Had and still have my hands full repairing somebody's much-loved family heirloom aran sweater, which adds a physical obstacle to the frustration of Not Writing Anything. Stuck on trying to articulate thoughts on indigeneity and monstrosity for post on horror westerns, trying to remind myself it doesn't need to be a properly structured and supported essay. Keep imagining and reimagining scenes for fic and even massaging them into phrases but the prose invariably slips away when I try to record them in any way. Most of these scraps of inspiration are bits of funny (to me) dialogue without context. The rest are pretty much all UST build-up or the talky bits before the porn but I have no will to write the rest of the story, either plotty business connecting the ones that are part of larger narratives or the rest of the sex scene for the ones that lead on to that rather than leaving the characters lusting (and yes, I could publish those pieces on their own, but avoiding awkwardness with written fade-to-black can be tricky and if they get any comments at all on AO3 they'll be demands to continue, plus I have to actually write something before I can publish it). Feeling as thwarted in my creative pursuits as the characters are in their sexual/romantic ones.

This week's unplanned media kick has been horror movies in which children are threatened or threatening. I've watched Insidious 1-3, Sinister 1 & 2, and Silent Hill, and rewatched The Omen and The Babadook (and Splice, if you want to count that here, although I'd say despite its issues with reproduction and parenting it's not as much doing with children per se). Not many big thinky thoughts about this yet; only mentioning it as an excuse to say:

1. Silent Hill makes absolutely no sense and probably wouldn't even if I had known more about the games it's based on than "everything's foggy", "the one with Pyramid Head?", "something about a missing girl", and "bandage-mummy-faced Slutty Nurse cosplays", BUT it's interesting that all of the important decisions and actions are made and taken by women (the decisions and actions in question are almost universally stupid or nonsensical, but they're the only ones that matter). The stuff with Sean Bean and Kim Coates is ultimately irrelevent to the "plot" and the menfolk-townsfolk are generic henchy prop-people, almost perfect inversion of the sexy lamp test. Interesting also to look at the other films in the same light (womp womp): The Omen and Sinister films are pretty lampy in their treatment of adult women (not quite so simplistic as a binary division into evil or nagging shrews and fainting damsels but really not good, especially for the Sinister films appearing almost forty years after The Omen) while the Insidious trilogy are fairly balanced in terms of a gendered distribution of agency.
1a) Happy that Silent Hill features a hot butch motorcycle cop, sad that they kill her twice (looks like she gets beaten to death, turns out she was only beaten unconscious and taken hostage so they could burn her alive). Would prefer story with no stupid ghost town where Radha Mitchell and her kid are actually on the run from Sean Bean and hot butch motorcycle cop tries to apprehend her but then helps her, with or without hooking up.

2. The Babadook totally deserves its status as one of the biggest buzz-generating indie/horror films of 2014, because it's really well done. I recommend it heartily but with a massive side order of trigger warnings (spooky shit and a few jump scares, bugs, tooth/mouth injury/body horror, violence towards animals, actual plot summary stuff behind cut:
Amelia is already at the end of her tether, socially isolated, and sleep-deprived by the time her son Samuel, whose father died in a car crash driving her to the hospital to have him, finds a creepy half-blank pop-up book about "Mister Babadook" on his shelf. Samuel commits to protecting his mother from the Babadook and gets thrown out of school for bringing homemade weapons into the classroom. Amelia's already minimal support network deserts her, leaving her to deal with this intense, thin-skinned kid literally strangling her with affection on her own, and things start getting weird [bugs pour out of a hole in the wall that later isn't there, voice on the phone croaking "ba ba dook dook doooOOOK", the book keeps coming back from Amelia's attempts to hide or destroy it and the formerly blank pages are now filled in with illustrations predicting her killing their dog, killing Samuel, and finally killing herself]. Amelia gets increasingly paranoid, emotionally volatile, and even more sleep-deprived, starts hallucinating and scaring Samuel to keep him from telling anybody what's going on, insisting that there is no Babadook until it gets "in" and starts using her to realize the book's predictions and Samuel has to trap and fight his homicidal mother to save her from the creature's grip.) My one ridiculous quibble is that the pop-up book looks professionally printed and bound, and I would like to have seen Amelia (a writer before Samuel was born) check the front matter for publication details even if their weren't any or they lead to a publishing company that doesn't exist or something.

3. Struggling to articulate this . . . I'm curious about how many of the people directly responsible for these films are parents and how many aren't and how all their fears of and for children inform their work?
graydon: (Default)

From: [personal profile] graydon


I can recall being told that Rowan Atkinson is, in person, dour and humourless. I don't know how factual that might be, but the way it rings true -- that being really good at a type of humour might involve an unengaged conscious approach -- might also apply to horror?

I'd think it'd almost have to; immersion in something that gets one in the fears wouldn't be a practical way to work, at least not for very long.
thatyourefuse: Lady Lucille Sharpe from Crimson Peak, apex gothic. ([IDMOVIE] this is my kingdom come)

From: [personal profile] thatyourefuse


I mean this sincerely: thank you for making it very, very clear that I do not want to watch The Babadook. (I probably wouldn't have anyway, I'm actually a complete baby about horror movies, but... no, that one specifically is not for me, and I had heard enough praise that I might have investigated it.)
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