If you go looking for underground or “cult” horror movies you’ll quickly enter an Inferno-like descent of people declaring that the previous level’s offerings are totally weak and that they know where the real shit is. I suspect that if you go deep enough you probably just end at videos of actual murders, but long before that point you’ll find yourself wading through increasingly awful low-budget films with bad special effects.
Session 9 comes from a much higher plane. It lives closer to the light, where the air is relatively clear and the worst you have to put up with is a pre-CSI David Caruso giving birth to a semi-famous GIF. I sought it out quite a long time ago because there’s a reference to it in Silent Hill 3 and found it to be a fun watch that got under my skin to an extent that I wasn’t expecting.
But my purpose today isn’t to praise the movie, or even to discover if it still holds up. I want to talk about Session 9 because it’s relevant to some (hopefully) interesting discussions on topics within the horror genre.
Yes, that’s right– this is a think piece spoooOOOooOOookily pretending to be a review. Enter if you dare.
Long time readers of the blog will know about my vitriolic love-hate relationship with anime. My experience with American TV cartoons is a lot more lacking, as I’ve largely missed the new wave of internet friendly kids shows that Adventure Time ushered in (although I am currently watching Steven Universe).
It’s the episodic nature of these shows that puts me off. My patience wears thin after too many instalments of status-quo maintaining wacky shenanigans, even with the promise of a continuing story somewhere down the line. Over The Garden Wall largely solves that problem by adopting a miniseries format: ten episodes that aired over the course of a single week, telling a story with a defined end point rather than carrying on for as long as the ratings remain positive. It’s an atmospheric, engrossing tale that feels like a much more daring creative exercise than Cartoon Network usually plays host to. Given its subject material and spooky tone it feels like it should have aired in October rather than November, but we’re going to rectify that now by reviewing it as part of our Spooktober celebrations.
If I told you that SOMA is a game about the nature of humanity, how would you react?
If you’ve read reviews of sci-fi properties before, that phrase will probably trigger an eye-roll powerful enough to yank out your optic nerves. But hold on a second, because this time I mean it: SOMA is a game that explores the nature of humanity, identity and self. It’s also one of the best science fiction narratives that the medium has ever produced and a bleak horror masterpiece.
Found footage has rapidly become one of the most played-out tricks in the horror playbook. What was once a daring experiment has become cliched and rote after having been run into the ground so many times.
Last year a small indie movie named Creep tried to do something a little more original with the format, hearkening back to the codifiers of the genre that kept audiences off-balance and unsure of what to expect. It didn’t entirely succeed, but at least it tried!
The days are getting shorter, the leaves are turning crunchy and the Christmas shopping season is in its third week, which can only mean one thing: Spooktober is upon us.
Unfortunately a variety of things are piling up at the moment– the autumn 2015 anime season is alsostarting this month, and I want to write about it after skipping summer– so the blog scares might all get shoved to the back half of October. Let’s Watch The Hunger Games will continue as normal.
Before we get started though, I want to direct your attention to the Night Mind youtube channel because it’s rapidly becoming my favourite thing ever. The sonorously-voiced host dives deep into a number of web-based horror properties like Marble Hornets, as well as reviewing horror movie releases. The videos are very slickly produced and well put together, and there have been hints at some sort of meta-story or world building happening around the edges. If you enjoy consuming commentary on horror (and if you’re following along with a blog theme called Spooktober then you probably do) I highly recommend it. The channel has only been active for a short time, but there are apparently big plans afoot for the month of October.