Posts Tagged ‘Weird’

House (1986)

October 31, 2015

We have little to no control over where and when horror finds us. The horror in our past is hard to overcome. Sometimes I think back to the scariest moments of my life and I can hardly imagine how I got through them and I’m just an ordinary guy. There are people who go through hell on Earth just to live another day and they have that burned into their memory forever. I can’t imagine being a soldier in a war where I was in real danger. I never saw a dead person outside of a funeral. Still, I can understand the true horror of trying to live today with the memories of true horror. The emotional baggage we carry around can be more terrifying than any ghost story. Of course, this movie is a ghost story too.

Thankfully, even with the heavy subject matter, there’s a lot of humor in this movie. It’s an interesting style of humor too. It’s quirky and light sometimes when the mood should be heavy or scary. Sometimes it actually makes the moment scarier in a very surreal way. The people in the story don’t act exactly as they should and while it’s sort of funny, it gave me sort of an alien feeling as well. Of course, there were was plenty of funny stuff too. I was reminded of a mix of movies like Airplane and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. It’s a strange kind of humor that mixes reality with unreality almost seamlessly.

The movie gradually gets weirder as it goes on. It starts off quirky with a side of strange but slowly the horror elements start to take over. We’re dealing with ghosts in this one but they’re some of the most crafty ghosts I’ve ever seen. Like the ghosts in the Shining, the house knows about every single moment of the main character’s life. Also, the ghosts actively mess with the character’s mind, a mind of a vietnam vet. He’s also a writer and I know from experience how much a vivid imagination can mess with your mind all on its own. The movie spends much of its time bouncing between vivid flashbacks and hauntings in the present. The sometimes jarring transitions help you get into the head of somebody who’s not quite well but seems oddly at ease with being in that condition.

William Katt stars as Roger Cobb, a horror writer in a horror movie a cliche that Stephen King practically invented. He has just the right energy to pull the character off without getting too corny or too heavy. He’s joined by George Wendt who plays Roger’s pushy next door neighbor Harold who seems to have forgotten a lot about human tact. Cobb is haunted by his past and strange creatures who are hard to explain. It becomes clear that Cobb is a man with issues. Issues that go beyond being haunted by ghosts and he goes against obstacles that are hard to explain without spoiling the movie.

I don’t want to spoil the movie. It’s a weird little thing as the director, Steve Miner, was fresh off of Friday the 13th parts II and III. The idea for it came from Fred Dekker who wrote Monster Squad but it was fleshed out by first time screenwriter Ethan Wiley. Apparently all three of them were best friends inspired by Twilight Zone: The Movie and it definitely shows. The movie paces out similar to horror anthology segments like Twilight Zone or Tales from the Crypt. I would suggest you check this movie out if you’re into an offbeat horror movie that’s as funny as it is weird.

All Cheerleaders Die

October 7, 2015

I honestly don’t know how to classify this movie. When I was making a list of movies that looked good for Halloween, I saw that All Cheerleaders Die was a comedy/horror movie. I wouldn’t say that this is an accurate description. Comedy is something that makes you laugh or at least smile and at no point did that happen. While it’s true the movie is kind of quirky at times, I can’t call it a comedy. The horror part is definitely accurate as the movie has a dark mood throughout even during the sunniest, happiest scenes. There is also a lot of horribly disturbing things that happen. In a period where a lot of horror movies are filled with jump scares, a movie where there is true horror is rare. This movie has dread, weirdness and a dark feeling that really resonates.

It feels like cheerleaders have a long tradition in horror. Usually they’re the victims in slasher movies, flailing helplessly as they’re gutted by some psycho. Of course, people probably did this because cheerleading is seen as very feminine and it’s scary to see that destroyed. There may be deeper issues there. Cheerleading, despite my belief that it’s not quite a sport, is very athletic and your average cheerleader could probably endure a lot physically and mentally. I mean, Joss Whedon knew that. So this movie gives cheerleaders a little credit as they become tougher than nails and creepy as hell.

The movie starts slow and at first I thought I had accidentally chosen a found footage film. Thankfully it’s just a little bit of footage to set up some of the interpersonal relationships that will drive the film. The mistake I made was thinking that the characters would be shallow, two-dimensional characters that would be lead to the slaughter. By the time I was well into the movie, I started to see that there were a lot of gray areas and deeper issues on display. The movie is not for the faint of heart and definitely has some fairly graphic sexual issues but I think it’s done in a fairly reasonable way (although it’s still disturbing). It’s mostly about what happens when supernatural forces intervene in everyday high school life, a time when we’re already weird and emotional.

I wasn’t going to suggest people see this movie but as it went on, I got more and more intrigued as I got pulled into the story and the characters. The movie became scarier as it got weirder and, I can’t really explain what was going on but I embraced it and I was rewarded. The movie eventually picked up just about the time I was invested in the story and characters and drove hard toward its conclusion. Then the credits hit and the words “All Cheerleaders Die: Part One” came on the screen and I’m all for Part Two if it ever comes out. I change my initial impression and suggest you check this one out because it must be seen to be believed.

Mother’s Day

May 10, 2015

Squirrel Chairs

The picture you see above are squirrel chairs. The idea is that the squirrels sit and eat the cobs of corn impaled on the chairs (the corn is impaled not the squirrels). The intent of such an idea is apparently to keep squirrels away from bird feeders by giving them their own food. Apeasement policies aside, this is a weird idea, right? It’s an idea that makes sense and makes no sense at the same time. This is the brainchild of my mother, the woman who birthed me and raised me. I’m not kidding, a grown adult thought of using this invention (and somebody invented it but let’s set that aside).

My mom is an incredibly intelligent woman and she’s one of the nicest people I have ever known. I didn’t show you this picture to ridicule my mother or illustrate a flaw. I’m showing you this picture because it always makes me laugh. My mom was a lawyer and is now a judge and proud mother of three boys. She has several college degrees on top of high school and trade school. She’s Superwoman in my eyes.

She’s also the woman who taught us how to howl at the full moon regardless of what the neighbors might think. She obsessively plays Mahjong to the point that it’s become a running joke. She came north from South Carolina and didn’t get married when everybody else was. She became a lawyer at a time when women in the profession were called Lady Lawyers as if it was an oddity for a female to practice law.

On this Mothers Day, this is just a little note about my mother because I get a kick out of her and I love her.

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