Posts Tagged ‘Laura Valle’

PODCAST:

S4E10X – The Haunting of Hill House (series)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we slink through the many rooms and scurry past the plethora of ghosts in this ten episode arc, which ambitiously devours and expands upon the underlying source material forever circling the shadow of the director’s authorial inspiration. Thrice, now, we charm a tale of haunted houses and the psychological toll they reap upon their entrants. This rare late return bonus episode is abided again by Amanda Andros (playwright: https://www.instagram.com/scribblergrll/) and Laura Valle (Major Horror community fansite: https://www.facebook.com/welovescary/).

Everyone ranked this series above the 1999 remake, but below the 1963 classic. Ryan appreciated the chances the director took and the way he was able to weave in clever easter eggs, nods, and callouts to the novel. For Amanda, the character development was superb and cleverly done. Laura agreed on this point and lauded the director for excelling in this trait, but also questioned if the spirit of the book was maintained. Many comparisons were made to Stephen King. The ending proved a more difficult pill to swallow and the change in tone was perplexing if not frustrating and we digressed long on that subject.

All in all, the show was enjoyed and the general consensus was that watching the characters develop over the series (especially the middle episodes) provided an enjoyable, though sometimes uneven, experience. Laura was quick to point out that despite her reservations on how things wrapped up, she would be curious to check out other efforts by this director whose previous work she enjoyed.

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN SERIES REVIEWS:

“The Haunting (1963)” by Robert Wise (Julie Harris) (movie)

Ryan: 4 Stars “…they were ambitious and I think for the most part they succeeded in doing something that, in general, kept with most of the spirit of the book and also…survived on its own and I like sometimes when director’s do take a chance and just do their own thing…and he didn’t completely ignore the source material…

Amanda: 3.75 Stars “…the character development is amazing…especially the female characters…and the relationships between the children both in their adult lives and as small children and the parents as well…the ending killed it for me I was just like this is so corny I can’t even see straight…

Laura:  3 Stars “….if I could rate each episode individually there are some that I would give…a five…so many like really truly creepy moments…I wanted to see more of that…I wish he’d been braver with making that ending actually a haunting disturbing ending…

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

Ryan mentioned listening to two podcast interviews with the director in preparing for this episode: Post Mortem with Mick Garris – https://audioboom.com/posts/7194291-mike-flanagan and Blumhouse: Shock Waves – http://podcast.blumhouse.com/shock-waves-episode-4-the-horrors-of-mike-flanagan.

During one of the interviews Mike Flanagan recalled watching Jim Henson‘s Fraggle Rock and in particular the Terrible Tunnel. You can watch this snippet of the Fraggle Storyteller muppet singing the song of the tale of the Terrible Tunnel here on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9iQMJTVsTs. To learn more about the Terrible Tunnel go to this muppet fandom wiki: https://muppet.fandom.com/wiki/Episode_108:_The_Terrible_Tunnel.

Laura talked about two articles that reflected on the ending of this series. One article, “Let’s Talk About The Ending OF The Haunting of Hill House,” written by Alissa Fikse for Syfy Wire contains an interview with the director where he talks about how he decided to change the ending: https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/lets-talk-about-the-ending-of-the-haunting-of-hill-house. The other article, “‘Haunting of Hill House’: Oliver Jackson-Cohen Points to Red Room Clue That Hints Crains Never Made It Out,” written by Jenifer Maas for The Wrap contains an interview with one of the actors who has an interesting take on some of the hidden or not so hidden symbology woven into the episodes: https://www.thewrap.com/haunting-of-hill-house-red-room-ending-luke-oliver-jackson-cohen/. For more fun hidden images check out this article, “The Haunting of Hill House: All the Hidden Ghosts You Missed,” written by Brian Tallerico for Vulture which talks about the hidden ghosts in the show : https://www.vulture.com/2018/10/the-haunting-of-hill-house-hidden-ghosts.html. Ryan brought up another podcast (Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy) that reviewed the series and mentioned actor Russ Tamblyn (who played “Luke” in the 1963 film) made a cameo appearance as the psychologist for Nell: https://geeksguideshow.com/2018/10/26/ggg333-the-haunting-of-hill-house-season-1/.

Lastly, the three of us all took a guess (when recorded this episode) on whether or not there would be a second season of this show due to its perceived success. We were only kinda right. Check out this article, “‘Haunting of Hill House’ Renewed as Anthology, Creators Ink Overall TV Deal at Netflix,” written by Joe Otterson for Variety that explains what’s next: https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/haunting-of-hill-house-renewed-netflix-1203144815/.

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E10M – The Haunting (movie)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we weigh the two filmic adaptations of this supernatural horror story by two journeymen directors with somewhat similar tutelage, both of whom were supported by talented and capable casts, but with diverging results: one held close to the book’s psychological leanings while the other, bolstered by advancements in special effects, reached for a more thrilling terror experience. Amanda Andros (playwright: https://www.instagram.com/scribblergrll/) and Laura Valle (Major Horror community fansite: https://www.facebook.com/welovescary/) join me again as we return twice more to this not sane haunted house (with yet another review to follow later). 

Our discussions were lengthy and centered mostly around the production aspects for both movies. Amanda brought up the auteur style of directing, and while we contrasted these movies with that directorial form, we also saw a great deal of effort put into these visual expressions of the story. Laura had seen the first movie before and felt it was just as enjoyable to re-watch, but she was sorely disappointed in the later version which she had hoped would simply be a fun ride if nothing else. Ryan agreed with the overall consensus of his guests that the earlier black and white film captured all too well the psychological horror present in the book, yet the later director’s background in action films seemed to lead this work too far away from what made the original story great: i.e. the delicate balance between the psychological and supernatural.

We had loads of fun delving deeply into the backgrounds of these two talented directors and the various thoughtful elements they incorporated into their films. Contrasting the results led to interesting talk about various competing theories which directors must choose or blend when they undertake to make a visual representation of a work of literature. In many ways, this episode exemplifies the core of what the podcast is about. 

So, ignore creaky doors, incorporeal mutterings, those strange wall scrawlings, and odd spots of temperature shift–lean in, listen, stream and thrall with podcast musings and scary delight!

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN MOVIE REVIEWS:

“The Haunting (1963)” by Robert Wise (Julie Harris) (movie)

Ryan: 5 Stars “…The 1963 Film is a cleverly undertook film that perfectly captures the essence of Jackson’s book while empathizing the more psychological aspects in just the right way so that something slightly different and sinisterly Beautiful is realized…

Amanda: 4 1/2 Stars “…The 63’ version was very Hitchcockian and Orson Wells with the camera angles, it was visually striking…it was a very close adaptation and visually enthralling as well as with the sounds and dialog…lot of internal monologuing in the 63’ version…

Laura:  5 Stars “…The 63’ version is a fairly faithful adaptation of the book that really…used a lot of fantastic camera work and sound…was really scary and effective…

*** * ***

“The Haunting (1999)” by Jan de Bont (Liam Neeson) (movie)

Ryan: 3 Stars “…while the 1999 remake attempts to pay tribute to the older cult classic but from a new angle by interjected thriller elements and choosing to focus on the supernatural elements which the previous film tended to avoid in a more grandiose way so that it tends to overshadow itself despite the heaps of talent involved…

Amanda: 1/2 Star “…which was also very captivating. The 99’ version is just a grotesque funhouse and distortion of the novel…it was not faithful to the vision of the novel…

Laura: 1 Star “…the 99’ version veered quite a bit from the original source material and was kind of a big mess of special effects and over the top…”  

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

On this episode we mentioned the real life hotel in England where some of the cast stayed and which served as the outside of Hill House for the 1963 movie. To learn more about the Eddington Park Hotel visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ettington_Park_Hotel, or book a stay there: https://www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/ettingtonpark/#. Some of the strange experiences of the crew for that film reminded Amanda of the infamous curse alleged to afflict the cast and crew of the Poltergeist film series. Snopes did an article on this topic, “Is the ‘Poltergeist’ Curse Real?” which is found here:  https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/poltergeist-curse/.

The film school interview of director Jon de Bont mentioned by Ryan on the show took place at the New York Film Academy for the director’s release of his hit film “Twister,” and you can watch this here: https://youtu.be/CBuj1N-jVa0. Ryan also compared some of the over-the-top special effects in the 1999 movie to a typical concert by outrageous heavy metal rockers GWAR. You can watch the official music video from one of their original hit singles “Sick Of You” on the Metal Blade Records music channel on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dbnm-0r3suM.

Last, but certainly not least, we made much ado about the cameo appearance of incomparable actor Bruce Dern in the 1999 movie, which reminded Laura of his role in cult classic film “The Burbs” directed by former NDIOS subject director Joe Dante. Enjoy this short compilation clip of the actor in the aforementioned film aptly titled “The Burbs: Bruce Dern, Master of Physical Comedy” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbQbflIH8E8.

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E10B – The Haunting of Hill House (book)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we dance through the gray miasma blurring the boundary between psychological and supernatural horror. I am pleased to be accompanied by two previous guests who bring with them an enthusiasm befitting this eye-opening peer into the gothic terror of one of literature’s paramount tales on the classic haunted house archetype. Joining me this trip are Amanda Andros (playwright: https://www.instagram.com/scribblergrrrl/) and Laura Valle (Major Horror community fansite: https://www.facebook.com/welovescary/).

Our trio was equally fascinated by the storied background of the author, which entailed a deservedly lengthy biographical overview. She was someone we were all vaguely familiar with due to her epic success in the short story world due to a piece permanently burned into the American literary canon: The Lottery. In preparing for the podcast, Laura and Amanda were both inspired to earmark other works by this author as well as a fairly recent biography of her life. Her personal tale was found to be just as up and down as that of the protagonist in her book.

All three of us felt the sparse style of writing was able to capture the mood and compliment the plot quite well. Laura noted the isolation of the protagonist who was desperately trying to fit in and compared the detailed insight akin to the style utilized by Stephen King (though she found this author’s ability to wrap things up a much tidier affair). Amanda compared the writing to Flannery O’Connor in that the dark parts came sudden, sharp, and abrupt. Ryan appreciated the false climax that led up to a much more original and powerful ending. 

Please enjoy this exuberant review of a well-respected, but sometimes overlooked important author and one of her crowning achievements.

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“The Haunting of Hill House (1959)” by Shirley Jackson (book)

Ryan: 5 Stars “…A place of nuanced genius where psychological suspense meets the supernatural, highlighting the lulls of reality in which we deceive ourselves while we all slowly tilt toward an inevitable yet unpredictable whizz-bang ending!…

Amanda: 5 Stars “…The embodiment of psychological darkness…a manifestation of horror in a physical sense…

Laura: 5 Stars “…What’s so haunting…is the sort of like devastating character study of the protagonist, and just sort of watching this…ascent into hopefulness, and then like crashing descent to hopelessness…

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

Although not read by us prior to the recording of the podcast, we checked out an interview of Ruth Franklin who wrote a biography on the author that was published in 2016: Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life. The interview of the biographer for “BBC Books and Authors” was on the episode “A look back at the year and the work of Shirley Jackson”(https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0856lt1). We also listened to the fourth season review “Shirley Jackson: Her Life & Her Stories” on the podcast “Good Mourning, Nancy” (https://goodmourningnancy.com/season-four/), which was very enjoyable and informative. You can learn more about Shirley Jackson by visiting this website http://shirleyjackson.org/. To check out the award established in her name “for outstanding achievement in the literature of horror, the dark fantastic, and psychological suspense” visit: https://www.shirleyjacksonawards.org/.

Shirley is probably most famous for her short story “The Lottery,” which was first published in 1948 by the New Yorker magazine (read it on their website here: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1948/06/26/the-lottery). The first visual adaptation of this story was made for Encyclopædia Britannica’s ‘Short Story Showcase’ series and featured the film debut of a young Ed Begley, Jr.. You can watch this 1969 short film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQQoMCaUz5Y. Ryan talked about the rumors that Jackson wrote this work in a fit of passion, which reminded him of a similar tale about the subject-fitting song “Paranoid” by metal legends and originators Black Sabbath. Check out their eerie and trippy original music video for this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkXHsK4AQPs.

Like a lot of authors, Shirley Jackson, was inspired by the real world when she created her stories. We mentioned the disappearance of Paula Jean Welden, which resulted in her book Hangsaman. Ryan also brought up two places that directly inspired elements of this book. For more on the Borley Rectory of England check out episode 87 of the “13 O’Clock” podcast (https://goddessofhellfire.com/2018/04/17/13-oclock-episode-87-borley-rectory-plus-keith-linder-haunting/) and an article in “The Observer” by Amelia Hill called: Hoaxer’s confession lays the famed ghosts of Borley (https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2000/dec/31/books.booksnews). For more about Glamis Castle of Scotland check out episode 103 on the “History Goes Bump” podcast (http://historygoesbump.libsyn.com/ep-103-glamis-castle). 

During our show we talked about the author inserting a humorous scene with the Doctor’s boorish wife and her sycophant helper, the former who unsuccessfully used automatic writing via a planchette (this website has some good depictions of the device: https://museumoftalkingboards.com/planchet.html) to summon the spirits of Hill House. These characters reminded us the character “Otho” played by Glenn Shadix in the cult classic film: Beetlejuice. You can enjoy YouTube snippets of the actor’s performance in the movie here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0Lgti4p3-k, as well as his work in the famous ghostly inspired dinner dance sequence here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzSP-J90tqA.

Lastly, here is the Instagram post mentioned by Ryan depicting acorns, which he felt indicative of the moods in the novel:

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E10P – Preview Episode (The Haunting)*

SUBJECT MATTER:

“The Haunting of Hill House (1959)” by Shirley Jackson (book)

“First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.” (from Amazon.com)

*** * ***

“The Haunting (1963)” by Robert Wise (Julie Harris) (movie)

“A group is introduced to the supernatural through a 90-yearold New England haunted house. Be prepared for hair-raising results in this classic horror film!” (from Amazon.com)

 

 

*** * ***

“The Haunting (1999)” by Jan de Bont (Liam Neeson) (movie)

“In the 1860’s, industrialist Hugh Crain financed the construction of Hill House, a beautiful but forbidding mansion where Crain hoped to house a wife and children. However, Crain died an unexplained death at Hill House, and ever since tales have circulated that the mansion is haunted by evil spirits. 130 years later, Dr. David Marrow (Liam Neeson), long fascinated by the Hill House legend, brings three people there for what he tells them will be a study in sleep disorders.” (from Amazon.com)

 

*** * ***

“The Haunting of Hill House (2018)” by Mike Flanagan (Kate Siegel) (netflix series) ++bonus follow up++

“Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it.” (from Netflix.com)

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S3E8M – Hellraiser (movie)*

SHOW NOTES:

Four men and one brave women gathered to discuss the film “Hellraiser” (and possibly play Hungry Hungry Hippos). In a freakish act of pleasantness everyone more or less agreed that the movie was enjoyable and worth watching.

The group discussed how the major flaw with the movie was that it did not explain the motivations of the central characters. However, it did bring forth vivid imagery that created one of the most everlasting horror icons, “Pinhead.” Overall, the differences, strengths and weaknesses of the movie compared to the book were discussed. Of particular interest was the production and effects of the movie, which the entire group found worthy of admiration.

While there was some trademark filibustering and ignoring the discussion remained oddly civil. We look forward to seeing you next time, in whatever dimension you summon us to. So remember, when you open your puzzle box, sprinkle some baby powder over it—because there is no deodorant in outer space (and there is even less in Hell)!

-Wilk

WRITTEN FILM REVIEWS:

Movie: “Hellraiser (1987)” by Clive Barker (Ashley Laurence)

Ryan: 4 Stars “…I don’t think it’s perfect, but I do think it’s better than the book…”

Wilk:  4 1/2 Stars “…it’s not Jaws, but its a very good movie…”

Rick: 5 Stars “…just because it’s one of a kind and nothing like this has ever been done before in the history of movie making…”

Laura (guest): 4 3/4 Stars “…it could have been better, but at the same time it’s just such a classic it’s hard to not give it 5 stars…”

Beam (guest): 5 Stars “…I f***ing love Clive Barker, I always have…”

*** * ***

FUN FACTOIDS:

cenobites

The hosts on this episode metioned an old interview with Clive Barker from 1987 which took place after the Hungerford Massacre in the UK. During this TV program called “Open to Question,” the author is put to questions by college kids grilling him about violence in horror films: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOqaKgrbjfQ.

The real stars of this film were the Cenobites. We discussed this gruesome group to great length during the episode and even mentioned that one the monsters has a freeze framer error where wheels can be seen during the video. This website article by Jack Incongruente has the pictures and animated gifs of that error here: http://www.jackincongruente.com/en/23-fun-facts-about-hellraiser-1987-movie/.

We also discussed the book art that Clive Barker painted to go with the standalone version of this novella. The artwork can be viewed two ways:

3f546bd0-9810-45c3-ae9a-5d1dc6f40369

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S3E8B – The Hellbound Heart (book)*

SHOW NOTES:

Prior to this recording, Ryan, Beam, and I danced and frolicked in a pentagram of fire deep in the Illinois woods with aching hopes to summon the Cenobite priests from the netherworld.

Ryan, Beam, Wilk & Rick

With eyes rolled back, Ryan drooled on our sacrifice as he mumbled sacred text from ancient alien scripts. At the conclusion of Ryan’s prayer, Beam pulled a lever actuating tension to the hooks surgically fastened deep within the creature.

Laura & Wilk

The moment the animal was devoured, we felt the presence of Wilk and Laura and commenced to record a podcast about Clive Barker’s “Hellbound Heart” that transformed and enhanced our Earthly senses and perspectives.

-Rick

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

Book: “The Hellbound Heart (1986)” by Clive Barker

Ryan: 3 1/2 Stars “… A carnal visage of thrill-based plotting that is both fast and to the point…that being the tip of a meat hook…

Wilk:  4 Stars “…There is really no reason not to read this book. It’s very accessible, it’s a quick read, and it’s overall enjoyable…

Rick: 2 Stars “…Not a real horror tale because it is corrupted with righteous vindictive retribution…

Laura (guest): 4 Stars “…The characters…they don’t go into a lot of detail, but it’s scary, it’s haunting, it gives me the heebie jeebies…”

Beam (guest): 4 Stars “…I think he was still learning how to write at that time and he kept it really short, but there is a lot of depth there…

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)

FUN FACTOIDS:

abaratOn the show Rick talked about Clive Barker’s brief foray into the world of Disney. The two entered into an option agreement for a young adult fantasy series titled “Abarat.” Check out this article by Witney Seibold, “Clive Barker’s ABARAT: The Epic Disney Movie that Never Was” found here: http://www.blumhouse.com/2016/01/07/clive-barkers-abarat-the-epic-disney-movie-that-never-was/. We also mentioned a recent podcast interview with Clive Barker where he discussed going into a coma after contracting Toxic Shock Syndrome. That interview was conducted by Chris Hardwick for the Nerdist Podcast and can be found here: http://nerdist.com/nerdist-podcast-clive-barker/. Another great recent podcast interview with the author was conducted by David Barr Kirtley for Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy here: https://geeksguideshow.com/2015/05/10/ggg151-clive-barker/.

leo-valentinClive Barker cites the death of famous skydiver, Leo Valentin, as having an affect on his life. Valentin was a modern “birdman” who fashioned wings for himself in an effort to create human flight, which ultimately ended in his own demise. Barker has stated that when he was very young he watched the performance which led to Valentin’s death. Later in Barker’s life, Valentin inspired some of the author’s stories.

grizzly-man

The infamous stars of this book (and later the movie “Hellraiser”) might be the actual villains, the Cenobites. Much discussion was had on this episode about the motivations of these other-worldly beings and their motivations. The hosts and guests compared the seemingly savage disinterest of these unique baddies to that of wild animals (sharks and bears). During the podcast Ryan recalled an interview of director Werner Herzog who discussed the bears that were the real-life subjects of his documentary film “The Grizzly Man“. That interview was by Marc Maron for his podcast WTF:  http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episode-733-werner-herzog-godfrey.

Lastly, Wilk mentioned Clive Barker answered questions on Goodreads.com (like the scariest book he ever read) which can be found here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10366.Clive_Barker?from_search=true.

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.