Writing

‘It Follows’ — Some Thoughts.

The Blurb:

After carefree teenager Jay sleeps with her new boyfriend, Hugh, for the first time, she learns that she is the latest recipient of a fatal curse that is passed from victim to victim via sexual intercourse. Death, Jay learns, will creep inexorably toward her as either a friend or a stranger. Jay’s friends don’t believe her seemingly paranoid ravings, until they too begin to see the phantom assassins and band together to help her flee or defend herself.

My thoughts:

I was actually impressed by this little film that is apparently low budget. While the director uses a typical cliche of horror, he amped up the horror by not explaining exactly what “it” is that follows Jay and how it knows when someone’s had his (or her) first sexual experience. There is no slashing, no blood and guts spilling over, no dramatic climax of Girl vs. Demon. The angry spirit (or whatever it is) is slow and meditative, almost like a zombie, walking casually towards the victim as if it had all the time in the world.

The characters were smart, too. They actually made smart decisions and thought logically about what to do in order to get rid of “it.” And when the one person dies, it made sense to me why that person died.

My criticism of the movie is that the parents seem to be non-existent throughout the movie. They are there in the beginning, concerned by the terror that her new boyfriend thrust upon her and then they disappear. Aren’t they concerned by her running away in the middle of the night and seeing people that no one else can see? And why doesn’t the curse affect adults? Seems strange to me. Also, what was the purpose of them going to the pool towards the end of the movie and placing lamps and such around it? I suppose it pointed out to her friends that this thing exists, but why couldn’t they do that elsewhere?

This doesn’t have anything else to do with the rest of the movie, just a personal annoyance of mine:

There is one part towards the end of the movie where one of the characters is sitting in the hospital bed reading off her compact e-reader thing and eating a sandwich. I’m one of those people who can’t stand listening to people eat and this flipping girl was chewing so loud and so fast that I wanted to jump into the movie with her and chuck a chair at her or something. I very nearly fast-forwarded through this little bit because I couldn’t take another second of it. But I plugged my ears and turned my face away until it was over. It was an obnoxious scene that could’ve been taken out but it’s not something that bothers everyone so I endured it. If anything was scary that was.

I hope they make a sequel to this movie, just so I know more about what “it” and why it follows.

Review: 4 Stars.

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Writing

Tradition

Since 2006, it’s become a tradition to watch a scary movie on Halloween. It started because it was my first Halloween in college, no longer young enough to be able to go out and get candy door to door. I would either pick a movie out at work, or my dad and I would go to the rental store and pick one out. Then, around 6 p.m., we’d stick the DVD into the player with all the lights off and prepare ourselves for a night of terror.

Since my father’s death, the tradition has felt rather off for me. Yes, I still watch a scary movie on Halloween, but it no longer feels special. Watching a scary movie alone is no longer something I enjoy doing, and yet I do anyway because I don’t want to give up the tradition.

Is this how traditions start, I wonder? We start them with others and when someone’s gone, we continue on because we’re not quite sure how to end it even when it feels weird. Or maybe it’s the sheer fact that I’ve been doing it for so long that it feel shabitual to do it and it’d be too much work to unbreak it.

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Writing

Brush With Fame.

Several years ago, when I was still in my early teens, my parents and I visited Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina. I don’t know how we found out about it, but we discovered that Anthony Hopkins was on site filming a scene for what would become Hannibal. I didn’t know who he was at the time, let alone his cannibalistic character, but I was excited at the thought of being in the same space as a famous actor.

As we walked up the gravel drive towards the mansion, a helicopter lifted up into the air and flew up over us.

“He’s probably leaving for the day,” my dad said.

I craned my neck up to watch the helicopter lift higher into the sky. I couldn’t see anybody in there, but I waved anyway. I like to think that he waved back, taking pity on a girl who had never met a famous person before.

As cool as having an almost encounter with a famous person on set is, I probably wouldn’t have remembered the actor nor the movie if it hadn’t been for my dad. He was a big fan of Anthony Hopkins and it probably would have been an experience for him.

My dad died shortly before I was able to bring the DVD home of the t.v. version of Hannibal with Mads Mikkelsen home to watch with him. I wonder if he’d like the newer show or stick with the originals? It’s hard to tell, especially when the remakes get to be just as good as the ones they are based off of.

Some things are best left a mystery, as long as you’re not eaten for it.

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Writing

On Edge

People are on edge. A tiny thing can set someone off. It’s understandable, I’m sure. These are troubled times. People are politically on edge.

I don’t talk about my politics. I won’t start now. But especially right now, I’m tired. I’m tired of hearing about it all. He said, she said. I think it’s time to take a break from social media again. It keeps getting worse as the time goes by and it probably won’t get any better.

There’s a lot of things I’ve been avoiding lately. Writing has definitely left my brain for a few weeks. I haven’t read much, I only read a lot in the last week or so, just because I want to get back in the habit, even if it doesn’t always make me happy.

I’ve really been into word searches tho. It’s been fun to just focus on one word at a time, find a word in a jumble of letters. A lot of them have been easy, but some of them have had one or two words that have had me frustrated because I couldn’t find them for the life of me.

I re-watched a movie called Anne Frank. It was made in 2003 with Ben Kingsley as well as the lady who played the mom in Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightley version) and the lady who played the mom in The Conjuring. It’s so sad. I wish I could’ve met Anne and Margot. Anne was about the same age as my grandmother. I wonder what kind of things she’d be doing if she survived. Probably a famous writer, she was so good with words.

Nothing else to say for now. I hope it gets better with time.

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Writing

Halloween Movies and Traditions

I shouldn’t watch horror movies.

Every time I watch one, I always end up with nightmares. Especially if I watch them on a persistent basis. I’ve always been that way, ever since I was little. That’s why I try to limit what I watch these days. And especially if the movie pays homage to blood and guts just to get a shock out of the viewer.

But I always love a suspenseful movie. I love how a good movie can build up the tension and have good atmosphere and spooky bits without delving into the bloody side. I even enjoy watching Ghost Adventures and shows that delve into the hauntings, ghost stories, and folk lore of a place.

After high school when I couldn’t go trick or treating anymore, my dad and I would pick out a spooky movie from the rental place (or even at the library) and watch it during the evening. It was a great way to celebrate the holiday without having to go anywhere.

I want to be able to share some of my favorite movies and t.v. shows that delve into the spooky corners of the world, the ones that aren’t afraid to make you jump in your seat and give you crawly feelings up your skin.

  1. A Haunting (the Discovery show)
  2. The Haunted
  3. Ghost Adventures
  4. The Conjuring
  5. Annabelle
  6. Halloween (the original Jamie Lee Curtis one, not the bloody one)
  7. The Mothman Prophecies
  8. The Dead Files
  9. The Ring
  10. The Eye
  11. The Village (not creepy, but I loved the story)
  12. Haunted Histories Collection (from the History Channel–focuses on a few big cities around the United States)
  13. The Skeleton Key
  14. Cropsey
  15. The Others
  16. When a Stranger Calls

People also enjoy The Shining, The Exorcist, and others but for some reason I didn’t like them as much. What are some Halloween traditions do you partake in?

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Writing

Memento Mori, Favorite Movies in Remembrance.

Last night when I got home from work, I heard the unfortunate news that Gene Wilder passed away due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 83. Apparently he’s been suffering from the disease for three years but didn’t want people to know about it. This seems oddly reminiscent of David Bowie, with whom suffered from cancer for a little over a year before passing away. Nobody knew until after it happened. I guess when you’re a famous person, every aspect of your life is scrutinized and you get to the point where you just want to keep certain things to yourself, which is rightfully theirs to maintain in their privacy.

I know that Gene Wilder is an actor with a long resume, and with such a long list of movies under his belt, there’s no doubt that people have different favorites of his. But to me, Wilder will always be Willy Wonka. I don’t think I ever watched or will ever watch another movie with him in it because he is so ingrained in my visions of him as the eccentric chocolate maker from my favorite childhood book. To watch any other movie by him would break that vision that I have of him. It’s rare that I love an actor so much for one roll, but Gene Wilder was one of those rare actors. He made up my childhood. He helped me cultivate the world of pure imagination.

Here are some movies that have defied explanation from the past to today, at least in my books.

  1. A Christmas Story
  2. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
  3. Jurassic Park
  4. Titanic
  5. Cold Mountain
  6. Me Before You
  7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  8. The Ring
  9. The Prince and Me
  10. The Lion King
  11. The Fox and the Hound
  12. The Green Mile
  13. Forrest Gump
  14. The Dark Knight
  15. The Fellowship of the Ring

There’s a couple that I didn’t watch until recently (The Green Mile comes to mind), others I didn’t watch until a few years after it showed in theaters and most I watched ever since I was little, even if it’s been decades since its release. What are some classic movies that you enjoy watching over and over again?

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Writing

Things I Like.

We seem to focus on the negative rather than the positive. And after (re?) discovering the blog Things We Like, I decided to make a list of my own concerning the things I like.

  1. Soaking my feet on the back porch.
  2. On rainy days, sitting in semi darkness without the big light on listening to spooky stories on YouTube or reading.
  3. Coloring, any day, but also on rainy days.
  4. Driving on country roads at 7:30 in the morning.
  5. Snuggle in the corner of the house when I’m home alone.
  6. Visiting old cemeteries.
  7. Having picnics in state parks.
  8. Capturing a pretty picture.
  9. Going on drives without music, just my surroundings.
  10. Actually watching an Olympic athlete as they win the gold with a world record instead of hearing about it after the fact.
  11. Have someone hold the door open for me.
  12. Being asked out on a date instead of vice versa or when I haven’t been on a date in a while.
  13. Snuggled on the couch with someone watch a movie.
  14. Long walks.
  15. Cookie dough ice cream.
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