Interview with the Playwright

Click HERE to read a long-form interview with Hookman playwright Lauren Yee. Here’s an excerpt with my favorite bit:

IMB: Given that you don’t love horror movies, and you shy away from scary, shocking genres, what made you want to dive headfirst into a play that demands massive amounts of stage blood, and violence, and suspenseful discomfort?

LY: I think I felt like there’s room out there in the horror genre for something that is scary, but is also awkward; that there’s more than one way to look at death, and see the different facets of it. Also, as someone who doesn’t like scary movies, it was a way to deflate the genre for myself. If I could take horror, and make it kind of awkward and goofy and uncomfortable, that might be kind of fun for me. There could be a horror story that I could sit through.

IMB: Did you watch any horror movies in preparation for this?

LY: [long pause] Not really. I thought back to all the trailers of horror movies that I watched, and got terrified by. I know some of the stories but…

IMB: …The trailer is enough.

LY: Yes. The trailer is enough. I admit it. I did not watch a lot of movies to prepare for this.

IMB: Do you remember ever having watched one all the way through?

LY: I watched The Ring. All the way through. One of my friends was a big, big Japanese horror fan, and it terrified me. I went home and – the premise behind The Ring is that you watch this kind of grainy videotape – and I turned on my TV, and it was like the grainy videotape quality, and I turned it off. I couldn’t – yeah.

IMB: Did it follow you around? Like, when you see these things, do you carry that discomfort with you for a while after you see it?

LY: I think so. I think you begin to see the ways in which your normal every day life begins to warp to accommodate these horror images.

IMB: That feels so connected to this play, that idea of being so uncomfortable about something that –

LY: – That your mind begins to change things right in front of you. Or, that you begin to see more into silences, or objects, than you should.

One is the Quirkiest Number

Lauren sent this article along for us with the comment: “Alone and weird, Lexi in ten years?”

An excerpt:

One Is the Quirkiest Number: The Freedom, and Perils, of Living Alone

…In a sense, living alone represents the self let loose. In the absence of what Mr. Klinenberg calls “surveilling eyes,” the solo dweller is free to indulge his or her odder habits — what is sometimes referred to as Secret Single Behavior. Feel like standing naked in your kitchen at 2 a.m., eating peanut butter from the jar? Who’s to know?

Amy Kennedy, 28, a schoolteacher who has a two-bedroom apartment in High Point, N.C., all to herself, calls it living without “social checks and balances.”

The effects are noticeable, she said: “I’ve been living alone for six years, and I’ve gotten quirkier and quirkier.”

Among her domestic oddities: running in place during TV commercials; speaking conversational French to herself while making breakfast (she listens to a language CD); singing Journey songs in the shower; and removing only the clothes she needs from her dryer, thus turning it into a makeshift dresser.

“The entire apartment is your room,” Ms. Kennedy said, by way of explanation. “If I leave a bra on the kitchen table, I don’t think much about it….”

…What emerges over time, for those who live alone, is an at-home self that is markedly different — in ways big and small — from the self they present to the world. We all have private selves, of course, but people who live alone spend a good deal more time exploring them.

UConn

Impressions from prospective students visiting UConn (where Lexi goes to school):

• “WOW…..best ice cream I’d had in a long time!! Made with milk from the UConn dairy cattle right there on campus. You can look in the back and see the equipment they use! The worst part was choosing which flavor to order; there were so many that sounded delicious! So if you like ice cream, you NEED to stop at their dairy bar.”

• “One other thing I like about UConn is that students can join their band more easily than at other large public colleges. I love band but don’t play at a state level. In fact, the instruments I play are not used in marching bands in college so I’ll need to learn another one for college. UConn will let me join the band as a beginning tuba player. To me, this is a huge plus. If you’re into band, your might be interested in this.”

• “I thought this would be in a city and was surprised by the small-town feel the campus has. It feels safe. If you want to go to a college in a large city with all that stuff, this isn’t for you.”

• “Typical new engand yankee atmosphere, friendly to each other but no eye contact or talking to anyone outside the clique of students, especially not campus tour participants.”

• “This would be a great state school for residents. You would get a great education value. For out of state, though, it is expensive, over 30K with room and board. For such a renowned athletic school, student facilities for sports activities were surprisingly small, although there is updating going on.”

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Let’s watch some trailers!

For past blog posts on horror movies, choose “horror” from the tag cloud at the bottom of this page.

Greg & Ilana recommend:

SCREAM

• Scream • Scream 2 • Scream 3 • Scream 4

 

 

URBAN LEGEND

 

• Urban Legend (which awesomely features Robert Englund, best known as the actor who plays Freddy in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise) • Urban Legends: Final Cut • Urban Legends: Bloody Mary

 

 

I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER (Featuring a guy with a hook!)

I Know What You Did Last Summer • I Still Know What You Did Last Summer • I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer

 

 

Lauren recommends some scarier movies:

FINAL DESTINATION

• Final Destination 1 • Final Destination 2 • Final Destination 3 • Final Destination 4 • Final Destination 5

 

 

 

 

HALLOWEEN

• Halloween (1978 version) • Halloween II • Halloween III: Season of the Witch • Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers • Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers • Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers • Halloween H20: 20 Years Later • Halloween: Resurrection • Halloween (Rob Zombie’s 2007 version) • H2 (Rob Zombie’s 2009 sequel)

Girls Rescue People

“JESS: Why is it a guy who rescues her? Girls rescue people”

Thank you, Wikipedia, for a concise explanation of the FINAL GIRL horror film trope:

The final girl is a trope in thriller and horror films (particularly slasher films) that specifically refers to the last woman or girl alive to confront the killer, ostensibly the one left to tell the story. The final girl has been observed in dozens of films, including Halloween[1]Friday the 13thA Nightmare on Elm StreetScreamFinal DestinationThe Texas Chain Saw Massacre and its remakeI Know What You Did Last SummerHellraiserAlienThe StrangersThe RingThe Grudge, and Terror Train. The term was coined[2] by Carol J. Clover in her 1992 book Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. Clover suggests that in these films, the viewer begins by sharing the perspective of the killer, but experiences a shift in identification to the final girl partway through the film. …The final girl is the “investigating consciousness” of the film, moving the narrative forward and as such, she exhibits intelligence, curiosity, and vigilance.

Here’s a nice list of the Top 10 Final Girls from horror films.