Sep 28, 2012

A Dearth Of Pumpkins

As much as I ponder it, I can't think of a way to incorporate jack o'lanterns into my display this year without them feeling out of place. At the very least, this one (paper-mache) jacko will making an appearance.

Sep 19, 2012

Dear Ti West

I first heard of 'The House Of The Devil' via Pumpkinrot's blog. I decided to look up the film and was blown away by the awesome posters, and then again by the awesome title sequence, and then again by the awesome limited-edition VHS. I went into a state of what the youngsters these days call 'extreme fangurlin' - wailing, falling over, hyperventilating, crying, etc...
I managed to sway my parents, and quickly bought a copy of 'The House Of The Devil'. I didn't even rent it first to make sure it was good. Popping it into the DVD player, I knew I was in for a real treat. And I was.

From the first frame, 'The House Of The Devil' is a piece of art. The film is styled to look, sound and feel like the low-key horror films of the 70s and 80s - every last detail of it. While the opening credits proudly and loudly announce the retro style early on, it is never overblown, and it never distracts from the actual story. 'The House Of The Devil' is a slow-burning horror flick, with not much happening for most of the running length. Regardless, I never find myself bored watching it. The long, drawn-out sequences feel oddly comfortable, which I feel is helped by the wonderful colour palette and cinematography. Many reviewers and horror fans criticize the film's climax, saying that it is a let-down due to the suspense and build-up beforehand. I couldn't disagree more. The crazy and dizzying final act is the highlight of the film, and something which I have watched over and over.

For many years, I never understood the role of a film director. I always pictured them as someone who bosses the cast and crew around. Of course, I worked out what a director actually does long ago, but I never really understood a director. Watching 'The House Of The Devil', I made a sudden connection. It was a truly epiphanic moment. I realized that 'The House Of The Devil' was not constructed by a myriad of writers, producers and co-directors. Every aspect of the film felt like it was carefully crafted by one singular person. Like the horror-fueled dreams of a creative genius had sprung to life on my TV screen. For the first time, I felt a real connection with the director of a film. I had to find out who this guy was.

This wonderful portrait (couldn't find out who the artist was) pretty much sums up the way I feel about Ti West. He is the writer/director/editor of some of the 2000's finest horror films - The Roost, Trigger Man, The House Of The Devil and The Innkeepers. He is surely one of the best horror directors of the past few decades.

I have yet to see 'Trigger Man', but I can wholeheartedly recommend 'The Roost' and 'The Innkeepers' to any and all fans of horror. 'The Roost' is a crazy and imaginative Evil-Dead-esque affair, presented as part of a late-night horror show. 'The Innkeepers' is an old-fashioned ghost story, full of screams, shivers and (surprisingly) laughs. So get off my blog and go check out his movies. They're awesome.

To round off a post of gushing and adulating:

Dear Ti West,
I LOVE your movies and old-school style.
You make me want to become a horror director.
Keep making movies, man.
Sincerely, Adoring Fanboy

Sep 9, 2012

The Ghost Train

It stood in the center of the abandoned amusement park, flooded in moonlight. The wooden beams holding up the front facade had begun to collapse. The once vibrant skulls and ghouls that adorned the ghost train were now cracked and faded. The years of rain and sea spray had rendered the building a sad ghost of its former self. There was no denying that the place was spooky, and most of the town kids had heard stories about the old ghost train being haunted, but very few knew the truth about what happened there many years ago, on one fateful Halloween night...

Image by Colin & Jacqui Hawkins