I've put my short story anthology reading on pause while I work on another project that has completely sidelined my blogging, but anyway, in October I started a post about Halloween treats, then stopped. Here it is.
Carrie on the big screen: emotionally overwhelming, much to my surprise. Carrie/Sissie Spacek's journey from sad little mouse to prom queen and back again left me tearful in a way it never had on TV. Related: this is the only time I've watched it and fully understood that most of the students aren't in on the pig blood conspiracy. What can I say? I used to struggle with the basics of following a plot. My misunderstanding on this score caused me to initially see the film as a much cruder entertainment than it turns out to be. Perhaps this is part of my strong response to it this time; Carrie is actually winning friends along the way, but that doesn't staunch the bleeding.
Shining on the big screen: Since I've seen it often enough, I could focus on the nuances of the sound mix (lots of creepy background sounds) and play Room 237 (why do red-white-and-blue color schemes show up so often, particularly in clothing?) Also, when the end credits rolled a young woman immediately started asking her friends to help her make sense of it; a schlubby guy muttered "idiots" to himself as he passed me on his way out, perhaps hoping that I, a fellow lonely schlubby guy, would join him in solidarity against the fools who don't get The Shining. Sorry, pal; I'd rather hang out with people who admit that they need to build understanding than with people who presume to have all the nerd-knowledge.
Candyman: A woman researches a teasingly complex local urban legend, and gets into trouble when she white-privileges her way into a dangerous housing project that's haunted by a variety of dangers, possibly including the murderous spirit of Candyman. Lots of people die around her, and for once nobody buys it when a white lady blames murders on a black guy.
This movie is really quite Lovecraftian in some ways. It's smart about research and folklore, and most of the first act involves the heroine interviewing a surprisingly large cast of characters about Candyman. Also, race-mixing is front and center, and it's portrayed as sizzlin' hot romance, which I much prefer to Lovecraft's sweaty racist preoccupation.