The Noctrium Chronicle

Odd Thoughts

You wish to delve into the shadowed history of The Noctrium? Here You’ll find announcements, reviews, and opinions. In this dusty corner you may also stumble across…things…that belong nowhere else.

Blair Witch

What did I love about the original Blair Witch Project? The forest setting. The subtle, urban-legend-style storytelling. The primitive artifacts that had no right to be as creepy as they were. The intensely scary scenes that relied on the unknown.

The 2016 sequel shares all of this, except toward the end, where Blair Witch decides to let up on the unknown a bit. If the movie has one weakness, this is it. While The Blair Witch Project gave us almost nothing to go on, Blair Witch gives us quite a bit more than nothing.

Dark Matter

I have discovered the single best setting for a ghost story: winter above the Arctic Circle. Vast, empty, cold, and dark.

Dark Matter

Michelle Paver’s Dark Matter spends most of its time describing this setting. But don’t worry about getting bored. One moment you’re humming along with beautiful images of water, ice, light, mountains, and sky; then suddenly, although nothing’s changed, you find yourself afraid. The water, somehow, is terrifying. The alien light is terrifying. The distant mountains are terrifying. You realize this was a place humans were never meant to be. A place where everything, even in its beauty, means death.

The Visit

I first saw The Sixth Sense as a teenager, before I had any real interest in horror. That movie disturbed me deeply. The terrifying scenarios and the way they were shot resonated uncannily with my own nightmares.

Since then, it’s become popular to condemn Shyamalan’s movies. While I remained a fan longer than most (I loved The Village), I was forced to agree with the majority sentiment that he’d lost his touch.

Then I saw The Visit, and I was reminded why, more than a decade later, I still have trouble making myself watch The Sixth Sense.

The Visit creeped me out.

The Dark

I’ve been re-reading my favorite ghost story anthology. The Dark, edited by Ellen Datlow, was my first serious foray into horror literature, and it scared me senseless. I don’t think I’ve read a more frightening book since.

The Conjuring

I’m a strange breed of horror fan who’s wary of an R rating. I don’t want to be drenched with gore, and an hour and a half of people screaming every foul word they can think of gets on my nerves. For moral reasons, I won’t even consider a movie with nudity. The Conjuring contains none of these. Yes, there’s some blood and some strong language, but the movie’s rating is earned almost entirely on scares.