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Monday, August 26, 2013


2013 (a Scott Stewart film)
Sometimes the key to being terrified is who is watching a movie with you.  With me as I watched this film, Dark Skies,  about a family under the stress of unknown and unbelievable unnatural forces, was a woman who had experienced as a child 'missing time' and a possible encounter with aliens.  Certain scenes in the film highlighted her unconscious reactions and that added a bit to the movie night.

Watching my friend, her hands subconsciously pressing into each other in a nervous, anxious manner, as the young boy in the movie rides his bike and senses 'something' high above him in the sky, past the towering trees that seem to lean down towards him.

The way she moved, as if unable to  get comfortable, as family members were discovered outside of the locked and alarm secure house.  Their haunted gaze as they stared beyond the dark skies above them were mirrored on her face. It was clear the film was a little too accurate in conveying certain atmospheric elements. 

The film was gripping and reflected a layered approach of a family in turmoil from within and from without. Kerri Russell is superb and Jake Brennan is a good foil as the leaders of a family on the verge of economic collapse being threatened by something worse than a bank recall.  

The unseen threat from powerful forces is a metaphor for all contemporary life but also is the classic storyline of the alien abduction myths.  The film was well acted, skillfully directed and had a good dose of restraint. This kept it from being a caricature movie about "UFOs" and moved it into the realm of the horror genre. The building stress, the spiral from the normal world, and growing sense of your own lack of power are at times tangible.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Frankenstein ala Koontz

Finally...I have finished the series of five books about the monster Frankenstein by Dean Koontz. This sage of  the war against humanity by the mad, or just bad?, doctor may seem old hat. A well worn path but not in this author's deft hands and mind. Yet, there is the mad doctor, his creation(s) and a struggle between good and bad.  Leading the defense in the ongoing war against humanity is Deucalion, the doctors first creation.  Scarred in both body and soul he transcended both to become more human than his creator...

Koontz totally reenvisions the mythic story, adding believable scientific elements and horrifyingly possible , even inevitable, social elements.   There is true horror here. There are characters so unique they stay in the mind long after the book has been closed.

The books (in order) are Prodigal Son, City of Night, Dead and Alive, Lost Souls and The Dead Town.

Get them all, lock the doors, take the phone off the hook and settle in for a marathon book reading weekend. Oh, and don't forget to close the shades and lock the doors.  Just in case.