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- Chilling Tales of H.P. Lovecraft – Dark Moon Press
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- How to read Lovecraft: A practical beginner’s guide
In her intro, Ms. While I believe I got Ms. The other is Leon J. Sadomachism may appeal to some, but this one just made me scratch my head. One other puzzling element that I could not comprehend was the reason behind the subdivision of the collection into parts.
Outside of the essay section, there are no uniquely connective themes or structures in the stories of each part outside of Lovecraft and the erotic elements, but that is the point of the collection, after all. The only rationale I can think of for the parts is that, at one time, they were published separately, like chapbooks or comic issues.
But I am unsure. Now, all that out of the way, I absolutely love this collection. Another facet that sets this collection apart from many of its contemporaries horror, fantasy, or erotic is the lack of demonization of sex. These stories have their share of pain and terrors associated with the act, but never once is sex held up as unnatural or evil, in and of itself. Interestingly, there are three stories that are written in the exact same style Lovecraft himself employed.
Steven J. Moreover, she sees his work on the graven image of Cthulhu…which inspires her own life-size statue of the sleeping god. The use she puts it to or is it the other way around? This one ends with a vicious right hook at the very last sentence. A tabloid reporter gets a line on a cult that meets in an ancient porno theatre in Mexico City. It takes a pair of letters he initially disregards — one from Walter Gilman, one from Henry W.
Akeley — for him to put the pieces together. One of my weirdest ever journalistic experiences was interviewing Irish actor Jack Reynor, then best known for playing a vapid hunk in Transformers: Age of Extinction. This guy had been with the programme quite a while. Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro is another member of our little funny handshake coven.
Tom Cruise — who, as his Oprah couch-bouncing confirmed, knows all about conjuring terrifying forces beyond our understanding — was even attached at one point. Alas, the project fell apart as the thematically similar Prometheus quasi-flopped. And when invited to direct a Simpsons title sequence, he made sure Cthulhu — all eight eyes present and correct — featured. Nicolas Cage has now joined the club and, really, it is no surprise. As in the original text, the setting is a remote farm where a mysterious asteroid has crash-landed. The borders of reality warp. Soon locals are behaving peculiarly.
And then things get nasty. If the premise sounds familiar it is because it has been plundered on multiple occasions. Every Cold War American sci-fi film in which an isolated community is overrun by extra terrestrials bears a little of its DNA. Raised in genteel poverty in Providence, he was an unabashed Anglophile who perceived himself as a British gentleman living in the wrong time and place.
These descriptions are largely incidental. One could enjoy Red Hook with the racism expunged.
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Consider, my favourite, The Shadow over Innsmouth from It tells of an obscure New England fishing village where the locals have, through decades of miscegenation with Deep One fish-men from the South Seas, horrifically diluted their humanity. I still love The Shadow over Innsmouth. A backlash was inevitable. The point of fracture was the World Fantasy Awards, a sort of Oscars for fantastical writing.
For authors of a minority background, having a HPL effigy on the shelf was understandably problematic. The trophy has since been redesigned: recipients of the prize no longer have to stare into the vacant visage of an author who approved of Hitler. I attempted to tackle this in the second of my Cthulhu Casebooks trilogy, Sherlock Holmes and the Miskatonic Monstrosities , by having an overtly racist character get his comeuppance. We just have to accept, I feel, that Lovecraft himself was a pretty wretched individual whose misery and misanthropy somehow alchemised into fiction of lasting impact, influence and insight.
Artist Paul Carrick, whose Lovecraftian illustrations have drawn considerable acclaim , agrees. He was afraid of change, and so immigrants were a source of change. He was afraid of the sea, which explains why so many of his creatures and alien races had aquatic elements within them. I read an account of him nearly fainting from the site of a fish on a plate. He married a Jewish woman and also gained friends outside of his culture, both of which I would imagine was unthinkable to a younger Lovecraft.
Funny Games places the horror in the familiar setting of home. It follows two young men who hold a family hostage and torture them with sadistic games. The result is far scarier than anything featuring ghosts, witches or demons. The Amityville Horror is based on the true story of the Lutzes, a family who were run out of their home after being terrorised by paranormal phenomena in Just one year before, Ronald DeFeo Jr shot and killed six members of his family in the same house.
James Brolin and Margot Kidder lead this film, which became one of the biggest hits of Japanese horror Audition follows a widower who meets a woman named Ayoma after staging auditions to meet a potential new partner. Soon, though, her dark past begins to surface, which equates to a pretty disturbing climax.
Although parodied to death, The Blair Witch Project popularised the found-footage format to terrifying degrees in People genuinely believed they were watching real clips of three student filmmakers being terrorised by a Maryland legend known as the Blair Witch. Black-and-white silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari is considered the quintessential work of German Expressionism, but also one of the scariest films in cinema history.
It follows a hypnotist Werner Krauss who uses a somnambulist to commit murders, and Wiene's shadowed sets and striking visual style combines to unsettle the viewer in ways most filmmakers only dream of managing. A contemporary classic of horror cinema, film Candyman — which spawned two sequels and has a Jordan Peele-produced remake in the works — follows a graduate student whose studies lead her to the legend of a ghost who appears when you say his name three times.
Extreme enough to warrant a ban in Italy and Australia, Cannibal Holocaust was one of the first films to embrace the found-footage format — so much so that Deodato found himself charged with multiple counts of murder due to rumours that several of the film's death scenes were real. He was later cleared.
Chilling Tales of H.P. Lovecraft – Dark Moon Press
Released in , The Descent follows six women who, upon exploring a cave, battle to survive against the creatures they find inside. It's these creatures that earn this British horror film's placement on this list. One of the most controversial films of all time, The Exorcist — which tells the story of the demonic possession of a year-old girl named Regan Linda Blair — became the first horror to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars in Sure, it may be dated, but John Carpenter's original Halloween film — released in — remains the daddy of all horrors.
It re-defined the rule book and has been emulated in everything from Scream to Trick 'r Treat The tension, as babysitter Laurie Strode Jamie Lee Curtis attempts to evade masked murderer Michael Myers, only heightens with every new watch. Proving that horror is a force to be reckoned with, Hereditary became independent distributor A24's highest-grossing film around the world upon its release in It tells the story of a family who find themselves haunted after the death of their secretive grandmother and features a final act that left many of its viewers with sleepless nights.
The House of the Devil follows a student named Samantha who is hired to guard an isolated house with one rule: don't go upstairs. For most of the film's runtime, not much happens, which is what makes the action-packed final third so terrifying. Spoiler: she goes upstairs.
About Matt Cardin
Based upon Henry James' chiller The Turn of the Screw, the plot of psychological horror film The Innocents concerns a governess who watches over two children and comes to fear that their large estate is haunted by ghosts and that the youngsters are being possessed. Forget the effects-laden remake — this version of It, released as a miniseries in , is the most terrifying adaptation of Stephen King's beloved novel to date. It follows a shapeshifting demon who takes the form of a sadistic child-killing clown named Pennywise Tim Curry.
Japanese horror maestro Takashi Shimizu — who also directed the pretty scary remake starring Sarah Michelle Gellar — balances mystery with horror in Ju-On: The Grudge, a story based in a cursed house in Tokyo. To describe the horrors of Kill List is to ruin the film's surprises, but let's just say this: the final 20 minutes of Ben Wheatley's violent drama from features some of the most unsettling scenes in any film from this decade. Taking the form of a mockumentary, the little-seen Australian drama Lake Mungo may have received a limited release in , but its story of a family attempting to come to terms with the drowning of their daughter stays with viewers long after.
The polarising film Martyrs, often associated with the New French Extremity movement, is the kind of horror that leaves you needing a shower once the credits roll. It follows a young woman's quest for revenge on the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child.
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Younger viewers may be desensitised by the more extreme horror films to have been released in recent decades, but the scares featured in Romero's Night of the Living Dead — including the young girl zombie reveal — remain some of the most chilling committed to celluloid. Alongside Cesare in The Cabinet of Dr Caligari , the character of vampire Count Orlok in film Nosferatu — played by Mac Schreck — remains one of the most spine-tingling in cinema history. Produced by Guillermo del Toro, this acclaimed chiller follows the disappearance of a young boy in an orphanage, which brings many of the building's terrifying secrets to the fore.
It's perhaps the scariest certificate film of all time.
Could Paranormal Activity be the scariest film of all time? It's certainly one of them. Just when you thought found-footage had had its day, Oren Peli's small-budgeted festival favourite became one of 's biggest hits. Audiences lapped up the story of a couple who capture supernatural presences on a camera in their own home.
Paranormal Activity 3 earns its place on this list for its final 10 minutes. Set 18 years prior to the events of the first two films, we see the cause of the curse that follows characters Katie and Kristi for the rest of their lives — and it's down to a coven of witches led by their grandmother. Played out in real-time, the claustrophobic Spanish horror film [REC] is one of the better examples of found-footage cinema.
Released in , it follows a reporter and her cameraman who follow firefighters to a Barcelona building and soon find themselves locked inside with its occupants who are displaying murderous behaviour. Unless you've been living under a rock, you know the story of Ring by now: viewers of a cursed videotape die seven days after watching it. While the inevitable Hollywood remake in was better than it had any right to be, Nakata's original is as terrifying as horror films come.
Released in , Rosemary's Baby follows a pregnant woman who suspects that an evil cult want to take her baby for use in their rituals.
How to read Lovecraft: A practical beginner’s guide
Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes and Ruth Gordon's performances tip this psychological chiller into classic status. Forget the iconic "Heeeeere's Johnny" or that bath scene — it's the smaller moments that make Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining a terrifying watch, notably the trippy final act that sees Jack Torrance Jack Nicholson lose his mind to the Overlook Hotel.
Of all the Blumhouse horror films, release Sinister — which features the demonic character Bughuul — is the spookiest of them all. It stars Ethan Hawke as a true-crime writer who discovers a box of home movies depicting grisly murders in the attic of his new house.