August 2009 Archives

You're only as crazy as you appear to be..

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Well, every since I was a little girl, I have ALWAYS loved the movie Psycho, and I'm happy to say that the book version was even better for me.  Even though I knew what was going to happen, I still was reading eagerly and as always, there was a lot that the movie version missed, so I was very, very pleased with the book overall.  Truly great writing Bloch.

Something that I found particularly interesting was that (to me) it seemed like Norman knew he was crazy, which is in fact more scarier than not knowing in my opinion.  He mentioned a few times that he thought himself to be schizophrenic, insinuating that there was another side to him, and also that he was well read in psychology--indicating a self diagnosis. This caught my eye because in Horror, I find it especially terrifying when you run into a killer that is completely aware of what he/she is doing and it doesn't phase them.  True, Norman was pretty messed up in the head, but I think subconsciously he knew what he was doing, but hid it very well with his drinking and years of convincing himself that his mother was alive (I'm sure the body helped too! CrEePy)!  Nonetheless, Norman Bates has left an impression on me once again as a 20 year old that is more terrifying than when I was younger watching him cross-dress and kill people in showers.

Another thing that touched home to me was the setting; the town seemed to be set up a lot like the one that I live in which is pretty cool/scary.  My town is extremely small and everyone knows everyone's business, and even our cops are way to laid back for their own good (if you as me).  Sure there are some sketchy people around, but they are all harmless right?  Clearly no one has watched Psycho back home, haha.

Since I am just casually talking about the story in this specific blog, I wanted to mention something that I found very useful as a writer in this story...the setup.  I know that for the longest time when I tried to write, that I would just sit down at my computer and try to churn out chapter after chapter, and just hope that stuff would pop into my head while writing.  While this sometimes happens, I have learned that an outline goes a long way as well.  I love how Bloch was very strategic in his technique...especially with Mary's earing. He mentioned it enough, but didn't overdue it to the point that the reading would be constantly looking for hints or obsessing over it.  It was just enough to read and forget, and then when you come across it in the end, it hits home that much more.  I know that when I try to plant information to foreshadow, etc., I always seem to overdue it to the point that it is WAY to obvious (at least to me after I read it).  After reading this, it put a lot of great perspective towards plot and foreshadowing for me, and I think I understand the make up of a novel a little bit better. 

Oh..and since we started on book covers in the beginning of this class, I must say that I do really like the cover of mine.  Basically, it is a really old version with Bate's holding the knife as he pulls back the shower curtain.  It really seems 3-d in a way as if he is going to stab whoever is holding the book, which is creepy enough!


Gender Issues in "The Prisoner of His Own Masterpiece"

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The topic of gender issues within “The Prisoner of his Own Masterpiece” is very noticeable and it plays a huge part within the story’s theme, plot and context of conflict.   I found that there was an emphasis almost on the stereotype of men and women, and that through Berthe’s murder we get to see the true sides to humanity, and understand the emotional layer that goes along with issues of gender and horror fiction.

In the second paragraph of the piece, Haraucourt writes “I’m a violent fellow, and I don’t try to disguise it. All my friends have borne the brunt.  I’ve fallen out with plenty of people that I really liked and ruined my chances in the world a dozen times over.  I’m sorry enough for these acts of violence after the event, but I do and say things without being able to hold them in, and without really trying to… It’s the demon in my struggling to get out…”  This is significant for several reasons when delving into our protagonist’s nature and psychology.  First off, our author has chosen to go along with the strong, violent, manly essence for the husband, which is very stereotypical in horror.  He doesn’t try to foreshadow or anything to hide the obvious, but instead tells us very upfront about the character’s behavior.  So now, we have a very hackneyed impression of the man, and always expect him to overpower the helpless woman (that is sure to show up, or so we think) and take what is his as a man.  So now that we are somewhat accustomed with our protagonist, we are not surprised to learn about his obsession with his wife’s beauty, and then the jealousy/paranoia that shortly followed after he heard about the affair.

In contrast with the husband, the wife does not follow the damsel in distress stereotype that women normally fall under in the horror genre.  I find it very interesting that she almost takes the characteristics of a male in her actions by means of being strong, by being the one having the affair, by giving ultimatums and being devious.  Normally in any type of movie….9 times out of 10 it’s the guy that plays the villain and the girl that is left heartbroken and devastated in the end.  What I liked about this story is that everything in regards to gender stereotyping is switched backwards in the end.

For instance, Berthe takes control of the situation by cheating and manipulating her husband, only to turn into the victim in the end when her husband’s paranoia/jealously leads him to murder her.  So she went from leading lady, to the helpless victim pretty fast.  Then, when you look at it from her husband’s point-of-view, you can see a similar turning of events.  The man, whom we know to already be violent, becomes consumed by his rage which leads to him murdering his wife.  But after the murder, he becomes remorseful and the guilt consumes him as he begs for forgiveness.    So here were have the strength and audacity of a malicious, paranoid driven murderer who turns soft and thus becomes a victim of his own actions.

I found it interesting that there are two levels of gender issues:  basic stereotypes and reverse stereotypes.  This story gives you both what you expect and what you don’t at the same time.  I like that both characters fall into the place of the victim in the end, which isn’t something that I have seen a lot in horror.  Normally, the killer is proud of his work and never considers himself to be the bad guy based on a legit reasoning for his actions; this story proved different and I think that the outcome of the murder (on both parts with the husband and the wife) was what fascinated/upset me the most.

"I'm a vilent fellow, and I don't try to disguise it."

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Today I read "The Prisoner of his Own Masterpiece" by Edmund Haraucourt, and I must admit that I have some rather mixed feelings on it.  When I was oh say about halfway through it... I was thinking wow, this guy is so sick... I love it!  But then I lost a lot of respect for the protagonist towards the end...not to mention the writer.  If I had to make a claim on it though, I would say to def. read it-- Not my favorite, but not worth passing up as a read on a rainy day.

In the beginning, we are introduced to a very angry, violent protagonist, whom I am immediately drawn too because of his intellect.He states, quite openly, that he has beaten his closet friends and that his behavior seems animalistic--something along the lines of the demon within him coming out.  It seems to me that he is rather sane in his actions and I must admit (although this sounds horrible no matter how I put it) that I like killers that are able to plan things out and act on their sanity rather than just exerting a crime of passion-- strictly in adherence to horror literature that is!  Perhaps this is why I am so drawn to the mind of James Patterson.


Our protagonist states that he loves his wife madly, and that she is the only one who could suppress his anger. I think that I sort of pegged him as rather obsessive right from the beginning (probably from to much CSI and SVU) but when one loves so strongly and so passionately...this normally leads towards obsession which leads to jealously, which then leads towards paranoia.  In this case, our man was right to be jealous for his wife was cheating on him...but she wasn't afraid of his rage... in fact, she turned it into a game. A challenge.  I think that she wanted him to catch her simply because she wanted to see if she was strong enough to get away with it.  Exactly what kind of power did she have over this man?

I thought that poison was a good choice, because stabbing/shooting someone is so overdone; In horror fiction, it seems like the easy way out to me sometimes.  What I appreciated even more about the situation, was that he wanted to commit the murder along with his own suicide for a romantic ending to their tragic lives.

I was particularly fond of the description of his dead wife: "The corpse's face was bluish-grey in colour, irises, dilated and glassy, the mouth wide open, the gums scarlet, teeth tarnished, and the nose soft and twisted, leaning over to one side, oozing puss..." -- I thought that there was a lot of really great imagery in this paragraph, and I loved how he went into details regarding the about implying to the senses!

I had a few other pieces in the story that I really enjoyed: "You have to have been buried alive to know what it is, everything it represents, its real worth, and all its hidden meaning, when your voice suddenly rings out in the blackness, rousing objects out of their inanimacy, reaffirming their unseenness, resisting them, denying nothingness!" - "Love is no excuse for murder." --  "The smell in the room had grown worse.  A sort of filth obscured the windows which became variegated when the sun passed through.  The garden foliage, caught by the wind, cast fleeting shadows across the glass and carpet; I watched teh fluctuations of light and shadow; I had turned my head the better to see it; suddenly, this swarming effect began to take shape, changed into Berthe's body then, equally suddenly, Berthe's body was my own, stretched out under my very eyes, rotting."

I was really excited when I saw his mood change and he realized that he loved what he had done.  He exclaimed, "My masterpiece! This is what I created out of her living beauty! This is what I wanted! This mass of putrefaction is the product of my will!"  I thought that this was the  perfect way to clarify his feelings for the murder that he committed and the suicide attempt that he survived.

I started to retract my likeness for the story when our protagonist realized that he was still in love with her, even in her death.  He stared at her corpse and talking to her as if she could still listen and respond to him.  I couldn't believe that he was regretting his decision!  Where was the violent, intelligent person from the beginning of the story?  Where is his backbone?  I mean seriously, come on!  No one likes a villain that goes in his room and cries like a baby? Gah... this seriously agitates me.

THEN... at the end AFTER he confesses... AFTER he begs for forgiveness... HE KILLS HIMSELF!... I cannot even begin to tell you how bad this pissed me off.  I lost total respect for the character that I THOUGHT our protagonist was.. and frankly, this just seemed like a cheap ending for the author.  Great start...but horrible ending in my opinion.  I feel like he just kinda gave up and took the easy way out and I can't respect that as a writer.

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Necrophilia: How often do you fondle the dead's hair?

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"I was alone, of course.  Yet I couldn't go back to sleep; and after tossing and

dripping blood.gifturning in a feverish insomnia, I got our of bed to touch my talisman.  It seemed to me to be in a more gentle humour than usual, and more full of life.  Do teh dead come back?  The kisses I lavished on it almost caused me to faint with euphoria; and I carried it back to bed with me, where I lay iwth my lips pressed against it like a mistress one is about to possess." -"The Head of Hair", by Guy de Maupassant


I was very pleased both before and after reading this piece because as I hoped, it was a story about a monmanic obsession (one of my favorite plots)!  I was instantly captivated by the first paragraph of the story where Maupassant described the crazed man in his cell very vividly. It made me want to keep reading the piece because of the scene it portrayed and the curiousity that it instilled; I had to know what had happened to this man! At first, I pictured Hannibal Lecture positioned in his cell waiting for Clarece, but after continuing some more, it seemed that the man had a more weathered face, and disheveled appearance. I particularly liked the last line of the paragraph "...his obsession was undermining his flesh, sucking his blood, destroying him by inches."  Great writing; he describes his plunge into death with such emotion, as if a vampire is draining him as we continue to read.

I also enjoyed that the piece was mostly written in the form of a diary (some what).  I am a fan of that style of writing, and I always have been.  I think that when it comes to the genre of horror, this gives us a more chilling and horrid representation of our character because we are hearing his intermost thoughts and opinions on the worldj; we're getting into his head and as we all know, in horror, that is normally the scariest place to be.  Because of this, I thought that it was interesting that I both pitied and respected the man at the same time.  I found myself almost liking the crazed at some points in the story, and I think it was the very strong connection that I felt with the protagonist because of the diary insert. -- I also found myself drawn to the paragraph about why the hair was left in the hidden compartment.  Great writing!  It shows how obsessive our character really is but also, how he rashions himself sane -- my particular favorite!  

Towards the end of the story, I felt as if I was the doctor evaluating the situation at hand.  I personally think that this is a good thing, because it lets the reader take part in the story, and helps each of us come to our own conclusions about the piece. 

The Many Faces and Moods of Death: The Very Image

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Although this was a very short/quick read, I found myself to really enjoy the symbolism etched within the two pages.  As we speak, I am halfway through Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray and after reading this, I really noticed a difference between the pieces in regards to the Decadent era.  Now since I can't really comment on dear Dorian just yet, I wanted to strictly focus on the romanticism of The Very Image, and then later see if my opinions change on the matter.

First off, I was really impressed at how quickly the mood was developed within the first couple sentences. For instance, our author states that 'the air was damp with a cold drizzle,'black-cad passers-by sheltering under shapeless umbrellas...,' 'my ideas were pale and misty,' and '...despite its rigid architecture, despite the dismal, eerie vapor in which it was enveloped...' etc.  These phrases provided a lot of sensory adjectives that allowed us to feel, see, and smell the setting to which we are in-- not to mention provide us with an eerie feeling as if we were dropped into horror movie scene, where the helpless girl is walking up to the house that we all know she shouldn't go in.  I think I was just really impressed with the fact that the author was able to capture and provide all of this within a couple of phrases right from the start.  Also, I wanted to mention how the people seemed to play right into the setting/mood as well.  When our protagonist opens the door and sets his eyes upon the people, they seem drab and unsettling -- 'their gaze was devoid of thought, their faces the color of the weather.." -- this plays right along with the mood of the story.

As I continued to read the piece, it struck me that the tone was very sullen and dark... and I pictured an old man with a deep, hollow voice reading it to me in monotone. 

I loved that the author described Death as the mistress, and that they murdered their bodies to obtain comfort.  To me that is a very vivid yet imaginative play on words because it lets the readers create their own impression/embodiment of the characters we are introduced too--also, in my point of view...that makes it all the more terrifying.

I must admit that I was truly a fan of the ending...and I liked that it could be interpreted in two different ways. Basically, the driver brings him to the second destination to which he realizes as being very similar (yet different) to his original place of deliverance.  So either our character is brought to back to the same destination (to learn that death cannot be escaped) or he is brought to another one where is recognizes death in the crowd-- used as almost a foreshadowing technique that we are all going to die and that it is but a matter of when it will happen.

Very creepy; It won me over!
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The Slave of Certain Appetites

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First off, I must say that I am a HUGE fan of John Singer Sargent, so I apologize in advance if my bias comes out; I’ll try to tame the art history monster within me! 

Before I started to go in depth with analysis and symbolism, I wanted to talk a little about technique and how it relates to the story itself.  The painting is done is an impressionistic style with blurred, dark pigments that reveal shadows and play with the subtle, yet present, essence of light.  I like the fact that the painting as these murky hazy undertones because the sfumato helps add mystery and a sense of overlapping in the characters; for example, it’s almost as if the characters aren’t whole because they are blurred and astray, in a sense.  For example, pay close attention to the fibers of the carpet, or the dress/blanket on the figure in the chair.  It’s hard to distinguish based on the play on color and tonation.

Also, I find it interesting that the painting is obscured, much like the character of Jekyll/Hyde himself.    For instance, it appears that he is going to directly walk out of the painting.  There is such a force of movement present here, that the chair on the right is half cut off as well as the bureau on the left.  The concept of space if very important in art because it helps show you the focal point while leading the eye to visual and appreciated certain aspects of the piece that you may not have noticed in the first place.  Naturally, I’m sure you noticed the open door, but the technique of adding that in the painting is to lead the viewer to conversation and discussion as one travels beyond the painting.  Great conversation starter!

Now that I got that out of my chest J  I wanted to talk about a few things in the article that really caught my interest. The first quote that opened my eyes to the chapter was “The double life of the day and the night is also the double life of the writer, the split between reality and the imagination” (Showacter 106). At this point, I had to wonder if the woman in the chair was actually Jekyll’s feminine side, rather than his wife.  Showacter mentions several times that it appears the he is hiding from his sexuality, so this could describe the contemplative look on his face, and the fact that the two refuse to meet eyes with one another.

I was surprised that my feministic tendencies didn’t kick in towards the end, because I found myself more drawn to the notion of the analysis on homoeroticism within the story.  I did notice immediately that there was an absence of females within the story (minus the maids), as well as no interaction with the other sex.  Without repeating too much of what she said in her article, I just wanted to comment on the fact that she has excellent quotations from the story backing up her point of view, and for those that are especially interested in this topic, I would suggest reading her article. 

Now I might be stretching on this note, but I thought it might be something worth bringing up to perhaps stir up some conversation.  On page 114, she mentions a more feminine side to Mr. Hyde, which immediately shocked me, after I finished the book and already had my mind made up about him.  She states that “He is seen wrestling against the approaches of hysteria…weeping like a woman.”  I have to wonder if perhaps Mr. Hyde could be the woman in the painting… in a figurative sense of course.  I mean, the woman is completely covered up almost, as if she is afraid of someone seeing her face, and also there is the notation of her hiding…which could relate to the battle of sexual identity that he is struggling with.  Let me know what you think… I would be very interested to hear your views on it.  I know that we are told that it is technically his wife, but the beauty of art is interpretation and discussion, so please…speak out!

Work Cited:      

Showacter, Elaine.  Sexual Anarchy: Gender and Culture at the fin de siecle. New York: Viking, 1990

Picture: By John Singer Sargent

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"If he be Mr. Hyde... I shall be Mr. Seek."

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-Review “Henry Jekyll’s Statement of the Case.”  Is Jekyll a reliable narrator?

I’m not sure if I am playing the devil’s advocate here, but I do not think that Jekyll is a reliable narrator. I personally think that it is hard to talk about Dr. Jekyll without talking about Mr. Hyde, since their duality brings them together as one in the same; each persona is a reflection of the other, so therefore both sides of the story have to be taken into consideration.

While the story is told from Utterson’s point of view, we do get to hear a great deal of Jekyll’s thoughts, opinions, and dying wishes on the matter.  We get to peak at documents, such as his will, read letters, and also hear his statement of the case.  But what bothers me the most is that we don’t get to hear Hyde’s thoughts.  I find it strange that everything is told from the perspective of Jekyll when it is Hyde that is going on this murderous rampage. Think me mad, but I feel that the transformation to Hyde would bring about a stronger, more emotional need to connect with the reader in terms of understanding where this evil, primitive being is coming from.  Also, as a scientist, regardless of whether or not he could control when he morphed, I would think that he would be curious to try to experiment and understand his other self, and make some type of record or do experiments on personality change, stream of consciousness, etc. So basically, how can Jekyll be a reliable narrator when we aren’t fully getting his complete opinion, because he is leaving out half of the story, by leaving out half of himself?

To go a little deeper into this, I wanted to mention the Afterword in the copy of the book that I have.  Jerome Charyn made a very interesting point about “Who is Hyde?”  He quotes, “Hyde is too forceful a character, too complex to be imprisoned inside a crude case of split personalities.  He won’t be part of anybody’s little circus, even though Jekyll tries to reduce him into an easy formula of everything that is foul din his own nature: ‘I had learned to dwell with pleasure, as a beloved daydream, on the thought of the separation of these elements [good and evil].  If each , I told myself could be housed in separate identities, life would  be relieved of all that was unbearable; the unjust might go his way, delivered from the aspirations and remorse of his more upright twin; and the just could walk steadfastly and securely on his upward path.’”

I brought this quotation up because I think it proves how much Hyde is a part of Jekyll; in fact, I would be willing to say that I think that Hyde, in a sense takes, up more of him than his better side does.  Hyde is the ever present incubus of Jekyll’s dreams, thus making him a stronger character in my opinion.  In fact, I think that if we heard Hyde’s thoughts on the case, that he might be more reliable than Jekyll was.  Now mind you, I’m not treating them as two separate people, but rather as two separate personas, or states of mind.  You can’t get a full story without the other’s thoughts on the matter.  I think that had not Robert Louis Stevenson been sick when it was writing this (not to mention relating himself with the essence of Mr. Hyde) that he could have went more in depth with the character and perhaps given notations about the Hyde in general (thoughts, opinions, etc.) But at the same time, I’m not sure if the story would have gone over as well if there wasn’t that added mystery to the character. Nonetheless, I stand by what I said in the beginning: with just Jekyll’s account, is unreliable.

Ask the blind man...he saw it!

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I heard this in a movie (The Haunting in Conneticut) and thought it would be cool to post it on my blog (although I have no idea who came up with this! Does anyone know the brilliant author to this rhyme?)  I have heard it before, but I was surprised that a lot of people hadn't so here ya go horror fans.  Enjoy!

One fine day in the middle of the night
Two dead boys* got up to fight [*or men]
Back to back they faced each other
Drew their swords and shot each other

One was blind and the other couldn't see
So they chose a dummy for a referee.
A blind man went to see fair play
A dumb man went to shout "hooray!"
[or: And two lame men came to carry them away]

A paralysed donkey passing by
Kicked the blind man in the eye
Knocked him through a nine inch wall
Into a dry ditch and drowned them all 

A deaf policeman heard the noise
And came to arrest the two dead boys
If you don't believe this story’s true,
Ask the blind man he saw it too!

[Madness is often influenced by point-of-view and Edgar Allan Poe uses this to instill fear and suspsene into the minds of his readers.  In his piece, "The Tell-Tale Heart" he twists the story into making the reader think that they are the narrators, and this is part of what makes the story so chilling.]

I think that the point-of-view is what drives the plot in this particular piece, and while the reader normally envisions the narrator as being Poe, one doesn’t know who the speaker is, let alone if it is male or female.  I know that I personally always thought the speaker to be male (by instinct?) but when I went and saw this piece performed, it was a woman playing the part.  Now when I read it, it’s almost as if I can see a more feminine touch the words and actions of the character, and I think that also helps with the tone of the story as well, in regards to the pace of the story and the pauses of the linguistics.  For example, the narrator takes a very calm and collected approach when planning the murder of the old man, and does so with extreme patience and subtlety.  [Her] speech is accelerated and sporadic, and I feel like I can see the tenderness of a woman’s hand when [she] peaks through the door and watches him sleep.  So not only does the point-of-view matter, but also the way you envision the character itself.  I’m sure that it is different for everyone that reads it, and it certainly was for me for some time, but after seeing it performed, I’m stuck with the picture of a murderess in mind.

I personally don’t think that the story would have as much of an impact if it was told in second or third person, based on the fact that we are supposedly getting a firsthand account of what happened that night, when the urge and passion from the killer [herself].  To me, first person point-of-you allows you to connect with the narrator on a deeper level, and when the story is a psychological piece, it is important to be able to jump into the mind of the deranged.  It helps understand their motive and way of thinking, and in some cases, justify whether or not they were right in the actions.  For instance, it allows the reader to put themselves in the narrator’s place, and therefore, make their own judgments on the situation at hand.  If the eye was haunting your dreams, causing you to obsess night and day over it to the point of where you were hearing the voices of the heights of heaven and the depths of hell…would you kill the old man? 

 On that note, I also wanted to talk about the reliability of the narrator.  I don’t know if I’m going out on a limb here, but I think the character is very reliable in [her] account of the murder.  I know that there are issues of sanity vs. insanity when dealings with our protagonist, but I think that are leaning towards [her] own views of herself.  Sure, we think [her] mad because [she] killed the old man, planned out the entire murder, and then hears voices that beat obsession and paranoia into her head.  But I’m going to argue that the character is sane for the purpose of reliability in this story.  Honestly, you can tell that [she] is not all there…but hey, everyone has a couple screws loose right?  I think that these voices of heaven and hell [she] was hearing was [her] conscious trying to bribe her one way or the other. [She] knew what [she] was doing, [she] knew how [she] was going to do it, and [she] practiced it several times before hand with the steadiness and tenacity of a calm and sane person.  Sure, in the end her conscious caught up with her, but if you just killed someone, dismembered him, and shoved him under the floorboards because of a weird eye, you probably would feel guilty too…especially with the cops in your house.  Everyone has their cracking point, but [hers] wasn’t on the point of madness. I don’t think that [she] was mad… I think that [she] was intelligent, and threatening with the mind of a maniac….but not mad.  [She] was very sane indeed and very reliable in her telling of the story.  That is what makes the piece so horrifying.    She isn’t afraid to retell every horrid detail of that night, and is proud of what she has done.  So why deem her mad?  Does that make you sleep better at night?

"There is no delight the equal of dread." - Clive Barker

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" is the beast?"

"It's the subject of any worthwhile philosophy, Stephen.  It's the things we fear, because we don't understand them.  It's the dark behind the door."

I must admit that I was excited to read this piece based on the about juding a book by its cover!  But nonetheless, I was very pleased with it; it was just the pick up that I needed from my lazy days on the beach this week :)  A turn from the sun, and a plunge into darkness.

I didn't expect this story to take the turn that it did in the beginning, but I think that Barker did a great job at his climax scene and at his turning point.  He didn't fall into a trap with a cliche ending, and the story had a easy introduction, and then picked up its pace accordingly throughout the piece.   I had a good feeling that Quaid was up to something the moment that he brought up the photographs, but I had no idea that it was going to be taken to the extent that it was.  In a way, this story kind of reminded me of SAW:  there was the mastermind behind the plot, he did it as an experiment in order to prove a point and/or make them face their fears, and if they survived their test...he let them go.  Now if I wasn't a SAW fan, I might not enjoy this, but lucky for Barker and Jigsaw, they got stuck with the right girl.

Out of the whole story, the part that I connected to the most was when Quaid locked Cheryl in the room with only a piece of meat.  I thought that the imagery was superb and I admire that he was able to take a scene like this and turn it as vulgar as he did.  I would never even think of this idea in regards to a horror scene and frankly, I was just really impressed with the idea and how it continued to grow through the pictures that he described.  Very clever...Barker earned my respect on that one.

Favorite line: "Sure.  If the meat revolted when it was fresh, what about her disgust at rotted meat?  That's the crux of her dilemma, isn't it?  The longer she waits to eat, the more disgusted she becomes with what she's been given to feed on.  She's trapped wtih her own horror of meat on one hand, and her dread of dying on the other.  Which is going to give first?"

 (( insert Jigsaw voice, scary music and tape recorder here, haha)

Now... who wants to play a game?