Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book review: The Lords of Salem

I'm a pretty lucky reader. I like almost all of the books I read in varying degrees, I rarely find a story so bad that I can't finish it, and I have never wished I could have the hours I spent reading a book back.

But after reading LORDS OF SALEM... well, I'm not saying I wish I had those hours back, but I wouldn't complain if some flying spaghetti monster god of fiction decided in his infinite mercy to grant them to me.

It was an interesting idea, and I liked parts of it, I just felt that there were so many things wrong with the approach, as well as the plot and character development. I say that as both a reader and a writer. And I don't like writing negative reviews, I like to give all creative works a chance; but I also have to be honest. And I honestly don't have a lot of positive things to say about my experience, but I will try to be constructive at the very least.

I'm going to stop here and say that there might be spoiler-ish information in my review, so if you're concerned about that you may want to skip this. My brief spoiler-free version is: If you're a big Rob Zombie film fan, have at it. It's gory, it's heavily influenced by past eras of horror, maybe you'll find it fun. If you're on the fence about his films, or outright don't like them, you may find this less fun. There are interesting, redeemable parts to the story, but the authors make a few wrong turns in terms of plot and character and leave you stranded in a bad part of town by the end.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Little Too Close to Home

I'd like to have a bit of a "fireside chat" moment, if I may.

Not that the image above is what most of us think about when I use that phrase, but it's an incredibly soothing image to me right now so I'm going with it. For all my creepiness, at heart I'm a simple person, comforted by simple things.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dark Matters: Twisted But True

I've been feeling pretty sympatico with Sisyphus lately. If you don't remember your Greek myths, King Sisyphus was super clever, but murderous and conceited. He believed he was more clever than Zeus himself, going so far as to betray one of Zeus' secrets to another god. He kept evading punishment by the gods, which led to him being cursed to roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to see it roll back down the other side and have to repeat the process forever.

It's felt like a metaphor for my life in general, but also for my Netflix queue. It's a never-ending parade of movies, TV shows and documentaries that I don't seem to make any real progress on. 

Over the weekend I finally got to a show called "Dark Matters," something I added while browsing without knowing much about it. According to the summary: "Dark Matters tells dramatized stories of science on the dark and ragged edge of human understanding, where experiments can be ethically controversial and the results can be mind-blowing." It's hosted by John Noble from FRINGE, an on-the-nose choice if I ever saw one.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Horror is Other People

One of the pitfalls of enjoying older horror films is discovering whether or not they still hold up in the 21st century. Some are so inextricably tied to their time period, that they lose any possibility of timelessness. But even if the audience is fine with that, accepts it, even loves it, it could still lose them if it just isn't scary anymore. Sometimes the only thing left is the satisfaction and appreciation for a well-crafted, masterful horror film-- even if it's no longer that relevant to modern life or modern fear.

One of the films that I find still holds up really well is PSYCHO.