tips for practising writing . . . — poems of the moon

❝ In writing, you must kill all your darlings. ❞ ― William Faulkner Introduction You cannot be a writer if you do not write. It’s an unfortunate truth, because I too, would much rather sit on my bed all day and play The Sims. Lack of motivation and procrastination are two things I struggle with […]

tips for practising writing . . . — poems of the moon

Path or Destination? — Lisa Stowe – The Story River Blog — THE DEVIANTS. A NOVEL BY SERENA HARKER.

I had a difficult conversation with our son recently. During that talk he said there was no sense starting something now because it would take a long time to reach the result we were talking about. I told him he was looking at taking a long path, not reaching a destination. I’ve been thinking about […] […]

Path or Destination? — Lisa Stowe – The Story River Blog — THE DEVIANTS. A NOVEL BY SERENA HARKER.





I absolutely love survival horror films like this one. FALL is very similar to one whose name I can’t remember, featuring a cable car stuck up in the mountains after the booking office has closed and the staff have all gone home for the weekend, maybe even the long weekend. And you know the way that the kids in horror films often do the stupidest things, the exact things that will guarantee them both disaster and a short life?

The kids in the cable car movie (it’s on the tip of my tongue; was it called DROP? SNOW? CABLE CAR? MOUNTAIN? FREEZE? ROCK? SWING? CREAK? THREE THICK EEJITS STUCK IN A ROCKING CABLE CAR HALFWAY UP A FUCKIN’ MOUNTAIN AFTER HOURS?) can’t have known that their cable car would turn out to be faulty, so I suppose you can’t really call them stupid, but the two lasses in FALL do the stupidest thing ever while in their right minds, so they deserve every Darwin Award ever awarded to stupid people who improve the human gene pool by killing themselves in ever more idiotic ways. It’s a bit like the rubbish kerbing itself, if you get me.

FALL adheres strictly to a formula, but it’s a formula that still really works. Put your protagonists in a dangerous situation, then just keep turning the screw on the little blighters till they figure a way out for themselves. THE POOL and CRAWL and 47 METERS DOWN all come to mind as examples of fairly recent survival horror films that stick to the formula, but really work well as well.

American gals Becky and Hunter decide to climb a 2,000 ft high tower in the desert so that they can take photos at the top for Hunter’s YouTube channel, for which she carries out dangerous ‘challenges.’

Well, people will always like and subscribe to watch other idiots killing themselves, we know that. They’ll film you while you’re dying, too, but don’t expect them to call 911 because they’re busy trying to film something, goddammit…!

Anyway, Becky doesn’t want to climb the stupid tower. She’d rather stay home and booze it up and mourn the loss of her hubby, Dan, who died this time last year in, yes, you guessed it, a climbing accident also involving Becky and Hunter. (Dan is played by Mason Gooding, the son of Cuba Gooding, Jr.)

Becky doesn’t want to climb stairs, never mind a stupid rickety old tower in the desert, but Hunter, hungry for Likes & Subscribes, manages to persuade her that, if she doesn’t, she’ll be giving in to fear and fear will dominate her for the rest of her life.

Is that what you want, Becky? For fear to be the boss of you your whole freakin’ life? Do you want to be enjoying a quiet evening in and suddenly fear calls round and ruins everything by insisting you cook for him (yep, fear’s a guy!) and give him the best seat on the couch so he can watch his Netflix series, which, by the way, has one-hundred-and-twenty episodes in it and he’s only watched about four to date? Get a grip, Becky!

About thirty-five minutes in to the film, the shit hits the fan. The girls, Wonderbras firmly in place because ‘tits get clicks,’ suddenly find themselves stuck up the tower and in the worst peril of their stupid lives, and all to get clicks and views for ‘Danger D,’ as Hunter calls herself online.

Putting your own and a friend’s life in jeopardy for your viewers’ pleasure and enjoyment is almost criminally wrong. What sort of desperate character does that? Is someone officially looking into it? Seriously…

I’m not really going to give away any more, but the tension is terrific and the girls’ predicament just keeps getting grimmer and grimmer, as the buzzards circle ominously and the gals can’t get a signal for their phones. Well, it can’t be because they’re not up bleedin’ high enough!

There’s the usual trope of a confession needing to be made by one of the parties stuck up 2,000 feet in the ear, and the other party needs to hear it, regardless of what a dodgy and dangerous situation they find themselves in.

One of the girls is estranged from one parent as well, and would really appreciate said parent reading her mind and coming to her rescue right about now. Oh, wouldn’t that be luverly…?

The two female leads are excellent in their roles, although I found it strange that neither of them seemed to be suffering from vertigo and there were virtually no shots of the ground coming sickeningly up to meet them like in Alfred Hitchcock’s VERTIGO. They were standing around as bold as brass, not even holding onto the pole thing and looking down in gut-wrenching terror.

There’s a pretty good plot twist that I did not see coming, and an ever-so-slightly disappointing ending. It’s just a tad confusing, that’s all. Hopefully it won’t ruin your enjoyment of an otherwise cracking little survival horror film. And remember, it’s a survival film, isn’t it, so someone has to, right…?  

I don’t just watch tv, tips for writing reviews part two

Paper Beats World

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Last week we talked about my job as a horror critic for Haunted MTL. And it turned out that I had more to say about the topic than one post alone could hold. So I’m back today with more advice for any aspiring critics.

Whereas last week we talked about the writing of reviews themselves, today I want to talk about building a career as a critic. Because there are things to consider that I never thought of before I started writing reviews. Some are pretty common sense. Some, I wish I’d understood sooner.

What are you going to write about?

When writing reviews, what you write about is as important as how you write about it. I can write the best review you ever read in your life…

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