Horror Authors In Peril
I just wrote piece on horror movies that place writers at the heart of the horror. It features the usual suspects - Misery, The Shining, Tenebrae - and also In The Mouth Of Madness.
Facebook - Sinister Fan Page: Authors In Trouble
More suggestions would be gratefully received from my Cult Labs panel of experts. There's something nicely post-modern about horror films that spin around authors. Like two formats eating each other.
One film I didn't include in my article was I Spit on Your Grave as Sinister - while being a really great movie - is also mainstream and I Spit On Your Grave does have a tendency to frighten the livestock.
Floor is open...
That's strange, perhaps you need to be signed into Facebook to see it as it works for me.
No matter, here's the piece I wrote:
Writers in horror movies and psychological thriller flicks are always finding themselves in a whole heap of trouble. In Sinister, we have a true crime author whose star is on the wane, digging into dark places that may lead to a very sticky end, but the author as a central character turns up in other movies, usually but not always rooting about in things they have no business looking at, unearthing ancient secrets and evil cabals or isolating themselves in writer's retreats where the locals aren't so friendly.
The definitive movie about a writer going insane in perfect seclusion with a pitch perfect Jack Nicolson performance as an author driven to outright insanity by the spectres of the creepy overlook hotel, which he and his family are taking care of during the winter off-season. A tale of hallucinations, voices in the head and rapid descent into complete madness, The Shining - is horror movie as work of art, still creepy, horrific and beautiful in equal measure thirty years after the fact.
The trouble with becoming very popular is that your audience feels like they're invested in your work. They somehow, through their devotion, feel they own a piece of you. Imagine if JK Rowling had iced Harry Potter in the last book. Disaster. In Misery, a very dirty bird of a writer decides to start afresh by killing off the central character in a long running book series. Fine you might think and it should be... Until he ends up in a near fatal accident and his rescuer turns out to be an insane fan who won't continence anything as radical as the demise of her favourite character, even if it means hobbling the writer with a sledgehammer.
In The Mouth Of Madness
John Carpenter's Lovecraft riffing 90s slice of surreal horror features an insurance investigator tasked with tracking down a horror writer. Sam Neil is the investigator, recounting his tale from a mental hospital and what he reveals is a dark tale of spiralling madness as the terrible scenes and events of the authors dark imagination start to come true. The author in question is popular. Stephen King popular. Are his fans going insane? Are they carrying out axe murders in the thrall of the writers books?
Italian horror maestro Dario Argento plays with his own movie blueprint in this 80s update of the classic Giallo mystery format. An American horror writer travels to Italy only to find out that a killer is claiming to be using his work as inspiration for his murders. Now this stalking slayer is closing in on the author as those involved in promoting his latest work are exterminated one by one.
Deadline - an obscure horror flick about a writer of horror movies, but then his kids start turning into monsters.
Castle of Blood - well the film does feature Edgar Allan Poe and a writer is challenged to stay the night at the haunted castle.
I, Madman - not strictly about a writer per se, but it does a feature a book in which the characters begin to come to life.
Sent from my Hoover using the power of Uri Gellar
How about this year's THE RAVEN?
IF borderline horror counts, there is also NAKED LUNCH and BARTON FINK.
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