DVD, Film, Horror, Music

Through this Glass, darkly…

Cover of "Candyman"
Cover of Candyman

Before I give you my music for today’s mood, let me ask this: do you remember Candyman?

The music was composed by minimalist Philip Glass, the film based on Clive Barker‘s short story ‘The Forbidden’. Glass is as good a composer as Barker is a writer, and thus my choice of music for today; it portrays my mood rather well.

Philip Glass, Monumenta 2008
Philip Glass, Monumenta 2008 (Photo credit: looking4poetry)

Philip Glass, Metamorphosis

DVD, Film, Humour, Lookalikes

The Monk Raises A Question

At the weekend I watched The Monk, Dominik Moll‘s supernatural thriller adapted from Matthew G. Lewis’ 1796 gothic novel of the same name. I really enjoyed it and must persist with the book which has been on my Kindle for the best part of two years.

 

monk dvd

 

 

I do agree that it’s far superior to The Woman in Black which bored me so much I dozed off – something I usual do only while being forced to watch action films! Here’s the trailer:

 

 

 

Now you know how my mind works and I wonder if you’ve had the same thought – how come Vincent Cassel (French film superstar and playing the lead role in The Monk) looks exactly like English soap actor Ian Reddington? I think we should be told.

 

Reddington
Reddington

 

Cassel
Cassel

 

 

DVD, Film, Horror, Music, News, Other Sites

Ticky Tacky Horror

Houses

 

What was that old song (I’m showing my age again) about the sameness of life? Ah yes! Malvina Reynolds, 1962:

 

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there’s doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

 

Reynolds

 

(copyright 1962 Schroder Music Company, renewed 1990) You can get the full lyrics here: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/MALVINA/mr094.htm#1

 

MARCHLANDS TX CARD FINAL  web

 

What’s an old song got to do with horror? I’m sorry to say, plenty. Cast your mind back to 2011 and a TV series called Marchlands, allegedly a creepy spooky tale that would send cold bicycles down your spine. I approached it positively because I knew one of the actors in it, but disappointment set in all too soon. Not scary, Mr TV commissioning editor. I gave up halfway through the third episode.  Look up Marchlands on IMDb and it says:

“A supernatural drama telling the story of three different families living in the same house in 1968, 1987 and the present day, linked by the spirit of the young daughter of the 1960s family, who drowned in mysterious circumstances.”

 

Lighfields

 

Fast forward to present day (well, this back and forth between time zones is all the rage it seems) and the newest ITV chiller, Lightfields. I decided, without bothering to do any research on it, to take a look. Boredom set in almost immediately. At that point I did some digging. IMDb features no synopsis or blurb as yet on this series but old Wikipedia (yes, I know it can be wrong but in this case it appears to be correct) does. Remember that blurb above for Marchlands? Look at this for Lightfields:

“Lightfields is a five-part supernatural drama first shown on ITV in the United Kingdom on 27 February 2013. It is a follow on from the popular ITV drama Marchlands with a similar storyline. Lightfields tells the story of three different families living in the same house at three different time periods, in 1944, 1975 and 2012. The three families are linked by the spirit of a young girl who died in mysterious circumstances in 1944. The first episode has the appearance of a ghost story spanning three different time periods and generations in a single farmhouse in Suffolk.”

Hmm. Sound familiar? Well, let’s compare like for like. Here’s the Wikipedia blurb for Marchlands to save you clicking the link:

“Marchlands is a five-part supernatural drama first shown on ITV in the United Kingdom on 3 February 2011, telling the story of three different families living in the same house at three different time periods, in 1968, 1987 and 2010. The three families are linked by the spirit of a young girl who died in mysterious circumstances in 1967. The first episode has the appearance of a ghost story spanning three different time periods and generations in a single house in Yorkshire.”

Spot the difference? No? I’m not surprised. So, after bringing us a non-scary spooky story in 2011, they bring us yet another serving of the same thing. This is lazy. This is unacceptable.

There are many talented writers being overlooked in order to achieve this. And it’s not, in my view, limited to television.

The entire horror genre is suffering from a lack of imagination at the delivery end (commissioning editors, film producers, tv producers, publishers etc), an uwillingness to give the public something original, daring, different. And I’m pleased to say I’m not alone. Read this superb article by Sarah Dempster in The Guardian:

sarah_dempster

Lightfields: a supernatural chiller that assumes all its viewers are idiots

Short on scares, surprises and sense, this time–jumping ghostly drama will leave your fingernails well and truly unbitten

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2013/feb/23/tvod-lightfields-reviewed

Sarah speaks for me. Does she speak for you? Do you crave horror films, programmes and books with a bit more about them, with a challenge, with a scare or two? Leave me a comment.

Don’t eat too much chocolate  – and if you do, make sure it’s dark, very dark.

skull choc

DVD, Film, Horror

Martyrs: It will leave your nerves raw

News of a French suspense shocker today that will delight those of you who enjoy truly disturbing films.

Martyrs

When a little girl, Lucie, is found half naked and lost by a country road after being missing for over a year, she is unable to tell police anything about what has happened to her. The police soon find out where she was incarcerated – but, as she bears no traces of sexual abuse, the reasons for her abduction and what has been done to her remain a mystery. Fifteen years later, Lucie has grown up into a beautiful but traumatised young woman, and her obsessive quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her leads her on a terrifying journey into into darkness and depravity.

Bucket
No unexplained toilet needs in Martyrs

One reviewer said for the first time ever he had to look away from the screen as he couldn’t bear the suffering. I can’t say I did, but it made me wince. Martyrs is sick, no doubt about it, but the tale behind it is all too believable in a world where a rich few have so much power. Yet another winner from Europe.

old bag
This evil old bag is superb

Martyrs is available on Lovefilm instant. Watch it.