So, we can see the end line from here. After a month long marathon, the last few posts are on the horizon and some of them are really hard to figure out (X & Y anyone??). Let's give it a last sprint and hope for the best.
From Within (2008)
Directed by Phedon Papamichael.
Plot: In a small Maryland town, the suicide of an outcast teenager triggers a string of violent suicides. These suicides seem to stem from a curse which spreads when any person, who witnesses the suicide, is possessed by an evil force that appears as the person's doppelganger that only they can see. A young teenager, named Lindsey, thinks there is a connection of the events to Aidan, the outcast brother of the first suicide case. But Lindsay must race against the clock when she witnesses her mother fall victim, and must try to find a way to stop the curse before it kills her too. Meanwhile the God-fearing townspeople, led by a fanatic preacher with a connection to the events also, form a vigilante group to take the law in their own hands.
Review: Another independent movie that was released without fanfare and mostly floated to oblivion. Though the movie isn't perfect, I loved the unusual and mysterious plot. I found this movie while cruising the channels looking for something worth of my time, I watched the first fifteen minutes and I was hooked. That's how effective the premiss is. The director does a great job at making fresh the old setting of religious zealots in the farthest corners of the US, and there's something on the imagery of seeing your doppelgänger about to kill you that just makes my skin crawl. From Within has suspense, a few gruesome deaths, some soul liberating laughs, and a nice final twist. The perfect engagement for a rainy day.
The woman in Black by Susan Hill.
Published by Hamish Hamilton in 1983.
Blurb: A classic ghost story: the chilling tale of a menacing specter haunting a small English town. Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford—a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway—to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow's house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and images—a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child's scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed all in black.
Review: I first came in contact with the story as a stage adaptation in Mexico city. After being mesmerized by it, I became obsessed with the piece and researched it. It turns out it has been on stage in the famous Fortune Theater in Covent Garden, London, since 1989! Various countries have their own adaptations running to huge success for five years--like Madrid--to twelve years--like Mexico--. Surprised? Well, you shouldn't be. The Woman in Black is a ghost story that relies on Hill's command over the language, whose narration is an example in containment, character development, and setting atmosphere. Her flawless style serves perfectly the post Victorian-early Edwardian time she selected for the novel. Even that serves to a greater purpose as we see MC Arthur Kipps torn between an age of rationality and the Victorian superstitions of the past, turning Arthur in more that a mere narrator just spewing a ghost story, but a flawed, unfortunate soul we deeply feel for.