I was at a writing retreat recently, so we decided to watch this movie as a lark. After all, it was about a romance author going on a writing retreat. Most of the women in my writing group do not write romance, but the writing world is so badly portrayed in this movie that any writer will laugh their heads off at the horrible dialogue and the overall cheese of this movie.
On the other hand, the movie offered on its promise of sweet holiday romance. Hey, just because I write erotica doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy lighter fare when it comes to the sexual presentation on the page or screen. The truth is, I thought the story was absolutely pat and enjoyable at the same time. Story fast-food. No worries about things being angsty. No real tension in the story. You can watch this puppy knowing who is going to end up happy together in the end within the first five minutes. But that’s the beautiful thing about romance. It’s cheery. It’s happy. It’s predictable. It’s exactly what we want when we are weary of the real world around us.
With six writers on the sofa, all the major plot points and reveals were easily pointed out ten minutes into the movie. The acting was laughable, bordering on groan-worthy. Christmas romances must have a snow scene in them, right? Of course, this one took place with the lead actress wearing pumps and a skirt while falling into totally fake looking snow. Add in the CGI snowbanks in the New York City scene for even more eye-rolling enjoyment. And, it being on Hallmark, there wasn’t anything more sexual than a little kiss at the end of the movie.
The only saving grace of this movie is that it’s hysterical to watch with a group of fellow writers who understand the mis-steps and completely off-base comments about our industry. At one point, a key-note speaker gives a two minute lecture on her favorite writing trick which involved putting lights and ornaments on the tree with the angel on top being the perfect point of view looking down on the story. I hear the book is WAY better.
Whenever I start thinking about what I’ll write next, I spend very little time worrying about what other people want. Is that selfish? I don’t know. But, I do know writing something that makes me excited makes for better writing in general, and therefore, something more enjoyable for you to read.
Just because I edit the Blood in the Rain series does not mean I’m only interested in vampires. As I look to 2018 and the kinds of things I want to be writing, I’m seeing a few more novellas than short stories. When I first started doing the Blood in the Rain anthologies, I had one vampire story ready to roll. It is in the first collection. Since then, I’ve written two more stories in the same world–a post-apocalyptic America that is divided into new nations-states–Pacifica (West Coast), God’s New Eden (Texas and other southern states), Centralia (All those fly-over states) and Atlantica (East Coast). Each story takes place in a slightly different part of the country.
My goal is to write the origin stories for each of my main characters in those three stories. Beyond that, I’m writing some pretty normal human-centric erotica. And, I’m looking at this whole shifter thing. Oh, and revers harem stuff. That sounds like a LOT OF FUN. How about Reverse Harem Domme Vampires?
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is probably the most artsy vampire film I have ever seen. It’s in black and white, so that’s part of it. The film plays with light and dark, angles, focus..everything. It’s a slow movie. There’s one scene that we both were squirming in our seats asking each other “HOW can they move SOOOOO slow?” And, we were able to do that, and talk over many of the scenes because there is very little dialogue.
Silence is so much a part of the story it becomes its own character. It builds tension and discomforts the viewer. We’re so used to words, words, words! All the time WORDS! and explosions and action. This film is the exact opposite of most every contemporary movie.
The story takes place in “Bad City”–a nebulously awful neighborhood where people are seen throwing random bodies that lie abandoned and ignored in a ravine. Here’s what the “experts” had to say:
Guy Lodge of Variety said in his review that “Ana Lily Amirpour’s auspicious debut feature is a sly, slinky vampire romance set in an imaginary Iranian underworld”. Andrew O’Hehir of Salon called the film “the year’s biggest discovery” and praised its feminist themes. Boyd van Hoeij, in his review for The Hollywood Reporter, praised the movie, saying “this moody and gorgeous film is finally more about atmosphere and emotions than narrative – and none the worse for it”. Drew Taylor of Indiewire graded the film A− and said that it gives “the impression that you’re witnessing something iconic and important unfold before you” –From Wikipedia
Let the Right One In is a Swedish romantic horror film that is one of my favorite vampire movies. Like a lot of Swedish films, it’s moody and dark and perfect. Last year we had the opportunity to see it on Stage in Seattle performed by the National Theater of Scotland. The stage adaptation was amazingly true to the film. (I’m including trailers to both at the end of the post for fun.)
The film is based on a novel and, apparently, departs from the book’s darker themes to focus on the relationship between Oskar and Eli. Oskar, a 12-year-old boy, and Eli, a centuries old vampire, become unlikely friends in a cold and bleak suburb of Stockholm. While reviewing the details of this movie for this post, I learned that the book has much darker themes that aren’t touched upon in the movie. Definitely worth a viewing!
(We saw this same production in Seattle, but the only trailer I could find was from the Texas production.)
What We Do In the Shadows is a mockumentary about a bunch of vampires in New Zealand. We get to meet a group of vampires that have been sharing a flat for a while.
It’s the brain child of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. Clement is better known for his role as himself in “Flight of the Concords.” If you haven’t seen that, you should look it up. This is a campy, hilarious movie. Watch the trailer, then go rent the movie!
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