So, I wrote about the sometimes-blasé nature of contemporary horror in a recent piece on The Bye Bye Man, a much hyped movie that turned out to be a dull, formulaic disappointment. Shortly after, I embarked on a Shyamal-a-thon to mix things up; contrary to the flack he gets, I think M. Night makes a great, original movie with a unique vision. But if you really want unique – and, that is, unique with a side of extra fucked-up (there’s no eloquent way to encapsulate the reality of this film) – look no further than Gore Verbinski’s A Cure For Wellness, which crawls under your skin like a festering amoeba and provokes distinct discomfort throughout what is, for horror, an epic-scale movie length: two and a half hours. A Cure for Wellness is also a cure for boredom, for the common moviegoer and the volatile sadist alike. But even as I write this, I find myself torn: do I spend a post emphasizing how uncomfortable and unconventional the film was, or do I explore some reasonably intelligent questions the film raises? This, then, is my disclaimer: I have no idea how to begin to discuss this movie, so I can’t predict where this post will go. I’ll try not to divulge the film’s big secret, but beyond that effort, I make no promises about anything.
I don’t remember the first time I saw The Ring, but it was probably in college over ten years ago. Then there was a sequel that didn’t get much attention (I’ve never seen it). Since a more advertised, more acclaimed sequel, Rings, came out yesterday (I intend to see it tonight and write about it thereafter) I thought it would be appropriate to dive into the American original, which is based off the utterly eerie Japanese Ringu. Perhaps in part because its origin is Japanese – and thus beyond our cultural sphere – The Ring is a highly original horror and suspense classic, mixing an investigative mystery plot-line with sheer horror and eschewing a lot of horror film conventions for its own original storytelling. But I intend to do more than sing The Ring’s praises in this piece – although I will, assuredly, do that. I plan on looking at some binaries that construct the storytelling behind The Ring and examine what the film implies about our culture’s relationship to technology. Continue reading “The Ring: Technophobia or Technophilia?”
I read an article today that really pissed me off. I’ll just start there. I read an article today that really pissed me off, and, in the midst of the start of my second semester as a PhD student, I haven’t been as politically involved as would be ideal in a time of such horror and upheaval. I marched in one protest in my hometown and I’ve shared some articles online and I try to keep up with the news, but I think it’s time to offer my own voice. I read an article that really pissed me off, and emphasized that what I’d already conjectured was important had to be put into practice: my beloved horror blog, Just Dread-full, has to be turned into a partial political platform. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll still make an intense effort during a busy semester to churn out content on all things sinister and macabre, but after all, what’s more sinister and macabre than the Trump administration? Political articles will appear on this site from time to time – and maybe regularly – because the climate of the times dictates it. As I’ve said three times now, I read something today that really pissed me off, so I’m putting down the 250 pages more of reading I have to do between now and Tuesday, casting my GA work aside for the moment, and taking some time to assert what I came to believe during Trump’s campaign and which has only become more true as he’s enacted terrifying, discriminatory policies: not all opinions are equally valid in a debate over Trump’s presidency. If we discard ethical relativism – the belief that we can’t follow any one specific ethical paradigm – then we have to yield that Trump’s policies so far have been egregiously wrong. It is dangerous to justify and legitimate his thinking. Continue reading “Dismantling Shades of Gray: Sometimes there is a Distinct Difference Between Right and Wrong”
Ever since I first came across Just Dread-full’s first fright posts, I have been entertained. It has been fun to read about other bloggers’ childhood fears and has allowed me to realize that I am not that different with what scared me as a kid. I figured I could share what gave me chills and many restless nights so long ago. If anything, it might be fun for me to face those fears once again, and give the reader something to laugh about. My pain-your gain!
Growing up in the 1980s, I had unpleasant dreams that I can’t recall much of. These certain dreams would easily be resolved by having my mom assure me that nothing was there, and that everything would be just fine. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that my fears became consistent, harassing me for many nights and months. My mother’s assurance just wasn’t enough anymore. It was the fear that these two different groups of creatures could actually be real, and even more frightening: could enter my room. Continue reading “Jeremy’s (Jer’s Comic Books) First Fright – The Disturbing Duo”
A fantastic post by my brilliant boyfriend Michael at My Comic Relief. For the first time in the short history of my blog, this has nothing to do with horror, but it needs to be said.
So…it’s been a week huh? I was planning on writing a fun post about how much I’m loving The Totally Awesome Hulk today but I can’t get my head around it. Reading the news for the last five days has taken me on an emotional journey. I’ve been spending much time in thought and conversation with loved ones about where our country is heading. I’ve been struggling to understand, let alone find my place in the events that are unfolding. As I do this, I keep thinking of something Bruce Springsteen said during a concert in Western Australia last Sunday.
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Recently I was asked to contribute to the wonderfully brilliant series “What Scares Us? – First Frights” by the equally wonderfully brilliant Kalie Zamierowski at Just Dread-full. I’ve been a fan of hers and of her boyfriend Michael (over at My Comic Relief) for a while now so when the opportunity arose to work with either one of them, I couldn’t say “YES” quick enough. Continue reading “Rob (of My Side of the Laundry Room)’s First Fright – The Eyes.”
With the most unstable U.S. president to date having been sworn in today, I feel it more than apropos that I’m reviewing a story about a character who is, well, relatively unstable himself. But rather than serve as a political statement, M. Night Shyamalan’s Split is an immersion into a morbidly formidable world that will transport the viewer – for about two hours – notably away from our chaotic political climate and the imminent danger that our country may face, and into the world of a man with DID – Dissociative Identity Disorder –a man who has multiple personalities, including a few rogue personalities bent on causing harm and destruction. This review contains minor spoilers, but since the film is so new I won’t reveal the ending; as always, Shyamalan hits us with a barrage of surprises. Continue reading “Split Lives Up to Great Expectations”