Any semi-regular reader of my blog will be unsurprised by my title, which is, as usual, adequately cheesy. (I just love an obnoxious title). But there is at least a scintilla of truth to the title, if you’re at all inclined to relish in life’s darker corners. Yes, The Disappointments Room is sufficiently scary, and not exactly what I expected it to be. But it is dark. If you’re looking for a classic haunted house story, you’ll probably like the film. But if you’re looking to be disturbed and depressed (because that’s everyone’s goal, right?) then you should definitely see it. I was in a delightful mood when I entered the theater. After the film was over, I wasn’t quite certain how I felt; I was lingering in an uncomfortable emotional limbo for a bit. To be sure, life seemed a little darker and more contingent. But, perhaps that’s the marker of an effective film; it changed my mood. And the darkness wore off, leaving me with the memory of a genuinely jarring cinematic experience (as in, I was rigid with discomfort throughout most of the movie). The Disappointments Room, then, is well worth the time investment. It borrows from genre elements without falling into the “tiresomely cliché” trap.
Chronicler: Michael J. Miller
Kalie has been excited about starting a new feature on Just Dread-Full where people can share their own, real-life experiences of the supernatural. Ghost stories in novels, movies, and around the campfire are a common part of our culture. However, the stories in this series will be different in a small but significant way. These are stories contributed by people we know and can attest to as sane, rational, logical human beings – people we trust. This gives a new layer, a more “personal” layer, to the discussion of these sorts of phenomena. It also provokes (at least for me personally) larger and more interesting questions about just what is out there and how the world beyond our eyes and (more importantly) our understanding can work. I can deconstruct a fictional ghost story. I know what those are and how they work. These stories though? They are a little trickier to know what to do with… Continue reading “Eerie Experiences – My Haunted House”
This is part one of the short story I’m trying to write. Mind you, I do very little fiction — this is predominantly a review website — but I’m taking a stab at it. I haven’t gotten to the really scary stuff, yet:
“Well first of all, the air is stifling here. But really, just everything is stifling here.” I was craving a Frappucino but was working on exercising my self-discipline. Sometimes a hot gulp of black coffee sounds like a delicious, stimulating indulgence. Other times, it feels like a necessity. But there are times – like that night – when it just felt like a punishment for someone who loves Frappucino but carries its calories in her thighs. I paused and realized that I was tapping my foot frenetically. Continue reading “Chapter One – The Talk”
Reading E.F. Benson’s “Caterpillars” tonight harkened me back to a summer night three years ago. I was in my bedroom on a balmy evening. I was living with my parents because I was a poor grad student. My parents usually turned the air conditioning on, but that night they didn’t and the stifling heat seemed to devour the wind that was trying to creep through my window. I fell asleep nonetheless, and when I woke up in the middle of the night, there was the shadow of a man standing above my bed. Mind you, this was before I re-kindled my childhood fascination with horror and that perhaps illusory world between life and extinction. So my mind wasn’t primed to see phantoms the way it theoretically would be now. I remember distinctly seeing the outlines of the books on my bookshelf behind the figure. I felt very much “there.” Everything looked real. Continue reading “It Was All A Dream: Or Was It?”