Women in Horror month update

Gemma Files has been sharing a list of  recommendations for Women in Horror Month on Facebook, with many links to free stories. There’s lots of great lists going around at this time – all worth checking out – but seeing as some are new to me and others I just recognize as names in my ever-growing to be read pile, I thought I’d share for everyone’s benefit. And it’s always great to get free samples.

You can see a video of Gemma reading a story at a WiH event, and also hear a recent interview with her.

1 An Owomoyela – Year of the Rabbit

2 Nadia Bulkin – Red Goat Black Goat  & Intertropical Convergence Zone also appropriate is her post on Women in Horror and I’m thankful that I know a lot of great women writers, and they make it easy for me to discover more.

3 Priya Sharma – The Show (audio)

4 Helen Oyeyemi – White Is For Witching

5 AC Wise – How to Host a Haunted House Murder Mystery Party  & Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife

6 Helen Marshall – The Hanging Game

7 Kaaron Warren – All You Can Do Is Breathe

8 Theodora Goss – Red as Blood and White as Bone

9 Sylvia Moreno-Garcia – Variations of Figures Upon the Wall this is audio

10 Kelly Link – The Summer People

11 Caitlin R. Kiernan – The Key to the Castleblakeney Key

I went to see XX this weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the stop-motion interstitials, because I love all creepy stop-motion. Both my wife and I preferred The Box, an adaptation of Jack Ketchum’s story, directed by Jovanka Vuckovic. Neither of us had read the original story, so I’m not sure how it deviates other than combining some characters (I think there’s one less child, which makes sense, it would just repeat what was already there). There’s a major believability issue relating to medical care. It seems likely to me that parents would bring their children to hospital much sooner, and they would all be intravenously fed, and then counselled. The weakest part of the segment was the actor who played the father, who seemed a bit stiff and lacking in range. 3/4 of the movies played on parental fears, which I thought was interesting. St. Vincent’s segment was the most realistic of the bunch, and also the lightest in tone. Less horror than describing a nightmarish day which a child’s birthday party with a little almost-slapstick. There was a lot unexplained, like the creepy  Carla, and room to explore that story. While I enjoyed it, mostly due to Melanie Lynskey’s performance, it did the least for me. The third segment, Don’t Fall, by Roxanne Benjamin felt the most traditional horror, and stood out as the only one without parental concerns (though there was a sibling relationship). This felt a bit too familiar – disrespectful young people in the middle of nowhere stumble across an unknown evil. It had a much faster pace – and action! which the other segments didn’t feature. There was a small section in a cave, which immediately made me think of Scott Nicolay’s Noctuidae, even though they really only a cave in common. Last was Karen Kusama’s segment. It reminded me how much I enjoy her work. I wish I could think of specific examples in direction to reinforce this. I enjoyed the aspect of how one character – the son – was in the dark about the truth. It reminded my wife of Can-lit pieces whose titles I’ve forgotten already – one by James Reaney – that had similarities. That was a pretty neat coincidence. [EDIT: Here’s the Reaney, linked for spoilers, and the other was Anne Carson – Autobiography of Red.] All in all it was an enjoyable experience, with lots to think about. I would say the majority of this movie is slow-burn, so not for people who need tons of action, jump-scares, or gore (though there was a bit of that in the box, in a gruesome dinner-dream sequence, and in the 3rd story).

Soon I’ll be posting my mid-way point for the miniature I’ve been painting in tribute. I expect to be finished the painting this week, though the diorama portion may run into March due to job-related complications that are taking up too much time.

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