It's spring outside today. It's spring, and it looks and feels like spring. High 60s today, low 70s tomorrow. The trees are going green.
And I keep forgetting to mention that the mass-market paperback of Murder of Angels is out. Indeed, I think it's been out for a week or two. With great luck, you can find it in bookshops. You can't yet get it from Amazon.com, for reasons no one is bothering to explain, but you can get it from Barnes & Noble (just follow the link above). If you can, if you are interested, please pick up a copy. Spooky put a lot of time into the corrections on this edition. And it has a nice cover (and a dubious cover blurb):
By the way, anyone who subscribes to Sirenia Digest between now and midnight (EST) on Sunday will get #28
Yesterday, we made the 3:15 screening of Carter Smith's The Ruins (based on the novel by Scott Smith). And despite having four or five interchangeable and utterly vapid protagonists, once I got past the sluggish first half hour or so (and my annoyance at the bland glamor of the aforementioned "characters"), the film suddenly comes alive and delivers a deeply chilling bit of weird fiction. Two words: screaming flowers. That ought to be enough, right there. For a short bit, I feared that The Ruins would merely be a crawl through a perilous underworld, such as that already delivered quite well by Neil Marshall's The Descent (2005). Instead, The Ruins turns out to deal with a sort of horror that occurs almost entirely above ground and usually in broad daylight, which, of course, makes its horror all the more horrible. There's something here that harks back to films of the seventies, in the bleakness of delivery, in the wonderful abruptness of the conclusion. I am reminded, in the main, of Stephen King's short story, "The Raft," and in a lot of ways, The Ruins is that story moved from a lake in Maine to the jungles of Mexico. The gore is handled skillfully and never overpowers subtler effects. Graeme Revell delivers a score that helps to move it all along. I can't say this is a genuinely good movie, if only because the beginning fails so completely, but it is a very rare film that juggles darkness well enough to artfully unnerve me. When it was over, I'd had enough, which, I think, is the way a film like this ought to make you feel. I'd even been made to feel sympathy for the idiot American college students, because the Bad Thing waiting for them in the ruins of the title is bad enough, wrong enough, that the threat to life and sanity it poses struck me as something not even those disposable fools deserved. Had the director seen fit to insert actual characters for his carnivorous Cannabis to munch on, I think this might have been a genuinely good film. Regardless, definitely worth a matinée, though you shouldn't pay full price.
Back home, we watched Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street again, and it's still gorgeous and brilliant and sexy. The rest of the evening is a blur of insomnia and Second Life.
My coffee is cold, which is probably for the best.