horror: Mark Z. Danielewski and Junji Ito
"Wolves" by Phosphorescent
Mama, there's wolves in the house
Mama, they won't let me out
Mama, they're mating at night
Mama, they won't make nice
They're pacing and glowing bright
Their faces all snowy and white
Bury their paws in the stone
Make for my heart as their home
January 8, 2020 Wednesday 6:04 PM
Reluctant to write, not sure why. I keep putting it off. I'll come back in a bit when I have something to say.
January 12, 2020 Sunday 5:49 PM
I'll talk about what I've done. I think that's the only thing I can stand anymore, for whatever reason. My head has been hurting a lot in the past few weeks. Like, a lot. Almost every day. I had a migraine last night. I think I need to start writing it down again.
I watched Addams Family Values last night and I really liked it. That and the Addams Family 1991 movie beloI ng on my list of Ideal Aesthetic, lol, along with Beetlejuice, Labyrinth, and Spy Kids.
My neck aches. I couldn't sleep until sometime past 5 in the morning. I got up at 4 am to read some House of Leaves. Oh, also, my sister got me a copy of Uzumaki by Junji Ito and it kind of fits perfectly with the vibe of spirals and geometry and obsession inherent to House of Leaves. I am studying these things, hoping to find something I can keep. I am not scared, though. I wonder if I want to be scared? Or just haunted. I think haunted, actually, not scared. I am not particularly haunted either. I guess so far these two stories haven't confronted what I find most terrifying, although I do love their imagery.
There was this one part of House of Leaves that has stuck with me, however, in maybe the middle-ish of the book (I'm 400 pages in right now). The story of the Pekinese. That really got me. It was disgusting, horrifying, left me wondering and thinking. Keeps reminding me of that one scene in the Lobster, that other scene in the British movie Sightseers, the thunk in Hereditary, that wet smack in Parasite—I'm not going to be specific because I don't want to spoil anything but that stuff was really visceral. It's all a form of body horror, and I think that's what gets me.
When I was eleven or so, my favorite movie was The Ring. And some time after that (years after, I mean) I really enjoyed the movie It Follows. Both of them kind of share a core concept, which is that once the protagonist has knowledge of a supernatural being, they are inevitably running from that being—and the real sense of horror comes from the sense of being trapped, stalked, and wherever you go you inevitably approach your own death. (I actually remember this vibe being present, for me, in the short story The Most Dangerous Game as well, although I think it was more related to my having a fear that I wouldn't be able to survive the situation; so alongside the actual story I was perceiving an entire alternate plot).
Then there is also the "uncanny": the Sandman by E.T.A. Hoffman is something I found objectively interesting in terms of expressing a blurring of the lines between familiar/unfamiliar (heimlich/unheimlich) but subjectively it did not really haunt me. What does haunt me, is that Youtube video of the robot singing "I feel fantastic," with, in the description, a recounting of the myth of Pygmalion. It makes sense that the uncanny here is the sweet spot right before normality; where a thing can almost begin to resemble what you recognize, but is just foreign enough to stimulate a prickle of fear. Specifically, the music itself is unusual—it's a melody, but it doesn't sound like a song, the timing isn't regular and there is no particular change in the accompaniment throughout the song; it sounds like one measure of a Hanon exercise on loop, maybe played backwards (backwards language is another "uncanny" and disturbing thing for me). It still makes my scalp tingle when I listen to it lmao. This not even mentioning the robot herself, but I don't find her as disturbing these days, although the moving mouth is certainly not pleasant. I think the disjointed upside-down shots, and the zoom shot towards the woods, are more disturbing if only because—when accompanied with the music—it uhhhhhh inspires a lot of questions haha. People make things up; the dirt mound that is visible in the video is where the doll-builder buried his murder victims or something. Disturbing, to think it might be true. Would take the wind out of my sails if it weren't, to be honest.
Anyway there is no particular point to this—I'm just trying to pin down what it is exactly that disturbs me and what parts of horror tropes I should try to emulate and build upon when writing. I don't intend to write "horror" per-se—because imo the best horror is always tragedy or comedy or something more basic, with horror a side-effect of the richness in storytelling. You might be able to say that about any genre lol.
OK I'm done. I realized I haven't actually written about my day but I don't care haha.