Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Film Recap

My film experiences this year have been the most diverse they've ever been. A reasonable amount of time was spent in the theatres: free screenings, alone, as a pair, in groups, weekend marathons with friends, random Netflix picks, Amazon rentals, holiday challenges, and whatever's on cable by bedtime. Aside from throwing a player hater's ball in reaction to those who experienced Fantastic Fest 2015 and the like, I divorced my fervent anticipation for 2016 releases with the 2015 buffet in front of me. While I initially wasn't sure I had much to say about the last 365 days as a horror fan, it took a bit of Letterboxd perusing to remember that this year leaves me with much to ruminate.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

How South Of Hell Ignited Personal Fears & Highlighted People Of Color

South Of Hell is the latest debut in horror television with a WEtv binge-model, 7 episode premiere over the 2015 Thanksgiving weekend. Moving in slightly under the radar with a healthy backing from names like Eli Roth and Jason Blum (and the majority of episodes thus far directed by women), viewer engagement was modestly neutral to positive, but reviews haven't been too kind. South Of Hell has been described as "an easily digestible piece of horror froth that's totally enjoyable, if entirely facile." The former part of this is more than fair, the tail-end latter, not so much.

The show establishes itself dipped in a visually alluring 'southern charm' with a well-paced mystery that entangles very distinguished and likeable characters. Even from the pilot, there's an awareness that it has a meaty story to tell that will keep viewers guessing. But more pertinently that rebuffs this idea of the series being a hallow shell is its ability to do what horror does best: expose and complicate the range of human emotions and positing social anxieties.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

#SciFiSunday: My 25 X-Files Episode Starter Kit

I never imagined after nine seasons and two distinctive films, that The X-Files would make its way back to the small screen. Less than enthused, I was highly skeptical of it all. Looking back, I can't really remember why considering almost everyone involved in what made the show so magical all those 1990s years back are returning and rejuvenated. While it's clearly taking the such a nostalgic hostage approach, much of the hum surrounds a lot of freshness to the stories we thought we were all but abandoned in the finale and where the characters we love are now emotionally. For us diehards, I'm now optimistic that this mini-series will be a treasure.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Mantid Magazine Takes Active Approach To Diversity In Genre Writing

*From the media kit:

Mantid Magazine is an arts and literary publication celebrating artists, writers, and media creators from various backgrounds who illustrate the power of diversity through their identities and their work. The magazine was created to celebrate unique/alternative/underground entertainment media, and to serve as a platform for marginalized groups in the arts (women, LGBTQA, people of color, and the differently-abled).

Mantid focuses on publishing genre work including weird fiction, horror, dark fantasy, magic realism, and dark science fiction. Our ultimate goal at Mantid is to foster a diverse creative community and to bring unique, fiercely human voices to the forefront of modern speculative storytelling.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Journey Of Horror Writing With Brit Brinson

Ohio-based Trekkie and young adult fiction author, Britney Brinson is quite the presence on social media. Her brand of wit, extensive referencing, snark, and insight into popular culture I've found both funny and refreshing. I'm convinced she's not aware of how dynamic her personality is, a treasure amongst much of which is repetitive, tiring, and mundane. Chopping it up with her one on one has been a long time coming.

She consistently provides honest commentary about horror films and television that is pleasantly impossible to ignore. But like all humans on this planet, there's so much more to this twenty-something that's worth highlighting.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Black Women In Horror: R. Shanea Williams On Making Paralysis

R. Shanea Williams' award-winning short, Contamination blew me away. There's no other way to describe how amazing the performances and technical touches were. The atmosphere immediately inspired concepts of being low-key genre, a darkness that underlined a work that cannot be necessarily be labeled horror or thriller, but Williams' influences are clear. She has a deep commitment to the horror genre much to my delight. And a specific mission to offer other women of color starring roles where we struggle for prominence.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Three Black Actresses That Need To Do Horror Now

Whether it's a matter of personal taste, admirable aesthetic, an actor's own standout, public affinities, or just because they're your 'BFF-in-your-head', I'm going to assume many people imagine and hope some of their favorite actors are offered and take ambitious roles in the genres we love. There's nothing more bold than science fiction/fantasy/action/horror fare as it bursts the seams of imagination other genres simply do not.

That's why it's so important for these projects to go even further in walking-the-talk and green light meaningful (and scary) content that gives women of color room to play the many different characters these stories can offer. Below are some of my favorite picks to star in a horror film because they're pretty superlative at everything else they do.

Kerry Washington, the villain

A teenage single mom, a spy communications manager, an ex-Panthers wife in Philly, a vibrant seductress, timid slave to a high profile D.C. fixer, there's no doubt in anyone's mind that Kerry Washington has range. She brings a particular uniqueness to each of her roles that makes them both authentically Kerry, but that doesn't derail from the character she becomes.

But she's never really played an inherently evil character. I think she could pull off being the ultimate antagonist in any horror sub-genre: psychological thriller, slasher, occult, name it, I bet any talented screenwriter could cook up a character where Kerry could easily rival Annie Wilkes or Mary Mason.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Holiday Gift Ideas: Black Character Horror Toys

Early this past November, an image came across my Twitter timeline. One I've seen before on Tumblr, but now the added provision of names and links attached to its origin. What I wasn't expecting was the massive response:
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