Sunday Sesh: Halloween Weekend Jamboree
It is the most wonderful time of the year. The leaves are changing. Hints of frost linger in the air. Hacked up gourds leer from every stoop. Halloween may be on a Tuesday this year, but that’s not stopping you from getting down. This post is for you, my little ghouls. Share what sort of tricks you’ve been up to and what sort of treats you’re putting into your body.
Did you party this weekend? Carve up a pumpkin? Binge-watch all of the new season of Stranger Things? Let’s talk about it. Below are just a few snapshots of how I’m getting into the spirit of the season.
The media is notoriously unkind to horror movies. Just take a glance at IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes, and you’ll soon find that critics are almost monumentally biased toward fright fests. Thankfully, the rest of the world has bequeathed the faithful the entire month of October to enjoy horror flicks in a relatively judgment free environment. While I’ve been splitting my free moments across myriad activities, you’d better believe I’ve made time for a number of thrillers/suspense/horror flicks. Beyond the Gates was terrible, but I quite enjoyed They Look Like People. Last Shift blows the ending, but the Cube films are fun for thriller x haunted house fun.
Last night, however, I finally watched Train to Busan, and I’ve gotta tell you, the film didn’t scare me. It really bummed me out. I suppose that’s sort of par for the course for Korean films (see: Snowpiercer, The Host), but I didn’t expect to feel that down after watching a zombie flick. It’s no Dawn of the Dead, but if you want something with flesh-eaters that will make you feel things, give it a spin.
Guess what? Toilet ov Hell has its own book club! While the first two entries we read were sci-fi, we dedicated October’s selection to the spoop. The inimitable Scrimm suggested we read Norman Partridge’s Dark Harvest, and the tall man’s recommendation was right on the money. Although the book starts out like an easily-digestible, toss-away pulp tale of a pagan tradition gripping a small town in rural USA, Partridge’s excellent story-telling soon morphs the Halloween fright-fest into an emotionally fraught, deeply contemplative work that questions the sins of the fathers, the hunger of youth, and the prices we pay for liberty. All while a pack of young men hunt a pumpkin-headed monster with pitchforks and chains. It’s an excellent roller-coaster of a read, full of intrigue and surprising depth, and I certainly recommend it.
And of course I’ve been jamming some spooky tunes all month. In case you haven’t heard it yet, there’s a new Blut Aus Nord record out! How you feel about it will likely depend on whether you enjoy Blut Aus Nord’s past body of work, and which period specifically you prefer. Thankfully, for me anyway, Deus Salutis Meae eschews the melodic black metal style of BAN’s most recent full-length, 2014’s Memoria Vetusta III, in favor of industrial-tinged, off-kilter black metal more reminiscent of BAN’s earlier works like MoRT or The Work Which Transforms God. I find Vindsval’s songwriting far more compelling when he’s casting dense atmospheres of unease rather than penning melodic riffs, so DSM is right up my alley. It’s a dark, twisting ride, one that I honestly have yet to fully wrap my head around, but I’d certainly recommend it if you need something warped to clear unwanted guests at your Halloween party.
So what spine-tingling shenanigans are you people getting up to? Got a rad costume to show off? Want to display your gnarly pumpkin carving? Have a horror movie recommendation for me? Sound off in the comments below.