I’m at a critical point in a big ghostwriting assignment — a memoir. Sometimes when I’m deep into HER life and HER experiences, I feel like I’ve been taken over — occupied.
This has, of course, gotten me thinking about monsters invading innocents from the inside. Occupying human bodies is a classic science fiction/fantasy/horror modus operandi for a monster invasion. It makes great fiction and fabulous movies.
I love the original ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ — the 1956 version with Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter. It even had Carolyn Jones. She was the original Mortia Addams and one of my childhood favorites. I think the remake in 1978 missed the mark, but that’s because I really enjoyed the way the 1956 film invited the audience to fill in the blanks. My imagination provided most of the really scary stuff.
Demonic possession is an entire category of horror. The demon invading a willing, or not entirely willing, person sets up many intriguing scenarios. The human face on the monster — the familiar and trusted person, suddenly transformed, is even scarier.
Poe’s monsters were all human and he often wrote in the first person — occupying the monster’s point-of-view — as they described, planned, justified and ultimately asked for understanding and complicity, if not forgiveness, for unforgiveable acts.
I’m reading Poe now and working on my own Poe-inspired story. Delving into the darkness of these monsters is a little like entering a secret passage in an abandoned castle — or going down to the basement during a black out, while carrying a flashlight with an old battery. You never know who — or what — you’ll encounter in the dark.