My Gateway to Horror: Edgar Allan Poe

I’m not sure when I first got my grubby little hands on a copy of the collected works of Edgar Allan Poe. But I do remember curling up with that battered black paperback and being delightfully scared in a way that Nancy Drew just couldn’t quite deliver.  From “The Pit and the Pendulum” to “The […]

Fridging = Lazy Writing

(aka Ask Me How I Really Feel About Misogyny in Fiction) The Killing Joke, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland, was a poignant reminder of how much horror has changed since The Killing Joke was released in 1988 and how much horror still needs to change. If you’ve never heard of “fridging,” […]

Joyride: Female Doesn’t Equal Victim

Joyride by Jack Ketchum was an incredibly difficult book for me to read. At first I had trouble putting finger on why that was (other than the obvious amount of sexual violence against women). But as I continued to read, it began to dawn on me that the author depicted women as whimpering pitiful creatures […]

Se7en: The Ultimate Bro-mance

Se7en (1995) written by Andrew Kevin Walker and directed by David Fincher, featured an all-star cast including Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kevin Spacey. Some horror buffs consider Se7en to be one of the best genre movies of all time and are still up in arms that the movie never took home any […]

Taxi Driver: Alone in an Iron Box

Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert DeNiro, Taxi Driver details the everyman’s downward spiral into psychopathy. Travis Bickle, an unassuming and lonely NYC cabbie, seeks human connection amid what he sees as the human cesspool of the city. But the irony is that Travis himself is only a hairsbreadth removed from being the very […]

Charles Mansion: The Horror of Mind Control

If you stopped the average person on the street, told them you were Jesus, a race war was coming, you’d need to live in a big dark hole, and oh by the way, go out and murder, the last thing that person would do is actually listen to you. So how in the world did […]

Paul Sheldon: Passive or Not?

Stephen King’s Misery is one of my favorite horror novels. I don’t even remember how young I was the first time I smuggled it out of the school library to read under the covers.  Re-reading it as a writer was an interesting experiment in figuring out why Misery works so well. Because there’s no doubt […]

Clarice’s Quest: Silence of the Lambs

Based on the book by Thomas Harris, Silence of the Lambs  starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster is one of my all-time favorite movies. I remember watching the infamous basement-night-vision-goggles scene for the first time. At that time, night vision goggles weren’t readily available online, and my teenage self had definitely never seen anything remotely […]

Will Graham: The Psychopath We Love to Love

“One can only see what one observes, and one observes only things which are already in the mind.”  Red Dragon by Thomas Harris It’s been quite a few years since the first time I read Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. And in the intervening years, the entire franchise—because the Hannibal Lecter story is indeed a […]

The Sculptor by Gina Fava

  Or “Why All Authors Need a Good Editor” (Also why is the only book on our list by a female author so technically terrible that it hurt me to read it?) This book should have been over in Chapter 1.  It’s not often that I come right out of the gate on a book […]