Halloween is once again upon us. While it's essentially a date for going out, dressing up and consuming vast amounts of candy (and other substances for some), Halloween is also a brief moment to reflect on what scares us. What makes us afraid? I was having this discussion the other night with our staff, debating over what constitutes as "horror" and what constitutes simply as "suspense," specifically in the context of film.
For myself it depends on the individual. Some people are afraid of heights, some might be afraid of the dark. Some readers no doubt believe in the supernatural, paranormal realities, while others find the possibility of such realities scary. In this issue we explore both Halloween as a fun festivity and as a time where we reflect on our fears.
In this issue we meet Wendy Piatek, a housewife from Indianapolis, now living in Santa Monica, who is convinced she is being followed by alien beings who have chosen her for an unknown purpose. She has reported strange beings in her home and lights in the sky that seem to follow her from city to city. Although hard to believe, Piatek herself is sincere in explaining what she believes she has experienced. And she is scared of not knowing exactly what is happening to her and what her future holds.
For The Corsair this is a rare sort of interview and it provides insight into the experiences of local residents. I confess to being a skeptic myself on the matter of Piatek's story, not because I doubt her sincerity, but because I won't believe the extraterrestrials are visiting until they land on Venice Boulevard or put us all in chains (or both). I could be wrong of course and Piatek might be proven right.
Indeed, from the appearance of our cover, the theme of costumes is prominent in this issue as our writers explore the theme of why we choose the costumes we do in this season. What compels us to choose a specific face, persona, or dress? For the inhibited, it is a chance to let loose, for others it could mean the chance to live out the fantasy of being a favorite celebrity or historical personality. Ironically, in this cosmetic age, Halloween can take on a new importance as that moment where you can be what you consider a revolutionary, sexy or terrifying.
Few things have defined terror in our modern world like the cinema. Through film much of what is considered scary today has been defined over the decades. In our A&E; section, we offer a small selection of rare horror films worthy of being given a chance this Friday for those who will choose to curl up indoors. While every season sees revivals of classic films like "The Exorcist," "Carrie," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," and "Night Of The Living Dead," there are some other titles that slip us by. How many readers have heard of the 1979 remake of "Nosferatu" starring German madman Klaus Kinski? Or Guillermo del Toro's spooky ghost tale "The Devil's Backbone"? These and more are offered.
This is an age of fear. The Middle East is in flames, fundamentalist groups are on the rise, espousing doctrines against women and minorities, plagues like Ebola rear their heads in all corners of the globe, and for some odd reason, the highly random deaths of children and police officers are running rampant on our news outlets. So it is fitting that The Corsair take some time to explore the dark corners and lighter shades of Halloween, as the weather now begins to cast aside the warmth of summer, and gradually welcome the chill winds of fall and winter. Happy Halloween from The Corsair, and may your night take you safely home!