Posts Tagged ‘horror’

The Incredible Shrinking Man

June 20, 2011 Leave a comment

I doubt if this was the first film I ever saw but, because of the impact it had on me, it’s the first film I remember seeing. It’s about a guy who starts shrinking and keeps shrinking. He gets so small that, for a while he stays in a dolls house. As he continues to shrink, the everyday world gets more dangerous and frightening. Anyone who’s seen this film will remember the cat finding him in his dolls house. The scene with the spider set my young heart racing with anxiety.

The Incredible Shrinking ManThis film impressed upon me, even at a very young age, a notion of relative scale. The scenery and special effects must look very clunky by today’s standards, but I guess imagination was more eager to fill in the gaps. As well as scenes with over sized objects in them, I remember lots of point of view shots. I would be used to seeing TV content where the POV was that of an adult. It must have been refreshing when the POV shots started to show scenes from someone my own size.

At the end of the film he’s on his own; lost and abandoned. Distances and obstacles being insurmountable to one of his now-minute scale. I remember him trapped behind a wire mesh or a grate that led to the outside world. He continued shrinking and before long was able to get through the grate. He was dressed in rags. He seemed glad and had a new found determinism as he contemplated the outside world, now that he had become a part of it. He was set free from human society because his scale was now so far removed from that around which human society was based.

But he was still human.

As he walked off stridently into whatever the world now held for him, he was still of a size that we could comprehend – that of a small insect.  But we know he will continue to shrink beyond that which is comprehensible to the eye. The true horror of this film is that he remains alive and purposeful and whatever universes of scale he passes into now he will do so as a fully functioning and feeling human.

Categories: film


November 29, 2010 Leave a comment

There’s been a lot of snow recently. For many, the landscape seems to herald Christmas and be populated with ruddy cheeked children laughing as they build snowmen.

For me, the immediate association of snowy landscapes will always be horror films.

A montage of horror films featuring snow Let The Right One In and 30 Days Of Night are recent examples. How about The Shining as well? I tried to find a picture from the frozen lake scene from The Omen, but couldn’t. Add your favourite snowy horror fim/scene in the comments below.

What is it about snow?

Could it be from Shelley’s Frankenstein, where the monster wanders off into the frozen wastes of the Arctic. Or is it from further back when Dante imagined Satan locked in the centre of a frozen lake in the final circle of The Inferno?

I’m thinking it’s from further back still when Pagans would huddle together in bivouacs, waiting for the longest, coldest nights to pass; terrified of the fickle Gods who would impose such cruel conditions on them; munching away on hallucinogenic plants until spirits entered through the ceiling to give them gifts and tell them the worst was over.

As I say, nothing to do with Christmas.

Categories: books, film