I’ve accidentally discovered a way to temporarily beat the summer heat – using horror media to send cold chills up and down our spines.
A sequence took place in a scalding-hot steam oven, still didn’t feel warm in the room to me at all, though; I’ll take a wild guess that it was the horror, shock, and intensity of the of the scene that cooled me down. Oh, and the scene was also probably the reason I couldn’t fall asleep till the sun was up; that entire movie [Frontier/s] is deeply and brutally unsettling, and the second half of the movie steps it up higher.
So! In early July I watched survival drama The Grey, starring Liam Neeson. It was after dark and the temperature was in the mid-80s; we had the ceiling fan going and a large standing fan aimed at us, but I still didn’t feel like having a single sheet over me. Even though our two cats love rolling around in the sunshine so much it seems to make them higher than a healthy dose of catnip, they lay around on the floor, chins resting on their paws, looking simultaneously content and deflated. About an hour into the movie, I noticed that at some point between the opening credits and then I’d pulled the sheet up around me. In this case, it wasn’t the fear the movie produced (not that the movie isn’t scary, it’s fucking terrifying, that’s just not my point) but the fact the movie took place in sub-zero temperatures as the men trudged through the merciless snowstorm and struggled not to freeze to death or be eaten alive by wolves. It was a testament to the film-making that the Jack London-esque freezing conditions the characters were fighting through felt so real and pervasive that the temperature in the room had seemed to drop down to normal.
Well, surprise; turns out you don’t need to have the movie take place in Alaska to get this effect. When I recently re-watched Frontier(s), halfway through the movie the uncomfortable warm temperature didn’t really bother me. One of the scenes involved a character who makes the fatal mistake of hiding from his attackers in a giant steam-oven, an attacker sees this and bolts the door, turns the steam on full blast, and the poor character is scalded my the steam and until the flesh starts melting off of him, then when the attacker FINALLY opens the door (after what seems like four blood-curdling hours later), he falls out and tries to crawl away, steaming and barely looking human. His eyes and hair and most of his nose are gone. A sequence that took place in a scalding-hot steam oven, still didn’t feel warm in the room to me at all, though; it was the horror , shock, and intensity of the of the scene that cooled me down. Oh, and the scene was also probably the reason I couldn’t fall asleep till the sun was up; that entire movie is deeply and brutally unsettling.
Since Frontier(s) is pretty extreme and only for those with strong stomachs, though, I found some other ways to possibly cause cold chills. I’ll try* to get ten of them up before Labor Day. So maybe you can check these out and possibly even feel like cranking the air-conditioning down a bit. It won’t raise your electric bill. You may want to grab something cool to drink; I noticed I went through a bit more water than usual. Not so much because I was hot, but because my mouth suddenly went a little dry.
First up? Part one of a two-part gallery from the Thai movie Shutter (I took an insane amount of photos… all creepy). Well, if I can’t fix this glitch in the “Gallery” editor, maybe it’ll be one REALLY gigantic gallery–in which case part 2 may not be needed.
Oh, and I couldn’t add captions to show up under the thumbnails in a way that didn’t look clumsy, so if you go through the little slideshow, I added any captions, etc down near the lower left under “comments”. Preferably I’ll split it up, however, because over 100 photos is kind of a lot to page through in one sitting, no matter how cool they are. Anyway, this gallery may make you colder if you’ve seen the movie. Then again, it’s pretty hard not to get slightly freaked out by the images in Shutter to some degree… these guys know exactly how to scare the shit out of you. Trust me.
*notice I say “try to” as opposed to “will achieve”…
- Chills to Beat Summer Heat – Shutter (2004) Gallery (horrorboom.com)
- Chills to Beat Summer Heat, Part Two – Ju-on: White Ghost (Shiroi Rôjo) (horrorboom.com)
- Chills to Beat Summer Heat, Part Three: Bongcheon-Dong (horrorboom.com)