Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween Special

First of all, it’s Halloween right, so what do I do first thing this morning whilst driving into work? Kill a bird naturally.

It wasn’t my fault, it flew straight into my car, then I’m reasonably certain, went under my tire. I couldn’t really stop to check on it as I was on a busy road at the time, but to be honest, I really do think it was a goner… I couldn’t tell exactly what type of bird it was, it look white-ish and medium sized to me. Probably a pigeon, but possibly a dove (hope not, as I’m sure that would be a bad omen). At least it wasn’t a magpie, then I’d really be panicking!

Strangely enough Roz and I also signed conditions of sale today for “the flat below”. What a bizarre day in which to sign away such a huge sum of money!

Films Watched:
As it is Halloween today and I’m out tonight, I thought I’d take the opportunity to watch a couple of horror films over the weekend instead. Both of which I’d probably consider as “light” Halloween movies, i.e. neither to gory or too scary. Not chosen for this, it just happens that I hadn’t seen these two movies for a little while.

Sleepy Hollow
Another enjoyable Tim Burton and Johnny Depp collaboration. This time based on the famous Irving Welsh novel.

What is quite unusual about this film is that the character of Icabar Crane is portrayed as someone who is more liable to faint, then take action, when faced with anything slightly perilous.

As usual for a Tim Burton film this is a grant treat to the eyes. Every single frame is a glorious gothic postcard. Also for once, Tim Burton also manages to handle action better than he has in the past. Overall a good “light” horror, with many, many decapitations.


Directed by Tobe Hopper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and written and produced by Steven Spielberg (you may have heard of him).

This was a big favourite film when I was younger, probably one of my top ten films. Time has not been too kind on the special effects, some of which seem very hokey now. This is also a film that ignores the horror rule that says that if things are hidden they are much scarier, instead, it throws everything and anything at the screen, therefore lessening any possible scare factor.

I remember reading the Spielberg was not very happy with the way that Hopper was directing this and therefore directed part of the movie himself (although this is not credited). Certain scenes do tend to seem very “Spielberg” to me, so this seems highly probably.

A very engaging story which brings back so many memories.


I also thought I’d take this opportunity, seeing how it’s Halloween, to mention that there have only ever been 2 movies ever to truly creep me out. These are “The Changeling” and “The Ring – Original Japanese version (Rungu)”. Both of these stories are abut ghosts (or vengeful spirits) and also involve dead bodies down wells. Now I have absolutely no idea why I have a fear of wells, maybe it’s something subconscious going back to my childhood? Ghosts, however, I can definitely explain. I’m 99% certain that when I was a child (probably about 7 or 8) I saw the ghost. So more than movie monsters, psycho’s or aliens, the idea of ghosts in films (if handled subtly and realistically) really creeps me out.

When I first watched The Changeling I was so freaked out that I had to stop the film roughly half way through (as the tape is being played of the séance). It’s only after I managed to find the guts to play the rest of the film that I found out that following this scene the film isn’t quite as damn scary as it was up top that point. The Changeling really is an undiscovered (by many) horror classic, which far outdoes better known films like The Exorcist and The Omen.

The Ring, is just on of the most disturbing and unnatural films I’ve ever seen. The video sequence just seems so unearthly, so eerie and bizarre. Then there’s that ending… Enough to give you nightmares for years to come...

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