Hey Creepy Catalogers,
It’s Father’s Day weekend and I’m going to celebrate like any real Stephen King fan, with my favorite father and son duo Jack and Dan Torrance. Honestly, if I were tasked with picking out some books or movies for the aliens to have to learn about humans, The Shining (1980) and Doctor Sleep (2019) would be right up there. They are stories that taught me things about being human that I didn’t even know yet, and I’ve had a few decades of practice.
Jack Torrance was an alcoholic who was at the beginning of the end of his chances to be a good provider to his wife and a good father to his son Danny. At the beginning of The Shining, he had been fired from his job teaching at a private school for having a temper tantrum and assaulting one of his students. He also recently injured his son in another drunken rage. At the beginning of The Shining, Jack Torrance is a man desperate for a job and for his wife’s approval and to prove to himself that he can do something without screwing it up.
Unfortunately, Jack Torrance doesn’t get a redemption story. He dies with the Overlook in the novel, and freezes in the hedge maze in the movie. Even more unfortunate is that Jack’s son, Dan Torrance, doesn’t come out much better. Though he escapes the Overlook with his mother as a child, the spirits there continue to haunt him and Danny grows up to be an alcoholic like his father and his father’s father before him. The Shining and Doctor Sleep are two horror stories about American masculinity, alcoholism, shame, secrets, and even a little bit about the supernatural, especially the question of what happens after we die. (Doctor Sleep contains probably my all-time favorite answer to this question).
If you want to spend the weekend taking a deep dive into Jack and Dan’s relationship, The Shining is available for rental on Amazon here. Doctor Sleep is also available to rent on Amazon, and is included in HBO Max this month.
A lighter creepy Dad movie is The Stepfather (2009) streaming on Netflix. This is a remake of the 1987 thriller starring Penn Badgley as a boy who returns from military school to meet his mom’s new love. The new beau just happens to be a con man who sweeps divorced mothers of their feet before gaining their trust and murdering their entire families.
A recent fav in this category is the super weird Come to Daddy (2019) starring Elijah Wood, which is included in Prime. It’s about a man who goes to visit his estranged father who lives at a cabin isolated in the woods. The two are so estranged, he’s not even sure the man he meets at the cabin is his father at all!
- More movies inspired by Ed and Lorraine Warren.
- A woman called her brother while she was being kidnapped and got 17 minutes of her kidnapper’s voice recorded.
- Ryan Gosling’s early 00s serial killer movie was actually based on the true story of Leopold and Loeb, two wealthy Chicago students who murdered a 14-year-old boy because they were convinced they were too smart to get caught.
- Upcoming horror movies that will release soon.
- The creepy woman who was the real life Talented Mr. Ripley.
- Here’s the trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s newest movie coming out in July.
- Sophie Turner will be in HBO’s Staircase miniseries.
Happy streaming and stay spooky!