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  1. What are your favorite scary movies? I havent seen a lot, but some of my faves are "Carrie", "Poltergeist", and "Christine".
  2. danvillebelle

    Halloween

    Did anyone here besides me see it yet? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? I am the only person in my family with any interest. I went to see it alone Sunday. It exceeded all my expectations (and I am a diehard fan of the original who only saw the 2nd sequel and gave up after that). IT WAS THE BOMB-FUCKING-DIGGETY, I LOVED IT! Please another Halloween fan come chat with me about how awesome it was! In related news, seeing the trailer for Bohemian Rhapsody on the big screen made me cry. I am going to be a blubbering mass of jello seeing the actual movie.
  3. I've been completely immersed in Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines since I started playing it a couple of weeks ago. As I mentioned in a previous post, it has a lot going for it as far as a computer RPG game: great voice acting, good story, and atmosphere. Lots of atmosphere. Did I mention atmosphere? While the game succeeds in creating immersive play areas throughout its arc, one of the episodes it really nails it is in The Ocean House Hotel quest you're sent on by Therese Voerman, proprietor of The Asylum night club and baroness of Santa Monica. So, VtM:B is not a "horror" game per se, but this episode ranks among my Top Ten Best Horror Moments in Gaming (I'll get this list whipped up at some point soon-ish). The sights, sounds, and overall eerie atmosphere come together in a masterful little side-quest that drops some creepy horror directly in the middle of this dark urban fantasy genre. Turn off the lights, put on your headphones (cranked up for maximum effect), and get ready for an eerie ride through this abandoned--and haunted!--hotel. You immediately set foot into the creepiness by having to travel to the Ocean House via the sewers of Santa Monica. They are filled with an otherworldly glow and the soft lapping of the water creates shadows and a scintillating effect. The way out of the sewers, and into the Ocean House property, is via a gated exit which looks dark and foreboding, creating an air of expectation of worse things to come. If you hack into Therese's computer (and pay attention to the conversation you have with her before you leave her office) you'll note that the hotel's remodeling has come to a halt because of strange happenings afoot at the construction site. When you enter into the Ocean House proper, you find yourself in this abandoned construction site, with the ominous hotel crouching in the background. This sense of abandonment and the far-off lights of the rest of Santa Monica create a sense of being cut off and alone. Crouching like a torpid beast that hasn't yet awoken from its slumber is The Ocean House hotel--made even more ominous by the full moon shining down intermittently in between moments of cloud cover. It really does have an Overlook Hotel kind of vibe to it, don't you think? And here's another shot of it from a different angle: When you first enter, you're faced with a decrepit parlor-like entry hall, with lots of cobwebs and spooky creaking sounds and sinister music playing. If you turn immediately to your right, you see this derelict hallway--empty, with a boarded-up doorway on the left. Oh, silly me! Did I say *empty*? I might have been mistaken. This is one of the moments that really sets the tone for the rest of your explorations of this haunted gem--and might be a Nope! moment for some. Don't look under this spoiler tag if you really don't want this moment spoiled for you if you plan to play the game. (I pulled this one from the interw3bz, b/c I was never quick enough with the screenshot to capture this). After exploring the warren of dusty, dank, dimly-lit hallways, your next stop is the basement boiler room. Anyone who's seen the Freddy Krueger movies knows you damn sure want to steer clear of *that* place. And--as expected--it's NOPE! levels of scary. Your old pal is again waiting for you (you can see him in between the pipes here--again, if you're worried about too many spoilers, skip this one). Throughout this experience, the designers play with common human fears: the dark, heights, and extremely cramped/close spaces. Like this one. It's the only way to get to the next area of the hotel, so...yeah...have fun with that if you're claustrophobic. After exiting the dumb waiter, the game proves that even otherwise banal places like kitchens can be super freaky. (And check out that microwave. I definitely don't want a swank hotel cooking my food in a microwave, yo!). What could be more comforting/disarming than a brightly-lit hotel room with all the makings of family game night? Family game *fright* is more like it when you zoom in on that child's drawing of his/her fam. Straight out of nightmares. PLOT SPOILER: Oh, hai there, little guy! Where the *Hell* did you come from, because there damn sure wasn't anyone in the room who could have propelled you toward me as I walked away from this doorway. Warnings that Horror Movie Characters All Too Frequently and Foolishly Ignore. When you make your way to the final levels of this quest, you get into the burned areas of the hotel, likely where the fire started. As expected, it's deliciously creepy. Be afraid of the dark and what lurks within it. Be very, very afraid. If you look closely at this next shot, you'll see what I mean. Something hunching at a door, which you see through a hole into the floor above you. *shudder* One of the final images you get before this episode ends is this nice shot of a lonely lighthouse in the harbor. Short, but sweetly horrific, The Ocean House Hotel sequence in this game succeeds on multiple levels of creating a terror-filled, uncanny gaming experience.
  4. EyeQueue

    Micro Flash Fiction, Horror Edition

    To kick things off (and since I haven't yet felt ready to relinquish the Halloween season for Thanksgiving, not to mention Christmas), I offer my response to a Writers Write prompt posted on Halloween: "Write your best horror story in two sentences." Enjoy, and feel free to submit your own in the comments. Here's my attempt: Cloaked by the leafy hedge that was half-hidden in the scant moonlight, the axe murderer watched his victim approach, his muscles coiling and ready to leap out. Peering from the further darkness, something unimaginable--all slithery limbs and scaled haunches and hard teeth (too many teeth)--began to quietly hunch across the lawn toward the man who clutched the axe. And, just for fun, here is my 16-year-old daughter's attempt (which I thought not too shabby and pretty creepy!): I went to say goodnight to my daughter, and she told me that something was under her bed. I checked, and huddled underneath was my daughter, crying as she said "Mommy, there's something in my bed." [I've been fascinated by "flash fiction"--super short fiction of a maximum of 1,000 words, but usually only a couple hundred or less--for a few years now. I think the absolute master would have to be Ernest Hemingway's heartbreaking and terse: "For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn." Short, but powerful, and containing all the "necessary" elements of a story--a beginning, middle, and end, and a plot of sorts. That last sentence punches you in the gut and drives home the "plot," however rudimentary.]
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