I found out yesterday that Issue #13 of The Literary Hatchet, containing my poem “Faust”, will be late by a few days because of the holidays. That staff knows how to build suspense. I will post an announcement when Issue #13 is up. In the meantime, check out their Issues page. They have consistently beautiful cover art. I also like the way they came up with their publication’s name. The Literary Hatchet is located in Fall River, Massachusetts, the hometown of Lizzie Borden.
“The Stranger” is a 2014 Chilean film directed by Guillermo Amoedo and produced by Eli Roth and Nicolas Lopez.
Although most critics gave this low ratings in spite of citing some good aspects, I found this movie to be much better than average because of its thoughtful, understated style which is a relief from so many vampire films in which the violence hides the subtler qualities. This film does have its violent moments (I thought the death of Caleb was one of the more interesting ways I have seen one vampire kill another), but they support the storyline instead of overwhelming it.
The best quality I found in “The Stranger” was its way of continually maintaining a haunting, eerie suspense without letting it flag. I never knew exactly what was going to happen next or to where the film was leading me, although this is easier to see in hindsight of course. I also thought its minimalist approach to the portrayal of vampires as average people afflicted with a horrific, contagious disease was a refreshing relief from the clichéd motif of vampires as hyper-erotic, ultraviolent superhumans. The vampires here are average people tormented by an ailment that forces them to kill for blood while constantly threatened by incineration by the sun. The vampires here do not revel in evil and, other than being able to heal very quickly from mortal wounds, do not have supernatural abilities. This allows the viewer to become more sympathetic to their plight and to root for them when threatened by the antagonists.
The plot is not overly innovative, but it manages to be a decent vehicle for the suspense.
I give this 3.75 out of five stars.
I have just learned that my short story “Decision” will be re-printed at Fiction on the Web on December 20. “Decision” is a powerful mainstream literary story of interracial love set against a background of ruthless racism in the Appalachian area of 1970’s eastern Kentucky. “Decision” has previously appeared in Spoiled Ink in 2004 and in Through the Gaps in April, 2015. Many thanks to Charlie Fish and his staff at Fiction on the Web for electing to publish “Decision”. Please stop by Fiction on the Web on or after December 20 to check out the story.