Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ghost Story

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you'll know how much I love a good ghost story. The opening sequence of The Fog, with John Houseman, has to be one of my favorite visuals for the telling of a truly scary ghost story, with the atmosphere of the campfire on the beach, and the children trapped in the web of the story spun by that voice. Slightly raspy, but refined. Hypnotic. Entrancing. Powerful and frightening.

The idea of a group of old guys who get together to tell each other ghost stories was a fantastic premise. The novel was written by Peter Straub, and if you haven't read it, you should. Pacing and the slow buildup of mystery and tension is key in writing a good, meaty ghost story, and Straub did it right.


I was delighted with the movie, though it took a second viewing and a few years of life experience to really appreciate it. (I was only thirteen when the movie came out.) I only read the book for the first time last year, and fell in love with it.


The opening scene of the movie is splendid. John Houseman is telling a ghost story to the Chowder Society (the group of old friends who tell each other ghost stories), and the listeners are entranced. He delivers the final lines, and everyone is held by the spell he has woven. Then someone turns on the lights, and everyone is able to breathe easy for the moment. What they don't know is that they will be living in their own ghost story, in a very short, horrifying time.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I haven't watch this movie in years, thanks for reminding me about it.

    ReplyDelete

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