There is a very soft spot in my heart for this next installment to our 31 Nightmares.
Over the Garden Wallis a family-friendly fascet of the horror genre, with drips of mystery & dark fantasy sprinkled in. Ever since its premiere, the miniseries has been a treasured fall season tradition in our home.
I was lucky enough a few years ago to get a physical copy on DVD to what I consider to be a storytelling masterpiece.
The visuals and sort of retro feel to the entire thing stir up some sort of nostalgic emotions in me. I’m not sure why, but every time we get ready to sit down and watch it this time of year and that gorgeous piano theme starts up, my eyes start to well up a bit. Maybe it’s the fact that it reminds me of pieces of my own childhood. Maybe it’s the adorable characters. Maybe, just maybe, it’s the fact that my son loves it as much as I do.
Whatever the case is, it is definitely worth seeking out.
Oh yes, and my son wants you all to know this is our favorite song from the series:
Last year, there were a few sleeper mentions I later got questions about. At least once during our madness here we like to mention something most people may not have heard of.
One of my favorites out of those is indeed The Watcher in the Woods.
This is an old one but it is so worth digging for if you can find it. The story is surrealistic almost to a point of science fiction if it weren’t for the heavy horror undertones.
There is no blood or gore in this movie. Every element of horror is purely psychological, and done very well, might I add. Bette Davis is a sort of surprise character and she is fantastic.
Everything about this story sets the tone for all of the atmospheric visuals you’ll see throughout.
If you can unearth this movie somehow (as it can be extremely hard to find) I highly recommend watching this version.
One thing we haven’t dived right into here yet during this year’s #31Nightmares is horror in sound, or soundtracks, and even in special effects.
Sound effects have been a hobby of mine since early childhood so this is also another subject right up my alleyways.
The composers that took on the horror genre in film & tv have always taught me quite a bit along my work and training in music over the years. This soundtrack sampling I uploaded to SoundCloud earlier this year (The first few tracks on the soundtrack) featured above was heavily influenced by techniques I’ve learned & experimented with over the years.
If 2017 has taught me anything, it’s to not make hasty announcements. Things can always change down the line, especially when collaborating with others. Alicia in the Woods, announced here last year was supposed to be just that, a collaborative effort, but things change.
People change and life changes.
I have however had fun working on this project because I got to take a stab at designing a soundtrack and working with sound fx. Later on through the months spent working on this endeavor, aimed at a teen to adult (family-oriented) audience, I got to experiment and learn a lot about a lane that has always interested me—stop motion.
The project is not canceled completely. We’re just not sure when it will be releasing due to changes with cast & crew. Stop-motion has been a hell of a lot of fun (& work) though and I’ve been happy to work on this storyline and animation/character design as a side project.
The horror genre has influenced me deeply throughout my career as an artist and it helped lead me to the field of concept art.
Today’s nightmare has origins you probably wouldn’t expect. The monster we’re dealing with today is that of the one in the mirror.
You see, I created today’s artwork by using a very old image of an unlikely model—me.
I’ve seen this face before, but don’t be fooled by the fact that she’s the much prettier version. The spirit bound within is not the same is mine. Her eyes are hollow, and so is her inside. The very core of her presents the absence of a soul, and a replacement of something else. Something ancient, and evil.
I’ve seen this woman in my nightmares before. I fear she is what I’d become if I stopped caring. Right now she only haunts a twisted part of my dreams. Though, what I’ve realized from meeting her is we all possess this evil twin in some form. Sometimes the person we look at in the mirror, the one that stares back is finally happy. Other times, we don’t recognize that person at all.
My readers here are in for a treat in the next few days. I’m working on two separate projects outside of my everyday work. These are both designed to be a bit of a “gift” to all of you. Since you’ve all been such a wonderful bunch, I feel you deserve it.
The first are buttons that WordPress users can use on their blogs. This was an idea dreamed up by the ever-so-creative Rarasaur. (Whom I absolutely adore to pieces!) You can read all about these types of buttons and their function over at Rara’s post: