Smile, Doctor Who, and Lessons of Curiosity and Courage

Last night Kalie and I went to see Smile.  I wasn’t planning on blogging this weekend and I certainly wasn’t planning on writing a piece on the Smile movie as I don’t write about horror often.  However, as the movie unfolded I found myself thinking of Doctor Who.  This, in and of itself, isn’t surprising as I’m almost always thinking about Doctor Who.  However, I began to see a tie between the Doctor and the horrifying film unfolding before us.  Specifically, I found myself thinking of “Mummy on the Orient Express” (S8E8).  As these connections grew in my mind I could feel the piece developing alongside them…which was nice as there was no way I could have went to bed after I got home because THIS WAS THE SCARIEST MOVIE I’VE SEEN IN AGES and I needed time and distractions to decompress before bed.  So I started writing and here we are!  In an unexpected twist, Smile helped me see how the Doctor’s curiosity makes them such a remarkable hero.

This piece has basic plot spoilers for Smile so read on based on your comfort with such things :).

Continue reading

Cleo Cazo / Ratcatcher 2 and the Power of a Story

This was not the piece I expected to write about The Suicide Squad.  I had a completely different idea in mind as the film began but as I watched the movie I realized this was what I needed to talk about.  I’ve always loved stories.  Who doesn’t?  Reading, watching, telling, and listening to them – I’m here for all of it!  I will reread and rewatch the stories I love again and again and again. The right story takes a place in our heart like nothing else can.  Years ago this blog was born, in part, as an outlet to write about the stories I love (so maybe I’d talk about them a little less in real life (but the exact opposite occurred XD)).  I love thinking about stories, talking about stories, analyzing and deconstructing stories, teaching with and through stories – I love it all.  So I needed to write about Cleo Cazo/Ratcatcher 2, played by Daniela Melchior and written/directed by James Gunn in The Suicide Squad, because never in my whole life has any character in any story ever moved what this character in this story moved within me.  And that is certainly something worthy of exploration!  This piece has a few minor spoilers for the film but you’ll be warned beforehand.

Continue reading

The Abject Horror of Doctor Who’s Confession Dial

One of many things I love about Doctor Who is how no genre is off limits.  The horror genre being a favorite, they visit it’s themes, traits, and tropes often and with great effect.  Of allllllllllllllllll the creepy, freaky, unnerving, and haunting scenes I’ve seen play out in Doctor Who – episodes watched or novels read – one scares me more than any other.  One disturbs me to the very core of my being.  As far as I’m concerned, NOTHING in the history of this show is ANYWHERE NEAR as scary as “Heaven Sent” (S9E11).  Recently I read a post Gemma wrote over on Books Beach Bunny titled, “Blogging Confessions: Fear” and it reminded me I had an idea for a post about this episode over the summer…an idea I presume I promptly forgot because it would take me places I’d rather not visit.  But, inspired by the courage of her confessional piece, I decided to tackle it.  And hey, what’s October for if not scaaaaaaaary things, right?

Continue reading

Waking Up To A Living Nightmare: A True Story

This story is not for the faint of heart.  But enough time has passed that I feel I can talk about it.  What follows is a true story, not embellished for either humor’s sake…or horror’s sake.  It is a tale of primal fear.  It is a tale of crushing fear.  It is a tale of waking before work to find yourself wrapped in your worst possible nightmare come to life.  But it’s also a story of survival (which, uh, is kinda obvious because I’m writing this).  Are you ready?  Then let’s go… Continue reading

Locke & Key and Horror Comic Books

I read a FOR REAL horror comic book that was super scary and everything.  It was IDW’s beyond brilliant Locke & Key series by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, and Jay Fotos.  It was recommended to me with the highest of recommendations by Nancy (of Graphic Novelty² fame).  She digs this comic.  It took me months to marshal the courage needed to actually read a for real horror comic series.  But I did it!  After surviving, I wrote this post for Kalie on her blog Just Dread-full.  Listen, this was a big moment for me.  I read something super scary and survived!  Also, the comic had a powerful message at it’s heart.  As if that wasn’t enough, I also wrote it to mark the three year anniversary of the day Kalie and I met.  I know…awwwww.  So, um, why haven’t you clicked the link yet??  C’mon people!  Time’s a wastin’!  You should read this thing!

Surviving Horror When You’re Scared of EVERYTHING

I am a HUGE baby when it comes to scary movies.  However, I have also been dating an avid horror enthusiast for two years now.  How do I survive all the horror movies I watch now?  How have I come to even – gasp! – enjoy and appreciate the genre myself?  Well that story, my friends, is in this new guest post I wrote for Kalie over at Just Dread-Full.  I had a lot of fun writing it and I’d be super excited if you clicked over and checked it out too!

What scares us? My First Fright – Ghostbusters II

There’s no post on My Comic Relief today because I’ve written a piece for Just Dread-Full’s fun new series – What Scares Us? My First Fright.  The series explores early memories of being scared and looks into what we’re afraid of.  For me there’s no scarier memory than going to see Ghostbusters II in 1989 when I was just six years old.  IT TOTALLY FREAKED ME OUT!  Frightful reflections aside, I really had a lot of fun writing this piece and, given  the fact that the new Ghostbusters comes out this week AND I’ve done a lot of writing about the Ghostbusters on this site, it seemed timely to contribute this piece for Kalie.  So if you’re interested in taking a fun little trip down memory lane with me and seeing what left little six year old Michael shaking in his seat, please click here.  You’ll also get to read about how I made Mom take us out of the theatre and how I’ve unexpectedly come to enjoy this film as an adult (although it took me over twenty-five years to watch it again).