Repulsion and The Babadook

We’re back with the first episode of our new, regular schedule. Now that we’ve hit $50 per episode in sponsorship via Patreon, expect a new episode every other Tuesday. We also have five episodes in the can, and Paul is working away feverishly to edit them. This gives us contingency against illness, holidays and the obliteration of all we hold dear by forces beyond our comprehension.

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OK, maybe not that last one.

This episode sees us discussing two thematically similar but rather different films. Each is a story about a woman dealing with unresolved trauma that manifests in horrific ways. Of course, this means that both the films and discussion go into some pretty dark places. This is offset by some spirited bickering, as we had some of our strongest disagreements to date on the merits of one of these films.

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Happily, we found a way to resolve our differences.

First up we have Roman Polanski’s 1965 film Repulsion. This is one of Scott’s favourite films, but he is beginning to realise that he may be alone in this. The youth of today (such as Paul) seem to have no patience for films that take time to build atmosphere. And have you noticed how young people can’t leave their mobile phones alone for more than a few minutes? And don’t get me started on what they call music these days.

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We follow this up with a look at Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook, from 2014. Of course, now we’ve seen him, he won’t leave us alone. This is one of the most hyped horror films of recent years, but one that lives up to its reputation. Unusually, we didn’t come to blows over this, possibly because we were all too busy quaking in terror.

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Once again, we have split the discussion into two segments, with spoilers limited to the latter. This means that you can safely listen the first half without risk of us spoiling more than your day. If you have any feedback on this format, want to share your opinion on whether we should do more or fewer film episodes, or just wish to let us know that pigeons are the secret masters of the world, we would love to hear from you via social media, comments on this post, or sinister whispers from our bedroom cupboards at night.

Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman in The Babadook

“No, I promise, there really was someone in here saying that our singing scares their cats.”

And, speaking of such things, we promised a link to the short film that inspired The Babadook. Here it is.

How Cthulhu Took Over the World

We’re back, and we’re celebrating our fiftieth episode! We’re as surprised as you are that we’ve made it this far; we really should have been eaten by a shoggoth or returned to our essential salts long ago. With this in mind, we decided to commemorate the occasion in the way we know best: by talking too much. This is a long episode — over two hours in length — but it’s also a big subject. You could almost call it Cyclopean.

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There’s a reason why Lovecraft is remembered as a writer and not an artist.

Over the years, we’ve met a lot of people who only know of the Cthulhu Mythos through gaming. Given how pervasively Cthulhu’s tentacles have worked their way into the gaming world, and into geek culture in general, almost everyone interested in such things has heard of Lovecraft, or at least his most famous creation. This episode is our attempt to explain where it all came from and how Lovecraft’s influence spread so widely. It is a superficial overview at best, and none of us are Lovecraft scholars. We hope this will at least serve as an introduction, and may illuminate a few dark corners you weren’t previously aware of.

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Or you may prefer to flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

Our investigations take in books, films, television, comics, music, games and other eldritch topics. All this follows on from the work of Lovecraft himself, however, and happily this is now in the public domain. If you haven’t read any of his stories, you can peruse them free online, or pick up a nicely formatted ebook of his complete works for less than the price of a sandwich.

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Especially one with tentacles.

With this being an overview, in many cases we’ve done little more than name-check various works, authors and artists. Our half-formed plan is to return to some of these topics in more depth later. Please let us know whether this sounds interesting or is the worst idea since August Derleth decided the Mythos should centre on a fight between good and evil. Weep.

Instead of finishing on that vexing note, here’s one of the highlights from Shoggoth on the Roof, a work we mention a number of times.