Monday, February 27, 2023

Something About The Ghost Returns

Too subtle?

Toward the end of March – weeks after he took the blue figurine out of the church – Johnny decides to go to the movies. He saw a spooky show called The Ghost Returns, which made him a nervous wreck on his walk home through the dark, deserted streets (The Curse of the Blue Figurine, 55). It's a short dramatic scene helping underscore Johnny's anxieties of slowing thinking there is something more to that silly souvenir.

And most readers wouldn't likely think of this scene again until that small contingent of fans who collect trinkets and read the books mentioned in Bellairs's novels decided to watch this film to relive the spookiness Johnny must have felt.

There within is the problem. The Ghost Returns does not exist. At least I can't find any record of it.

While Bellairs referenced a handful of real big-name actors and actresses, he only mentioned a few films. This is one of them, but it's not real.  Authors making up film and television program titles is nothing new – it's artistic license. It's just – well, when you think about it, The Ghost Returns perfectly describes Curse. Father Baart was the former rector at Johnny's church. Something sinister supposedly happened to him, and – well, I don't want to give away the ending.

But I already did. And the film title did, too.

The scene would likely retain its mood had Bellairs given the film a different yet spooky-sounding title. Or even no title.

Do you consider this ample foreshadowing or Bellairs being a little too clever?

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