Yesterday, since there wasn’t an LSU game to stress over, I simply did chores and idly watched (had the television on while I read or did chores) some games–Texas A&M vs. Tennessee; Alabama vs Arkansas, Florida State vs Miami–until we started watching some of our shows. I have to say, given what has been going on in the country over the last few years, and particularly since Friday; Friday night’s episode of The Exorcist was especially powerful. What I really enjoyed about it was it showed how seductive evil can be…and the scene on the el, when Casey was basically being groped and assaulted by the drunk bro in front of everyone who watched and did nothing? Absolutely horrifying, and yes, while not wanting to provide spoilers, I had no sympathy for the dude bro.
Kind of how like in Carrie, I didn’t have much sympathy when the bullies started getting theirs.
But while I was watching football games yesterday, I was also rereading Danse Macabre by Stephen King. It’s really quite exceptional, even better than I remembered; it’s an examination of the horror genre from a personal perspective, but it’s incredibly smart. It could, quite seriously, be a text for a Genre Fiction class. It’s written in, as I mentioned, an incredibly accessible style, yet it also delves into serious scholarship and examination of the primary themes in the genre. It really, really is quite brilliant.
I overslept this morning, of course, as I am wont to do on Sundays, but the great thing about it is that I feel completely rested for the first time in days. I’ve already done the dishes, intend to clean up around here, and then I am going to write for a while. Then in the later afternoon, I am going to take my camera out into the neighborhood and take some pictures. There are some interesting changes going on down on Magazine Street.
Oh, yes, horror; I am supposed to be talking about horror, aren’t I?
When I was a kid, ABC used to made-for-TV movies and aired them on Tuesdays as the ABC Movie of the Week. Some of them were ‘important dramas’; like Go Ask Alice; some were bad comedies, some were mysteries, and some were horror. Many of them were quite terrible, but some of them were memorable; they often used film stars past their prime, and while I admit I’ve not seen any of them in years, the first one I remember–one that terrified the crap out of me–was Crowhaven Farm; which is on Youtube, and I have it on my watchlist, but haven’t gotten to it yet–partly because I fear it won’t hold up, and what scared a ten year old might seem silly to an adult.
I don’t remember the entire plot, but it had to do with a city couple either inheriting or buying Crowhaven Farm, and moving out to the country because their marriage was struggling; partly because they hadn’t been able to conceive a child. Once they reach the farm, though, the wife–Wikipedia tells me her name was Maggie–starts remembering things about the farm that she couldn’t possibly know; she walks over to a wall and touches a secret latch that opens a panel to a secret room, for example. She starts having flashes of a past in Colonial times; and there are ghosts walking around Crowhaven Farm–that apparently have it in for her. They take in a foster child but then Maggie learns she is pregnant…and some of the memories have to do with her being ‘pressed’–a punishment where suspected witches were placed beneath a wooden panel and stones piled on it until she is crushed to death (it always seemed like an unpleasant way to die to me). Back in Colonial times, the area had it’s own Salem-like witch issues, and it turns out that Maggie, back then, escaped death by pressing by ratting out some other witches who now want to get even with her in THIS life.
The ending was especially scary to me.
I used to watch the movie every time it aired, because I enjoyed it so much…and I’ve never forgotten about it, either. It popped back into my memory when I remembered that Barbara Michaels’ superb ghost story Ammie Come Home had been made into a Movie of the Week called The House That Would Not Die, starring Barbara Stanwyck, and went looking for it. I found it on Youtube…which suggested Crowhaven Farm to me.
I also hope to start reading Bracken MacLeod’s Stranded tonight.
And now back to the spice mines.