Monday, October 19, 2015

Speaking at Florida Writer's Conference 2015

A photo posted by Roland Mann (@therolandmann) on
Thanks to Roland Mann for a snapshot of me discussing subtle horror at the Florida Writer's Conference October 18, 2015. My presentation included an appreciation of W.W. Jacobs "The Monkey's Paw" and plugs for Charles L. Grant's Oxrun Station books, Black Fox Literary Magazine and Robert Aickman.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Weekend and Art Impulses

Christine and I went over to the Winter Park's Autumn Arts Festival on Sunday and wound up impulse buying some art including this piece:

It's called "Smiley" by Michael Nemnich. Christine was enamored of it on sight, so after walking around and mulling it over a bit, we back to his both and bought it along with a tall and narrow piece that should fit nicely on one wall or another in our downstairs hallway.

We had the interior of the house painted last year but haven't really had time to focus on putting things on the wall. We're trying to remedy that, and we reasoned in our discussions as we walked around Sunday that there's much better thing to impulse buy than a piece of art. If it speaks to you, there's something there.

We passed on a $2,000 work that struck us both, though I'm mulling over a print vs. original version of that piece for my office wall.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Dark Was the Night

I've always been fascinated by the story of The Devil's Footprints, that unsolved mystery of strange footprints in the snow in Devon England in 1855. Sure, there are skeptical views, but they marks offer a wonderful "what if" and induced a lot of anxiety in their day.

I've wanted to see Dark Was the Night since I read of the Blacklist script "The Trees" by Tyler Hisel and heard that it was finally being filmed. The story transplants those odd tracks to a small town north of a logging operation and pits a local sheriff suffering the bereavement of a child against a mysterious something disturbed in the forest.

Just in time for Halloween, the film is streaming on Netflix and is a nicely creepy and atmospheric monster movie that leaves the imagination plenty of room to play. Director Jack Heller seems to have a great sense of how to deliver a building sense of menace and read.

Frequent villain Kevin Durand is the sheriff and makes a great hero and a sympathetic grieving dad who's also coping with estrangement from his wife and remaining child. Lukas Haas is his ex-New Yorker deputy who's smitten with a local girl and looking to make a quiet home.

Huge and mysterious footprints, like the ones that were  in my upstairs closet when I moved into my current house, appear one morning, stretching the length of the town, and Durand as Sheriff Shields begins first to seek a logical explanation.

He gradually realizes he'd better prep for things worse than skeptics might have expected, and gets some chilling and tantalizing glimpses of what might be lurking in the shadows.

The story builds to an intense third act with the mystery and chills piling on. It's a pretty nice dark night viewing choice.

I'd say: Worth the time.
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