Sunday, August 18, 2013

Son of Danse Macabre (2012)

I appreciated Bryce Wilson's brave and bold idea of updating Stephen King's essential Danse Macabre, the critical history of horror published in 1981. Wilson, who among other things operates the noteworthy Things That Don't Suck blog, set himself to update King's volume for the developments in the genre over the past 30 and more years. It's fair to say those developments have been considerable, and in fact I still have some hope that King himself will get around to it. But Wilson's shot is certainly fine until then. He loves and understands the form, and he knows his stuff. I think he's strongest on film. It's where the passion comes through. On comic books and literature, I trust his judgments, but I sometimes get a feeling that some stones may have been left unturned. No matter. You can't always get to everything, and he's good enough (and probably young enough) that he could well develop the same authority there that he already has with movies (and TV). And I think it's a laudable exercise in itself any time someone takes on a history of any form that draws them. It forces research, and the reward is invaluable perspective, and it's almost always interesting writing. We'll see how that works out for Wilson in the fullness of time—I have my hopes. Meanwhile, though I disagreed with him on some matters, I thoroughly enjoyed his views on things, wide and narrow. When I was familiar with some of his areas of focus—Scream, The Blair Witch Project, and The Ring, most notably—I found him insightful, leading me to deeper appreciations of many elements. He has also become a go-to critical resource just like that. I came away from this with a little list of films to see and things to read, and I am already looking forward to them. If you know Danse Macabre you almost can't go wrong with Son of—even if, like most sequels, it's a few steps back of the original. In this neck of the woods, being a few steps back of Stephen King means you're doing pretty damned good.

In case it's not at the library.

No comments:

Post a Comment