Film number three for the month is Odd Thomas. I’ve read the first few Odd books from Dean R. Koontz and really liked them. Odd is a likable hero, and it is nice to see a silver beard like Koontz mixing things up as he creates his take on the Repairman Jack type of character. I especially liked the oddball (sorry) dialogue choices and melodrama that occur in the first few books. It reminds me of the philosophical musings and one-liners of the Buffyverse in a way, and, as an English prof, I love to see people playing around with those sort of things. Also like the Buffyverse, the Odd stories have a solid emotional core, and they really take a lot of stabs at a reader’s heart as they roll along. The movie, which has a big-release budget but got pushed to straight-to-DVD because the studio lacked confidence in it, is directed by Stephen Sommers or The Mummy fame. He is the perfect choice for the film, and I think he does a really good job with the horror, the action, and the mushy emotional stuff. I wasn’t expecting much from the film after hearing its production trajectory, but it turns out to be really solid. I would recommend it to fans of the first book, certainly, and viewing it has got me itching to pick up where I left off in the series. Four more books are now added to my TBR pile. I might have to get a bigger sd card for my e-reader.
Two horror video game recommendations:
Haunter got me itching to replay P.T., the “playable trailer” for the upcoming game Silent Hills. Plenty has been written about the demo good and bad. I’m on the side of finding it absolutely creepy and wonderful. If you don’t have a PS4 to play it on, make do with this video compilation of players reacting to the jump scares:
Five Night’s at Freddy’s
This is less of a recommendation and more of a heads-up as I haven’t played much of the game yet. Players take on the role of a night security guard at a Showbiz Pizza inspired restaurant. At night, the animatronic musicians come to life and must be dealt with/avoided. The game is built on simple jump scares and sound design. Not sure how scary it is going to turn out to be, but I’ve had a number of students tell me they had to stop playing it because it scared them so much. As with any horror, your mileage may vary. I will say that the interactive nature of horror games helps me to turn off my critical eye and suspend my disbelief in a way I can rarely do with horror films these days.