Adulting is be difficult. But add discovering your history through inner ancestral power with Salem descendants hot on your tail as a black milennial woman who cannot make bills, dating whomps, and burnout magically disappear... you've got Juju.

Review by Carolyn Mauricette (@vfdpixie)

Controlla: The First Step to Finding Power

When we left the three women in the first episode, Ally (Cydni Jenkins), Gigi (Nedge Victome) and Yaya (Cassandra Borgella) have met Adaoma (Diedra McDowell), a powerful witch who has sought them out because they have a destiny with magic they must fulfill. In the second episode, they discuss what they’ve just experienced after their startling meeting with Adaoma, and debate whether witchcraft and what they’ve seen, is real. Gigi and Yaya think Ally has the gift and realize that they all may have a blood connection in their Caribbean heritage to witchcraft. Ally becomes the focus as Yaya wants her to open up to the idea that they may have powers. Ally has no time for this and is more preoccupied with her job, yet she exhibits some interesting powers that she becomes aware of, as well as a visit from Adaoma and a voice from beyond.

Adulting is be difficult. But add discovering your history through inner ancestral power with Salem descendants hot on your tail as a black milennial woman who cannot make bills, dating whomps, and burnout magically disappear... you've got Juju.

Review by Carolyn Mauricette (@vfdpixie)

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Juju as “1: a fetish, charm, or amulet of West African peoples; 2: the magic attributed to or associated with jujus.” So, a charm or amulet can be infused with energy and is worn for protection or to relay a curse, depending on the intent. While this definition gives a broad view of what Juju is, it doesn’t give it the life it deserves, or the proper representation. If it appears in popular culture, it’s probably through a white-washed version of this ancient African practice; snippets shown in films that don’t really take into account the origins of this type of magic. And when you don’t see something properly done, sometimes the best remedy is to do it yourself.

The Netflix series Stranger Things received immediate points for its nostaglic accuracy. Everything eighties that is fantasy, science fiction, and horror spiraling kids into a web of government conspiracies and multiple dimensions with demogorgons, became an inevitable profit flood for the streaming services' core demographic who was that age at that time. As exciting as it has been seeing The Goonies/Alien/E.T. hybrid homage get a polish, Stranger Things also gets so right what was so wrong about this period; tokenism.

Horror has always been used to illuminate cultural anxieties and gives a voice to our collective fears. So, what to make of the gothic in America, a place which by the very nature of its founding is predisposed to a culture of anxiety? The dread knowing the enemy at the gate is understandable, but in America the enemy has already passed through it, and has been brought inside. The call is coming from inside the house.

-words from Leila Taylor

An accident strands a young woman on an island. As she practices means for survival, the stakes are raised when she realizes she's not alone.

Written by Alex Hyner, Alex Theurer, and J.D. Dillard
Directed by J.D. Dillard

Without question one of my favorite viewing experiences this year, Sweetheart plays as a meticulous course in minimalism. This execution is wildly successful. Jenn (Kiersey Clemons) is immediately thrown into a nightmare scenario with the backdrop of an invitingly, serene island. Her terror and capacity for resourcefulness is sound and enthralling. But as genre does, the wrench in any composure she may be hanging on to loosens entirely as a threat lurks.

Back in 2014, we published a teaser for a alluring short film titled, Afronauts, a fictionalized depiction of the true tale of the Zambia Space Academy's mission to beat Amrerica to the moon in 1969. Its peaceful yet intense inflection harbors its heart in Matha (Diandra Forrest), who trains to become the transcender. An embodiment of perpetual obligation to demand a future for Black bodies, culture, and aspiration.

What if Josephine Baker was a Cenobite with Naomi Campbell's fire? 

In the UK, a married couple, Jacqueline Flowers & Vincent Hargrave go about their days with jobs that pay the bills and indulge their literature, film, and music hobbies for balance. Jacqueline is the one who leans more into horror. The gravitational pull into "things that were a bit weird" has been a part of her creative process since she was young reading Pan Horror booksBeloved by Toni Morrison became a milestone because "the atmosphere is so dense, you can feel the humidity, the lack of any breeze and the smell of pain and hurt. The movie really did it some big justice and I fell in love with the characters even more." It is films that are "ethereal" that enrapture her muse. Caligula (1979), The Shining (1980) and The Cell (2000) are great visual references for her "thick molasses" style and pacing in her own work.

A curated cluster of collector figures, celebrity selfies, Xbox games, and DVD's offer an 80's fueled peek into one's horror proclivities. The Thing, Re-Animator, Ghostbusters, and Beetlejuice are just some of the movies and their themes Ivotres Littles has displayed like a mini-museum in her home. She is the California-based, host and creator of  Horror Movies and Beyond, a YouTube channel where she talks to composers, writers, directors, and actors who got their start working on cult horror classics. She additionally gets deep into the disturbing headlines that inspired some well-known horror favorites, and even unpacks some exhausting questions such as, 'why all the remakes?' The production design, editing, and overall ambiance of her show is a delight. Whether Ivotres is donning a proton pack with a mic next to Danielle Harris or surrounded body part props, #TheOprahOfHorror was gracious enough to delve more into her inquisitive nature, calling for more research and discourse on what makes the genre so appealing. Below is just a slither of her story:

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