In a political climate in which undocumented immigrants are painted as criminals and rapists and half the country is crying for deportation, this week’s story reminds us that immigrants are fathers who love their daughters, who work hard and send money home to dying mothers, who will go to the ends of the Earth for their loved ones—they are normal Americans with normal hearts, just like the rest of us....more
Posts Tagged: horror
So familiar have the aesthetic conventions of horror become that it is increasingly difficult to distinguish “real” Halloween movies from parodies. Something similar has occurred in our political life.
At the New York Review of Books, Christopher Benfey shares a brief history of collisions between humor and horror in Western literature (and American politics)....more
Happy day after Halloween! For the New York Times, Terrence Rafferty reviews a variety of chilling fiction, and delves deep into why these are exceptional:
The short story is the ideal form for horror because it can convey a quick, vivid impression of fear, without having to extend the action past the breaking point of the reader’s credulity… For longer works like “The Graveyard Apartment,” there’s really only one basic plot available: A person (or a group of people) struggles to escape an impossible situation.
In honor of Halloween, Consequence of Sound has collected what they deem the “10 Essential Horror Movie Scores.” Following Scorsese’s argument that music and film are intrinsically tied, “[b]ecause there’s a kind of intrinsic musicality to the way moving images work when they’re put together,” the piece celebrates how horror perhaps above all genres uses music to generate the cringing effect of its best scenes....more
The horror master has formed a band (including his son and godson), and is embarking on a world tour to perform his own reworked versions of the soundtracks to Halloween, Escape From New York, Assault on Precinct 13, and The Fog, Consequence of Sound reports....more
Genevieve Valentine explores the performance of toxic masculinity for Strange Horizons. Valentine uses the horror movie The Guest to deconstruct both the camp and the too-real danger of toxic masculinity:
The film’s most suspense-generating disconnect is between the degree to which toxic masculinity viewed from afar is hilarious, and the degree to which toxic masculinity viewed close up will literally kill you.
It’s that time of year when everyone is dying for a good scary story, a tale with thrills and chills, one to make you check over your shoulder around the campfire. But what makes a story truly scary? Is it blood and gore, or psychological suspense?...more
In his video for the song “Submarine” by the french synth-duo The Shoes, director Karim Huu Do takes the eeriness latent in the song to a fully horrific place of faces with no orifices, ominous swimming pools, and pulsing tumor clouds....more
Sixty years ago, in 1955, Ray Bradbury published The October Country. The book has become a classic of American gothic horror, but it didn’t start out that way.
Many of the stories were originally featured in Bradbury’s first-ever book, Dark Carnival, which had a very limited release and went out of print soon after....more
Scary movie of the hour It Follows is peppered with intertextual references to Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot. Ben Apatoff looks for the connection (if there is one):
If anything, The Idiot enhances It Follows more than it represents it, augmenting the film’s foreboding atmosphere with quotes from a writer who could create anxiety and suspense as artfully as any of the Russian greats.
Carrie is most definitely of the horror genre, and horror is never about being comfortable. Society has changed, but what’s at the core of King’s novel remains as raw and powerful as it was four decades ago: Peer pressure, cliques, ruthless bullying, and being an outsider.
After years of anxious separation, people are finally relaxing about the literary/genre fiction divide. Over at Electric Literature, Tobias Carroll asks: now what?
We’re now well into a period where literary writers are able to balance their love for horror (or science fiction, or fantasy) with their craft, and fewer and fewer bat an eye…But now that we’ve gotten past that, there’s another question raised by fiction that falls into the realm of, for lack of a more graceful term, literary horror: how does it deal with our expectations of both of its literary forebears?
The Airship Daily examines the life of Horacio Quiroga.
In his work, Quiroga shows a morbid obsession with death and violence (see: “The Decapitated Chicken”), and a large part of this undoubtedly stems from his own life. The opening salvo came before he had even completed his first year of life: In 1879, his father, an official at the Argentine Consulate, was killed in a hunting accident.
We haven’t stopped creating fairy tales and folklore—we just do it online now.
For Aeon magazine, Will Wiles has a splendid longread about “creepypasta,” the phenomenon of writing and disseminating scary stories on the Internet.
Their subject matter—horrific lost episodes of TV shows, malicious computer code that causes seizures—reveal how the loci of our anxieties have shifted to more technological horrors....more
She’s some young upstart named Margaret Atwood with some crazy ideas about horror, terror, genre fiction, and literary fiction.
To add to that, the complete Edgar Allan Poe was in the primary school library – those were the days in which only the presence or absence of Sex determined what was suitable for children – so I was no stranger to tell-tale hearts, teeth ripped out of semi-corpses, dead women coming back to life through other dead women, and so forth.