Posts Tagged ‘scared’

Aren’t you too old for Disney World?

I was 13 years old the first time I had my heart broken. It happened when my grandma spoke those words to me. Too old for Disney World? Is that even possible? Even if it is, I thought I had at least 4 more summers of Splash Mountain, The Haunted Mansion and It’s a Small World. The thoughts of never again being able to sit in one of the Mad Hatter’s spinning teacups was completely devastating.

Spoiler Alert: At 19 years old, I still wholeheartedly believe that Disney World truly is the happiest place on Earth.

I hate to hear people say things like, “aren’t you too old for that?” I don’t think there should be an expiration date on things you love and enjoy. In fact, I think there are a lot of things from childhood that stay in our lives forever. It’s nostalgic and you can’t help but smile thinking about the “little things” that you cherished from growing up. Most of my favorite memories occurred in the first ten years of my life.

With that being said, I still love fairy tales. I always have. I don’t know what it is about them, but I adore fairy tales. There has been a recent wave of popular TV shows centered around fairy tales including GrimmOnce Upon a Time, and Beauty & the Beast. Hollywood has been churning out scores of movies based on fairy tales for years. The best among these, in my opinion, include Red Riding Hood, Alice in Wonderland, and of course Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I haven’t been to see Maleficent yet, but I have every intention of doing so.

I’m sure most of you have seen a Hollywood movie or TV series based on a fairy tale, and perhaps even read one of the original stories. Many of the stories, in their original form, are actually quite dark. In the original version of Cinderella, one of the evil stepsisters cuts off one of her toes in order to make the shoe fit her. The Grimm Brothers, who are responsible for many of the fairy tales that you know and love, have written over 200 stories – You can read a lot of the stories here.

One of my favorite stories from Grimm’s Fairy Tales is called Godfather Death. I encourage you guys to read this one. I should warn you, this one is a fairly dark story, if you didn’t gather that from the title. I hope you guys enjoy this story as much as I do. I had actually started writing a story based around this Grimm fairy tale a while back. Unsurprisingly, it has been filed away with countless other stories I have begun with every intention of finishing, but have yet to do so.

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So now I ask: Are you a fan of fairy tales? Do you prefer the original stories or the refashioned tellings that you can see on the big screen? Which stories are your favorite, and which are your least favorite? Leave a comment and let me know! Thank you for reading!

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When I read today’s topic from The Daily Post, countless ideas flooded my mind. If I could be any celebrity for one day, who would it be?

My first thought was whatever supermodel was fortunate enough to be currently dating Leonardo DiCaprio. No, that would be a waste of the day. (I’ll come back for you, Leo.)

After that notion faded, my mind came to a few of my favorite directors. Frank Darabont (The Mist, The Green Mile), Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight), or Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist). I can’t imagine what fifteen minutes inside the mind of any one of these men would be like. Maybe it would inspire a new way of thinking that would skyrocket me to fame, my name mentioned with the likes of Alfred Hitchcock and Quentin Tarantino. I kind of envision me just walking around in their minds as if they were museums. I would see all the fantastic ideas they had already claimed as their own, without thinking of any for myself.

Okay, maybe I’ll be an actress. Working under the direction of one of the greatest directors to ever life has to be inspiring, right? My favorite actress is definitely Kathy Bates. If you haven’t seen the movie Misery, watch it and tell me she isn’t the most incredible actress to ever walk the earth. Or maybe I could play a Victorian era goddess compliments of Keira Knightley. Can I go back in time to be Christian Bale in American Psycho? I have the Huey Lewis & The News scene memorized, I would blow everyone away. Then again, I feel like there is never a day that being Bruce Willis is a bad idea. That could work. I can do Die Hard. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Will Smith, Sandra Bullock and Emma Watson are also among my favorites. Or I could be Bethenny Frankel from The Real Housewives of New York. (The last one is a joke.)

Then the answer came to me.

The most brilliant writer to ever put pen to paper (or fingers to keys). Horror maven, Mr. Stephen King. The man responsible for The Shining, It, Carrie, The Mist, Misery, The Green Mile.. Shall I continue? Clearly this man’s imagination is a gold mine. If I could think like Stephen King, there was nothing I couldn’t do. Although, I wouldn’t just want to inhabit his body and live as him for a day. Can I just sit in a dark corner of his flourishing mind and see how his imagination works?

Come to think of it, Stephen King’s mind is a celebrity in itself. That is who I would be. A fly on the wall in the mind of the Master of the Macabre, himself.

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Let The Right One In, released in 2008, is a Swedish horror film starring Kare Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson. You can watch the trailer for the film here, or watch it in its entirety on Netflix. The film is based off of a novel of the same name by John Adjvide Lindqvist. If there’s one thing about Let The Right One In, it’s that it cannot be easily categorized. While it is considered both a horror film, and a vampire film, it really doesn’t seem right to categorize it as either.

Kare Hedebrant plays 12-year-old Oskar. He is the quiet, socially awkward target of school bullies. He notices a girl around his age and her father moving into the apartment next to his family’s. He later finds out that the girl’s name is Eli, and the man with her is not, in fact, her father. His job is to get blood for Eli. If you haven’t figured it out yet, Eli is a vampire. After letting her borrow his Rubik’s cube, which she returns solved, she and Oskar begin to form a friendship.

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I had heard countless rave reviews about this film, claiming that it was much better than the U.S. version, Let Me In (starring Chloe Grace Moretz, also available to stream on Netflix). Reviews said not to be put off by the fact that this is a “vampire movie.” It’s more of just a movie, that happens to have a vampire in it. That’s mostly true; it’s unlike any other vampire film I’ve ever seen. There are definitely no sparkling Edward Cullens in this film. While there are still age old vampire tropes included (aversion to sunlight, being unable to cross a threshold without being invited in) it is still quite unique. It sounds pretty generic in the summary I provided above, but I kept it short to avoid major spoilers.

Here’s where I’m probably going to upset some fans. I didn’t think this movie was all it’s cracked up to be. After reading 100 positive reviews for every 1 negative review, I was convinced I was about to see something profound. I enjoyed watching this movie, but I was quite disappointed. The story didn’t waste time getting started, but nothing exceptionally eventful really happened until the first hour had passed. Going in to the film, I was thinking that I would like Eli because she was a “good” vampire; a misunderstood, tortured soul. I found myself pretty indifferent to her. Oskar elicited more emotion from me. I was rooting for him to fight back and stop letting the bullies get the better of him. I think the only reason I really like Eli at all was because she seemed to be the only thing that made Oskar happy.

To be completely honest, and this is just my opinion that 99% of people will disagree with: I found Twilight more entertaining than Let The Right One In. I’m not saying that Twilight has a better story, but I didn’t find myself bored at times, like I did while watching Let The Right One In. (Yes, I enjoyed watching Twilight. Judge me.)

The story, as I said, is very unique. I can appreciate that. It’s not at all a bad film, in fact, it’s a pretty good one as far as story quality goes. I just didn’t enjoy watching it as much as I had anticipated. It’s possible I would have felt different if I had watched the film without hearing all the hype, but as it stands, it was really just okay for me.

If any have you have seen this film (or the American version, which I haven’t seen) let me know what you thought! I would love to hear your opinions (aside from bashing me for saying I liked Twilight.) Thanks for reading!

So this will be my first post after my unannounced (and unintentional) hiatus. Fortunately for you all, my hiatus was filled with tons of movies to review, after binge watching for the better part of a week.

Directed by Frank Darabont, based off the novella by Stephen King, The Mist was my favorite of the horror films I gorged on this week. You can read the NY Times review here.

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To be completely honest, the premise of this film may sound kind of stupid. A small town is plagued by a mysterious mist that holds a horrible, tentacled monster that preys on townsfolk. The majority of the film is set in the supermarket, where many people are scurrying to stock up on groceries before a storm arrives. Not surprisingly, the mist arrives, leaving them trapped in the store. The movie examines the interactions between the people in the supermarket as their situation grows exponentially bleak. The group is divided and turned against one another as the story progresses.

There is quite an interesting cast chosen in this movie. The hero of the story is David Drayton, played by Thomas Jane. David is accompanied by Amanda (Laurie Holden), his son Billy (Nathan Gamble), Dan (Jeffrey DeMunn), Irene (Frances Sternhagen), Private Jessup (Sam Witwer), Ollie (Toby Jones), and a few other less notable followers.

The loathsome Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) goes head to head against David and his “team.” Mrs. Carmody believes that the mist is God’s wrath against the less wholesome people in the store, claiming that they deserve it. (“Those of you who aren’t local should know that Mrs. Carmody is known in town for being unstable.” “No shit. What was your first clue?”) Mrs. Carmody drones on and on about the second coming and tries to stage a coup d’état against David, and the more likable characters. Due to the obnoxious nature of Harden’s character, a shining moment of the film was when Irene, a badass grandma, throws a can of peas at Mrs. Carmody (“Shut up you miserable buzzard! Stoning people who piss you off is perfectly okay. They do it in the bible, don’t they? And I’ve got lots of peas!”)

For those of you who didn’t notice above, this film features Laurie Holden and Jeffrey DeMunn, both of which starred in AMC’s The Walking Dead, as Andrea and Dale, respectively. Though she doesn’t have a large role in this film, Melissa McBride, known to TWD fans as Carol, also appears in The Mist.

This could just be me reading too far into what is meant to only be 2 hours of mindless entertainment, but I think there’s more to this movie than the characters trying to defeat a giant tentacled monster. It is always interesting to me to see the way different movies portray characters when they are thrown into a dangerous fight for survival. Each instance spurs a different reaction from the characters. You get to see who is loyal to the group, who would betray the group for their own benefit, the relationships that form, and who will emerge as a leader. It seems like this movie does a pretty good job depicting a group of people put into a dangerous situation and seeing how they react. As their fear becomes more intense, their relationships are strained and they begin to make more questionable decisions.

I’m not sure how many of you have seen, or are even familiar with this movie, but I recommend it. If you are a Stephen King fan like me, you should definitely see it. Any of you who have already seen this film, leave a comment and let me know what you thought. Thanks for reading.

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“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” -Thomas Mann

To anyone reading this blog who is a writer (more than college essays, less than Ernest Hemingway) I know you’ve been in the same boat. Sure, it’s comforting to know that even the most renowned authors like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling struggle with writer’s block, but that doesn’t make it any more pleasant as you sit in front of a blank page waiting anxiously for something to happen. All the how-to articles tell you to “just write.” They claim that all writing is good writing (*scoffs*) and that it doesn’t matter what you write. Just begin to get the ball rolling. It’s not always that easy when you absolutely can’t think of anything. Every writer has their own technique for writing; some are highly ritualized – same time, same place on the third Wednesday of every month, while some write best in a spontaneous decision to jot down some ideas while you’re drinking a macchiato at Starbucks. Once I get going, I will be glued to my laptop for (literally) hours on end. Other days, when I just can’t muster up anything interesting, I give up after about 30 minutes (if we’re being honest, the last 20 minutes were probably spent browsing Pinterest).

It’s hard, for me anyway, to create a fool-proof formula for success with writing. I would venture to call it impossible, in fact. There isn’t a technique that will magically turn me into Charles Dickens every time I sit down at my computer. So, I come to you all for advice. What is your technique? What is the process that you go through when you have a successful (or unsuccessful) writing session? Do you have any tips that you find helpful in either busting writer’s block, or keeping you focused on your writing.

One technique that I really think helps break writer’s block is to go online and find “story starters.” You can Google it, and find them for any and all genres. They are either prompts for you to write about, or a basic thought for you to elaborate on and build your story from. (Like I said, you can find them for any genre, but here are some horror story starters.) Even if these prompts don’t serve as the premise for your next New York Times best seller, they can help you brainstorm. The prompt will inspire a new thought, and you can build and build, and before you know it you will have the premise for your next New York Times best seller.

Please don’t hesitate to post a comment telling me about your writing techniques, and tips on how you overcome the dreaded writer’s block. I’d love to hear it, so let me know! Thanks everyone!

“You just have to trust your own madness.” – Clive Barker

What makes a horror movie? Is it a charismatic protagonist that everyone is rooting for? Is it an iconic villain like Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger or Michael Myers? Is it the suspenseful music that floods the speakers as the villain approaches? (I know you’re humming the theme for Jaws as you read this.) Are the reality based horror films that are the most frightening? Or are the supernatural monster movies the most horrifying? Is it the film’s ability to produce genuine fear in the audience? (Do you guys agree with this list? Top 50 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time.)

In my opinion, horror movies are typically a hit or miss. I usually don’t feel neutral toward horror films; I either really enjoy them or really hate them. I have a hard time identifying what it is that makes a horror movie worth watching. Obviously an interesting, well-executed plot is important. Horror movies have a reputation for being predictable and repetitive. There are only so many times we can watch a group of obnoxious teenagers get hacked up one by one, while on an overnight camping trip. However, when you get a horror movie with a never-before-seen storyline and an exciting ending, it really works. Acting is important in all films, but I think it’s somewhat difficult to give a convincing performance in a horror movie. Conveying genuine fear in a staged situation often comes off as fake and off-putting. Playing a deranged, psychotic killer can either come off as unconvincing or too exaggerated.

As horror films developed throughout the 20th century, viewers were given a bounty of horror films that have achieved status as cult classics. Films like Tod Browning‘s Dracula (1931), Alfred Hitchcock‘s Psycho (1960), Tobe Hooper‘s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), and George A. Romero‘s Night of the Living Dead (1964) are all milestones in the evolution of the the horror film.

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Most often, it takes time before movies are considered classics. Looking back, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, at the time of its release, was probably not iconic. However, after countless remakes and global recognition of the film’s antagonist, Leatherface (a name given to the character by fans of the franchise), I think it’s safe to say that this film is a classic. While we’re only in 2014, it seems like 21st century horror does not provide us with as many films that have the potential to be, one day, considered classics. It sincerely saddens me that Sharknado (2013) is as widely recognized as it is, however I find solace in the fact that its claim to fame is just how truly terrible the film is.

There have been a few films released this century that are either well on their way to reaching the status of cult classic, or have the potential to do so. The Paranormal Activity film series has been wildly popular since its release, prompting 4 sequels (most recently Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones). From filmmaker Oren Peli, the first film in the series was made on a budget of next to nothing. Filmed with handheld cameras giving the appearance of home footage, the film was released into select theaters after generating some buzz at film festivals. Having five films with a continuing storyline in the horror genre is fairly uncommon. These films are also pretty exceptional with the fact that none of these sequels have been largely disappointing for fans.

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Another horror film that I am particularly fond of is Insidious. Starring Patrick Wilson (I am mildly obsessed with him) and Rose Byrne, Insidious was released in 2010, and the second installment of the series, Insidious: Chapter 2, was released in 2013. The expected release of the 3rd film is April 2015. This film definitely had an original storyline (you can watch the trailer here) . There were just enough moments of comic relief, and I have nothing but positive things to say about the actors. The convincing performances of the actors in Insidious were precisely why I was very excited to see that Patrick Wilson had signed on to play Ed Warren, alongside Vera Farmiga (another one of my favorite actresses) in The Conjuring. This film is also one of the best that I’ve seen in a while. Here’s the trailer for it. Anyone else who also enjoyed The Conjuring will be happy to know that Wilson and Farmiga have signed on for a second installment of the film.

So I have, in this post and a few others, told you guys a few of the horror films that I really enjoy. My point for this post is that I really want to know what you all think makes a horror movie? What is it about the film that makes people want to watch it? What makes a horror cult classic? Please leave some of your insight in a comment below!

I added a poll with just a couple answers, but feel free to add your own. I want to know what you think!

On my last post, I reviewed the film, Nothing Left To Fear, a film by ex Guns n Roses guitarist, Slash. I mentioned that I believed the king of rock n roll horror was Rob Zombie, and this movie is why.

Lords of Salem was released in 2013 by writer/director Rob Zombie. The movie stars his wife, Sherri Moon Zombie as Heidi, a local radio personality. Things get weird when the radio station receives an anonymously submitted track. When they play this song on the air, many women in the area, including Heidi, fall into a trance upon hearing the song. You can read a review of the movie here. As the reviewer says, “public burnings and satanic births have never been so visual.”

Meg Foster as Margaret Morgan is one of the highlights of the film. Her acting is superb. You might have the idea that Sherri Moon Zombie isn’t going to deliver a great performance, but in my opinion, she did. This movie is pretty unique, so you’ll just have to watch it for yourself, and I recommend that you do so. The overall feel of the movie was really interesting. If you enjoy horror, this film is definitely worth the watch.

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If any of you have already seen Lords of Salem, please comment and let me know what you thought!

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So, I recently had a pretty bizarre experience with what I believed to be lucid dreaming. I’ve done some research on lucid dreaming, and I think it’s pretty sweet. I’ve tried it on quite a few occasions (to no avail). I have weird dreams very frequently, usually 3-5 times a week. I’m totally okay with having weird, freaky, even frightening dreams. Dreams can provide some of the best creative sparks. However, I’ve never experienced anything like this – that’s not to say that I am deeming this a negative experience.

My roommate was asleep, so all the lights in my room were off. I wasn’t really tired, so I listened to some music for a while and finally I decided I would try to sleep. I laid there for a while, and I’m not sure how much time elapsed. At this point I was sort of between sleep and wakefulness. I remember thinking that I wanted to reach for my phone or grab something off my desk (I really don’t remember what, this was over a month ago), but I was just too tired and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make my body move.

The next phase was something similar to what one experiences when they look at a bright light in a dark room. Once you look at the light and then close your eyes, you continue to see the flashes of light with your eyes closed. This was a very similar sensation, only it had no known origin. It looked like a kaleidoscope. It just kept moving. My eyes were closed but I remember seeing, in the midst of this black kaleidoscope, one area of light. It was almost as if my eyelids had a hole in them, and I could see my room, just through that small area. I tried to reach for that area (not literally, at this point I am “dreaming”) and when I did, the area of light relocated. This happened a couple of times, the light moving out of my grasp each time. Then the kaleidoscope faded out and I was thrust into a new scene all together.

I was running from some kind of creature in what appeared to be an area, sort of between a dockside town and a forest. The creature was gaining on me and I was trying as hard as I could to get away. The distance between the creature and myself was closing more and more, no matter how fast I ran. Finally, it got so close, I could feel it breathing on me. At that moment, the creature collapsed on top of me, seemingly lifeless. I tried to move out from under it, its weight was crushing me. I saw an arrow sticking out of its chest. I was confused as to where it had come from. How did it miss me? I continued to struggle, working to push the creature off of me. All of the sudden, the weight was lifted off, but by another set of hands than my own. I looked up to see another version of myself, carrying a cross bow, presumably the one that had directed the arrow to the creature. I looked up in shock as the crossbow wielding version of myself reached out a hand. “Get up,” she said. I sat unmoving, dumbfounded. “Come on,” she repeated and I took her hand and pulled myself off the ground.

I was aware that I was somewhat awake when the kaleidoscope was still happening, but once this sequence began, I was not. It, however, did feel somewhat different than dreaming normally does.

The scene above faded away and I fell back into the partially awake kaleidoscope phase and felt very relaxed, not asleep, and yet not awake either. You can’t really experience the relaxation you feel while you are asleep (because you’re asleep, duh), but this felt like the most extreme form of relaxation I had ever felt. And then I was ripped from my state of relaxation. I swear I heard someone say, in a harsh, strained whisper: “FIRE!” I could almost feel their breath as the word flooded my ears. My eyes immediately opened, and obviously there was nothing there. It felt so beyond real.

I am a huge fan of horror movies, and have seen plenty of them in my day. I am not easily scared. I had read about the parts of lucid dreaming where people are attacked by demons and everything else while they’re dreaming. I wouldn’t say I necessarily welcome a demonic attack, but I am not really scared of the possibility of this sensation. While I am not easily scared, I do believe in some supernatural forces. I do not think what I experienced was anything like that. It was just remarkable how real it all felt.

I’m just curious if any of you guys have had any experiences with lucid dreaming that you’d be wiling to share. I love hearing other people’s stories with dreaming, so comment if you feel so inclined. I’d love to read it!