There are a lot of things I could talk about this movie. There is the controversy of the main theme song being a plagiarized version of “I Want a New Drug” by Huey Lewis and the News–speed up “I Want A New Drug” and play it the Ghostbuster theme and it’s identical. I could talk about how, even though I have seen this movie dozens of times over the last 29 years, the movie is starting to show its age in plot, characterization, and writing. But, alas, none that has a real bearing on the class and we will have to set aside those discussions for another day.
The only problem is that, in the context of the class there isn’t much else to talk about.
I have to say this is an interesting last book to read for a course on ghost literature. To be honest, I think this would have been the best book to start the class on because, while not a horror nor ghost story the common perception, even in Dickens’ time, it exemplifies what the sub-genre of ghost literature is all about. This tale, mostly a criticism of Victorian economic classes and policies as well as a remark of the Christmas being more of a earthly, good-natured celebration instead of a solemn, religious holiday is the real focus of the story. You even see it in the way that Scrooge is almost a caricature in that part at the very start of the novel. With a smörgåsborg of ghosts, compared to most stories, in the tale, they still serve the singular purpose of ghosts in the genre. But they do it it in almost a self-refernetial way. Continue reading
One interesting place that seems to fit well with the themes of ghost literature is McLoughlin House. John D. McLoughlin came to Portland, Oregon in the early 19th century to preside over the new headquarters of the Hudson Bay Company. as the fur trade ended and American settlers traveled the Oregon Trail to the Pacific coast, McLoughlin helped support and aid those settlers. despite his philanthropy, the Americans were still resented him for being a British Catholic and did not come to his aid when the US government took away his rights to his land. Exiled from his house that was later used to boarder Chinese labors and then converted into a bordello, McLoughlin didn’t die there. his body was moved in 1970, after the the house was moved a place in the city he founded, to the same grounds.
I think between this video and the fact that every problem I had with The Amityville Horror, other than the non-fiction aspect of the book, are the same problems with Paranormal Activity, both as a story and as material to be used to learn about ghost literature, there isn’t a whole lot left to say. In no way does this movie show or teach use anything of why there is significant sub-genre of Horror that deals specifically ghosts. There were no themes, no ideas, no story, no characterization, no anything that we have seen in previous texts, other aforementioned Amityville Horror. The fact that such a terrible movie is thought of a teaching tool in anything other than for a marketing program, I highly question.
For those that I hope agree with me in the class I leave you with this:
There are spoilers for the next two movies in this
I’m really trying with this one, I swear. Being that this is a program about writing fiction, I’m trying to discern the reason that we read yet another non-fiction book about a haunting. At least it was a bit more plausible when it came to the actual paranormal events, but, to be honest, I have serious doubts about Mrs. Mercado taking 13 years to actually do something. She really played out the fact that she felt trapped because she didn’t think there was an place to go if she left the house, but I’m sorry, if she was truly that afraid for herself and her children, she would have gotten the hell out of Dodge. The fact that she didn’t, I either think of her as a horrible human being or that she exaggerating things.
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