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Elizabeth

Posted on September 29, 2017

Walker Stalker Philadelphia 2017: A Survivor’s Guide

Elizabeth

As the horror convention junkie of our rag tag operation, I’ve partaken of pretty much every type of horror experience designed for fans of the macabre. And without a doubt, one of my very favorite yearly events is the epic Walker Stalker gathering that takes place in Atlanta in October. Offering the ultimate experience for Walking Dead fans, the event includes celebrity photo ops and autographs, tattooing, bar crawls, Q&A panels, an array of talented artists and vendors, and so much more. It is a massive production whose spectacle consistently draws fans from across the world.

It is also utterly overwhelming for a convention newbie.

Luckily, there are a number of smaller, Walker Stalker events held throughout the year at which horror and television fans can get a taste of what the big event has to offer. This weekend, Walker Stalker slides into Philly and brings with it some of the TWD’s biggest stars, including fan favorites Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, and Khary Payton. Considering its size, the guest list is considerable and varied and serves as the perfect first experience for curious fans.

Intrigued but still not sure what to expect? We got you!

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Twin Peaks Laura and Maddy
Posted on May 19, 2017

Twin Peaks: Why Laura May Not Be Female Corpse Exploitation

Elizabeth

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.

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Posted on May 4, 2017

Loot Crate: Women in Horror Dream Crate

Elizabeth

It’s no secret to anyone who has ever entered my office that I am a hardcore collector of all things Final Girl related. So when Loot Crate reached out to us to create our own “Dream Crate” on a theme of our choosing, we may have broken the speed of sound in accepting the challenge. As the collector of the group, I was given the enviable task of assembling a crate of goodies that would represent Loot Crate’s commitment to providing fans with fun, unique and geeky gifts while highlighting a theme near and dear to Horror Homeroom’s heart.

The decision to select ‘Women in Horror’ as our theme was an easy one. Recent statistics indicate that more women are buying movie tickets for horror films than are men. There has also been a noticeable uptick in the number of female led horror films entering production. Yet, check out the merchandise marketed to fans and it becomes glaringly obvious that the presumption most horror fans are adolescent teen boys still reigns supreme. Our Dream Crate takes that assumption and smashes it! Read more

stalking
Posted on April 17, 2017

Wait Till Helen Comes Review

Elizabeth

TV-14      87 mins.          Dominic James               Canada                2016

Despite themes ranging from suicide to mental illness, Wait Till Helen Comes is ostensibly a horror film geared toward the PG set. Drawing heavily from its source material, Mary Dowling Hahn’s 1986 YA classic of the same name, the film deserves credit for trusting its audience to follow a somewhat complicated narrative structure. While there have been some exceptions, most notably the brilliant Lady in White(1998), horror films marketed toward younger teens have often relied upon jump scares and gross out shock scenes to move the plot. For example, the moment when the witches peel off their human masks in The Witches (1990) or when the maggot covered meat is revealed in Poltergeist (1982). Wait Till Helen Comes does the complete opposite. It is slow moving and picturesque with a sensibility that is more implied horror. And the end result is a very mixed bag. Read more

Posted on March 30, 2017

The Belko Experiment: Aesthetical Violence Meets Life Boat Ethics

Elizabeth

Please be aware this discussion contains spoilers.

To say that I have been looking forward to screening The Belko Experiment, directed by Greg McClean and written by James Gunn, is an understatement. The well-designed trailer for the film positioned it as another entry in the increasingly growing oeuvre of “life boat ethics”[i] horror films in which survival is intimately tied to the choices one makes when thrown into a moral quandary. These films, in which ethics and choice collide, are somewhat unique to the genre in that the physical violence is secondary to the psychological warfare being waged. Consider, for example, the first Saw film in which the majority of the narrative tension comes not from the actual acts being perpetrated but by the struggle of the unwilling game participant to make a choice.  Early trailers for The Belko Experiment, which showed the film to be about a group of employees who are held hostage by an unseen mastermind and forced to decide who in the group should die so that others could survive, gave every indication that this film would follow the conventions set out by previous “life boat ethics” films. Boy, was I wrong.

What I got instead was a wholly original postmodern horror tale that takes the conventions of a morality fable and repackages them to be less about psychology and more about shock and awe. In this case, spectacle is not part of the narrative. It is the narrative. Read more

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