Saturday, October 16, 2021

Inhuman Kiss

Inhuman Kiss is a 2019 Thai horror film about a woman who is a krasue, a woman by day and a demon by night. This is a Southeast Asian folk tale figure. I watched it on Netflix.

trailer:


Far East Film concludes,
All in all, this is a high quality story of ghosts among humans, finding a new approach to a time-honoured horror story. Think of it, perhaps, as Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands meeting James Cameron’s Titanic.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Boys in the Trees

Boys in the Trees is a 2016 horror/dark fantasy Australian film, a coming-of-age movie with bullying elements.



The Guardian says, "it’s a film exploring childhood regret: in particular, how petty schoolyard games can fracture friendships." Horror News says, "The story and characters are so intriguing, it’s really easy to get lost in this film. This can be credited to the beautiful writing style of Nicholas Verso which allows the dialogue and style of the film to flow effortlessly."

Most Rotten Tomatoes critics like it.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Alice, Sweet Alice

Alice, Sweet Alice is a 1976 horror film. This was Brooke Shields' film debut.

I watched it on tubi tv. It's also on Daily Motion:



Slant Magazine has a review. Dread Central concludes, "Alice, Sweet Alice is a wonderful low-budget horror flick made with a lot of care and thought. If it weren’t for a bit of rough acting every now and then, I’d be tempted to call it a masterpiece." DVD Talk says, "It's a film that rewards repeated viewings." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 82%.





Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Black Cat Mansion

Black Cat Mansion is a 1958 Japanese horror film, an atmospheric ghost story. It was never released theatrically in the U.S. and was never dubbed in English, but the video embedded below has English subtitles. It's just over an hour long.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

The Monkey's Paw

The Monkey's Paw is a 1902 short story by W.W. Jacobs. You can read it online here or listen to it read to you at the bottom of this post. It begins,
Part I

Without, the night was cold and wet, but in the small parlour of Laburnum villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly. Father and son were at chess; the former, who possessed ideas about the game involving radical chances, putting his king into such sharp and unnecessary perils that it even provoked comment from the white-haired old lady knitting placidly by the fire.

"Hark at the wind," said Mr. White, who, having seen a fatal mistake after it was too late, was amiably desirous of preventing his son from seeing it.

"I'm listening," said the latter grimly surveying the board as he stretched out his hand. "Check."

"I should hardly think that he's come tonight, " said his father, with his hand poised over the board.

"Mate," replied the son.

"That's the worst of living so far out," balled Mr. White with sudden and unlooked-for violence; "Of all the beastly, slushy, out of the way places to live in, this is the worst. Path's a bog, and the road's a torrent. I don't know what people are thinking about. I suppose because only two houses in the road are let, they think it doesn't matter."

"Never mind, dear," said his wife soothingly; "perhaps you'll win the next one."

Mr. White looked up sharply, just in time to intercept a knowing glance between mother and son. the words died away on his lips, and he hid a guilty grin in his thin grey beard.

"There he is," said Herbert White as the gate banged to loudly and heavy footsteps came toward the door.

The old man rose with hospitable haste and opening the door, was heard condoling with the new arrival. The new arrival also condoled with himself, so that Mrs. White said, "Tut, tut!" and coughed gently as her husband entered the room followed by a tall, burly man, beady of eye and rubicund of visage.

"Sergeant-Major Morris, " he said, introducing him.

The Sergeant-Major took hands and taking the proffered seat by the fire, watched contentedly as his host got out whiskey and tumblers and stood a small copper kettle on the fire.

At the third glass his eyes got brighter, and he began to talk, the little family circle regarding with eager interest this visitor from distant parts, as he squared his broad shoulders in the chair and spoke of wild scenes and doughty deeds; of wars and plagues and strange peoples.

"Twenty-one years of it," said Mr. White, nodding at his wife and son. "When he went away he was a slip of a youth in the warehouse. Now look at him."

"He don't look to have taken much harm." said Mrs. White politely.

"I'd like to go to India myself," said the old man, just to look around a bit, you know."

"Better where you are," said the Sergeant-Major, shaking his head. He put down the empty glass and sighning softly, shook it again.

"I should like to see those old temples and fakirs and jugglers," said the old man. "what was that that you started telling me the other day about a monkey's paw or something, Morris?"

"Nothing." said the soldier hastily. "Leastways, nothing worth hearing."

"Monkey's paw?" said Mrs. White curiously.

"Well, it's just a bit of what you might call magic, perhaps." said the Sergeant-Major off-handedly.

His three listeners leaned forward eagerly. The visitor absent-mindedly put his empty glass to his lips and then set it down again. His host filled it for him again.

"To look at," said the Sergeant-Major, fumbling in his pocket, "it's just an ordinary little paw, dried to a mummy."

He took something out of his pocket and proffered it. Mrs. White drew back with a grimace, but her son, taking it, examined it curiously.

"And what is there special about it?" inquired Mr. White as he took it from his son, and having examined it, placed it upon the table.

"It had a spell put on it by an old Fakir," said the Sergeant-Major, "a very holy man. He wanted to show that fate ruled people's lives, and that those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow. He put a spell on it so that three separate men could each have three wishes from it."

His manners were so impressive that his hearers were conscious that their light laughter had jarred somewhat.

"Well, why don't you have three, sir?" said Herbert White cleverly.

The soldier regarded him the way that middle age is wont to regard presumptuous youth."I have," he said quietly, and his blotchy face whitened.

"And did you really have the three wishes granted?" asked Mrs. White.

"I did," said the sergeant-major, and his glass tapped against his strong teeth.

"And has anybody else wished?" persisted the old lady.

"The first man had his three wishes. Yes," was the reply, "I don't know what the first two were, but the third was for death. That's how I got the paw."

His tones were so grave that a hush fell upon the group.
...



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Monday, October 11, 2021

P (2005)

P is a 2005 Thai-language horror feature film directed by Paul Spurrier. A young orphan who was taught magic by her grandmother in rural Thailand finds her life getting darker as she uses the magic in the city. I watched it on Netflix. It's gone from there, but it looks like Vudu has it for free.

trailer:


Eye for Film calls it "too grim and depressing to be fun and too stylised and sanitised to be taken seriously?"

Sunday, October 10, 2021

The Witch (2015)

The Witch is an award-winning 2015 horror film. It takes place in 1630s Puritan New England. Those woods are a looming, ominous threat; and witches are real and are not wise healers. I watched it on Netflix, though it's not still there.

trailer:


Roger Ebert's site gives it 3.5 out of 4 stars, calls it "consistently engrossing". Rotten Tomatoes has a consensus critics rating of 90%.

Saturday, October 09, 2021

The Lady of the House of Love


The Lady of the House of Love is a short story by Angela Carter. You can read it online here. It begins,
At last the revenants became so troublesome the peasants abandoned the village and it fell solely into the possession of subtle and vindictive inhabitants who manifest their presences by shadows that fall almost imperceptibly awry, too many shadows, even at midday, shadows that have no source in anything visible; by the sound, sometimes, of sobbing in a derelict bedroom where a cracked mirror suspended from a wall does not reflect a presence; by a sense of unease that will afflict the traveler unwise enough to pause to drink from the fountain in the square that still gushes spring water from a faucet stuck in a stone lion’s mouth. A cat prowls in a weedy garden; he grins and spits, arches his back, bounces away from an intangible on four fear-stiffened legs. Now all shun the village below the ch√Ęteau in which the beautiful somnambulist helplessly perpetuates her ancestral crimes.

Wearing an antique bridal gown, the beautiful queen of the vampires sits all alone in her dark, high house under the eyes of the portraits of her demented and atrocious ancestors, each one of whom, through her, projects a baleful posthumous existence; she counts out the Tarot cards, ceaselessly construing a constellation of possibilities as if the random fall of the cards on the red plush tablecloth before her could precipitate her from her chill, shuttered room into a country of perpetual summer and obliterate the perennial sadness of a girl who is both death and the maiden.

Friday, October 08, 2021

The Others

The Others is a 2001 English-language Spanish gothic horror film. It's a haunted house mystery and stars Nicole Kidman. This is one of my favorites.

trailer:



Roger Ebert says the director creates "a languorous, dreamy atmosphere". Rotten Tomatoes has a consensus critics score of 83%.

Thursday, October 07, 2021

The Dead One

The Dead One (aka Blood of the Zombie!) is a 1961 horror film. It takes place on a Louisiana plantation where cousins -one a businessman, one a voodoo practitioner- are fighting over control of the family land. Long thought lost, it was rediscovered in 2002. I'm thinking we wouldn't have missed much if it'd been left undiscovered. I didn't finish it. You can watch it online at Plex.

trailer: