Guest Post by: Dean M. Drinkel
As I was growing up it was definitely the Americans that inspired me. American music, films, writers, history – and that’s just for starters. My first collection of short stories “The Burial” (hopefully to be re-issued later this year in an “advanced format”) is certainly inspired by the States and my time at Towson State University and subsequent trips to Boston, New York and Baltimore. When I flick through the pages and the words jump out at me, I can remember the sights, the smells, the people that made those stories possible.
I always thought it was going to be America that I ended up but, the last few years I have found my new muse and that is France – with Paris in particular playing a prevalent role in my work. My recent story collection “Through a Forest Dark” – published through Dark Continents and their “Tales of Darkness and Dismay” series is certainly testament to that. If you’ve been to Paris you may know the places I’ve written about, but if not, it doesn’t matter though it does (in my mind at least) add a certain legitimacy to the tales. Two of the four stories are set in places I regularly visit – I won’t spoil it but there’s a museum and a hotel. The other two similarly and all four written whilst I was listening to French musicians such as OSNS, SoulKast, Raphael and Lully!
The French have a different way of looking at things, they’re not snobbish about horror or sci-fi, in fact the opposite, they embrace it. The horror films that they make are mindblowing – yes they can be classed “torture porn” but that’s just on the surface, there are lots interesting metaphors and images in their movies and more often or not there is a twist in the tale that even M. Night Shyamalan would be proud off.
Of course their most well-known films are about to be remade by Hollywood – so it’ll be interesting to see if they stick to the originals or “re-imagine” them with a Hollywood twist. French directors too are heading to Hollywood with most of the big horror franchises seemingly having French helmers connected to them – time will tell on that one I guess.
For me, I am currently working on a new horror novel set in the South of France as well as a new collection set once more in Paris. Having been heavily influenced by the poet Rimbaud – I am also currently doing rewrites on a horror novella set in 19th Century Paris!!!! And with the Cannes Film Festival soon upon us I hope to be able to pimp my very dark religious script “Magdalene”
Here’s a quick list of four French horror movies worth checking out – don’t say I didn’t warn you, they’re definitely not for the faint-hearted!
Sheitan: Directed by Kim Chapiron, 2006
Haute Tension: Directed by Alexandre Aja, 2003
Martyrs: Directed by Pascal Laugier, 2008
Frontier(s): Directed by Xavier Gens, 2007
Dean M Drinkel
Dean M Drinkel’s short stories have appeared in diverse publications such as Literal Translations, Estronomicon, Theaker’s Quarterly, Morpheus Tales, M is for Monster and Monk Punk. His short films The Crumps, Fou, Ruby, The Imp Of The Perverse have screened at the Cannes Film Festival. His theatre productions have been staged in various theatres throughout England. He was runner up for the 2001 Sir Peter Ustinov Screenwriting Award with his feature script Ghosts. He recently compiled Phobophobia (Dark Continents Publishing, 2011), Through a Forest Dark (Dark Continents, 2012) and Cities of Death (Static Movement 2012). He is currently editing a Titanic inspired anthology to be published by Dark Continents during Fall 2012.
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