Monday, December 19, 2011

Neil Gaiman's Dark and Festive Poem

39 Degrees North Presents: Nicholas Was from 39 Degrees North on Vimeo.

Make that Neil Gaiman's dark, festive and animated poem and you'll have made one more tiny step towards truth. Oh, and do click that play button on the video posted above and enjoy that wonderful thing Morella discovered, for it is indeed a thing of macabre, lyrical and gloriously animated beauty. It might also help make them kids cry a bit.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

American HORROR Story

It took me months to get my hands on it, but now that I have finally done so, I don't think I'll ever let go!

Once I got wind of American Horror Story I was mortified to sit and watch because I was up to here with all those second class series claiming to belong to the horror genre. So it obviously took me too long to decide to actually give it a go.

I wasn't expecting much; actually I wasn't expecting anything, so imagine my surprise when I found myself watching one episode after the other. It was daytime when I began and way past midnight when I switched off my DVD player!

Creepy, disturbing, violent, haunting, unexpected, you either love it or love to hate it, but either way there is no forgetting it!

It is a first for me, waiting impatiently for the next episode of any series. But don't take my word for it, seeing is believing so I will be waiting to hear from you, are you lovers or haters?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

We all grew up listening under our covers, time and time again, to the same bed time stories. Fairy tales about misunderstood monsters, love scorned witches, hungry wolves and all kinds of dark and troubled creatures, and battles between good versus evil in which good always prevailed.

What if not all of those stories were, indeed, stories? What if there was not only a little, but a lot of truth in them? What if those fairy tales were not the end? What if there was a whole world out there that we have just chosen to forget or even not see? That's a very interesting notion, don't you think?

That is exactly what the brand new series "Grimm" is all about. Taking all those twisted villains who haunted our childhood dreams, giving them not only life, but also a hold of our adult nightmares.

Though it is too soon to decide whether I like it or not, I must say that I am intrigued. . .

Monday, October 31, 2011

Fuck Vampires!

Discovering quality writers in the vast cyberspaces of, err, cyberspace isn't the easiest of tasks and that, dear readers, is where Chamber of Horrors will come in handy by suggesting you read the excellent Fuck Vampires by Jonas Kyratzes. It's a rare short story that attempts to bring horror into the age of the crisis and writing much more about it would only result in spoilers. All you need to know is that it's short, innovative and excellently written. Oh, and very appropriate for our times too.

Monday, September 19, 2011

They' re back!

How long has it been since you saw a good vampire movie? It's been ages for me! Nothing really seemed to quench my thirst for those adorable bloodthirsty beasts. Besides, what has always been a disappointment was the way vampires had been portrayed those past few years.

Why are they always presented with human emotions?

Why is there always an inner struggle to remain as human as possible?

Well, I'm happy to say that I have finally seen a film that treats vampires as it should. Beastly, primitive, relentless! Creatures with only survival in their mind, no love, no fear looking at humans like they ought to ... like dinner!

Based on a series of Korean comics, the Priest finally sets the record straight - they're fast, they're ugly, they're hungry and most of all inhuman. And, yes, they are indeed the vampires.

Far into the future humans are restricted to cities surounded by gigantic walls. The church is the absolute authority. After thousands of years of war between vampires and humans our species has finally eliminated the threat ... or so we thought. The ulimate weapon, humans with extrordinary powers recruited by the church as children and bred for the sole purpose of distraction. The order of the priests, as it is called, is finally dismantled once all vampires were gone, but is it really so?

I know that most of the film critics do not recommend it - but what do they know?

Friday, September 9, 2011

We are not quite dead yet

In fact we can actually post. See the lovely and lovingly animated short movie posted above? It's all the proof one would ever need. And it's all about Lovecraft's horrors too. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Remember Friday the 13th?

Lately I've been thinking a lot about when I was younger. Maybe it's the summer, the heat or even overexposure ti the sun always making me feel reminiscent; whatever the reason I found myself thinking about years past. I tried to remember what were the series I used to look forward to watching and then I remembered!

Every Friday night at about 11 o'clock me and my brother would get under our covers, switch on the TV and wait impatiently for this:

"Lewis Vendredi made a deal with the devil to sell cursed antiques. But he broke the pact, and it cost him his soul. Now, his niece Micki, and her cousin Ryan have inherited the store... and with it, the curse. Now they must get everything back and the real terror begins."

Those were the words introducing every single one of the episodes, setting the mood for what was about to follow.

The two cousins were left with the task of collecting every-single-one of the cursed objects. Event hough their powers seemingly helped those who posses them to prosper and avenge, their real purpose was to collect both the souls of the innocent and those of their less-well-meaning owners.

An American-Canadian production, Friday the 13th was beautifully made, won numerous awards for its visual and graphical effects and was nominated for a lot more over the years. Its great storyline -always with a pinch of humor- sometimes toyed with what was acceptable for network television, thus making it an even more interesting show!

So if you are already hating summer and the absence of anything evilish on TV, then by all means give it a go and I guarantee you won't regret it!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Cube

Imagine waking up completely bewildered amongst people you had never set eyes upon till then. Confined in a place that could only be described as a white room similar to nothing you had ever seen, with no doors, no windows, no traces of escape.

No-one seemed important, yet everyone was special in his or her own way. Trying to make sense of it all, trying to comprehend the aim of the game, trying to make people work together to increase the chances (if any...) of survival.

Only one would make it to the end. Only one could feel the sweet touch of fresh air upon his face. Everyone else is doomed. Everyone else would just be used as pawns to help you check-mate. Your king should be kept safe. You should be kept safe, that's all that matters.

I won't be spoiling anything else for you. I just hope I've set the mood for watching what I consider one of the top films of it's time. Let me say this though: there is no greater monster than man himself.

Once upon a time, long before films like SAW were even considered, there was the CUBE...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Miss Lovecraft teaches Sex Ed

John Cleese's sex ed class in the Meaning of Life remains of course unsurpassed, but the short film posted above does indeed come close. And does go for the rather original Lovecraftian mood too, but I guess I'd better not spoil it for you. All you have to do to watch the truly odd Late Bloomer by Craig McNeill is press the play button. It wont take long dears... 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Whisperer in the Darkness - a review

It's not everyday one gets to attend a worldwide premiere, but it seems the stars were perfectly aligned and I happily got to watch The Whisperer in the Darkness in a way I never expected to: in a proper movie-theater. And yes, I am indeed referring to the brand new, black and white cinematic take one the eponymous, brilliant and quite famous story by H.P. Lovecraft, that the ever-creative HPLHS has revealed at the SFF-Rated festival.

The movie, filmed to resemble a high-profile 1930s production, follows Lovecraft's story pretty faithfully and quite imaginatively, but only up to a certain point. Up to this particular point the movie is lovely indeed. The atmosphere works, the actors are more talented than your average Hollywood fare, the music is haunting, the special effects feel delightfully retro, the film's pace is successful and deeply lovecraftian, the directing is really good, the necessary mood is conveyed and everything feels old, dark and very mysterious indeed, having me believe I'm watching a true horror masterpiece. A movie better than HPLHS's very own, very excellent and very silent Call of Cthulhu

Alas, this was not to be the case. After said  admittedly vaguely defined point (sometime after the first 35-40 minutes in the movie, to be more precise) The Whisperer in the Darkness choses to drive madly into the realm of silly action, in what can only be described as an ill-advised attempt to ape mainstream movies. It obviously fails, while succeeding at alienating its intended audience. A fair and marxian verdict would thus be: close but no cigar

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Hammer Studios Documentary

Hammer's very British and very brilliant Hammer Horror movies are, as all of us are quite aware, some of the most iconic and timeless series of scary movies ever produced. So, uhm, I do (for various undisclosable reasons) believe the time to watch a pretty amazing 1987 BBC documentary that traces the history of Hammer Studios has come. Make some tea, bake a couple biscuits, find some spare minutes and enjoy:  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It's all about the music

I have been struggling with the notion of writing about something completely different for weeks now! We have been informing you about books, short stories, films, games, TV series and more, but we have never even mentioned music in this blog. I know you're thinking this is a blog about everything horrid; not about music. Bare with me though.

How many times have we seen a film or a series and couldn't take the tune out of our heads? How many times have we read a book and played tunes inside our head? How many times have we heard of a song or a melody and said "Wow, this would be a good fit for that movie or listening to this is like reading Edgar Allan Poe!"

Who doesn't remember the theme song of the "Exorcist", or "Freddy's song"? How they make us feel when we hear them unexpectadly..

Truth be told music plays a very important role in the success or not of a movie or a series or even a game. Melody can make something memorable.

Sometimes the notes convey feelings, sometimes there is a song, lyrics and melody preparing for what we are about to see. Either way can you even imagine the most important scenes of classic films without their musical garments? Imagine "Psycho" the most famous of scenes, the shower scene, with no music.. It's not the same is it?

It's a fact that whenever the music starts to change or gets more intense we know that something is going to happen, we feel the monsters lurking coming for the kill.

I thought about publishing a top ten of melodies coming from horror related things, but once I started I just couldn't narrow them down only to ten! I gave up and instead this came up: just a few lines dedicated to all those composers who have made us jump from our seats, gave us the chills, scared or even made us grin.

Closing I give you a tune that is so hard to forget and I'm asking all of you out there to check in and tell us which are the melodies that haunt your dreams?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Divis Mortis and the Zombie Apocalypse

Divis Mortis: an interactive survival game is, quite surprisingly, an interactive survival game that gives players a slim chance at surviving the zombie apocalypse. What's more, this being a particularly well written piece of interactive fiction (a text adventure, if you prefer) it actually manages to feel realistic and tense. Divis Mortis is a game without a graphics and thus a game that doesn't favor guns. You will not be shooting zombies in the head. You will instead be frantically searching for makeshift weapons, food, water and a safe place to take a nap in a beautifully crafted and at times humorous world.

You can happily play Divis Mortis in your web-browser and -as nature intrended- for free via this link. Oh, and if you've never played such a game before, I strongly suggest you start by typing help. Enjoy! I know I did.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

At the Mountains of Madness

At the Mountains of Madness is one of the rare, yet always magnificent, novellas by H.P. Lovecraft. It was written back in 1931 and is rightly considered among Lovecraft's greatest oeuvres. Set in the Antarctic, the Mountains of Madness is a brilliant tale of cosmic horror, that casts a wild view at archaeology, provides with more than a few ancient horrors and still manages to terrify on a wholly different level than your average bogeyman story. Then again, reading is believing, and by following this link you'll be able to, yes,  read the whole story in all its literary glory. For free of course. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A way to say we are sorry...

Holidays are finally over. So it’s time we all went back to our lives as before. I know that there was a big promise breaking from our part so this is me trying to make up for it.

We had promised a top ten list about scary Christmas stories that were never posted. Our sincere apologies for that, I just hope that the following piece can make up for it. Since the post was promised to satisfy readers and not watchers I thought that a classic gothic tale by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would do the trick. It can of course be no other than “The Hound of the Baskervilles”.

When one listens to the name Sir Arthur Conan Doyle one usually thinks about Sherlock Holmes and detective stories. That is actually true so what is a detective story doing in this kind of a blog?

Well, when the supernatural and old tales of curses and hellhounds are incorporated to the story how can we not be tempted to write about it?

The story takes place in the English country; at “Baskerville Hall”. A vast estate surrounded by moors swamps and the aura of mysterious ghostly presence. Found dead with a horrified look on his face somewhere in the haunted woods of his land Sir Charles Baskerville, terrifies his heirs reminding them of an old curse.

Sherlock Holmes is called upon to investigate the circumstances of his demise and is made aware of a tale long forgotten. One of Baskerville’s ancestors enslaved by lust and madness sells his soul to have what he cannot. His life ended hunting what he desired and one of his hounds was the collector of the price paid. And so the curse begins for all male heirs of the Baskerville estate.

Footprints found at the crime scene suggested that Sir Charles was desperately running away from something that could only be described as a ‘gigantic hound’, while Holmes receives threatening letters telling him to avoid the moors...

Has the Hellhound been unleashed once again claiming the souls of the Baskervilles?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s impeccable writing takes the reader to a place filled with fear and agony. Highly recommended “The Hound of the Baskervilles” can and will satisfy even the most demanding of readers. You can read it -for free- right here.

And for those who prefer watching to reading there are at least two dozen attempts to capture the feeling of the story in film, but if you ask me the ones that actually do are the black and white ones. There is something unearthly about the absence of color that makes those films even darker…
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