American Gothic

Review – HP Lovecraft the Complete Works

June 22nd, 2015  |  Published in American Gothic, Dark Tales, Horror, Reviews, Self Publishing, Writer and Research

Lovecraft’s own writing inspires horror writers to strive to write intelligent, thoughtful and well-crafted stories that don’t simply rely on gimmicks and cheap shocks. In his own words:

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Stephen King does it again with Finders Keepers

June 15th, 2015  |  Published in American Gothic, Dark Tales, science fiction, Self Publishing, Writer and Research


Finders Keepers

I enjoyed Mr Mercedes very much, and am glad to say that Finders Keepers is even better. The story moves at a rapid pace, yet at the same time it is a slow-burning gradual intensifying of tension and threat. The inevitable confrontation between Morris and Pete is signalled early in the story and we watch with fascination as the complexities of plot and situation draw them closer and closer. The sub-plots and stories within stories are meticulously constructed and mesh seamlessly with the novel’s overall trajectory. That we are already familiar with Bill, Holly and Jerome helps, as there is no need to establish these characters. The other two protagonists in this ensemble cast are finely created. Morris Bellamy is less demented than Brady Hartfield in Mr Mercedes, and for me this makes him more contradictory and thus more interesting. King has cleverly imbued Morris with some characteristics such as his love of literature which will resonate with readers, however perversely it is manifested by him. Pete Saubers is another of those adolescent males that King creates wonderfully and who is sorely tested by circumstances beyond his control, and yet for which he is, or feels, somehow responsible. Minor characters, particularly Morris’ former friend Andy, are similarly well articulated. Obsession, redemption, responsibility, fate; although there is nothing supernatural in Finders Keepers (although barely hinted at in a few brief encounters with Brady) the novel has a grim, Gothic atmosphere. Read it in a day

Review on original Gothic thriller and crime tale

June 8th, 2015  |  Published in American Gothic, Dark Tales, film, historical fiction, Horror, Reviews, Thriller, Writer and Research

Film – The Raven


Film director, James Mc Teigue, draws thematically on the poem The Raven and the poet’s life. The poem depicts the narrator lamenting over lost love, where the raven is a messenger from the land of the dead and a symbol of death. Even though the narrator is haunted by the lover and death, the poem asserts that although death conquers life it doesn’t destroy love. This theme is embodied in the film where the fictitious Poe is prepared to surrender his life for his lover.

The film deviates from the poem and the facts of Poe’s life. Unlike, the poem, the film is a hybrid genre of historical fiction, Gothic horror, thriller and crime story. Laced with violence and gore, the film is not recommended for young viewers or the faint hearted. Mc Teigue’s thriller relies on a number of the Poe’s gruesome tales where a deranged fan sets about to re-enact some of Poe’s most grisly tales. He must be stopped before he works his way through Poe’s entire compilation of stories. This is a compelling and chilling thriller that sustains suspense throughout keeping viewers on edge until its grim finale.


Sleepy Hollow – Review and literary comparison of original story and film adaption

May 5th, 2015  |  Published in American Gothic, Dark Tales, English teacher resource, film, Horror, Literary comparison, Reviews, Writer and Research

Sleepy Hollow – traditional American Gothic Read the rest of this entry »