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Thursday, September 12, 2013

THE KINGDOM OF SHADOWS HAS LOST ITS SCARY

was doing a guest post at Charity Bradsford blog this Friday the 13th:
http://charitywrites.blogspot.com/

But in true Friday the 13th tradition:
my post disappeared!

All still remains a mystery!


“Lover," she whispers, and closes her eyes.
It falls upon her.
"Love is like dying.”
Stephen King

But I could not let Friday the 13th pass without my own nodding to it:

“Last night I was in the Kingdom of Shadows.
 
If you only knew how strange it is to be there. It is a world without sound, without colour. Everything there — the earth, the trees, the people, the water and the air — is dipped in monotonous grey.
 
Grey rays of the sun across the grey sky, grey eyes in grey faces, and the leaves of the trees are ashen grey. It is not life but its shadow, it is not motion but its soundless spectre.
 
Here I shall try to explain myself, lest I be suspected of madness or indulgence in symbolism. I was at Aumont’s and saw Lumière’s cinematograph — moving photography” — Maxim Gorky, 1896
 
The first horror films are surreal, disturbing pieces, owing their visual appearance in part to expressionist painters and in part to spirit photography of the 1860s,

and drawn from Gothic literature. They draw upon the folklore and legends of Europe, and render monsters into physical form.

“Dreading dusk, fearing night, praying for dawn.”
Gregory J. Saunders

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1919)

 
Often cited as the 'granddaddy of all horror films', this is an eerie exploration of the mind of a madman, pitting an evil doctor against a hero falsely incarcerated in a lunatic asylum.
 
Through a clever framing device the audience is never quite clear on who is mad and who is sane, and viewing the film's skewed take on reality is a disturbing experience.
 
“Within its gates I heard the sound
Of winds in cypress caverns caught
Of huddling tress that moaned, and sought
To whisper what their roots had found.
(“A Dream of Fear”)”
George Sterling, The Thirst of Satan: Poems of Fantasy and Terror
 
 

Nosferatu (1922)

 
Described as the vampire movie that actually believes in vampires,
 
Nosferatu gives us a far more frightening bloodsucker than any of its successors;
 
Shreck is simply inhuman.
 
Shadow of the Vampire (2000) is a fascinating reworking of the Nosferatu legend:
 
a compelling, if fanciful reconstruction of the film's creation. Starring Willem Dafoe, John Malkovich, &  Eddie Izzard.

“Until that afternoon in October four years ago,
I hadn't known dogs could scream.”
Stephen King
 
 
 Perhaps I am a cynic, but the field of horror movies has gone incredibly dry.
 
Protagonists are hard to like or sympathize with, and because of this we have no fear of the monster.
 
 What was once a genre that relied heavily on the emphasis of a musical score is now a genre that suffers from the bloat of bad thrash rock. 
 
The worst culprits are films that try to keep us scared the entire time, not seeming to realize we need room to breathe.
 
A surprisingly good horror film is the 2010 remake of “The Crazies,”
 
which is, for all intents and purposes, a zombie movie.
 
The premise was done to death, the setting wasn’t unique

(another issue of zombies in the south),
 
but the characters and the suspense were sterling.
 
We watch the characters degrade overtime and when they compromise their integrity and begin butchering the butchers, you can see they are haunted by it.
 
They just want to get out and get answers, but they know they won’t get any.
 
It has visuals that are reminiscent of “The Rabhas Incident,”
 
and the bulk of the fear comes from one of the nice and goofy protagonists getting infected and slowly succumbing to madness as the last grip on his sanity weeps for salvation.
 
The use of slow scenes with unpleasant scraping sounds was also effective in setting the scene.
 
“Alone. Yes, that's the key word, the most awful word in the English tongue. Murder doesn't hold a candle to it and hell is only a poor synonym.”
Stephen King
 
 
WHAT WAS A RECENT HORROR OR THRILLER THAT MADE YOU SHIVER?
 
 

3 comments:

  1. I'm more scared of psychotic monsters, usually human.

    I like a Hitchcock or Sherlockian type of tale. The warped mind is scary. I don't like the idea of the 'Otherworld'. Might be easy to visit, hard to leave.

    Enjoy your Friday the 13th!

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  2. I agree with D.C. I love a good movie based on Vampires, Frankenstein or ghosts but they amuse me more than scare me. "Silence of the lambs" is a favorite of mine for terrifying. Serial killers, they are real monsters that hide in plain site.

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  3. I never heard of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. I'll have to look that one up.

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