Monday, June 9, 2014

A Book and Movie Matchup or "Oh my gosh, rural Germany scares me"

I recently read a book and later watched movie that seemed destined to go together in creepy, violent literature and film paradise together. If you like creepiness and intrigue these are for you!

The movie "White Ribbon" was on my Netflix queue for a very long time. I like to keep a couple of subtitled indie films on the list for when I'm feeling artsy and high brow. (This doesn't happen a lot, but when it does happen I'm prepared). Anyway, I actually watched it and it was really something.

There's a tiny town in Germany and weird stuff starts to happen, like "accidents". We get little glimpses into the lives of the villagers and it's not good. The Doctor in particular is a suuuuper jerk.There is a big kind of twist at the end and a few things aren't resolved which makes it even more sinister and strange. It's in German, so get ready to get your English subtitles on.

Here's the synopsis from
From July, 1913 to the outbreak of World War I, a series of incidents take place in a German village. A horse trips on a wire and throws the rider; a woman falls to her death through rotted planks; the local baron's son is hung upside down in a mill; parents slap and bully their children; a man is cruel to his long-suffering lover; another sexually abuses his daughter. People disappear. A callow teacher, who courts a nanny in the baron's household, narrates the story and tries to investigate the connections among these accidents and crimes. What is foreshadowed? Are the children holy innocents? God may be in His heaven, but all is not right with the world; the center cannot hold.

I know that sounds all very violent and awful. They don't show much (actually I don't think any) of the abuse or the violence, but you see the aftermath of it a few times.So sum up: creepy, black and white, tense and interesting.

"Your House is on Fire, Your Children Gone" by Stefan Kisbye

So a few weeks before seeing the movie, I read this book. I found it on my Goodreads "to-read" list, and I honestly don't know how it got there. It's a little scarier then I would normally read (at least from the sound of the description) but it was intriguing so I went with it. I mean, the cover is scary enough, but if you tilt it at the right angle in the shiny clear letters it says something like "if you tell anyone I'll kill you".

So "Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Gone", this is pretty much a village full of evil kids and strange happenings. The whole book centers around a small handful of village children and their childhoods and the bad things that they do and how it affects the village. There is some pretty graphic moments (like acting out a terrible siege of a city that entails "play rape" which was all kind of horrifying and gross and awful) but these kids are doing weird creepy stuff. There is also a lot of mentions on Germanic folklore and those things seems to be in the forefront of the kids' minds as well. I like the scenes in the maze the best. So it's weird and creepy and partially graphic but I couldn't put it down I was so curious about what would happen next! It's also incredibly short, coming in at less than 200 pages.It's a lot of action packed in few pages!

Here's the synopsis: The village of Hemmersmoor is a place untouched by time and shrouded in superstition: There is the grand manor house whose occupants despise the villagers, the small pub whose regulars talk of revenants, the old mill no one dares to mention. This is where four young friends come of age—in an atmosphere thick with fear and suspicion. Their innocent games soon bring them face-to-face with the village's darkest secrets in this eerily dispassionate, astonishingly assured novel, evocative of Stephen King's classic short story "Children of the Corn" and infused with the spirit of the Brothers Grimm.

They don't give a specific date, but the story is set around the 60s, whereas White Ribbon is in early 1900s. So maybe the kids from White Ribbon grew up to be the Nazis and then the ones in the book are all traumatized from World War II? Or something? The big question is holy cow, what is going on in rural Germany????

Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone

So I don't know if any of this has encouraged anyone to actually pick these things up, but if you don't mind horror and creepiness and some violence take a peek!


  1. WHAT! This seems right up my alley. I love all things creepy and you have really intrigued me. Plus I am sending this to my mom!

    1. I really enjoyed both of them but they were both very creepy, and it starts like right at the beginning and doesn't let up. And the book is so short, it's a lot of weirdly awesome in a short book!


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