I read an article today that really pissed me off. I’ll just start there. I read an article today that really pissed me off, and, in the midst of the start of my second semester as a PhD student, I haven’t been as politically involved as would be ideal in a time of such horror and upheaval. I marched in one protest in my hometown and I’ve shared some articles online and I try to keep up with the news, but I think it’s time to offer my own voice. I read an article that really pissed me off, and emphasized that what I’d already conjectured was important had to be put into practice: my beloved horror blog, Just Dread-full, has to be turned into a partial political platform. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll still make an intense effort during a busy semester to churn out content on all things sinister and macabre, but after all, what’s more sinister and macabre than the Trump administration? Political articles will appear on this site from time to time – and maybe regularly – because the climate of the times dictates it. As I’ve said three times now, I read something today that really pissed me off, so I’m putting down the 250 pages more of reading I have to do between now and Tuesday, casting my GA work aside for the moment, and taking some time to assert what I came to believe during Trump’s campaign and which has only become more true as he’s enacted terrifying, discriminatory policies: not all opinions are equally valid in a debate over Trump’s presidency. If we discard ethical relativism – the belief that we can’t follow any one specific ethical paradigm – then we have to yield that Trump’s policies so far have been egregiously wrong. It is dangerous to justify and legitimate his thinking. Continue reading “Dismantling Shades of Gray: Sometimes there is a Distinct Difference Between Right and Wrong”
Ever since I first came across Just Dread-full’s first fright posts, I have been entertained. It has been fun to read about other bloggers’ childhood fears and has allowed me to realize that I am not that different with what scared me as a kid. I figured I could share what gave me chills and many restless nights so long ago. If anything, it might be fun for me to face those fears once again, and give the reader something to laugh about. My pain-your gain!
Growing up in the 1980s, I had unpleasant dreams that I can’t recall much of. These certain dreams would easily be resolved by having my mom assure me that nothing was there, and that everything would be just fine. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that my fears became consistent, harassing me for many nights and months. My mother’s assurance just wasn’t enough anymore. It was the fear that these two different groups of creatures could actually be real, and even more frightening: could enter my room. Continue reading “Jeremy’s (Jer’s Comic Books) First Fright – The Disturbing Duo”
A fantastic post by my brilliant boyfriend Michael at My Comic Relief. For the first time in the short history of my blog, this has nothing to do with horror, but it needs to be said.
So…it’s been a week huh? I was planning on writing a fun post about how much I’m loving The Totally Awesome Hulk today but I can’t get my head around it. Reading the news for the last five days has taken me on an emotional journey. I’ve been spending much time in thought and conversation with loved ones about where our country is heading. I’ve been struggling to understand, let alone find my place in the events that are unfolding. As I do this, I keep thinking of something Bruce Springsteen said during a concert in Western Australia last Sunday.
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Recently I was asked to contribute to the wonderfully brilliant series “What Scares Us? – First Frights” by the equally wonderfully brilliant Kalie Zamierowski at Just Dread-full. I’ve been a fan of hers and of her boyfriend Michael (over at My Comic Relief) for a while now so when the opportunity arose to work with either one of them, I couldn’t say “YES” quick enough. Continue reading “Rob (of My Side of the Laundry Room)’s First Fright – The Eyes.”
With the most unstable U.S. president to date having been sworn in today, I feel it more than apropos that I’m reviewing a story about a character who is, well, relatively unstable himself. But rather than serve as a political statement, M. Night Shyamalan’s Split is an immersion into a morbidly formidable world that will transport the viewer – for about two hours – notably away from our chaotic political climate and the imminent danger that our country may face, and into the world of a man with DID – Dissociative Identity Disorder –a man who has multiple personalities, including a few rogue personalities bent on causing harm and destruction. This review contains minor spoilers, but since the film is so new I won’t reveal the ending; as always, Shyamalan hits us with a barrage of surprises. Continue reading “Split Lives Up to Great Expectations”
While much of the world sits in judgement, furrowing its eyebrows at M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, it’s a film that’s near and dear to my heart. Significantly, I didn’t even realize that was the case until I embarked on a Shyamal-a-thon this week and revisited many of his films after years of separation. The Village, released in 2004, came out when I was a wayward sophomore in college. In stark contrast to popular opinion, I liked the film so much I bought a copy of the DVD (which I didn’t watch much after that). Despite my love of film and literature, my memory can be shoddy and I don’t always remember movies after I’ve seen them. The Village, however, lingered in my mind long after the initial viewing. As Michael and I watched it yesterday, I found myself able to predict almost every plot turn despite the time that’s lapsed since I last saw it. A film has to be good, at least in my eyes, for me to remember it that well. So I guess this piece is an attempt to defend the film – or to share why I like it – by pointing out the questions it raises, the tensions it explores, and why I think it’s so damn clever. As per usual with M. Night, his tricky surprise ending will be revealed to give me full range of discussion and analysis, so brace yourself for spoilers. Continue reading “It Takes a Village (to Lambast a Filmmaker)”
M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable (2000) is an utterly unique part of his canon –nothing like the film that preceded it, The Sixth Sense (1999), and nothing like the film that succeeded it, Signs (2002). While The Sixth Sense and Signs are obviously horror films, Unbreakable falls more appropriately under the suspense umbrella. Unbreakable is the tale of an unlikely superhero who only slowly comes to believe he has superhuman powers, and an ardent comic enthusiast who’s been searching for a superhero his entire life. Despite the ostensible pleasantness of this plot line, the film is remarkably dark and foreboding. Unbreakable is at least as heavy, if not heavier, than The Sixth Sense, and far darker than the uplifting Signs. As I find it impossible to discuss an M. Night Shyamalan film without addressing the ending, be warned that spoilers will occur in this analysis. Continue reading “Breaking Patterns with Unbreakable”
Note: This is my 100th post on Just Dread-full! And for my happy 100, I’m going to write about one of my favorite filmmakers (M. Night Shyamalan) but I’ll be exploring more spiritual themes than usual (because this particular film demands it). So, here it goes—spoilers involved!
Michael and I have been talking lately about the phenomenon of hating. Of course, hate is prevalent in all sects of life, and more problematic in some sects than others. But when it comes to the arts, and films specifically, people love to hate. Witness the new female-driven Ghostbusters film: it’s brilliant and funny and original, but people get this weird high off slamming it on the internet. The same goes for the Star Wars prequels: any attempt to re-visit the highly successful plot of the first three films was certain to be met with some contempt, because our proclivity to love has an opposite proclivity to hate. And I think the same observation could be made with M. Night Shyamalan. Continue reading “Sensing Brilliance in the Sixth Sense”
After reading several First Fright posts on the always wonderful Just Dread-full site, I thought about my first fright and how I could write about it. Some of the previous posts have been lighthearted in looking back at what scares us as children, but in my case it is somewhat misleading as my first fright is an ongoing issue with me. I am a sleepwalker who nightmares regularly. To say I have sleeping issues is an understatement.
I have always been a sleepwalker, starting when I was a preschooler. Within the first hour of sleep, I would be up and walking. I never went far, or did anything foolish, but I sometimes moved out of my room to sleep on the floor elsewhere and would have odd stories to explain why. My parents would escort me back to my room and that was that. But then my dreams took a detour as I got a bit older, and creepy creatures invaded. Continue reading “What Scares Us? Nancy of Graphic Novelty² shares her First Fright- Nightmares of Spiders and Rats!”