Fine Line Friday! – October 2023

Tis the season… for goblins and ghosts. And while there aren’t many things scarier than Pumpkin Spice Spam, it’s in the spirit of this season that I wish you a hauntingly happy… Fine Line Friday!

If you have not yet noticed, October is also scary movie season, as evidenced by the “ExorSwift” combo currently in theaters. And when researching this newsletter, I began to wonder… what makes a scary movie… well… scary? That’s when I chanced upon this video essay from Now You See It, offering a fun little demonstration.

Of course The Shining still ranks as one of the all-time greats in this genre, and much has been debated about Jack Nicholson’s quick glance directly into the camera in one scene. But Filippo Ulivieri, a Kubrick film scholar, discovered evidence that Nicholson’s camera glances happen multiple times throughout the film, sometimes for as little as a single frame, and that they were a device employed by Kubrick to elevate the film’s unsettling effect.

If you or your kids ever played Five Nights at Freddy’s, you might be happy (or horrified?) to know that the movie version of this videogame franchise will be released on October 27th in theaters and on Peacock TV. While you wait, Fandango offers some intel with the film’s Director, Emma Tammi. Like other directors of frightening films, Tammi believes that timing scenes for scary movies is similar to timing scenes for comedy, which leads us to this…

Alfred Hitchcock has long been regarded as the undisputed master of suspense. I don’t know if he would have agreed with the theory about the cinematic timing of humor and horror, but the folks at SNL knew what they were doing a couple of years ago with this recreation of one of Hitchcock’s classics—The Birds.

Oh, and it turns out that while there was a Pumpkin Spice Spam on the market for a short time in 2019, it sold out in about seven hours and has not been seen since. That said, if you happen to be the owner of such a can, chances are it’s still good. Or at least as good as Pumpkin Spice Spam can be.

And with that I wish you a very happy… Fine Line Friday!