October has been more slumpy than expected both on the reading and writing ends. The unusually high temperatures probably aren’t helping. And maybe I started my Halloween celebrating too early. I’m not burnt out on “spooky,” but it’s definitely more on the background level of things. Which is perfectly fine and comfortable.
Peril of the Short Story
Ben at Short Story Magic Tricks did a whole week of Ambrose Bierce stories around mid-October. I’m a little sad that I didn’t read Bierce when I was young, when I had first read Poe. Bierce is lighter, maybe a little more clever, but still with all the chills that 19th century lit can allow. (And with a mysterious real-life death/disappearance!)
Peril on the Screen
On the opposite side of the horror coin from Ambrose Bierce, there is the Saw franchise. Personally, I have affection for Saw and at least a few of its sequels. I think I’ve watched at least through Saw IV, though I don’t remember much about the last one. The last time I watched any of them was before I’d read much about magic. The story telling in Saw and Saw II, which I’ve recently rewatched, does remind me of how magic tricks are structured. The audience doesn’t know where the trick (or movie) is heading and there is plenty of misdirection and hidden moves, though within the bounds of reality (mostly). I picked up a “box” set of movies 1-7 and plan on watching one a day until Halloween.
Peril of the Playlist
While I’ve been mostly enjoying great horror movie scores, like Christopher Young’s Hellraiser and Franz Waxman’s The Bride of Frankenstein, my all-time favorite bit of Halloween music the The Nightmare Before Christmas and its cover album Nightmare Revisited which includes Marilyn Manson’s great version of “This is Halloween.”