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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And, speaking of such things, we promised a link to the short film that inspired The Babadook. Here it is.
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The babadook had completely passed me by, but this has made me decide that I need to watch it.
Dracula Dead & Loving it is one of my favorites (though I still want to slightly edit the ending changing things a bit) & tied with many other comedies from Mel Brooks.
Another thought on bringing the films into the game would be if working a little better with Trail of Cthulhu (with the sources of stability) or the Call of Cthulhu games where the players detail the family out. Not to make the kid so annoying but to have the child and/or spouse & others contradicting the player character’s memory. So if the player character is taking a break and doing normal socializing with the family, they will contradict the player’s viewpoint to where they might need some confirmation. The player character could be going crazy or instead it’s someone in the family is possibly haunted/insane/cursed during the time the player character wasn’t around to see how it all got started.
The idea of the cracked wall from the film or the checkerboard reminds me of one of the recent seasons of Doctor Who where the crack is first seen & seen as innocent structural damage but later when it is repeated and more clues are put nearby to fill the future appearances of the crack with more dread. So try this too Keepers with repeated elements, even if you determine it’s a fixation of the player character’s mind as it spirals down or intentionally left as some kind of calling card can lead to some interesting ways to lead the player as they try to uncover the meaning.
Ben – The Babadook may not quite be my favourite horror film of the last couple of years, but it’s up there. Well worth a look.
Darren – Good stuff! I love putting demanding, unreasonable and just plain annoying NPCs in my games, especially if they are important to the PCs, and your approach is a great way of gaslighting the characters.