Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The Conjuring 2 - Film Review

Unexpectedly went to the cinema to see the sequel to 2013 horror The Conjuring. It has had good reviews and I missed my X Men film and Turtles film to watch it.  I'm glad I went.

The film reunites Patrick Wilson (Insidious) and Vera Farmiga (Orphan) as Ed and Lorraine Warren - real life paranormal investigators from the seventies as they investigate the famous or infamous Enfield Poltergeist in a based on a true story film.

The Warrens not only have to help the Hodgson family who are terrorised by the spirit of Bill an old man who lived there but a demon who is following them from the Amityville case.

The movie is very good and there is a good atmosphere.   It also has some good jumpy bits too and the Crooked Man which is from as old nursery rhyme.

Overall - loved the film very scary in parts and had me and the audience juming at certain parts.   The child acting is also good.  Only thing that put me off is that Patrick Wilson is in the similar Insidious films so can sometimes think "what film am I watching ".
Also as some people believe that it was a hoax or some of it was put me off.

Score  -  9/10  - one of the scariest films of recent years.

Fact  - the Warrens did investigate the Enfield case albeit only briefly for about a day.
Is the Enfield house haunted?
Peggy Hodgson lived in the house till her death and believed it to be hearing strange noises.  Her son Billy lived with her to the end.
After Peggy died a Clare Bennett and her four sons moved in not realising it was the famous Enfield house.  She always felt watched and her sons would be woken by voices downstairs.   She found out about the history and last straw came when a figure of a man walked into her sons room.  They moved out the next day after just two months.  Eek.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Joe Hill Talk - Friday 10 June


On Friday I went with the GF to Waterstones in Leeds to see popular American Author and son of Stephen King - Joe Hill.
Joe has written such modern horror classics as "Heart Shaped Box ", "Horns" (which was adapted to film with Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe).
Short story anthology "20th Century Ghosts" and graphic novel series "Locke & Key".

When Joe first arrived in a packed room he took a photo of the audience for Twitter .  He also admitted he was nervous speaking to an audience.   Here he told a funny story about his first public reading to about ten people.   He was nervous and read out some swearing and suddenly loads of kids popped up and the parents weren't pleased.

He then read an excellent extract from his new novel "The Fireman" which is a post apocalyptic where people get a disease and spontaneous combust.

Then he turned our attention to the song sheets he gave out as he came into the room.  He eventually got volunteers to play Kazoos as music for the singing.

We sang Campfire Song which is in the novel and to the tune of Hey Jude which was dark and funny.  We also sang Chim Chim Cheree. 

After it was to the Questions and Answers from the audience. 

Q -  What would you rather fight - a giant duck or an Octopus. 

Joe - depends on the terrain but probably the Octopus and squash it.

Q - Would you write a sequel to "Heart Shaped Box "?

Joe - "Heart Shaped Box " my first novel about a rockstar buying a ghost online which is very real.  Generally don't write sequels. The end of the story should be final giving more power to the middle.  Gives the reader chance to take on the story.  

Q - Where do you get inspiration for stories?

Joe - Mostly jokes. Pick at whatever makes him laugh.  Writes horror and suspense but similar to comedy.  Comedy and Shock related. If Leatherface beats someone with an hammer you scream but if Marx brothers do the same thing you laugh.  Same scene. 

Q - How much of a fan of John Wyndham are you?  As the camp in the novel Camp Wyndham. 

Joe -  A fan of John Wyndham that why camp named after him.  My books full of references of things I love.  The title for "The Fireman" lifted from a Ray Bradbury as it was original title of Farenheit 451.
There a lot of Harry Potter,  Zombie Apocalypse and Marvel superhero films.
Especially Marvel as one woman character so book has alot of women characters. 

Q - Your three favourite horror films?

Joe - Jaws, original Dawn of the Dead, Let the Right one in.

Q - One piece of advice for Writers. 

Joe - Been given alot of good advice from many writers.  None of it really matters.  He figured out what he did himself by reading good books and comic's.  Re-write some novels.  Studied other writers.  For his comic he counted out other comic's panel and wording to see how they worked.
Mainly for a career it's a slow drip process.  Write one great scene and get to know your character and world.  A good novel is great scenes connected together.  A lot of people give up. No reason to write a scene about someone making breakfast.  Write what people want.

Q -  What happened to the Locke & Key TV Show?

Joe - Spent six years writing graphic novel Locke & Key with full beginning,  middle and end.  About enchanted keys in haunted house.  Fox TV  made 10 million pilot but it so different and lost confidence in it.  Although five years ago there was no Netflix or Daredevil,  Penny Dreadful ect.  American Horror Story.  Wasn't confident making a comic book show and Walking Dead only in first season.  IDW now moved into television and now writing pilot episode for them.

Q - Horns was rewritten about four times - why was this?

Joe - Goes back to what I said about slow drip of time to make a career.  Wrote it for ten years and didn't sell.  A lot of writers give up as you give up alot of time to write a novel and get no where but there no wasted effort as the good parts can be used again.  Wrote a fantasy called "The Fear Tree" .  Took three years to write and got rejected.  Another one had a guy with psychic abilities.
Eventually it became Horns and some chapters in it rewritten chapters.
Stories go through an evolution of failure then success.

Q - Are you writing a re-imaging of Tales from the Dark Side?

Joe - I got hired by CBS to reboot a 1980s show.  Said yes and they wrote a big cheque.  Was meant to write one script but ended up writing three and a bible for the show.  Connected the standalone stories.
CBS passed on it as they concentrated on Arrow and Superhero shows.
Although IDW have bought the rights to make as a comic.

Q - What favourite short stories?

Joe - Bitter Grounds by Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link stories?

I asked when getting book signed -

What are you working on next?

Joe - Working on four novellas.  Look out for them.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Update, blogs and Joe Hill

Hi guys

Long time no blog been a hectic month - what with work, reading and swimming to name a few things I've been doing.

First off I've still been blogging steadily for Cleckheaton Literature Festival and reviewing the events that were on.

I've also been reading David Eddings "Castle of Wizardry ", book Four of The Belgariad series.   A classic fantasy series and we'll worth reading.

I've also got a blocked ear which has been doing my nut in .  I got it after going swimming snd the ear drops not working.   Looks like a trip to Doctors in order.

TV show wise the shows that have stopped be reading and writing lately have been Chronicles of Shannara,  Magicians,  Gotham - which is really good at the moment and love the cool Doctor Strange.   Also Agents of Shield  has been great although we may never see my lookalike again - Wade/Hive.

So coming up -

Working on my Bad Fairy Tales - updated classics I am starting to write including  "Bad Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and "The Ginger Badman".  These were inspired by a workshop at Cleckheaton Literature Festival lead by Sci fi author  Justina Robson.

I've also to get going on my novels plus a story or two for the Cleckheaton Writers Group Anthology which we are planning.   Think the deadline is August?

Plus continuing with Cleckheaton Literature Festival blog.

Maybe some Freelance work too?

Lastly this Friday 10 June I am of to Waterstones in Leeds to see a famous author who is big at the moment -   Joe Hill - who's novel "Horns" was adapted into a film with Harry Potter himself Daniel Radcliffe.
He has also written "Heart  Shaped Box" and "Locke and Keyes".
His new novel "The Fireman " is out now,
Plus he's the next best thing to having Stephen King as he's Stephens son!

So blog soon guys - stay safe. X