We started streaming maybe 8 or 9 years ago when the Roku box first came out. Cut that damn cable and it opened up a whole new world of TV viewing. Now you can subscribe to any number of channels and get about a gazillion shows, movies, series, music… which doesn’t necessarily mean you can always find something you want to watch.
Now HBO Max, Netflix, Prime and others will happily suggest ‘if you watched this mystery movie, surely you will like all these’. My suggestions run from Viking shows, to foreign murder mysteries, to outer space horror killer clowns.
Sometimes I just turn the TV off and read a book. And, that leads me to the latest installment of What I’ve Read Lately.
Stephen King’s latest book Fairy Tale. Now, I haven’t read a Stephen King book in many years, though I was a big fan of King from the beginning. I was enthralled with every part of the story and characters. It was a delight to read and I was sad to see it end–the highest praise for any book.
The Book of Night Women sort of hits you in the gut. I can still remember the emotions I had when reading it. Written by Marlon James who was National Book Award finalist for Black Leopard, Red Wolf and the WINNER of the 2015 Man Booker Prize for A Brief History of Seven Killings. This is a review from Time Out New York that tells it better than I could. “James has given us an epic novel of late-eighteenth-century West Indian slavery, complete with all its carnage and brutishness, but one that, like a Toni Morrison novel, whispers rather than shouts its horrors.”
Then I’ve read a series of murder mysteries taking place on the Scottish coast–The Dr. Cathy Moreland Mysteries by Mairi Chong. There are a lot of fairly decent books in Kindle Unlimited. Sometimes, I just like a quick, easy, but suspenseful read. The author J.D. Barker has some good mystery books in Unlimited as well.
Star Trek the series, first premiered on September 8, 1966. I was a college sophomore living in a dorm. Somehow I found Star Trek on the TV in the common room and it became a life-long favorite. I’ve seen everything, sometimes twice!
If you’re a fan of Star Trek, what the appeal for you? For me it was being science fiction–a glimpse into the possibilities of the universe. Also, the characters. But most of all, the message.
This is it, my Sunday Sermon. The way I always longed for life to be. I don’t trust humanity enough to see it happen, but a girl can dream, can’t she?
The exact definition of a scary movie can be frighteningly hard to express. There are hauntings, thrillers and paranormal activity. Movies with sinister classic characters, monsters, sci-fi with monsters; movies with slashers, or just a lot of blood and guts. There’s lots of cross-over, and much discussion and difference of opinion. But for the purposes of my ‘small blog’ suffice it to say “I love scary movies across all genres”
When I was about nine years old and my brother just five, our mom would drop us off at a downtown Columbia, SC movie theater for the Saturday matinee. The house was full of unaccompanied kids watching a creepy 50’s creature flick—good scary fun! Tarantula, The Blob, Fiend without a Face, Invasion of the Body Snatchers were just a few. My little brother and I were terrified. We would scream, hold each other and try to crawl under the seats to hide our eyes from the horror of it all. When I began to have nightmares and walk in my sleep on Saturday nights, Mom finally decided we couldn’t go have the bejeezus scared out of us anymore. I think I was relieved and sad all at the same time.
Ah, but I was already ruined.
I have wondered why we humans like to be frightened. So I asked the almighty internet guru, Google. “There’s also a hormonal component when it comes to fear and enjoyment. The hormonal reaction we get when we are exposed to a threat or crisis can motivate this love of being scared. The moment we feel threatened, we feel increasingly more strong and powerful physically, and more intuitive emotionally.” This was written in a fairly recent article on the ‘science behind the scream.’ The psychoanalyst Dr. Carl Jung believed horror films“tapped into primordial archetypes buried deep in our collective subconscious – images like shadow and mother play important role in the horror genre”.Read more from Psychology Today.
From the article Our fascination with horror, “There’s something about horror that speaks directly and instinctively to the human animal. Millions of years of evolutionary psychology have ingrained in our minds certain fear triggers – a survival instinct.” Think back to our more primitive days. Everything must have been fairly scary—hunting, fire, animals, anything new or unknown…being scared stimulates the imagination and our brains work on an adrenaline high to figure out how to handle the situation. Scary or adventurous tales told by the fireside and handed down for generations are part of our human cultural.
Later on in my teens, Vincent Price was one of the favorite sons of scary movies. Every Tuesday night, we would make tuna fish sandwiches, gather in the family room and watch “Vincent baby” on our black and white TV. This was also the era of Alfred Hitchcock, the Twilight Zone and Outer Limits.
Then I saw Psycho. This proved to be somewhat of a milestone in scary movies. It wasn’t even in color! I can tell you it took years before I didn’t at least think of the chilling, shower scene with its eerie little screeching sounds when I took my daily shower. I was eight months pregnant when I saw the Exorcist. I was petrified and couldn’t sleep for days.
Granddaughter Eve and I gave created a somewhat creepy tradition of our own as we gather the snacks and watch scary movies two or three at a time. I must admit I am not crazy about some of the new genre of horror films—the too much blood and gore. And Eve, thinks some classics like The Birds and Rosemary’s Baby were boring. We did agree on The Conjuring, The Grudge, Paranormal Activity (all of them) and The Ring.
Favorites? Oh yes. There is a startling number of favorite scary movies lists on the internet. This is a short list of a few favs of mine:
Aliens –which is probably one of my favorite movies of any genre
Dracula –the PBS series with super sexy Frank Langella