Category: Uncategorized

Found It

My thoughts on “Found Footage” type movies: It only really works once, and is dependent on spoilers not being leaked. Blair Witch had a great set up – but this was before we had the tsunami of internet spoilers of today. When Blair Witch came out, my roommate was following all the viral stories and fake interviews and when she finally saw the movie she was so scared she locked the deadbolt on our apartment so I couldn’t get in after a night out. I pounded on her window but she was convinced I was the Blair Witch coming to get her so she didn’t answer me for long enough that I was soaked by the rain when she finally did. My date was laughing his ass off. Good times.

It was really the first big success of it’s kind, but once the cat was out of the bag, it was over. No one ever really recaptured that War-of-the-Worlds type magic with Found Footage movies – the closest may have been Paranormal Activity. Without the general population *believing* that this is real, found footage, it just becomes a poorly filmed, usually kinda boring, movie. I think it has it’s place, but it works much better as something that is supporting the main feature. Like The Ring tape – it’s a film within the film. Found Footage also works as extra stuff for the credits, cut scenes, and bonus features for the DVD, but ultimately, I think it’s going to be really hard to ever make another successful Found Footage full-length feature film.

roaring 20's cropped

Knock Nøkken

I love learning about monsters from mythology around the world and today I serendipitously ran into a new one to me: Nøkken. I was actually doing research on dollmaker apps and ran across this Nøkken Maker game on Doll Divine.

There’s a nice little description on the site, but basically Nøkken is what you’d get if you mixed a Banshee, The Pied Piper and a Kelpie, and then put him in Viking territory. He’s a shape-shifter who lives in the water, and drowns victims either directly, or by luring them into the water with his supernaturally amazing fiddle or harp-playing.

Adding depth to the myth, Nøkken is also portrayed as sad and lonely, and willing to do you a solid by enchanting your own musical instrument if you leave tribute. Just don’t pull the water lilies from his pond, or you’re done for. As for the banshee/bean sidhe-like trait, apparently he’ll occasionally scream at a spot in the water where a death or tragedy is soon to take place.

.

Check out the wiki for some more comparisons to other water spirits. Now, I personally think this is a *fantastic* costume/Halloween haunt idea for anyone who plays the violin/fiddle. A lake or pond effect is easily created with some fake water lilies and a fog machine. Attach a glow-stick to your bow, put on some fancy clothes and go fiddle in the front yard for some trick or treaters! It’s a great way to punch-up a water-ghost theme besides the usual skeletal pirates, or a great addition to them. Maybe that’s how they died? Surround your “lake” with ghosts of all kinds!

Nokken

Summertime

Back in the 80’s, summer was when they released a bunch of new horror movies. It was the kickoff to the Halloween season, whetting your whistle for the ooky-spooky before the leaves of Autumn even began to turn. Nowadays, Summer seems to be the time to release superhero and big budget action movies. For me though, summer still subconsciously triggers my Halloween and Horror button, and I start planning and crafting accordingly.

Fortunately, with modern services like Netflix, the internet and RedBox, you can create your own horror movie playlist at any time of the year! Amazon and the local library are also invaluable resources for feeding your horror and mystery craving. We’ve finally hit the point where the craft stores are putting up their Halloween merchandise, so even outside of your home, the magic begins!

So far, I’m a bit behind on my Watch List, but I’ve finally been getting around to watching the Showtime series “Penny Dreadful” on Netflix. I’m about 2 episodes into the second season, and so far it’s decent, but not what I was expecting. I do like the way they’ve intertwined all the classic horror stories of the Victorian era – a giant “What If They All Met?” kind of scenario. I don’t want to spoil anything for you though, so all I’ll really say is – not for children: it’s a lot sexier than most parents probably want young ones exposed to. Just a warning.

I also watched the second Ouija movie, and was pleased to find that it was much, much better than the first one. In fact, you probably don’t even need to even watch the first one. Chuck that out the window and just watch the second one.
Good job on really getting down the retro nostalgia feel, too – right from the beginning with the opening credits.

Book wise, all I’ve managed to get through this summer is “Meddling Kids”, by Edgar Cantero. If the Scooby-Doo series “Mystery, Inc” combined with H.P. Lovecraft sounds like a good mix to you, you’ll probably enjoy it. I understand this is only Edgar’s second book in English, so there’s a bit of adjustment to his writing style – and at times the dialogue is written like it’s a movie script. I’m not sure if this is intentional for some reason, or a sign of editing issues. It was interesting enough that I was able to get past it though.

Craft-wise, I’m working more apothecary-style prop jars (one of my old standbys) and experimenting with some new-to-me art forms. I actually sat down with some polymer clay and am learning to sculpt. Nothing too fancy for this beginner – but it let me add some dimensions to my normal jars by embellishing the lids, creating some plants and even making some doll-house sized items. Just a few tentacle monsters and pumpkins to get started, really. You can see pictures on the Hauntcadia Facebook and Instagram pages.

I also bought some resin casting materials, but I haven’t played around with that yet. So much to do! So little time! I hope everyone else is having a great summer, and you’re managing to keep the candle lit in your internal Jack-o-Lantern!

jarprogress

Would You Like to Play a Game?

We had to stop by Lowe’s today to pick up a few things, and the GameStop is next door, so of course we went there, too. Which is what leads me to today’s topic: Inspiration From Video Games.

Video-games have come a long way since I was a kid and I just wish I had more time as an adult to play them all! It truly is a great time to be alive for gamers, whether you play on a console, a PC, or your phone/tablet. And this holds true for horror fans who are also gamers. Horror games are a growing market, thanks in part to the popularity of Silent Hill and Resident Evil, both of which spawned movies based on them and increased exposure. America’s recent love of zombies thanks to The Walking Dead, has guaranteed a slew of zombie-themed video games as well.

You can do a Google search for “Horror Video Games” and get a slew of “Best of” lists if you are interested in checking out some of the options yourself. Most of the “best” games are probably going to be rated “M” for “Mature” however, just due to their nature. Fair warning.

As far as getting Halloween Party/ Costume/ Decor inspiration from video games however, you don’t necessarily have to stick to what falls into the “traditional” realm. With a bit of a perspective shift, all kinds of things can be terrifying. In fact, that’s pretty much the idea behind the twitch game “Five Nights at Freddy’s”, where the monsters you have to survive are the animatronic creatures from a children’s pizza parlor.

FNAFflashlight2

As an example, last year we threw a Fallout themed Halloween party. As a post-apocalyptic style game, it’s got plenty of radiation-mutated monsters, giant robots and of course, ghouls, which fit naturally into the Halloween theme.  But the biggest tie-in, is that the big war that started it all, occurred just days before Halloween, so the game is littered with little vintage Halloween decorations and plastic pumpkin pails for you to discover as you wander the Wasteland. There are plenty of character types to choose a costume from, with infinite amounts of variations. And for those folks who like to keep it low-key, dressing as a settler, trader or farmer is always an option.
falloutparty

Bioshock is another great videogame to draw party inspiration from – especially if you’re looking for a watery-theme but are getting bored of pirates. The Big Daddies in their deranged dive suits and glowing-eyed Little Sisters are sure to spice up your pool-area.

BioShock_cover

The fantasy RPG series Dragon Age is positively littered with demons, magic-users, possessed corpses, old gods and monsters. The characters go on several haunted adventures in-game, and it wouldn’t be hard to integrate some of that into your own theme.

These are just some ideas, of course, based on my favorites. I imagine there are quite a few video-games that could be easily tweaked for spooky fun if you put your mind to it. And even if you decide not to go with a video-game theme, you can certainly leave a few up and running during your party for your guests to play, as added entertainment! For something quick and easily shared among multiple people, I highly recommend one of the themed pinball games from Pinball FX: