As the Myth Turns: Love and Soulmate Myths

My friends and brilliant Cultural Interns Eris and Z invited me on their podcast to talk about Love and Soulmates. I should’ve posted this on Valentine’s Day, but life gets in the way sometimes.

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4 Dead, 5 Stabbed: Who Else Survived Hell Fest?

Gregory Plotkin’s Hell Fest came out a month before Halloween last year, telling the permagold story of a murderer on the loose at a Halloween festival. Is it a real dead body or a prop? Only the smell will tell! The film effectively mixes in the jump scares of a Trail of Terror with the actual danger of the slashing “the Other.” Plus horror icon Tony Todd hams it up as the Barker! It’s a lot of fun, but in the end [spoilers ahead] observant viewers will notice that the newscast voice over says that there were four killed while five characters were stabbed in the present day story.

We did some digging (tweeting at Plotkin late in the evening counts as investigative journalism, right?), and found out who the survivor was!

Find out who it was and read the rest of the article at Wicked Horror!

Haunted Hospital (Heilstätten) Needs the Infirmary [Blu-Ray Review]

Originality is overrated. The best stories are the ones that execute well. Wes Craven’s classic Scream is a pastiche. With the exception of the Billy/Stu reveal at the end, it borrows every blood-soaked moment from other slashers. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’ve seen a masked killer charging with a raised knife before, because Craven does a masterful job building suspense and thinking through the most minute details. Sydney doesn’t just hide in a closet halfway through the film, she hides in the closet that Craven painstakingly showed the audience twenty-minutes earlier. Those small things, not original concepts (which can help), separate a great film from a good one. Haunted Hospital would’ve been okay if it were only lacking in originality, but the execution isn’t spectacular either, leaving it too good to be so-bad-it’s-funny and not good enough to really make an impact on its own.

The premise is archetypal. Six young adults spend a night in the titular haunted hospital. Three are established digital content creators, one is an up-and-comer, and the other two work as tour guides at the sanatorium during the on season. The trappings are original: the Prankstaz.tv bros play with corpses a la Logan Paul; the hospital was used for Nazi experiments; and director Michael David Pate tries to manipulate the material to fit his hatred of vloggers, but when all of that boils off, it’s still a found footage spend the night in the haunted house film.

Continue reading at Wicked Horror!

“Safe at Home”

I’m very excited to announce that my short story “Safe at Home” is available in A Murder of Storytellers anthology Sorry, We’re Closed which is available now.

2/21/15 (Morning)

There’s nothing quite as good as being young and in love. Except maybe drugs. Although, drugs can have lasting side effects, whereas love’s only potential downfall is pregnancy. Be honest, would you rather crack a knuckle and go on an unexpected acid trip or spend nine months with a parasite growing to the size of a baby watermelon inside of you? I know my answer and, more importantly, Reynolds knows my answer.

No, not Burt Reynolds, though I sometimes see the resemblance too. My boyfriend Paul is also last-named Reynolds. I refuse to call him Paul though. Pauls are serious men that work on computers and have no souls. Reynolds is the kind of man who would climb a tree to save a cat that had gotten itself stuck. A Paul wouldn’t. Thus, Reynolds. He’s got spiky cool guy hair and he’s strong enough to carry me down 5 flights of stairs, though he has to put me down at the landings on the way back up. It gets all of his blood rushing and his arms look huge afterward, but we can’t really bone because of the cast. Don’t get me wrong, we do other things that are nice, but some actual penetration would be wonderful.

He was doing all this carrying because I’d pulled a Kennedy drinking and skiing. What can I say? Massachusetts born and raised. I took a jump, didn’t get my tip up high enough for the landing, and crack. There went my fibula. In most ways though, I was lucky. How many skiers die per year? Fifty-four out of every million do in the U.S. When your leg is broken and you live on the fifth floor walkup, no question is too unimportant for thorough research, or, in this case, Googling how many skiers die per year. There’s time to exhaust the content on your high school boyfriend’s Netflix account. Time to write fifty pages of Harry Potter fan fiction and read it to your poor boyfriend when he gets home from work. Time to peep on the legged through the window.

Continue reading my story and 17 other chilllers in the anthology, available here!