It’s officially summer. I want to relax and watch movies. But not necessarily the Hollywood-appointed summer blockbuster. In fact, not necessarily good movies. For whatever reason, I’m in the mood to dig up some older, more obscure, potentially bad horror movies.
Hey, I like bad horror movies. I watch Mystery Science Theater 3000. I’ve seen “Manos” the Hands of Fate over twenty times. My tolerance is pretty high. Heck, sometimes if I watch them often enough, I end up liking them. They may not be perfect or even make sense, but there is something that draws me in.
So I picked up a copy of The Apparition.
The Apparition is a horror movie that came out in 2012. It bombed in theaters and was eviscerated on Rotten Tomatoes. The problem with The Apparition isn’t that it’s offensive or graphic or horrific. It’s not. It’s also not scary or emotional or interesting.
The Apparition is a lot of nothing. The plot, characters, and setting are so thinly drawn they disappear into vapor. If there’s a concept or meaning driving this movie, director/ writer Todd Lincoln didn’t choose to share it. In spite of this, I kind of enjoyed it. It was like playing in an empty cardboard box. Sure, there wasn’t much to look at on the surface, but if you use your imagination, it could be anything you want it to be.
(Warning: I will now be writing a LONG point-by-point summary of the movie and spoiling every plot twist. If you want to see the movie first--and you can find it--you may want to hold off on reading this article.)
Early in April, I signed up for the Local Author's Showcase, at the Cumberland Library in Fayetteville, NC. When it came time to go, I was nervous. I've only done a few of these events, after all, and I'm not exactly a social butterfly. (More like an introverted dragonfly.) But I told myself I was just going to show up, have fun, network, learn, and not put too much pressure on myself.
On Saturday, June 15, I attended the Local Author's Showcase, with a bagful of my books to sell, a box of business cards, and some freshly-made, framed signs. I was surprised (and a little intimidated) by the number of authors who set up booths in the room and how professional they were. Some had screens and toys and merchandise for sale. But I took a deep breath and got set up. Someone came up to talk to me. I started to feel better.
All in all, it was a fun day. People were friendly and open. I got hear author's stories and share my own story. I even made a few sales. It was a good reminder, for me, of the power of putting yourself out there.
Authors and Their Books
These are some of the local authors I had the pleasure of meeting as I made my way around the room:
One of the authors, Alison Paul Klakowicz (whose book I bought, by the way), wrote a tremendous article in the Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog with pictures of everyone and their books. If
you want to get a feel for the event, I suggest you check it out.
Title: The Shadow Club
Author: Neal Shusterman
Genre: YA, Contemporary
No matter how hard Jared tries, his rival always beats him. Bad enough that Austin is the best runner on the 9th grade team, bound for the Olympics, but he also has the nasty habit of rubbing it in Jared’s face. Jared’s best friend Cheryl understands the feeling. No matter how good of a singer she is, her younger cousin Rebecca always outshines her. While commiserating, Jared and Cheryl hit upon an idea: a club for people who always come in second place. The Shadow Club was just meant to be a place to vent… and maybe play some harmless pranks on the people who wrong them. But when the class weirdo Tyson overhears them, Jared fears everything they built may be in danger.
Since I’ve enjoyed other works by Neal Shusterman (Unwind, Everlost), I decided to pick up The Shadow Club when I found a copy at the used bookstore. Unlike other Neal Shusterman works I’ve read, The Shadow Club didn’t feature fantasy or science fiction elements, but it did carry the author’s signature blend of flawed but sympathetic characters, tight plots, and dark situations with a sprinkling of hope.
Writer. Critic. Dreamer.