Sunday, May 31, 2009

Drag Me To Hell mini-review

Just got back from seeing the movie. It was one of those experience that blasted away my ability to render a coherant opinion (and believe me, it takes a lot to do that.) I'm probably gonna try this again at a later date, but just go with this:

See. This. Movie. Now.

However, this movie is likely to offend WASPS, farmers, and the Romani people.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fear [s] Of The Dark

I really liked this movie.

Fear[s] Of The Dark
is an animated anthology of horror tales from the most well-known graphic novelists and animators in Europe. It's gotten a lot of buzz in the film festival circuit, and it's all well deserved. FotD is a gorgeous film, absolute eye candy, and the film's minimalist take on the genre is really cool.

Sure, there's a bunch of weird arty stuff in here. The wraparound narrative is a woman listing her fears, both large and small, as asymmetric black and white patterns dance across the screen. It's actually pretty cool, but it's not going to appeal to people who like their horror performed in a straightforward manner.

The stories themselves are all familiar to the long-time horror fan: madness, possession, ghosts, the knife in the dark. The stories are sparse and are more of a showcase for seeing what the artists can do with old tropes. It works well. Even the weakest narrative, a story of a man recalling his childhood among a rural area full of monsters, is still a pleasure to watch.

The best segment, far and away, is the tale of the man stumbling around in the dark house as something sinister stalks him. The story is told completely without dialogue and the play of darkness and silence makes this easily one of the creepiest horror stories I've ever seen. Get a little taste of it here:

So, yeah, go check this one out. It's something new, something different, and it's lovely.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dance of the Dead

As I've probably mentioned before, the zombie archetype tends to be very character-driven. We need to understand and empathize with the characters in the story as they stand against a world-wide annihilation. The heroes of Dance of the Dead are misunderstood geeks facing a zombie apocalypse, earning the love and respect of the people who previously spurned him.

Sounds pretty familiar, right?

This time around, the heroes are the various dweebs and underdogs who couldn't get dates to the prom. When the chemicals from a criminally mismanaged power plant reanimates the dead, the sci-fi club rushes to the prom to save their fellow classmates. It's total geek wish fulfillment, which I can relate to.

The story also covers the notion that high school society is so stratified that the only way people from disparate groups would ever mingle is when they're under attack. This, of course, allows the cheerleaders and prom queens to marvel our geeky heroes' prowess as they dispatch legions of the undead. This idea was similarly covered in The Faculty, but that film suffered from being too pretty, too Hollywood, and full of too many attractive actors. The kids in DotD look and act like gangly, awkward, nervous teenagers, and it adds a layer of realism to the work. You really get the sense you're watching a teenage fantasy, something scrawled in jagged, enthusiastic script in the back of their notebook.

Being as much an action film as a horror movie, the teenagers prove themselves to be surprisingly skilled fighters. The stuntwork in the movie is amazing, particularly the scene where the heroes are running through a cemetary while the zombies explode out of the graves around them.

Dance of the Dead was entertaining enough, but it didn't exactly rock my cage. It was a little too earnest, a little too needy, a little too precious. It splits its energy among too many characters and many of the heroes are actually pretty unlikeable. Still, there's a lot of good stuff here. Unlike a lot of horror movies aimed at a teenage market, this one feels authentic. It's rough an unpolished and passionate and enthusiastic and it doesn't cynically try to sell the audience something from adulthood. It's the cinematic equivalent of a mash-up, and I dug that. Keep an eye out for director Gregg Bishop. I want to see what else he's got up his sleeve.

If that doesn't sell you, there are Zombie Teenage Makeouts, cynical gravediggers who attempt to keep the whole mess in check, and the prettiest rock band I've ever seen lulling the zombies into a stupor with their music. Check it out.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Shining (special concussion edition of Creature Cast)

We are, of course, referring to the Stanley Kubrick movie, not the anemic made-for-TV film from the 90s.

That Stanley Kubrick's film is a classic of the genre is beyond question. It's successfully scared the crap out of me for years, and each time I return to it I find something new to be frightened of. Instead, I want to talk about a few subjects that come up around the film, specifically the characterization of Wendy Torrance, Jack Nicholson's iconic performance, and the notion that there isn't anything supernatural going on in the Overlook Hotel.

1) The characterization of Wendy Torrance.

There are a whole lotta people who can't stand Wendy Torrance. She's funny looking, she acts like a doormat, and she keeps doing completely illogical things as the situation worsens. She comes off, frankly, as an apologetic wimp, trying to reconcile with her deranged husband as he keeps shelling out abuse on her.

All that stuff made her interesting.

First off, if she was truly a strong woman, she probably would have gotten the fuck out of the relationship ages ago and then we wouldn't have had a story. Second, there's a weird apologetic need horror types have around including the Strong Female Protagonist.

One of the criticisms that swirled around Quarantine was the fact that lead character Angela Vidal wasn't particularly tough or capable. Given that the actress portraying her was also the hard-boiled cop from Dexter, a lot of people were upset that she played the character as weak and confused. But that's precisely how I'd be if I were trapped in an apartment building full of screeching plague victims. I think people's natural reaction to horror is to be horrified, but the standard for female horror protagonists has become characters who treat the supernatural with a mix of terror and annoyance and who are infinitely capable of fighting back.

The re-characterization of Wendy Torrance was one of the big problems I had with the made-for-TV version of The Shining. As played by Rebecca De Mornay, Wendy is too strong, too capable, and would probably have ditched her husband long before he ever set foot in the Overlook. Then again, the TV series also completely removed culpability from Jack Torrance, making him a total slave of the house. Maybe he was a nicer guy in that world, who knows?

In Kubrick's version, Wendy Torrance is an abuse victim to the core. Her self-esteem has been completely eroded, she rationalizes her crazy husband's behavior, and she is high-strung and close to the edge of sanity. It's a painful portrayal to watch, and there are a lot of people who have some weird pathological need to hate that kind of weakness and pass judgment on her, but she was a great character and one of my all-time favorite final girls.

2) Jack Nicholson's performance...

ain't my favorite.

Okay, once he goes full-tilt nutso on Wendy, he gives one of the most iconic performances in history. By that point in the film he's become a cauldron of rage, spousal abuse personified. He's a lot less likable than the Jack Torrance from the novel, who really was a victim of the house's influence. He's pretty much a prick throughout the movie, long before the Overlook gets its claws in him.

Final Girl stated it better than I will, but when Jack begins his descent into madness there's no subtlety to it. We never see him question the visions he's seeing or resist the house's call to murder his family. He goes bug eyed, he licks his lips like the Joker, and he acts like your generic homeless nutjob. The performance is completely over-the-top, which works better late in the movie than in the earlier, quieter scenes.

I could probably make some pointed comparisons to his work in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest but I've got a concussion.

3) What if nothing supernatural is going on in the Overlook?

I don't remember where I first heard this theory, maybe in John McCarty's Movie Psychos and Madmen, but people have occasionally made the argument that nothing supernatural is going on at the Overlook, that the isolation and pre-existing neurosis of the family is creating all the occult occurrences. No one witnesses the same haunting the same way, every character in the hotel undergoes some sort of mental collapse, and all the events that occur come from within the characters.

If there was ever a place to have a complete break from reality, it would be the isolation of the Overlook Hotel. You can imagine the place brimming with life during the tourist season, where there are people filling its vast halls, taking in the breathtaking vistas that Kubrick shows us. It's actually quite a beautiful place. Isolation brings a real sense of menace to all that enclosed space. I've given myself the creeps going through long, luxurious hotel hallways late at night. There's something about the light, the patterns on the floor, and all those silent doors, stretching out into near-infinity that just creeps me right the fuck out. It's not impossible that environments like this would drive a family over the edge.

Obviously, this theory falls apart on close inspection. Both Hallorann and Danny Torrance clearly have some psychic bond, someone had to let Jack out of the pantry after Wendy locks him in there, and Jack Torrance appears in the old group photo at the movie's end. But it doesn't take much effort to shoehorn this particular interpretation of the movie, and I think the story is all the richer for it.

Anyway, that's what I got for you today. Now, cleanse the palette with the best Simpsons parody evah!

Also, please don't drink and drive. You might hit a blogger who NEEDS his brain to work properly.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Creature got into a car accident.

In keeping with my general real world horror/fake horror thing, I got into a big-ass auto accident this week.

The guy was drunk, he smashed into the rear of my car, and he collided with several other vehicles while attempting to flee the scene. I asked the cop that as a peaceful, forgiving, yoga-practicing dude, was it wrong for me to wish death by herpes on the guy. He laughed and said "no comment."

I got off real easy on that one, sustaining a mild concussion, some whiplash, and back spasms. I try to exercise regularly and I don't want to become one of those guys who is always in pain and can't do anything fun.

Lesson: Please please please don't drink and drive. I have an awesome post in-bound about Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, but it may take some time to get to. Right now all I'm capable of doing is watching 60s caper movies starring Michael Caine and going page by painful page through Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted, which I'm not particularly enjoying.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Silent Hill Cosplay

I found this while browsing Kotaku. Apparently some very dedicated cosplayers did an awesome Pyramid Head/Nurse shoot from the Silent Hill series.

I'm a big fan of the Silent Hill games. I'm currently playing through Silent Hill: Homecoming and will probably write some article for your sick amusement. In the meantime, check out the incredible gallery here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Song of Kali by Dan Simmons

I have never been to Calcutta, I've never walked over piles of human waste, I've never been stuck in an ass-to-tits traffic jam caused by a cow, and I've never been cornered by mobs of beggars pressing against me for a handout. I HAVE been to Comic-Con, which is not an entirely dissimilar experience, but the sheer crushing weight of that kind of poverty was beautifully recreated in Dan Simmons' book Song of Kali.

Song of Kali has been on my reading list for a long time, particularly after re-reading Poppy Z. Brite's Calcutta, Lord of Nerves story from the Living Dead anthology. That story was a favorite of mine for its vivid prose and ghastly imagery. She claimed to be inspired by Simmons' work and I decided to check out the source material. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.

I'm inclined to be kindly predisposed to horror. I keep trying to warn y'all that I'm a lousy reviewer because of my tunnel-visioned, fanboy love for this stuff. Hell, I'm typing this review while watching The Gravedancers. Needless to say, I don't expect anyone to really take what I have to say seriously. But while I have loved many a crap novel in my time, I rarely come across anything as beautifully written or as richly detailed as Song of Kali.

In the book, the song of Kali is the personification of all the miserable entropy in the world, and Calcutta is the fetid embodiment of her song. Simmons' book is famous for its vivid depiction of the city's squalor and hopelessness, earning the World Fantasy Award in 1986. The award is well-earned. This book has some of the most vivid and poetic prose I've ever read. I challenge anyone to read the first chapter and not be completely engaged.

The book follows Robert Luzcak, a poet and magazine editor, as he goes to Calcutta at the invitation of a local literary society to pick up a new poetry collection from the presumed-dead poet M. Das. As he explores the city, he finds himself pulled deeper into the (possibly) supernatural events surrounding M. Das and his sinister new work. Eventually Luzcak and his family pay a terrible price for crossing the cult of Kali, in one of the most horrifying final sequences I've ever encountered.

This is not a book that thunders you over and over with gory bodies plopping on the pages. The story unfolds gradually as Luzcak slowly delves into the mystery behind M. Das's work. The easy pacing is a blessing to the story. Reading the book feels like sinking into a warm bath of Good.

Now, while I greatly enjoyed the book, I do have to relate an experience I had while reading it. I work for a company with a lot of Indian immigrant employees and while I was riding an elevator with my nose stuck in the book, a couple of guys got on the elevator with me. They took a glance at the cover and looked at me with a cocked eyebrow.

I felt a bit self-conscious after that encounter. The book is not particularly kind to Calcutta or certain aspects of Indian culture. It has a certain white-man-looks-down vibe about it in places. I'm actually very curious to find out what an Indian person thought of the story. Were there elements that they could relate to, or did they view it as a writer trying to make a statement about evil by demonizing another culture? On the other hand, Simmons begins chapters with quotes from famous Indian poets describing Calcutta in equally inelegant terms. Curiouser and curiouser.

Anyway, go check it out. It's one helluva piece of literature.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Interview with Dead Space Producer Rich Briggs

Rich Briggs
Electronic Arts – Redwood Shores

In his role as Producer, Rich is responsible for the execution and quality of scripted events for the Dead Space franchise. He also manages and reports findings from all internal and external focus groups, which are used to evaluate the overall game experience and test various features.

Rich joined EA in 2003 as a Senior Product Manager in the Marketing department. He worked on and launched a number of successful franchises including The Sims, Battlefield, and The Simpsons Game. He previously was a Product Manager at SEGA and worked on several franchises including Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star Online, Panzer Dragoon, and Jet Set Radio. Rich graduated from Georgetown University with a BSBA in Marketing. An avid gamer since the age of five, Rich can often be found saving the world at 2am after his family is asleep.

Q: Horror is a very demanding genre for video game creators to work in. How do the developers balance the need to scare your audience with the need to create an immersive and entertaining game experience?

A: With Dead Space, those elements are intertwined. We could not deliver the type of horror and scares that we did without having an immersive experience. By having no HUD, high-quality sound, and top-notch graphics, we create an atmosphere that is completely immersive. There’s nothing on the screen saying “You are playing a game” or distracting you from the world. We draw you in, and the horror unfolds from there. In addition, a lot of the horror relies on the sound, and the lighting, and the atmosphere. Once you have all of those pieces put together, it becomes an entertaining experience.

Q: The game features “strategic dismemberment” where the player uses industrial tools to attack specific body parts of the Necromorphs. Was this the starting idea behind the game’s development, and how was the game’s interface built around this concept?

A: Strategic dismemberment was one of our core designs from the beginning. We wanted to challenge the convention of the head shot being the Holy Grail in combat. In fact, in Dead Space a head shot will often make an enemy go into a berserk rage. Our enemies keep coming after you, and have different attack states based on which limbs are missing. Some enemies even penalize you for shooting them in the wrong place, like the Pregnant which releases the Swarm if you shoot its stomach. In Dead Space you literally have to tear enemies limb from limb to make sure they are dead.

Q: The game’s sound design is incredible, especially in scenes where Isaac creeps through the vacuum of space. What was the design philosophy around the audio effects and the music?

A: We have a very talented audio team, and they came up with several innovative ways to make the audio one of the scariest parts of the game. Our “fear-emitter” tech ensured that enemies could have those great audio stingers when you saw them, but it didn’t ruin the moment of one creeping up behind you. The audio really plays with your mind, making you think things are there when they are not, and making you think there’s nothing there when there actually is.

Q: The USG Ishimura is an incredible “haunted house” environment. How did the developers approach this element of the project?

A: The Ishimura was designed to look like a place that people lived in. After all, it was a mining operation the size of a small city. Taking normal settings like a lounge deck, a medical deck, even a Hydroponics deck where plants are growing, and then turning them into the aftermath of a slaughter provided a foundation for creating environments that made people feel very tense. We also made sure we had corridors that were very claustrophobic, and areas with dark corners you couldn’t see into. Finally, little tricks like modeling some of our lighting fixtures after dentist lights made people uncomfortable on a subconscious level.

Q: Following the release of Resident Evil 5, there has been some backlash in the horror community about how survival horror games are becoming less about the scares and more about the action/wish-fulfillment aspect of gaming. How did the developers walk the line between making the character vulnerable enough to be threatened, but strong enough to fight back?

A: We tried to make Isaac a character you could care about. He isn’t a space marine, he is a normal guy who is trapped in a very bad situation, and he has to do whatever it takes to survive. Making him an Engineer gave us a nice rationale for why he could create his weapons and suit abilities from tools. This made him capable in combat, but not overpowered. A lot of time and testing went into determining how quickly he ran, how fast he turned, how strong his melee attack was, etc. We had to find a balance in many areas so combat was fun and rewarding, but also tense and frantic.

Q: As far as in-genre inspiration, what horror stories or films inspired the design of Dead Space? What elements of these works did your team attempt to incorporate into the game?

A: We’re big fans of everything Horror and Sci-Fi related, and took inspiration from several different places. Event Horizon and the Aliens movies are near the top of the list, but we also tried to put our own personal stamp on the game. Strategic dismemberment, Isaac’s suit and our no-HUD approach, and Zero-Gravity are all examples of ways we tried to innovate. One thing we learned from watching a lot of horror movies was that scaring people is all about timing and foreshadowing. We paid careful attention to these factors as we set up our horror moments.

Q: Electronic Arts had Italian horror legend Dario Argento perform the role of the doomed Dr. Kyne in the Italian version of the game. How did the developers approach him and what did he bring to the project?

(Chris Brown, European Product Manager) A: Dario Argento, probably the most popular and discussed horror movie director in Italy, was the first choice for Dead Space. It is so high quality and deep, it makes you immediately think about the cinema industry and its masterpieces as a comparison in spite of other horror video games. Involving Dario in the game was the right move to link Dead Space to mainstream media, adding a twist of “traditional art” to a product that deserved to be perceived as the ultimate horror experience by the general Italian public. Dario Argento, definitely not a passionate video gamer and a newcomer to the industry, enjoyed a terrifying game experience with Dead Space; he lent his decennial experience and actively contributed in defining the character of Dr. Kyne, adding his very own suggestions about the overall tone and style of the voice acting.

In his own words “Dead Space truly captures the essence of fear in an entertainment medium. Not only is it the most terrifying game I’ve ever played, but it’s also one that all fans of horror will appreciate.”

Q: Some of the Necromorph incarnations, particularly the corrupted infants, were particularly grotesque and shocking. Were there any constraints against going too far with the monsters or the mayhem or were there any thematic issues you dreamed up in the early stage of development that were deemed too extreme?

A: One of the great things during the development process was that we did not have any limits imposed on us. We were given free reign to execute our vision, and one of the benefits of that were some horrific enemy designs. There were a few lines that we did not cross, but we made those decisions as a development team and not as a result of an external mandate.

Q: Some of my favorite scares involved the insane survivors Isaac ran across in his journey. If the players could get into their minds, what would they see?

A: A lot of red haze, a lot of blood, and a nightmarish jumble of gruesome images. The survivors witnessed a massacre of epic proportions, and were unfortunate enough to live through an experience that drove them insane. Seeing this first-hand would haunt your every waking moment for the rest of your life.

Q: Dead Space has one of the best jump-out-of-your-seat ending cut-scenes in horror gaming history. It’s also very ambiguous. Can you give us fans some hint to Isaac’s end? Has he finally gone insane, or did he really reunite with his girlfriend once and for all?

A: Thanks for the compliment, I’m glad you enjoyed it. We tried for one last scare to reward those who finished the game. Whether Isaac is insane is definitely a great discussion topic. Kendra certainly thought he was, but I guess her opinion doesn’t matter much anymore.

Q: What’s next for the Dead Space franchise, in particular the upcoming Wii title Dead Space: Extraction? What new features will Wii players encounter, and what secrets will they explore in the Dead Space universe?

A: Dead Space Extraction is going to give players a completely new perspective on the horror that occurred before the original Dead Space. It’s being developed from the ground up for the Wii, which means it has gameplay geared to take advantage of the platform and offers a brand new way to survive the Dead Space universe. It’s shipping this fall and we’re very excited about bringing the Dead Space universe to another platform.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Amityville 2: The Possession

Watching Amityville 2: The Possession was like listening to a mix tape full of nothing but cover bands. Nothing was particularly original and everything was done better by someone else, but it's still surprisingly entertaining.

The house does all the typical haunted-house shit. Blood still pours from faucets, doors still slam shut and plates still flies off of shelves. There's the priest, struggling with his doubt in the face of absolute supernatural horror. There's the whispered voices and the mysterious chamber hidden under the stairs. And there's a teenager possessed by what appears to be deadites, flying around the walls and screaming blasphemies at the poor inhabitants. There was even the flying demon's eye view camera straight from Evil Dead. All this spookshow stuff is almost quaint next to the real horror of the movie, which is an almost unbearable atmosphere of abuse and repression.

Even before the Montellis take their first step into the house, it's clear that the family is barely holding together. Most of the animosity centers around the father, a toady little brute fond of guns and military terminology. Combined with a milquetoast, constantly apologizing wife and you have scenes of familial disharmony more chilling and uncomfortable than any z-grade slasher flick. There's one awesome scene early in the movie where the family is sitting down to dinner and a mirror inexplicably drops. Their first reaction, rather than alarm, is to quickly blame one another for the faulty nail. Yet underneath all the screaming we see the quiet teenage boy slowly falling under the house's spell.

So it turns out that the house was always fucked up, that the Montelli's murder was only a link in the chain, not the start. The murderer isn't even responsible for his actions. He goes through the house, methodically executing his loved ones, wearing a demon-face. If the movie is guilty of anything, it's that the narrative loses focus. If the filmmakers centered on the horror of the possessed boy as he corrupted and murdered his family, this could have been a great movie. Instead, the movie divides its attention with the family and the doubting priest, a character done better in The Exorcist.

Anyway, there's a lot of neat stuff in this movie. The cinematography is amazing, and captures the quiet discomfort of the unholy home better than most haunted house flicks. For me, one of the scariest images in the movie was a shot of the kitchen table after everyone had gone to bed. There's something creepy in the way the image is framed, with the silence and the stillness having a predatory quality to it. It takes talent to pull off that level of subtlety and the movie pulls it off.

So, yeah, this movie was a pleasant surprise. If this stuff doesn't appeal to you, there's incest. Lots and lots of creepy incest. Enjoy!

This post is my humble contribution to the Final Girl Film Club, of which I'd contributed one other review so far. If this your first turn in my carousel, welcome. Fakeademic horror essays are my shtick, and I do it pretty well. Stick around, we've got all kinds of neat stuff in the future.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Joshua Hoffine-Horror Photography

In my merchant-caravan journeys around the interwebs, I came across an Io9 article about horror photographer Joshua Hoffine. His work absolutely blows me away. I like his imagination, his sense of style, and the raw childhood terror of his work.

Go check out his website.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Last week, Io9 editor Annalee Newitz wrote an article called Supernatural is Midwestern Gothic For The Google Generation. I'm a huge fan of the show, but I never really connected to the internet community. I also always assumed that the show was teetering on the brink of cancellation, being a limited-interest kinda story. I'm happy someone on such a large site is championing the show.

Having said that, there was a lot of the article I disagreed with. Chief among which is the notion that the show is purely Midwestern Gothic. First off, the term smacks of buzz word, especially if you add "the Google generation" afterward. While Sam and Dean's misadventures are primarily contained in what we elite coastal lefties arrogantly call "flyover land" I think the primary appeal of the show is the quintessentially American idea of rugged independence that Sam and Dean embody.

Newitz is right, the Winchester Bros. are not button down FBI agents or stodgy academics with endless resources. They aren't even particularly well equipped or backed by any monolithic support system. They are outsiders and outlaws, pursuing their quest on the wrong side of the law but guided by an unrelenting moral code. Swap that bitching muscle car for a couple of horses and you've got a Western.

Which is why I have a huge problem with the whole Heaven/Hell storyline.

The Winchester brothers, and the men and women who support their quest, are fiercely independent, down-to-earth people. Except for one or two glaring inconsistencies, they also don't make compromises or buddy up with the forces of darkness, BtVS-style. Their self-reliance is a huge part of the character's appeal. And they lose it every time the demons take center stage.

Okay, granted, there needed to be some kind of metaplot going on. And I liked the way they handled the mysteries of the first two seasons. But once the demons started showing up, all with the same smirking I-Know-Something-You-Don't shtick, they quickly became obnoxious. Suddenly the show revolves less and less around these two awesome characters and more about a factional conflict between two unpleasant groups.

Sure, as an atheist I appreciate the fact that the angels aren't any better than the demons. The show has been pretty good at keeping the supernatural hostile and terrifying. At the same time, the show becomes less and less about Sam and Dean and more about this big overwhelming metaplot batting them around around like a cat with a string.

I gripe, but I'll still take Supernatural over any other pop-geek TV show any day. The writing is really good, the characterization is incredible, the show has a strong sense of humor, and it can scare the pants off of you when the chips are down.

Most of the monsters in the show aren't particularly new. There are vampires and werewolves and cannibal hillbillies and ghosts and things like that. Most of these have been in different places, for better or worse, over and over again and they can easily be twisted into self-parody, but Supernatural makes them work. The creatures Sam and Dean face are genuinely fucking terrifying and the show's creators never apologize or neuter their creations. As a guy who has been burned by TV horror before, I can't tell you how refreshing that level of integrity is.

The heart and soul of the show is of course Sam and Dean Winchester. And I have come to adore these characters.

I got my own brother issues, believe me, and I relate pretty well to their occasionally troubled-occasionally sweet relationship. I tend to identify more with the sociable, burdened-with-responsibility Dean than the tormented, mopey Sam but either character makes a pretty good mirror for my life, if my life involved hunting monsters while looking like an A&F model. They're not superheroes, they're not boring police-types (you really gonna tell me there's a lot of difference between the cast of CSI, NCIS, and Law and Order?) and they aren't vacuous airheads. They fail, they get angry, they lie to each other, they break people's hearts, and they do the best they can in an impossible job.

I admire that.

Feel Trailer

Hey all. Apologies for the sporadic posting. I've got houseguests for the next couple of weeks and I can't go snorkeling in the tenebrous waters of horror as often. My next big post will probably be my essay on Amityville 2 for the Final Girl Film Club.

Anyway, I was cruising around Kotaku earlier today and I came across the trailer for Feel. According to the article the game is being overseen by Grudge director Takashi Shimizu.

Not much to go off of so far. The brief glimpses of the gameplay certainly LOOK creepy enough and The Grudge/Ju-On are a couple of my favorite movies. Plus, using the Wii remote as a flashlight control could be very cool.

I'll keep an eye on this one. No need to thank me. Part of the job.