Halloween and World Fantasy

Hi! So, as it turns out, being done with a book isn’t really as relaxing as I’d hoped, since I spent the last few weeks too busy with other projects (most of them back-burnered until the book was done, and hence fairly urgent) to really do anything. Such as post on my blog. So yeah.

Anyway, I’m leaving for World Fantasy in just a few hours (I should be in bed, but I’m up writing this JUST FOR YOU). My trip to World Fantasy this year should be pretty cool–I’m on a panel Saturday about monsters, which should be a lot of fun, and I’m participating in a mass signing Friday night featuring all the authors at the con. If you get bored waiting in line to see Garth Nix, drop by and say hi–I’ll have books and shirts to sell, and I’ll be happy to sign anything you want (including Garth Nix’s books, if the line’s too long to have him do it personally).

Since the convention will run over Halloween, I thought it would be appropriate to recommend some Halloween movies to watch this weekend. Most of the movies on my “favorite movie” list from my bio will work for Halloween (such as Jaws, Psycho, and Silence of the Lambs), but here are some of my other favorites:

The Changeling
This is quite simply the best haunted house movie I’ve ever seen–it’s very subtle and spooky, going for real fear instead of gruesome shocks. When it’s time to turn on the fear, though, it doesn’t hold back, and it will leave a couple of images (and voices) engraved in your mind. Very good stuff, and a very good performance by George C. Scott.

This is the movie that relaunched modern horror when it was languishing in the 90’s. It plays with horror traditions brilliantly, making fun of them while simultaneously using them for great effect. It may be a slasher flick, but it’s also one of the smartest horror movies you’ll ever see.

Shaun of the Dead
My favorite zombie movie, and arguably one of my favorite movies from any genre. Shaun of the Dead combines laughs and horror and real human drama more cleverly than any movie I can think of–you think you’re going to see one thing, but by the end you’ll get far, far more.

This little-known movie is incredibly hard to find, so put it on your netflix queue RIGHT NOW because it’s well worth it. This is the debut feature of Billy O’Brien, the excellent director who has optioned the rights to “I Am Not a Serial Killer,” and watching it proved to me how perfect he’d be for the job. He has a talent for taking the most mundane things and making them completely horrifying, just by the way he films them. Highly recommended.

Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
I actually haven’t seen the new movie with Johnny Depp, but I have a VHS of the original traveling company with Angela Lansbury and George Hearn, and I watch it every year. It’s a fun musical with great songs, AND it’s a great horror story about a Victorian serial killer, AND it’s a heart-breaking tragedy that gets me every time. The new one may also be good; I don’t know. Try it and see, and let me know.

7 Responses to “Halloween and World Fantasy”

  1. Nigel says:

    The Changeling is BRILLIANT. Easily my favourite horror film of all time.

  2. Arlene says:

    Almost all of those are way too dark for me. I’m such a baby.

  3. I’ve heard Depp’s singing… you are better off sticking with the older version. *nods* My favorite is the song “A Little Priest”, it’s just so witty.

  4. Callisto says:

    Same for me, Arlene. I’m waaaaay to chicken to watch a real horror film. The closest I’ve gotten is Jaws.

  5. Allison Hill says:

    The new Sweeney Todd is very good-Depp’s singing (or lack of) isn’t a a detraction, it works surprisingly well for the characters they’ve created. It is extremely bloody though, at times overly so, which earned it the R rating. I very much liked the new take on the story, however passionately I adore the George Hearn version.

  6. Fiona says:

    Best wishes at World Fantasy Con! Hugs and Kisses to Garth Nix.
    Dan, you can go ahead and sign “Sabriel” if you don’t want to stand in his line. I’ll understand. Just put “#1 Fiona- I’m gutted that you couldn’t make it. Best of luck with your future writing career.” XOXO Garth Nix.
    But of luck with the monster panel. Please blog and tell us what you said.

  7. Arlene says:

    Dan has been swallowed by World Fantasy.

Leave a Reply