Insidious Chapter Two: Thoughts on the Monster Mom

Insidious 2 trailer (Screengrab)
Insidious 2 trailer (Screengrab)

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I love monsters.  If you’ve never read my blog, that may indeed be a secret to you.  If you’ve read a few articles already, I’m stating that which is laughably obvious.  I’m a huge monster fan, in their varied manifestations, and I’m especially fond of figures like the mad monster, or, the entity under examination today, the monster mom.  Yesterday, I wrote a brief analysis of Insidious, and before delving into an examination of what the film says about things like the existence of other worlds and the specter, I simply defended the film’s merit.  Many detractors of contemporary horror films slander them for being “formulaic,” but if I’m looking really closely, I find much modern horror incredibly creative and interesting, and fueled by a powerful amalgam of writing, acting, directing, and producing talent.  I would like to, by and large, stand by that defense today, but I’m going to focus on discussing one thing a bit more specifically, I think, instead of writing a defense of the second film’s merit and then analyzing a sampling of elements.  So, if you’ve not guessed it, today I’ll be focusing on the ghostly villains in Chapter 2 of Insidious – on Parker Crane, and more importantly, on his Monster mom (and what said Monster Mom indicates about gender anxieties in contemporary culture).  Woo-hoo!  Let’s get started. Continue reading “Insidious Chapter Two: Thoughts on the Monster Mom”

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Insidious Chapter Two: Thoughts on the Monster Mom

Contemplating Kylo Ren

Kylo RenOkay, so in the chaos of finishing final papers and working at my jobs, I ended up not writing 1,700 words a day for my imminent novel.  I will admit, being busy (which I was) became mixed with both some discomfort at how personal and emotional my writing was getting, how uncomfortable I was with other elements of the text that were unfolding, and how unsure I was (am) that I could ever add any sort of structure or plot twist that would make the strange storyline that’s unfolding, in my eyes, a viable novel, or novel-like production.  I am not dropping my “Post Nano-wrimo” project, but I took a very Un-Nano-wrimo-like break and will probably return to the original project in a couple of days.  The reason I write today is because I finally saw The Last Jedi and, as someone who contemplates the villainy of villains, the inherent evil-ness of characters and how we regard the bad guy, how we treat the monster, so-called, I found myself (as I was to a lesser degree in The Force Awakens) incredibly drawn to Kylo Ren.  And that’s all I’ll say in the first paragraph, before I add more details about the film.  I think it goes without saying that if you still haven’t seen The Last Jedi and you’re averse to spoilers, DON’T READ THIS.  It will probably be necessary to reveal spoilers while delving into an analysis of Kylo.  But I want to talk, I think, about reading Kylo as a monster –or not—and what that does to our conception of the monster. Continue reading “Contemplating Kylo Ren”

Contemplating Kylo Ren

(No(?)) Sympathy for the Devil: Responding to the So-Called Monster

Devils Advocate
Temptation, visually depicted – The Devil’s Advocate

I was driving from Indiana PA to Erie one night not a few weeks ago, my mind enmeshed in rapid succession of thoughts.  It was dark outside, and I noticed little except for fleeting, flickering glimpses of surreal roadside images, ambiguous shadow outlines in the night, as my car coasted across 422, and then across 1-79, headed north.  My CD player has been broken for months, so I was flipping through the channels, trying to settle on a song even vaguely satisfying, a melody that didn’t wink out into a barrage of static thirty seconds after I found it.  Reliable radio stations are difficult to come by in some parts of Western Pennsylvania.

Continue reading “(No(?)) Sympathy for the Devil: Responding to the So-Called Monster”

(No(?)) Sympathy for the Devil: Responding to the So-Called Monster