Back in 2002, The Ring heralded the mainstream Asian horror crossover trend, and earned creepy-flick immortality on the strength of its unique (to American audiences) story, complex characters well-played by talented actors, and disturbingly moody visual style, courtesy of director Gore Verbinski. A lackluster sequel followed in ’05, and after that, most assumed that malevolent, visually glitchy spirit Samara’s haunted videotape had gone the way of, well, videotape.
But this is the horror genre, where you’re never truly out of ideas, because digging up something that had some box-office success a while back and rebooting or serializing it is considered “an idea.” And so, more than a decade later, we’re offered a third look into Samara’s backstory — one that manages to exemplify pretty much everything that’s wrong with this kind of filmmaking.
The film opens with a brief plane-crash scene so hacky and unbelievable, you’re actually surprised when it doesn’t turn out to be a movie-within-a-movie playing on a screen somewhere within Rings‘ real opening scene. The wholly unnecessary vignette not only places two strangers who’ve both happened to see the same lost and urban-legendary videotape within a seat of one another on the same flight, but also features some massive collateral damage that runs completely counter to one of the franchise’s central conceits: beyond those who knew Samara while she was alive, only people who watch the video are in mortal danger.
Read the rest at Creative Loafing…
The cloud. It’s the future of personal computing!
Actually, it’s been the present of personal computing for, oh, about six years now. Which means it’s time for one of the concept’s biggest service providers, Dropbox, to follow in Twitter’s footsteps and make tech headlines of its own by dint of an astonishingly high valuation and impending IPO bid.
That cloud computing has now been around long enough for early adopters to tire of the term also means your parents just heard about it.
Just in time for them to have mastered email, and started looking for the next computer thingy by which to be terrified. Just in time for them to want to know if “the cloud” has something to do with why their new smartphones are clogged with photos, or maybe how the FaceSpace works.
Just in time for the holiday visit.
Here’s a handy guide to help you through the inevitable conversation.
Read the rest at Creative Loafing …
Hope you enjoyed your time of thanks, and are now all loaded up on thanks, and ready to return to the cesspool of selfishness and entitlement that is Life In The Modern Era.
I’m Scott Harrell. This is where I purge.
I write a biweekly (actually, that’s not the correct word, but it’s the one everyone uses, so … ) column for the Tampa Bay edition of enduring alt-weekly newspaper brand Creative Loafing called Life As We Blow It. I also contribute A&E coverage to CL.
I’m a contributor to Pinellas County arts website ARTICULATE.
I’ve published several bits of horror and darkly speculative fiction under the pseudonym Ravis Harnell, including the novella Ghostwriter.
Working on a Florida crime story.
I sometimes talk to groups of people who are still naive enough to believe they want a career in journalism, and tell them it’s ridiculous to want a career in journalism at this time. They generally then ask me why I write so much about drinking. If you would like this to happen in your classroom or meeting venue, you can contact me at thedirtytrickscampaign (at) gmail (dot) com.
My plate is pretty full of freelance / copywriting / media stuff right this second, but if you’re looking for someone to do some short-burst work–a bio for your band that isn’t the same ol’ boring profile, for instance–you can also contact me at the address above.
I’ll be catching the blog up on stuff for the rest of the week, so thanks for dropping by, I hope you visit often.
Yeah, so, while I’m completely buried under work, most of it not the kind I want to be doing, but rather the kind I must do in order to have a place in which to do the kind I want to do when I’m done doing the kind I would rather not be doing:
Hi. I’m Scott Harrell.
I write a pretty-much-every-other-week column for the Tampa Bay edition of alt-weekly Creative Loafing called Life As We Blow It. I also write occasional music and other pop-cultural criticism for the venerable CL.
I cover some local music goings-on for attention-worthy Pinellas County A&E site/blog ARTICULATE. ARTICULATE is a fairly new thing, and art fans from Tampa Bay and beyond should check it out.
I self-published several short works of horror fiction, and a longer novella titled Ghostwriter, under the pseudonym Ravis Harnell. They’re all available here at excellent indie e-book publisher/community Smashwords. Many of them are free.
There are several other fiction-y things currently in the works. I haven’t abandoned my previously mentioned Florida crime novel; it just sort of fell into a queue that grew to include several other projects.
Tumblr: The Lamprey
More worthwhile bloggage soon, I promise.
I’m Scott Harrell. I write all kinds of stuff. Welcome to my site.
Currently, I’m writing a column for the Tampa Bay edition of alt-weekly newspaper Creative Loafing; it’s called Life As We Blow It and it’s published every other week. I sporadically contribute music, film and other arts and cultural coverage to CL as well.
Fiction-wise, I’m working on a novel in the “Florida crime” genre. I previously self-published several works of horror fiction under the pseudonym Ravis Harnell in digital formats. They are available at Amazon and here at Smashwords.
Also also, I’ve signed on for another cultural-criticism gig I’ll be able to talk about very soon.
Thanks for coming. You can contact me quasi-directly at thedirtytrickscampaign (at) gmail (dot) com.