Fiend Fest 2020

Fiend Fest 2020: Halloween (1978)

I always save the best for last…

In honor of Halloween week (not to mention the last week of Spooky Season), I watched John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) for the millionth time. As with all the other times I’ve watched, it didn’t disappoint.

If you’ve never seen Halloween, the story goes like this… Laurie Strode is a babysitter in the small town of Haddonfield, IL. When escaped mental patient Michael Myers travels to the town, Laurie finds herself and her friends being stalked by the silent menace.

This is a straight-forward suspense flick. It’s categorized as horror, and although it has horror elements, I don’t feel that it’s a horror movie. It’s not your typical slasher, in my opinion; There’s so much more going on here.

The haunting score immediately puts you on edge. As the film progresses, the use of silence during pivotal scenes intensifies the suspense. Then the score kicks in again, the moment gaining momentum until it crescendos. This is one of the things that makes the film terrifying.

Let’s talk about the use of suspense. The fiend Michael Myers stays in the shadows. He watches and waits. With his featureless white mask, silence, and patience, he is the most terrifying villain put to screen. The film plays with light and shadow in a way that cannot be rivaled; Myers can be seen hidden in the background of most shots in the second half of the movie if you look closely. This puts the viewer on the edge of their seat, or cowering inside their hoodie.

I don’t really have to say much more, do I? Halloween is a simple film that does a couple of things extremely well. Those things are what makes this movie a classic of the horror genre. I have watched it a million times. It never gets stale, and it never fails to scare me.

Fiend Fest 2020

Fiend Fest 2020: The Big Grey Man of Ben MacDui

Cryptids are usually not my thing, but when I heard the story of the Big Grey Man of Ben MacDui I had to include it in Fiend Fest 2020.

In 1891, Professor Norman Collie was scaling the Cairngorm mountains in Scotland, the highest peak of which is Ben MacDui, when he got the feeling he was being watched. As Collie descended the mountain through a heavy mist, he recalled hearing long, heavy footsteps walking behind him. Each time he looked over his shoulder he couldn’t see anything, but he knew something was there. Norman Collie was being stalked as he descended the mountain.

As it turns out, Professor Norman Collie wasn’t the only mountain climber to have come into contact with the Big Grey Man. Doctor A.M. Kellas also had a strange experience with the creature. Kellas and his brother, Henry, saw a large monster come at them from the opposite side of the mountain. It disappeared inside a dip, and the men did not wait for it to reappear.

It is also said that whenever the creature is around, visitors to Ben MacDui will feel as though they’ve been put under a hypnotic trance. They will snap out of it dangerously close to a ledge, then hear eerie laughter. Some, it is believed, have even been chased to their deaths off the edges of cliffs in their desperation to escape, disembodied laughter following them every step of the way.

There are other accounts of the Big Grey Man of Ben MacDui, and each account has three things in common: The creature is large, it resides on top of the mountain, and it stalks trespassers. If you ever find yourself on top of Ben MacDui, take care. There may be someone watching you.