In OCTOBER, of all months, my mother-in-law – “Maman” – came from France having never been to the States. She was here for ten days.
Immediately bewildered, suspicious, and dismayed when she saw skeletons, jack o’lanterns, ghosts, and other Halloween figures hither and yon, I remembered my experience living in France: in dramatic comparison to the States, Halloween doesn’t exist there. With Maman visiting, I realized exactly how seriously we Americans take Halloween. We have a lot of popular holidays here, and Halloween is up in the top three.
Halloween in the States is ubiquitous. It’s in your face. At the bank – skulls! The supermarket – more skulls! At the Arizona Territory store – skulls, skulls, skulls! (Garden-variety skulls in addition to Dia de los Muertos skulls.) At Target – forget about it. A good quarter of the store is dedicated to Halloween, including a section of Halloween children’s books about hauntings and creatures of lore.
Poor devout Maman, crossing herself and literally kissing her imaginary rosary crucifix everywhere we went.
Target, Halloween 2018
Target, Halloween 2018
I’m happy to report that skulls did not stop Maman from having a grand time. For one thing, we got her into sumo. This happened by accident, the same way Dad accidentally got us into sumo. Maman sat down with us in front of the T.V. when we were re-watching the highlights from the last Grand Sumo Tournament. Next thing we knew, Maman was on the edge of her seat holding her breath during the bouts to see which wrestler would hit the floor or exit the ring first. She got totally into it. Heheh.*
*My work here is done
Getting on with today’s horror shorts, then, I’ve got a random assortment. This being the last day of our horror short series, and me being loathe to exclude any of the following films, I’m posting all four of them. That’s right – I’m coming at you with 32 minutes of horror on this final day!
1). The Drain is the second of the two films I’d said did not strike me as belonging in the horror genre, but in the horror genre, it is. In any case, The Drain is an exceptionally well-crafted, original short film. I do find it to be psychologically haunting.
2). Next up: Brother. You knew there had to be at least one Japanese horror story in this series!
3). Then we have Larry, who teaches us to bring our own electronic devices with us to work. I’ve read that this horror short is being developed into a full-feature film, by the way.
4). I’m throwing in The Jester especially for Halloween! Moral of this story: clap in appreciation after a jester performs a trick. Jesters like applause.
Happy Halloween, All (who celebrate)!