Michael Hartford

writer, photographer, programmer, dad

Tag: steve oram

The Canal

An archivist becomes obsessed with a 100-year-old film that documents a crime that occurred at his home. Meanwhile, his wife has gone missing, and it comes to light that she was having an affair. He begins to lose his grip on sanity, believing that there is something in the house that can only be seen through an old movie camera that is responsible for both the long-ago crime and his wife’s disappearance.

This is a good atmospheric movie, with a few scary moments (particularly when the archivist’s young son is threatened by the ghosts) and some good plunging-into-madness hysteria from the lead actor. And the ending is nightmarish and unsettling, a final dive into insanity. Overall a nice little ghost story.

Daily Horror Movie: A Dark Song

A Dark Song

A Dark Song

A woman grieving the loss of her son locks herself in a secluded house with a practitioner of black magic to perform grueling rituals meant to seek vengeance and forgiveness.

This is a hell of movie: it’s about the horrors of grief, loss, vengeance, and forgiveness, set within a dark and abusive relationship where neither party has any hope of getting what they want. Sophia is single-minded and focused on her goal, Solomon is damaged and flawed and consumed with his own agenda. There are really no traditional horror scares until the last twenty minutes, but it’s terrifying in its look into the nihilism at the core of both characters. It’s a very claustrophobic movie, locked inside a creaking, dark old house with two characters who are themselves locked into their consuming and impossible desires.

“A Dark Song” is also the perfect movie for a gloomy Twin Cities Marathon day; I couldn’t help but think of this day four years ago, when I did the marathon after months of plodding, consistent, ritualistic preparation. Pushing through the last six miles (a marathon is a 10K with a 20 mile warmup) was a lot like sitting in that charmed circle without eating or drinking for two days, or suffering through incantations with a festering knife wound and raging fever; there may have been demons dragging at me at some point, too. I can appreciate Sophia’s dedication to her stupidly single-minded goal despite all the urging of good sense.

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