In my September feature Prematurely Grey, I wrote of my surprise of the casting of Charlie Hunnam in 50 Shades of Grey. I love Charlie, but I could sense from the beginning Hunnam would not be comfortable with becoming Robert Pattison like by taking a role in a movie bound to be more of a spectacle than a cinematic masterpiece.
I applaud Hunnam for bowing out and welcome on board Jamie Dornan. Unlike Hunnam, Dornan has not established himself yet as an actor and besides having the look, also needs the project to propel his career to a great audience. Dornan has already become a name to millions who had not heard of him before. I never read the book, but with Dornan in the role, I now might just see the movie.
With Halloween just around the corner, I am long overdue to begin my holiday themed posts! There will be some titillating and terrifying new shoots I will be sharing, but in addition I love looking back at some of my favorite Halloween themed posts from the past. One of the most popular posts on FH this past month was On Track, my October 10th piece featuring Scott Kost, (pictured above) by Prairie Visions Photography. It made perfect sense to begin my look back on the Ghosts of Halloween past with Prairie Visions!
It was when watching the premiere of American Horror Story: Coven I was again reminded of the importance of stairs, and staircases in the series. Each seasons opening episode introduced us to a building, and a set of stairs, that lead many of the characters to their own specific type of hell. Each of the main characters will end up either ascending or descending literally or figuratively up or down towards death.
The stairs to the upstairs and the stairs to the basement the Harmon's lived their terrors on and around in murder house. The gothic endless staircase of Briarcliff manor that led Kit Walker and Lana Winters to hell and back. The majestic staircase soon to pull it's characters to a certain death in Miss Robichaux’s Academy For Exceptional Young Ladies in Coven.
I have my own fixation with stairs and staircases, one I didn't realize until recently has played itself out through many of my image choices. I love things that both fascinate and terrify, and staircases do both for me. When I profiled Eugene Antoine in Septemeber in At The Top Of The Stairs, I shared positive memories of hanging out, and hiding at the top of our family's staircase. There was another staircase in our home, one that didn't have anything quite so warm and fuzzy associated with them.
The basement in my childhood home was dark. A few small windows at the top of the wall, barely wide enough to let much light in. A string with a hanging bare bulb the only light, and that only when the string stayed attached. The floor was dirt, the smell was musty and except when made to go get the laundry, I avoided the basement as much as I could.
My ritual was always the same. I turned on the light and walked slowly down the stairs loudly singing. I sang to let anything, or anyone hiding know I was coming down but mostly...as a signal to the rest of my family above my head. I thought, just maybe, if the singing stopped, someone might come help, or at least look for me. I would do my assigned task as quickly as possible then stop, pause and look around. Then... I would run as fast as my feet would carry me up the stairs, positive there hand were going to grab and pull me back down.
The hands belonged to a monster, sometimes clearly identified by a character I saw in a movie or on television. For some reason I have never really figured out, the Joker from Batman was often who I visualized the monster as. I knew the monster wanted to hurt me, but at the same time knew his end game was not to kill, just hurt and expose me, bringing excruciating pain.
I sometimes wonder if the goal was to out me, even before I was too young to really know exactly from what. I don't run up basement stairs any longer, I know now that I am going to make it up safely. I do know however that the monster is still there. Although not running, I do pause and give a nod of acknowledgement to that monster and the power it once had over me. It is now impotent, powerless to hurt me, but nonetheless, it still it waits. It waits for a moment of weakness, a day, or night I am struggling, a time I might stumble, lose confidence or feel unsafe.
I will spend the rest of my life ensuring the monster remains powerless to hurt me. But the fear it might be again unleashed remains constant. What I still have to figure out is why it is going up that I find so much more terrifying...than going down.