Ooh! Scary! Ooh!

Congregants whose services demand sacrificial rites just might look for pointers at how cinema has steeped modern Halloween in blood and gore.

Until fairly recently wasn’t Halloween a simple holiday? One, which for the vast majority of us had lost its pagan purposes. Hadn’t it become candy mania for children and tomfoolery for adults? At best, an occasion for bingeing on movies that scared using moody atmosphere, lucid dialogue and vivid supporting characters?

When did trick or treat entertainments become so ominous? How did The Uninvited become the rebooted version of, what else, Nightmare on Elm Street?

For that matter, how has any producer neglected inserting Ministry’s Everyday Is Halloween into his or her movie?
What happened to the witches and ghosts? The improbable monsters? How did single-minded mass murders and asocial autonomes crowd out our familiar bump-in-the-night terrors? Haven’t these new manifestations of our subconscious, now news cycle regulars, coarsened more than the society they’re intended to reflect? Continue reading Ooh! Scary! Ooh!


The previous post, Sweet Spot, reveled in life before responsibility. Not to be read as a continuance or sequel, Phantom serves as aftermath.

Sixteen years after that hi-ho halcyon night, three of us bent elbows in Amsterdam. Kewpie, Warren and I converged in the Lowlands. On a late autumn evening, we treacherous three tippled somewhere near the Leidseplein.

Earlier in the shortened day, angry North Sea gusts twisted clouds deserving van Ruisdael’s brushstrokes. Although conditions failed compelling Amsterdam burghers to tighten their scarves or fully button coats, it certainly quickened our paces … right into a warm Brazilian themed bar. Continue reading Phantom