Snatch a Dose of Horror with “The Body-Snatchers”

body-snatchersRobert Louis Stevenson does horror supremely with “the Body-Snatchers.”  After all, what better sustenance for horror than a story about the illicit collection of corpses for money?  In life, we all face situations where we have to choose between right and wrong.  Sometimes, the right action is obscured, but usually the choice is clear.  Only, the right action is difficult to take, for various reason.  Such a conundrum becomes the impetus for further action in “The Body-Snatchers.” “The Body-Snatchers” is a gruesome story about the domino effect that follows a blatantly wrong choice, and the chooser’s concomitant fall. Continue reading “Snatch a Dose of Horror with “The Body-Snatchers””

Snatch a Dose of Horror with “The Body-Snatchers”

A Trip to the Bazaar: Exploring the Afterlife

bazaarWe all hope we’re going up to that spirit in the sky when we die.  If you’re a cynical doubter like me, you just hope there is, indeed, a spirit in the sky – a gate with a St. Peter-esque figure, surrounded by some winged cherubs and signaling entrance into eternal, infinite bliss.  But, hell, if that’s too much to ask for, I’ll take reincarnation, as long as I don’t have to come back as something lame like a flea or an earthworm.  I mean, haven’t we all thought, “Damn, I hope there’s something?”  I think even those with the strongest faith – and I don’t count myself among them – sometimes doubt the presence of an afterlife.  In any case, it’s something we all think of, just not daily or compulsively. Continue reading “A Trip to the Bazaar: Exploring the Afterlife”

A Trip to the Bazaar: Exploring the Afterlife

15 Minutes of Horror with Guy De Maupassant’s “Was it a Dream?”

maupassant skeletonLife is hectic.  Sometimes, I need a quick horror fix.  So I picked up my coveted horror anthology and looked for a story that wasn’t too long.  I saw “Was it a Dream” and recognized Guy De Maupassant’s name, so I found a winning contender.  Surprisingly, this random stumble yielded pleasing results.  “Was it a Dream” initially reads like a romance story, but soon transmutes into the vaguely macabre and otherworldly.  “Was it a Dream” is a horror-genre classic, borrowing the best from the genre and ending with a pointed – and poignant – statement about humanity and the way we memorialize the dead. Continue reading “15 Minutes of Horror with Guy De Maupassant’s “Was it a Dream?””

15 Minutes of Horror with Guy De Maupassant’s “Was it a Dream?”

A Trip to the Bazaar: Reading “A Death” from Stephen King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams

bazaarWho murders someone for a single silver dollar? In Stephen King’s “A Death” Jim Trusdale is accused of doing just that. Want to characterize Trusdale? Think of a skinny version of Lennie from Of Mice and Men. Trusdale is notably slow, and people laugh at his speech. But, unlike Steinbeck’s hulking Lennie, Trusdale is about 140 lbs. The townsfolk accuse Trusdale of killing ten-year-old Rebecca Cline, leaving his hat under her dress, stealing her silver dollar, and leaving her dead body in an alley. Sheriff Barclay becomes certain Trusdale didn’t commit the act, but, to the reader’s chagrin, he says nothing. Continue reading “A Trip to the Bazaar: Reading “A Death” from Stephen King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams”

A Trip to the Bazaar: Reading “A Death” from Stephen King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams

Warming Up to Horror? Try “August Heat”

August HeatAmong the most appealing elements of the horror genre is its diversity. I grow skeptical when people say they don’t like horror. I think there’s something in horror for everyone, an assertion that I hope my blog will prove, one day when I’ve been at this for a very long time. (Two weeks is hardly enough time to capture the intricacies and variety of the genre). You can, for instance, watch a mildly eerie old black and white film – maybe a Tod Browning – or watch someone’s limbs get torn off, shred by last sickening shred, in an Eli Roth film. You can read something as dark as Poe, or you can take a lighter, simpler helping of horror, say with the story “August Heat” by William Fryer Harvey. I read “August Heat,” last night, and thought it was a refreshing dose of abnormality. As a side-note, I’ve avoided major spoilers in this review. Continue reading “Warming Up to Horror? Try “August Heat””

Warming Up to Horror? Try “August Heat”

A Room for Dying: Space and Place in “The Masque of the Red Death”

masque 2Because it’s Halloween, a little Poe seemed apropos. To be honest, I was looking for a short number that I could read and write about quickly before enjoying the public viewing of Psycho accompanied by the Erie Orchestra’s rendition of the original score. And, my boyfriend, Michael, and I want to go out to dinner before the movie. So here’s something quick to chew on for Halloween: Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” heightens the terrifyingly unknown nature of death by sticking death in what we can essentially call a “non-place” and inverting biblical references. Continue reading “A Room for Dying: Space and Place in “The Masque of the Red Death””

A Room for Dying: Space and Place in “The Masque of the Red Death”

What’s in an Ending? – A Look at I Am Legend

Guest Writer – Michael J. Miller

Photo Credit - I Am Legend
Photo Credit – I Am Legend

In 2007 Will Smith starred as Robert Neville in I Am Legend, the second cinematic adaptation of Richard Matheson’s 1954 short story of the same name (the first being 1971’s The Omega Man).  I Am Legend is the story of one man left alone in a world of vampires.  The 2007 film received a fair bit of criticism for significantly departing from the plot of the novel, especially in regard to the ending.  However, personally, I think the changes were necessary (and quite brilliant).  We have three very different endings with three very specific challenges to the nature of our humanity. Continue reading “What’s in an Ending? – A Look at I Am Legend”

What’s in an Ending? – A Look at I Am Legend

Go for the Wendigo: What’s Appealing About this Classic Horror Story

dark forest 2So far this blog – dedicated to all that is slightly to majorly terrifying – has focused on contemporary T.V. shows and movies. But I have a broader objective. I want to explore all facets of horror in its myriad manifestations. I was browsing Barnes and Noble one idle Friday evening, seeking good horror between two covers. Michael, my significant other – who has an uncanny knack for sniffing out quality reads – found a decorative, hard-cover, 800 page Barnes and Noble collector’s edition entitled Classic Horror Stories, with a red ribbon bookmark and gold-trimmed pages, on the bargain shelf for $20. The book contains a lot of greats – Poe, unsurprisingly, Henry James, Bram Stoker, and Ambrose Bierce – but I thought I’d sample a lesser-known author, so I flipped to Algernon Blackwood’s telling of “The Wendigo.” Because Blackwood lived from 1869-1951, I estimate that it was written at the end of the 19th or the beginning of the 20th century. Though “The Wendigo” doesn’t float in the realm of “absolutely terrifying,” this relatively brief 40-page story is sufficiently creepy, with an undercurrent of dread pervading its well-established mood. Continue reading “Go for the Wendigo: What’s Appealing About this Classic Horror Story”

Go for the Wendigo: What’s Appealing About this Classic Horror Story