Miscellaneous: books and movies – August 2014


  • “The hill of dreams” – Arthur Machen

hillLucian, the main character of this book halfway between the bildungsroman and the fantastic, is a young man living in a contry town in Wales who decides to consecrate his life to literature. This is the story of a romantic and passionate soul suffering the limits of country society of his little town and who tries every manner to run away from this reality. Lucian’s fervid imagination, or maybe some arcane magic, create a parallel world in which the man refuges every day more often, starting from the Roman Fort, by now just ruins, near his house: the Hill of Dreams which gives title to the book. Imagination is essential even in the radical love for Annie, low class girl he meets only two times whom he makes the symbol of the Woman.

The moving to London to live of his art makes Lucian even more unstable: the city is depicted as a neverending series of misty and dark alleys, an infinite boondocks lost in frost and haze, in which the writer moves hiding, confused, desperate; his only company are the pain of not feeling good enough for the art he would want to excel at and the allucinations he has, until the tragic, expected epilogue.

The Hill of Dreams was for a long time defined as the most decadent book in english language. Outstanding book, visionary, sometimes scary. To enjoy it fully I should probably had to read it in italian: despite I read “The Great God Pan”, “The White People” and “The Red Hand” in original language, in this case my english was unluckily not enough.

Voto: ★★★★★



  • “Space Pirate Captain Harlock” – Shinji Aramaki (2013)

capitan_harlockI wish I could see this movie at the cinema so much! No that finally I watched it I’m even more sorry that I couldn’t enjoy it on a proper screen: its graphic is awesome and even just the first appearence of the Arcadia is wonder.

Talking about the story: it’s not what I was expecting and what I remember. Captain Harlock is just a back character while the main one is Yama, young enemy who joins the crew in incognito. Very different from the Captain Harlock to which a lot of us were used to.

Voto: ★★★☆☆


  • “Calvaire” – Fabrice Du Welz (2004)

calvaire1Singer Marc Stevens, idol of old women and nurses in retirement homes, departs with his van to reach the next exhibition, but borke down during his travel. Around where this happens there’s an hotel and Marc goes there with Boris, met while he was searching his dog Bella in the woods. The owner of the hotel now closed, is Bartel, former comedian, who offers to help Marc with the van. Marc accepts the help since he can’t do anything else, but understands something is wrong.

A rough movie, disturbing: don’t watch it if you can’t stand violent scenes.

Voto: ★★★★☆

  • “Dark touch” – Marina de Van (2013)

dark_touch_xlgNiamh is eleven years old when her parents and little brother are killed by a mysterious entity, maybe a spirit haunting their house lost in the middle of the irish country. A couple of friends, who in the past lost a daughter, decides to take care of the girl, now completely alone. They will discover (too late) that it’s not a good idea.

A movie facing the matter of minors abuse from an horror point of view, but unluckily a bit banal.

Voto: ★★★☆☆


  • “The New Daughter” – Luis Berdejo (2009)

the_new_daughterA father moves in a new house with his son and daughter to run away from his marriage’s failure and his wife’s leaving. An ancient secret is hidden in the park and it will change day after day the teenage daughter until it will be too late.

Pretty ugly movie, apart for the brief appearence of Noah Taylor 😉

Voto: ★★☆☆☆



  • “Dead silence” – James Wan (2007)

deadsilenceJamie comes from a little town where a legend warns against Mary Shaw, a ventriloquist dead from a long time. These are just childhood memories until a doll is delivered at his house and it kills his young wife. This takes him back to his child house to investigate on what could be true in the old legend.

Voto: ★★☆☆☆



  • “Intruders” – Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (2011)

intruders_xlgThere’s an odd comparison between the stories of Juan, spanish kid, and Mia, english girl: it’s a dark entity with no face which haunts their nights, terrifying and hurting them.  But why them two? What they have in common?

The story, about children’s worst nightmares’ materialization, would have been interesting, but the movie is pretty banal.

Voto: ★★☆☆☆


  • “The haunting in Connecticut” – Peter Cornwell (2009)

haunting_in_connecticut_ver2_xlgIt seems this movie is taken from a true story (even if, reading on Wikipedia, the real life protagonist says that no movie could ever explain the actual horror of the real happenings), and saying this I could list all the arguing between me and Stephen: he believe in nothing, I get scared even just reading “based on true events”.

Anyway. Matt is an adolescent with cancer and, to be closer to the hospital he is being cured, his family moves in a big old house. As in all these cases: the house has a low cost because “it has a story”. They decide to go to live there anyway, since they are broken because of the bills for Matt’s cures. Soon unpleasant things start to happen, mostly to Matt, and becomes clear the house is haunted.

As I said, I love movies based on true stories. This could have been a very good movie, unluckily lost itself in some horror stereotypes which ruined it.

Voto: ★★★☆☆

  • “The haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia” – Tom Elkins (2013)

HauntingInConnecticut2Since we liked “The haunting in Connecticut”, when we saw this sequel on Netflix we thought it was a good idea to watch it. We were wrong: this is an incredibly predictable movie, so boring I fell asleep.

The story is always the same: a family moves in an old house; everything is fine until they find they’re not alone. The subject itself is very common and this doesn’t help, but there are thousand ways to make it at least decent.

Voto: ★★☆☆☆

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