This time last year, I was struggling with polishes to the Daughter of Hounds manuscript. Just a mountain of pages in a cardboard box. And here, a year later, it's an actual book. You would think I'd be used to this by now.
For months, Spooky (the Exiled Yankee) has been lamenting the difficulty of finding Turkish Delight in Georgia. Yesterday she at last found the goods. So there was much talk of Eustace and the White Witch and fauns. Fortunately, there was no snow.
I've been waiting for months to see Neil Marshall's The Descent, even though I fully expected it to be unwatchably awful. I'd only seen one other film by Marshall, Dog Soldiers (2002), which impressed me not in the least. I still cannot fathom why so many people seemed to love Dog Soldiers. Even Marshall isn't happy with Dog Soldiers. Anyway, I was very pleasantly surprised by The Descent. The reviews I'd read were uniformly negative, so I went in with zero expectations. And maybe that was a good thing. Too often, expectations defeat us. At any rate, The Descent is a tense and moody film, making good use of its sets and situations, of darkness and underground spaces and the terror of helplessness. There's loads more characterization than I'd expected from a film about a group of women becoming lost in a cave full of monsters. Marshall delivers women who are more than one-dimensional shriekers waiting for their turn to die, and that might be the film's biggest plus. The creature effects are nice. Sometimes the gore works with the film, sometimes it works against. Even the score was quite good, even though a few bits were stolen directly from Ennio Morricone's score for John Carpenter's The Thing. The science...well, it's probably best if we don't go there. But I do so wish that someone had told Marshall that there are no elk in the Appalachians, not for a long, long time. The Chatooga National Park thing was a nice nod to Deliverance, to which this film owes a considerable debt. Anyway, yeah, not bad at all. Definitely far superior to Bruce Hunt's The Cave (2005), though the two film's have almost the exact same plot. The only good thing I could ever say for The Cave was that it's how I discovered Nightwish, as one of their songs, "Nemo," plays during the end credits.
The platypus has a point. I should be working....