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Inspiring Fear: House of Circles

hblf, lfneJason L Blair18 January 2013

Most of the things I post in “Inspiring Fear” share a contextual link to Little Fears, such as having young protagonists, fighting unseen monsters, or shining a light on the power of belief. But this one struck me primarily for the visuals.

This video for “House of Circles” by Cleveland-area rock duo Mr. Gnome was shot on a $2000 budget and looks incredible. The 8-minute film is a fairy tale about a metallic-skinned woman named Queen Machine who has eaten a planet’s sun. A girl who lives on that planet leads an attack against Queen Machine to get their sun back. It’s wonderful (and wonderfully imaginative) stuff. From the young heroes to the dark-winged fairies to a world aesthetic you might find in the corners of Closetland to Queen Machine herself, you can find a lot of cool stuff to work into your Little Fears game. Enjoy.

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Inspiring Fear: Mama

hblf, lfneJason L Blair07 January 2013

I posted about the upcoming film Mama back when I first learned of the short film that inspired it. That was in September and I’d almost forgotten about it until my friend (and Happy Birthday, Little Fears illustrator) Doug Snook sent me a link to a new version of the short film that includes a preface by celebrated director and producer Guillermo del Toro. In addition, I was reminded that the new film is set to come out in just two weeks! The feature-length version of Mama has a release date of January 18th here in the States, and I’m amped to see it. It seems like not only perfect Little Fears inspiration but has such a great premise I have to know more.

You can watch the short film with introduction here and check out the trailer for the feature film below.

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Halloweek #1! Inspiring Fear: The Haunting Hour – Don’t Think About It

hblf, lfneJason L Blair29 October 2012

Before The Haunting Hour was a television series, it saw audio-visual life as this TV movie starring Emily Osment, Brittany Curran, and horror icon Tobin Bell.

Outsider Cassie (Osment) is used to being overlooked—she prefers it—but when a rivalry with the most popular girl in school, Priscilla (Curran), puts her in a very unfavorable public light, our dark-minded heroine’s thoughts turn to revenge. That revenge is given a weapon in the form of a book called THE EVIL THING. While the contents seems like childish fun, the tome does come with a very specific warning: Do Not Read Aloud.

Like most rules, it gets broken quickly. But unlike most rules, breaking it leads to monstrous results.

Don’t Think About It touches on a lot of great stuff you can use in a Little Fears Nightmare Edition episode. It has sibling rivalry, a really sweet prank, a lovable lunk, oblivious parents, and all takes place in the week leading up to Halloween.

In the vein of RL Stine’s Goosebumps, Don’t Think About It is a nice bite of campy horror with a monster, mystical book, and a great twist ending. As inspiration for your own terror-filled tale, it’s hard to go wrong with Stine, and this film is no exception.

It’s available on DVD as well as through Amazon Instant Video.

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Inspiring Fear: Mamá

hblf, lfneJason L Blair20 September 2012

If you aren’t already familiar with the film dropping next year, Mama is the story of two little girls found living in the woods, the refuge to which they escaped after the death of their parents. Taken in by authorities, the pair is soon put under the care of their paternal uncle and his wife (Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain). While the girls slowly acclimate to their new surroundings, life is flipped on its side by a series of deadly supernatural events possibly connected to something from the girls’ past. Something they call “Mama.”

Sounds great to me but, unfortunately, we all have to wait until January of next year to watch it. In the mean time, the power of the internet lets us view the three-minute short upon which the movie is based. From Andres Muschietti, the same man who wrote and directed its big brother, I invite you to watch this wonderfully creepy film called Mamá.

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Inspiring Fear: Silver Bullet

hblf, lfneJason L Blair13 August 2012

In its earliest incarnation, Little Fears was a game about kids fighting werewolves. While it soon ballooned into something much bigger, the game still presented a world perfect for stories about regular folks being terrorized by those most infamous of hirsute moonchasers.

Stories such as the 1985 classic Silver Bullet.

Adapted by Stephen King from his short story “Cycle of the Werewolf,” Silver Bullet tells the tale of a small town turned on its head by a series of gruesome murders. Originally thought to be the work of a psychopath, details come to light suggesting there might be more to these attacks than initially suspected. As the killings continue, and a child becomes one of the victims, the townsfolk get fed up with the seeming ineffectiveness of the local police force and decide to enact some “private justice” which both the town sheriff and local preacher struggle to keep in check.

Our viewpoint character for most of this—and our Little Fears connection—is a paralyzed boy who becomes the first to discover the truth about what’s going on, a fact his older sister and trusted uncle are both hesitant to believe.

The film boasts an array of familiar faces, with notables such as Bill Smitrovich, Terry O’Quinn, Corey Haim, and Gary Busey, who all turn in fine performances. The werewolf isn’t the greatest (which reportedly was a source of annoyance for the film’s producer) but it’s a solid romp in the traditional breezy/folksy style King is known for) and is perfect for a traditional-style Little Fears one-shot.

A hardcopy of Silver Bullet appears to be hard to track down nowadays (unless you’re looking for a copy for your Beta player) but you can stream it via Amazon or Netflix* which is what I did this past Friday night.

(*Many thanks to Little Fears superfan Jack O’Tears for the heads up.)

(I originally credited the source story as “Cry of the Werewolf” instead of “Cycle of the Werewolf. Thanks to Victor for the correction!)

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Inspiring Fear: Monster House

hblf, lfneJason L Blair12 March 2012

Some films are such obvious resources for Little Fears that I forget I haven’t already covered them. 2006’s animated tale Monster House is one such film, and I’d like to correct that omission right now.


(pictured, foreground left to right: Chowder, DJ, Jenny; background: evil demon-possessed single-family bi-level with full basement)

Monster House probably sounds like a typical haunted house story but what could be a by-the-numbers tale of a bunch of kids battling dark suburban forces soon becomes something much greater and with a lot more heart at its core than you might expect. The film centers on DJ, a kinda-weird kid with a kinda-even-weirder best friend named Chowder. Rounding out the major characters is newcomer Jenny who is soon dragged into DJ’s crazy idea that something seriously strange is wrong with the house across the street. As an attempt to find out more about the residence, the trio accidentally endangers the life of its resident, Old Man Nebbercracker. With its occupant gone, no one is around to contain the evil entity that does in fact live in the house and soon the entire neighborhood is in some serious trouble.

The supporting cast features Maggie Gyllenhaal as DJ’s babysitter Zee, Jason Lee as her dim-witted boyfriend Bones, Kevin James and Nick Cannon as a pair of bumbling cops, and Jon Heder as Skull, a video game-obsessed authority on the paranormal.

A haunted house is as classic a horror setting as you can get but Monster House adds enough new twists that it doesn’t feel played. Despite some places where it stumbles, I really enjoy Monster House and it’s a perfect fit for a Little Fears game. I highly recommend checking it out.

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Inspiring Fear: ParaNorman (New Trailer!)

lfneJason L Blair06 March 2012

I first posted about the upcoming animated film ParaNorman back in November, but time has passed and a new trailer has surfaced. Check it out below:

We’re still a ways out from its August 2012 release date but I’m excited for this film. This seems right up the Little Fears Nightmare Edition alley and I think fans of the game will find a lot of material in ParaNorman. I could see my future self doing an at-home double feature of this and Monster House.

*Thanks again to Little Fears fan Charles Miller for the tip!

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Inspiring Fear: The Online Store!

hblf, lfneJason L Blair22 November 2011

As a lot of you have probably noticed, I added an Amazon.com affiliate widget to the sidebar. I’ve included all the things I could from the Inspiring Fear updates as well as plenty of other Little Fears-appropriate books, movies, video games, and TV shows. I hope you’ll check out the stuff on the right. If you hover over the top of the widget, you can cycle through the pages for easier navigation.

Making purchases through the link (and any other purchases once you’ve arrived at Amazon through the link) goes directly to helping me put out more Little Fears Nightmare Edition material. I would love to release Book 3 in 2012, as well as the Seven Kings series, but to do that I need to generate some more income. So please, especially with the holidays coming up, if you do any shopping at Amazon (for Little Fears-related materials or not), help out the original game of childhood terror. It doesn’t cost you a thing (I promise) but it helps me out greatly.

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Inspiring Fear: ParaNorman

hblf, lfneJason L Blair21 November 2011

Many thanks to Charles E Miller for sharing this with the Facebook group.

I watched this trailer and immediately wanted to see more. It’s going to be a long wait until August 2012.

There isn’t much more at the official site just now but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on it.

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Inspiring Fear: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

hblf, lfneJason L Blair24 August 2011

Out Friday.

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