It’s Saturday night, the lights are dim, and slow jazz begins to emanate through the coffee shop I frequent as I scrunch my body over Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and try to focus on the book’s merits (I mean, it’s okay, but it’s not my favorite). Michael has just left the coffee shop for karaoke, and I’ve elected to stay at the café, which closes at midnight, and study for a candidacy exam that takes place in late August. Suffice it to say, I’m not a huge fan of bars. But as I’m trying to get enmeshed in the heart-rending story of a stranded narrator’s self-constructed wall collapsing in a storm (really, the way I typed it sounds more exciting than the event does in the book) it occurs to me that the exam isn’t until August, and maybe if I read a little while longer I can rent…you guessed it…a horror movie. Continue reading “A Tribute to The Shining: Let’s Not Overlook Anything – Part One”
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.
Confession: This excellent post idea is not my idea. In 2013 a woman named Lainey created a Top 5 on YouTube, which morphed into a Top 5 group on Goodreads. This week’s top five? Top five literary fathers. Well, you know, since this is a horror blog, I’ve decided to name the Top Five Horror fathers of all time. Now, as any adamant fan will admit, a list like this is highly contestable, and in choosing my favorite five, other great (or not-so-great) fathers have been omitted.
Shhh. Wanna get sued?
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.
The 1980’s was a decade for crazes. There was hair metal. There were leggings. There was crimped hair and the arrival of Saved by the Bell, which would reach its peak in the 90’s but aired its first episode in 1989. There were sweat bands, hammer pants, early rap, both bangle bracelets and The Bangles, who were always burning their eternal flames while they told us to walk like an Egyptian. But Egypt was not the only culture that interested us in the 80’s. In the horror genre, which often borrows from non-Western culture to create its evil deities — writers became fascinated by the Ancient Indian Burial ground. The Ancient Indian burial became something of a default-fallback. Want to depict evil? Need to attribute evil to something? Why not say it was an Ancient Indian Burial ground? You know, those crazy natives, they’re always stirring up trouble. Continue reading “The Natives Will Eat You: Cannabalism, Ancient Indian Burial Grounds, and the Insidious “Other” in Horror Films”
In the spirit of Halloween, I’ve decided to list and explain my 10 favorite horror movies of all time. I claim no authority with this list; I’m not a film critic. These explanations are only rankings and scribblings by a sincere fan of the genre. Disagree? I’d love to hear about it. Continue reading “A Halloween Horror Top Ten”
Mary Lambert is no Stanley Kubrick. At least, that’s the contrast that comes to mind when pitting the film against another classic: it seems natural to compare two of Stephen King’s terrifying film adaptations, Pet Sematary and The Shining. While Stephen King reportedly didn’t like Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining, the movie received broad acclaim and has been frequently canonized as a horror film classic. Just as frequently, Pet Sematary is excoriated as a poorly pieced together film with sub-par acting. To an extent, I agree; The Shining is a better film than Pet Sematary. But I don’t mean this as a shot at Pet Sematary. Few directors can compete with Stanley Kubrick. And frankly, while I like the acting in The Shining better, I think Pet Sematary is the scarier movie. Which brings me to my goal in this post: I intend to defend Pet Sematary against its detractors, and obviously the defense will contain massive spoilers. While, true, the acting in the film could be better, the film contains enough darkness and terror to satiate the most jaded horror fan.