Thursday, August 18, 2011

Top 5 reasons to stay out of the snow

List by Danielle

The snow doesn't give a soft white damn whom it touches.
~ e.e. cummings

Earlier this week, I was driving through central Auckland when it hit: call it snow, call it sleet, call it 'graupel' (as I saw it referred to in the news)... it was beautiful and strange and altogether magical, drifting in swirls through the sky and sticking to my windscreen. I've only been out while it's snowing once or twice in my life, so it was a total treat and not the nightmare I'm sure it is for farmers with lambs and calves, or people driving on icy roads, or the folk in Christchurch who really need a break from all the mayhem.

Speaking of nightmares and snow, horror books & movies know the score. Stay away from the white stuff! It hides all manner of abominations... for the love of all that's holy, COME IN FROM THE SNOW, PEOPLE!

Gremlins (on DVD)
Billy Peltzer's father buys him a new cuddly pet. But heed these three warnings: Don't ever get him wet. Keep him away from bright light. And the most important thing, the one thing you must never forget: no matter how much he cries, no matter how much he begs...never, never feed him after midnight.

What's out there: Gremlins
Recommended for: The truly nostalgic. Does anyone else remember collecting the bubblegum cards?

30 days of night (on DVD; in graphic novel)
The story of an isolated Alaskan town that is plunged into darkness for a month each year when the sun sinks below the horizon. As the last rays of light fade, the town is attacked by a bloodthirsty gang of vampires bent on an uninterrupted orgy of destruction. Only the small town's husband-and-wife Sheriff team stand between the survivors and certain destruction.

What's out there: Vampires
Recommended for: People who like their horror flicks bloody and brutal, or those who feel a need to see everything with Josh Hartnett in. Ahem. Don't watch this if you likes your vampires sparkly and purty.

Let the right one in (on DVD; in print)
Oskar and Eli. In very different ways, they were both victims. Which is why, against the odds, they became friends. And how they came to depend on one another, for life itself. Oskar is a 12 year old boy living with his mother on a dreary housing estate at the city's edge. He dreams about his absentee father, gets bullied at school, and wets himself when he's frightened. Eli is the young girl who moves in next door. She doesn't go to school and never leaves the flat by day. She is a 200 year old vampire, forever frozen in childhood, and condemned to live on a diet of fresh blood.

What's out there: School bullies, and more vampires
Recommended for: People who don't object to subtitles and want to see a chilling and occasionally ultra-violent vampire movie, which also features scenes of great and stark beauty. I hear the book is something special, too, but very graphic.

The shining (on DVD; in print)
The Overlook Hotel claimed the most beautiful physical setting of any resort in the world; but Jack Torrance, the new winter caretaker, his wife Wendy and their five-year-old son Danny saw much more than its splendor. Jack saw the Overlook as an opportunity, a desperate way back from failure and despair; Wendy saw this lonely sanctuary as a frail chance to preserve their family; and Danny?...Danny, who was blessed or cursed with a shining, precognitive gift, saw visions hideously beyond the comprehension of a small boy. He sensed the evil coiled within the Overlook's one hundred and ten empty rooms; an evil that was waiting just for them.

What's out there: Murderous ghosts, and Jack Nicholson.
Recommended for: People who want to enjoy one of the best early Stephen King novels out there - seriously, one of my favourite ever horror titles. The film, eh. I know it's a classic but it never appealed as much as the book. Shelley Duvall wasn't a strong enough Wendy, and Jack Nicholson just looked like he was having too much fun for someone riding the log flume straight to Hell.

Fargo (on DVD)
Jerry Lundegaard is in a financial jam and, out of desperation, comes up with a plan to hire someone to kidnap his wife and demand ransom from her wealthy father, to be secretly split between Jerry and the perpetrators. Jerry, who is not the most astute of individuals, hires a couple of real losers from the frozen northern reaches of Fargo, North Dakota for the job. Then things begin to slip from bad to worse as Jerry helplessly watches on.

What's out there: Steve Buscemi
Recommended for: Anyone who enjoys the best of the Coen brothers' dramas. Sick, funny, terrible, and, yes, violent. Brilliant performance by Coen regular Frances McDormand.


Madhamster said...

Totem by David Morrell... frostbite and rabies. Scary combo.

Danielle said...

I was very sad that we didn't have 'The Thing', which has got to be the quintessential 'snow horror' for me!