If you’re reading this, it’s already too late. To click on this page is to open Pandora’s Box. So why not satisfy your curiosity, and chew on a mouthful of my Medium articles? I submit these to a variety of publications, including Illumination, The Writing Cooperative, Frame Rated, and Cinemania.
Gothic mysteries are a particular passion of mine. I devour them onscreen, in print, and have even had a few of my own published. One of my absolute favorites is The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, a spine-tingling novella revered in certain literary circles. It has been adapted several times for the screen, most memorably in director Jack Clayton’s 1961 monochrome gem The Innocents.
The film takes its name from a popular stage adaptation of the novella. William Archibald and John Mortimer’s screenplay was given an additional polish by none other than Truman Capote, which is all the…
For a moment I simply stood over the fawn, uncertain as to how I might be able to save the poor animal, or whether I should try and end its suffering. If I chose the latter option, I knew I would have to do so in front of Olivia, hardly an ideal scenario. I’d have to cover her eyes.
The fawn continued to thrash around in great distress amid the growing puddles of blood. I noticed the mother still lurking nearby in the trees, no doubt torn between leaving her fawn, and also aware of the danger posed by humans…
For much of the rest of the week, the mystery painting was driven from my mind as we settled into our new routine in Elm Lane. There was still a great deal of unpacking to do, but gradually boxes were emptied, shelves were filled, unneeded items were stored in the loft, garage or cellar, and the place began to really feel like home.
Tom’s focus was entirely on his new job, but he seemed happy, especially as business was good and we could expect a significant commission-based Christmas bonus. …
‘I have a painting just like this,’ I said.
‘Oh, really?’ said Melissa.
‘I found it in the loft whilst exploring. It might have been left there by the previous owner.’
‘What did you do with it?’ Jane asked.
‘Well, I quite liked it, so I put it up in the hallway. Elsie has one too…’
‘Mine is not up,’ Elsie put in. ‘I don’t like it.’
‘Yes,’ I continued. ‘Well, anyway, I hear they’re painted by a local artist. What’s her name? Alison Merrifield. …
I stared at Elsie in surprise. ‘You have a painting like that one?’
‘Exactly like it,’ she confirmed.
I sat silently for a moment, intrigued as to why someone would paint the same railway tunnel over and over again. The image was not uncommon, nor was it a great piece of art. Despite this, the painting had a strange sadness, combined with a curious sense of something lingering just outside of view, cloaked in the darkness of that abandoned place.
‘Is that a real place?’ I said.
‘No idea,’ said Elsie. ‘To be honest, I don’t like that picture. When…
1971 was a red-letter year for thrillers. Whether the thrills concerned police, stalkers, mobsters, serial killers, or deranged truck drivers, these are six of the best, all celebrating their fiftieth birthday.
Springwell, near Plymouth, 1979.
At the time, moving to Springwell seemed like a dream come true. As the final items were unpacked from the removal van, I stood outside our new house and surveyed it, feeling a sense of deep satisfaction. I had finally found a home where I would put down roots, raise my daughter Olivia, and generally enjoy life. I felt invulnerable.
I took deep breaths of the cool, refreshing air. Autumn had truly arrived with golden and brown leaves adorning the ash, oak, elm, and horse chestnut trees that populated the area. I can still recall the…
These days, the run-up to Christmas feels bittersweet. As a young girl, I looked forward to the season with unclouded excitement. Upon reaching adulthood, I adopted a more cynical view. This ancient pagan festival that had once been appropriated by the Church now seemed dominated by capitalist interests. Yet, there came an all too brief time, during the early part of my first marriage, when these misgivings all but vanished, due to becoming a mother. Seeing festive celebrations through the eyes of a child triggered a temporary truce with the more commercial aspects of the season. …
At Easter, Christians around the world celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This has been seen on film many times, in everything from George Stevens’s respectful The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) to Pier Pasolini’s politically charged The Gospel According to St Matthew (1964), Franco Zeffirelli’s epic Jesus of Nazareth (1977), Martin Scorsese’s speculative and controversial The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and of course Mel Gibson’s even more controversial, horrifically bloody The Passion of the Christ (2004).
Whether you’re a Christian or not, the human race seems hard-wired for resurrection narratives. It is, therefore, no surprise that…