Film Club: Spooky Pictures

Bib (one of our new writers, HOLA) and Sarah attack the films that attacked them. Artwork by Jess (our new resident artist, HOLA)

Here's Johnny


Steven Spielberg’s E.T is one of those films that defines an era, that becomes a moment in cinematic history that will stand the test of time. But for me, all this so called “classic” represents is horror and nightmares about a creepy, flat footed alien who could stand to go for a run instead of being carted around in a bicycle basket. I can hear the naysayers now,  “But E.T is a cute little alien!” WRONG. That wrinkly little son of a bitch is out for blood. Drew Barrymore thinks it’s all fun and games. She was young and naive, and possibly had already started doing lines between takes. (I forgive you, darling Drew.)

Real talk, I’ve never actually seen this movie. And this is because if I did indeed sit down and watch this extra terrestrial (still confused about the “extra” part), I would never step outside at night again in fear that I would be burdened with some scary ass alien life form tumbling in from beyond.

Now that I think about it, E.T looks a lot like the Tan Mom. The leathery, solarium damaged skin and the sunken bug eyes; they could be mistaken for sisters… now I truly am terrified.  – Bib

Room 237

Everything about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is so entirely appealing. I’ve never watched the entire film, but the parts I have, I’ve sat mesmerized in front of them. If you searched through my complete internet browsing history for my lifetime, you will probably find multiple clips from The Shining, each being watched at least 10 times. With it all being so impeccably arranged, it’s hard to fully encapsulate just what Kubrick was trying to convey, whether there were hidden messages or if the entire film is just an extended metaphor.

Room 237 is a documentary that follows how people interpret The Shining; it takes some serious enthusiasts and lets them explain their conspiracy theories about just what the movie is really about. They cover all kinds of amazing and outlandish notions such as it being about the Holocaust, American Indians or Kubrick’s apparent involvement in faking the Apollo 11 moon landing. It’s crazier than that time Raven was in an episode of the Suite Life of Zach and Cody.

Even if you haven’t watched The Shining and never intend to, it is fascinating to hear these individuals rhapsodise so passionately about it. These are special folk; they have let a movie completely consume them enough to the point where they see arbitrary connections that may have been coincidence or intended (when it comes to Kubrick, who knows). For some, it’s almost like a religious calling.

As they say, it’s a loose enough interpretation of the novel that it could really be a film length subliminal message about anything that Kubes wanted. It’s mentioned how Stephen King was not digging Stan’s interpretation of his work. Even the family’s car is the wrong colour (a yellow VW bug instead of King’s original red) and within the start of the film, they pass a red bug which has been in an accident. Coincidence or conspiracy? Room 237 doesn’t ever firmly tell you if anything is fact or fiction. It leaves all thoughts as possibilities, which is what I adore. It’s all speculation, to the point where you realize that even if Kubrick meant to convey everything or nothing that people see, it doesn’t even matter. Half of the magic in this film, as with any other piece of art, lies in how you perceive it. – Sarah


This movie is smart, thought-provoking and so strangely captivating. I mean that in the sense that when you begin to watch it, you can’t look away. Even if you are like me and your gag reflex is begging you to. Bib thought E.T was scary, but I personally think the creature created in this film makes him seem like what he was intended to be: your lost friendly alien. Dren, the foreign specimen here, looks like a mutated by-product of beastiality. She basically is, but she’s made in a lab, by a scientist, when she splices her own genes with other species’ DNA. (I won’t go into how fucked up that is. At least Frankenstein used other people’s parts.) Dren is then raised and observed by this scientist and her scientist collegue boyfriend as an experiment, because science.

While watching it, you can do what my sister and I did and just groan constantly, whether it’s at the ironically named pieces of moving flesh Fred and Ginger, the creepy as hell Dren or what the scientists Clive and Elsa do to Dren. We couldn’t stop talking about it for days afterwards, because it haunted us.  All of the imagery refused to leave our minds, because it looks so realistic, making it so provoking. In terms of themes there is so much to consider, from playing God to what makes us human to politics and ambition and it is just wrapped up in this deliciously disgusting package. If you are brave enough to unwrap it, I urge you, please. But be sure that you have a safe place or object near by that is ok to vomit in. – Sarah


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