“The Waiting” — So much more than just a ghost story

To call “The Waiting” a ghost story does not do it justice. It is so much more than that. It is, in many ways, a love story. But again, that doesn’t do it justice. What it is, is a damn good story.

Evan Tormer is a widower caring for his mentally disabled son, Shaun, when life takes another turn for the worse and he is left unemployed. His longtime best friend, Jason, offers to let him live in the family cabin as a caretaker. Living in the cabin would not only help Evan financially, but it would allow the struggling author to finish his book. The Tormers move to the home which is situated on an island called “The Fin” and try to begin life anew. But, as is the case with most ghost stories, everything isn’t as it seems.

The book is amazingly well written, with richly developed characters and an environment that I almost lost myself in. Evan’s dedication and love for his son is believable and heart-wrenching. His grief for the loss of his wife was palpable through each page of the novel. “The Waiting” is a story of love, loss, regret and insanity.

Joe Hart is a new author for me, however this will not be the last book of his that I read. His writing style reminds me somewhat of Stephen King, but probably more so of King’s son – Joe Hill. He’s descriptive, but not as verbose as King. If you enjoy ghost stories, I highly recommend this book and look forward to more books by Joe Hart.  — 5 out of 5 stars


A mirror possessed – Oculus

I love horror, but to be quite honest, I’m really easily spooked by certain things. When my husband and I were looking at buying new bedroom furniture, I was skeptical about buying a mirror for on top of the dresser. I tried to pass this off as being frugal – why get the mirror when we have huge mirrors in the bathroom where we would likely be getting ready anyways? – but the truth of the matter is that mirrors spook me. Not all mirrors – I mean, I am, afterall, female, and do use mirrors on a daily basis (though some might argue that point) – but I find mirrors in a dark room eerie. When I use the bathroom at night I make a concerted effort NOT to look in the mirrors in the dark room. I don’t know what I am expecting to find inside, but I know I don’t want to find it.

So when Oculus was first advertised as a movie about a possessed mirror I was both intrigued and, if I am truly honest, a bit squeamish about the concept. But being the horror (especially paranormal horror) lover that I am, I had to see the flick. On my way out of the house, I looked at the mirror we had just hung in the bedroom and thought, “damn, I may not be able to look at you once we get home”. Alas, I shouldn’t have worried. While Oculus is a decent movie about a possessed mirror, it wasn’t all that scary. Suspenseful, yes. Intriguing, yes. But not cover your eyes scary. Not, don’t go into the basement because there is a demon down there, scary. And it was about a specific mirror. A specific UGLY mirror. One I don’t own. So my mirrors are safe for now.

As for the movie, I enjoyed it. I found the characterizations to be realistic. I especially liked the flashback scenes and how they were interspersed throughout the movie. I found the “what is real and what is just the mirror doing it’s evil juju?” stuff very engrossing and even my husband, who is only horror tolerant – not a horror addict like me – liked the movie though he found the ending to be lacking.

All in all, I enjoyed the movie and will likely watch it again when it is out on dvd or cable. I give it a solid 3.75 out of 5.