A Bit of Horror

Despite the fact that I am an absolute coward, I still love a good horror movie. And no, I don’t mean movies like Saw or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre where the fear factor comes from crazed maniacs wielding sharp objects and blood splashes across everything. I’m talking the sort of movies that unsettle you and make you wish you weren’t alone. I recently watched two movies that have been highly praised although one turned out to be very disappointing. (Spoilers to follow)

I’ll start with the movie I liked least. Oculus, directed by Mike Flanagan, came out in 2013. This seemed like the type of horror movie I like best- scary, not gory, with an actual plot. Kaylie and Tim are siblings in their early 20’s. Eleven years before, both parents went insane, their father shot their mother and then Tim shot their father. Tim was charged for their father’s death and has spent the time in a mental institution while Kaylie went through the foster system and spends her life to tracking down the mirror that she believes is responsible for the horrors they went through. In present day, Kaylie is working in an auction house where the mirror is now being kept and Tim has just been released from the mental institution after finally accepting that he was responsible for the death of his father. So far so good. But while it’s generally well-reviewed, it just seemed to lack something to me. Not scares, that’s for sure, as there were plenty of times where I was looking anywhere but the screen. But some of them were expected, some were hard to believe, and some were downright stupid. For example, please watch this clip:

Right after that clip ends, Kaylie goes to investigate the cloth covered statues. All three are still there, including the taller one in the middle that mysteriously appeared in the mirror. But instead of pulling the cloth off that one- the one in the middle that first appeared while she was looking in the mirror- she pulls the cloth off the side statues first! I realize that those statues seem to have moved as well but any thinking person truly investigating that would have looked at the middle statue first! Right? I mean, does that not seem weird to anyone else? It’s a dumb decision that seems created only to lead to a cheap scare. There’s also an issue of deciphering what’s real and what is simply happening in the characters’ heads. I had several smaller problems with the story but these were the major ones. And while it was well acted, this did not turn out to be a movie that I could really recommend.

And now moving on to the movie I did like: Willow Creek. Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, Willow Creek is a found footage movie about Bigfoot. Kelly and Jim have traveled to the real life Willow Creek in Northern California to film a documentary. Jim, an avid Bigfoot believer, has always wanted to travel to Willow Creek, which is the real life location of the Patterson-Gimlin film to try and get his own footage (technically the 1967 footage was filmed in Bluff Creek, but Willow Creek is considered the gateway to Bluff Creek and other claimed Bigfoot sighting locations). It’s a slow build kind of creepy and doesn’t get truly terrifying until the last 5 or 10 minutes but it’s an incredible film that I fell in love with instantly. Highly recommended if you can get your hands on it.


Cryptozoology: Bigfoot

This will by no means be a comprehensive post on all the various Bigfoot/Sasquatch/Yeti stories. Just a few things that have popped up recently that I thought were interesting.

You may or may not have seen the video of the latest Bigfoot sighting. Some unidentified hikers in Provo Canyon, Utah were filming what they thought was a bear…until it stood up and looked at them:

I have no idea what’s going on in that video. But those hikers were pretty scared as soon as that creature stood up. Here’s a slowed and enhanced version of the video:

Was it probably just a bear that the hikers couldn’t see clearly because of distance and location? Yes. But that doesn’t mean I’m not considering the possibilities that there’s an unidentified man/creature/thing living in the wilds of Utah.

Also of interest: An Idaho anthropologist is going to use a remote controlled blimp with a thermal imaging camera to start his own search for Bigfoot. Given how hard substantive proof has been to find before now for this creature, I can’t imagine this is going to help much. But oh well! We need more mystery in our science obsessed culture. Nothing like some unidentified creatures to make people wonder!

Here’s one place to read about the blimp.

Cryptozoology: Chupacabras

Cryptozoology is the study of legendary animals like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster, usually in order to prove their existence. It’s something I love reading about and the random stories about monster sightings never fail to get my attention. The chupacabra is one of those animals that seems to have been popping up quite a bit recently.

Here’s a wikipedia article on chupacabras: http://www.monstropedia.org/Chupacabra. (Disclaimer: Wikipedia is NOT a reliable source. However, considering the subject matter, I don’t mind using the information found in the article.) So apparently, they’re blood-sucking creatures, usually with red eyes and a ridge of quills or spikes along their backs. Most recent sightings have them looking like hairless coyotes or dogs and in fact tests have proven them to be exactly that. There was even one “chupacabra” captured in Maryland just this year, however it was let go before any tests could be done on it. I’m not posting any pictures or videos here of them though, they can be a bit unsettling to look at.

So the chupacabra has not been conclusively proved to exist or not yet by cryptozoologists, although many people think it’s a hoax or an urban legend. However, in my opinion, if Brock Samson says it’s true, it must be true!