Halloween. All hallow's eve.
Whether the roots are pagan or Christian, we cash in on this secular chill that thrills.
The suspense is killing me, so take me back, take me back.
Back to reflect on my interest in horror that started in childhood.
It is more than just academic and festers deep with psychology:
Role playing, body image, transgression;
Canny and uncanny ways to escape from terra firma into incognita.
Here are three of my favourite zero degree chills.
I take all my modern inspiration from Jennifer Kent's Monster.
The suggestive shadow play rather than the yawning gore.
The construction of creeping tension is far more effective than in her feature-length adaption, Babadook.
The domestic image of pots and pans that can never be cleaned
As a mother and child are trapped in a world of their own making
Shattered by the jarring horror in fast motion when we first see the entity as it slices up a staircase.
This is a lovely echo of the stately paced movement of Nosferatu in the silent age.
A modern day fairy tale that is far from Grimm.
It seemed fitting that the possessed mother in Bababook should be supplementing her nightmare
With pills and a diet of TV horror and one scene has her watching Mario Bava's Black Sabbath.
I evoke Mario Bava for this second instalment of being scared and excited at the same time.
His 1966 film, Operazione Paura (Operation Fear) which a slick American producer
Renamed in classic exploitation manner as Kill, Baby Kill.
This story of a village cursed by the ghost of a dead girl is old school
But so compelling is the rolling ball of tension and a set design
Fleshed out in exquisite lighting that old is memorably made new.
Continues the childhood theme.
Rosemary's Baby brought to life by the dark imagination of Roman Polanski
And given a kiss of death by Krzysztof Komeda's haunting score.
The lullaby, la, la, la, figure of eight on a glacial and fragile surface
That will culminate in a poignant maternal instinct;
Red raw seeds of the devil are shaped by the human milk of kindness.
Minus three, two, one.
All hallow's eve. Halloween.