This Year’s Halloween Selection

I spent Halloween with my favorite Halloween-girl (and Belladonna partner), Liv Lingborn. We don’t have a longstanding Halloween tradition in Norway, its just the last decade that kids have begun to dress up to go “trick or treating” – so what we do, or don’t do, on Halloween is optional. We – being us – have traded high heels and Halloween parties for movies and nachos in our old ripe age. Not as easy as one might think, because we are suckers for horror flicks and watch quite a lot of them throughout the year. To find something super special for Halloween is therefore a bit of a challenge. This is what we saw this year:

The Shining (1980) – It’s always nice to start with a classic. Though I must admit, this time I fell asleep on the couch right after Jack’s foray into room 237. It had been a long day…

shining_2133388bI think the best thing about Jack – like all Stephen King’s best characters – is that he is so very human, and it makes it possible to relate. Especially if you’re a creative person having tried (and maybe failed) to accomplish something creative under pressure: disturbances are not appreciated… Ghosts and (ghostly) alcohol doesn’t help either, of course…

I love the aesthetics of the movie, the carpets alone are enough to put me in the mood. But that’s the beauty of classics…

Highlight: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.


ANDREJSSKUJA_familyportraitroomHousebound (2014) – this New Zealand movie about a young criminal woman sentenced to stay at home with her mom, was in every way a surprise. The plot is twisty, on the brink of absurd – and every time you think you’ve had it figured out and it’ll be an easy ride form here, something else happens and the premise changes (again). It started out as a ghost story and morphed into a murder mystery, a thriller and a splatter horror with humorous overtones.

One of the most interesting things was how strongly I disliked Kylie, the protagonist, at first, and how I adored her at the end. She was decisive and resourceful in a down and gritty, believable way.

I usually hate movies with a lot of running about, but in this movie – because the script was solid – it was ok.

Highlight: Eugene (to the right in the picture).


We Are What We Are (2013)We Are What We Are (2013) – Definitely my favorite of the lot: Rose and Iris Parker are daughters in a very special family with very special traditions, ruled over by father and patriarch, Frank. When their mother dies, it is Iris’s duty as the oldest daughter to see to the family’s food supply – and they’re not exactly vegans… When members of the rural community they live in gets suspicious after disturbing finds in the river, things gets complicated. In the middle of all this ghastliness the movie still manages to be about grief and loss and the sense of duty, in a very mellow, soft spoken way…

I loved the bleak and dreary aesthetics, and the girls’s dresses: all pink and baby blue…

Highlight: The last meal.


lg_52e18d6d-4a14-4dc1-9b72-44910af4b6c2Lizzie Borden Took An Ax (2014) -We had high hopes for this fresh take on the Lizzie Borden
story. Not only do we like Christina Ricci, but we have a particular fondness for female killers as well. I won’t say it wasn’t good – because it was. It was just not great. It felt shallow and easy, but that could of course – at least partially – be because we’d just seen “We Are What We Are”, which was anything but… You could clearly see what they’d tried to do with the Lizzie Borden story, to make it accessible and up to date – it just didn’t leave an emotional impact. “I didn’t feel it”, as they say…

I also think that knowing the story well, like we do, was an disadvantage. It would probably have been more interesting with the investigation and the trial if we didn’t know the outcome. The portrait of Lizzie was interesting enough – if not exactly historically accurate.

Highlight: Lizzie eating a pear.

All in all it was a great selection – perfect for a Halloween night in.

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