I have always been an avid reader and I have found that reading horror stories have always been my favorite. I especially love reading anthologies, which TRANSCENDENT fits into that category well.
Ever since its World Premiere at Fantastic Fest in 2017, the zombie musical ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE has taken the horror genre by storm. Recently, I had the chance to read the book, of the same name, from authors Katharine Turner and Barry Waldo. Full disclosure, I have not seen the film yet so I can’t compare it to that except to say that there are no musical numbers within the book. Inspired by the film’s narration, the novel is a perfect companion piece for those who have seen the movie as well as a great way to introduce those unfamiliar with the acclaimed horror/comedy.
If you have a passing knowledge about 70’s/80’s horror films, you have surely heard of the band Goblin. They composed soundtracks (under a few different line-ups) for Dario Argento’s films Profondo Rosso (Deep Red), Phenomena, and perhaps most famously the original Suspiria. They also recorded the score and soundtrack for the European version of George Romero’s classic film, (and in my opinion the best zombie film of all time) Dawn of The Dead. They went on to record several prog albums and do scores and soundtracks for many other films.
There’s nothing more frustrating as a reader than a good idea that fizzles. To see the potential of a work and understand the intent only to be left high and dry by narrative missteps is difficult and confounding. Unfortunately, for all the promise of Hunter Shea’s CREATURE, the payoff is too little to justify the journey.
With the recent release of Blumhouse’s anxiety-inducing horror film CAM dropping on Netflix back in November, this movie’s rapidly growing popularity appears to be taking genre fans by storm (myself included).
Toys disappear. The beloved teddy bear, the cherished doll, and the adored car all seem to meet the same end. One day they’re with you, loved and precious, and one day they’re not. It’s easy, as adults, to downplay the tragedy of a lost toy, to neglect the implication of its disappearance. For a child, a bit of stuffing encased in formed cloth or a hunk of molded plastic is a first friend, a first love, and in some cases an all powerful protector. It’s not just the loss of the toy itself that hurts. It’s the horror of facing a world without it.
It begins with disorientation. After a brief thematic preamble where author John Ajvide Lindqvist lays out pretty much all you need to know regarding the themes of I AM BEHIND YOU, you find yourself suddenly plunged into the thick of it. Lindqvist gives neither his audience nor his characters time to catch their bearings; you and they are simpatico, each thrust into the bizarre imaginings of the Swedish author’s latest creepy tale.
Spanning 18 books written over forty plus years, to call The Vampire Chronicles “sprawling” is more than a bit of an understatement. The wildly popular Anne Rice series is daunting, a near Everest of gothic horror that never seems to stop growing. Earlier this year, in fact, the author published Blood Communion, the latest chapter in the tales of Lestat de Lioncourt and the undead underworld which he inhabits.
Nothing in horror fiction is so well-trod as the haunted house. Whatever variations you throw into the themes and tropes of the genre, audiences and readers more or less know what to expect, and it’s difficult to do anything entirely new with the framework. What you expect is about what you get, and for the most part you know roughly where you’re going to land whenever you crack into a new haunting tale.
Connections between Christmas and the uncanny, the strange, and the macabre are nothing new. The ideas celebrated on the holiday—whether referring to modern Christian traditions or the ancient pagan traditions of Yule—appear readymade to celebrate and acknowledge that which is strange and unusual. It is a celebration built on the backs of drunken revelry, animal sacrifice, angelic visitation, and, of course, virgin birth.
The most—really, the only—disappointing part of GARDEN OF ELDRITCH DELIGHTS is that each of its dozen stories comes to an end. That’s the point of stories, to be sure, but within the pages of each of Lucy A. Snyder’s twelve tales is the suggestion off a world more richly and deeply built and imagined than we will ever know, and though Snyder makes economical use of these worlds, telling precisely the story she intends to tell, each ending carries with it the small pang of heartbreak spurred by the knowledge that this is all that we get.
Witches. Pirates. Ghosts. A curse. A tropical storm that threatens to reveal secrets long buried. And a cat called Bacon who may or may not be possessed by the spirit of a familial treasure hunter. ISLAND OF BONES ticks plenty of boxes this spooky season, as long as you’re more willing to suspend disbelief than the story’s sassy heroine.
You couldn’t be blamed if you had never heard the name of one of the modern era’s foremost writers of uncanny and supernatural horror. Thomas Ligotti hasn’t done much to, as they say, put himself out there to be widely consumed by the masses. The path to Ligotti is circuitous, beset by roadblocks and warnings, sign posts that warn the undiscerning that here there be monsters. He has, for most of his career, existed in the shadows. That, I suspect, is where he prefers it.
Leonard Maltin, a writer and film nerd who sits among the critical pantheon where Pauline Kael, James Agee, and Roger Ebert hold court, begins his latest collection of essays and interviews, HOOKED ON HOLLYWOOD, with a recollection of his youth when he was an avid reader of the legendary Famous Monsters of Filmland.
Composer Joseph Bishara has made a name for himself with 32 composer credits to his name on IMDB, most of those in the horror film genre. What made him a household name was his relationship with writer/director/producer James Wan. This lead to Bishara composing scores for hit horror films such as The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2, Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, and all four films in the Insidious franchise. Bishara can even be spotted in these films portraying various demons and ghosts (most notably the “lipstick-face demon” from the Insidious films).
Sitting here in 2018, it's easy to look at the 1990s as somewhat of a "lost decade" for horror films. Sure, there were a few standout titles that are still generally beloved (Candyman, Scream, Silence of the Lambs) but for the most part, horror fans look back on the 90s as a decade where not much of merit was produced.
YULETIDE TERROR: CHRISTMAS HORROR ON FILM AND TELEVISION, edited by Paul Corupe and Kier-la Janisse, is a comprehensive look at the Christmas holiday in horror entertainment. This is probably the most comprehensive book on the topic and probably the best I have ever seen. The book contains interviews with film stars and director, such as Gilmer McCormick, Lewis Jackson, and Jeff Mandel, among others, and presents history, such as the controversy following SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT, along with analytical perspectives all by various writers and journalists familiar with the horror genre, such as Andrea Subissati of Rue Morgue Magazine.