So you can read my books

Friday, May 13, 2022



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

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 SterlingThe 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.

You may not agree that The Exorcist is the scariest movie ever, but it probably also isn’t much of a surprise to see it at the top of my list.

 William Friedkin’s adaptation of the eponymous novel about a demon-possessed child

 and the attempts to banish said demon became the highest-grossing R-rated horror film ever and the first to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars

“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

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