I entered Don’t Breathe with mixed expectations. On the one hand, one website called it one of the scariest movies in two decades. But, it seems, every horror movie can find a website or critic to make a similar claim about it lately. In fact, I feel as if I’ve naively prepared myself up for a mind-blowing classic over and over again, only to be let down by some critic’s one-sentence profession of adoration. And the premise of Don’t Breathe, while certainly original, appeared to have the makings of a thriller more than a horror movie. As it turns out, many of my preconceived notions were correct. Don’t Breathe does, for most of the movie, remind one an awfully lot of a thriller, and it’s only scary insofar as you can refrain from shaking your head too vehemently at the main characters, who, it might be argued, are asking for what they get. My thoughts? It is what it is. The premise was inherently hard to execute successfully, and I was never truly scared while I was watching it. I consider it important to see every horror film that comes out in theaters (since I consider horror blogging my non-professional profession) but if you’re not so adamant, you might be able to skip this one without missing out on anything substantial. Continue reading “Don’t Breathe Didn’t Take My Breath Away”
Month: August 2016
What Scares Us? My First (or Second) Fright: The Horrifying Large Marge
A month or so ago on Just Dread-full, I wrote about my unfortunate collision with the famed chipmunk song as a child, which I categorized as my first fright. I then invited Michael, author of My Comic Relief and frequent contributor to my site (and, okay, my boyfriend) to write about his first fright, which happens to be the Ghostsbusters II movie. While I ultimately hope to have other contributors augmenting this series with their first frights (ahem, ahem, if you’re reading this, I hope you know who you are), in the interim, I thought I’d continue the theme by writing about another one of my earliest memories of fear, though technically it’s my second fright (but let’s not get caught up on technicalities). I was absolutely petrified by Large Marge’s dreadful tale and awkward transformation into an animated character in Pee Wee Herman’s Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.
Continue reading “What Scares Us? My First (or Second) Fright: The Horrifying Large Marge”
When I was in high school, a super sweet Aerosmith song entitled “Jaded” was released. Yeah, you’ve probably heard it. I used to watch the music video for it in the morning before school, back in the nostalgic, bygone days when MTV used to play (gasp) music videos. (Since I don’t have cable right now, I have no idea what they play, but last I checked, music videos had taken a back seat to painfully terrible reality TV). The Aerosmith song “Jaded,” comes to mind now, though, because I just saw a movie that I should have found genuinely frightening (on the whole, I’d say it was a good movie) but part of what I saw was just another less-than colorful, archetypal addition to the horror pantheon. Today, Michael and I sat down to watch Mama, directed by Guillermo Del Toro, and while the movie was well-made and fun to watch, I was much less afraid than I thought I would be, and the film reminded me of other horror classics. Perhaps I am jaded, because that film should have scared me, but it didn’t. Continue reading “Mama Mia!”
There’s Just Somethin’ About That Guy: My Fascination with The Joker
It’s happened to all of us: we meet that person who’s inexplicably captivating. I admit, I’ve been enamored by people now and then after little more than a brief introduction. But, usually those people are charming, witty, sometimes attractive, seemingly kind, and so forth. Usually such people are not white-faced demons with flaming green hair and a pointed desire to “watch the world burn,” as they say in The Dark Knight. And yet, I know now it’s not impossible to be fascinated by just such a person. Much like psychiatrist Harleen Quinzel, who tragically transforms into Harley Quinn, the villainous Joker who sits opposite to the Batman captivates me, though, unlike Harley Quinn, I am (thankfully) not madly in love with him.
Continue reading “There’s Just Somethin’ About That Guy: My Fascination with The Joker”
Taking a Bite Out of Bram Stoker’s Dracula
When I read the first Chapter of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein today (which was a delightful experience filled with melody and profound thought) it occurred to me, yet again, that I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula earlier this summer and never wrote about it. Sigh. Such negligence seems remiss for a horror blogger, I told myself. This is especially true because I don’t write about many classic horror novels. As a self-professed lover of literature (or, a so-called lit nerd), many of the novels I commit myself to aren’t horror novels (because one must engage in some soul-warming optimism to counter the darkness), so I focus on scary short-stories (and of course, movies) for this blog. And to me, there is much merit in this approach; it is, after all, easier to critique – or analyze, or review – a short story than it is to do the same with a thick, 300-some page novel. (As such, I have immense respect for book bloggers who manage to eloquently sum up hefty volumes in elegant, relatively concise blog posts.) But because I don’t read many horror novels, when I finish a classic novel in the horror pantheon, I have to carpe diem and write about it. So I’ve decided to write about my experience reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and compare it to some cinematic adaptations spawned by the work. Continue reading “Taking a Bite Out of Bram Stoker’s Dracula”
Now and Then: My Changing Perspective of The Blair Witch Project
I had to double-check the release date of the original Blair Witch Project. Sometimes, my teen years seem like a jumbled haze. I knew, only, that I was a teenager when I saw the film, and after googling its opening date, it appears I was a day shy of my fifteenth birthday when the movie came out. As Michael pointed out more recently when we watched the film, The Blair Witch Project sits at the inception of the “found footage” phenomenon, a film-making trend which would be furthered by other films, like Cloverfield and the Paranormal Activity movies. The decision to create a film that appeared to be shot by the characters as the events were occurring was indeed novel, and was probably the reason so much hype surrounded the Blair Witch Project. Before re-watching the film, I recalled little of the film’s actual details, but what I did remember – still do remember, starkly – is the hype surrounding the film. It may well have been the most hyped horror movie of my time, which means it was no small decision to hide the fact that the recently released The Woods was really a sequel to the film and would ultimately be titled Blair Witch. Continue reading “Now and Then: My Changing Perspective of The Blair Witch Project”