Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Introducing Terror Tuesday

Aw, poor blog. Between a new part-time work-at-home job and my (now) 3-year old Duke of Juban no longer gracing me with two hours of guaranteed nap time, something in my life has had to give; unfortunately that something's been this blog.

I'm going to try to revive it somewhat with a new feature: Terror Tuesdays!

You may have heard of the social media phenomenon Throwback Thursday, aka #tbt. So I thought, why not Terror Tuesday?

I've been thinking a lot lately -- more than usual -- about horror stories and the nature of what scares us and why, partly from a listserv convo I got into over at Online Writers Workshop, and also because of this article on the psychology behind horror and terror fiction. As I head into the second round of revisions on my own horror novel, THE HOLLOW QUEEN, I find myself obsessed with setting and tone and things that make readers and viewers have to turn on a light or sleep with a teddy bear.

Thanks to the wonders of the World Wide Web, I'm starting off "Terror Tuesday" with a short film that has had me obsessed for the past 15 years. I first saw it on Syfy's (then The SciFi Channel) short film series, "Exposure," which showcased a few short films every week. One week Clive Barker (or was it Wes Craven? Or Kevin Smith? Oy, my memory is turning into Swiss cheese as I approach middle age) hosted an episode of "Exposure" with the theme of urban legends. I watched this in the dark, all alone. That night I slept with the lights on. What I remember most about all the shorts featured in that episode are the twists on familiar urban legends that made each of them particular scary; you think you know what's going to happen, and then SURPRISE!

What I couldn't possibly know when I first saw this was that it not only stars one of my favorite actresses, Jeneane Garofalo, but it co-stars The Man Who Would Be Merle Dixon, Michael Rooker! What I love most about this short film is that it is about 99% set-up, and that totally works here. It's all scene-setting, all tone, and that's what makes it so scary. You know something bad is going to happen, you just know it...but you have to wait...and wait...and wait...

Enjoy. Then let me know in the comments what scares you.

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