Wednesday, 29 April 2009


For most of the last couple of years, I've been chained to my desk a lot meeting deadlines for the first two Raine's Landing novels. Which means I missed a lot of movies that I otherwise would definitely have gone to see. But thanks to the magic of postal DVD technology -- as I've pointed out earlier -- I have finally been catching up. And there's one horror flick I was absolutely kicking myself about having missed. Until I finally watched it, that is.

Friends have told me that they liked the thing. But 30 Days of Night, I'm afraid, left me pretty cold. Okay, maybe it was supposed to ... it's set in the far north reaches of Alaska, the premise being that while the sun's away all month, the vampires get to play. Not so bad a concept ... until you start to realise that it's basically just a bloodsucking rehash of the excellent SF chiller Pitch Black. And there are holes in the telling of the story you could drive a hearse through -- sideways! These vampires are supposed to have hidden themselves from human beings for centuries ... except they are such startling and gruesome creatures, it is impossible to see how they could manage that. And once they've killed most of the inhabitants, why don't they take the trouble to search the houses in this very small town for survivors properly?

But the problem that really rankles is, at which point did a lot of horror movies stop having a real, recognisable plot? The Descent? The unappealing Creep? When did this genre of films turn into just a series of frightening or gruesome scenes all clumsily stapled together? Compare '30 Days' with Kathryn Bigelow's excellent 1980's vampire effort Near Dark and you'll see precisely what I mean.

I'll hopefully get to see Let the Right One In before it disappears from our cinemas. And Twilight has just turned up in the mail. So I'll be talking more about vampire movies on this blog before much longer. Let's hope I have better news to report.

As I mentioned earlier, there've been some good things being said on the Internet about the first RL novel, 'Dark Rain', particularly on Horror Mall's forum 'The Haunt'. So I thought I'd reproduce a little of it here. Gene said "Tony Richards is a fine writer. I would recommend his work." A guy calling himself wcr01gsr went further, proclaiming that "Tony Richards is a fantastic author!" And Jim opined "I can't wait for his next book to come out involving the town of Raine's Landing." Thanks for the kind words, guys. And as for the next Raine's Landing novel, happy to oblige!

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