I love the smell of burning candy corns in the morning. It smells like…Halloween!
If you’re like me, you’ve entered into the all-horror, all-the time-zone. I know I watch and read a ton of all things creepy throughout the year, but October (or as I call it, Horrortober) is when folks like us take it up to thirteen. Fuck eleven. That’s for poseur rock bands. Continue Reading
Andrea and Darra live in a dead-end Massachusetts town, making their way through high school with hopeful (but slim) dreams of escape. Everything’s going according to plan until a chance encounter with an otherworldly spirit named Carmen changes everything! Carmen promises Andrea eternal life, but a mysterious young boy named Liam shows up claiming he had also made a deal with Carmen, and it didn’t go well . . . 100 years ago. Liam must convince his new friends of Carmen’s evil nature before Andrea is tricked into a supernatural bargain that will upend her new life before it even starts in Stars, Hide Your Fire written by Kel McDonald and illustrated by Joe Pimienta.Continue Reading
Night Time Logic is the part or parts of a story that are felt but not consciously processed. Those that operate below the conscious surface. Those that are processed somewhere, somehow, and in some way other than… overtly and consciously. The deep-down scares. The scares that find their way to our core and unsettle us in ways we rarely see coming…
In this column, which shares a name with my New York-based reading series, I explore this phenomenon, other notions of what makes horror tick, and my favorite authors and stories, new and old with you. Today in my conversation with Sarah Langan we go “beyond the door” and into the “void”… an abyss that could be the darkest of them all and might not be the one you were initially expecting. Continue Reading
If you had asked me if I knew that life was constant change, and that none of the things I loved would last forever, I’d have surely shrugged and said, Sure, everyone knows that. But when you get right down here, where it counts, I believed it all was permanent.Continue Reading
Welcome to Night Time Logic, my new column for Cemetery Dance Online. Thanks to Norman Prentiss, Richard Chizmar, Blu Gilliand, Kevin Lucia, and the entire Cemetery Dance team. Cemetery Dance played a pivotal role in my education and exploration of horror so it is a thrill to be able to participate and share in the fun, the wonder, and the horror of it all in this forum.
While anything and everything goes, the main focus here will be interviews and conversations with the creative minds that bring us the dark fiction we love. I expect reviews and essays to come along with those conversations. I also expect a good deal of the authors and books we’ll explore will be those that we call the strange, the weird, the uncanny, and the interstitial.Continue Reading
I must confess that when I first heard that Epix was turning Stephen King’s early short story “Jerusalem’s Lot” into a ten-episode TV series, I wasn’t terribly excited. I don’t subscribe to that service, so I planned to give the show a miss. I thought it would turn out to be like the TV series The Mist, which bears little resemblance to the source material beyond the general concept. I’m here to tell you I was wrong, and this show is worth checking out. There is horror a-plenty here if you have plenty of patience for the show’s somewhat measured pace.
Just as I’ve discovered writers who only wrote a handful of stories and then, for a variety of reasons, didn’t write anymore, I’ve also discovered writers whose careers — and lives — were sadly cut short before they could reach their fullest potential. On one hand, I’m eminently grateful for the work they produced; on the other hand, I can only imagine what they could’ve accomplished if they’d lived longer. One of those writers is the inimitable Charles Beaumont.Continue Reading
I’ve only been sued one time in my life, and it was for an overdue movie.
This is one time the video store was not my friend.
The movie in question is the Canadian slasher, Humongous. Not exactly Citizen Kane…or The Burning. In fact, it was considered such a schlocky piece of shit, I was surprised the video store didn’t pay me to take if off the shelves. Continue Reading
One of the absolute delights of digging through the horror genre’s past is discovering stories and characters which pre-date and pre-figure contemporary stories and characters I’ve enjoyed. In The Philosophy of Horror, Noel Carroll posits that horror is one of the few literary genres which consistently builds upon its past, in that its practitioners not only consciously pay their respects to their history in the form of homages and pastiches, but they also attempt to create something new out of the old, in some cases reinventing a trope, subverting it, or, in the case of Paul Tremblay’s Head Full of Ghosts or Kristi DeMeester’s Beneath, reinventing, subverting, and paying homage all at once.Continue Reading
We all have our number of days in this world. Stick around long enough and you become the old guy. I certainly miss being young, but I could not be happier about the time of my life in the horror genre.Continue Reading
It could be just a look that we give when someone says something supremely stupid, or the way we tell our recalcitrant teenager that they are most certainly NOT going out dressed like that. It may be the way we sit or walk, the lilt in our voice when we talk. It could be just a few bits and bobs of dear old Dad, or maybe even the whole thing, a younger doppelgänger of the family’s patriarch.
John Carpenter’s Tales for a HalloweeNight Vol. 6 offers up thirteen tales of terror in a solid graphic novel horror anthology. It’s the type of graphic novel many people would enjoy curling up with at Halloween time. Or, if you’re a Cemetery Dance reader, it’s the type of graphic novel you could enjoy curling up with any time of the year.Continue Reading
Lisey’s Story, the Apple TV+ adaptation of Stephen King’s 2006 novel of the same name, begins its eight-episode run on Friday, June 4. The miniseries features a stellar cast, including Julianne Moore as Lisey Landon, Clive Owen as her husband Scott and Joan Allen and Jennifer Jason Leigh as her sisters Amanda and Darla. Rounding out the cast are Ron Cephas Jones as Professor Dashmiel and Dane DeHaan as Jim Dooley. All eight episodes were scripted by King and directed by Pablo Larraín, who previously helmed the bio-pic Jackie.
King frequently cites Lisey’s Story as his favorite of his novels. His general policy towards adaptations of his books and stories is that he is either “all in” or “all out.” In the latter case, he has cast and script approval but he generally leaves the directors and other producers alone. However, he was heavily involved with every facet of the Lisey’s Story adaptation. In the video included below he says, “I thought if someone was going to screw it up, I used to tell my wife that no one was going to screw it up more than me.”
When you engage in any kind of artistic “career” over a certain period of time, lots of preconceived notions are shed. Nowhere is that truer than in writing. It’s part of the gig. Over time, idealistic goals either vanish altogether, or, in the best case scenario, transform into more obtainable goals.
For me, it was the notion of writing full time. Writing as the day job. Spending my workday solely in my invented worlds. Many of my fellow writers have gone through the same transition. Realizing that for whatever reason, writing as a full-time career simply wasn’t in the cards.
When I began my exploration into the history of the horror genre, accepting this as a reality became a lot easier. It amazed me how many wonderful writers I encountered who never broke into a “full time” writing career. In some cases, they wrote one or two stories, and never wrote again.Continue Reading
I like a lot of new horror fiction. I just recently read one of the best, if not the best, novel in years: The Last House on Needless Street.
I never want to stop reading current writers, but I spend a lot of time back in my roots. I’m talking about the early 1980s. Post Stephen King, but pre-Splatterpunk. A time of small towns, ancient evil, diabolical children, delightfully garish paperback covers, and bookstores everywhere that still had horror sections.
It didn’t take a lot to please me. I trusted blurbs from other writers! That alone shows how different a time it was.Continue Reading