I just started the Netflix series called “The Hanting of Bly Manor”.
It's hard to say how it's going to turn out in the end, since I'm just at the beginning. But overall so far, I'm enjoying the thing. There are many unanswered questions already, and I'm invested in learning what's going on with these kids who seem sweet but also odd, and the rest of the strange characters and what they're all about. Not to mention the ghostly aspects of the story.
So far at least, it's definitely a ‘slow burn’ style of storytelling. The thing's got a very good pedigree, being based on a classic Henry James novel (The Turn of the Screw - I haven't read it) and being made by Mike Flanagan who did the Haunting of Hill House (really good until the last episode) and Gerald's Game (great!).
I do enjoy the “slow burn” style, which calls for an investment of focus and attention. Even as a fan of this kind of thing, I often find it's an effort to not look at what I'm drawing, or reading online, or checking my phone at the same time. Our attention is pulled in multiple directions constantly these days.
Anyway, it can be iffy in a way, since horror so often is better at beginnings. Endings are tough.
I saw a horror flick recently - The Blackcoat's Daughter - that did the slow burn well. The thing is so buttoned-down, quiet and understated; it's not for everyone. But it's masterfully made. I didn't even completely understand it - gonna need a rewatch for me - but I still really appreciated it. The look and pace of it, the acting, the ambiguity of what was going on - it really drew me in and then had a powerful impact when - well, no spoilers, but it gets pretty wild in the end, and when it changes gears it's horrific!
I don't know many horror comics, but there's a slow burning one that caught my eye here on the Duck - it's called Trevor. Worth a look:
I've often mentioned the book Ghost Story as a favorite - The Witch, a movie from a couple years back, is a nice on too.
I've heard people praise some video games - going back to the original Silent Hill game - as really scary. I think a video game can create deep immersion for people (well, I know it can!). I'm not a gamer though; never played it.
It can be an effort these days, but giving a slow-burn book, show, comic, or movie a chance can pay off in the powerful effect it can have on you!
Got any favorite slow burn stories?
Banes at 12:00AM, Oct. 15, 2020
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