As the clouds of the sky rolled on, the full moon pierced the woods to illuminate the blackened hellhole poor Lucile had chosen as her refuge. What she saw sent shivers running through her spine. The forest floor was littered with skeletal remains.
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Human skulls, arms and torsos shone pale in the bleak moonlight, decayed faces leering at her with shadowed eye sockets. She had mistaken the ropes for vines in the dark, and the glade had been in too much shadow to reveal its skeletal inhabitants. As she stared at the tree, seeing it as a graveyard rising towards the sky, the mark on the trunk became visible to her. It stood out in her mind, and as she regarded the nightmarish symbol something surfaced from her subconscious. It was a word, one she had never heard or read before in her life, and yet it rose in her consciousness like some malicious idol; Atuteran.
At some point she passed out, or maybe she fell and hit her head. She only remembered running through the dark woods as fast as her legs could carry her, completely forgetting about the child, her horse and any perils which might linger in the depths of the dark.
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As she ran the trees seemed to bleed, evil in their cold and frozen places, hoping to trip her with their tangling roots. She felt tears running down her cheeks as panic were replaced by dread and hopelessness. Even the mossy ground seemed to rumble and churn as she sped across it, opening and closing to invite her into its moldy hell. Her legs eventually gave in as the taste of blood dominated her tongue and her lungs felt filled with lead.
The world spun and twisted around her, and then all was silent and devoured by darkness for a few merciful hours. She woke from the sun pressing against her eyelids and the sound of birdsong filling the air with its lovely chorus. She opened her eyes only to stare at a brilliant sky, ocean blue and devoid of clouds.
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Tall grass surrounded her vision, and she sat up slowly to get her bearings. She was in a beautiful clearing surrounded by the deep woods, now inviting and peaceful in the illumination of the sun. The clearing was actually more of a small meadow, well tended and cared for as a garden. Confused, she inspected the area closer, and was met by the welcoming sight of a small cottage in the middle of the glade. A gnarled but handsome apple-tree grew a few yards away from it, large green apples sprouting upon its branches.
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Thin tendrils of smoke rose from the chimney of the hut, filling Lucile with a throbbing yearning for home, but also hope. She looked down upon herself and saw the torn and muddy fabric of her dress, once rose red and now mostly black. She felt her hair and grimaced at the cakes of dirt and moss sticking to the strands.
A bath would have been a blessing, even in a cold spring. It was amazing how a quick look of resembled civilization could bring back all the insignificant cares of a mundane life. Are my clothes fresh? Is my hair alright? Do I say aye and ye, or do I make a more city-girl accent? Trivialities which all fell away in the face of what truly mattered, the question which comfort hid when it fabricated the meaningless cares of a modern existence. Desperation and exposure had brought it back to her, or even revealed it to her as she had always dwelt in a protected township; how do I survive?
She got to her feet and remained so for a brief moment, scouring the meadow and the inviting cottage at the center. A mild breeze caressed the land from the east, bringing smells of summer blossoms and climaxing life, yet something was strangely off.
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Lucile could not define just how or why, but the homestead up yonder made her feel just as uneasy as it did hopeful. Maybe just due to its isolation, she rationalized, and started making her way towards the front door. As she neared, she heard the familiar sounds of goats from the other side of the building, and a fenced in triangle beside the door held a small flock of hens. Lucile knocked twice, the sound reminding her of a fist on a coffin. She shivered. There was a pleasant smell of something cooking from inside, but something hid underneath it; the stench of something which had been left to rot in the sun.
Footsteps approached the door from the other side and Lucile took a hasty step backwards, suddenly filled with a senseless wish to flee.
Just what in the blazes was wrong with her? The door flung open, the smell of sweet cooking intensifying to drown the reek underneath.
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Lucile stared into the beautiful face of a middle-aged woman. Her eyes were cold blue, like winter frost on a blade, and long curls of raven hair framed her features.
She was tall and slender, full lips and high cheekbones. She might just have been the loveliest woman Lucile had ever seen in her life. The forest can be dangerous you know. Could you please help me? Are you hungry? Of course you are. Her skin was smooth and invitingly warm, like silk by the fire. She ushered Lucile in and sat her down by a charming little table next to an ornate window. The indoors were deliciously homey; cozy in a fairytale manner. The floor was oak, elegantly veined and naturally colored. The walls were high enough to cause a brief sensation of vertigo, sturdy and well fitted to keep out the cold.
In the corner of the one room the oak gave place to a rectangle of smooth stone. A pot brewed there upon thin spidery legs of iron, and a burning furnace with a steaming kettle resting upon it. The window overlooked a small garden were roses, sunflowers and other colorful plants painted the world. It was an extremely comfortable homestead, smelling exquisitely of spices and flowery perfumes. Lucile immediately felt at ease. But everyone calls me Lucy. She felt like she needed to escape, yet she had no idea why. She also felt like staying forever, like asking the stranger if she could move in and forget about Shallowbrooke.
Follow it until you reach the main road and then travel west along that until you reach Shallowbrooke. Lily put a hand on her shoulder and said;. When Lily put a plate with steaming soup in front of her face though, there was no hesitation. She was ravaged, threw herself at the food and stuffed it into her mouth. Lily smiled at her, amused, and gently sipped from her own bowl as she regarded the charming scene. Thompson made each year for her birthday. But after almost two days since just oatmeal and some eggs for a shallow breakfast, the soup was definitely exquisite. To be fair, it was more of a watery stew.
She helped herself twice out of the steaming iron pot, and washed it all down with cold water. She regarded Lily cautiously, waiting for her rescuer to speak first. She eventually did. Everything was perfectly ordinary, neat and tidy. The floor was swabbed and clean, the books on the shelves ordered alphabetically; the ingredients on the stove neatly stacked or put in named jars. Lucile gazed back at Lily, who still smiled brilliantly at her.
But I am very anxious to get home. Lucile half expected her to cover the doorway, pull a knife and laugh manically as she transformed into a hideous crone, just like the ghost stories told would happen if you came upon Scathe in the forest. Rotten Tomatoes. Requires manual search. Chicago Sun-Times. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 18, The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 6, The Oregonian.
Portland, Oregon. The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved August 5, Reeling Reviews. Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved November 28, Retrieved April 17, Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 17, Retrieved July 8, February 10, In Hantke, Steffan ed. Horror Film: Creating and Marketing Fear. Press of Mississippi. Kogan Page Publishers.
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Dread Central. Retrieved October 23, Retrieved July 3, BBC News. August 11, Retrieved April 14, Movie Web. Retrieved July 22, Blair Witch. Works directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. Brother's Keeper Some Kind of Monster James J. Hollywood High Basic Instinct 2 Daddy Day Camp Categories : films English-language films horror films American films Artisan Entertainment films Lions Gate Entertainment films Films about films Films based on urban legends Films set in Films set in Films set in Maryland American psychological horror films American sequel films Films about witchcraft Blair Witch franchise Films scored by Carter Burwell.
Haxan Films. Note s Box office ranking accurate as of April Golden Trailer Awards. World Soundtrack Awards. Golden Raspberry Awards . Worst Picture. Worst Director. Worst Screenplay. Worst Screen Couple. His cousin, Louis, is first in line and must be forced to abdicate. Again, this is a story that shows just how closely related cosmic horror and psychological horror are. The collection comes to an end with H. That does sound like an excellent collection. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Previous Next. The collection keeps getting better.
My three favorites in the collection, though, are from acknowledged masters.