Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: Things that go bump in the night

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  • Sam F,

    I think I've got that at home, I can lend it to you if I find it. It was part of the Richard Bachman collection and also contains the Running Man (love that film!)

    Odd coincidences - I was reading this collection on holiday a while back. The other two books in the volume are Roadwork , which IMO was the best of the lot, and Rage which Stephen King no longer wants in print because of its resonances with Columbine and so on.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I mean, counselling.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    One day someone will make the perfect zombie flick too

    Shaun of the Dead?

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Politics + the uncanny = I lol'd heartily.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Gabor Toth,

    I find that the horror movies that scare/unsettle me most are the more "plausible" ones - anything with the breakdown of society, really

    I think a film of this type which scared the bejesus out of me more than any other was Threads. I recall that it had one screening on NZ television around 1986 (I think it was a Sunday evening). Such was its impact it was the lead headline on the front page of the Evening Post the following day.
    I watched it again recently on DVD (the local public library had it) and it hadn't lost any of its power. Seriously scary stuff.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I think a film of this type which scared the bejesus out of me more than any other was Threads.

    It was about Copyright Must Change, wasn't it? You can tell us.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Interesting thing about zombies: they aren't cool anymore

    And I am totally onto the new trend

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Bloody hell. Unafraid of the link to the Nazi death marches, was he?

    I read this semi-recently, which is why I was able to find it so quickly.

    In the foreword, King states that when he was writing the story was intended to be allegorical on several levels. Having re-read it at a later stage of his life so he could write the foreword, it was clearly allegorical on several other levels that he wasn't consciously aware of when writing it.

    But an explicit link to actual, historical death marches isn't really one of the theme that jumps out.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    Zombies are always cool. Preferably as long as they're actually dead, and not, y'know, running around.

    Excellent Simon Pegg piece on why zombies must lurch slowly, inexorably towards you, preferably making a low moaning noise.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Oh, thanks Jack, that is indeed excellent.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Another unsettling film I saw recently (it was on the telly a couple of weeks ago) was Children of Men. Not exactly a classic horror film, but set in a world of horrors.

    Definitely unsettling. Some of it was filmed behind Shoreditch tube station, which was close to where I lived, and it was uncanny how they managed to make it seem slightly less dystopian than in real life.

    I see all of your zombie/splatter/exorcist moves and raise you Sapphire and Steel.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    Films that have *actually* freaked me out include:
    - Silver Bullet - well I was 11.
    - Seven - there's some twisted shit in that, and the ending is suspense-city. Fincher should do more of this kind of thing.
    - The Shining - like everyone else. Book really freaked me out at age 12-ish too (I was de-sensitised early)
    - The Omen - yeah, watched this too young also. There's a pattern emerging here.

    I love a good horror-comedy also, eg Toxic Avenger, Shaun of the Dead, Motel Hell, Re-Animator, etc. And Evil Dead. Can't forget Evil Dead, even though bits of it could go in the 'freak me out' section above.

    Has anyone ever seen Tremors? I thought that was genius.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 242 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Evil Dead: Love the series, although the first one is weeeeeird

    Shaun of the Dead: I didn't like it. There I said it.

    Tremors: great and funny and well thought out, it's like Jaws on dirt.

    Richard, I think you would like Night of the Hell Hamsters

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    That Simon Pegg piece in the Guardian is really good Jack. And while I disagree with one or two of his points I agree with his overall statement.

    It's also nice to know I was right about 28 Days Later being taken from Day of the Triffids. I thought as much when I watching it and so was able to predict who would live/die and how. Didn't make it any less scary.

    Signs (another fairly scary film) was War of the Worlds for those looking for story comparisons.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    Shaun of the Dead: I didn't like it. There I said it.

    What? SOTD is in, like, my top... one. Bah!

    I loved Signs, I though it was a fairly plausible look at how alien invasion shit would go down. SPOILER: Apart from the water. /SPOILER

    My personal top Horror experience was seeing Nightmare On Elm Streets 1-4 at a quadruple screening in Hamilton. Love the cheesy 80s stuff like Friday 13th / NOES / Halloween etc.

    How do I get my mitts on this Hampster flick, then?

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 242 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    For me, my favourite horror films aren't necessarily the scariest. My favourites run to some of the obvious: Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw, Dawn of the Dead (Romero not Snyder), Nosferatu (Murnau and Herzog), The Birds, Wicker Man, Rosemary's Baby, Don't Look Now. But the ones that are actively scary are the ghost stories: The Others, The Haunting, even The Sixth Sense. As a kid, it was Poltergeist not Friday the 13th. There's some deep, nagging sense in which the ghost stuff is plausible. But hordes of the undead or masked psychos with knives? Not even in Christchurch.

    Glad someone mentioned Sapphire and Steel. That one went beyond scary into weirdly, unidentifiably troubling.

    With ghost stories again, there is a classic anecdote about Stanley Kubrick and The Shining. According to the doco that came out a few years ago, he told Jack Nicholson that The Shining is essentially optimistic as it suggests the existence of life after death ...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    Seven - there's some twisted shit in that, and the ending is suspense-city.

    I saw this on video with a mate who was house-sitting at the time. Just the two of us, alone in a darkened house, with all the doors locked. Right at the end, at maximum tension time, someone opened the door behind us.

    Turned out to be a friend of the teenage daughter of the house, who'd borrowed a key so she could use their computer to write an essay on. Scared the stuffing out of us, though.

    Ooh.. the Wicker Man (original, not remake). Great horror: plausible(ish), and for most of it really covers that horrible feeling that everyone else knows what's happening and won't tell you.

    I also recall The Quiet Earth scaring the stuffing our of me when I saw it as a child.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    From a friend:

    Watch The Shining backwards and it becomes a redemptive tale: after a night in the cold and a period of mental instability, Jack Torrence and his family leave the scary hotel and he becomes a healthy novelist.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Glad someone mentioned Sapphire and Steel. That one went beyond scary into weirdly, unidentifiably troubling.

    It's a kind of existential horror, where the very nature of existence unravels in inexplicably malevolent ways. Plus, the editing is superb and visceral: despite the shoddy effects, something as simple as a door bursting open a split second before a character was due to open it can be enough to make you jump out of your seat.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Night of the Hell Hamsters can be bought via IndieFlix for a very reasonable price

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Or as one of my favourite bloggers, K-punk, puts it:

    Watching now, Sapphire and Steel looks like Tarkovsky's Stalker mixed with Dr Who and Magritte. Science fiction with none of the traditional trappings of the genre, no space-ships, no rayguns: no anthropomorphic foes, only the unravelling fabric of the corridor of Time, along which strange, malevolent entities would crawl, exploiting and expanding gaps and fissures in temporal continuity.

    http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/001316.html

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Stuart Coats,

    I see all of your zombie/splatter/exorcist moves and raise you Sapphire and Steel.

    There was one episode of that where they had a variation of the plague (I think) in a petrie dish, and this guy got the petrie dish flung at his face, and then his face just sort of bubbled up. Excuse me if I have all of the details wrong, because when I watched this as a kid I totally freaked out.
    And the last episode is existentially unsettling.....

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Sapphire and Steel, had to look it up on account of the translated title. But dear god, yes. That was several different kinds of scary and most perturbing.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Stuart Coats,

    Shaun of the Dead: I didn't like it. There I said it.

    I'm with you Hadyn. It's a shame, as it is one of my best mate's favourite films ever and he keeps trying to "reintroduce" it to me.
    And I really liked Hot Fuzz, which he just can't understand.
    So, you like Hot Fuzz but not Shaun of the Dead. You're a strange, strange person Coats.
    We still talk, just not as often as we used to.......

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Apart from all the obvious, a standout for me was the 1976 Doctor Who 6-episode story The Seeds of Doom wherein various people became infected with a virus (or something) that gradually turned them into plant-creatures.

    A horrible death is bad enough, but one so slow was just, to me, aged probably 6 or 7 by the time it aired here, horrifying.

    Like philipmatthews' comment above re. ghosts, the fact that is seemed so possible really ramped up the terror.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

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