What Scares Us: Kiri’s First Fright

Photo Credit – E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

It seems only appropriate that my first fear is attributed not to a George Lucas film, but instead a film from his friend and early rival, Steven Spielberg.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking – Jaws. After all, I live in Massachusetts where Jaws was filmed and we have great white sharks often roaming our nearby beaches in the summer.

No, my friends, you are wrong. Instead, my first fear that I can remember is E.T.

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What Scares Us: Kiri’s First Fright

Shanannigan’s First Fright: “In a Dark, Dark Wood…”

As part of a fantastic Christmas gift, Michael tracked down some contributors to my “My First Fright Series,” a series on my blog which I happen to love.  In this series, for which I started by writing about two of my earliest childhood fears, I ask other people to write about their earliest memories of feeling afraid.  The results tend to be an interesting, surprising, eclectic group of terrors.  I decided to save this one for the month of Halloween, since it has a really creepy vibe!  So, before delving into my Christmas Gift “My First Fright,” I’d like to extend a tremendous thank-you to my boyfriend, Michael, at My Comic Relief and today’s contributor, Shanannigan’s,for a fantastic re-telling of a first fright. Continue reading “Shanannigan’s First Fright: “In a Dark, Dark Wood…””

Shanannigan’s First Fright: “In a Dark, Dark Wood…”

A Howl for the Howling

howling 4
Marsha Quist, The Howling

It was another day of mild to moderate chaos at the local video store where I work.  Michael came in to procure movies that we would watch later that evening.  He held up a few options in front of me and prompted me to pick the one in which I was the most interested.  I immediately selected The Howling.  Having never seen the film, I’d only heard it alluded to briefly in Scream, and I knew only that it was a canonical werewolf movie.  I wasn’t really expecting to be scared, and to be honest, it didn’t scare me…that much.  The film was a lot more well-made and in general a lot creepier than I’d anticipated.  That aside, I kind of found myself wracking my brain for some sort of way to break the film apart or put it into perspective.  As I watched I scribbled down notes, but I wasn’t getting the insights I’d hoped for.  Despite my difficulties really analyzing this film, I think I’ll discuss in general why I like this movie, with an emphasis on the fact that it inverts the typical werewolf movie “rules” in a couple of ways and consistently highlights its own fixation on “the body” or “the flesh.” Continue reading “A Howl for the Howling”

A Howl for the Howling

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Pretty Much What I’d Expected

ppzI haven’t read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  However, as I entered the theater to see the film, I expected a version Pride and Prejudice that took place in the 19th century but reflected directorial styles and preferences of the present day, along with, well, along with zombies.  By and large, I got what I expected.  The movie was fairly attention-grabbing with fairly likable characters and a fairly original plot, which is to say, the film was interesting and fun, but far from exceptional.  I think, though, that the film’s worth a view, for what it’s trying to do – combine our contemporary zombie-mania with classical literature to create a new and rare form of storytelling that pays heed to that which has come before and combines it with that which is popular now.  The movie – and, presumably the book – try to resurrect classical literature into the realm of pop culture, with intriguing, though not compelling, ramifications.  Continue reading “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Pretty Much What I’d Expected”

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Pretty Much What I’d Expected

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!

King Corners Religion with Children of the Corn

children of the cornSlasher 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”

King Corners Religion with Children of the Corn