Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Trailer Park Tuesday: In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.

There's nothing particularly ominous about a man chopping wood.  Unless, that is, you are Red 14 Films and you're making a trailer for Matt Bell's novel In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods.  Then it's creepy as Jack Nicholson chopping a hole in a door and scaring the shit out of Shelly Duvall.  The In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods trailer begins with a flannel-jacketed man walking out of his house (which, yes, is on the dirt, among trees, and next to a lake).  He picks up an axe and starts cutting firewood.  That's it.  That's the entire "plot" of the trailer.  And yet, by the time we reach the two-minute mark, our nerves are as splintered as that kindling.  You just know there's something hot and dark simmering beneath the surface of this guy.  The same could be said about Bell's debut novel, a meditation on love and parenthood which comes to us in the form of a modern fairy tale--a twisted, often grotesque fable which is probably not something you want to read to the kiddos as a bedtime story.  You'll get an idea of the novel's intensity from the critical praise which is expertly injected into the trailer (I can't remember the last time blurbs were used to such good effect in a trailer): "a gripping, grisly tale of a husband’s descent into and ultimate emergence from some kind of personal hell" (The New York Times).  This trailer does for cabin life what Alfred Hitchcock did for showers in Psycho.

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