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Saturday, November 9, 2013

My Final Curtain Closes

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is with a heavy heart that I say The Final Curtain will come to a close on November 13th.

These last five years have been truly amazing and I have enjoyed sharing random quirks from my extensive writing collection with you all.  I have also enjoyed sharing The Final Curtain with my amazing guest writers.

Do not despair.  When one door closes, a window opens and in this case that window is my own official website where you'll be able to venture to unknown worlds, while keeping up to date with all the latest news and gossip.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for my online fan funding campaign to raise money for my first ever book, TALES OF TERROR: URBAN LEGENDS.  I have teamed up with Australian artist Shane Ryan to create this book and now just need the funds to help publish it.  There's some really sweet perks for donations so please get involved on November 13th.

Thank you to each and every one of you who kept us going.  To each of my amazing guest writers, especially James Thompson, I owe a lot to you all.  Your works kept this blog fresh and fuelled quite a lot of interest.  You are all my friends and outstanding writers.

To each of my readers, I wouldn't be here without you.  You are the reason that I continue to write and try to better myself.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all your support over the last five years.  I hope you will continue to follow and comment with your opinions as I truly do enjoy reading what you have to say.

In the meantime, feel free to follow me on Twitter @Ahlephia and keep up to date with what's happening, especially with the online campaign.

Thank you so much.  These years have been a total blast.

I love you all.

Rhiannon Elizabeth Irons
xoxox

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Possessed

No matter how many times he entered the cellar, Don couldn't help but feel repulsed by the stench that emanated from the bodies he'd gathered and hung up. Each and every time he walked down those steps into his dungeon of sorts, the sting in his nostrils reminded him of the harsh reality of his craving and lust for violence and murder. The hanging bodies were his trophies; most devoid of blood, having had the rich red liquid drained from their bodies since his act of slaughter, only for the various marks of his kills to remain present on the torsos of his victims.

While the smell remained an unwelcome addition to his schedule, Don could not help but stare proudly at the mutilated bodies on display, all his own handy work and growing by the day. It had begun just a week ago, Don finally accepting that his life was filled with nothingness, a big blank void in the world around him and he was built for a higher calling. Ironically, he worked the graveyard shift at the power plant not far from his home, a job that required no social skills and was ultimately one for the loneliest of souls.

Whilst wandering around the premises, torch in hand, Don stared into the darkness only to be overcome by a blinding light in the distance, the sort that blurs your vision when you turn a light on after a long sleep. Quickly disappearing, the light was completely unexplainable but it maintained some sort of possession within Don, the kind that instilled a level of hatred in a man who was usually passive and kept himself to himself.
In the nights that followed, it soon became apparent that some sought after materials had been drafted in at the plant and a series of potential thieves were on the prowl to steal said items for their own personal. Little did they know that a newly formed Don was what stood between them and a potential profit, and he had no limits in delivering some good old fashioned pain their way since his experience.

This new-found violently possessed individual saw a plethora of thieves and low-lives looking to find their way past him, each sealing their impending deaths, becoming more violent with every night that passed. The first kill, one that you would imagine could cause the most angst, left Don unaffected, with the spirit inside of him leaving him devoid of any emotion as he beat the hooded individual repeatedly over the head with his baton to leave but a bloody pulp and caved in skull engulfed in blood. These weren't so much murders as they were slaughters, Don experimenting with his methods of dispatching, ranging from a fire axe to utilising the restricted toxic chemicals to sadistically torture his victims before he performed the final acts on them.

His latest victim had seen a rather sadistic end having been left with stumps for legs as Don hid in the shadows, only for the potential thief to walk by him and have his legs sliced firmly in half, leaving little more than a screaming torso in the pool of blood and severed limbs on the ground. Not content with his delivery of punishment, Don then found some pliers and proceeded to perform his own brand of dentistry, yanking the victim's teeth out one-by-one, each accompanied by a deathening squeal of pain and subsequent blood. It satisfied Don's current state of mind and concluded with the maniacal killer plunging the used pliers into the forehead of the latest in line for hell's minions.

Pliers still remaining in the forehead, the body was hung on one of the few remaining hooks left without a trophy as Don proudly stood with his arms folded, admiring his handy work. His personality change in recent times had culminated in this new tapestry of lifeless bodies, egged on by this unknown presence from within his very soul.

As he removed himself from the joy of his handy work, Don slowly made his way up the stairs to the realms of his normal home life, only to be interrupted by the crashing sound of his front door being met with metal. It was the police, obviously having finally crept up on him following his rampage of death and sadism.

"We know you're in here Don, give yourself up or we will shoot you down!"

Don's heart pounded in what was the first moment since the light incident that he had felt truly human again. He felt his whole body freeze and the air in his lungs weaken as he fell to his knees, ready to give himself up. Just as the police pushed their way through the house to find the cellar, Don felt the air released from his body and fell to the floor, blacking out...

Waking up after what seemed like an eternity, Don found himself in the premises of the power plant, the tarmac underneath his feet and the huge structures of the formidable site in front of his very eyes. He also noticed a figure, very much similar to his stature, dressed in a security guard's outfit and slowly made his way toward this unknown person. As he approached, Don suddenly realised that he wasn't quite himself and, holding up his hands, was shocked to see straight through his limbs. Don had passed over to the other side and now it was his turn to possess another unwitting victim to carry on the work of the afterlife...

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Evolution Of Horror: Monster Movies Vs. Slashers



H.P. Lovecraft once said, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”


I'm back with a rather unusual debate topic.  
Monster movies vs. slashers.  Which side are you on?

When it comes to movie genres there is always a basic formula to be followed. Romantic comedies see boy meets girl, girl likes boy, funny stuff happens, boy realises he likes girl, they get together in the end. Action is always some bad guy with itchy trigger fingers and a good guy with a wise-cracking mouth that’s always a better shot.

But one genre breaks this formula and has evolved over the course of the years. From tales of monsters we all know, like The Wolfman and Frankenstein, to stories of babysitter killers and dream demons to what can only be described as torture-porn, the horror genre has change formulas for scaring audiences, each time getting bloodier and gorier.
Whenever I think of monster movies I immediately think of the old Universal films like The Invisible ManThe Wolfman,FrankensteinDr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and fun movies likeGremlins and Critters. But monster movies is a rather broad subject which includes such classics as AliensGodzilla and The Evil Dead. Yes, that’s right. Zombie movies are considered to be part of the monster movie craze. Also included on that list are vampires. I bet you’ll never look at Twilight in the same way again.

But when it comes to slashers, mad men brandishing knives and other weapons spring to mind. Killers like Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, Victor Crowley and Jason Voorhees represent the slasher genre, upping the body counts from previous movies and brutally tormenting their prey with long, slow stalking sequences and spine-chilling death scenes that leave an invisible scar on the psyche of audiences. Don’t believe me? Then let’s try a test. Freddy Krueger’s first victim was played by Amanda Wyss. Her name was Tina. What’s the first thing you remember about the character of Tina? For me, it’s the death scene that had Amanda Wyss thrown around the bedroom while Freddy slashed his claws across her chest and face before dropping her to the bed in a bloody mess. Rememberable? Yes. Gory? Very. Slasher movie material? Absofuckinglutely.

Alien life-forms, zombies, werewolves, vampires, demons, even human hybrids all fall under the category of movie monsters. Given the variety of monsters available to film makers, movie monsters are more popular today than ever before. But where did they all start?

The first ever movie monster was actually Quasimodo who’s better known as being the hunchback of Notre-Dame. Quasimodo made his first appearance in Victor Hugo’s novel Notre-Dame de Paris in 1831. But it was in 1906 in a little movie called Esmeralda where Quasimodo made his first on screen appearance.

German Expressionist film makers would significantly influence later films, not just the horror genre. In 1915 Paul Wegener’s silent film, The Golem, and in 1920, Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari had a particular impact on the horror genre. But it was 1922 that saw monster movies injected into society with the cult classic, Nosferatu.
In the 1930′s, the America began to screen more successful films of this type that were usually based on gothic tales such as Dracula andFrankenstein, both of which were heavily influenced by German Expressionism in 1931. From there The Mummy (1932) and The Invisible Man (1933) made their appearance. Classed as horror films, these movies included iconic monsters that are remembered and respected to this day.

When it comes to movie monsters, the only limitation is the imagination of film makers. From real life monsters like sharks, razorbacks, man-eating fish and crocodiles to mythical creatures like werewolves, dinosaurs and giant lizards that crush Tokyo, anything goes. And monsters aren’t just reserved for the horror genre either. Something like Jurassic Park I personally consider an adventure styled film, yet it brings forth one of the most recognisable creatures in dinosaurs.

So when are monster movies scary? The fear was genuine when monsters first came alive on screen. Large dogs were feared because they might be werewolves, gorilla cages were locked more securely thanks in part to King Kong, and some people with pale skin were feared as being a legion of the undead.

As movies evolved, so did the fear of movie monsters being real. In the 1950′s more monster movies were created, exercising the fear that people had in regards to a nuclear fallout. In films, the fallout from a meltdown or blast created creatures so vile and gigantic in proportions that they could rampage against the city, levelling it faster than an 9.6 magnitude earthquake.
In 1975, audiences were put through the monster movie ringer when Jaws splashed onto the big screen. Never had swimming in the ocean been more terrifying But what was most terrifying was how real it was. While Great White Sharks don’t normally grow to 25 feet in length, they can grow as big as 20 feet. What followed Jaws was an aversion to swimming in the ocean and the slaughter of sharks world wide. To this day, I have friends that won’t swim in the ocean because of that movie. Why? BecauseJaws played on a real fear. Forget movie monsters that are made-up and a fake as a politician’s handshake. Jaws was real. Sharks are real. Shark attacks are real. Jaws just put them on the map.

Ever since Jaws, there has been an influx of ‘real’ monster movies. Piranha in ’79, Alligator in ’80, Rogue in ’07. Animal related horror movies were all the rage, with no animal safe from the warped and creative minds that bring us sheer terror. Dogs were targeted with movies like Cujo and The Pack. Crocodiles and their cousin, the alligator, were snapping at the heels of movie goers. Even a giant boar in Razorback was considered a monster of the screen. Cats were considered terrifying long before sharks were thanks to movies like Cat People and The Black Cat. Regardless of species of animal, thanks to horror, it could become a monster.
Between the early 80′s and now, monster movies have returned to the monsters of old. Vampires and werewolves are big thanks to films like the Twilight series,Interview With A VampireAn American Werewolf In London and even the hit TV show Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Zombies are back thanks to movies like theResident Evil series, Night Of The Living Dead and the popular Zombieland. They even have their own TV show with The Walking Dead. But don’t disregard animal monsters just yet. In 2010 Piranha was redone, giving new meaning to blood bath, while an Australian film by the name of The Reef took the most terrifying creature in the ocean (Great White) and made it popular, and feared, once again.

And judging by what’s in production at this moment in time, monster movies will remain popular for many more years to come.

The definition of slasher film is a movie typically involving a psychopathic killer stalking and killing a sequence of victims in a graphically violent manner, often with some form of cutting tool like a knife or axe.

Although the term ‘slasher’ may be used as a generic term for any horror movie involving a psychopath and graphic acts of murder, the slasher as a genre has its own set of characteristics which sets it apart from related sub-genres of horror like the splatter film.

The birth of the slasher genre is often accredited to Halloween in 1978. However some horror fans deem Black Christmas in 1974 to be the start of the slasher genre as it presented some of the sub-genre’s characteristics such as a mysterious stalker, a set of adolescent or young adult victims, a secluded location with little or no adult supervision, point-of-view camera shots representing the “killer’s perspective,” and graphic violence and murder. (Fun Fact: Black Christmas was remade in 2006)

Now, if you are an avid reader of my past articles or my blog, you know that I am a huge Halloween fan. But for me, the birth of the slasher genre started in 1960 with Alfred Hitchcock’s, Psycho.
Following the pattern set by slashers, Psycho introduced us to some of the characteristic that Black Christmas used. The setting for The Bates Motel was remote and secluded. The killer was mysterious even though they were referred to as ‘Mother’ and during the infamous shower sequence, we see the killer approach from their point of view. However, rather than using young teens or college students, Psycho used older actors.

Despite the slight differences in characteristics, Psycho remains one of horror’s greatest films of all time with one of the most infamous scenes in cinematic history. (Fun Fact: After filming Psycho, Janet Leigh refused to take showers, preferring the safety of her bathtub) So, if they changed what is ideally the formula for slashers, why do I deem Psycho to be the birth of the slasher genre? Simple. Psycho has left an invisible scar on the psyche of all who viewed it. The death of such a high profile star in Janet Leigh so early on in the film still shocks many viewers. My mother still won’t watch this film because, quote, “There’s something so unnerving about it.” And above all, Psycho gave us something to really fear; Man.

The fear that Psycho installed was genuine terror. Norman Bates was young, handsome and little socially awkward. Not one person viewing that movie for the first time would have thought that he was behind the murders. That genuine fear is what has ultimately lead to some of horror’s biggest villains.

In 1978, the slasher genre got a new contender in the villain stakes. Michael Myers of Haddonfield, Illinois, picked up a knife at the age of 6, and doesn’t look like he’s putting it down any time soon. To this day, Michael Myers is still one of the most feared, and talked about, movie villains. He was an unstoppable force of nature, the first of his kind. But what made him scary was how human-like he was. To quote director and co-writer, John Carpenter, “To make Michael Myers frightening, I had him walk like a man, not a monster.”

Two years later at Camp Crystal Lake, Mrs. Pamela Voorhees stood up for women killers everywhere by getting even with a group of camp councillors. But a year later, her son, Jason, took over the Friday the 13th series and has become one of the biggest horror icons of all time. Not to mention Jason also holds the record for most number of sequels and largest body count.
In 1984 the slasher genre got a new bad guy in dream demon, Freddy Krueger. Freddy slashed and slaughtered his way to cult icon status, even coming head to head with Jason in 2003. While Michael Myers was still considered a man, Jason and Freddy had an element of the supernatural aiding them. Freddy was a dream demon, able to change his shape at will, even change into other people while his main victim was in the land of nod while Jason became an unstoppable force, much like Michael, although one difference was Jason was already dead.

The 80′s were renown for slasher films. Some tried their hand at creating a series, but nothing could compete with HalloweenFriday the 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street. Random slasher movies included The Prowler,My Bloody ValentineHappy Birthday To Me and April Fool’s Day, just to name a few. While these films aren’t as memorable as their more successful counterparts., they are still enjoyable to watch if you’re just after some blood, guts and gore.

Like with monster movies, nothing was safe from slashers. It didn’t matter if you were black, Asian, white, gay or straight. It didn’t matter if you were skinny, large, male, female or transgender. No one was safe from the maniac brandishing a weapon. If you were in the way, you were as good as dead.

In the 90′s the slasher genre was still going strong. A Fisherman with a hook for a hand reminded everyone what they did last summer, while a jilted boyfriend decided to place a phone call and ask, “What’s your favourite scary movie?” While I Know What You Did Last Summer placed a direct sequel aptly titled I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, it wasn’t an overall success. (It also spurned a direct to DVD sequel starring none of the original cast entitled I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer – Don Shanks who played Michael Myers in Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers took over for Muse Watson as The Fisherman) The crown for the slashers in the 90′s went to Scream which initially produced a rarity in the horror field; A trilogy. That was before 2011 when Wes Craven decided it was time to bring Ghostface back with Scream 4.

So when are slashers scary? When there is a genuine reason to be scared. When something happens on screen that could very well happen in your town, neighbourhood, street.

As for the big three: While dream demons are real in some cultures, for me they don’t exist so I don’t fear Freddy. Jason is nothing more than an unstoppable zombie.

As for Michael, it has been proved in the past that when adrenalin kicks in, people seem to possess superhuman strength. It is also been proven in psychological studies that people who are crazed also possess this strength and often don’t feel any pain. Let’s just assume that Michael Myers is still a man with no supernatural elements aiding him against his prey, then it could be argued that he is just 100% insane which not only gives him the strength that he possess but also the capability not to feel pain which, in turn, would see him live through some extraordinary circumstances.
Norman Bates is terrifying because he simply looks ‘normal’ and causes no alarm. Just like actual serial killer, Ted Bundy, Norman’s good-looks and shy personality don’t raise any red flags and people feel comfortable in his presence.

So which is better: Monster movies verses slashers?

Both sub-genres install a certain amount of fear and both are as popular today as they were when they first surfaced. Monster movies of old, like The Invisible Man, were given modern make overs (Hollow Man starring Kevin Bacon) or completely redone, like The Mummy, revamping what had come before and breaking box office records.

Slashers are still popular and most people look to the slasher genre when starting their film careers, hoping to capitalise on what lurks beneath the surface of an ordinary man or, in some cases, woman.

The fact is there is no separating these two sub-genres. However, when it comes to both slashers and monster movies, the key to scaring the heck out of an audiences is realism. A shark movie will create more of a horrified reaction from movie-goers than a werewolf or zombie movie, simply because werewolves and zombies do not actually exist. The same goes with slashers. A disfigured, hillbilly psycho, while terrifying in the kill (and looks) department will not be able to beat the underlining fear that is ensured from a boy-next-door killer.

Regardless of your preference of sub-genre, one thing is certain. Every horror movie ever made has its fair share of monsters. Jaws is a monster as is The Creature From The Black Lagoon. Jason Voorhees is a monster and so his rival Michael Myers. Man or beast, it doesn’t matter, for every horror film is possessed by a monster.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Humans Can Lick Too



Ever since she was little, Joanne Gibson had been afraid of the dark. 

By the time she was eleven, her parents had tried everything they could think of to help her get over her phobia.  They bought her a nightlight but Joanne made them take it back when the scary shadows in her room came to life.  They tried placing an aquarium in her room, but the movement of the water and the colorful fish kept her awake.  They even tried a hypnotist but that failed too.

In desperation, her parents dragged her to a sleep clinic in hopes that they could provide some answers.  After hooking Joanne up to multiple machines to read her brainwaves while she slept the so-called sleep experts were stumped as to why she was so afraid to close her eyes in a completely dark room.

Upon leaving the clinic, they were approached by one of the orderlies.  He suggested that they buy Joanne a puppy that could sleep beside her bed and reassure her that everything was alright.

“After all, if a dog senses something isn’t right, they’re usually the first to react,” he said, explaining that his sister was also afraid of the dark.

Later that day, Mr. and Mrs. Gibson went to the local pound and picked up a puppy for their daughter.

Coyote was a German Shepherd pup that was slightly deaf in his left ear.  When his owners discovered this, they dumped him at the shelter, not content with a dog that was less than perfect.  But as a nighttime companion for Joanne, Coyote was perfect.

That night, with her new friend by her side, Joanne climbed into bed.  Her parents kissed her good night and told her that Coyote would keep her safe throughout the night.  Joanne nodded and watched with trepidation as her parents turned out the light and closed her bedroom door.

Her window was open slightly and a breeze took a hold of the curtain, blowing it gently aside allowing the light from next door to shine through the trees, creating an eerie silhouette on the wall of Joanne’s bedroom.

The frightened girl closed her eyes and ducked under the blankets.  Fearing the worst, Joanne reached out with one shaking hand and patted Coyote.  The loveable pup licked her hand, assuring her that she was safe. 

This continued until Joanne was ready to leave home for college.  Coyote, though partially deaf, had adapted his hearing and was just as alert as any other dog.  He would often cock his head to one side and just listen.  Joanne hadn’t quite grown out of her fear of the dark so she managed to rent a house near the college campus that allowed pets.

She kissed her parents goodbye before loading Coyote into the passenger seat.

The house was old with creaking floorboards and no central heating.  But to Joanne it didn’t matter.  She was living on her own. 

That night, after spending most of the afternoon unpacking, Joanne curled up on her mattress with her sleeping bag and Coyote by her side.  She patted the head of her now seven year old dog.  “Tomorrow, my new bed gets delivered,” she told him, yawning, and her eyes closed.

The next morning, once her bed had been delivered and she had managed to have a shower, Joanne took Coyote for a walk around the neighborhood. 

She walked down Main Street before turning off at a park.  The overgrown trees provided shade and there were a couple of park benches around a kid’s playground. 

Joanne sat down atop a large grassy hill, taking in the sights around her.  Coyote sat by her side, head cocked, tongue hanging out, panting loudly.

“GRRRRRRR.”

Joanne snapped out of her daydream when Coyote began growling.

A man stood on the path at the bottom of the hill, hand above his eyes, shielding them from the sun.  He was staring right at her.  Coyote bared his teeth, the hair on the back of his neck standing to attention.

The man lowered his hand.  Though she couldn’t see his face, Joanne knew he was older than her.  He was slim with dark hair.

“Pick up after your mutt!” he shouted at her before turning to walk off.

Joanne flipped him off before turning to Coyote.  “Come on, boy.  Let’s go home.”

Every day after that, Joanne would take Coyote back to the park for a run and a game of ball.  That same man was there, muttering to himself and watching her intently.  He always stood far away so Joanne couldn’t see the features of his face, but she always left the park as soon as she spotted him.  Coyote didn’t like him and Joanne didn’t want a lawsuit on her hands should he try to take a chunk out of the mysterious foul-tempered man.

About two weeks later, after dinner of Chinese takeout, Joanne put the finishing touches on her new home while Coyote watched from the doorway.  As she put the small photo of her mother and father over the mantle of the fireplace he suddenly sprung to attention, barking wildly and running towards the back door.

“Coyote!”

Joanne chased after him, opening the back door so he could run outside.  Coyote sprinted to the driveway and the gate.  It was banging in the nighttime winds.

Sighing, Joanne made her way across the lawn and latched the gate closed.  She rubbed Coyote’s head playfully.  “I don’t care what anyone says, you have perfect hearing,” she teased.  Coyote barked and ran his tongue over her cheek.

A drop of water bounced off her head followed closely by another.

Joanne turned her attention to the sky and made a break for the back door, calling Coyote to follow.  She closed the door, locking it as he ran passed her.

Grabbing a spare towel from the bathroom, Joanne quickly dried him off, cleaned up the remains of her dinner and stripped off her clothes in favor of one of her father’s oversized t-shirts that she had grown accustom to wearing at night.

Coyote settled himself down beside her bed as Joanne grabbed her glass of water before crawling into the bed.  She snuggled down under the covers as the thunder outside rumbled and the wind howled.

Her hand fell down off the top of the covers and felt Coyote’s warm tongue lap at it.  Feeling reassured, Joanne rolled over and soon fell asleep.

A loud bang had her sitting up.  Lighting lit up the room and the thunder crackled loudly.  Joanne reached down and Coyote’s tongue ran over the flesh of her hand once again.  She settled herself back down telling herself that it was just a storm.  Coyote wasn’t bothered by it, why should she be?

As she tossed and turned a new noise began assaulting her ears.  It was a slow, steady dripping.  At first it didn’t bother her as Coyote continued to lick her hand everytime she slid it down towards him.  But after a couple of hours, Coyote had stopped.

Joanne sat up.  The dripping sound was slow and steady.  She hoped that her roof hadn’t sprung a leak as she didn’t have the money to fix it.  She climbed out of bed, her bare feet thudding softly across the wooden floorboards. 

She reached the kitchen and peered through the window.  Coyote wasn’t in the backyard so he hadn’t gone outside.

The wind howled.  Joanne reached down and turned the tap at the sink.  No, the dripping sound wasn’t coming from there. 

She walked around her house, looking for pools of water on the ground.  After thirty minutes she concluded that she was hearing things and that her roof wasn’t leaking.

Joanne climbed back into bed and settled back down. 

Ten minutes later she sat up again.  That dripping noise was back, and if possible, louder than before.

Tossing the covers off Joanne cursed to herself.  She had searched the house for a leaky roof, but hadn’t bothered going into the bathroom to check the taps. 

She rubbed her eyes, yawning, as she opened the bathroom door. 

“I’ll tighten the tap then go back to bed.  I have an early class,” she told herself, letting out another loud yawn.  Her hand reached for the shower curtain and gave it one swift tug.

Joanne’s eyes grew wide, her mouth falling open in a silent scream.  Hanging from the shower head was Coyote.  He had been savagely butchered, his body gutted and his neck broken.

Feeling the vomit rise in her throat, Joanne was stunned by what she saw as a flash of lightening lit up the small bathroom.

Joanne screamed, sprinting from the room.  She slipped and slid down the hallway before scrambling to her feet again.  She lunged for the phone and called the police.

One ring.

“Come on.  Come on,” she urged.

Two rings.

Joanne bit her finger nail, ripping it down to the quick.

Three rings.

A dripping sound from behind her caught her attention. 

With the phone still pressed against her ear, Joanne turned slowly.  Another flash of lightening lit up the room and in the briefest of moments she saw the gleam of a bloody butcher knife. 

Terrified she glanced up at the menacing man.  His cold, dark eyes stared back at her.  It was the thin man from the park.

Joanne opened her mouth and screamed as he raised the butcher knife high in the air.

*     *     *     *     *

When the police arrived they were shocked by the violence that had taken place.  Joanne’s body had been staged for them, hanging from a ceiling fan, her torso was guttered and her neck was broken. 

“Detectives!  You need to see this!”

The two detectives followed the officer down the hall and into the bathroom.

“Oh God,” said Detective Matthews, holding a hand over his mouth. 

He turned towards the toilet, his eyes growing wide as his stomach tightened into knots.

Written on the mirror in Coyote’s blood were the words “Humans Can Lick Too.”

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'm A Survivor

I'm stronger now than I use to be
I now know nothing is stopping me
From achieving what I know I can
My life is working out as I planned
There's been some tough times
But I saw the signs
And now I'm stronger than ever

Finally I'm free
Nothing left to control me
Now everything I see
Is making me
One step closer to being happy

Yes I've played with fire
I am a fighter
And I'm going higher
To places I've never been before
Because I'm a survivor
It's not that hard to decipher
Caught me in your web like a spider
But I'm strong just like a tiger
Because I'm a survivor
I'm a survivor

Strength was something that eluded me
Only found in fantasy
Now I'm ready to show my fight
Prove that everything is alright
I know it can't be easy
To change 180 completely
But it's something I have to do

In jungle of my mind
Unsure how to unwind
My body is feeling so primed
My body and soul intertwined
My life is so defined

Yes I've played with fire
I am a fighter
And I'm going higher
To places I've never been before
Because I'm a survivor
It's not that hard to decipher
Caught me in your web like a spider
But I'm strong just like a tiger
Because I'm a survivor
I'm a survivor

Wrapped me up in your web of lies
Something I truly despised
Now I have a surprise
Ready and waiting for you
I won't give in to your cries
This isn't the time to compromise
It's time for you to comply
Time to see it through
Time to be a survivor

Yes I've played with fire
I am a fighter
And I'm going higher
To places I've never been before
Because I'm a survivor
It's not that hard to decipher
Caught me in your web like a spider
But I'm strong just like a tiger
Because I'm a survivor
I'm a survivor

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Part Of Me

It was a part of me
To you it was just jewellery
But that small piece of bling
Was my everything
It was my confidence
And now it's gone
How can I stay strong

It's silly to be upset
Over something so trivial
When the world is in peril
But that small shining light
Got me through the darkest of nights
Knowing it was there
Gave me the ability to be
Whoever I dared to be

It was a part of me
That made me so happy
It was small
Hanging from my middle
Its absence is more than a niggle
It plays on my mind
All of the time
Especially when I look down

It was a part of me
Who I yearned to be
A confident woman with her head high
Unaffected by what passed her by
Everything would be alright
I had my guiding light
And now that it's gone
I'm shattered
Can I carry on?

In my heart I know I can
This is not the end
I can always get it back
Go through the pain again
Linking the jewellery with a chain
So it hangs proudly once more
Silly as it sounds
I want it back in leaps and bounds
Third time's the charm
Sound the alarm
I'm getting it done with positivity
It will forever be a part of me

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rhiannon Irons' Top 13 Most Iconic Disney Movie Moments

No matter how old you are, you're never too old to enjoy a Disney movie.  We all have our favourite movie or princess.  We all have our favourite song and villain.  Now I've compiled a list of the most iconic Disney movie moments.



13:  The Battle Between Simba And Scar 

Without a doubt everyone who has ever seen The Lion King remembers this battle.  It was furious, ferocious and memorable.  This epic battle showed exactly which lion had what it took to be king.


12:  Snow White Eats The Poisoned Apple

Who can ever forget the moment when Snow White takes that fateful bite of the apple the Wicked Queen created?  Her lifeless body slumping to the ground, the apple rolling from her hand. Traumatising to a young child but a brilliant Disney moment to forever be remembered.


11:  Ariel Gets Her Legs

When Ariel signed Ursula's scroll and found herself struggling for air beneath the waves, it was up to Flounder and Sebastian to get her to the surface.  There Ariel gets a good look at her legs for the first time.  A little shaky at first, she soon fits in with the human world and eventually becomes human permanently.


10:  The Beast Vs. Gaston

"Are you in love with her, Beast?" taunts Gaston as the battle atop the castle roof escalates into a fight to the death.  Gaston pulls a knife and plunges it into the Beast's side before losing his grip and plummeting to this death.  The Beast has a chance to say goodbye to Belle before he succumbs to the wound.


9:  Beauty And The Beast

It is the dance to end all dances.  This is the moment when we realise that Belle is in deed in love with the Beast.  Their waltz as Mrs. Potts sings softly is truly a memorable Disney moment.


8:  Touch The Spindle

Maleficent showed her true colours, leading the Princess Aurora up the hidden flight of stairs in a hypnotised trance before demanding her to touch the spindle that would result in the princess' demise.  A chilling scene aided by the music of Tchaikovsky is the reason this moment lands in eighth spot.


7:  Aladdin And The Lamp

When street rat Aladdin enters the Cave Of Wonders he's looking solely for the magic lamp.  Watching him climb the massive staircase while his pet monkey Abu eyes off a large forbidden ruby was tense.  He picks it up slowly and turns back to see Abu grab the forbidden treasure and the entire cave goes into meltdown mode.  Thrilling, climatic and loaded with Disney magic, this scene is certainly iconic.


6:  Pocahontas Says Goodbye

Watching the ship sail off while she stands on the cliff and watches is heartbreaking and brings tears to the eyes.  The funny part is that it's such a beautiful moment captured by the amazing Disney artists.  An iconic moment for this film.


5:  Long Live The King

Watching Mufasa save Simba from the stampede was beautiful.  But then we see Scar lurking on the edge of the cliffside.  As Mufasa calls for him to help, Scar extends his claws and digs them into Mufasa's paws.  He leans down and whispers "Long live the King" before hurling Mufasa backwards into the stampede.  Seeing Simba's reaction when he discovers his father's body just shows how despicable Scar really is and how powerful this scene is.


4:  Maleficent Shows Her Inner Dragon

As Prince Philip battles his way through the thorns that surround his princess' castle, Maleficent completely loses it.  She lands in front of him before declaring "Now you shall deal with me, O Prince - and all the powers of HELL" before transforming herself into a really pissed off dragon.  Maleficent's transformation is enough for her to get the number four spot on this countdown.


3:  The Circle Of Life

This may cause some debate but in third spot it's the moment that Simba is raised up in the air by Rafiki as the sun shines down upon the young prince of the Pridelands.  The fact that movie ends the same way, this time with Simba's daughter, just proves how iconic this moment truly is.  Hell, even The Simpsons knocked it off once.


2:  If The Shoe Fits...

When Cinderella rans down the stairs and pleads to try the glass slipper on, her wicked stepmother trips the man carrying the shoe and it shatters into a million tiny pieces.  As the Grand Duke begins to cry and Lady Tremaine smiles wickedly, Cinderella pulls out the other glass slipper.  Hey, if the shoe fits....


1:  The Kiss

The number one most iconic Disney moment goes to two pups in love.  Sharing a plate of spaghetti while Tony dances around and sings "Belle Notte" Lady and the Tramp find themselves chewing on the same piece of spaghetti which leads to the ultimate Disney kiss.  An unforgettable moment in Disney history.

So what do you think?  Have I missed an iconic Disney moment?  Have your say below.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Horror Icon: Christina Ricci

When it comes to cutie pies in horror movies, none stand out as much as the young woman who captured our dark imaginations as the twisted daughter of The Addams Family.  Ladies and gentlemen, this month’s icon is none other than Wednesday Addams….erh, I mean, Christina Ricci.


Born February 12, 1980 in Santa Monica, California, Christina is the fourth and youngest child.  Her siblings are Rafael (born in 1971), Dante (born in 1974) and Pia (born in 1976).  Her father, Ralph Ricci, is a lawyer and group therapist.  According to Christina her father, before becoming a lawyer, was a lay practitioner of "primal scream therapy"--wherein it was believed that patients could purportedly scream their way to a psychological breakthrough.  While growing up, Christina could hear the screaming coming through the vents in her room (her father did his therapy sessions at home), and would act them out in front of her mother.

Christina’s movie breakthrough would come alongside singing powerhouse and legend, Cher, in Mermaids in 1990.  A year later she would work with Michael J. Fox and James Woods in The Hard Way.

That same year Christina got her first taste for the dark side, staring as the gloomy Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family.  Working alongside Christopher Lloyd, Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston, Christina’s dead pan expressions stole the show and quickly gained her fame among a young audience.  (Fun Fact:  Hatchet star Mercedes McNab appeared in both The Addams Family and The Addams Family Values)

Two years later in 1993 Christina reprised her role as Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family Values.  My favourite scene in the entire film is during the play at the camp when Wednesday breaks from the script and beings to adlib before the Indians attack, burning the camp and the play to the ground.  There was that feeling of genuine fear from Amanda Buckman (Mercedes McNab) when she realized that Wednesday was uncontrollable.  Plus the scene was hilarious.

In 1995 Christina continued along the child-friendly film route with Casper.  While Casper, like The Addams Family, is considered comedy, family and fantasy movies, for younger audiences they can be quite terrifying.  (Fun Fact: A young girl who I use to babysit was terrified of Stretch from Casper and had nightmares about him)

It would be four years before the horror genre came knocking on Christina’s door again.  In the meantime she kept busy with a body of outstanding work including films like Now And Then, That Darn Cat, The Opposite Of Sex and I Woke Up Early The Day I Died.

In 1999 Tim Burton and fellow Horror Icon alumni Johnny Depp teamed up to make Sleepy Hollow.  The headless horseman was back and he was coming for Christina.  I’ll admit I loved Sleepy Hollow.  The acting was good, the script was solid and Johnny and Christina had some real chemistry going on.  Even Casper Van Dien’s performance was solid.  (Fun Fact:  In real life Casper is related to the Van Tassels family which was portrayed by Christina)  If you haven’t seen Sleepy Hollow, do yourself a favour and get a copy.  It truly is an enjoyable movie.

In 2000 Christina found herself once again in the horror genre in the movie Bless The Child.  Staring alongside Kim Basinger, Rufus Sewell and Ian Holm, Christina showcased her talents in a vastly underrated movie.  There is some excellent suspense throughout the movie as well as a few shocking scenes of true horror violence.  This is “shocking” because the movie was rather family-orientated up until those points.

Underrated, yet decent, Bless The Child is a good movie with a strong, positive, good message.  It’s not something you can watch repeatedly over and over again, but it is worth a second and third viewing. 

In 2002 Christina became Miranda in Miranda.  This thriller/comedy/romance story captivates the audience and shows off Christina’s talents to their fullest extent.  Kyle MacLachlan also stars.  The storyline is a librarian begins a passionate affair with a mysterious woman who walks into his library.  When she suddenly disappears he travels down to London to search for her only to discover that she has three identities - dancer, dominatrix and con-woman.  But which one is the real Miranda? 

I highly recommend Miranda.  It’s an amazing piece of cinematic work.

As 2003 rolled around so did The Gathering.  While going to the town of Ashby Wake, the drifter Cassie (Ricci) is hit by a car driven by Marion Kirkman and loses her memory.  Marion invites Cassie to stay in her huge old house with her family, while recovering from the trauma.  Cassie becomes very close to Michael, the young son of Marion's husband Simon Kirkman.  He is researching a recently discovered buried church from the First Century, with images of the crucifixion of Jesus and many anonymous persons watching it.  Cassie starts having visions and premonitions with some locals, and decides to investigate the weird and nasty mechanic Frederick Michael Argyle.  Her findings about who she is and the mystery relative to the locals and the town surprises her. 

The Gathering lacks originality or genuine horror but that doesn’t mean it’s inferior.  The cast were amazing and the setting was gorgeous and not some creepy small town.  If you want a low-budget horror movie and are a fan of Christina’s then I recommend watching The Gathering.

That same year Christina stared in Monster alongside Charlize Theron about the life of one of America’s first female serial killers, Aileen Wuornos.  Christina plays Selby, Aileen’s girlfriend and does an amazing job despite her character being completely fictional to the real story of Aileen Wuornos.

Monster is a fantastic piece of work and a highly recommended movie.  Though not a horror movie as such, Aileen’s crimes were certainly horrific.  (Fun Fact: Kane Hodder arrests Charlize Theron in the same bar where the real Aileen Wuornos was arrested)

2005 saw Christina Cursed.  No, not really but she did star in a fun werewolf movie entitled Cursed.  Writing by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven, Cursed in a fun werewolf film that combined horror with the trademark humour we’ve come to know and love from Wes Craven films.

Starring alongside Jesse Eisenberg and Joshua Jackson, Cursed is about Ellie (Ricci) who has been taking care of her younger brother Jimmy since their parents’ death.  One night after picking him up from a party they are involved in a car accident on Mulholland Drive.  While trying to rescue a woman from the other car a creature attacks and kills her, also injuring both Ellie and Jimmy.  After some research Jimmy realizes the creature could only have been a werewolf. 

I really enjoyed Cursed as did my circle of friends.  It’s a fun, feel-good horror movie that left us rolling around on the floor in stitches when Ellie is describing what the werewolf looks like before it burst through a window and flashed her the middle finger.  Cursed is a really enjoyable movie, even if it does lack in the fright we’ve come to know and love from Wes Craven.

The horror genre would knock on Christina’s door again in 2009 but in-between she showed off her acting chops with movies like Speed Racer, Black Snake Moan (highly recommended) and All’s Faire In Love.

But it was After.Life in 2009 that saw Christina return to horror with a vengeance.  Working with Liam Neeson and Justin Long, Christina finds herself in a truly disturbing movie.  After a horrific car accident, Anna (Ricci) wakes up to find the local funeral director Eliot Deacon (Neeson) preparing her body for her funeral.  Confused, terrified and feeling still very much alive, Anna doesn't believe she's dead, despite the funeral director's reassurances that she is merely in transition to the afterlife.  Eliot convinces her he has the ability to communicate with the dead and is the only one who can help her.  Trapped inside the funeral home, with nobody to turn to except Eliot, Anna is forced to face her deepest fears and accept her own death.  But Anna's grief-stricken boyfriend Paul (Long) still can't shake the nagging suspicion that Eliot isn't what he appears to be. As the funeral nears, Paul gets closer to unlocking the disturbing truth, but it could be too late; Anna may have already begun to cross over the other side.

After.Life is without a doubt one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time.  The story was gripping, the acting was brilliant and the film itself was just incredible.  I highly recommend seeing it if you haven’t already.

Since then Christina has steered clear of the horror genre, opting for appearing on television in Pan Am as well as doing movies that more animated like The Smurf 2 as well as the up coming animation The Hero Of Color City.

Also coming up for Christina is Unmasked, a thriller about a man who joins a dangerous and mysterious club in order to re-live the worst day of his life.  She’s also in pre-production for the Untitled Lizzie Borden Biopic for TV in which she’ll play Lizzie, a young woman tried and acquitted in the 1892 murders of her father and stepmother.

Christina Ricci.  From child star to talented young actress, this gorgeous woman knows exactly what it takes to draw the audience in through her characters and make them believe in what they are seeing.  Her constant return to the horror genre or to horror related movies is the reason why she is a Horror Icon.



Rhiannon Irons’ Top 5 Christina Ricci Movies

1) The Addams Family (1991) – Was there any doubt this would make my list.  The dead-pan expression was perfection.  We love Wednesday.

2)  Sleepy Hollow (1999) – Christina Ricci getting it on with Johnny Depp – how can you pass over that?  Oh yeah, and there’s a headless horseman.

3) Miranda (2002) – Underrated but a fantastic performance by Christina.  A must see film.

4) After.Life (2009) – You’ll be left scratching your head wondering how can you save yourself if you’re already dead.

5) Monster (2003) – An outstanding film that shows Christina’s range perfectly.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Friends

Friends are those people
Who touch one another's lives
And become a part of them

You have touched my life
In a way one could never imagine
Loyal and true
You mean more to me
Than you'll ever know

Friends are those
Who learn to share
In one another's happiness
In their deepest secrets
And their fondest memories

You are the sun
That brightens up my dark skies
Someone I can rely on
To make me smile when the chips are down
You're the one I always want around

Friends are those people
Who touch one another's hearts
And lives and make them
Brighter and happier as time goes by

So from the bottom of my heart
And this I swear is true
Thank you for just being you

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Feast Of St. Roch



It was August and it was hot.  And I do mean hot.


I was sitting in my apartment in my underwear, sliding ice cubes down my chest as warm air from the electric fan washed over me in an effort to cool my body.  It wasn't working.

After my little Independence Day stunt the city was awash in panic.  The post office refused to deliver parcels in case it was a bomb from the Calendar Killer.  The local coffee shop has police inspect all delivers made just in case if their beans were somehow contaminated with poison.  I had to hand it to everybody; they were taking my threats against the city quite well.

Sadly, as the days passed, the people fell back into their daily routines.  They had forgotten all about me.  The post office began delivering parcels again, which included the chemistry set I had bought online.

I glanced over at my dining room table.  My chemistry set was still in it's box.  I hadn't bothered to open it just yet.  Mostly because I hadn't found a way to make your own rabies.

I glanced at my calendar.  August 16th was just around the corner.  Only three more days.

Slowly, I pulled myself from my overstuffed chair.  My skin burned as it stuck to the leather.  Sweat poured from my brow as I made my way over to the kit.  I set it up, my tongue poking out the corner of my mouth like it always did when I was concentrating hard.

Done.

I glanced down at it.  The beakers were shiny and new.  All the tubes were ready to go to mix my dangerous toxin to help celebrate the Feast of St. Roch.

St. Roch was the patron saint of dogs.  His 'feast' as it came to be known was always on August 16th.  An obscure date to be sure, but when I selected it for my next attack on the city, I thought it was the perfect way to celebrate the "dog days of summer."

Chewing on my lower lip, I went over to my laptop and being ferociously searching for how to create some animal virus like rabies.  Not surprisingly my searches came back empty.

Against my better judgement I threw on a pair of shorts and a T-shirt before lacing up my sneakers.  A walk around the block always calmed me down and gave me good ideas.

I stepped outside.  It was wonderfully hellish.  The kids on my block were trying to crack open a fire hydrant so they could play in the gushing water.  I walked passed them, a smile on my face.  If they managed to open it I'd come back and play in it with them.

As I rounded the corner into the alleyway that was directly behind my building, I got a sense that something was wrong.  Reaching out, my hand wrapped around a metal pole.  The metal was hot to touch and I felt it burn my hand, but I held onto it anyway.

Then I saw it.  A skinny dog hunting around in the garbage.  He glanced up at me, his fur matted, possibly by the heat.  I could smell him.  It smelt like he hadn't been bathed in his entire life.  He was a stray.

Then he bared his teeth at me, white foam dripping from his lips.  Could it be?  Could this dog have rabies?

I wanted to jump for joy.  My plans for August wouldn't go amiss.  I had found the one thing I needed.  Now I just needed to catch it and make sure not to let it escape before the 16th.

I raced back to my apartment and grabbed the animal carrier I had before my pet dog, a Dalmatian, has died.  I flew back down the stairs and out the door.  I raced back into the alleyway, placed the cage on the ground and stood back.

The dog eyed me suspiciously, baring its teeth.  It was painful to look at.  I may be cruel to my own kind, but seeing an animal in need always breaks my heart.

The dog lunged at me, snapping its jaws, white foam falling from its lips.  I moved out of the way and it landed in the cage.

Quickly, I locked the door to the cage and stood back watching the savage animal slam its body against the bars.

I carried the animal back upstairs and placed the cage gently down in my living room.  I filled a plastic container with water and somehow managed to slip that inside the cage without the dog ripping my arm off.  It was still snarling and baring its teeth at me.

I watched as he sniffed the container before lapping at it, water soothing his tongue.  I knew the animal would have to put down, but I was determined to make his last few days on Earth memorable and easy.

The next couple of days were tough.  He growled every time I went near the cage.  I fed him table scraps and kept his water bowl full and fresh.  I even posted an anonymous letter to the police informing them of my festivities.  I checked the news every night to see if anything would be mentioned about me.  There wasn't.

The morning of the 16th I was rudely woken by my neighbour blaring his music.  I glanced at the clock, my eyes red from lack of sleep.  5:00AM.

I groaned, rolling back over, covering my head with a pillow.

Twenty minutes later, I was no closer to going back to sleep.  I got up, had a cold shower as it was already sticky and hot, before getting dressed in a light cotton T-shirt and a pair of jeans.  I laced up my sneakers and checked on the dog.  He was asleep, foam still dripping from his lips.

I picked up the cage and made my way downstairs.  I loaded the dog into my car and drove to the park.  I sat in the car, the air conditioner on full blast as I waited.

Nearly two hours passed before people started turning up.  The park was full of families trying to have fun in the sweltering conditions.

I got out of the car and walked to the back seat.  I opened the door then unlocked the cage before racing to climb back into the car.

The door to the cage swung open as the dog, who I named Cujo, lunged against the cage.  I heard his paws hit the ground as he landed in the car park.  I watched through the closed window as he began snarling, the fur on the back of his neck standing up on end.

Without warning he took off running, racing through the park, attacking everyone and everything in front of him.

I climbed out of the car and calmly closed the back door, watching with interest as screams of shock and terror flooded my eardrums.

I watched as he savaged a child, biting her on the arm with such force I could hear the bone breaking.  Her wails of fear echoed across the park.  He lunged at her father who tried to protect her, biting his throat.  I could see the blood pouring from the gaping wound.

People were running in fear.  A jogger with her dog stopped to see if she could help.  As I climbed back into the car I saw Cujo sink his teeth into the poodle's neck, passing on the dangerous infection that had possessed him.

As I drove home I watched in sheer delight as people raced back and forth.  I knew that the rabies virus would take a while to react in people, but the madness that ensured soon after people were bitten was glorious to watch.

I got home and carried the cage upstairs.  I could still hear the screams through the brick walls of the apartment building.  A spine-chilling howl ripped through the city and I stopped dead, my key in hand as I was about to unlock my apartment.

I got inside and placed the carrier cage back in the hallway closet.  I got undressed and opened every window my apartment had.  It was still early in the morning but the temperature was already exceeding the predication of the weather girl on channel four.

Lying back in my favorite chair in my underwear I flipped on the news.  Sure enough, in the park stood a lone reporter talking about the sudden outbreak of "mad dog" that was roaming the park behind her.

I chuckled loudly as one of the dogs my Cujo had bitten jumped on the reporter growling and biting her, ripping her clean white blouse to shreds.

As the screen returned to the news room, I could hear police sirens in the distance.

"We're now crossing live to the police station where Commissioner Harris made an announcement that they had gotten a letter from the Calendar Killer again.  He held a piece of paper up to the camera to show my threatening letter made from magazines and newspapers.

"This man is dangerous," the Commissioner said, scratching his chin.  "We received this letter this morning; 'Out of the ashes and down the furnace-hot streets the dogs will come.  Mad, savage and looking for fun.  Today is The Feast of St. Roch, the patron saint of dogs.  August 16th will be remembered as the day I released the hounds.'"

Monday, August 12, 2013

Rhiannon Irons' Top 13 Must See Shark Movies

Another Top 13 list.  No, it cannot be!  

This time I take on a fear that strikes the heart of all beach goers at some point in time.  For what is lurking beneath the waves is another world... and it has razor sharp teeth.


13:  Swamp Shark (2011)

A shark in a swamp?  Yeah right.  In this creepy, weird, unbelievable tale it's true.  When an animal smuggling operation goes wrong a large sea 'creature' is dumped into a swamp.  All havoc breaks loose as people start getting mangled.  Naturally, gators are blamed but it's up to one family to prove it was a swamp shark.

The creepiest thing about this film is watching the original Buffy (Kristy Swanson) tote a gun and take on something with a bigger set of fangs than a vampire.



12:  Shark Night 3D (2011)

A bunch of kids, trapped on an island while the lakes around them are filled with not one, but fifteen species of sharks.  That's a vacation that you'll never forget.

Over all this film is forgettable.  Wooden acting, terrible dialogue and some of the worse CGI sharks I've ever seen.  So why is it on this list?  For a PG 13 movie, it has some of the goriest kills I've ever seen.  The most chilling one, watching the brave Blake grab a hold of his friend Malik on the back of jetski in order to get some help as Malik's been wounded and is missing his arm.  Malik sees a dorsal fin behind the jet ski and sacrifices himself to the shark.  What I didn't expect was to see a shark leap out of the water and take Blake right off the jet ski.  Creepy.



11:  Bait (2012)

When a tsunami hits the Gold Coast of Australia, a group of unlucky individuals find themselves trapped in a flooded supermarket and underground car park with not one, but two Great White sharks stalking them.  

Comprised of Australian actors (some using very terrible and painful to watch American accents) this film has it's ups and downs.  The most chilling part for me is watching the demise of Lincoln Lewis' character Kyle.  The damn shark should have taken the dog......or the blonde Paris Hilton wannabe.


10:  Megalodon (2002)

A deep-sea drilling operation goes horribly wrong, releasing the deadliest ocean predator that has ever roamed the seas since prehistoric times-Carcharodon Megalodon...sixty feet of prehistoric terror.

There's something very fascinating about the Megalodon and while this film tries so hard to bring it into the minds of people everywhere, it's just not that scary.  So why is it on this list?  Because there's something very scary about a sixty foot shark.  The creepiest part of this film was watching Ross realize that in order to save those left he would have to kill himself and take the monster shark with him.



9:  Shark Swarm (2008)

A fisherman and his family fight to take down a greedy real estate developer who has released toxins into the ocean, turning the area's sharks into bloodthirsty hunters.

What chilled me the most about this made for TV movie was the impressive body count.


8:  Deep Blue Sea (1999)

What's scarier than a Mako?  How about three Makos?  Still not scary enough.... OK, how about 3 genetically engineered Makos that actually manage to kill Samual L. Jackson?  Now I have your attention.

Not that creative or original, Deep Blue Sea did provide some thrills.  The most chilling moment for me was seeing Dr. Jim Whitlock being rammed against the underwater laboratory window after having his arm taken by one of the sharks.



7:  12 Days Of Terror (2005)

Based on true events that took place from 1 - 12 July 1916 in New Jersey, this television movie was based on a book of the same name by Richard Fernicola.  While the film states it's a Great White Shark behind the slaughter during these 12 days, shark experts believe it was actually a bull shark because the animal was seen swimming into a freshwater channel on the 12th day.

The most chilling fact about this movie for me is this is one of the books that inspired Peter Benchley's Jaws.


6:  Sharknado (2013)

It's terrible.  It's bad.  It's so bloody bad that it's good.  Sharknado has become one of the most talked about shark movies in the last decade.  
A freak hurricane hits Los Angeles, causing man-eating sharks to be scooped up in water spouts and flooding the city with shark-infested seawater.  Told you it was bad.

The most chilling moment for me was watching Nova preparing to throw one of the bombs and ends up falling out of the helicopter and into the waiting jaws of a shark.  



5:   Jaws 2 (1978)


I know what you're thinking; how the hell did a sequel make this list, but here me out.  A group of teens stranded on wreaked sailing ships as they're being stalked by a monstrous Great White is the main premise for the film, but seeing Roy Scheider return as Martin Brody was one of the reasons this sequel was one of the highest grossing sequels.

My most chilling moment from Jaws 2 was watching Eddie hang onto the boat for dear life as the shark devoured him.  The boat snaps under the sheer strength of his grip on it and the shark's grip on him.



4:  Dark Tide (2012)

Halle Berry survives a near fatal shark attack and is terrified to get back into the water again.  Low and behold she has to when a thrill-seeking multimillionaire presents her with an offer she can refuse; take him for a dive outside the cage.

The most chilling aspect about this film is how real the tension is.  This is one shark chasing thriller that is sure to delight.


3:  Open Water (2003)

This film is inspired by a true story about an American couple, Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who in 1998 went with a scuba group to an area off the coast of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.  They were accidentally left behind due to a faulty head count taken by the dive boat crew.  There were 26 other divers and 5 crew members who failed to notice that the couple were not on the boat.  It was not until two days later on January 27, 1998, that the pair were reported missing after a bag containing their passports and belongings was found in the dive boat.  A massive air and sea search took place over the following three days but failed to find them.  The couple were never found again, though there is plenty of speculation that they faked their own deaths as their tanks, camera and wetsuits washed ashore in the following weeks without a single bite mark appearing on them.

What makes this film chilling is simply how real it is.  Being Australian, I know the story of the Lonergan's well and being stranded in the ocean with our deadly predators circling certainly makes for a chilling vacation.


2:  The Reef (2010)

I've often spoken about The Reef as being the greatest shark film for my generation.  I stand by that statement.  Real shark footage integrated with the actors makes this film an outstanding piece of work.  A great white shark hunts the crew of a capsized sailboat along the Great Barrier Reef.

What makes this film so terrifying is that once again it's based on a true story and the feeling of helplessness and isolation is overwhelming.



1:  Jaws (1975)

Is it really a surprise that this is number one?  38 years has passed and this film is still the reason why some people don't step foot in the water.  
When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.

The most chilling part of this film is hard to say as there are too many choices.  But watching the opening sequence is a powerful reminder never to go swimming when it's dark.