Musings in the Dark


Horror 102: Vampire Horror

My final entry for this year’s celebration came down to, once again, me trying to decide between two of my favorite vampire movies: 30 Days of Night (2007) and Fright Night (1985).  30 Days of Night is about the takeover of Barrow, Alaska (the northernmost city in Alaska that can go a solid month without daylight) by vicious, feral vampires, led by the incomparable Danny Huston.  I love this movie because the vampires are ferocious and monstrous, the way vampires should be.  Consider this my commentary on Twilight vampires and to an extent, Anne Rice’s vampires.  I prefer for my vamps to be fucking savages.  

Horror 102: Body Horror

The Fly (1986) stars Jeff Goldblum as eccentric scientist Seth Brundle.  Seth has invented a teleportation device, which garners the interest of investigative reporter Veronica Quaife, played by Geena Davis.  Veronica wants to write an article about Seth’s research but Seth convinces her to wait, as there are some kinks that need to be ironed out.  Veronica spends time with Seth while he works on the device and they eventually fall in love. 


Horror 102: Horror Comedy

Tremors (1990) is the story of Valentine McKee and Earl Bass, played by Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward respectively.  They are the hired help and friends to the handful of residents in a tiny Nevada town called Perfection.  Val and Earl are sick of their doldrum existence as odd job workers and take off for the nearest big city (in this case, Bixby).  But before they can get out of Perfection, strange occurrences take place and they end up trapped.  The strange occurrences--people dying on telephone poles or being dragged below ground--are tied to the existence of some giant prehistoric worms and the rest of the movie deals with how Val, Earl and the other residents of Perfection defend themselves against the worms.

Horror 102: Werewolf Horror

Directed by the homie Wes Craven, Cursed (2005) is a movie about siblings Ellie (Christina Ricci) and Jimmy (Jesse Eisenberg) who get into a car accident and are injured by a large animal.  They start to exhibit wolfish tendencies by being attracted to the smell of blood, eating raw meat, and being agile and able to move quickly.  They realize that they were attacked by a werewolf, and other women are being ruthlessly murdered by it as well. 


Horror 102: Old Horror

A/N: I’ve been unavailable for the past couple of days and so I’ve gotten behind in my posting.  But I will catch up by doing two-fers for the next couple of days.  Halloween will be here soon!!

I went back and forth with this one for a long time.  My top choices were Tod Browning’s Freaks (1930) and Elmer G. Unger’s The Black Cat (1934).  While I love Freaks, especially the ending, I went with The Black Cat because in the end, it had Boris Karloff playing a Satan-worshipping villain and I am here for anything and everything Boris Karloff.  


Horror 102: Women in Horror

The Descent (2005) is a British horror film about a group of female thrill-seekers engaging in a spelunking trip in North Carolina.  The women, led by the fearless Juno (Natalie Mendoza), are of the belief that they are exploring a known cave system.  However, Juno has misled her friends and taken them to an unexplored system because she wanted them to be the ones credited for its discovery.  Shortly after entering the caves, part of one collapses and the cave’s entry is sealed off, forcing the women to move deeper into the system in order to find another exit.  What the women do not know is that the caves they’re traveling through are inhabited by feral creatures who hunt via sound.  Situations occur and things happen, and the women end up getting separated, becoming fodder for the underground predators.


Horror 102: Supernatural Horror

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016) begins when the body of a woman is found unearthed in the basement of a house where a double murder took place.  The body is taken to a mortuary, run by Tommy Tilden (Brian Cox) and his son Austin (Emile Hirsch).  They have been tasked to figure out the cause of death.  Jane Doe’s body is layered with mysteries and as the father and son coroner team processes the body, the mysteries reveal themselves until Tommy and Austin figure out exactly who Jane Doe is and must suffer the consequences of knowing her identity.

This movie was a pleasant surprise.  I didn’t know what to expect, but once the autopsy began, I was hooked.  Every time the coroners discovered one of Jane’s many, many injuries, it corresponded to a weird supernatural event in the real world of the autopsy room.  By the time Tommy cracks open Jane’s skull to examine her brain, all hell breaks loose.

I love this movie, obviously.  Definitely worth checking out.


Horror 102: Horror Anthology

This wonderful little anthology came out in 2007.  It’s a collection of five interrelated stories involving the “Rules of Halloween” and featuring a precious orange-pajama-burlap-sack-wearing little scamp named Sam. I adore Sam (which is a nickname for Samhain) and even when he gets unmasked, he’s still adorable. Sam is the keeper of Halloween and it is his job to make sure that the rules are followed. 

Sam, aka Halloween Badass


Horror 102: Black Horror

Anyone who knows me knows that this is a duuuh!  It’s Candyman, which dropped in 1992.  We all know the rule: you look in the mirror and say Candyman’s name five times, and he appears with his hook for a hand and slits you from groin to gullet.  I freakin’ LOVE this movie.  It is based on Clive Barker’s short story “The Forbidden,” and it is about a graduate student, Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen), who is working on her thesis about modern folklore.  She learns about the myth of Candyman from someone she was interviewing and decides to investigate further.

"Be my victim..."  "Um, okay." 


Horror 102: Sci-Fi Horror

Event Horizon (1997) is about a rescue crew who are tapped to head to Neptune and recover a lost one-of-a-kind spaceship.  The ship was fitted with an experimental gravity drive, designed for deep space exploration.  But it disappeared seven years prior to the events of the movie and no one knows where it went.  Captain Miller, played by Laurence Fishburne, leads the rescue mission with his crew along with the ship’s creator, Dr. Weir, played by Sam Neill.