Classic Horror

Classic Horror: The Outsider

Today I want to talk about one of Lovecraft’s shortest but possibly most effective short stories, The Outsider.

The Outsider is a beautifully written short regarding a chap escaping a castle.

The story is told in first person, which was a means of story telling Lovecraft favoured to an extent. Our narrator talks about his life, focusing on how lonely and isolated he has been and ultimately how unhappy. He has no real memory of other people, or even where he is from originally. He also describes his environment, the dark and rather run-down castle that squats in an endless forest. The narrator has never even seen natural light. All his knowledge from outside world comes from books.

But despite the dark and lonely life the narrator is not completely downtrodden he has a determination to free himself. He climbs the tallest tower of the castle, but the stairs don’t reach the entire way, and so he climbs the walls until he reaches a trapdoor. When he pushes through he realises he is not up high as expected but rather at ground level in another world.

He’s rather chuffed with this.

The narrator is in a churchyard and walks through, passing through countryside until he reaches another castle. A very familiar castle. However, there are people in this castle and desperate for human contact the narrator clambers in a window. The people inside become terrified and flee from him. Though the narrator doesn’t realise its him they are running from and instead becomes afraid himself, what else must be close to him that scared all the people.

He eventually sees himself and he’s not exactly a person, he sounds more like a ghoul. The narrator tries to return to his old castle but finds the way barred. Now he is trapped in this world, still completely alone.

My Thoughts

This story is effective for several reasons, it plays on common fears of loneliness and isolation, the feeling of being trapped. Then the hope of escape only to have that hope ripped away and finding yourself in a worse position. It plays on the fear of trying something new only to find it putting you in a worse situation with no way back.

The plot is simply structured, told from the point of view of the narrator, allowing the reader to live in the narrators head, feel what he feels and also, importantly know what he knows and nothing more.

This is of course, a classic horror story harks back to the Gothic genre, with spooky settings in the form of the old castle, themes and bone-chilling characters.

Classic Horror, Katie Recommends, Reviews

Classic Horror: Best Three Lovecraft Stories

I’m feeling a little indulgent today and have decided to talk about one of my favourite writers, H.P. Lovecraft. If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time you will already be aware that Lovecraft is one of my top three horror authors and was the inspiration behind a few of my own short stories.

Today I want to talk about some of my favourite stories, The colour out of space, the shadow over Innsmouth, the Call of Cthulhu, the Dunwich horror and the mountains of madness. I love all of these stories for their ability to build tension, create dramatic and loathsome settings and ultimately bring those things together and give a satisfying pay off at the end of the story.  

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Classic Horror

Classic Horror: Lovecraft is being made into films and I’m happy scared.

Being a huge Lovecraft fan I am both excited as Hell and nervous as Hell about the adaptation to film of some of the stories.

That’s right some!

It’s old news that The Colour Out of Space is being turned into a film, but recently the news broke that The Colour Out of Space is the first of THREE films. That’s right we’re looking at a trilogy.

The Colour Out of Space, directed by Richard Stanley is due out this year and is set to star Nicolas Cage has been hailed as been an adaptation that is more faithful to the original story.

“We had been hellbent on finding the Lovecraft adaptation that truly captured cosmic dread without the camp”.

Sounds good right?

But while I’m excited, I’m also worried. Lovecraft has a special place in my heart, to the point where I put it permanently on my skin, twice! So the risk that this might end up horribly wrong is a real concern.

How do you feel when your favourite stories get made into films?

Classic Horror

Classic Horror: Call of Cthulhu

As many of you may already be aware, I’m a huge Lovecraft fan. So once again I use the word review in the title of this blog lightly, as what is far more accurate a descriptor for this blog is an over-enthusiastic gush.

Today I am going to talk about The Call of Cthulhu. 

The Call of Cthulhu was written by H.P Lovecraft in 1926 and was published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales in February 1928. This is a marvellous story for a number of reasons, the foremost being that despite it being a ‘monster’ story it has it’s own unique take on the kind of fear that such a creature should inspire. 

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Classic Horror

Classic Horror: At The Mountains of Madness

Today I want to talk to you about one of my favourite Lovecraft stories, At The Mountains of Madness. This story has inspired horror creators for years, resulting in books, films and games. The world would be a much poorer place without this story.

I recently picked up an audiobook collection of Lovecraft and have been listening to this particular story on the way to and from work. Listening to it has reminded me of just how much I enjoyed this and now I want to talk about how awesome it is.

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