Tuesday, October 5, 2010

31 Days of Halloween: Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages

Watching Haxan doesn’t seem all that scary at first, just another silent era film with interesting images yet a tame subject due to its time. But watch it in the dark, alone, when everyone else in your building has gone to sleep, and it’s nearly impossible not to let your imagination run away with you. A faux documentary on “Witchcraft Through the Ages,” the images start to come alive, blurring the lines between straightforward fantasy and whether or not the film was a record of actual events, as if you unearthed in from a vault in the cellar of an old house. It is, of course, as fake as The Blair Witch films, but on Halloween when you want to unlock a link to the place in your brain that makes your hair stand on end, it’s the perfect catalyst. Two main versions exist: one with the censored versions restored, and one with narration by William S. Burroughs and a jazz score, each sinister in their own strange ways.

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