Painted Monsters: “Persistence of Vision”

For the month of October, as part of the Countdown to Halloween, I’ll be revisiting each of the thirteen stories in Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts and suggesting movies that pair well with them, for your viewing pleasure!

Art by my good friend Trevor Henderson.

Art by my good friend Trevor Henderson.

“Persistence of Vision” may be my most successful story to date. Originally written for Silvia Moreno-Garcia‘s Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse, for which I was an honorary Canadian, it also snagged me my first (and thus far only) appearance in Ellen Datlow‘s Best Horror of the Year. It’s also probably the most overt of the movie-influenced stories that I’ve done on the countdown so far, featuring a film blogger narrator who tells the story about the way I normally talk–by comparing everything to movies.

As such, there are a lot of references to films scattered throughout “Persistence of Vision,” but the big influences here come from a pair of films: Kairo, which we got as part of the J-horror boom kicked off by the success of The Ring, and its somewhat lackluster American remake from a few years later, Pulse. As the unnamed narrator says in the story, “starring that girl from Veronica Mars and that guy from Lost. Well-known prognosticators of the end of the world.” As such, I’d recommend Kairo to go along with “Persistence of Vision,” though if you’re completely allergic to subtitles, Pulse won’t hurt either.

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