You’ve probably already seen the trailer for the upcoming movie about Sarah Winchester and her infamous mansion. You may even have visited it for yourself. I’ve never personally witnessed it, but I’ve been fascinated by it ever since I saw a documentary about it years ago (I forget the name of the production). Legend has it that Sarah was haunted by the spirits of those murdered by the very instrument that was said to have won the West – such “winning” came at the bloody expense of the Native American tribes doomed to stand in the way of Manifest Destiny.
As a result, there’s a lot of social commentary to unpack here, and I’ve found one such article that has done it better than I could. Was Sarah was building her house to appease the spirits who haunted her now that she had inherited her husband’s $20,000,000 stake in the Winchester fortune? That’s obviously the theory that is dramatized for the upcoming film starring Helen Mirren. Others assume she was merely keeping carpenters and artisans employed out of a sense of noblesse oblige. Her reclusive and eccentric nature coupled with a nation grappling with his legacy of violence helped fuel the stories of a cursed woman. In my opinion, such a story would have been a powerhouse in the hands of someone like Guillermo del Toro; his early movies are a master class in using ghosts to portray collective national trauma (the linked video is well worth a watch). However, it doesn’t look as though that will be the approach. Jump scares and a terrorized Sarah Winchester a la Insidious or Poltergeist seem to be on the menu. Hopefully, I’m wrong. The subject matter and leading actress are enough reason to draw me to the theater. But I would have liked a telling that left me unsettled and sad. Because we have yet to exorcise our nation’s ghosts.
Total transparency: this week was supposed to feature an entry concerning À l’intérieur (Inside), a French film from 2007 about a pregnant woman (Alysson Paradis) fending off a home invasion staged by a woman (Beatrice Dalle) who wants to cut …Continue reading →
Oh Crypt TV, oh Crypt TV, I really love your short films…. (please read that to the tune of “Oh Tannenbaum.”) I loathe the elf of the shelf. I never had the patience. Most days, I had that moment of …Continue reading →
“Frank wrote a new ending that I loved. It is the most shocking ending ever and there should be a law passed stating that anybody who reveals the last 5 minutes of this film should be hung from their neck …Continue reading →
F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922) is often hailed as one of the greats of the silent era. It features a little bit of everything: a creepy male lead, heavy makeup, judicious lighting, and an unauthorized adaptation of a Bram Stoker novel. …Continue reading →
I wanted to be sure to come out of hiding to wish everyone a Happy Halloween without disrupting the scheduled line-up of posts for this week. So this is going to be a slight deviation from my usual fare of Trailer Tuesday contributions.
Once a year, I emerge from the dank recesses of my lair and adjust my hood, lest the piercing gaze of daylight sear my flesh. I’ll now gorge myself on thousands of unsuspecting Reese’s minis, watch classic horror films, and submit this post to assure everyone I’m alive before scuttling back to the sewers to slumber until Christmas. Part of the ritual also includes taking stock of my life (because what self-respecting ghoul doesn’t on a day that celebrates our fragile mortality) and turning to nostalgic entertainment. I’m not the only one, apparently. Creatures like me have taken over your TV and your town. We’ve possessed your young Millennials to find joy in throwback entertainment, including homages, tributes, remakes, and downright rip-offs. Today, I’m going to give you a trailer mash-up to watch once you’ve reached that point in the evening when you’re home from the party and under the influence of candy and alcohol (you know, that point when you feel you should hate yourself, but rationalize that it’s only once a year so the guilt is short-lived). It’s those moments when you’re done with everything you planned to do for the night, but aren’t quite ready to go to bed. Nostalgia TV (or in this case YouTube) is often the cure for that moment of post-revelry ennui.
So lie back. Dust the candy wrappers off your costume, and sink under the spell of nostalgic horror entertainment. I’ll be watching…
In lieu of the usual King quote, I present you with this: White people continue to be ignorant of Native American culture. It doesn’t go well. The Book This is one of King’s much more defined horror stories, as its …Continue reading →
Edgar Allan Poe and October go together like beer and pretzels. Even better, soft pretzel sticks and beer cheese for dipping. Crap, now I’m hungry. Where was I? Ah yes, Poe. Good ol’ Edgar had a knack for looking into …Continue reading →
It’s Halloween again, which means that we’re getting yet another Saw movie. What started as a short film in 2003 turned into the first feature-length motion picture in 2004, courtesy of James Wan and Leigh Whannell. Today, we’re up to …Continue reading →
Full disclosure: I was not as pumped for the Twin Peaks revival as my friends were. Yes, I know, it was supposed to be wonderful. We were all supposed to cry tears of Lynchian joy but I just couldn’t bring myself …Continue reading →