Saturday, January 2, 2010

"it made me happy."

and for my last post before returning from vacation, i had some thoughts on a recent episode of supernatural. first season -- don't remember the episode number -- but it's called "the benders" and, for those of you who enjoy cross-show continuity, it guest-stars jessica steen who played dr julia heller on earth 2, a sadly short-lived show which nbc killed in much the same way as cbs did moonlight.

anyway, that's neither here nor there -- although earth 2 is totally worth watching and available on netflix insty if you have an account. :)

so "the benders" was last episode of supernatural that anna and i watched in our game attempt to get to the end of season 1 in reasonably short order. i found this british v/o'd promo on youtube:

and as the episode -- which begins with a young boy seeing someone disappear in a parking lot and works up to being a full-on the hills have eyes-style hillbilly family kidnapping people to play out a "the most dangerous game" scenario -- went its merry way, anna and i began to feel that we had seen something like this before.

and we had. it's this:

the supernatural episode was good. solid, a little gross, not terribly spooky -- bar the little girl of the hillbilly kidnapping family who is quite definitely terrifying. you can get an idea of it from this scene where dean has been captured trying to free sam and is being interrogated by the family. the girl is there, too, and freakily happy to be left to guard dean.


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but the torchwood episode promo'd there, called "countrycide" and from the first season, is chilling. (probably best not to watch this clip if you don't want to see the end of the episode. it will still be scary, i guarantee you, but it might lack a bit of punch.)

and i'm pretty sure this isn't just me; it's the same damn story bar the cages. and the fact that i find the torchwood episode much scarier -- that could just be me. i'm deeply prejudiced in torchwood's favor. and i realise that this is a common storyline in dark fantasy and horror: inbred families -- outlaws, deserters, genetic mutants, it's your choice, really -- of some sort who live in the woods -- mountaintop, valley, distant moor, name your favorite deserted location -- and nab passersby -- on a regular, cyclic, or irregular basis -- to eat -- have sex with, sacrifice, etc. -- and therefore form part of a local legend -- ghost story, myth, scare the children story -- or what-have-you.

there really is no grand over-arching point to this post other than i thought it was funny that the two episodes -- separated by time, cast, crew, location, and writers -- came up with so nearly identical storylines to call on a persistent horror myth.

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