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Elizabeth Erwin

Posted on February 19, 2018

Podcasts as Horror Storytelling

Elizabeth Erwin

You can’t expose yourself to grisly images and concepts on the daily and not have a strong stomach. And so it was with more than a little surprise that I found myself having to repeatedly take a break from episode 10 of the fantastic Charles Manson’s Hollywood podcast, which recounts in grisly detail the murders that took place at Sharon Tate’s home in 1969.

Now none of these details were new to me. In fact, I’d go so far as to say there may have been elements left out in the telling. But the very intimate nature of listening to the description of events instead of reading it or watching it impacted me in a way for which I was wholly unprepared. And so it got me thinking about the ways in which podcasts are revolutionizing the horror experience for fans. Read more

Posted on February 4, 2018

Better Watch Out and the Era of Trump

Elizabeth Erwin

This post contains spoilers

Despite being filmed in Australia, Chris Peckover’s Better Watch Out (2016) is a film that very much feels like it belongs in Trump’s America. From the way wealth and privilege are leveraged to create a veneer of normalcy to the intersection of male privilege and childhood, this film’s messaging is situated directly in those conversations being held in the American cultural sphere.

The film’s storyline is a relatively simple one. Having arrived at the Lerner residence to babysit 12-year-old Luke (Levi Miller), Ashley’s (Olivia DeJonge) expected quiet evening takes a dramatic turn when she is forced to guard her charge and his best friend, Garrett (Ed Oxenbould), against a home intruder. But things quickly take a turn when Ashley discovers that her biggest threat comes from the person she’d least suspect. Read more

Posted on January 29, 2018

5 Horror YouTube Channels Worth Watching

Elizabeth Erwin

As you may have heard, YouTube recently dropped the bomb that only channels having 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in the past twelve months (as of February 20) are eligible for monetization. For creators, especially those featuring horror related content, who, thanks to YouTube’s wonky algorithm, already faced increased obstacles in monetization, this decision has profound financial implications.

Because we appreciate the value content creators bring to the table, we wanted to highlight a few of our favorite channels in the hopes that you will go forth and subscribe/watch their work. While each of these channels offers up a unique contribution to the horror community, they all provide valuable content to fans. And though our list is far from exhaustive, there does exist a fantastic playlist of additional horror based channels available for your viewing pleasure.

Here is our list of the top 5 horror themed YouTube channels you’ll want to check out ASAP: Read more

Twin Peaks Laura and Maddy
Posted on October 22, 2017

Twin Peaks: Why Laura May Not Be Female Corpse Exploitation

Elizabeth Erwin

When Twin Peaks initially took television by storm in 1990, I was a fourteen-year-old classic horror nerd hell bent on consuming every bit of popular culture that seemed at odds with my conservative hometown. In other words, I was the ideal audience for David Lynch and Mark Frost’s surrealistic tale of murder and debauchery in a small town. And while I initially tuned into the series for Piper Laurie, I (and most of America) soon became obsessed with the tragic backstory of Laura Palmer, the Prom Queen whose sweet smile hid an array of dark and seedy secrets. Since I was myself on the cusp of entering high school in a small town, Laura’s story was instantly identifiable, even as it also possessed an air of otherness.

Over the years, I have periodically gone back and rewatched the series, and it holds up remarkably well. But on Sunday, a new chapter of Twin Peaks will be written when the lauded show returns for a 9 episode run on Showtime. But while I am excited about the prospect of revisiting old friends–and old fears–I’ve been somewhat take aback by a couple of merchandising decisions designed to accompany the show’s return.

If there has been one criticism that has plagued the Frost/Lynch saga, it is that Twin Peaks almost singlehandedly ushered in the dead-teen-girl-as-spectacle trope that now plagues network and premium television at an almost incomprehensible rate. But does the show truly deserve that criticism?

In terms of narrative, I’d argue no. But in terms of recent merchandising decisions? Maybe.

Read more

Posted on October 21, 2017

Top 10 Spine-tingling Goosebumps Episodes

Elizabeth Erwin

With pumpkins abounding and the bite of frost in the air, it’s time to take a look again at that classic horror series for kids from the 1990s, R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps. For generations of fans, Goosebumps was their first entry point into horror. With plots running the gamut from ghosts to monsters to possession, no horror trope was off the table, and the series  remains an excellent example of how horror can be reconfigured for younger audiences in such a way that its bite stays firmly intact. Goosebumps is especially worth a watch for both its storytelling prowess and creepy atmosphere. So if you want to curl up at home with these oldies but goodies, here’s where to start. And you can find them all on Netflix.

Here’s my ranking for the top ten episodes of Goosebumps! Read more

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