To Read “Perchance to Dream”

PerchanceToDreamI love folksy beliefs.  Chief among those that interest me is the belief that if you die in your dream, you really die.  I don’t imagine this is true, because I have died in my dreams, and I’m still here to relate the experience.  Sometimes in my dreams, I don’t merely die; I’m already dead.  But Charles Beaumont taps into this fear of dream-death in his short story “Perchance to Dream,” which is also the name of the collection of short fiction the story appears in.  Beaumont, one of the most influential Twilight Zone writers, died of Pick’s disease (and, possibly, early-onset Alzheimer’s) at age 38, but his contributions to the horror and science fiction genres are nonetheless abundant.  This is the first of his works I’ve read, but with the compilation Perchance to Dream safely in my hands, I intend to read many more. Continue reading “To Read “Perchance to Dream””

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To Read “Perchance to Dream”

Expect the Unusual with The Boy

the boyDespite being perhaps the least creatively named movie in the genre, The Boy is one of the more original plot lines I’ve seen in horror lately.  Take It Follows – one of Hollywood’s most recent horror hits.  The plot line of It Follows is compelling and unique, but the movie’s title is perfectly indicative of the events in the film: an unnamed “it” will follow you.  (Let me emphasize again that I love It Follows and proudly proclaim my adoration here, but the film’s brilliance doesn’t lie in plot twists, and its title is perfectly indicative of the film’s central conflict.)  The Boy is similar in that yes, in part, the movie is about a boy, but forecasting the plot twists in this film will be tricky for even the most seasoned horror veteran.  Predicting plot lines isn’t much my forte, but Michael is exceptionally adept at doing so, and his prediction turned out to be mostly wrong.  The Boy will surprise you, and at least for me, that surprise was welcomed and refreshing. Continue reading “Expect the Unusual with The Boy”

Expect the Unusual with The Boy

Eerie Experiences – My Haunted House

Chronicler:  Michael J. Miller

Kelly's Haunted HouseKalie has been excited about starting a new feature on Just Dread-Full where people can share their own, real-life experiences of the supernatural.  Ghost stories in novels, movies, and around the campfire are a common part of our culture.  However, the stories in this series will be different in a small but significant way.  These are stories contributed by people we know and can attest to as sane, rational, logical human beings – people we trust.  This gives a new layer, a more “personal” layer, to the discussion of these sorts of phenomena.  It also provokes (at least for me personally) larger and more interesting questions about just what is out there and how the world beyond our eyes and (more importantly) our understanding can work.  I can deconstruct a fictional ghost story.  I know what those are and how they work.  These stories though?  They are a little trickier to know what to do with… Continue reading “Eerie Experiences – My Haunted House”

Eerie Experiences – My Haunted House

Take a Look at Don’t Look Now!

Don't look nowThe 1973 classic Don’t Look Now initially does not appear to fall under the banner of horror.  Shortly after John and Laura Baxter (Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie) lose their daughter in a drowning accident – a scene which is remarkably unsettling – they end up in Venice, where John, as an architect, helps restore ancient sculptures and cathedrals.  Laura is understandably depressed and detached after the incident, until she bumps into two women in Venice, one who – in a typically ironic way – is blind but has a psychic’s second sight, like a seer in an Ancient Greek tragedy.  She tells Laura that her daughter is with them and happy.  Shortly afterward, Laura faints, but when she awakes, she’s a remarkably new woman, optimistic and seemingly unscathed by past events.  John, the stereotypically skeptical male, insists that Laura is unwell, despite her insistence that the blind woman’s abilities are legitimate. Laura visits the women again, and the psychic tries, although unsuccessfully, to contact her daughter. Continue reading “Take a Look at Don’t Look Now!”

Take a Look at Don’t Look Now!

From Hell House to Hill House: Some Perspective on the Original “The Haunting” (1963)

the hauntingIn a previous post about Richard Matheson’s Hell House, I posted about a house that was evil because it contained evil.  In Hell House corruption festers for years, leaving the house insidiously haunted.  The 1963 film, The Haunting, is based off Shirley Jackson’s book The Haunting of Hill House and also details the occurrences in a haunted house.  But Hill House in The Haunting is different.  True, the movie implies that its owner, Hugh Crane, was sadistic and twisted.  And his daughter Abigail died in the house, an old woman, because of a paid companion’s negligence.  But the haunted house in The Haunting started killing on its own before these events occurred. Continue reading “From Hell House to Hill House: Some Perspective on the Original “The Haunting” (1963)”

From Hell House to Hill House: Some Perspective on the Original “The Haunting” (1963)