The majority of slasher fiction—whether it’s short stories, books, or movies—tends to focus on the hunt. Here’s a group of thinly-sketched victims, cannon fodder to be creatively knocked off one-by-one; and here’s a killer, often silent, usually masked, his or her motivations as mysterious as their identity. What comes after is, more often than not, a by-the-numbers recreation of the stalk-n-slash formula that’s been a staple of horror since the 1970s.*Continue Reading
I love “quiet horror.” I love a book filled with tension, atmosphere, and that creeping-up-on-you sense of unease where you can’t quite put your finger on what is wrong, but you know something is.
Here’s the thing: eventually, all that atmosphere and tension and unease has to pay off. When it does, it’s magic. When it doesn’t, it’s like cracking open a cold soft drink only to find that it’s gone flat.
Mormama, I’m sorry to say, is the flat soft drink of haunted house books.Continue Reading
Skelton Crew Studio, a comic book replica studio based in the wilds of Maine, was founded by Israel Skelton in 2008. A sculptor and creator for more than 30 years, Skelton first made a name for his studio with a replica key based on the critically-acclaimed comic series Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. Collaborations with a wide variety of creators soon followed, and Skelton Crew Studio’s work is now highly sought after among collectors and creators alike. Skelton Crew has a busy year ahead of them—more on that in a minute—so we appreciate Israel Skelton taking a few moments to discuss his work with us.
Ania Ahlborn is the bestselling author of the horror thrillers Brother, Within These Walls, The Bird Eater, The Shuddering, The Neighbors, and Seed, and the novella The Pretty Ones. Her latest release is The Devil Crept In, out now from Gallery Books. Recently, Ania was kind enough to take time out from exploring the dark corners of her imagination to share a few words with us.
When you work at Cemetery Dance, you tend to make certain assumptions about the books publishers send to you for review. Sometimes, those assumptions are way off. John Darnielle’s Universal Harvester proved to be one of those instances….in the best possible way.
When I got the book (cleverly packaged in a plastic clamshell case like an old VHS tape, for reasons that would become clear when I read it) and scanned its press sheet, a few things jumped out at me: mentions of the “haunted, open landscape of middle-America;” “ominous and disturbing footage” spliced into a video store’s rental tapes; an investigation into “the origins of these unsettling scenes.” I took these tidbits and began to splice together my own version of the book.Continue Reading
The Devil Crept In is the second people-go-into-the-woods-and-bad-things-happen book I’ve read this year (after Nick Cutter’s excellent Little Heaven), and the third in recent memory (including Paul Tremblay’s excellent Disappearance at Devil’s Rock). Ania Ahlborn’s latest novel stands shoulder-to-shoulder with those two—not just because of the premise, but because of the excellence of its execution. Continue Reading
Little Heaven is the first major horror novel of 2017, and it’s going to take a monumental deluge of quality horror to keep it off of those end-of-year best-of lists that will start popping up 11 months from now.Continue Reading
“I was living in a pulp writer fury, a storm of imagination.”
That’s how author Joe R. Lansdale describes his early years, that delicate time when a steady diet of television shows, comic books and Edgar Rice Burroughs novels cemented his desire to become a writer. Dead on the Bones: Pulp on Fire is full of stories in which Lansdale seeks to honor those early influences that have given him—and, in turn, his readers—so much.Continue Reading
Lauren Beukes’s work as a journalist in South Africa, where she covered topics ranging from slums to shark diving, gave her a sharp eye for detail and a sharp ear for dialogue. These tools are employed to great effect in in Slipping: Stories, Essays and Other Writing.
Ellen Datlow has been charting the course of horror fiction for over 35 years. In that time, she has maintained a balanced perspective in her numerous anthologies and collections, always casting an appreciative eye toward the established masters of horror while shining a light on the talent tasked with carrying the genre forward.Continue Reading
In 1996, Michael Dougherty released a short animated film called “Season’s Greetings,” which introduced a creepy, child-like character with a burlap mask and a love for Halloween. That character was named Sam, and you can see his introduction to the world below:Continue Reading
Monsters in the closet….monsters under the bed….I think we all, at some point in life, believed in these things. We also believed that certain things would protect us from such creatures: keeping your feet under the covers…night lights…Continue Reading
If you’re a fan of Halloween III: Season of the Witch, you might be
cursing me right now. That little ditty (from the Halloween countdown
commercials that play a huge part in the movie’s plot) is one of the
hardest-to-ditch earworms in earworm history, and I’ve just infected you.Continue Reading
1988’s Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is neither the most beloved nor the most reviled entry in the franchise. It’s a bit on the bland side for me (Michael’s mask, in particular, lacks any personality whatsoever), but man—I do love these opening credits.Continue Reading