The Binding

I try not to give indie movies bad reviews because I understand how hard it is to make a living as an artist. I made an exception for The Binding because it ended on a homophobic note.

Find out more about that at Wicked Horror

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Interview with The Conjuring Scribes up at Wicked Horror

Twin brothers Chad and Carey W. Hayes burst onto the horror scene in 2005, penning House of Wax. Since then, they’ve written The ReapingWhiteout, and the first two installments of one of the most successful horror franchises of the last decade, The Conjuring.

Their latest, The Crucifixion, follows Nicole Rawlins (Sophie Cookson) as she investigates an exorcism in Romania that killed the woman it intended to save. As Rawlins aims to prove that the priest has committed murder, something sets its sights on her. Based on real events, The Crucifixion is available on Amazon and iTunes now and headed for DVD and Blu-ray December 5th.

We caught up with the Chad and Carey to talk about it.

Wicked Horror: The Crucifixion has a lot of great moments—both beautiful and horrifying—in Romania. How much of that was scripted and how much was spotting a great location and then shooting it?

Read more at Wicked Horror.

Jigsaw Review at Wicked Horror

Saw was brutally simple, spending much of its runtime in a small room with two men chained to opposite walls with a corpse between them. A saw, and a way out: Cut off your foot if you want to live. The villain was a moralist, punishing his victims for perceived faults. The brilliant premise kept the budget down and begged viewers to consider if they’d cut off their own foot to survive. The next six installments in the franchise invested their substantially larger budgets (from $1,200,000 for Saw steadily increasing to an estimated $20,000,000 for Saw 3D) in inventing more creative kills. They were fun as far as the gore could carry, but didn’t always make sense. It hurt their box office take enough that after seven years of Halloween releases, viewers had to wait seven years between 2010’s Saw 3D and this year’s Jigsaw.

Read more at Wicked Horror!

Victor LaValle’s The Changeling (Book Review)

Although Penguin Random House classifies The Changeling by Victor LaValle as “Literary Fiction” and “Contemporary Fantasy,” LaValle’s book doesn’t fit neatly into either  genre. The novel defines itself in its first line: “This fairy tale begins in 1968 during a garbage strike” (3). While modern audiences may have become accustomed to seeing Hans Christian Andersen’s tales in their sanitized Disney form, LaValle, as well as the characters in The Changeling, work to return fairy tales to their visceral origins, packed with social commentary while incorporating technology and addressing race.

LaValle’s protagonist, Apollo Kwaga, is a rare and antiquarian bookseller and for the first one-hundred pages or so, his life is mundane. The only hints of a supernatural world emerging in the opening pages are seen in pictures texted to his wife Emma that mysteriously disappear before she can show them to Apollo. They have their first child, and Emma suffers from something that looks very much like postpartum depression; however, something shocking happens, forcing Apollo into a new, much darker, magical world…

Read the rest at Spectator and Spooks!

Birds of Prey (Short Fiction) via Entropy

Entropy picked up my story “Birds of Prey.” Check out this excerpt, and if you like it continue reading here.

Since Sarah had had Travis, her mother had called every day. Sometimes two or three times a day. “I hope you’ve decided to do the right thing about your job?”  “Do you need help with the baby?” “I’m an expert.” Her voice was nasally in person, and the static from her phone exaggerated it. Her mother was indisputably experienced, but she’d shipped her six kids off to swimming practice every night so she could “cook dinner,” but the only smell in the house was the chlorine dripping off Sarah and her siblings when they got back from their nightly swimming lessons. Her mother was calling again, but Sarah declined. She’d had enough for one day and Dave was out of town on business. The last thing she needed was more stress.

She popped in her headphones and sock hopped from Travis’s nursery to the laundry room, swaying to Frank Sinatra’s “Witchcraft.” She was shoveling wet clothing from the washer to the dryer when the first knock came.

There were three frame shaking clunks, like a man battering on the door. She paused the music and headed down the stairs. She wasn’t expecting anyone. The floorboards creaked and groaned under her weight.

What’s that at the door? Who’s there? Find out at Entropy!

Han Kang’s Human Acts Review via Spectator and Spooks

Human Acts, Han Kang’s second novel translated into English (and 6th overall), is breathtakingly good. Its opening follows Dong-Ho from a close second-person perspective and slowly reveals to the reader that he is surrounded by the bodies of those who were killed in the brutal put-down of the Gwangju Uprising, a real demonstration in South Korea where paratroopers opened fire on protesters. Dong Ho is helping families find the bodies of their loved ones and helping the other volunteers dispose of the unclaimed.  Kang writes that Dong-Ho is young enough that his “PE jacket is buttoned up to the top,” cleverly showing with that detail that he’s much too young to be helping families identify corpses. There are so many dead in the city that they cannot perform individual ceremonies for each of them.

Continue reading at Spectator and Spooks.