Pre-Reading Note: My grad program has been time consuming, so I haven’t been able to post as regularly. I hope to keep up a slightly more regular posting schedule, however, in coming weeks, my writing will be supplemented by the works of other bloggers who will add to my Walking Dead Series and/or write about their first frights! (Get excited!)
Funny Story: It took me a second perusal of the comic rendition Stephen King’s N to realize that the plot sits at the nexus of some of my favorite literary areas of exploration. What – you were expecting a story that was literally funny? Sorry to disappoint you. This is a horror blog. We don’t laugh here. Continue reading “N – Or the Frailty of the Non-Monster”→
Well, it’s official. I’ve written an uneven 73 posts on Just Dread-Full since the blog’s inception in late October of 2015. Now, before I continue, I had a different introduction written in this piece, but the ghost of Miss Jessel is apparently bitter about how I depicted her in my piece on The Innocents, because she’s crawled out of the movie and consumed my laptop. Really. Michael and I lost my laptop in the transition from his parents’ house to his house (one of us was carrying the bag). We, and his parents, have searched every conceivable place, and it’s simply disappeared. As such, I’m typing from his laptop, and I have to start this piece over again.
That’s Groundskeeper Willie’s response to Bart when Bart says the name “The Shining” in the canonical Tree House of Horror episode parodying the film, instead of replacing the title, “The Shining,” with the slightly more comical title the episode adopted: “The Shinning.” To be honest, every time I hear the title, The Shining, I immediately want to shout, “Shhh. Wanna get sued?” So I may have been fishing for an excuse to use Willie’s quotation in the opening of this piece.
I’ve come to conclude that one of the richest elements of Stephen King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams is the introduction he writes to each story. I’ve also come to conclude that the stories aren’t scary, per se, but that’s okay; I don’t think he intends to scare as much in this book as he does in some of his more frightening novels, despite what the somewhat misleading book title would suggest. What is particularly intriguing about The Bazaar of Bad Dreams is its rich variety. Each story is distinctly its own entity, written with a different style. I think variety in output is often the hallmark of true talent, though I need not make the argument that King is truly talented, because that seems like an understatement. The stories stand alone as good writing, but combine together to form an eclectic view not on the infinitely terrifying, but on the darker side of life. Continue reading “A Trip to the Bazaar: Stephen King’s “Premium Harmony” in The Bazaar of Bad Dreams”→
Slasher movies are a classic staple of the horror genre. There’s just something that draws a horror audience to the everyday murdering psychopath. In a previous post, I speculated why horror fans are drawn to the genre. Suffice it to say, there’s something tempting to the horror fan about mindless malice. Perhaps, as human beings – flawed though we are – most of us are so far from being able to commit such acts that their mere inconceivable nature fascinates and perplexes us. Why do murderous sociopaths exist? Are they born or created? What goes on in the mind of such a person? Continue reading “King Corners Religion with Children of the Corn”→
We all hope we’re going up to that spirit in the sky when we die. If you’re a cynical doubter like me, you just hope there is, indeed, a spirit in the sky – a gate with a St. Peter-esque figure, surrounded by some winged cherubs and signaling entrance into eternal, infinite bliss. But, hell, if that’s too much to ask for, I’ll take reincarnation, as long as I don’t have to come back as something lame like a flea or an earthworm. I mean, haven’t we all thought, “Damn, I hope there’s something?” I think even those with the strongest faith – and I don’t count myself among them – sometimes doubt the presence of an afterlife. In any case, it’s something we all think of, just not daily or compulsively. Continue reading “A Trip to the Bazaar: Exploring the Afterlife”→
Who murders someone for a single silver dollar? In Stephen King’s “A Death” Jim Trusdale is accused of doing just that. Want to characterize Trusdale? Think of a skinny version of Lennie from Of Mice and Men. Trusdale is notably slow, and people laugh at his speech. But, unlike Steinbeck’s hulking Lennie, Trusdale is about 140 lbs. The townsfolk accuse Trusdale of killing ten-year-old Rebecca Cline, leaving his hat under her dress, stealing her silver dollar, and leaving her dead body in an alley. Sheriff Barclay becomes certain Trusdale didn’t commit the act, but, to the reader’s chagrin, he says nothing. Continue reading “A Trip to the Bazaar: Reading “A Death” from Stephen King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams”→