For some reason, Wife M and I like horror movies more in the summer than the winter, perhaps because the winter is so gloomy and gray it is hard to escape it with a gloomy movie… Switching gears a little bit, I had high hopes for Annabelle creation, having liked The Conjuring and Annabelle so much. We bought tickets for opening day And counted down the days. It was not a perfect movie (some cliches such as isolated farmhouses, scarecrows, etc.), but very enjoyable and entertaining, and certainly met my expectations and was a worthwhile investment of time and money. The fact that so much of the scares took place at night after everyone went to bed was on my mind that night when I got up to get a drink of water 🙂
We are on a roll with some pretty good Halloween movies! Last night we watched The Devil’s Backbone, which takes place in a remote Spanish Orphanage during the Spanish Civil War. An orphan boy is left at the orphanage, which is run by a disillusioned widow and a kindly doctor. Meanwhile, there is a boy spirit roaming the halls and a young but heartless worker is seeking the orphanage’s supply of gold, which leads to a climactic ending. It is spooky but not terrifying and definitely well made and interesting, not unlike The Orphanage. I read somewhere from a secondary source that the film is an allegory for the Spanish Civil War, and it makes me curious about that. It was a cozy way to spend a wet Halloween Eve evening (including a fire place fire).
Daughter L and Wife M found a blog/podcast called faculty of horror, a Canadian based podcast where two professors talk about horror films. We love it and listened to several episodes this weekend.
The two performers (Sutherland and Julie Christie) were wonderful and the settings were intriguing (it was fun that we’ve been to St. Peter’s square). It was a slow developing plot, but it held my attention for reasons I can’t explain.I like the film, but I would not call it a horror film. To me, calling this a horror film is like calling a movie a war film because the main character once was in the army.
Main characters in movies are funny. There is a psychic who explained his dead daughter, she has his wife tell him that is life is in danger, he sees an image of this psychic later and nearly dies, so later he is going into a dark foggy alley in pursuit of a cloaked figure when he sees her image again — and doesn’t think, “hold on.” 🙂
I swear, the 1970s were the absolute peak of Hollyeood movies as far as talent goes. It is like they took everything they had learned about making movies, added a touch of art to it, and produced a tremendous decade of movies. Then everything went to heck in the 80s.
I love Julie Christie. Her performance in this was amazing, just like it was in McCabe and Mrs. Miller.
In a rare family moment (i.e. it is rare when all four of us are together these days), the family watched The Shining last night.
I was home before everyone else, and had a burst of energy, so set up the big screen, rearranged the couches for more comfortable viewing, ordered pizzas and stocked the fireplace with firewood. (These are things I used to always do for the family — little things to make their lives cozier and to show love — but evaporated when my illness set in a few years ago; so it felt great to have a momentary burst of my old self). We ordered pizza, lit a fire and watched the movie.
I love all the little things in the movie. I was noticing how The Overlook Hotel is like a palace, and Jack is like the minotaur, and there are all kinds of allusions to bullheads in the movie. In some ways, the family are the conquerors living in their palace and falling into dysfunction during their isolation, much like dynasties do over time (I am thinking of the dysfunction of Roman emperors, the Russian Tsars, Henry VIII’s court and even the 2016 US Presidential race). I love how large and grand everything, and they are always centered against a symetrical background, often with a crown-like fixture over their head. Meanwhile, Jack is plummeting into madness, lumbering around the maze with his axe much like the minotaur, which was the offspring of greed and power and fed off the young. It is such a wonderfully spooky movie. And it is was a cozy evening.
An aside: After a year of avoiding this, I am starting to fall asleep during movies again, something I did in the few years before and after my diagnosis before it went away the past year. But the past month or two I fall asleep during every movie at night, I am just so exhausted. Such a bummer but can’t be helped.
We watched The Pact, and loved it is a ghost movie. It has a creepy twist and the movie is as much a mystery as it is a horror film. It has an indie feel to it, has some unusual twists and is a thriller. I loved the lead in it, who is also great in Mad Men, and who reminds me of Savannah, who used to work for me.
Am continuing my annual September trend for watching Ghost movies, and watched Stir Of Echoes, a 1999 film starring Kevin Bacon. It was okay (i.e. fair), a 2.5 out of 5 star movie as far as ghost movies go. A little bit hoakie in parts, and fairly tame as far as ghost movies go, but it had its moments. Why wasn’t it higher? It was missing an intangible “it” quality that detracted from the atmosphere. It had almost a made-for-TV type thinness to it. But it wasn’t awful, although I probably won’t watch it ever again. (In the movie, Kevin Bacon is hypnotized by his sister-in-law, and comes out with the ability to see ghosts. He sees a ghost in his house and is compelled to solve the mystery, which has a minor plot twist at the end. The movie is a kinda combination of sixth-sense, flatliners and Lady In White).