Friday, April 9, 2010
THE HAUNTING (1963)
They don’t make ‘em like this anymore. A horror movie that doesn’t go over the top or rely on special effects to give the film its dramatic oomph. We also don’t see anything filmed in black & white anymore, which might really add onto the creepiness factor of some more recent films. BUT NO. That’s too subtle. Not commercial enough. We certainly can’t have that. And another thing…Boy, that’s loud. Excuse me for a second.
Sorry for the interruption.
As I was saying...The Haunting features one of my favorite actresses, Julie Harris…Damn it ! Hold on just a minute…
Sorry, the wind keeps blowing the shutters open, but I’ve fastened them tightly now. As I was saying…what was I saying? Something about Shirley Jackson? No, Richard Harris. I mean Julie Harris. I’m sorry. It’s too loud in here for me to think and now I can’t get the window shut…
(At this point, that which can only be described as a presence descends upon the blog writer. It can be neither seen nor heard, but it is clearly an entity of some kind and its thoughts can be understood clearly by the blog writer.)
The Presence: So, what is it you think you’re doing?
Blog Writer: Before you interrupted me, whatever you are, I was trying to write something about the horror classic, The Haunting.
The Presence: Yes, much better than the remake. But do you think this is what you need to be doing right now? Shouldn’t you be promoting your upcoming short story?
Blog Writer: You mean the story “Death Takes Another Holiday,” from the anthology Dreamspell Nightmares 2?
The Presence: No, I mean Piggy Has a Curly Tail from your collection of poems that you wrote in kindergarten!
Blog Writer: No need to be sarcastic. And I still happen to like my Piggy Has a Curly Tail collection. You know,
Piggy has a curly tail
He plays in mud.
He gives us ham…
The Presence: (Interrupting) Yes, yes, how charming. Anyway, promote your damn story already! Don’t use this venue to drone on about some poem you wrote during the Johnson administration or how you have a belated crush on Julie Harris. Though I would have thought Claire Bloom would be more your type.
Blog Writer: First of all, I was saying I like Julie Harris as an actress. And second of all, I would think Claire Bloom would be anybody’s type.
The Presence: Stay on point.
Blog Writer: I suppose you want me to say something like Dreamspell Nightmares 2 from L & L Dreamspell, a horror anthology featuring many great stories including “Death Takes Another Holiday” by Christopher Cox soon to be available at a Web site or book store near you?
The Presence: Anything else?
Blog Writer: Like visit the L&L Dreamspell Web site at www.lldreamspell.com for other great books and story collections?
The Presence: Yes, like that.
Blog Writer: No! I can’t do that. I’m not Willy Loman. I don’t feel right about peddling my wares from door to door.
(The shutters, windows and front door of the blog writer’s house begin shaking and moaning. The front door begins to puff up like a soufflé. The walls start to…)
Blog Writer: Fine! Fine! Visit the L & L Dreamspell Web site at www.lldreamspell.com for other great books and story collections! Happy now? But I’m telling you that I’m not really good at self-promotion.
The Presence: I have an idea. Why don’t you try to come up with a gimmicky way to get the information out about your story so it won’t seem like you’re shamelessly promoting the book?
Blog Writer: All right. I’ll try to think of something.
The Presence: And one more thing. I think you should put the cover of the book at the head of this blog entry.
Blog Writer: No! I’ve done over fifty of these movie blog entries and I always have a picture of the movie with every one. I’m very OCD about it.
The Presence: Yes, I’m sure you have a still frame of your sweetheart Julie Harris with quivering fingers pressed to her lips all picked out, but how about the cover of Dreamspell Nightmares II just this one time? Come on...for me?
Blog Writer: For you? I don’t even know what you are!
The Presence: I’m sure you will do the right thing.
(The blog writer feels the Presence disappear from the house and the shutters and windows and front door fall silent. He pulls up his specially chosen black & white image of Julie Harris from his computer, but hesitates before posting it.)