Happy Halloween: Horror Movies and Poems

Happy Halloween, dear reader! On this fun, queer, and creative day, I wanted to let you know what I've been up to lately.

First of all, I am continuing to work on a new collection of poems that play with horror movie tropes. In celebration, here is a piece from that manuscript as a small gift for the holiday:

I am sending out poems from the collection and working on an arrangement, as well as revising some new pieces. Hopefully, I will be finishing the book and sending it into the world soon!

Also, I've been watching horror movies. Instead of doing a traditional 31 Days of Horror, this year I pursued a 13 New-to-Me Horror Movie Challenge. As a horror fan, I watch scary movies year round, but I often return to old favorites. Of course, I watched some faves this month (Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Hellbent, The FacultyScream, etc.), but I focused on new films.

Here is what I watched:
1. The Cleanse (2016)
2. The Covenant (2006)
3. The Body (2018)
4. Midnight Man (2016)
5. The Gate (1987)
6. Nightbreed (Director's Cut) (1990)
7. Halloween (2018)
8. The Haunting of Julia (1981)
9. House (1985)
10. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
11. Dracula II: Ascension (2003)
12. When a Stranger Calls (2006)
13. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)

Biggest Disappointment: The Covenant (2006)
Several of my selections were duds this month, but there is a big difference between a fascinating failure and dull movie. The Covenant is the latter. After a raucous first act of cute guys and a decent premise, the movie falls apart. It has no scares, little humor, and a plodding final act. The swimwear scenes are not worth this tedious watch.

Best Scare: The Haunting of Julia (1981)
Wow. This movie is a masterpiece of atmospheric, ghostly horror. Based on Peter Straub's novel, Julia, and starring a wonderful Mia Farrow, The Haunting of Julia (aka Full Circle) has been mostly forgotten; it failed to find an audience in England in the late 70s, as well as during a belated '81 US release. Yet, the movie is a true creeper. It got under my skin, and I had a hard time sleeping the night I watched it. Of all the movies I watched this October--even counting the new Halloween--The Haunting of Julia is the film I plan on adding to my collection. I highly recommend checking it out.

Though I will be working late tonight, I do plan on having a cozy wind-down to my holiday. I will be making tea, lighting some candles, and watching Murder, She Wrote Season 2 Episode 6, "Reflections of the Mind." It's a great entry in the series that plays with haunted house tropes, but is ultimately a soft homage to Gaslight (one of Angela Lansbury's first films). There are other great horror adjacent episodes (including a Psycho tribute and the double-episode, "Nan's Ghost"), but "Reflections..." is a nice balance of haunted house and cozy mystery for this time of year.

Credit: Murder, She Blogged

Have a fun and safe Halloween, dear reader!

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