Archive for Haunting

Altar, the ending, warning, there are spoilers.

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2015 by urbannight

Altar is a Gothic haunted house movie.  It borrows heavily from other movies and is predictable.  The ending is a bit odd but I think it makes sense.

Once upon a time, a man who practiced alchemy was very much in love with his wife and while performing a Rosicrucian ritual, he kills her.  Many years later, they both haunt the house.  Although it was quiet when it was a B&B.

A family moves in to restore the place.  and once the sealed off rooms are opened the haunting start.  The ghost of Radcliffe indicates the death of his wife was an accident.  But he seems to be attempting to possess the husband and recreate the murder using the wife.

I think perhaps Mrs. Radcliffe’s death really was an accident.  As the crucial hour comes near, he is waiting and the wife is out cold and in place and the altar stone hanging above her starts slipping from the ceiling.  I think it had come loose in its sockets and slipped out and he Radcliffe never meant to murder his wife.

The children race in and save the day, pulling mom from the mural on the floor.  Mom and daughter try to get to the fire escape on the roof while the son has dropped some balls for Dad to stubble on.  The trap doesn’t work, Mom is on the roof.  Dad is looking down at the fountain in the yard.  The fountain where Radcliffe died after slipping from the roof.

Mom slams the window on Dad causing Dad to fall back just when the altar stone crashes into the floor.  Daughter tosses holy water in his face.  Mom is saved, Dad is back to normal.  No one died.  Everyone things everything is over.  They call a cab and are driving from the house.

Mom is in the back seat with the kids, Dad is up front with the driver.  Mom starts cracking her knuckles.  Just like the lady ghost did.  The children look over at her hands and see a huge, old-fashioned wedding ring of amber.  She just looks at them.  Dad looks back and puts his hand over Mom’s hands and says, I love you, Petal.  Radcliffe’s pet name for his wife.  He then just looks at the kids.  The kids look at their parents in horror and the movie ends.

HMMMM.

I think that Radcliffe was never trying to recreate the ‘murder’ of his wife.  I think he was trying to recreate the ritual and finish it without her dying.  So they could be together again.  I think that because they managed to save mom and everyone was there at the right time and no one died, that somehow the ghost succeeded.  And he and his wife would now be able to live on again, together.

Where that leaves the kids and what happens to them is an entirely different story which we will never know, since it was more amusing to end the show with them looking terrified as the taxi heads away from the house and back to London.

The movie was not bad if not brilliant.  The secondary characters were a bit of wasted space.  The contractor that has hardly any screen time before quitting and the ghost whisperer that is hardly there either.  The other secondary characters only had lines on the telephone and no screen time at all.

If you like ghost stories, it was nice to see a Gothic one done for a change.  Worth watching.  If you want more blood and guts in your horror, you probably won’t want to watch this one.

H is for Halloween, H is for Horror – The Innkeepers

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2012 by urbannight

I probably shouldn’t mention it until the end, but this movie is a HUGE fail in my book.  The thing had so many plot screw ups I lost count.

My friend liked it because if you were one of the main characters, you might never know all the answers and all the information.  So it is more realistic.

I don’t care for realism in my movies.  I want the movie to follow the physics and rules of the world it establishes.  But I want things tidied up.  I want answers, I guess.

If you have read 1984, this movie is like that.  Deadly boring bits interspersed with really interesting bits.  Aside from that, here is what I didn’t like about it.  Sorry for the spoilers.

Luke and Claire

1. If you own a small hotel and it is going out of business for good, would you really take a trip to Barbados and leave only two staff members to man it 24 hours for the final weekend?  It seemed all wrong to me, but I’ve worked at some jobs that were closing up when in college.  Made for great summer jobs when you have to go back to college again in fall.  This made no sense.

2.  The guy (Luke) working there, who was supposed to be all about the ghost hunting, managed a page about the haunting of the inn, and supposedly saw the ghost of the lady (Madeline O’Malley) who died there (after her fiance stood her up) was a total fake.  I saw that right off the bat. He seemed to have no real interest or enthusiasm for ghost hunting. I suspected he was lying about seeing the ghost and it turned out I was right.    (I was certain that when I was watching it that the movie said she was stood up but other sites say she was hanged on her wedding night.)

3.  The older actress (Lee) turned New Age healing guru says there are three ghosts there and not Madeline O’Malley.  She said they tried to warn her (Madeline).  Who they are is never mentioned.  And the female lead (Claire) only ever sees Madeline.

4. This brings up the issue, is it really just Claire’s over active imagination.  But what about the piano music she heard and the keys she saw depress themselves?  Still her imagination.  Luke went to repeat her EVP experiment and he heard the piano too.  But he was drunk then.  Maybe it was his imagination too.

5. An old man shows up and wants a particular room on the floor that was already stripped and mostly emptied.  Only the beds remain.  Claire decided they might as well let him stay there. It is the last night after all.  She takes up sheets and he mentions that he spent his honeymoon there.  The implication was that perhaps he was Madeline’s fiance.  But he wasn’t quiet old enough based on the legend. By the photo of Madeline, he would have had to have been well over 80.  What was going to happen to happen to him was terribly obvious.  Old man, small bag, willing to take the honeymoon suite even those all that is left in it is a bed, all alone.  Of course he was going to kill himself.  How much more obvious could they make it.

6. Claire is so freaked out, she goes to leave but can’t find Lee. She looks for the older woman in the basement.  She totally freaks out, thinking the ghost of the old man is coming after her.  She races to the storm cellar doors in the alley and locks herself in that room, screaming for  her coworker.  The day before she had chained and locked the alley access to the basement.  She can’t get out.

7.  Through the entire movie, Claire was puffing on an inhaler.  Lee kept telling her the basement was a very bad place for her and she needed to get out of there.  Well, Claire thinks it the ghost banging on the door and after her.  It is really her coworker answering her cries for help and trying to get her to unlock the door.  She has an asthma attack and her inhaler is on the other side of the door, having been dropped in her mad flight to get to the room and secure herself inside.

I still want to know why there was ever mention of three ghosts who were not Madeline being in the hotel.  Why they were trying to warn Madeline? Why was she and accident?  What was the accident, because the girl kept seeing a Madeline who had been hanged in her wedding dress and yet had blood all on her face.  Why did she keep seeing Madeline when the spiritualist said Madeline was not one of the ghosts there?  That reinforces my idea that all of this was Madeline’s over active imagination and her many times of spooking herself and over reacting.
All in all, I hated it.

Nerdiness I Cannot Deny

Posted in Advertising, Art, Books, Entertainment, Life, Movies and Theatre, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on April 3, 2012 by urbannight

I will start out with something called NerdLacquer.  The color is Warrior Ethos.  I think.  That is what the front of the label says.   The label refused to show up on the photograph.  Okay, technically it did.  It was the words that were MIA. 

Nerdlacquer

The second thing is about a movie. One that, over the years of being teased about it, I felt no overwhelming desire to see it now. Oh, I figured I would. The other films were great. So I would enjoy it. But there was no anticipation.

Until I saw the Trailer. Yes, it deserves a capital T. Is it particularly impressive? Maybe not so much as the trilogy was.

It was the music. When the Dwarves started to sing I think the sound captured my soul.

Back in Jr High, I memorized the songs of The Hobbit. I would try to figure out how they might have been sung. To hear it done, so hauntingly, as the soundtrack for the trailer seemed to bring back the excitement. It gave me the chills.

So I’ll leave you with the text of my favorite Tolkien song. Which, of course, just happened to be the song in the trailer. I wonder if the soundtrack for the movie will be available before release of the film?

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold.
The dwarves of yore made mightly spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.
For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gleaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sward.
On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun.
Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeouns deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day,
To claim our long-forgotten gold.
Goblets they carved there for themselves
And harps of gold; where no man delves
There lay they long, and many a song
Was sung unheard by men or elves.
The pines were roaring on the height,
The winds were moaning in the night,
The fire was red, it flaming spread;
The trees like torches blazed with light.
The bells were ringing in the dale
And men looked up with faces pale;
The dragon’s ire more fierce than fire
Laid low their towers and houses frail.
The mountain smoked beneath the moon;
The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom.
They fled their hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.
Far over the misty mountains grim
To dungeons deep and caverns dim
We must away, ere break of day,
To win our harps and gold from him!
Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day,
To find our long-forgotten gold.

31 Days of Halloween – “Re-Cycle”

Posted in Entertainment, Holiday, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2010 by urbannight

My goal of doing something Halloween related every day failed miserably. I wanted the decorations out of storage on the first and didn’t get them out until the 12th. Three Tubs and half a box of Halloween décor, not counting the box full at work. I have one tub of Christmas décor. You can see which holiday has my devotion. The tubs have been stacked in the middle of the bedroom for two days now. I will work on that tonight.

Last night I went to a friend’s to watch a Chinese horror film. It received great reviews because it broke from the standard Hong Kong industry formula for Horror. That’s because it wasn’t’ exactly a horror film.

Re-Cycle
A novelist is at a press conference for the release of a film of her first trilogy, a romance in which the main characters die in the end. Therefore there love will be eternal and enduring and never ending. She also says she put some of herself into her female leads.

Her publicist announces the title and theme of her next book. A book she has not started and had not yet thought about. Now she has to start writing a supernatural novel named Recycle.

It doesn’t start well and her former lover has returned after 8 years. He was married when she was with him and he has now divorced. He had asked her to wait for him. She tells him that if she had waited for him she would have wasted 8 years of her life.

In the course writing, strange things start to happen as she starts to see the character she threw away and story elements she tests and discards. Then she finds herself pulled into another dimension, a dump of lost, forgotten, and abandoned things. Only two people really speak to her and they act as guides. One is an old man the other is a little girl.

The child helps her find her way back to the real world but can’t go with her because she will turn into a wandering spirit if she goes into the real world. She makes it back and sees herself at the computer, sending in her final revision. She tells her editor or publicist that she had to alter the main character because she put far to much of herself into the character and she had to change it to distance herself from it.

So does that mean the ‘her’ that made it back was a wandering spirit now? Because she was a story idea that got revised out and abandoned herself? This brings the ending of the movie back to a scary place.

But the center of the movie is less scary and very surreal. You find out that in the conversation with her former lover, she had revealed something painful and that was why they could not start over again and be together. It is probably why she had her lovers in her romance novel die in order to preserve their love. The strange world of abandoned things is a place in which she comes to terms with her own guilt and the choices she felt she had to make in her life. It reminded me of What Dreams May Come. It reminded my friend of Silent Hill, which I wanted to see but have not yet done so.

With the end shifting back into horror and two versions of the main character standing in the room together, it is a little confusing and you don’t know quite what it means. I would have preferred a less confusing end myself. But that is not at all uncommon in Chinese and Japanese horror films. Sometimes you see it in Korean Horror as well.

My friend kept saying it made it seem cyclical, like a cycle that was going to continue to repeat itself. I reminded her that the title was, after all, Re-Cycle. The clue was there the entire time.