Dark Days

Lovely days, walking around under the brooding clouds with Eva this afternoon was more wonderful than expected. I get out in nature not often enough and when I'm finally out there I can't imagine why I don't get out more often (oh yeah, no wifi.) All the way to the farms I remember thinking scattered thoughts, what I need to do for work, what I need to do when I get home, laundry, future - I even remember (cause we were listening to U2, War.) having this big long thought to the tune of; wouldn't it be nice to have that sort of bonoesque certainty towards one's own views on life? And then I thought, naw, then I thought... Well, maybe? But as we parked and walked past the barn, up the hill past the piglets all these thoughts began to fade off.

What was going on around me seemed to be much more interesting, or at any rate, much more real. The Sky was all sorts of grey and the trees were that in greens. Dark shades of green, almost black in places, fresh and wet. As we walked to the top of the hill that overlooked the majority of the estate I took a breather and practiced a bit of beginners meditation, which consisted of me, recognizing my thought, labeling it, and then promptly having a nice little discussion in my head about it. WoopsFrom there down into the meadow via a nice little path that made me feel sort of like hansel, and I imagined Eva to be Gretel (it was an elaborate fantasy mind you, lederhosen was involved.) the undergrowth was thicker here not as groomed as the woods previous. Ropy vines snaked around through the dense foliage and bramble patches, and my converse were getting pretty damn soggy. Eventually we came to the meadow, and from what I could tell - the epicenter of mosquito breeding in Vermont; so far this year I had yet to come across a mosquito. This is a warning to everyone, they are here, they are coming. You've been warned. After we made our way through the field we re-entered the wood; and started to make our way back up the hill towards the barn. The trees were amazing in this part; a combination of the well groomed tall growing forest at the start of the path, and the dark, twisted overgrowth on the lower. My imagination was having a field day, and my head was filled with all sorts of adventure and whimsy; it reminded me of one of my favorite childhood books; especially when we walked upon a gopher hole and next to it was a little baby cuty ball, I'm not sure otherwise what it was, we decided on hedgehog, but it was quite a bit bigger than that, so who knows... (woodchuck?)I wanted to be friends, but it looked like he wanted us to to take a hike so he could go back to being really fucking cute, so we hit the road, went and got some Chinese food... mmm scorpion bowl.
Eva's got the rest of the pictures over on Deadbeat Dirt (link)

BTW scariest movie in years? Defiantly The Descent. Watch it, Love it.
Not the Scariest movie in years? Dog Soldiers. Woof. Go figure.

bk_keywords:my side of the mountain, The Descent, Dog soldiers.


c.l.miller said...

1. Hedgehogs do not live in Vermont.
2. The animal pictured has fur.
3. How many fucking times did I tell you not to expect Dog Soldiers to be scary? I'm going to put the number at four.
On a serious note, I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy Dog Soldiers. As I said earlier, I thought it was a great deal of fun. For my part, I must confess to being let down by The Descent. So much so, in fact, that it has forced a reapraisal of Dog Soldiers. For example, some of the Michael Bay-esque sequences which I had assumed were part of a deliberate attempt to call attention to genre conventions appeared, magnified ten fold and with no such justification in The Descent, where I simply found them irritating. That, coupled with a number of logical inconsistencies, predictable reveals and multiple attempts to evoke unearned pathos pretty much served to do the film in for me. Had I stumbled onto The Descent unaware I'm certain I would have embraced it as the underdog horror film, but it had a lot to live up to and its insistence on being taken seriously (unlike Dog Soldiers which was an unabashed romp) prevented me from being as forgiving as I might have otherwise been.
The scariest horror film in years? Maybe, but I wish that was saying more.
I'm sure that as being more negative than I should. I really did enjoy the film, I'm just not certain that it's worthy of the hype.

Eva the Deadbeat said...

nicely written babe and thanks again for letting me drag you out to the Vermont moors, even when you weren't feeling all that well. so i have to wonder, what was that wee tuft of fur if it was not a hedgehog? hmmmm.

and your fav book looks like it would be a good summer read (i love me some young adult novels, oh yes). my fav book of that ilk is "Where the Red Fern Grows" which is about a boy and his dogs and their adventures in the wild. it makes me cry every time though, so readers beware.

here is to many more jaunts full of whimsey, mysterious underbrush, unidentified tufts of fur, gaggles of piglets and epic dark skies...

Tmoore said...

Ok Miller,

it was a groundchuck then; and you wanna talk about logical inconsistencies! explain why throughout that entire "trapped in the house" part, they spent an incredible amount of time guarding the front and back doors, but left everysingle window unbaracaded, even after they werewolves smashed through them many times?
And what about the werewolves themselves, sometimes there were insanely strong killing machines, other times they were slow and clunky, and stunned by some jerk throwing punches or housewears. not to mention how top heavy they were, i figure a good shove to the head and they'd just tumble over, they looked worse than the sungods in stargate!
And what about the non-existant (but i guess we should have been following it cause it important at the end) romantic subplot with the girl and cooper, "I chose you cooper" what? are we supposed to care? wasn't it obvious that she was a werewolf?

And those Michael Bay moments... yes, some were cool, others were painfull, and unbelieveable, like the guy sneaking into the car garage, getting in the truck, starting it up! only to be suprised when he turns on the head lights (why headlights?) to find one eating his friend on the hood, Wtf? did he not hear the rending bones and snapping sinew? the guy was still alive even, and must have at some point let out a bloody gurgle or two?
The character development at the beginning was excellent, i think this directer is really good at making characters that you can get behind long enough to watch them all die; i really liked the aliens references "They cut the power!"
I didn't go into this one expecting to be scared, i took your advice, and i did enjoy it, but i laughed more than i cared to. It would have been better in my mind had they patched up the plotholes, and maybe put a little more into the wolf costumes. unabashed romp, yes, well crafted unabashed romp, not to so much.

I am bummed that you didn't like the descent as much as i did; i'm gonna need a point for point defense of this opinion before i can believe you're not full of shit ;D

Michael bay moments specifically sited, annoted and supported with a minimum of two external references to michael bay films.

good day sir ;D

c.l.miller said...

I'll go point-by-point with you if you like, but I'd prefer to do so in private so as to spare the blog reading community at large from any spoilers.
What it comes down to for me is intent; what is the film trying to achieve and what is it asking of the viewer. I felt Dog Soldiers was intended to be fun. It had a sense of humor, well developed characters and a lot of enthusiasm. The film didn't ask much more than that the viewer share in that enthusiasm and come along for the ride. Does it have faults? Absolutely, but I felt that they were (for the most part) tangential to the film's focus.
In The Descent, which clearly wants to be taken seriously, such flaws stand in greater relief. Monsters can be goofy and behave illogically and inconsistently when they are simply required to be fun characters, if they behave that way when they are intended to be frightening, and the viewer is meant to take them seriously, it becomes more of a problem. I would also add that I felt that between the twin perils facing the girls and their interpersonal struggles The Descent had too many balls in the air, and was too willing to sacrifice both character and logic in order to achieve a desired scene or set-piece. Had my expectations not been so high, I most likely would have been more willing to simply credit the filmmaker's ambition rather than criticize him for failing to realize it.
I'm sorry to be so negative. As I said, I really did enjoy The Descent, it simply didn't live up to expectations, and the simple fact that it did some things so well only served to increase my disappointment that it did others so poorly.
It should also be stated that Molly and I seem to stand alone in our affection for Dog Soldiers, which I have found myself in the position of defending time and time again. I think I'll just stop mentioning it.
In both films, I have the impression that the director likes to work backwards; I imagine him to have a scene or a shot he really wants to have in his movie, so he writes it just how he wants it and then works to justify its inclusion.

c.l.miller said...

One more thought concerning Dog Soldiers... I never thought there was a romantic subplot intended. The girl's comment should be interpreted not as "I chose you, Cooper, because I love you." it should be "I chose you, the squad/humans, over the werewolves and I fought on your side."

The Le Duo said...

gophers and woodchucks are the same thing- we generaly refer to them as woodchucks here in vt, though. that looks like it could be a fox. but anyway... i am not too much into horror, but i didnt think the descent looked that good from the preview. hot chicks stuck in scary situation..whats that, did you see that?!!?? poo. but what do i know?

Tmoore said...


let me start first by saying, nice use of italics

i'm with you, i agree it's a matter of intent; i guess i just feel that the formula in the descent worked. It could be that i too once speulunked a cavern hitherto unbeknownst to mankind, and in doing so, unleashed a dreadfull horror i never could have fathomed in my wildest nightmares.
That or i just have repressed memories of childbirth.

(to be continued, at purepop. were the truely banal nitpicking happens.)

The Le Duo said...

sorry sorry sorry...what i meant to say was that groundhogs and woodchucks are the same, and WE DONT HAVE GOPHERS here in vt. my bad. whistlepig...heheheh

Molly said...

How could you not like Dog Soldiers? With all the guns and blood and Scottish accents? They're all like "WEREWOLVES? NO FECKIN' WAY" and the werewolves are kicking their asses and then the guy's guts are hanging out and the soldiers are like waitaminute we can blow shit up! And then it goes BOOM KABLAM and there's fire balls and shit flying everywhere and then an even BIGGER explosion and...

I think the big difference between the two is the level of suspension of disbelief being requested of the audience. In a fun 'splody werewolf movie I think you're supposed to just check your nit-picking at the door and go along for the ride. But with a more serious scary/dramatic piece like Descent it would be completely pointless and un-scary if the audience wasn't first drawn in by the realism of the characters and set-up. It's apples and oranges.

casey said...

Rosemary's Baby is the greatest horror film ever shot. They should've completely abandoned the genre after its release.

And for the fellas, it's got a supremely coquettish Mia Farrow!

Bergman's "Hour of the Wolf," while not a horror film at all, comes in second. (Please don't ask me why — none of us have enough free time.)

Interestingly, there are no werewolves, despite the title. There's certainly a "descent," though... Into MADNESS!

Molly said...

Critters 4 is the greatest horror film ever shot.

While my first guess about the furblob would be 'dead fox', it's probably a groundhog. There is a family of groundhogs at work and I go see them every day. They live in this large shrub in front of the hospital. They have five babies right now! They're really cute. They all come out on the lawn together to forage. I'll be posting pics of them soon.

Q_Monroe said...

try bananas... apparently one a day keeps the squeeters away.

Tmoore said...

Molly, it is colored like a fox, but it was the size of my fist, and was definatly still alive as it would occasionally shuffle itself into a tighter ball of concentrated cutness.

And i'm gonna have to go with "The Gate" as being the scarest movie ever, i saw it when i was 8, and didn't sleep in my own bed for a year ( i also saw alien that year... and the dark crystal...) but i didn't sleep in my parents bed either, cause they wouldn't let me, so i slept on the floor of their bedroom...that must have been anoying for them.

Susanne: Is this true? what if i smeared a banana all over me, i'm not really a fan of 'nanners.

Molly said...

Our man Tanner's no fan o' nanners.

casey said...

Eva used the word "moors" in her comment, which brings to mind further werewolfery:

"Beware the moon, lads — 'end stee off the moors!"

-The Chess Player, "An American Werewolf in London"

Say, maybe that furry thing is a were-gopher!

Tmoore said...

That rhymes four times!

Molly said...

I know! It's fun to say out loud.

P.S. Stay on the road... beware the moors...

michelle said...

oh man, I used to watch The Gate! That was so scary when I was like 8 years old. I remember a guy who had an eye in his palm (like the eye was PART of the palm, not that he was holding it), and he stabbed himself to kill the eye. And when they tried to kill that huge beast, it just fell apart into a bunch of little beasts. Wasn't there also a part where the two kids played a record backwards? I can't believe you've seen that! I always ask people if they've seen it and no one knows what I'm talking about. That and "Troll." I used to watch Troll and Critters all the time. That's really weird of me.

Tmoore said...

word. The Gate informed my childhood; i knew that everytime my parents came back from some weekend away that they really wern't my parents anymore, but evil disaproving monsters who's faces would melt off in my hands! I also knew that there was a gate to hell in my backyard, this was a given. Troll also freaked me out, but i never saw any of the critters movies. which is probably good cause i don't need to be anymore messed up than i am. yikes!

casey said...

Molly, arre you saying my quote is wrong?
Bulll-oney! He says, "beware the moon, lads," at least once. I've seen the film 100000000000 times.

casey said...

Oh, and Troll is one BAD movie!

Love The Gate though. And hell is alwys in the backyard. But it's helpful to remember that one man's inferno is another man's BBQ.

Molly said...

Casey - No, no, no, I wasn't saying your quote was wrong. I was clumsily trying to participate in Slaughtered Lamb fun. And actually I got MY quote wrong, from the dart player. I think it should've been "Stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors."