Netflix’s teen slasher/supernatural horror trilogy is quickly becoming the gateway piece for a lot of new horror fans. Where do you go next?

Netflix

There’s this misconception when it comes to liking horror that it’s an all-or-nothing situation. You like horror, you say? Horror? Blood, guts, abuse, death, destruction, despair, and all? The truth is horror is a vast spectrum with lots of subgenres and even subgenres of subgenres. …


Americans have never been able to properly shoulder the burden of liberty, in 2020 it’s time to rethink what freedom means for us

I was living in Canada starting in th late fall of 2016, a precarious time to cross the border for a new home. Donald Trump had just been elected and everyone I met who learned I was American followed it up with a cringe, a look of sympathy, an eye roll. …


Halloween is perhaps one of the most misunderstood holidays on the calendar

Halloween is one of those chameleon-like holidays, controversial enough to become whatever it needs to be to push the needs of the speaker. For new-age Wiccans, it’s a rallying point that legitimizes their religion and for Christian, it’s a sign devilish works in the mainstream world. For others, it’s no better than a Hallmark holiday or a night for kids that we all eventually grow out of. But Halloween is a diverse and eclectic mishmash of cultures, the freeze-frame of Christianity and paganism clashing in the misty hills…


History Through Horror’s look at what went bump in the night during the 1950s through the lens of Shirly Jackon’s The Haunting of Hill House

“Any change in the nature of and female roles thus automatically affects the home, the economy, the school, and perhaps, above all, the definition of who we are as human beings.” — William Chafe, A History of Our Time: Readings on Postwar America, 2007

Shirley Jackson is, without a doubt, the writer who best encapsulates the secret anxieties of mid-century American women. Thee disturbing and jarring short story “The Lottery” has been required reading for…


“Avatar” is not a show about peace, it’s about policing. Its sequel remedied that.

I am 12 years old eating pizza in our home in the bowl of the Phoenix valley, watching a new Nickelodeon TV show. I am unaware that years down the line it will help shape my ethics against imperialism and national exceptionalism as a teenager in post-9/11 America. At this time, I am a kid of a divorced household happy to have something epic and fantastical to get lost in. When I am 19 and sitting in a bite-sized dorm room in college, this show’s sequel…


The Low, Low Woods encapsulates everything about northeastern PA’s melancholic, creepy vibes

Author Carmen Maria Machado and the cover of volume 1, DC Comics

Pennsylvania gets a couple different takes. There’s the vigorous frustration and agitation towards the denizens of Philadelphia and their specific fervor for their sports teams (go birds). There’s Pittsburgh, the midwestern step-sibling of the Northeast Corridor, full of funny words and strange food practices. There’s the poor white, rural population bearing the famous nickname “Pennsatucky.” There’s the Amish and Mennonite communities and their populous farmer’s markets. There’s also the mountains, and the towns nestled in and around them. …


Horror movies stop being fun when we’re living the experience, psychology proves it

A scene from The Innocents (1961), an adaptation of The Turn of the Screw

Horror is a reactionary genre. You can learn a lot about a society and the cultural happenings of a time by looking at what scared the people then. Pro-religious McCarthyism and moral panics of the back half of the 20th century which burgeoned films like Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Exorcist (1973), and The Omen (1976). The 1990s focus on metafiction and postmodernism led to self-evaluating films like Scream (1996) and Blair Witch Project (1999). So, what will the COVID-19 pandemic lead to?

The most famous isolation horror book and film by far would by Stephen King’s The Shining. Set in…


“Folk horror” is an aesthetic, this movie has more in common with the 1970s rape-revenge films

Ari Aster’s second feature film, Midsommar, is a story about a group of American graduate students visiting a remote Swedish commune during their midsummer festivities. Horror history tells us how this goes: one by one they find themselves unwitting participants in arcane rituals or sacrificed until the horrific, Wicker Man, ending. But it’s also not that simple.

What Midsommar is really about is a twenty-something woman, fresh off the trauma of a family tragedy, breaking free from her gaslighting and emotionally unavailable boyfriend. …

Melanie Moyer

A Philly-based copywriter and published author of a novel, one forthcoming novel (August 2021), multiple short stories, and articles and essays.

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