Thursday, July 4, 2013

Elevators Are Scary (Even Without Bad Writing)


Some pulp (and pulp-ish) writers of yore used to make good capital out of a low trick to create a threatening atmosphere right off the bat, whereby things would randomly and without any cause be described as 'sinister', 'weird', 'mysterious', and so on.  For example:

"So he stepped out into the HORRIFYING night.  The ELDRITCH coolness of the night breeze made him shiver with a MYSTERIOUS TERROR, terror that he could not explain.  The SINISTER new moon hung low and pallid over the OMINOUS horizon like a POISONED CROISSANT".

Hey, I like that.  I think H.P. Lovecraft might well have liked it too, since he was notorious for the practice.

On the other hand, while it's obviously true that skilled presentation can make anything seem vaguely sinister, some things, I think, really are inherently a little sinister.  At least so I find them.  Elevators, for one.

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