sarashina: (Default)
Good evening, everyone! I am huddling inside from the awful (RIDICULOUS) October winter storm, and taking a little break from rewrites since I got my chapter done around noon today. Scoooore.

So I come to you tonight with a nice Halloween rec: Margot's Room by Emily Carroll, the genius behind last year's awesome horror comic His Face All Red. Margot's Room has a very interesting layout: each line of the poem, IN ORDER, corresponds to a spot on the picture where you click on to get to separate parts of the comic.

(Trigger warnings for horror, blood, and loss of a child.)

Some spoilery discussion under the cut )

Enjoy! And Happy Halloween!
sarashina: (Default)
Thing 1: The Persona 4 anime

So yes, I was concerned when they announced Souji's name would be Narukami Yuu, which is basically the most ridiculous name ever. But then this anime turned out to be incredibly entertaining and fun, SO I TAKE IT ALL BACK. ♥ The game music? All the shout-outs? BLASE DEADPAN SNARKER SOUJI/YUU WHO JUST CARES SO MUCH ABOUT EVERYONE? Was there any way I was supposed to resist this? Also, the way they're doing the True Selves gives me Legitimate Feelings every time. I LOVE THIS.

Also, apparently I was way more used to Jonny Yong Bosch as Adachi than I thought.

Thing 2: Tumbling

[personal profile] glass_icarus and I, being awesome, often watch things together and turn on the snark. Those things, by nature, tend to be a little bit cracktastic. So when she suggested a J-drama about a high school all-male rhythmic gymnastics team, I assumed it would be full of crack, as well.


I will be writing up a proper flail post on this later, and probably requesting it for Yuletide as well. For now I will point you to this awesome rec post. You will laugh! You will cry! You will ship everyone and their (awesome) mother! YOU WILL FEEL ALL THE FEELINGS, TOO.

Thing 3: The fact that every other movie coming out lately seems to be a Victorian ghost movie



I love everything.

What's making you happy lately? ♥
sarashina: (Default)
Hello everyone! I am all settled in on my couch and ready to find some movies to watch. If you were looking to do the same, here are some Halloween recs from me, and all are varying levels of creepy (and quality for that matter):

The Shining - A classic, set in a deserted Colorado hotel during the winter and following the new groundskeeper and his family. The plot is twisty but the scares are brilliant in their simplicity; the trailer is a great example. RED RUM.

Coraline - A dark stop-motion fairytale, adapted from Neil Gaiman's novella. More deliciously creepy than terrifying, but plays on primal fears like the best children's stories do.

Beetlejuice - One of my childhood favorites! It's more of a comedy than anything, but one with an offbeat, eerie sensibility. The Banana Boat Song scene is my favorite.

The Gift - And here's a favorite that few people have heard of, by Sam Raimi. The cast is great, and brings out so many of the tropes I'm weak for: reluctant psychics, ghosts, and a Southern backdrop. You can't really go wrong with Cate Blanchett in the lead, either.

Sleepy Hollow - I've always adored the Headless Horseman story, and I watched the Bing Crosby-narrated cartoon version repeatedly every Halloween. The more recent Johnny Depp version is completely ridiculous, and also completely entertaining. Watch it for Christopher Walken and his prosthetic teeth. YAAHHHHH!

A Disney Halloween - The absolute staple of my childhood Halloween! This is a Disney clip show, narrated by the wicked stepmother's magic mirror, of various supernatural Disney shorts. It used to be on all the time, and I always loved watching it before Trick or Treat time. I don't think it's available online anywhere, but if you have an old copy lying around, watch it for me!

Guillermo del Toro's works - Pan's Labyrinth is a given, but have you seen The Orphanage and The Devil's Backbone? Both are, much like PL, a powerful combination of terrifying and sad, but Orphanage is the more depressing of the two.

A Tale of Two Sisters and Lake Mungo - The former is a Korean thriller, and the latter is an Australian mockumentary. Both are ultimately more sad than scary, but both are great examples of using the lull in the action to build tension. AToTS pulls off some great scary moments with an almost J-horror aesthetic, except they're more affecting to me than J-horror because of the sparsity. Mungo, meanwhile, uses the entire movie to build tension, leading up to one reveal at the end that left me unsettled for the rest of the day.

Non-movie recs:

The Dionaea House - A technological horror story. Check it out here - the door is open!

Smoke and Mirrors by Tanya Huff - the second and strongest book of Huff's Smoke trilogy, and though knowledge of the first book helps, if you don't mind spoilers, prior knowledge is not required for the main plot. The best thing about these books is the hysterical protagonist, Tony, and the narrative has a lot of his personality despite being in third person. The haunted house here is a great one, though, and once you get to the creepy parts, you might have to stay up all night to get to the end.

Ghost Hunt and Mononoke - My favorite horror anime. The latter is just incredibly inventive while at the same time being the most Japanese thing ever, and GH is fun, cute, and has a great group dynamic. GH has several different arcs, and the levels of creepiness vary, but the only one that crosses the line into terrifying is the "Bloodstained Labyrinth" arc.

So there you have it! You can pick your poison depending on your tolerance. Sooo... got any recs for me? :D
sarashina: (Default)
I'm a huge fan of horror, but I'm also pretty picky when it comes down to it! Serial killers and other such slasher movies don't faze me at all - sorry, Freddy and Jason - so most of the horror/supernatural thrillers I enjoy involve ghosts, demons, and things of that nature.

Of course, since I've seen/read most of the better-known good stuff, it means that there's not a lot that gets under my skin. Actually, when something is sublimely creepy, it's more of an adrenaline rush than a chill - I'll cackle gleefully at the scary parts while everyone else is screaming.

Which is not to say that nothing scares me, because plenty does! Off the top of my head, a couple movies and shows that have creeped me out: The Shining, The Devil's Backbone and The Orphanage, the Urado arc of Ghost Hunt, and especially the Ju-on/Grudge movies, which I eventually inoculated myself to over time. And I can't forget the first movie to ever really get under my skin: The Sixth Sense. I was nine or ten years old, and I didn't sleep at all that night.

The movies that get under my skin aren't the ones with relentless scares (well, except maybe The Grudge), but they're the ones that really get my imagination going. That's the scariest thing about them, I think.

Which, finally, gets me to this rec: Lake Mungo, an Aussie indie film that the lovely [ profile] pocky_slash brought to my attention last night. At first, the ghost story setup seems very standard: a teenage girl (with long black hair, natch) drowns, and her grieving family soon starts experiencing mysterious phenomena in the house. I would have thought it would play out in the usual way, but after reading some of the reviews, I knew it wouldn't. So thankfully, I decided to watch it during the day.

Lake Mungo is recorded in a faux-documentary narrative, much like another recent horror film Paranormal Activity. I enjoyed the slow build of the latter, and the tension builds even more slowly and effectively in this film. Many of the spooky inciting events from the beginning are only talked about, not shown, and the film is mostly made up of pictures, interviews, and camera footage.

While there are some genuinely creepy images, the film is really building, ever so gradually, up to one real scary moment towards the end that actually made me gasp and recoil. Which I never do! I started the movie with my computer on my lap. But after that moment? I moved it to the end of my bed. It's one of the few examples of horror where they do reveal the unknown, and it's just as scary as what you imagined, if not more so.

It's not a popcorn horror flick - don't watch it expecting things to jump out with scare chords. But if you want something sublimely unsettling that just digs its way under your skin, Lake Mungo gets my enthusiastic recommendation.

EDIT: Some spoilers in the comments!

October 2013



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