So. Nineteen movies. Both seasons of Masters of Horror. A collection of translated Japanese and Chinese ghost stories. The Gothic classic The Monk by Matthew Lewis. The “Halloweenie” episode of The Adventures of Pete & Pete and my favorite Halloween movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Now what?

My favorite holiday of the autumn has passed, although my saints calendar tells me today is a sort of¬†Halloween afterparty, All Saints Day. In ten days we observe Veterans Day, another favorite for different reasons. But for now, I’m easing up on the horror diet. In fact, the next movies Netflix is shipping are Ratatouille and Iron Man. It’s time to mix and match film genres, and build a powerful repast to match a Thanksgiving dinner table.

Some thoughts:

Matthew Lewis wrote prose and poetry well. His desire to be known as a poet got in the way of his writing, however; poems jam his novel like beach sand in swim shorts. The novel is a perfect example to me of the It Got Worse trope, and it does not end well.

Which is fine with me, because I prefer bittersweet or downer endings. Happy endings are the truest example of fiction, especially fantasy. if I can’t suffer along with the characters, then what is the point? Being happy for strangers is boring.

The MoH series was a long trek with peaks and valleys. Some of the famed directors earned their “Master of Horror” title, others not so much. Some common threads weaving through the episodes: struggling marriages, fathers facing down pure evil, women disrobing frequently, and a lot of people being flayed alive.¬† I don’t know why that should crop up so much, but it did. As much gross-out as horror in these shows.

Now, Body Horror is all good and well, but I like some variety. An overwhelming sense of dread, an atmosphere of confusion, a vague unexplainable threat; these are fine horror elements. Not to say MoH lacks these, but maybe to say the episodes needed more.

Well, moving on. I’m pages away from finishing my collection of Baudelaire poems. I’m halfway through my collection on Existentialism. I’m two-thirds through my collection of Lincoln’s writings. I’m nowhere near finishing the historical magnum opus that is Herodotus’ The Histories. As a lark, I am going to read The Count of Monte Cristo by December 31. I may have to put Netflix on hold to do that. I won’t have time for fine cinema and literature all at once.

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