid Tom is lovable too, the kid who plays him is ok too and I can't ever think of time when a slingshot was so deadly since "It" or "The Leprechaun" and yes sometimes I expect him to say "F--k You Lucky charms" whenever he's aiming his slingshot at somebody, especially during the ending. The two are good characters and they look like they could have a great friendship but sadly, the episode doesn't really wish to focus on their friendship.
The episode really focuses more on the villain Brother Septimus. When I heard Frank Gorshin(The comedian who's famous for playing the best Riddler ever) was going to be in this episode as the villain, I was really excited and couldn't wait to see him over the top. To my surprise, he's not that over the top, he's actually more scary and intimidating then fun. Frank Gorshin does such a tremendous job as this villain that I can't believe it's him and his eyes are what make him so terrifying. I also love how powerful this villain is and watch the many evil things he does with it. It's one of the best performances and scariest villains on the show.
Finally there's Sardo. What can I say, he's just as funny and enjoyable as he was in the previous episodes he was in. He says his famous quotes, he's over the top, never has a dull moment and he even makes a "The Tale Of The Dark Dragon" reference. It's so nice to Sardo again, especially in an episode with one of the scariest villains in the show.
It has a good story, another great appearance from Sardo and has a an awesome villain portrayed by a classic actor. If they only focused or put a little more chemistry in the friendship between Allison and Tom, the episode would be complete, but tragically those parts are treated more as a tiny subplot.
Tucker stole Gary's Ankh to tell tonight's story. Does this story have something to do with a mummy? All I'm saying is, it better be better then your confusing story "The Tale Of The Phone Police". "Submitted For The Approval Of The Midnight Society", here's my review on...
THE TALE OF THE GUARDIAN'S CURSE
Josh and Cleo's vacation is canceled when their workaholic father finds a Mummy buried in the museum. There's a curse that can happen to anyone who digs it up and they find a Ring of Eternity and the Elixer of Life. The Mummy goes missing and the fathers gone.
This has to be one of the most unexciting and boringest episodes of the show. The characters are bland, boring and forgettable. The Mummy is not frightening and the villain is not close to being threatening. All the thrills and scary moments are poor pay offs and just feel boring. Even the ending had a very boring and corny feel. I guess the only shot I sort of liked was a campfire shown in the hieroglyphics that takes us back to the "Midnight Society" but that's it. Oh and a few fun facts, the kid who plays Tucker will later be on the "Goosebumps" episode "Return Of The Mummy". The guy who plays the father will also be on "Goosebumps" as well in "Night Of The Living Dummy 3". Yes, they are better episodes than this!
Tucker you're butt is going down for stealing your brothers Ankh and for telling another lousy story. Put out the fire guys and lets teach Tucker a lesson.
The "Midnight Society" has brought their photos when they were young for Betty Ann's story. Betty Ann tells them that photos can predict the future. "Submitted For The Approval Of The Midnight Society", here's my review on...
THE TALE OF THE CURIOUS CAMERA
A loser kid named Matt for some odd and no explained reason gets his picture taken and there's no image of him except for the seat he's sitting on. The camera man gives him a rare camera and every time he takes a picture it brings unfortunate luck. Inside the camera, there's a gremlin who causes the chaos but it can not be stopped.
Our main character Matt is not only one of the biggest unlikable losers I ever seen but he's also being poorly acted by the guy who plays Finch in the "American Pie" movies and play the annoying fat kid Barry in "American Dad". His acting really stinks and every time I see him act, I feel disgusted. His sister is very bland and is a character I did not care about. The camera man is the only good actor in this whole episode and personally I wish he was the focus. By the way, the kid who bullies Matt is the same kid who played the cocky kid Josh in the best episode of the whole show "The Tale Of Laughing In The Dark".
What can I say, the cursed camera is a cliched horror story but is it good? In a way yeah. I like that's there's a monster inside the camera that can jump from being into a camera to another piece of technology. Only down side is we never see the creature, except see some comic book looking drawing of him. The bad luck the camera causes are good and I like that the kid plans to use it on the bullies. I also liked the climax when the parents are about to get into a deadly accident. Like "The Tale Of The Phone Police", it has good ideas and some decent scary moments but it also has plenty of horrendous moments, as well as a confusing take on a simple story.
Tucker is ticked that Kiki called him a runt and are now arm wrestling. Seriously, I'm beginning to be just as annoyed with Tucker as the rest of the group. He hasn't told one good story since his first one and for the most part he's annoying (And he's played by a good kid actor too). Sam is telling a story about love..."What a twist". "Submitted For The Approval Of The Midnight Society", here's my review on...
THE TALE OF THE DREAM GIRL
A socially awkward teen named Johnny who's never really noticed by anyone but his Sister Erica. He and his sister work at a bowling alley and Johnny finds a ring in his locker that won't come off his finger. He starts having dreams about a girl and now he sees the girl where ever he goes.
Johnny is the same socially awkward kid that most of us know but we can relate to him. His acting makes us relate to his character and makes him a very likable character as well. His sister Erica is another well acted and likable character and every time their together they have a great brother and sister chemistry. There's also an interesting twist to these characters but I won't spoil it for you.
The dream girl Donna, well come on it's obvious that she's a ghost and she's not scary nor is she meant to be scary. This ghost character is kind of like Dede from "The Tale Of The Prom Queen". The ghost only means well and is a cursed soul until her spirit is free from that curse. One of my favorite moments in the episode is when Johnny meets the girl after closing at Midnight in the food lounge and as he's waiting, he's seeing and being served by ghosts from the 50's, the scene kind of reminds of the bar scenes from "The Shining". What really made the episode was it's twist ending that's just as clever as the ending to "The Tale Of Old Man Corcoran". It's not a scary episode, it's as light hearted as "The Tale Of The Prom Queen" and "The Tale Of Apartment 214" with good characters, a well written story and surprising plot twist. Sam this should have been your initiation story.
It's a beautiful night and Tucker is annoying everyone with a magic flute that can make it rain. He didn't steal it from Gary, he stole it from his father. If it does rain, please god strike this kid with a bolt of lighting...ok don't kill him but put him in his place and strike him to give him enough sense to tell a good story. Tonight it's Kiki's turn to tell a story. "Submitted For The Approval Of The Midnight Society", here's my review on...
THE TALE OF THE QUICKSILVER
First off, what a hell of an opening. A young girl is chanting to summon a dark spirit, a dark and creepy looking spirit comes after her, he locks her in her room and she gets killed in a fire spreading around her room. Damn! That's a great and scary way to start the story but what is our story? Two boys move into an old house, however weird things are happening to them, there's an evil spirit after them and a good spirit called the "Quicksilver" helping them.
Our main characters are good. Our two characters Aaron and Doug are really fun characters and when ever they are together, it makes the episode even more fun. Then we have Connie played by "Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air" very own Tatyana Ali who does a remarkable job playing her as well as playing the ghost. These characters are all really likable and enjoyable.
During this season we've seen episodes such as "The Tale Of The Phone Police","The Tale Of Watcher's Woods" and "The Tale Of The Curious Camera" that use so many great ideas and good concepts but use so much of it that it feels like a mess. This story uses so many different ideas and has so many good and scary scenes that they all work, don't feel out of place, don't feel like a mess and all plays an important part in the story. This episode has dozens of scary moments and humorous moments that they all work. This episode juggles all these ideas so well and as a result we get one of the best episodes ever made this season.
Frank is trying to ask Sam out, has it occurred to you Frank that she might play for her same team(Not that I'm against that) kind of like another member of our group. Tucker made a deal with Gary to have him as his servant for a while if he doesn't tell anyone about Gary's poem. We know he wrote a poem deals off and Frank give him a good pound after the story. "Submitted For The Approval Of The Midnight Society", here's my review on...
THE TALE OF THE CRIMSON CLOWN
A naughty kid named Sam gets taught a lesson by a scary clown called The Crimson Clown. That's basically your plot.
Our main character Sam is the biggest jerk I've seen on the show since Beth from "The Tale Of The Lonely Ghost". He lies, cheats, he's very stubborn and says dirty words to his brother. This is one kid who I was hoping gets taught a lesson and boy was it a good one. The rest of the characters such as his Brother, Mother and the Store Owner are memorable and likable but it's this little Turd who steals the show.
Our monster The Crimson Clown, good god is one of the scariest characters on the show of all time. He goes from being a Doll that appears and disappears to a kids version of Freddy Krueger. He ties the kid up, changes his form, tries to take him away and appears when you least except it. The voice, the design, the special effects are all what make him scary and considering that he's a clown makes you wet your pants even more. The moment that scares me the most is when you think he's in the kids bed, it's scary and perhaps a little perverted. If you have a kids that's naughty(Especially if they're afraid of clowns) show them this episode and I'm sure they'll go straight to being good while being completely scared. Oh and look for a Zeebo cameo!
Gary great story, I still think Sam will go out with someone on her team and none of you are going to put out that fire are you? Hey, Smokey the Bear will get you!
Members of The "Midnight Society" are telling their fears to Frank. I have no fears except of OCD and those singing obnoxious animated toys...mostly the Christmas ones. Frank finally admits that he's afraid of the dark and will tell tonight's story and I'll bet you ten grand that Dr.Vink is in it."Submitted For The Approval Of The Midnight Society", here's my review on...
THE TALE OF THE DANGEROUS SOUP
First off we got another holy crap your pants opening! A guy is strapped to a chair in a dark room with fans (That look similar to the shows intro), we hear Dr.Vinks creepy voice and laugh and he looks at a Gargoyle that knows what he's afraid of and a snake comes after him. Wow, just wow, maybe Dr.Vink will be just as good as he was in "The Tale Of The Midnight Madness". What's the plot? Dr.Vink once an early draft for Haggard, then a film director and now is a master chef who makes soup out of peoples fears and feeds them people to strengthen them.
The two main characters give a really bland performance. First we have Nonnie played by Neve Campbell who brings no life to her and the only time when I felt for her is when she's actually in danger. The loner guy Reed, same feeling, he's bland and tries to be a badass which he's not and even his scared and bravery scenes suck. There's nothing interesting with any of these characters and nor am I interested getting to know them.
Dr.Vink is the only person who has life in this episode. He's both over the top and scary and the idea of locking people in a room exposing peoples fears is the best thing he's done since he let Nosferatu exit the screen. I'm really starting to like Dr.Vink more and more, it seems like only yesterday when I found him as a complete joke, now he's creeping me out and brings me joy at the same time. The Gargoyle well let's just say I prefer it as a statue then a cheap CGI effect. The episode is the "Saw" for kids and if it had better characters I'd give it a 5/5 but sadly it's getting the second greatest rating. By the way, great way of putting Tucker in his place Frank, maybe next year he'll shut up more and just tell a good story!
OVERALL ON THE SEASON
Even though some of the stories have so much going on that it doesn't work or confuses it's target audience, they're still creative and scary and the ones that really do it right, they really do it right! The only episode I truly hated was "The Tale Of The Guardian's Curse" because it wasn't creative, it wasn't trying to give something great, it was just corny and boring. The characters for the most part are likable and enjoyable but the shows formula of lead characters is getting very predictable and cliche. The apperances of Sardo and Dr.Vink are very enjoyable and the new characters such as Belinda, The Crimson Clown and the villain played by Frank Gorshin are great even if we sadly never see any of them again in future episodes. The moral and themes of moving and making new friends for the Midnight Society's subplot is great but sadly the new members aren't as fun or interesting as the original members. Tucker is flat out annoying and Sam is pretty boring. Who knows maybe they'll grow on me. Overall, it's a very creative season and even if all these creative ideas don't work and sometimes just become a big mess, you can at least tell the writers are trying to create something new and scary.
RATING FOR THE SEASON