Why Creature from the Black Lagoon has become more Horrifying with Time

As part of my recent pandemic-inspired monster movie binge, I turned to Universal’s Creature from the Black Lagoon trilogy, released between 1954 and 1956. The three movies, all of which feature the titular creature, vary in quality. To get the review portion out of the way right here, the casual viewer is better off sticking with the first one: A film that is beautifully shot, has a spectacular soundtrack, and boasts underwater effects that are still impressive today.

Watching the movies, however, I was struck by how horrifying they are. No, the creature is not particularly scary – nor are the films suspenseful. The horror is all in the writing, and the world in which such films were created.

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How Voice Separates Children of Blood and Bone from Avatar: The Last Airbender

Picture a world where certain people are gifted with mastery of the elements. It is a land that lived in relative harmony until an ambitious king seized power by launching an unexpected attack. Our protagonist is a young adult, one of the last of her kind – a people being driven to extinction in these turbulent times. She teams up with her brother and a third friend to try and restore balance – but she must do so before the solstice. Also, she is being hunted by the son of said evil king, but said prince is emotionally conflicted.

Sound familiar? Let me give you a hint:

Except not quite. A similar idea breathes new life in Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood of Bone.

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Good Writing Has Consequences

I’ve been hosting a writing workshop recently where we talk about ways to improve writing technique. While I have a lot of fun teaching this class, there are always topics that get away – There are only so many hours in a day, you know?

With that in mind, I’d like to take the time to reinforce a short, seemingly simple lesson: Good writing has consequences, or rather, good writing has the sense of consequence. Let’s dive in:

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