Happy Halloween, y’all! I hope everyone has fantastically spooky plans for this exciting Monday night, or if not, that you at least got your spoop in this weekend.
In the spirit of All Hallows Read, I figured I’d use this post to recommend a scary book. I unfortunately ended up taking this duty too seriously, and ended up reading a book that was just a little beyond my spook limits. It’s cool, though. I’ll sleep again eventually.
The Call by Peadar O’Guilin piqued my interest despite my inability to handle horror because it wasn’t generic horror—it was fairy-based horror. I’ll read pretty much anything that puts a dark twist on fairy lore, so I dove in headfirst.
Vague spoilers and a trigger warning for extreme body horror after the jump.
It’s almost Halloween, which means it is time for me to over-analyze spooky movies!The movie The Nightmare Before Christmas came out in 1993 and became an instant holiday classic. Recently I was re-watching the movie and was struck in particular by Sally and her relationship with Dr. Finklestein, her creator. Sally has very little say in her own life and is constantly poisoning Dr. Finklestein so that she can leave and be able to go about the town and participate in daily life. Dr. Finklestein created Sally to be his companion and insists that she needs to do what he says because he created her and gave her life.
This conflict is just played off as funny in this kids’ movie, but it’s an interesting question on a variety of levels.
Well, friends, it’s already the 22nd of Halloween October: leaves are changing and pumpkins are everywhere, so if the urge to watch Halloween movies has not kicked in yet, you may want to see a doctor. The classic Halloween entertainment lexicon for adults is comprised largely of slasher films like Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The genre is comprised mostly of sexually promiscuous teenagers or young adults—especially women—being pursued and violently killed by a humanoid horror of some kind. While there are a few good eggs amongst slasher films, the shrieking blood-and-guts aspect is not really my cup of tea, and for anyone of like mind who still wants to live Halloween entertainment to the fullest, I propose digging up some spooky children’s movies from the late 80’s and early 90’s, because they have aged better than you think.
For your Halloween pleasure, I am providing my Top 5 most terrifying female villains in geek TV shows. These are the women who you would not want to meet in a dark alley or in a brightly lit park, because no matter what, they’ll probably fucking kill you and laugh while they do it. Why only five? Well, sadly there aren’t as many female villains as there are male ones, especially in TV shows, and more often than not, they are shown to be just vain and petty rather than pure terrifying evil. For this list I chose ladies who seem to legitimately enjoy being evil and show little to no remorse for their actions. This does not necessarily mean that they have less depth or are less interesting; they are just the female characters you love to hate. I am also only sticking to one villainess per TV show. So with that in mind, let’s begin!
Trigger warnings for mentions of rape, torture, and abuse after the jump.
I wanted to offer all of you a horror movie today. As one of the horror film lovers on this site—though my tastes tend towards the eye-roll worthy, admittedly—I feel that is it my duty to do so, especially in the spirit of this month. However, I’ve come to a realization that outside of a highly interesting-looking documentary on Quidditch (the sport of Harry Potter fame re-crafted for Muggle players) and a horror film about a Ouija board summoning that looks hilariously awful (like, Paranormal Activity 4 awful), there are just no movies I’d bother recommending. As such, I’m going to rec a film that’s already had its day in the sun but we’ve unfortunately missed talking about until now.
Although we here in America are getting ready to celebrate our Independence Day, my mind is focused on the future. Not so far in the future that we suddenly have hovercrafts (though, that would be really cool), but the not so distant future where we’re celebrating one of my favorite holidays, Halloween. What can I say? I’ve never been a timely sort of person.
Last year when I was frantically working on my Master’s Thesis (yes the caps are necessary) for grad school, I turned on Netflix and put on the movie ParaNorman. I just wanted something on in the background that would be enjoyable, but wouldn’t distract me too much. I had wanted to see this movie for a while and felt that now was the time. Well, I didn’t work on much of my thesis that night, but I did watch one of the greatest children’s movies that I have ever seen in my life.
As I’ve shown before, I take my horror movies pretty seriously, and I am especially concerned with the portrayal of the characters therein. One of the most important characters in a horror movie is the protagonist who will end up in the final confrontation with the killer. Because this character is almost always female, we call this character the Final Girl.
But what does the term “Final Girl” imply? She is the last one left alive. This doesn’t really imply any level of strength or skill on her part, merely that she has kept breathing longer than the rest of the victims. We also have our protagonist referred to as “girl”, despite the fact that she is most likely a legal adult, which puts her in a position of immaturity and weakness. The title doesn’t even really state that she will triumph over her adversary and still be alive at the end of the movie; it simply says that she is the last in a line of victims.
A less-used term, however, is that of the Horror Heroine. There’s not even a TVTropes page for such a character; she’s that rare. This term implies much more agency in the character. This is not someone who simply does not die; this is someone who is victorious over her adversaries. The reason this term is less common is probably because this character is less common. It’s very easy to make a Final Girl: she simply has to be female and survive between 85-100% of the movie. A Horror Heroine, however, has to be an actual character with strength and determination.
Below the cut I’ve compiled a list of some of the characteristics of each archetype and a few noteworthy examples of each.
Ironically, I find horror movies about possession and the devil to be one of the most pro-Catholic type of movies, even if they are a bit misguided. In the real world, many people are uncomfortable when the Pope, or any religious figure, says something about evil, or, specifically, the devil. Yet they seem relatively comfortable with the idea that if there ever is a real need for an exorcism, the Catholic Church can handle it. Many people try to make a belief in demons or the devil out to be superstitious and silly. I personally know some Catholics who find it embarrassing that the church still believes in such things. But whether or not you believe in demons and the devil, I think all people fear a loss of control and the unknown. And so the idea of a religious institution that battles these fears can be pretty appealing, even to those people who don’t believe.
As a religious person, what most aggravates me is how wrong exorcism movies tend to be in their portrayal of the battle between good and evil.