Blood in the Snow Film Festival Day 3: "Bleed with Me" and "We Came From the Sea" followed by "Hall" and "A Dinner Party"
Let's review what happened on Super Channel on Day 3, which was Friday, October 30th...
7:00 pm (repeats at 2:00 am) BLEED WITH ME (Dir. Amelia Moses) (80 mins)
Rowan (Lee Marshall) and Emily (Lauren Beatty, also in this fest’s Bloodthirsty) are best friends at work who seek to bond at a wintery weekend away at Emily’s cottage with Emily’s boyfriend, Branden, in tow. As the weekend unfolds, Rowan’s social anxieties take hold but more immediately worrying is that Rowan believes an unseen figure is taking her blood as she sleeps. As Rowan tries to get to the bottom of this, a battle of wills ensues between Rowan and Emily and Rowan’s grip on reality loosens. In her debut film, director/writer Ameilia Moses has created a tense chamber piece of paranoia and personal ghosts played out within a friendship.
MY TAKE: This slow burn, moody psychological horror, which brushes up oh-so-gently against vampirism, will keep you on the edge of your seat, constantly questioning who is the real monster here? Who is the antagonist? You are forced to watch through one perspective...and the film will leave it up to your good judgment. If you love a tense and carefully crafted atmosphere with a claustrophobic setting, you'll love this film.
Opening with the short film WE CAME FROM THE SEA (Dir. Jeremy Lutter) (15:00 mins)
MY TAKE: Another gorgeous and engaging short from Jeremy Lutter with a very interesting take on how one deals with one's demons.
Read on for "Hall" and "A Dinner Party"
Let's review what happened on Super Channel on Day 2, which was Thursday, October 29th...
9:00 pm (repeats at 12:00 am) SHALL WE PLAY (Dir. Ann Forry) (87 mins)
Stacy is a troubled teen who is dealing with a situation among her circle of friends that starts with peer pressure and develops into full-on bullying. To make things worse, Stacy’s dalliance with the sinister app Shall We Play? has invited supernatural forces into her life and mind. Ann Forry’s debut film proves that some games should not be tampered with and some doors should be left unopened.
MY TAKE: I love the independent feel that brings authenticity to this film. I enjoyed the FX tricks and treats on offer (including how ghosts can leave bruises, and the design and imagery that went into the app Shall We Play). Lots to say about mental health and anxiety...as well as holding on, a little too long, to those we've lost.
Opening with the short film CLOUT (Dir. Ariel Hansen) (15:29 mins)
MY TAKE: You'll think twice about the IG influencer life after seeing this parasite meets spores meets mayhem short!
Welcome to my blogs featuring and reviewing the films from this year's Blood in the Snow Festival!
My 13 Horrifically Silly Days blog overlapped with some of the festival, so these posts are a little behind. Anyway, take a look at what aired on Super Channel on Wednesday October 28th:
9:00 pm (repeats at 12:00 am) ANYTHING FOR JACKSON (Dir. Justin G. Dyck) (102 mins)
Dr. Henry Walsh (Julian Richings, Ejecta) and his wife, Audrey (Sheila McCarthy, I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing) are still grief stricken over the loss of their grandson, Jackson, in a car accident two years earlier. They would do anything to have him back including an incredible plan that includes kidnapping one of Henry’s pregnant patients and a ritual that works as a ‘reverse exorcism’. Keith Cooper’s script and the lead performances play it straight for this haunting tale of good people driven to do a horrible thing and facing the consequences.
MY TAKE: These are not your every day Satanists...not the dark, evil couple you would expect. Julian Richings gives a charming turn as Henry, a bumbling, somewhat scattered fellow, and Audrey, so brilliantly portrayed by Sheila McCarthy, is as incredibly sympathetic as she is fastidious. What a delightful pair of Satanic Worshipers! But the mayhem they unleash in their attempt at a reverse exorcism is a dark and twisted treat -- including a tooth-flossing lady straight out of a dentist's nightmare, a contortionist constantly suffocating and a great effect reminiscent of the wood chipper scene in Fargo.
Opening with the short film THE PURGAMENTUM (Dir. Julie Bruns, Steven Kammerer, Shawn Major) (5:01 mins)
MY TAKE: Some beautiful and gritty underwater footage! Takeaway -- maybe don't dump so much plastic into our oceans and lakes, huh?
ANOTHER Day of the Dead Bonus Blog...cuz I found out that the Day of the Dead is being celebrated November 2nd...Meet Leigh Goff, author!
Cutting right to the chase...here is my interview with author Leigh Goff -- an extra bonus goodie for you this Halloween season!
Please tell me a bit about yourself and your background as a writer (as well as any other interesting careers or hobbies you may have!).
I am a young adult author from Annapolis, Maryland. I’m sixteen-years-old at heart, and I’ve been imagining and writing stories since I can remember. I love writing YA because the teen years are a time of taking risks, discovering the unknown, and experiencing all those heart-pounding, swoon-worthy firsts. I enjoy writing about witches because they are powerful women. Although I’m terrible at casting any magic of my own, I am descended from the accused witch, Elizabeth Dunkin of Virginia, who went to trial in 1695 for charges including bewitching livestock and causing birds to fall from the sky.
Now, tell me all about your latest book!
Koush Hollow (The Parliament House, 2020), a YA Southern Gothic, just released so I’d love to tell you about it! After her father’s untimely death, Jenna Ashby moves to Koush Hollow, a bayou town outside of New Orleans, dreading life with her wealthy mother. As the sixteen-year-old eco-warrior is introduced to the Diamonds & Pearls, her mother’s exclusive social club, she comes to the troubling realization that secrets are a way of life in Koush Hollow: How do the Diamonds & Pearls look so young, where does their money come from, and why is life along the bayou disappearing? As Jenna is drawn into their seductive world, her curiosity and concerns beg her to uncover the truth. However, in this town where mysticism abounds and secrets are deadly, the truth is not what Jenna could have ever imagined.
Who are some of your influences, as an author, particularly for this specific book?
For this book, I’d have to say it’s not who, but what influenced the story. The Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 was a big influence and it’s why Jenna is an eco-warrior. Then there’s the opening quote, “Beauty is a curse on the world for it keeps us from seeing who the real monsters are.” This is something I felt strongly about after dealing with a particularly nasty female narcissist who had a negative effect on my life for several years. Many lines from the story’s antagonist were taken from real life. Her behavior strongly influenced my desire to show that real beauty comes from inside and that a person with a good heart can overcome one ruled by greed and ambition.
Who are your favourite horror authors overall? Are there any authors out there you enjoy who write horror-comedy?
Stephen King is an obvious one. Pet Sematary, It, Firestarter, and Thinner were terrifyingly brilliant. I do wonder what his nightmares are really like.
Is horror comedy something you’d ever consider writing (or ever have written)?
I never rule anything out when it comes to writing because I have considered trying my hand at Adult Thrillers and really researched it, so maybe one day I’d like to do that, but because of some childhood experiences with the supernatural, I’d be afraid to delve into horror.
The interview continues...please read on!
Day of the Dead Bonus Blog for my 13 Horrifically Silly Days of Halloween series...with author Laurence Brothers
Laurence Brothers is a writer and technologist with a background in Internet and AI R&D, including 5 patents. He has also worked as a game designer and a research analyst, most recently at ITA Software and Google. Laurence writes mainly science fiction and fantasy, with the occasional horror story or literary piece. Within the world of genre fiction Laurence feels he's "all over the place", with hard and soft SF, space opera, historical and gothic fantasy, and all kinds of slipstream.
For more on Laurence Brothers' work, follow him on twitter at @lbrothers or visit his website at https://laurencebrothers.com which has links to many of his stories that can be read or listened to for free online.
Let's get to that interview, shall we?
Now, tell me all about your latest book!
The book I'm touting here is The Demons of Wall Street (https://www.amazon.com/Demons-Wall-Street-Simeon-Investigations-ebook/dp/B084F17FV9/), a romantic noir urban fantasy published this year by Mirror World. It has creepy and even horrifying elements, but it's not principally a horror story. The first sequel, The Demons of the Square Mile, should be out early in 2021. The protagonist, Nora Simeon, is a PI who is privy to the secret use of magic in our modern world. She is employed by the Commission that oversees sorcery and demon-summoning on behalf of the financial industry. She gained entry to this world because her estranged mother is a powerful board member on the Commission, and as the book kicks off, she's feeling trapped in a world of magic she hates, forced to deal with demonic creatures she loathes and repugnant banking executives she despises even more than the demons. But everything changes for Nora when her latest case brings her into contact with the improbably pretty Eyre, a strange young man who is too kind and complaisant to be a demon in human form, but who is too beautiful and far too odd to be human....
Who are some of your influences, as an author, particularly for The Demons of Wallstreet?
My influences are very diverse. As a kid my favorite author was Roger Zelazny, and elements of his style can probably be found in my work even now. His Amber series, though primarily high fantasy, starts in an urban fantasy setting that is good as any that has been written. From the 20th century I also loved the work of Ursula K Le Guin, Fritz Leiber, Jorge Luis Borges, James Branch Cabell, and Jack Vance, among other prominent fantasists. I should also call out James Gunn, whose novel The Magicians is perhaps the first conventional urban fantasy of the magicians-are-secretly-among-us variety. But of course there are many current SFF writers I admire. Premee Mohammed is one of my favorite writers today, and I strongly recommend her work to anyone who likes horror-inflected fantasy. Her novella The Apple-Tree Throne is charming and just a bit creepy, while her recent modern-cosmic-horror novel Beneath the Rising is superb.
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