10 Strange Facts for Stranger Things

I love Stranger Things. And apparently, so does everyone else. Despite its popularity, the rampant critical acclaim of Netflix’s Stranger Things was unprecedented upon its release. The initial script produced by the series’ creators, the Duffer brothers, had been repeatedly rejected by a string of cable networks. It was simply uncategorizable. The ensemble of children…

Anna Biller’s The Love Witch: A Feminist Approach to the Alternative Horror Genre

Anna Biller’s faux-1960s alternative horror film, The Love Witch (2016), follows the narcissistic and eyeshadow obsessed Elaine in her search for the perfect fairy-tale romance. The self-proclaimed “Love Witch”, Elaine (played by Samantha Robinson) is a woman who uses home-made love potions, sex spells, and her own mysterious allure to seduce men until, of course,…

When the Living Are Dead

Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers. The Others is a skillfully crafted horror movie that’s worth watching because of its ending. The film seems like it’s going to be your typical dose of contemporary horror: isolation, a large estate drowned in fog, religious themes, and children. Director and screenwriter Alejandro Amenábar keeps his piece expertly free…

Crimson peak: A Gothic Romance

Ghosts are real, that much I know. Well, okay, I don’t know, but Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) can certainly tell you a thing or two about ghosts. Crimson Peak is Guillermo del Toro’s newest gothic romance film, and it possesses all of his trademark film-making techniques but with a distinctive late-1800s twist. The plot seems…

Hannibal: What do you see?

Sight is the key to appreciating the design behind Bryan Fuller’s three seasons of Hannibal. Television is first and foremost a visual medium, and no show makes better use of it. The first two seasons of Hannibal take place before the events described in the famous novels by Thomas Harris, with the third season leading…

Emily Carroll’s Horror Spectacle: Why I Checked Under My Bed That Night

“Unsettling” is a common word used to describe Emily Carroll’s graphic fiction these days, though perhaps it is given unjustly. “Unsettling” seems to skim the right word, but it ultimately lacks the punch her work delivers. Is there a definition for the sound of nails scraping a chalkboard? Or a word for the feeling of…

On The Babadook and What Truly Terrifies Us

When I was a kid, there was one book on my shelf that used to give me nightmares. It was called The Ugliest Dog in the World and it was supposed to be a funny children’s book. The story itself wasn’t what frightened me; rather, it was the book’s back cover, which featured the portrait…

Mentally Ill Monsters: Mental Illness in Horror

There are a few well-trodden settings for horror stories: the haunted house, the carnival, the ghost town, and—my area of interest—the asylum. This last setting has been used in such narratives as American Horror Story: Asylum, Outlast, and Shutter Island. While I am a proponent of exploring mental illness in stories, especially in speculative fiction,…