Looking at Films

Again a I’m posting an extra day just for the Wea’ve Written Weekly poetry prompt. The Poet of the Week, Sunra Rainz, has issued the challenge to write an ekphrastic poem in response to a horror film that gave you the chills or write about an experience that gave you the chills, any form is permitted.

To preface this I have to admit to avoiding horror movies at all costs. I have seen enough of them (and more previews and trailers) to know they just aren’t any fun for me unless there is plenty of humor such as Shaun of the Dead or Zombieland. That said, I viewed my share when young and foolish. I used to watch The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone with my family (because my father was a big SciFi fan). We watched the Saturday afternoon movies. These were generally very corny black and white films like “The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman” or “Tarantula!”. The single most chilling part of the movies was that blood curdling, spine tingling and completely unnerving scream of terror that was released by a woman in fear of her life or at the moment of her demise. The movie that really got me was one of the last of this type that I watched – Blow Out. Below is my ekphrastic poem for the film Blow Out.

Night and rain fall soft
In the dark he can hear
Straining the ear
To catch the sound of fear

A subtle rustle
A short skuffle
And then – the scream

Long ago Iโ€™d watch
Black and white films noir
With evil deeds at their core
Tremolo violins play the score

A pregnant gasp
Unknown hands grasp
And then – the scream

Murder, blackmail, assassination
My heart in terror swells
Unseen danger dwells
Just beyond the stifled yells

Then pause a life
dripping bloodied knife
And then – the scream

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45 thoughts on “Looking at Films

  1. Fantastic poem, Muri! I love the line: “Tremolo violins play the score.”

    Now I want to watch these films you speak of, especially The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.” ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re so right about that bloodcurdling scream, it’s part and parcel of a textbook horror, isn’t it? I’m also not a massive fan of horror but it’s nearly Halloween so the prompt kind of chose itself! ๐Ÿ˜€

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    1. Hehe! There are several prompts out there that are horror/Halloween based. I’ve been avoiding them but this one sort of gave me a little leeway… Blow Out is one that should be seen – great performances especially the very young John Travolta!

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        1. That’s for sure! If I ever needed Sparky’s help all I’d need to do is let loose with a real scream. Because I’m NOT a screamer so if one were to pass my lips it would be a dire emergency….

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  2. When I was a teen, I told myself that I had to be strong, and watch those scary movies to prove my inner steel. After seeing The Exorcist, I stopped “paying for torture”. Ugh!

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  3. I believe Silence of the Lambs cured me of ever watching scary movies again. Well, actually, it was the second time I watched it that cured me. “Why watch it twice?” you might ask. Well, it was so scary I had to close my eyes and hold my fingers in my ears, reciting the Gettysburg address aloud, the first time.

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    1. I believe you! It was “sold” to me as a crime drama but it was just too much!! After being overwhelmed I decided to go bake cookies – cookies make everything better. I’m just glad it was on VHS and not in the theater!!!

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  4. Well done and well captured. I don’t like horror movies, either. Hitchcock’s, though, are masterful, something really different. I like zombie movies a LOT and can’t regard them as horror, and some splatter movies are just too ridiculous to take seriously, but really scary movies? No thanks.

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    1. Thanks Mich. I’m not a fan either… I avoid them whenever possible which means the last one I saw (which was more a comedy than a horror movie) was Zombieland. It had soooo many laughs and twists!

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            1. Thanks Susi! It was my Grandfather’s before it became mine, but it makes so much sense! This life has enough terrors and horrors and bad things that happen that I don’t feel compelled to search them out and then pay my hard earned $$ to experience them!! (I never “got” the idea of a haunted house or scream park.)

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  5. How clearly I can hear the imagined voice of Vincent Price, reading your verse, whilst standing on stage, in front of the theater audience, as he did when I watched “The Tingler”, in the late 1950s.

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